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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just purchased a new Phase 3 HDTV DirecTV dish at Best Buy. The display clearly stated that it came with a built in 5X4 multiswitch. When I opened it up at home, I noticed that their are only 4 outputs and 0 inputs. It was my understanding that a 5X4 multiswitch has an extra input to add an OTA antenna line which is diplexed into the 4 outputs. Is this incorrect?


Did I get a 4X4 multiswitch instead of a 5X4?
 

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Well, that was crap; I'd go complain strongly.


The PIII by definition has the four outputs from the internal MS which has a strange input setup because of the sat-C combiner. If you need a 5th input for OTA or want more than 4 outputs for IRDs, you need an external MS. Make sure that you put all 4 outputs from the PIII to the external MS, and that the external is cascadable. I've never seen this sort of sign, so have no idea where it was pulled from.


(You need all 4 outputs put into the external, trust me! :)
 

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Okay, I got it... I just looked at the BB website and it does say 5X4. That's completely misleading, since you can't use any of them for your extra inputs. They are counting the combiner (sat-C), so it's 2 from sat-A, 2 from sat-B, and 1 from sat-C.


Everything I said above about feeding an external MS is still correct. What BB should have just said is that they give you 4 independent outputs from the internal MS and no comments about what's inside the black box! :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks Lee. Are there any Phase III kits on the market with the ability to combine a OTA Antenna feed to the 4 output lines? I will probably just keep this dish and then add a diplexer to one of the 4 lines that I am sending down. Will this cause any problems?
 

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Since it is really a 5x4, marketed that way by the manufacturer, and advertised that way by everybody I've seen who sells the thing, I'd have to say that any misleading is in the mind of a consumer who expected something else. That expectation would only come from having an incomplete idea of how multiswitches work. It's another case of "a little knowledge is a dangerous thing". All 3 LNB D* dishes not custom built from parts have 5 LNB outputs, 4 multiswitch outputs and zero provision for an antenna or cableTV input.


All the 5x multiswitches with an antenna/CableTV input I've ever heard of are aftermarket items and need a Sat C LNB and combiner or a dish with a built in 5x4 multiswitch/combiner to work. Diplexers can be added to any of the four outputs on a Phase III dish and work just as well as an aftermarket 5x multiswitch.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the explanation greywolf. Is there any problem with using a diplexer to combine my OTA Antenna to one of the four lines going down into my house? How great is the risk of signal degradation?
 

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greywolf, isn't doing the single combiner at one output of the PIII meaning that only one set will get the OTA signal on the cable? If he uses an external 5x4 he will be able to 'decombine' the OTA at all IRDs, no? (Or am I confused?)
 

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Diplexers do one line at a time whereas a 5x external multiswitch will diplex all lines with one connection. There is some degradation in either case. TANSTAAFL. Whether or not that is a problem is for each individual to discover on their particular setup.
 

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Thanks for the confirmation! And, definitely TANSTAAFL when it comes to signal loss in things like this!
 
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