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Discussion Starter #1
OK, so I finally have the Panasonic TU-HDS20 up and running with HD over the air plus the Blockbuster / DirecTV NFL deal plus the DirecTV HD channels.

Now, what's the real story about this telephone line connection thing? I just don't like the idea of having it connected all the time. I don't know why, but since I don't understand the technology behind it, I just don't like it. I don't plan on ordering any Pay-per-View.

Can anyone explain if/why the connection is needed? I'd appreciate the story. I could not get a straight answer from the installer or from DirecTV. thanks, dac :confused:


By the way, the first thing I saw when I turned on HDNet was the Miss Hawaiian Tropic contest. I'm going to watch the reruns of that every day now rather than the PBS feed! What a country!
 

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If you didn't have the sports package you wouldn't *need* the phone line, but if you don't keep the phone line hooked up with a sports package they will disconnect it and you have to pay a fee to get your sports package turned back on. They claim this is how they determine what games should be blacked out in your area.
 

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Bulls--t!!!


You don't need to keep the phone line hooked up at all. When you sign up for NFL Sunday ticket, based on your zip code, this is how they determine which games to black out.


If you don't keep your phone line hooked up, here's what happens..........


Nothing! You still get all of your programming - including pay per view.


You can still receive pay per view, but if the phone line is not hooked up, then after your unit's unsent file fills up (usually 10-20 or so movies - depending upon the unit), you will get a message that says "contact customer service" and you won't be able to buy any more movies until you hook the phone line back up to the unit.


When you first activate the unit, it must be hooked up to the phone line, as the DirecTV rep on the phone has you run a system test and listens for the click indicating that the phone line is hooked up. Once the unit is up and running, you can disconnect it from the phone line if you don't plan on getting any pay per view movies (or don't intend to pay for them).


By the way, DirecTV will tell you to always keep the phone line hooked up. They will tell you your unit won't work without the phone line hooked up. They are wrong!


By the way, I found this out the hard way. I had unhooked one of my units from the phone line for 3 years. When we moved, I had to temporarily rehook it to the phone line to initialize it at my new address. The next month, I got a $300 bill from DirecTV. It seems that my teenage son had been surreptitiously buying the porno channels for the past few years and quite a bit had built up in the unit. When I reconnected it, the unit sent all the unpaid purchases to DirecTV and voila! A big bill, and a grounded son!!!
 

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I thought that you needed the phoneline if you had more than 1 receiver. I'm not saying i understand this but this is what I was told. In fact, about a month after my installation with 2 receivers, i disconnected one of them. Service was cut off and i had to call back. I was told too that with 2 receivers you can not use a "pirated card", not that i would do that, because of the phone line problem
 

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kusamba,


None of my 3 units are connected to the phone line. Haven't been since just after the 1st call to get them working. The first was 1994, the last was last Dec.
 

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farvque....


Sorry, but I've learned the hard way. If you have a sports package and don't keep your phone line in they will disconnect your sports package. It's happened to me before.
 

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Anyone know if this works the same with dish network? Is it possible to order pay-per-view without having the phone line connected, and then reconnect it when you want to pay for it? I'm thinking that maybe I will order a movie, but not have to pay for it for a month or two. Is this possible at all?
 

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Basically, what people have said about the phoneline and it's use for pay-per-view is correct. That is the primary purpose. However, you should know that it is also used as a method of determining exactly where each DTV receiver is actually installed.


You realize, of course, that every premium channel, every movie, and every pay-per-view event that is available is actually being transmitted everywhere, all of the time. The only thing that limits what you are actually able to view, is the receiver itself.


Based on your subscription level and zip code, DirecTV beams down instructions (through the satellite, not the phoneline) to each receiver in your house, the list of channels that you will be allowed to view. They can do this periodically, or whenever a change is needed.


For pay-per-view events, the "decision" to allow viewing is up to the receiver itself. When you order an event, it is accomplished locally. Once the order is recorded by the receiver, it allows you to watch the event. That's why PPV events can only be viewed from the receiver from which it was ordered, and not at every receiver in your house, like premium channels or NFL Ticket. Periodically, each receiver calls into the DirecTV database and if you have ordered any PPV events, it transfers those records. Only after the receiver calls in to DirecTV, do you get billed.


So, what does this have to do with the phoneline, if your not ordering pay-per-view? DirecTV has, in the past, used the lack of a call record from a receiver (meaning it has not called in for some period of time) as an indication that the receiver has moved (a violation of the agreement) and a message to shutdown all viewing access is beamed out over the satellite signal to the delinquent receiver based on serial number. Usually, a call to DirecTV (with the phoneline re-connected) is enough to get your receiver working again.


In the worst case scenario, if the receiver does calls into DirecTV, but the phone number is different than the one registered in their database, it can set off all kinds of red flags. DirecTV may even send out a command that will completely disable the access card. In that case, you actually need to get a new card, before your receiver will work again.


My suggestion is, unless you're trying to do something funky, just leave the phoneline connected.
 

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When I activated my DTC100 for HDNet last month, they never asked if my receiver was connected to the phone line, nor tested the phone line. It's been working fine for me, no popup messages so far.
 

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DirecTV appears to have taken a more liberal stance about phone lines. I called today to activate my fourth receiver, a F38310 HDTV, and I mentioned to them that a lightning-induced transient had taken out the phone line on my DTC-100 months ago, so that's why they might have not been able to get it to dial in. They said "no problem" and they also didn't do the check while on the phone with me to make sure the 38310 was trying dial in.

I think maybe if, like me, you don't order PPV, then they don't worry about it. After all, if you order an event and your receiver doesn't get to dial it in, it won't let you order any more events, right?

Also, the dialer had a nasty habit of trying to call in while I was in the middle of a telephone conversation, so I unhooked all of them. Hasn't hurt me in six months, so I'm leaving them all unhooked.

John
 

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I wouldnt feel compelled either way as to hooking up the phoneline except to say that 2 of my 3 HD STB's are Caller ID enabled, so I leave those plugged in simply for that feature.
 

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Dude! Just hook up the phone line. It's not like they're watching you through a little eye in front of the receiver...or ARE they? :)
 

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I just want to make sure I am understanding you all correctly. I have a DST-3000 and another receiver in another room hooked up through Directv. I signed up when they were offering the NFL Sunday ticket promotion. Both receivers have phone lines running across the rooms until I get a chance to hard wire them. I quite honestly will not ever order pay-per-view, but I assume if I unhook the phone lines I will not be able to get Sunday games (which is not a big deal, but it will keep me from having to crawl under the house and fish wires if I accept that I will not get Sunday ticket. I do like the fact that the caller id shows up on the Toshiba, but if it will keep from under the house, I will just look at the phone or not answer it as usual. Directv had told me that if I unhooked the phone lines, they would shut one of my receivers off. In this forum it does not seem so.
 

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The way it was explained to me (and confirmed by some on this forum) is that:


1) the phone line is used to submit PPV usage;

2) the phone line CAN be used by DirecTV to audit which receivers are hooked up where, with the results being used to switch off various receivers. I don't know that this is done in practice much, though;

3) the phone line, with #2 as a caveat, does not impact your watching of Sunday Ticket. Your receiver is given the permission to view this over the datastream off the satellite.


So, the only compelling reason for hooking up the phone line would be if you intend to do #1 a lot, if you are concerned about #2, or if you just want to conform to the agreement you agreed to when you got DirecTV service (which BTW gives them the right to perform #2)


In your case this might mean the severity of having phone lines strung across your floor might not be warranted, but you may want to put phone jack installations into your long-term plan.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thanks for all the information.


An update.....................

1) I'm not trying to do anything - legal or illegal.

2) I'm not into "conforming". Question authority!

3) I guess I'll find out Sunday whether or not I can see the NFL games without the phone line. I'm not pluggin it in yet.


Last night, around the 11 o'clock hour (PDT), the STB started dialing out - typical modem sounds. Tried every 10 minutes or so until I shut it off. I wonder how long this annoyance goes on.
 

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Just to add my experience, I've had DirecTV for over 5-1/2 years. Up until two years ago, I didn't have an outlet on a connected wall near the receiver. The only jack was across the room. During that time I used to order a lot of PPV movies (before I had a DVD player). About once a month or so I would run a long phone cord from the jack on the other side of the room to the receiver and leave it connected overnight. I would get billed for all of the PPVs on the next DirecTV bill. I never had a problem with that arrangement.
 

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"3) I guess I'll find out Sunday whether or not I can see the NFL games without the phone line. I'm not pluggin it in yet. "


Usually they put out a "callback" to the rcvr once a week, or once every 2 weeks, and if your rcvr doesn't respond w/in a certain amt of days they will disconnect your Sunday ticket. (At least this is what they told me when my Sunday ticket got disconnected once.)


How about using those wireless phone jack deals? I used those when I lived in an apt., they worked good.
 

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when i activated my 2nd rca drd515rb about 3 months ago, i was told by the rep that if the line is disconnected they wouldn't turn off my receiver but...

charge full month subscribtion to that receiver instead of the normal $5. that would be a big difference at $52.

Funny to note that i used to take my old hughes e25 with me RVing befroe it crapped out on me. So, now with the i like 9 deal i have dish [for my rv (great for the national networks:D )] and have had no problems.
 

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I can confirm that you will get Sunday Ticket if you don't have your receiver continuously connected to a phone line - I took one of my receivers to the beach for two weeks this fall and got the Sunday games with no problem.


I can also confirm that if you have two or more receivers, DirecTV does occasionally poll these receivers to see if they're attached to the same phone line (and thus, theoretically, both in your house and not across the street at the neighbors). One month this summer I received a bill for two DirecTV subscriptions. I called to inquire as to why and was told that DTV couldn't establish a connection with one of my receivers. After investigation, I found that the phone line on the back of one of them was loose, and after re-connecting, DTV dropped the "extra" subscription charge.


FYI - one of my friends is both curious and nerdy, and hooked up a "modem mirror" to his receiver and phone line. The next call to DTV was interesting. Although some of the data appeared to be encrypted, there was a list of what appeared to be DTV channel numbers and date/time code stamps in the GMT format. It would appear that DTV might be using some of this data to determine viewership in the anonymous sense ala TIVO. Personally, this doesn't bother me, but it might bother others....
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by mchurchm
Anyone know if this works the same with dish network? Is it possible to order pay-per-view without having the phone line connected, and then reconnect it when you want to pay for it? I'm thinking that maybe I will order a movie, but not have to pay for it for a month or two. Is this possible at all?
The way my older Dish Network receiver has always done it is this:


When I select a PPV event, it reqests a phone line connection. Then I briefly connect it to a phone jack in another room. Once it gets past this screen, you can remove the phone connection and enjoy the movie. After several of these PPV's accumulate in the receivers "purchased events" memory, I connect it to the phone line overnite and pay for them when I receive the next bill. I really oughta put a phone jack in that room!
 
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