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Which DVR (Dish,Comcast, Directv) to use for whole house video distribution

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

I'm in the process of designing the video distro for my new construction home and I'd like to know if any of you can chime in and provide guidance which of the providers out there (Dish, Directv, Comcast) have good DVR options for whole house video distribution. I'm currently a Dish subscriber and I looked into their Hopper and Joey set up but given that this is new technology I didn't see much out there in terms of usage in a whole house distro. I'm out of my contract with them so when its time to move I can go with either Directv, Comcast, or stay with Dish. BTW - the 3 are the only ones available in my area. I would be connecting 10 TVs total but only maybe 3-4 would be on at one time.

Please let me know what has or hasn't worked for you...thanks everyone.
post #2 of 5
They all have working, good solutions, but you should be planning your home wiring to accommodate any of the providers.

Deciding on the mix of distributed AV and the whole-house-DVRs will depend on a number of factors. Know that for most situations, it will be cheaper / better / more flexible to use the provider's whole-house-DVR setup instead of distributing HDMI.

post #3 of 5
hooking up 10 TVs is well above and beyond a standard installation for satellite tv. Dish will hook up 6 locations for free, after that you gotta pay up. I think Directv is similar and I'm not sure about Comcast.
post #4 of 5
One thing DTV has going for it that I am not sure the others offer (only personally experienced with DTV from your list) is IP control. Depending on how you plan to control your A/V distribution the flexibility of IP control can be a big help. I have 3 DTV boxes in my system controlled by IP via iRule with my android and iOS devices. It is a snap. It gives nice feedback for favorite channel control, here is my "March Madness" panel:

The shot was taken before games were being played on all 4 channels, but you get the idea.

I have 2 of the boxes connected to a 4x4 matrix and the feed from each can be sent to any of the 4 TVs. I have a non-DVR box that is routed to my living room via dedicated HDMI cable, I do this so we can always watch live TV in the living room and not be interrupted by a recording. It can pull up the recordings made by the DVRs via the whole home system.

With Static IP assigned to each box sending the right command to the right box via my remotes is never a problem.

Hope that helps.
post #5 of 5
As Jeff said, cheaper to use the provider's whole home solutions... but, there are limits. I think DTV can only do 4 TVs, maybe 6, on a standard install. The SWM can't handle anymore than that. Going above and beyond will require extra. And I'm sure you know, but if you go DTV/Dish, you also need Comcast for internet. So plan accordingly with your RG6 runs into the house.

My damn condo developer ran a single RG6 into my unit from the distribution hub in the garage. I wanted DTV, mostly for the NFL Ticket, but also their whole home solution and ability to record up to 4 shows at once (thx to my GF and her reality shows, I can never record anything). I'm a Steelers fan living in Chicago, so I have to watch more than half of the games from the bar, and I'd much rather watch them at home. Anyways... Comcast lines come into the garage where they hit modems for each of the condo buildings. The modem sends the phone lines over to the phone hub right next to it (and then into my unit via Cat6) and sends the data/TV signals up to my unit. Well, hooking up DTV required unhooking the Comcast line, so no internet, that is until I got smart. Went to the distribution hub, cut my Cat6 line from the phone hub, secured my personal modem to the board, plugged in the Cat6, and poof, internet again! No phone anymore, but who uses home phones anymore? smile.gif

Anyways, reach out to DTV et al. You might have to combine their solution with your own distribution network. And do you really need 10 TVs? I'm a strong proponent of no TV in the kids' rooms. Kids are getting fat... they need to be outside more!
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