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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Once again, I'm starting to look at the current choices to get some HDTV programming to my Panasonic HDTV that I've had for over a year now with no HDTV on it. I've pretty much given up on my local cable company. They were supposed to go completely digital at the end of March, but something is holding them up (They say they can't get enough set top boxes shipped to them, but I've heard that they're having financial problems). They can't even tell me if they will carry HDTV stations or not. Oh to have Warner digital cable just a few miles down the road (they carry several HDTV channels, etc.). I was hoping for the Cable option since it would be more or less free whereas these Dish 6000 systems with installation (and an antenna added and the OTA module) seem darn expensive by comparison, especially with so little HDTV programming available so far.



In any case, this puts me back looking at dishes again. Dish Network still seems like the better choice for me (I want HDTV more than sports, etc.). I haven't been keeping up on this forum in the past couple of months. I called a local place (well in Ohio anyway) that claims one of those free installation, free hardware deals and I thought maybe they could just substitute a Dish 6000 receiver for one and have me pay the difference. The lady on the phone said, "I don't understand what you mean by high definition." ?!?!? Geeze, I expected that kind of incompetence a year ago, but even Sears are selling the HDTV receivers now! I explained what it was and she said, "let me check" and then came back and just gave me Dish Networks number as she was still unsure what the heck I was talking about.... Click.


I went over to Sears and asked about their prices. They want like $700 for a Dish 6000 system and that includes free installation. The sales droid indicated they could install an antenna for free for me while they were at it, but I'd have to provide the antenna. I asked about a 2nd receiver for a regular NTSC set in a den and this is where the guy's knowledge seemed to cave in. He seemed to think I'd need a completely separate dish installation for a regular tv! I explained to him that's not true and he gave me his business card and told me he'd get the correct information for me on the matter and I should call him the next day. Well, I called today, but he'd stepped out for the day by the time I did. He also indicated that any programming rebates or whatever would have to go through straight with Dish and he couldn't give me any information in that regard.


In any case, what are the typical going rates these days for a Dish 6000 install with a second regular receiver for another room? It seems to me, I should be able to get one of those "free" packages and just buy a Dish 6000 receiver to use instead for one of the rooms and whatever install difference for the 2nd dish. $700 just seems a bit on the pricey end when those standard NTSC installs are completely free with a 1 year program commitment. Are there rebate deals independent of Sears price? (i.e. Is their $700 price without a programming commitment?) What could I get back at this point?


The sales guy did mention price matching and I see people on here mentioning they will match the Net as well. That could help. I looked over at Dish Depot and I see by the time I pay for professional installation, Sears doesn't sound too bad after all. :-/


What do you guys think of Sears, etc. as an option or what do you recommend? I don't even want to attempt the install myself at this point on the roof.


Also, has there been any solutions for that OTA module's noisy fan (as more like an option to shut the module/fan off when it's not being used)? That fan bit is one thing that held me back before. I have a quality audio playback system and I don't fancy hearing a fan blowing during quiet scenes, especially if I'm not even watching a satellite channel (i.e. it doesn't shut off if shut sat box off).
 

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For a cheap dish 6000, check out:
www.satelliteone.com
www.dishdepot.com
www.dishusa.com


As for installation, if you are at all a "do it yourself" kind of person then do it yourself. I installed my model 6023 (a model 6000 with Dish 500 and Dish 300 dishes) and was surprised how easy it was to install. It has been a magnitude more easy that installing & tweaking my terrestrial antenna. You don't need to install it on the roof, you can install the dishes on the side of the house. I did install the Dish 300 on the highest point of my house though since the 61.5 satellite is at 11 degree elevation from the west coast.


Not much I can say about the fan noise other than hope that they come out with a new terrestrial add-in module next year that doesn't need a fan. It isn't very noisy and is easily drowned out by the TV or audio system. However, when everything is off, it is definitely audible. Some people have quieted it down a little by adding a little lubricant.
 

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At the end of March, I got a 6023/3900 combo package from Dish Depot. I also included the OTA module and a $25 satellite finder. Total cost of the package including shipping to southern Cal was $502. No installation, but it wasn't much of a problem to do it myself -- both dishes on the peak of a two story roof.


That required a 1 year commitment to a $39.98/mo or higher programming package, which I had no problem with since I was replacing a cable subscription that worked out to $57/mo.


That compared favorably to the Sears price of $700 just for the 6000. No second receiver, no OTA module. And contrary to some posts here, the people at Sears -- two different stores -- had no idea what they were talking about. Denied any knowledge of matching internet prices, rebates, etc.


Go to DishDepot.com. They know exactly what they are talking about, will make sure you get all the best promotions, etc. Even local sat dealers I talked to that knew what they were doing were also trying to pad the bill with a more expensive switch, high installation charge and so on.


------------------

*********************

Kirk Ellis

G1000 D-ILA, HTPC, Panamorph (soon I hope),

Dish 6000 (HBOHD,SHOHD,CBS,NBC,ABC,WB,FOX,UPN, KCET -- does it get any better ?)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
If you reread my post carefully, you'll see I already looked at Dish Depot and I wasn't that impressed. By the time you pay the shipping and the installation (yes, I also said in my message I didn't want to do it myself), it's not really a better deal. And since Sears said they'd install my antenna for me while they were at it (assuming they stick to that), it probably comes out less and if I can get a price match on the equipment, definitely less. I need to see what Dish is offering in terms of a rebate for signing up for a year of service (Sears indicated to me that they don't handle that part).
 

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Have you done a site survey yet? I understand you not wanting to go up on your roof, but have you confirmed that that's the only place you can put the dish? 45 degrees or more of elevation clears obstacles in a hurry. I've got my dish on my patio cover looking back over the top of the roof of our two story house, and it clears the roof easily.


Free installations are usually what you pay for them, and it wouldn't surprise me if the installer had no idea where to point the second dish, or how to hook it up to an SW64.


-Jonathan
 

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I agree with the others here that it makes sense to install your own Dish if you have the technical ability. If not, I'd look hard for a local contractor that does good work (check references and look at work they have done), and get the equipment from him, even if it costs more. I can't speak for the installation people contracted by your local Sears, but I have seen some contracted professional installs around here that make me cringe. Practices like surface mounting the cable on the outside of the house instead of fishing them through the walls are not worth, in my opinion, the few dollars saved.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Gordon Gilbert:
I went over to Sears and asked about their prices. They want like $700 for a Dish 6000 system and that includes free installation. The sales droid indicated they could install an antenna for free for me while they were at it, but I'd have to provide the antenna.
I kind of question this. Perhaps they'll do it if it easy, but you better be prepared. If you just go buy an antenna, they'll show up and say "Sorry, we can't mount this because you didn't provide the proper mounting hardware." Depending on your antenna placement, type, roof, etc. . . . you'll need to make sure you have the proper hardware. Possible items include chimney strap, mast, tripod, guy wires, screw-eyes, guy wire tightening turnbuckles, base, eave mount, antenna wire, etc. Plus you might want some extras such as a rotor, rotor control wire, a mast-mounted preamp, etc. Believe me, doing a good terrestrial antenna installation for terrestrial DTV reception is much harder than a dual small satellite dish installation. If the Sears guys do it for free, you are getting a damn good deal.

 
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