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Thread: DirecTV

  1. #1
    1st Scoring Line BleedingPurple's Avatar




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    Default DirecTV

    I just bought a new 42" Plasma and I obviously want as much HD programming as possible so I think I'm gonig to make the switch from Time Warner to DirecTV. Before I do, I wanted to get some feedback from the rest of you.

    First of all, how do you like the service? Had any issues with reception in Southern California at any time? How hard is it to get a service call?

    The service call brings me to my next question. I noticed when I was pricing DirecTV online, they offer a monthly fee for a service warranty or something like that so that I won't get charged $70 everytime they come out for a service call. Do they really charge you $70 for each service call they perform?

    Another thing I was surprised at was the $199 charge for the HD DVR that you are "leasing." It seems like a pretty steep start-up cost for something I don't even own.

    Anyway, let me know how you like DirecTV and what your experiences have been.

    In regard to Time Warner, any idea of when additional HD Programming will be added? It's frustrating only having 10-15 HD channels when there are so many more channels out there that aren't offered by TW.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    THHHHHTTPD!!!! Bandit's Avatar




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    I can't really say about the service call issue. I've had direcTV for about 3 years now and they've only been out to my house twice: Once when I first got it and again when I moved. Both times it didn't cost me anything. Otherwise I haven't had any problems with the installation or the service. I can imagine though that if they do have to send someone out that they will charge you the $70 (or more).

    As for the DVR, I'm not too impressed with it to be honest. The Tivo's software and response time (when fast forwarding/rewinding for example) is WAY better, but it gets the job done, and there's nothing like no choice...

    All in all I'm happy with it. They just added a ton of HD programming which is nice. TonySCV is the man when it comes to HD, you might want to ask him.
    The Original Pancake Hater

  3. #3
    Let's Get On With It! TonySCV's Avatar




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    Quote Originally Posted by BleedingPurple View Post
    I just bought a new 42" Plasma and I obviously want as much HD programming as possible so I think I'm gonig to make the switch from Time Warner to DirecTV. Before I do, I wanted to get some feedback from the rest of you.
    Good idea. DirecTV has more HD than anyone at the moment, and has exclusive rights to MLB Extra Innings and NFL Sunday Ticket if you like football and/or baseball.

    Quote Originally Posted by BleedingPurple View Post
    First of all, how do you like the service? Had any issues with reception in Southern California at any time? How hard is it to get a service call?
    I've had DirecTV since 1995 and I've yet to have a problem that required an unscheduled DirecTV visit. The initial installation and setup will be included when you first sign up for service, and since you're leasing equipment, if any of that goes bad you just call DirecTV for a replacement.

    As far as overall stability, in 12 years I had the picture go out one time for 5 minutes. I'll take 99.999% uptime. Rain fade really isn't an issue (even when it does rain my picture never goes out).

    Quote Originally Posted by BleedingPurple View Post
    The service call brings me to my next question. I noticed when I was pricing DirecTV online, they offer a monthly fee for a service warranty or something like that so that I won't get charged $70 every time they come out for a service call. Do they really charge you $70 for each service call they perform?
    I wouldn't bother with the warranty. It would only be for unscheduled service on your lines. Equipment is leased so that wouldn't apply. They'd ship you new equipment if you ever needed it, and you can do all of that work yourself.

    Quote Originally Posted by BleedingPurple View Post
    Another thing I was surprised at was the $199 charge for the HD DVR that you are "leasing." It seems like a pretty steep start-up cost for something I don't even own.
    I would try negotiating that down when you call. Just tell them you're considering switching from cable but the $199 startup fee for equipment is too expensive. They'll wheel and deal with you to get you to switch. They'll make you commit to DirecTV service for 2 years minimum, but for that you should be able to swing a good deal - many have reported they were able to get the equipment for $89, $49 or even free depending on the situation.

    Quote Originally Posted by BleedingPurple View Post
    In regard to Time Warner, any idea of when additional HD Programming will be added? It's frustrating only having 10-15 HD channels when there are so many more channels out there that aren't offered by TW.
    TimeWarner has to add programming nationally, and they have a far more complex infrastructure in place than DirecTV does. I certainly would not expect them to add as much HD as satellite has right away - they have analog channels that are taking up a LOT of programming bandwidth at the moment.

    The DirecTV HD DVR's have become quite sophisticated with a myriad of software updates they've released over the last year (they used to be crap - Tivo's were the way to go but their DVR's have finally caught up with Tivo functionality and then some). You can add on as much hard drive space as you'd like with an external ESATA drive (the built-in drive holds close to 30 hours of HD programming and 200-300 hours of SD programming as it is since most of the new HD channels use MPEG4 compression). If you want more space though, that is an option. They all have dual-tuners so you can record two shows at the same time while watching a 3rd recorded program.

    They also now have DirecTV Video on Demand - it allows you to download shows you want to watch for free (95% of the shows are free) over your internet connection.

    As far as HD content - They'll have about 15 more regional sports networks available nationwide in HD by mid-November, which will boost their national HD channel # to over 85. They plan to offer up to 100 by the end of this year.

    They're also launching a new satellite in Q1 2008 which will give them more SD capacity.

    - T
    Last edited by TonySCV; November 6th, 2007 at 11:06 AM.
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  4. #4
    1st Scoring Line BleedingPurple's Avatar




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    Quote Originally Posted by TonySCV View Post
    Good idea. DirecTV has more HD than anyone at the moment, and has exclusive rights to MLB Extra Innings and NFL Sunday Ticket if you like football and/or baseball.



    I've had DirecTV since 1995 and I've yet to have a problem that required an unscheduled DirecTV visit. The initial installation and setup will be included when you first sign up for service, and since you're leasing equipment, if any of that goes bad you just call DirecTV for a replacement.

    As far as overall stability, in 12 years I had the picture go out one time for 5 minutes. I'll take 99.999% uptime. Rain fade really isn't an issue (even when it does rain my picture never goes out).



    I wouldn't bother with the warranty. It would only be for unscheduled service on your lines. Equipment is leased so that wouldn't apply. They'd ship you new equipment if you ever needed it, and you can do all of that work yourself.



    I would try negotiating that down when you call. Just tell them you're considering switching from cable but the $199 startup fee for equipment is too expensive. They'll wheel and deal with you to get you to switch. They'll make you commit to DirecTV service for 2 years minimum, but for that you should be able to swing a good deal - many have reported they were able to get the equipment for $89, $49 or even free depending on the situation.



    TimeWarner has to add programming nationally, and they have a far more complex infrastructure in place than DirecTV does. I certainly would not expect them to add as much HD as satellite has right away - they have analog channels that are taking up a LOT of programming bandwidth at the moment.

    The DirecTV HD DVR's have become quite sophisticated with a myriad of software updates they've released over the last year (they used to be crap - Tivo's were the way to go but their DVR's have finally caught up with Tivo functionality and then some). You can add on as much hard drive space as you'd like with an external ESATA drive (the built-in drive holds close to 30 hours of HD programming and 200-300 hours of SD programming as it is since most of the new HD channels use MPEG4 compression). If you want more space though, that is an option. They all have dual-tuners so you can record two shows at the same time while watching a 3rd recorded program.

    They also now have DirecTV Video on Demand - it allows you to download shows you want to watch for free (95% of the shows are free) over your internet connection.

    As far as HD content - They'll have about 15 more regional sports networks available nationwide in HD by mid-November, which will boost their national HD channel # to over 85. They plan to offer up to 100 by the end of this year.

    They're also launching a new satellite in Q1 2008 which will give them more SD capacity.

    - T
    Thanks, Tony. Much appreciated. The only sticking point for me was the $199 HD DVR that is already discounted by $100. I'll see if I can't negotiate a lower rate for the equipment fee.

  5. #5
    waxing poetic Hipcheck's Avatar




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    Tony is right about wheeling and dealing.....mention the offer being made by Dish Network as a starting point. If you play your cards right you should get the box free, free HD for a year, & 6 mos HBO/Showtime. Thats what I got anyhow using the fact my contract was up OCT 27th as a bargaining chip.
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    Support the Fans SirJW's Avatar




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    Ok so far so good w/ my switch to D, but I have a few questions and I'll only ask a few right now.

    Will D ever get KCAL 9-HD?

    Is there a printable easy to read channel guide anywhere? The Only one I can find is the pdf that really is a sales tool cuz it list them by pay level. I'd love to find one that is 1-2000 so I can see them all together not jumping around and maybe one that lists them by subject (sports, movies, etc).

  7. #7
    Let's Get On With It! TonySCV's Avatar




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    Quote Originally Posted by SirJW View Post
    Ok so far so good w/ my switch to D, but I have a few questions and I'll only ask a few right now.

    Will D ever get KCAL 9-HD?

    Is there a printable easy to read channel guide anywhere? The Only one I can find is the pdf that really is a sales tool cuz it list them by pay level. I'd love to find one that is 1-2000 so I can see them all together not jumping around and maybe one that lists them by subject (sports, movies, etc).
    KCAL9 HD is on the list to launch "soon". I'd say that probably means by the end of the year.

    As far as a channel guide of #'s in order:

    http://www.directv.com/DTVAPP/epg/theGuide.jsp
    "In a year that has been so improbable, the impossible has happened." - Vin Scully being clairvoyant in 1988.

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    Support the Fans SirJW's Avatar




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    But how do you print that page?

    Here's another one of my numerous questions:
    What are acceptable signal strengths?

  9. #9
    What can Brown do for you gokingsgo's Avatar




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    My first impressions of Direct TV wasn't great but i have no real complaints now.

    I recently bought a 37" hi def LCD TV and had Dish Network at the time, even after 8 years or so it was a no brainer to switch to Direct TV for the Hi Def.

    When i called to set an instalation day up, i asked for 2 boxes, 1 HD DVR and 1 standard box. I also asked for HBO and Starz as payed programming that we wanted at the time.

    When the tech showed up, he had 1 box, the HD DVR and had no paperwork for having a second standard box for another room. Thankfully he had an extra 1 in his truck. After instalation was complete and he was showing us the HD channels i asked to see where HBOHD was and he said we didn't have it. Again he had no information of me having any payed channels even though i ordered HBO and Starz. It took about 10 minutes with a manager when they finally added the programming.


    Once everything was how i wanted it and running everything was fine. I have no complaints about the programming or anything. HD DVR is easy to use and 100 times better then Dish Networks.

    1 thing though, when i subscribed to Direct TV we got the DVR upgrade free. I also got Cinemax free for 3 months because i bitched that they made that offer(get 3 months of Cinemax free when you purchase HBO) a week after i got HBO.

  10. #10
    Let's Get On With It! TonySCV's Avatar




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    Quote Originally Posted by SirJW View Post
    But how do you print that page?

    Here's another one of my numerous questions:
    What are acceptable signal strengths?
    Try this one instead:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_DirecTV_channels

    Signal strengths are irrelevant assuming the channels all tune for you. 70s-90s are "normal", but you can tune stations with readings in the 50's without any problem.
    "In a year that has been so improbable, the impossible has happened." - Vin Scully being clairvoyant in 1988.

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