What DirecTV Dish to Get? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 5 Old 05-03-2009, 04:34 AM - Thread Starter
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Looks like this question might belong in HDTV, but this group is probably more DirecTV centric. What dish should I upgrade too? I have an original 18" round RCA dish that came bundled with my 16-bit, RCA DRD302 (with the Victor dog guide menus).

I've picked up a few used components over the years and have two DTC100s that I'd like to integrate into the system for OTA HD broadcast. I'll be honest, I installed it myself back in 1997. I tuned it using the receiver and a 13" TV at the pole. Pegged a 98 on signal strength! At that time there was only one bird up, so pretty easy to dial in. Gosh, remember USSB and DirecTV were providing programming packages.

Anyway, 5LNB, Slimline 3, I'm so confused...
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post #2 of 5 Old 05-03-2009, 06:56 PM
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A fellow self installer from that era here... I'm in the same boat. Should I ever want to upgrade my DTV equipment to support HD (maybe when DTV roles it into the fees and I don't have to pay $10 extra for HD plus equipment...) I'll have to make sure I can carry forward my "old" gear and make it play nice with the "new" stuff.

Good Luck,
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post #3 of 5 Old 05-04-2009, 03:53 PM
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I recently had the dish upgrade done you are discussing. I also installed my own 18" round dish, years ago. When the installer got here, I gave him coffee and showed him where everything was. I had already set up a ladder next to the dish, and cleared out everything to give him access. It looked to me like he had multiple kinds of dishes in the truck and also multiple types of DVRs. Directv had sort-of assigned equipment to houses, but the order sheets were sort-of vague. In general, they give the best stuff to new customers. However, because I had given him coffee and set stuff up before he got here, he gave me the newer stuff intended for the next customer. I believe the stuff I have is what you want. He installed a 5 satellite slimline KAKU dish with SWM LNBs and SWM Multiswitch. He also upgraded my receivers from the HR22 ones DTV had for me to be HR23 receivers (bigger disks) My DTV order just said HD dish and 3 HD DVRs. The advantage to the SWM stuff is that you only need one wire to drive 2 tuners (done via magic) I had 2 wires already run to each location, but I expected he would need to add more wires from the dish to the multiswitch. Instead, one of my 2 old wires is no longer needed. I watched the guy do the install (DTV offered to do it free with the HD upgrade) and I think I would have a really hard time doing it myself without a real meter, and I do almost everything myself. The dish was easier to adjust, because it had adjustment screws, rather than my old one which you would loosen and try to move a little, but his meter would give him signal strength for all 5 satellites off of the single lead. I got rid of all my old receivers, but the documentation for the SWM-8 multiswitch implied to me that it had 3 "legacy" ports for dealing with non-swm-compliant receivers. My guess is that you could hook an old multiswitch off 2 of the ports and you could hook up what ever old stuff you still had, but I never tested that.
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post #4 of 5 Old 06-10-2009, 03:40 AM - Thread Starter
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Found a decent presentation on the Solid Signal website: http://www.solidsignal.com/satellite...enna_types.asp
It has a nice breakdown on the various dish generations and what sats you can expect to receive.

If I'm correct, the original sat is 101° and still cooking SD. I'm using one of DTC-100 as a SD box off my 18" phase 1 dish. No problems so far, provided I select the correct dish in the setup menu.

I'm reading that D*TV is all but retiring MPEG-2 HD expect for the national feed (NY & LA), which we still subscribe to in SD due to our rural location. I think these HD feeds are still on 110° and 119°? The new Ku and Ka are at 99° & 103° and I assume would be for MPEG-4 HD. Looks to be quite a few 3 LNB oval dishes on eBay pretty cheap (<$30 w/ S&H) which should give me 110° and 119°.

I'm also thinking about trying to diplex a homebrew HD antenna into the mix since the DTC-100 is OTA, but am reading that these aren't compatible with the new MPEG-4 feeds. Shouldn't be a problem for my setup unless this diplexing problem extends back into the MPEG-2 signal range?
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post #5 of 5 Old 06-28-2009, 04:47 AM - Thread Starter
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Well, I let that dish idea drop after DirecTV posted July 22nd is the end date of east coast broadcast in MPEG2. Will probably still work in the OTA UHF, since my 2x4 multiswitch is actually a 3x4 with a OTA feed for the DTC-100. Ton of cheap diplexers on eBay since they're incompatible with the new Slimline stuff.
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