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DirectTV newbie questions

Old 05-14-08, 12:39 PM
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DirectTV newbie questions

I'm getting DirectTV (for the first time) at the end of the month (probably going with the $34.99 plan with the extra $10 for HD). I was wondering about the following:

1) Is it better to call the 1-800 number directly to set up an installation appointment or is it better to go with a local affiliate? Or does it matter at all?
2) I have a DVD recorder with a hard disc that can burn to a DVD. It essentially has all the DVR functions. Currently with my cable setup, the signal line is as follows: Wall Outlet --> DVD Recorder --> TV
With DirectTV will it be: Wall Outlet --> Receiver --> DVD Recorder --> TV?
Basically I just want to make sure that I can still use the DVD Recorder to record shows and burn to a DVD
3) Right now I only have 2 TVs (planning to purchase a Plasma or LCD at the end of the year).... should I make them activate all the available lines in the house (there are 4)? Should I put a receiver in each outlet for future use or do I have to pay rent for each receiver?
4) Any other promos I should be aware of other than what is in their website?

Thanks, I'm excited to finally be taking the HD plunge!
Old 05-14-08, 12:54 PM
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Originally Posted by sinned
1) Is it better to call the 1-800 number directly to set up an installation appointment or is it better to go with a local affiliate? Or does it matter at all?
Schedule through their 800 number. Not sure you can do that other option.
Originally Posted by sinned
2) I have a DVD recorder with a hard disc that can burn to a DVD. It essentially has all the DVR functions. Currently with my cable setup, the signal line is as follows: Wall Outlet --> DVD Recorder --> TV
With DirectTV will it be: Wall Outlet --> Receiver --> DVD Recorder --> TV?
Basically I just want to make sure that I can still use the DVD Recorder to record shows and burn to a DVD
What you chose is how I had my VCR connected. The installer can advise you on the BEST way depending on your equipment when they do the install.
Originally Posted by sinned
3) Right now I only have 2 TVs (planning to purchase a Plasma or LCD at the end of the year).... should I make them activate all the available lines in the house (there are 4)? Should I put a receiver in each outlet for future use or do I have to pay rent for each receiver?
You have to pay for every receiver. All lines are automatically active IF they connect the satellite into that system. If you had cable installed before, they will attempt to run their own cable from the satellite dish to each receiver/TV.
Old 05-14-08, 01:03 PM
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Thanks!
If I just have 2 receivers for now and add a third one at the end of the year, will they just mail me a receiver that I can connect myself or will that necessitate a service call with additional charges?
Old 05-14-08, 01:11 PM
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Originally Posted by sinned
Thanks!
If I just have 2 receivers for now and add a third one at the end of the year, will they just mail me a receiver that I can connect myself or will that necessitate a service call with additional charges?
They will have to install it I think. As I said, I don't think they'll use your existing wiring. You will have to have them wire the new box to the new TV. If you're having HD service added at that time, you might be able to talk them into waiving the installation fee (or tell them "Fine, then I want to drop DTV" and they often "change their mind" about things like that).
Old 05-14-08, 02:27 PM
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Another thing, I don't intend to have a landline, will that still work? My current DVD recorder is able to get TVGuide..... I'm not sure if a landline is a requirement for the directTV receivers since I see on their website that they use a landline to download the TV schedule. Or is that only for their DVRs? Since I don't plan on leasing their DVR's I should be OK?
Old 05-14-08, 02:30 PM
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Originally Posted by sinned
2) I have a DVD recorder with a hard disc that can burn to a DVD. It essentially has all the DVR functions. Currently with my cable setup, the signal line is as follows: Wall Outlet --> DVD Recorder --> TV
With DirectTV will it be: Wall Outlet --> Receiver --> DVD Recorder --> TV?
Basically I just want to make sure that I can still use the DVD Recorder to record shows and burn to a DVD
By "wall outlet", I am assuming you mean some coaxial cable directly from the wall, yes? If so, you won't want to hook your satellite receiver and/or dvd recorder up that way. It will give you the worst possible picture quality all the way around.

I don't know what kind of tv you have, but it surely has to have composite (aka RCA) inputs, at a minimum. What I would do is have the DTV installer run the coax from the dish to your main cable splitter outside to the connector that goes to the tv where your dvd recorder is, as well as any other tv's you may use with it. That way, your line coming out of the wall will now carry the satellite programming. Take that line from the wall and connect it to the satellite in on the receiver.

Then, from the receiver, run a set of composite video cables (the yellow, red, and white cables) to your tv, or better yet, S-Video or component video cables. You can do it 2 ways, I believe- either from the receiver into the dvd recorder and then another set of cables from the recorder to your tv. Or you can just run a set from the receiver to your tv, and another set from the receiver into the dvd recorder.

The last option is mostly feasible if you will be wanting to use component video cables from the sat. receiver to the tv, as most dvd recorders that I know of do not have component inputs. That will give you a better image quality than if you ran a coax line out from the satellite receiver, which, I don't even know how many satellite receiver boxes even have a coax out anymore.
Old 05-14-08, 02:33 PM
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Originally Posted by sinned
Another thing, I don't intend to have a landline, will that still work? My current DVD recorder is able to get TVGuide..... I'm not sure if a landline is a requirement for the directTV receivers since I see on their website that they use a landline to download the TV schedule. Or is that only for their DVRs? Since I don't plan on leasing their DVR's I should be OK?
You are fine without having a phone line hooked up either way. The newer DVR's do not require it for set up like the old D Tivo boxes did, and all guide data and firmware updates come over the dish itself.

DirecTV still says you need one hooked up, but you really don't. Your installer should activate the service for you by calling in himself, but in the event he doesn't, DTV will ask you if you have it hooked up to a phone line. Just tell them you do. The only thing you really won't be able to take advantage of is ordering pay per view movies and events via your remote control, but even then, you will technically be able to do so until you reach a set dollar amount in purchases.
Old 05-14-08, 03:15 PM
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Yes, by "Wall Outlet" I mean the coax cable coming out from the wall. I currently have 2 TVs, one is a DLP 720p (component cables) while the other is a 10-year old 27-inch monolith (S-Video).

I didn't know that there would be a "main cable splitter" outside. That means that each of the split cables connect directly to each of the cable lines (wall outlets) inside the house? Then from then on, connect as per your instructions on post #6.

Great news on not needing a phone line! I don't order PPVs anyway.

So I was just on the directTV website and apparently I have to buy a receiver ($99) and then lease it for $4.99/month as well? WTF?

I can see it now..... the directTV technician hooking up my dish and all the cables... and then me telling him "but SexualPudding told me to do it this way...."
Old 05-14-08, 03:35 PM
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Originally Posted by sinned
So I was just on the directTV website and apparently I have to buy a receiver ($99) and then lease it for $4.99/month as well? WTF?
Look in those "Valpak" coupon envelopes they send out. There's almost always a DirecTV offer in those Valpaks with offers.

I was gonna say Best Buy usually has an offer, but they only seem to be pushing offers with HD only - maybe ALL the regular SD DirecTV promos are dead...
Old 05-14-08, 04:18 PM
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The OP plans on getting HD service, though. There should definitely be some kind of a deal out there for you, sinned.
Old 05-14-08, 04:24 PM
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Thanks for all the help guys!
Figures that I get those Valpak coupons all the time (straight to the trash) but now that I need it...... I don't recall getting any lately.
Old 05-14-08, 04:46 PM
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Look in the local newspaper or even in the yellow pages. Circuit City and Best Buy always have deals, too. I am really surprised DirecTV isn't offering you anything better, but honestly, it depends on who you get there. No two people ever have the same story at that company, so it would behoove you to call back and say you are thinking about switching from cable and want a nice deal. If they won't play ball, then look for the number for the retention department and call them. Even though you aren't a current customer of theirs, they have more authority to cut deals then the low level peons.
Old 05-21-08, 05:51 PM
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-- removed message --
(posted a question, got the answer thru e-mail)

Last edited by sinned; 05-21-08 at 06:24 PM.
Old 05-21-08, 06:52 PM
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I started with the $35.00/Month plan a few years ago. I'm now paying $58.00/Month for the same plan.

DirecTV increases my subscription rate by $3.00 about every four months.
Old 05-21-08, 07:05 PM
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Originally Posted by SkullOrchard
I started with the $35.00/Month plan a few years ago. I'm now paying $58.00/Month for the same plan.

DirecTV increases my subscription rate by $3.00 about every four months.
Call and ask if they can give you any free programming or credits. I've gotten $10 off per month for six months multiple times just by calling, even without threatening to cancel.
Old 09-16-08, 12:38 AM
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Does anyone have any tips on how to get HBO added at a discount? I wanted to add it yesterday to catch the new episodes of Entourage and True Blood. I had done this through the web site last year and just paid the additional $13 a month while the Sopranos was airing. However, when I tried to do the same yesterday I was being forced to select a new programming package. The new package costs $10 a month more and gives me a few extra channels I have no need for. What previously cost me $13 a month, now basically costs me $24 a month. I think the problem is that my programming package is no longer available and this is why I am being forced to upgrade. I was wondering if anyone knows any ways around this. I'd rather not change my programming package, because if I give it up I can never get it back.
Old 09-16-08, 02:34 AM
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Their current deal is buy Sunday Ticket at 74.99 for four months and receive Premier for free. Not a bad deal as long as you remember to downgrade to the package you want before the 4 months is up.

I'd call DirecTV directly. When we first signed up we were able to get a DVR and HD box for free (compared to just one free through an affiliate.) There are some reports of them giving the HD-DVR for free if you hit the right CSR.
Old 09-16-08, 06:38 AM
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Originally Posted by SkullOrchard View Post
I started with the $35.00/Month plan a few years ago. I'm now paying $58.00/Month for the same plan.

DirecTV increases my subscription rate by $3.00 about every four months.
Then you are being scammed. DirecTV just like all cable companies does rate increases once per year.

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