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Old 08-08-2007, 08:33 PM   #1  
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This may be a total newb question and sorry if I missed it elsewhere in this forum.

I've had dtv for many years and still have my old Hughes boxes (owned). Looked around and I see many HD boxes available on places like ebay and elsewhere. My question is, can I upgrade one of my boxes to an HD model without having to buy special HD service? As it is I'm already dishing out enough to them and I have no intention of going the lease route.

After moving to our new house they installed a new 3lnb dish which I believe is HD ready, and there is a dedicated cable running to my living room (where I want HD). I have a nice widescreen HDTV now but the old box can only do s-video at best. Not into dvr, just want a better looking picture. How do I make the jump to hi-def without dtv soaking me for more money?
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Old 08-08-2007, 09:13 PM   #2  
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Originally Posted by kenfuzed View Post
This may be a total newb question and sorry if I missed it elsewhere in this forum.

I've had dtv for many years and still have my old Hughes boxes (owned). Looked around and I see many HD boxes available on places like ebay and elsewhere. My question is, can I upgrade one of my boxes to an HD model without having to buy special HD service? As it is I'm already dishing out enough to them and I have no intention of going the lease route.

After moving to our new house they installed a new 3lnb dish which I believe is HD ready, and there is a dedicated cable running to my living room (where I want HD). I have a nice widescreen HDTV now but the old box can only do s-video at best. Not into dvr, just want a better looking picture. How do I make the jump to hi-def without dtv soaking me for more money?
You're gonna need a 5LNB to take the most advantage of the "100 new HD channels" coming to DirecTV in Sept. It won't cost you anything to upgrade to the dish and if you don't want the HD DVR, which is free plus shipping ($19.95 ) -- so why wouldn't you want it? -- you can get just an HD receiver, which is also free. However, if you wanna watch the new HD channels, you gotta pony up the $9.99 for access. But if all you want is locals and HBO or Showtime, you'll need to get an OTA antenna and a receiver that can tap into it, usually a HD receiver.
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Old 08-08-2007, 11:12 PM   #3  
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You're gonna need a 5LNB to take the most advantage of the "100 new HD channels" coming to DirecTV in Sept. It won't cost you anything to upgrade to the dish and if you don't want the HD DVR, which is free plus shipping ($19.95 ) -- so why wouldn't you want it? -- you can get just an HD receiver, which is also free. However, if you wanna watch the new HD channels, you gotta pony up the $9.99 for access. But if all you want is locals and HBO or Showtime, you'll need to get an OTA antenna and a receiver that can tap into it, usually a HD receiver.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but according to the dtv site it costs an additional 9.99 /mo to have their HD receiver activated but they don't seem to offer a choice to have the receiver and opt out of the extra fee. I don't even know if I want their HD channels yet, I just want a better picture than I'm getting right now with this antique box. Can I just buy the receiver outright off of ebay for around $100 and not pay 10 bucks a month? I don't mind buying a 5 lnb dish which runs around 40-50 bucks (ebay as well), but want to make sure it still works with my older box in the other room.

I guess this leads to my next question... is dtv going to stick everyone with this new fee once the 100 new channels are out, and will they eventually start edging out channels to get customers to pony up the extra money?
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Old 08-09-2007, 12:05 AM   #4  
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Correct me if I'm wrong, but according to the dtv site it costs an additional 9.99 /mo to have their HD receiver activated but they don't seem to offer a choice to have the receiver and opt out of the extra fee. I don't even know if I want their HD channels yet, I just want a better picture than I'm getting right now with this antique box. Can I just buy the receiver outright off of ebay for around $100 and not pay 10 bucks a month? I don't mind buying a 5 lnb dish which runs around 40-50 bucks (ebay as well), but want to make sure it still works with my older box in the other room.

I guess this leads to my next question... is dtv going to stick everyone with this new fee once the 100 new channels are out, and will they eventually start edging out channels to get customers to pony up the extra money?
It's not really an activation fee, it's the monthly fee to have HD channels, including HD locals via DirecTV and not an over-the-air antenna. The "leases" for the receivers are free as long as you pay the $9.99 a month, or at least that's the offer I have. And again, I'm not sure why you would want to pony up $100 for a receiver that would otherwise be free and another $50 for a 5LNB dish, which would also be free. I mean that's 15 months worth of access right there spread out over...15 months. But to answer your question, if you buy the 5LNB dish on ebay and an HD receiver, also on ebay (by the way you'll need the newest HR20 series to utilize the 5LNB HD technology) you won't be able to get the DirecTV locals, but you can hook up an OTA antenna to the box. However, if you're just looking for locals you can keep your 3LNB and buy an older HD receiver that allows you to hook up an antenna. However, if you're just looking for locals and you have an HD TV set and you don't want a DVR, you can just buy an OTA antenna and hook it up directly to your TV and watch it separately right now.
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Old 08-09-2007, 10:25 PM   #5  
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Personally I'm not crazy about the idea of getting tied into another $9.99 per month just for getting those items for free. I think I'm understanding you correctly in that this setup I'll lose my locals? Seems like every turn I take I'm faced with spending more money just to get a decent picture. Again, it's only a better picture I'm after and not necessarily all the new HD channels. I already get all the locals with my package but wouldn't mind adding on an OTA to get those in HD... as long as dtv can't find a way to charge me for that too
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Old 08-09-2007, 10:49 PM   #6  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kenfuzed View Post
Personally I'm not crazy about the idea of getting tied into another $9.99 per month just for getting those items for free. I think I'm understanding you correctly in that this setup I'll lose my locals? Seems like every turn I take I'm faced with spending more money just to get a decent picture. Again, it's only a better picture I'm after and not necessarily all the new HD channels. I already get all the locals with my package but wouldn't mind adding on an OTA to get those in HD... as long as dtv can't find a way to charge me for that too
Sounds like you should rename yourself as "Cornfused" !

If you want HD without the fees, get an HD antenna, feed it into your set (as other poster advised)

THe receiver will not really make an SD signal look any better. You need an HD signal thru an HDMI cable for a good picture.

I believe you will find that an SD feed will look lousy on an HD set regardless of whether it pipes thru S-Video or whatever.

Be a man, if you want HD, step up !
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Old 08-10-2007, 08:29 AM   #7  
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I was in a similar situation. A friend gave me an older Hughes HD receiver and his triple LNB Dish. I installed all that on my current system. I called DTV and got a new card for $20 and got that running. This allows you to use an OTA antenna to receive your local HD channels as long as you have it connected through an HDMI cable, and can receive your locals over the air. These can be integrated into the Hughes Box along with the standard def DTV channels. I found out later that DTV was charging me for the HD service which I did not originally ask for, so I called and complained and all they could do was credit me for two months service and cancel the $10 a month HD service. For some, this may not even be an option, but for me, I am getting my locals in HD for free (for now).
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Old 08-10-2007, 08:31 AM   #8  
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How do I make the jump to hi-def without dtv soaking me for more money?

Only one answer to that question. OTA.
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Old 08-10-2007, 09:16 AM   #9  
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Damn people trying to be "cheap". If you want quality and quantity, SPEND THE MONEY!!! DirecTV is the best there is! From reading on so many post, predominant complains about the installers.
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Old 08-10-2007, 09:41 AM   #10  
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I think the OP isn't clear on something else. The 100 HD channels that are coming aren't NEW channels - they're the same channels you have now, but in HD. If your goal is a better picture all around, you will want to pay the 9.99/month to get the majority of your programming in HD. It's well worth it, IMO.
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Old 08-10-2007, 12:06 PM   #11  
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Plus you WILL get NBC, ABC, CBS, FOX, CW and MyNetworkTV (horrible channel name) in HD, but they might not be your local versions, but who really cares? You can still get the SD locals if you're looking for your evening news. Pony up the cash.
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Old 08-10-2007, 03:51 PM   #12  
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This year and next I'll just have to buy cheaper gifts for the children and grandkids. D* comes first.
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