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HD receiver - Do it yourself or not - Need Help!

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Old 11-30-2004, 06:40 PM   #1  
A couch and an HDTV to go please.
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Exclamation HD receiver - Do it yourself or not - Need Help!

Hello All,

I've owned a 58" HDTV for over a year and I receive my satellite service from Directv. I'm now wanting to make the move to a HD receiver and I am totally confused.

One person tells me to buy any HD receiver of my choice and simply hook it up and it will work, a second person tells me to solely use Directv to supply and install a HD receiver for a trouble free system, and a third person is telling me to ignore the first two and purchase a Directv HD receiver from a qualified vendor and hook it up myself.

Now for some questions - if anyone can answer them.

1) Will any receiver work? Buying the HD receiver from Directv is very expensive compared to doing it yourself.
2) If no on question (1), I can purchase a HD Directv receiver through Best Buy for a reasonable price. Are they simple to hookup and activate? How is this done? I've done many VCR's & DVD's but never a HD unit.
3) After activation, do I have to mess with the controls on the TV or will the HD receiver take over and adjust everything?

Sorry for being long, but I'm new at this and I'm trying to learn as much as I can.

Steve
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Old 11-30-2004, 07:00 PM   #2  
A couch and an HDTV to go please.
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Sorry all,

I forgot to add in my last post, that I subscribe to Total Choice Plus with local channels from Jacksonville, FL.

Will the locals provided with my service be broadcasted in HD?

The area I live in is very hard to receive any local channels even with a 50 foot tripod tower.

Thanks again.

Steve
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Old 11-30-2004, 07:28 PM   #3  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by water0627
Sorry all,

I forgot to add in my last post, that I subscribe to Total Choice Plus with local channels from Jacksonville, FL.

Will the locals provided with my service be broadcasted in HD?

The area I live in is very hard to receive any local channels even with a 50 foot tripod tower.

Thanks again.

Steve
Need to buy a DirecTV qualified HD receiver like the Hughes HTL-HD or the Samsung T-360 if you want to take advantage of DirecTV HD (like the HD package, HBO-HD, SHO-HD, and NBC & CBS). You can get the receiver yourself--just let DirecTV know you're doing it. If you call the Customer Retention Agent, you may even be able to get a credit on your account if you've been a customer for awhile. But you, of course, need a Phase III dish to receive DirecTV HD, unless you just want to go for locals in which case you'll have to pull them down with an OTA antenna which you may want to integrate with something like a 5x8 multiswitch. DirecTV won't give you your locals in HD...I think some cable companies do that.

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Old 11-30-2004, 08:05 PM   #4  
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Just to expand on what Drex has posted a bit. The hook up of the HD receiver is as easy as a VCR or DVD player. You need to plug in the power, hook up the satellite coax and then connect the audio and video connections to your TV. This could be a set of component cables like used for a progressive scan DVD player and audio patch cables, or possibly a DVI or HDMI cable if your TV is so equipped.

Now that is the easy part. The phase III dish Drex talked about is not as easy. This is a completely different dish than the one you have now. It is elliptical and will have three LNBs instead of the one you have now. Also the new dish will have 4 cable outlets and you probably only have 2 cables run now. If you have more than 4 receivers total, then you may need a new multiswitch. I would suspect that you will need to get an installer out to install and aim the new dish. It is a bit harder than a standard dish as it has to receive signals from three satellites rather than just one.

As Drex suggested, it may be that if you talk with a retention agent and threaten to switch to Voom or Dish Network, they will offer you a better deal. Meanwhile I would check out what you can get from Dish Network. I understand they have some pretty good deals for HD customers that will switch from Directv that includes installation. Also check out Voom for that matter. They have a really cheap rental deal right now. Armed with this info, I'd be suprised if Directv didn't offer a good deal.
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Old 11-30-2004, 10:12 PM   #5  
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You could certainly go buy the unit yourself, but as already mentioned the best deal is to call DTV and threaten cancellation. A new dish, receiver, OTA antenna etc. would probably run you more than $400, plus your time for install.

I called DTV, and after 2 attempts got a manager who gave me the whole rig for $150. Installation, Receiver (RCA DTC-210), OTA Antenna, New dish...6 months free HD package.

Try it.
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Old 12-01-2004, 08:26 AM   #6  
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Thank you all for the responses, I certainly have learned alot. To add further on what I have, my DTV system is 2 months old. It is an Oval dish with 4 leads coming off of it leading into a junction box. I have 3 rooms being fed, 2 bedrooms and a living room. The living room is where the HD TV is located that I want to upgrade.

Based on what was posted for me, it looks like all I need is a Directv HD receiver and I'm ready to go. Is this correct?

Also, I live in a sub-division that does not allow outdoor antennia above roof level. What is this OTA indoor antennia everyone has been posting about? What model numbers are good ones and where does a person buy them?

Thank you all again for your help.

Steve
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Old 12-01-2004, 06:16 PM   #7  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by water0627
Thank you all for the responses, I certainly have learned alot. To add further on what I have, my DTV system is 2 months old. It is an Oval dish with 4 leads coming off of it leading into a junction box. I have 3 rooms being fed, 2 bedrooms and a living room. The living room is where the HD TV is located that I want to upgrade.

Based on what was posted for me, it looks like all I need is a Directv HD receiver and I'm ready to go. Is this correct?

Also, I live in a sub-division that does not allow outdoor antennia above roof level. What is this OTA indoor antennia everyone has been posting about? What model numbers are good ones and where does a person buy them?

Thank you all again for your help.

Steve
If you want DirecTV's HD service you need the elliptical dish with 3 LNBs on it. Look at your dish...do you have one LNB or three? Otherwise, all you'll be able to do with the HD receiver is tune in OTA signals. By the way, you do have the right to use an OTA antenna above roof line as there is a federal law supporting you. However, depending on where you live and the obstructions in the area, you may not need to go above roofline. Also, if the signal is strong enough, you could put it in your attic, especially if you get a good enough antenna, like a channel master fringe antenna (these can get big!). In short, it all depends on your individual situation when it comes to OTA.

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Old 12-01-2004, 06:20 PM   #8  
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Drex,

I do have 3 LNB's on my dish. What is this "channel master fringe antenna"? Is this something that sits on top of the TV? Are there other models available that are good also?

Thanks.

Steve
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Old 12-01-2004, 06:34 PM   #9  
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No, the ChannelMaster fringe is pretty big.

You should be ready to hook up and watch HDTV.

For information in the law concerning antenns check out Over-the-Air Reception Devices Rule . I am on a HOA board and we try to keep big antennas from being used as well, but when push comes to shove the Federal law will win out.

Last edited by rbinck; 12-01-2004 at 06:37 PM..
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Old 12-01-2004, 06:53 PM   #10  
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Depending on distance from the broadcast tower I know some guys that use similar antennas, especially with it being inside of a structure. Just an idea and yes we're talking about a big antenna. In fact, I think the CM deep fringe is like 16-18'

Seriously, though, the best method is to work out a deal with the DirecTV Customer Rentention Agent and NOT do it yourself. Get a pro (well, some of them are) to come out and hook you up...you could even get a multiswitch in the deal that will integrate the OTA into all of your lines coming into the house.

Drex

Last edited by Drex; 12-01-2004 at 07:06 PM..
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Old 12-02-2004, 08:53 AM   #11  
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Default NBC HD is Available for You From Directv!

Steve,

When/if you sign up for the Directv HD package confirm that you are eligible for the distant network service for NBC which I believe you are. This will allow you to receive the NY feed of the NBC broadcast so whenever they broadcast an HD program you will get it. It appears that you will not be allowed the CBS distant feed since your CBS local in High Springs is very close, your in a grade "A" signal area. Right now CBS and NBC are the only major networks available from Directv and only if your eligible.

You could try to receive the ABC station out of Gainesville, which is listed as TBD for a digital broadcast, and the CBS station out of High Springs with an antenna. Lucky for you they are in the same direction, pretty much due South from you, and are about 40 to 45 miles away. If you have concrete tiles on your roof and you put your antenna in the attic I would guess you don't have a very good chance of getting the ABC or CBS stations. If you did put up an outdoor antenna with a pre-amp I believe you could get all the major OTA HD broadcasts that come out of Gainesville and High Springs.

Directv has stated that starting middle of next year their new satellites will provide the local Network HD feeds. So if you want to wait Directv will eventually get you the ABC, CBS and FOX HD broadcasts.
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