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New to satellite and looking for advice

kuykendc
04-25-2006, 10:44 AM
I am going to be moving and will be getting satellite service. I'm trying to decide which service to go with and what kind of package I need. I will be using 4 televisions (2 HDTV & 2 SDTV). I would like to have DVR functionality on both HD sets and one of the SD sets. I would also like to be able to get OTA HD channels on the 2 HD sets. I am leaning towards DirecTV because of the NFL package but that is not a deal-breaker if Dish would work better for my particular needs. I've been reading lots of stuff on both the DirecTV and Dish sites as well as numerous comparison sites and forums but think I'm more confused now than when I began. I'm specifically looking for advice on what kind of equipment I'd need for this setup and which company provides the best DVR functionality (HD & SD). Any advice/pointers you can provide would be greatly appreciated.

TIA!
Kirk

6201jim
04-25-2006, 10:55 AM
Your ability to get OTA HD channels will depend on how far you will be from the OTA transmitter location, the terrain between you and the transmitter, and the type of OTA antenna you use.
Go to antennaweb.org and put in your new address.
You are much better off with OTA HD if it is feasible at your new address because HD DVRs cannot yet record mpeg4 encoded HD content (which is what is used on D* satellites). OTA HD uses mpeg2 which can be recorded by HD DVRs.

Fl_Gulfer
04-25-2006, 11:53 AM
Yep it cost way too much now that D* went to lease, I would get the basic package and buy my boxes at ebay, just hope you can get OTA because no one can give you that quality of picture.

davecramer74
04-25-2006, 12:58 PM
id look into dishnetworks prices. Your looking at no less than 1000 bucks just for the 2 hd's to have dvr's. Your normal sd dvr's are virtually free.

kuykendc
04-25-2006, 01:01 PM
Thank you very much for the replies. I went to antennaweb.org and put in our new address. It came back with a long list of stuff... looks like all the channels (abc, cbs, nbc, fox, ind, tbn, upn, wb) are between 30-33 miles from us. We'll be in a 2 story home but there are a lot of trees around us. Think that will work?

Since none of the DVR's record MPEG-4 does that mean that they won't work with the HD signals received from satellite? I'm kind of confused on the whole MPEG4/MPEG2 thing as it relates to the satellite DVR functionality.

Also, when you talk about buying boxes off of eBay... are you talking about just the receivers or HD DVR boxes? Any recommendations?

Thanks again for taking the time to help me.


Cheers!
Kirk

deadhead68
04-25-2006, 01:23 PM
Thank you very much for the replies. I went to antennaweb.org and put in our new address. It came back with a long list of stuff... looks like all the channels (abc, cbs, nbc, fox, ind, tbn, upn, wb) are between 30-33 miles from us. We'll be in a 2 story home but there are a lot of trees around us. Think that will work?

Since none of the DVR's record MPEG-4 does that mean that they won't work with the HD signals received from satellite? I'm kind of confused on the whole MPEG4/MPEG2 thing as it relates to the satellite DVR functionality.

Also, when you talk about buying boxes off of eBay... are you talking about just the receivers or HD DVR boxes? Any recommendations?

Thanks again for taking the time to help me.


Cheers!
Kirk

I have only been an HDTV owner for 4 months now, but have been reading this forum for over 6 months. Let me see if I can clear things up. If can get your locals in HD with an OTA antenna, and at 30 miles out you should, do that. Depending on the market you are in, DTV does offer locals in HD. However, DTV transmits the locals, and I belive only the HD locals, in MPEG4 format. Currently DTV does not have a DVR able to record MPEG4 format. But thier HR10-250 can record OTA channels becasue they are sent via MPEG2 format. And the OTA locals when they are broadcasting in HD are awesome! DTV does have recievers to view any of the MPEG4 stuff, but just not record it. And the HR10-250 can record ESPN-HD, HBO-HD etc. Those are still MPEG2.

You can purchase a couple HR10-250's off of Ebay most likely. You could also get them through DTV. But be prepared for sticker shock. $399-$499 each. AND you don't own them. You will be leasing them from DTV. You will be paying close to $900 for equipment you don't own. That is why I switched over to Comcast. But that is a discussion for another thread.

I hope this helps.

DeadHead68

kuykendc
04-25-2006, 01:43 PM
Thank you very much. That helped. Think I have a better understanding now. So, sounds like if I go with DTV I need to buy 2 of the HR10-250's off of ebay, get 1 standard receiver and 1 standard dvr receiver from DTV. With the HR10-250 DVR I'll be able to record DTV HD & SD content (minus HD locals) because all HD channels except the locals are broadcast in MPEG2... and I'll be able to record the HD OTA locals also because they're broadcast in MPEG2 OTA (but in MPEG4 via DTV)... assuming I'm able to get the local HD OTA feed. Good grief.

A few more questions....

Would the DTV dish pick up those OTA HD feeds or do I need a separate antenna for that and if I have a separate antenna does it "integrate" with the DTV on-screen menu?

If I'm using a separate antenna to pickup the OTA HD feeds can I watch 2 separate HD channels on the 2 HDTV sets at the same time?

As for the suggestion that I look into Dish. Is it the same situation where I would not be able to record the HD Locals using their DVR because of the MPEG2/4 situation?

Any thoughts on the DVR capability in regards to Dish vs. DTV?

I currently use a Time Warner HD DVR and a Tivo Series2... does the HR10-250 use the Tivo software?

Any suggestions on a good company to hook all of this up in the St. Louis area?

Sorry again for all of the questions. I'm a software developer and am usually pretty technically savvy but this stuff is making my brain fry.

Thanks again!
Kirk

deadhead68
04-25-2006, 01:59 PM
Thank you very much. That helped. Think I have a better understanding now. So, sounds like if I go with DTV I need to buy 2 of the HR10-250's off of ebay, get 1 standard receiver and 1 standard dvr receiver from DTV. With the HR10-250 DVR I'll be able to record DTV HD & SD content (minus HD locals) because all HD channels except the locals are broadcast in MPEG2... and I'll be able to record the HD OTA locals also because they're broadcast in MPEG2 OTA (but in MPEG4 via DTV)... assuming I'm able to get the local HD OTA feed. Good grief.

A few more questions....

Would the DTV dish pick up those OTA HD feeds or do I need a separate antenna for that and if I have a separate antenna does it "integrate" with the DTV on-screen menu?

If I'm using a separate antenna to pickup the OTA HD feeds can I watch 2 separate HD channels on the 2 HDTV sets at the same time?

As for the suggestion that I look into Dish. Is it the same situation where I would not be able to record the HD Locals using their DVR because of the MPEG2/4 situation?

Any thoughts on the DVR capability in regards to Dish vs. DTV?

I currently use a Time Warner HD DVR and a Tivo Series2... does the HR10-250 use the Tivo software?

Any suggestions on a good company to hook all of this up in the St. Louis area?

Sorry again for all of the questions. I'm a software developer and am usually pretty technically savvy but this stuff is making my brain fry.

Thanks again!
Kirk

Don't worry about all the questions. I was as lost as you 6 months ago. That is the purpose of this forum and others.
Yes, you did understand correctly what I was trying to say.
Yes, the HR10-250 will integrate your OTA channels into the guide. You will need a seperate antenna, preferably on the roof.
With this setup you will be able to record 2 different channels at the same time, watch 1 and record another on the same TV. Even record 2 channels and watch something else previously recorded. HD, SD any combination. Each TV should have it's own feeds from the satellite dish and the OTA antenna, so each TV will have the same capabilities.

If you decide to go with an OTA, make a post in the Local HDTV Info and Reception area. Very, very helpful and knowledgeable people there to walk you through it. I have one as a backup and those guys helped me get it going. At 30 miles out, I would not use the OTA antenna that DTV can provide at an extra cost. I have heard it is subpar at best.

I think the HR10-250 uses TIVO software. But have heard that it is painfully slow. I never got one because of the upfront cost. So I could be mistaken.

DeadHead68

stchman
04-25-2006, 05:17 PM
Your ability to get OTA HD channels will depend on how far you will be from the OTA transmitter location, the terrain between you and the transmitter, and the type of OTA antenna you use.
Go to antennaweb.org and put in your new address.
You are much better off with OTA HD if it is feasible at your new address because HD DVRs cannot yet record mpeg4 encoded HD content (which is what is used on D* satellites). OTA HD uses mpeg2 which can be recorded by HD DVRs.

DISH vip622 is capable of recording mpeg4 or mpeg2 content. I think DTV has a new H20 DVR that is mpeg4 compatible, but I could be mistaken.

stchman
04-25-2006, 05:22 PM
I am going to be moving and will be getting satellite service. I'm trying to decide which service to go with and what kind of package I need. I will be using 4 televisions (2 HDTV & 2 SDTV). I would like to have DVR functionality on both HD sets and one of the SD sets. I would also like to be able to get OTA HD channels on the 2 HD sets. I am leaning towards DirecTV because of the NFL package but that is not a deal-breaker if Dish would work better for my particular needs. I've been reading lots of stuff on both the DirecTV and Dish sites as well as numerous comparison sites and forums but think I'm more confused now than when I began. I'm specifically looking for advice on what kind of equipment I'd need for this setup and which company provides the best DVR functionality (HD & SD). Any advice/pointers you can provide would be greatly appreciated.

TIA!
Kirk


I dont know a lot about DTV, but DISH has the vip622 DVR (3 tuners 1 HD, 1 SD & 1 OTA). The DVR is mpeg4 capable. If you can get them to lease you (2) of them that would fit your bill. DISH has an up front fee of $300 for the vip622. If you get 2 of them you would have HD on 2 sets and SD on the other 2. Each set would have access to a DVR. One thing I know is that DTV broadcasts HD Lite (1280 x 1080) for all HD content. DISH broadcast either 1280x720 or 1920x1080 for all the major HD channels and just does HD Lite for the VOOM stuff. The HD Lite looks good but not as good as true HD. As for OTA, use it as it increases the functionality of the DVR.

Just my thoughts

deadhead68
04-26-2006, 06:04 AM
DISH vip622 is capable of recording mpeg4 or mpeg2 content. I think DTV has a new H20 DVR that is mpeg4 compatible, but I could be mistaken.

DTV does have an MPEG4 in the works. But nobody can, or will, say when it will be available.

DeadHead68

Fl_Gulfer
04-26-2006, 08:20 AM
If you can get your Locals through OTA than you won't need a mpeg4 receiver for years, It will take a long time to offer HD Locals everywhere so the H10-250 will work fine for at least 3 years, they just renewed there contract with TIVO for that long.
Tree's can be a problem, but 30 miles should be ok with a good OTA antenna. I'm getting 70 miles but I have a Rotator and a Booster connected to mine. Good Luck Hope you like your new home.

hitdog042
04-26-2006, 09:23 PM
I dont know a lot about DTV, but DISH has the vip622 DVR (3 tuners 1 HD, 1 SD & 1 OTA). The DVR is mpeg4 capable. If you can get them to lease you (2) of them that would fit your bill. DISH has an up front fee of $300 for the vip622. If you get 2 of them you would have HD on 2 sets and SD on the other 2. Each set would have access to a DVR. One thing I know is that DTV broadcasts HD Lite (1280 x 1080) for all HD content. DISH broadcast either 1280x720 or 1920x1080 for all the major HD channels and just does HD Lite for the VOOM stuff. The HD Lite looks good but not as good as true HD. As for OTA, use it as it increases the functionality of the DVR.

Just my thoughts

You can't tell the diff between HD Lite and HD unless u have bionic eyes and a 4,000 TV.

mnylen
04-27-2006, 07:22 AM
Thank you very much. That helped. Think I have a better understanding now. So, sounds like if I go with DTV I need to buy 2 of the HR10-250's off of ebay, get 1 standard receiver and 1 standard dvr receiver from DTV. With the HR10-250 DVR I'll be able to record DTV HD & SD content (minus HD locals) because all HD channels except the locals are broadcast in MPEG2... and I'll be able to record the HD OTA locals also because they're broadcast in MPEG2 OTA (but in MPEG4 via DTV)... assuming I'm able to get the local HD OTA feed. Good grief.

A few more questions....

Would the DTV dish pick up those OTA HD feeds or do I need a separate antenna for that and if I have a separate antenna does it "integrate" with the DTV on-screen menu?

If I'm using a separate antenna to pickup the OTA HD feeds can I watch 2 separate HD channels on the 2 HDTV sets at the same time?

As for the suggestion that I look into Dish. Is it the same situation where I would not be able to record the HD Locals using their DVR because of the MPEG2/4 situation?

Any thoughts on the DVR capability in regards to Dish vs. DTV?

I currently use a Time Warner HD DVR and a Tivo Series2... does the HR10-250 use the Tivo software?

Any suggestions on a good company to hook all of this up in the St. Louis area?

Sorry again for all of the questions. I'm a software developer and am usually pretty technically savvy but this stuff is making my brain fry.

Thanks again!
Kirk

But the HR10-250 would record the locals that are not HD, correct? I mean, you would lose the HD part of it but still be able to watch something...

stchman
04-27-2006, 11:06 AM
You can't tell the diff between HD Lite and HD unless u have bionic eyes and a 4,000 TV.
DISH has the VOOM channels in HDLite. I can tell the difference between the VOOM channels and say HBOHD, SHOHD, TNTHD, etc. They are sharper clearer. It is not a placebo effect either. I noticed the picture quality difference before I ever heard of HDLite.

crazyal
05-01-2006, 11:44 AM
Intresting. I'm also switching from Adelphia to either dish or dtv because of where I built my house. Right now I can't even get a phone line so I was thinking of getting directway internet. I would perfer not to have too many dishes on the side of my house.

I have been waiting as long as I could to see if DTV was going to have the new mpeg4 dvr out but looks like it's not going to be by the end of the month so if I want to have technology that's going to be used for a few years to come and want DVR then dish is the better option from what I've read.

Fl_Gulfer
05-01-2006, 02:04 PM
But the HR10-250 would record the locals that are not HD, correct? I mean, you would lose the HD part of it but still be able to watch something...
The H10-250 will record anything but MPEG4 and the only MPEG4 is thru DTV if you get your local's thru them. (If they are available), but you don't need a mpeg4 receiver to record SD, HD or OTA.

lragusa
05-02-2006, 06:53 PM
I live in the New York area and I have an HR10-250. I receive and record local channels (ABC, NBC, CBS, and FOX) in HD.

stchman
05-03-2006, 11:37 AM
I live in the New York area and I have an HR10-250. I receive and record local channels (ABC, NBC, CBS, and FOX) in HD.
How do HD locals look? DISH is slated to give me HD locals in Stl soon. I have heard that they dont look as good as OTA.

lragusa
05-03-2006, 02:37 PM
They look fine to me; no different than the national channels. However, I haven't hooked up an antenna, so I can't compare them to OTA channels.

stchman
05-03-2006, 03:42 PM
They look fine to me; no different than the national channels. However, I haven't hooked up an antenna, so I can't compare them to OTA channels.
That is good, a friend of mine has Charter cable and they give him his locals. They dont look near as good as OTA. Charter must do some compression to get it to fit in their bandwidth. OTA looks absolutely pristine. The CSIs look fantastic.