Binghamton / Elmira, NY - HDTV - Page 7 - AVS | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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Local HDTV Info and Reception > Binghamton / Elmira, NY - HDTV
Enrico Ng's Avatar Enrico Ng 01:05 PM 06-24-2005
Well, after much searching, I got a place north of oakdale mall, indian ridge. My balcony faces the towers and I'd be able to see them if there wasnt a large tree directly outside my balcony, but I'll have to see how that goes.
I have not moved in yet, but I see that the previous tenant has a DirecTV multidish installed so if its still there when I move in, it could save me some time with installation. I don't know if directv will be taking it away later or how that works. I am thinking that I may just buy one of those modded receivers so I can get the transport streams directly.
I'll give directv a call later and ask them about the distant network hdtv again.

I dont think a tivo would work for me because I wish to beable to record transport streams to my computer. Like how the myhd works.
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jdspencer's Avatar jdspencer 03:15 PM 06-24-2005
Welcome to the neighborhood. If the previous tenant is using DirecTV's Movers Program that dish will remain there. It's DirecTV's way of getting new customers. I have DirecTV DVRs and a DVD recorder. If there is something I want to keep, I burn to DVD and then if I want to edit it further I use my PC.

Whichever way you go, enjoy the area.
Enrico Ng's Avatar Enrico Ng 03:19 PM 06-24-2005
Originally Posted by jdspencer View Post

Welcome to the neighborhood. If the previous tenant is using DirecTV's Movers Program that dish will remain there. It's DirecTV's way of getting new customers. I have DirecTV DVRs and a DVD recorder. If there is something I want to keep, I burn to DVD and then if I want to edit it further I use my PC.

Whichever way you go, enjoy the area.

I did get up close to the window and saw three LNB things on the dish so I hope its the correct dish for getting hdtv feeds. Now I just have to get directv to get me access to the feeds.
If I purchase a modded receiver, will I be able to just call up directv to have it activated?

I'll report back in about a month when I move in.

You have your dvr connected to your dvd recorder? Is the connection digital?
jtse's Avatar jtse 07:44 AM 06-27-2005
Welcome to the neighborhood. I hear Indian Ridge is expensive but a nice place.

You can take the Digital -> Analog -> Digital route by turning your computer into a PVR. The Hauppauge TV card 150 (the "non-MCE" version) contains an onboard hardware mpeg2 encoder. It also has the IR blaster which I believe allows you to send IR signals to control cable/satellite boxes. It's currently on sale at Circuit City for $100 + tax - $40 in rebates.
Enrico Ng's Avatar Enrico Ng 09:10 AM 06-27-2005
yep its expensive and it looks nice. I wont actually know if its nice til I move in. but its not really expensive compared to chicago.

Anyways, the main plus to Digital TV is that its broadcast in digital so I would want to keep it digital. I already have several analog capture cards but using the myHD, I can keep it in digital without recompressing.

Thats why I was wondering about your DVR -> DVD setup. Does the DVR record the transport stream, or is the capture done in analog. When it records it to DVD, is that another analog conversion?
I'm pretty sure making a DVD directly from the transport stream would look alot better than a DVD that has been converted to analog and recompressed a few times.
jdspencer's Avatar jdspencer 09:48 AM 06-27-2005
The capture from DirecTV DVR to my DVD recorder is analog using either the s-video or composite connections. If I use the 2 hour mode the PQ is better than SP VHS. Obviously, not as good as a digital transfer, but I don't have a need to do that.

That dish should be just fine for all 3 sats, if it is aligned properly.
Enrico Ng's Avatar Enrico Ng 09:54 AM 06-27-2005
I use to do that, but then I started doing the all digital caps using my OTA and the myHD and it was so much better. I can't go back, I guess I'm "hdtv spoiled"
jdspencer's Avatar jdspencer 10:02 AM 06-27-2005
Good luck with your move. You should get great reception from our locals. Now if they would all go HD, it would be great.

BTW, if you plan to get a DirecTV DVR, either SD or HD, you might want to check out this forum.
Unless, you have already.
Enrico Ng's Avatar Enrico Ng 12:48 PM 06-30-2005
ok, I just ordered directv. I told them my zip code and they said that since they do not offer local channels in my area, I can get the LA and NY hd feeds.
Two people gave me the same story so thats a good sign.
I'll see what happens when I get it installed
jdspencer's Avatar jdspencer 06:34 PM 06-30-2005
That is good news. What package do you need to subscribe to get them? I suspect you will pay for the DNS at $2.25 per network, which gives you both the SD and the HD stations.
Enrico Ng's Avatar Enrico Ng 06:37 PM 06-30-2005
I think its just the regular total choice package.
he didnt mention anything about the $2.25

well he said I get total choice "plus" for $29.95/mo for 3mo
then after that its $45.99, but he said I could switch to the non-"plus" one for $41.99.

He didn't mention any other costs.

Although, I'm doing it alittle differently.

I'm only getting a standard receiver. I'm going to be getting a modded HD receiver and activating it later. I told the guy I wanted to use my own HD receiver and he said I would have to get a regular receiver first but it would be free.

The base package page says:
"If local channels are not available in your area, you can still enjoy TOTAL CHOICE programming for $3 less than the listed prices."
so it seems strange they would charge extra for local channels that I've already paid for.

I guess I'll find out soon enough
Enrico Ng's Avatar Enrico Ng 04:12 PM 07-08-2005
I received a message from directv saying they wanted to move up the install date.
I called them back to tell them that wasn't ok.
I verified that I wanted the 3LNB dish. It seems that they were only going to give me the 1LNB dish but the person changed my workorder.
(thats the first bad sign I've seen)
Then I re-explained that I wanted the LA and NY HDTV local channels.
She then asked if I wanted her to submit for the waivers.
(thats the second bad sign)
I told her I spoke with two other people and they said that I could receive the HDTV feeds because I do not have local channels in my area.
She told me that they MEANT that most people get the waivers because they do not offer local tv coverage in the area.

So I guess now I will wait and see. She said it will take about a month the find out, 45days at the most. I don't move there for another 3 weeks so if I dont get the waiver I guess I may cancel everything.

I was thinking the whole no waiver thing was too good to be true. I was waiting for something like this. I guess its good I called again.
jdspencer's Avatar jdspencer 04:17 PM 07-08-2005
I thought the no waiver thing might be too good. I didn't say anything because I don't know what the new SHVERA rules are or how DirecTV is interpreting them. Good luck.
Enrico Ng's Avatar Enrico Ng 04:23 PM 07-08-2005
well I'm not sure about the "they MEANT that most people get the waivers because they do not offer local tv coverage in the area" part

I thought I read some where that one of the stations doesnt like giving waivers
jdspencer's Avatar jdspencer 04:26 PM 07-08-2005
That station is probably the CBS affiliate (WBNG). I had to badger them with emails before the 2004 Superbowl to get them to finally grant waivers. But, that was also before the latest rules were passed. Unfortunately, our CBS affiliate is one that doesn't yet have HD OTA.
Enrico Ng's Avatar Enrico Ng 06:07 PM 07-08-2005
well, I was looking at the listings and it seems that eventhough many have digital OTA, only ABC actually shows HDTV programming. Ofcourse the listings could be wrong.

The directv lady asked if I had an antenna on my roof, I said no since I live in an apartment. The FCC rules seem kinda vague for people in apartments so I don't know how that will work.

I have some trees in the way but I will probably beable to see the towers from my apartment since it is up on the hill directly across from the towers.
jdspencer's Avatar jdspencer 06:17 PM 07-08-2005
Your location should be good to get good analog reception. Which is bad as far as getting waivers. But, digital waivers are a bit different. You should also get good digital reception, but only ABC and PBS have HD content. You may also be able to get a signal from Elmira.

Go to to see what is available for your address.
Enrico Ng's Avatar Enrico Ng 06:21 PM 07-08-2005
Yeah, I guess I'll just have to wait and see what happens
Enrico Ng's Avatar Enrico Ng 01:50 PM 07-09-2005
I came across this the other day (http://www.*************.us/showpost...38&postcount=7)


Another option is on the dishonest side, but a lot of people in your
situation do it: "move." (Note the quotes.) Both DirecTV and Dish Network
maintain two addresses for customers: a billing address and a service
address. This is done so that people can have service at vacation homes
and be billed at their regular homes, or so that college students can
have service at college and have the bills sent to their parents' homes,
or whatever. To "move," you call DirecTV and tell them you're moving your
receiver to an area that does have locals but you want your billing
address left as-is. Most people have a cover story (vaction home, going
to college, temporary job, whatever), but by all reports the customer
service representatives don't care. You can use the address of a friend
or relative who doesn't have or want DirecTV, the address of a business
you pull out of a phone book, or (perhaps the safest) the address of an
apartment building but with a nonexistent apartment number (apartment 407
in a 2-story apartment building, say). Of course, this will get you the
locals for the area to which you "move," which is obviously sub-optimal
if you want local news, but it's probably just fine for prime-time
network TV.

Do you know of anyone that has tried this? I suppose this is an option if I dont get the waivers. I figure if directv has no problem being dishonest with me, I shouldn't have any problem lying to them. but this method seems to be overcomplicated.
Enrico Ng's Avatar Enrico Ng 09:50 AM 07-25-2005
oh wonderful.
I called up directv tv to verify my installation time is all set and they are getting me the right dish and I also asked about my waivers.
The person checked and told me they were all denied because "I told them I did not want the channels". Strange, I dont remember telling them that.
so she is submitting them again.

I knew this would be too easy.
jdspencer's Avatar jdspencer 10:22 AM 07-25-2005
It's interesting that waivers could be denied because you never asked for them. They just forgot to submit them. Good luck in that effort.

BTW, PBS is also showing the PBS HD national feed.
Enrico Ng's Avatar Enrico Ng 10:26 AM 07-25-2005
yeah, but I never watch PBS.
FOX, ABC, and NBC are the networks I mostly watch and I think other than PBS, ABC is the only local one broadcasting.
I doubt I'll beable to receive FOX or NBC OTA from another city with the hills around me.

Yes, the direct TV CSR's are so fun.
It seems that the Sales people really know nothing since they said I didnt need waivers at all.
The sales support people say I need the waiver but they cant seem to remember to send them.

Is this how you got your waivers? or did you have to write letters to the stations directly?
jtse's Avatar jtse 12:11 AM 07-26-2005
I finally purchased an ATSC/QAM HDTV receiver set-top box. I was able to pick up PBS, ABC, and NBC as unencrypted QAM HD feeds as reported by the set-top box. I also picked up several SD feeds over QAM, all non-premiums (as I am only paying for standard cable service). I wanted to watch some full widescreen programming but it got annoying after a while because the set-top box changes channel way too slowly. I will be returning the receiver and getting a new one. Any recommendations on an ATSC & QAM tuner?

jdspencer's Avatar jdspencer 05:13 AM 07-26-2005
I have no experience with QAM STDs, sorry. I don't have cable of any sort. I do have the Hughes HTL-HD receiver which is for DirecTV and ATSC. I'm sure someone in the HDTV Hardware forum can help. I'm surprised that you didn't get our CBS affiliate on the cable, it should also be unencrypted. But, then they don't have any HD content yet.
Enrico Ng's Avatar Enrico Ng 08:30 PM 07-27-2005
so I arrived today to find that the previous owner took away the dish for some reason.

Anyways the directv people installed the dish, but he said he could not get 119 so I cant get locals even if I get my waivers.

He said that I should be alright later when the leaves fall out.

the dish is basically pointing between two trees.

I havent had a chance to try out my antenna to see what I can pick up from over here.
jdspencer's Avatar jdspencer 08:42 PM 07-27-2005
Well, CBSE-HD, CBSW-HD and NBCW-HD are on the 101 satellite.
See this page for more info of what channels are on what sat.
You should still go for the waivers, if for nothing more than to get the SD versions.

I assume that you don't have a lot of options for the location of the dish since you are in an apartment. Any chance of going higher with the dish?
Enrico Ng's Avatar Enrico Ng 10:27 PM 07-27-2005
yeah, Im still going for the waviers.
in addition to the SDs I could get hdtv in the winter maybe.

yeah I dont have many options, basically there are two large trees infront of me. The leaves are not too dense but the outline is kinda like two overlapping circles. I beleive the dish is pointing and the open space above the middle area. The problem is that 119 is too low and the tree is blocking it. he used his meter thing and got nothing.

I'm tempted to try taking the dish off and walking around to the windows in my apartment so see if I can get anything. I wouldnt mind sticking it indoors.

I did not expect this problem because I saw that the previous tenant had a 3LNB dish so I "assumed" that he was able to get HDTV. but it is now mounted in the exact same place and looks like its angled about the same way.

anyways, I'll try my OTA antenna later when I get everything setup and see what kind of signal I get.
Enrico Ng's Avatar Enrico Ng 07:18 PM 08-09-2005
More fun.

I called up directv again to find out whats up.
They told me the waivers were all denied. just like last time
Then when I asked more about what was going on, they said that there's a note that said that I told them I didnt want the locals. and that it happened twice.

So they put in the waiver AGAIN.
Also, this time, the person told me I could only receive the East feed, not both east and west because of the new rules.
I seem to remember very clearly that the new rules said that I cannot receive more than two channels, nothing about more than one.

so I guess I'll just wait and see what the next CSR says.

oh, also, I tried my OTA antenna, on some days I can pick on FOX/UPN, ABC, CBS at about 30-40%. On some days, I cant get anything but analog.
jdspencer's Avatar jdspencer 07:41 PM 08-09-2005
Well, come 8/25 I'll be losing my west coast HD feeds, as per a letter that DirecTV sent.
Nothing in the letter mentioned the SD feeds. So I'll keep my fingers crossed.
Enrico Ng's Avatar Enrico Ng 07:49 PM 08-09-2005
oh so I guess its really true.

but I remember reading the SHVERA and it said

As an unserved household, you would be eligible to receive no more than two distant network affiliated signals per day for each TV network. For example, if the household is "unserved," the household could receive no more than two ABC stations, no more than two NBC stations, etc.

At the end of the answer for question 3.
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