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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
OK, I have spent about 3 hours over the past two days reading posts regarding D* in general, and D* vs. Digital Cable. I currently have Comcast Digital cable in the Cleveland Area. I have been happy with the quality over the past year, but the price has been rising almost every month since they bought out AT&T, and they still do not offer me HDTV.


I still have a couple of questions regarding D* that I could not get a clear answer on, so please forgive me ahead of time.


1. How often does the D* signal go out from rain (really). Someone give me a truthful answer please :)


2. All the ads say you have to pay an additional $4.99 per month for each additional receiver. One ad said only each receiver that is connected to a phone line. Do you actually have to pay for the other receivers if they are NOT on the phone line? The guy at CC had no clue on this even though it was printed in their ad.


3. Can the dish be installed (by the tech of course), and work without constant adjustments, or do I have to mess with it every other day to keep a good signal?


4. Which box (Hughes or Phillips) has a better channel guide? More specifically, will they allow me to surf what is on via the guide at the bottom while I still watch the current channel?


Thanks in advance,


Rob
 

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1. Difficult question to answer in your case as it depends on your signal level at your installation. The higher the signal the greater the head room.

When a storm is about to hit the clouds get very dense and signal is interrupted for about 10 minutes. I'd say this has occurred 6 times this year including the big snow storms. It is not a usual occurrence and I never worry about it.


2. You pay 4.99 for each additional receiver on your account.


3. You do not need a tech to install a dish. Once installed it should never need tweaking unless you or the installer fails to adequately tighten the fittings on the dish.


4. I would rank them as follows: RCA, Highes, and Philips. If you exclude the RCA than it's the Hughes.


Alan
 

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Rain fade is probably one of the biggest topics cable companies love to nag satellite about. In 5 years of having Dish Network, we probably lost the satellite signal no more then a dozen times while watching TV because of rain, and 2 or 3 times per winter because of snow, in which case, it may take a little effort, but just clear the dish off and the signals back. Rain and snow fade is unique to your location. You should never have to realign the dish for any reason, unless you get some pretty nasty winds. I believe the dishes can take about 100 MPH wind storm without too much trouble.


If you're looking at the DirecTiVos, the Philips, RCA and Hughes models are all the exact same, and there's a Samsung out with a 120 GB hard drive, but other then that all four use the same software.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks very much for the replies. I will put the rain fade consideration out of my equation.


I am not looking at the TIVOS at the moment. I am looking at the 3 room Hughes Director Pack with Triple LNB dish (the package is free including installation). I will eventually (or very soon if I get my way) replace one of the receivers with the new Hughes E86 HD receiver for the theater room.


Any comments on this setup? I should be able to get my locals, two regular receivers and have the HDTV with the triple LNB dish right?


Also, any comments on the channel guides?


Thanks again,


Rob
 

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With the tripple LNB dish you will have installed comes with a 4 x 4 mulit-switch. You will be able to use any combonation of SD or HD IRDs so long as you do not exceed 4 ( the limit of the outputs on that multi-switch.) Should you exceed 4 you will need an other multi-switch, say a 5x8 or 5 x 16.


You will be able to receive your local stations ( an additional 4.99/month ) and you can receive High Def programming with a High Def IRD ( 10.99/month). You do not have to go with the Highes E86. You could opt for the SONY HD-300 which has the best GUI in my opinion ( OK, I haven't seen the HD-300 except at CEDIA but I own the HD-200 ) and the HD 300 has the advantage of outputing both SD and HD at the same time.


The only thing I dislike about the Hughes is the lack of discrete power commands. You will like its channel guide. I would check out the RCA before making a final decision- but if you are getting a deal from Hughes then I guess you will have your mind made up.


Alan
 

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Check the D* site to be sure on your locals... here in Virginia, it's been more rain that since 1890 or something, and we've lost signals only during downpours and the like.


I always say that if you have people in the house that will be, um, upset if the TV is out for *any* reason, you may want to keep the most basic cable analog feed (usually $12 or so a month).


Another thing to think about is: look to see if there's any place to mount your dish where you can get to it easily. Mine is mounted on my back beams and thus I can get to it easily to clear snow off, or readjust if ever needed. (Not usually ever needed, as was said.)
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for the extra info everyone. I think I will go with the Hughes setup should I make the final decision to swtich from cable. I probably will, I'm just delaying to make myself feel better I guess.


Anyone move from Digital Cable to D*and regret it?


Thanks,


Rob
 

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Quote:
Also, any comments on the channel guides?
I have an older Hughes receiver, and I really like their different guide types, especially the "one line guide" (which shows one line, 1.5 hr, guide for any channel while you can continue to watch your current channel in full screen) and the "turbo tune" feature (which is a 3x3 grid of logos that makes it really easy to go to your 9 favorite stations)


Initially, I thought that an RCA guide looked better with slightly spiffier graphics, but after trying an RCA at a relatives, the Hughes' guide features makes Hughes much better IMHO.
 

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I hate to ask this, but why do most use "D*" instead of Direct TV or something other than that abrevation??

Is it JUST a abreviation or is it to 'hide' the phase from someone 'scanning' for the term (as in someone from Direct TV) iy you know what I mean?
 

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Hey a fellow Buffalonian :D


Here’s a quick history lesson. :) E* and D* have been common internet short hands for the DBS providers dating back to the early days of small dishes back in 1994-96 and were used on the newsgroups and on dbsdish.com. The *, meaning star was derived from the common theme among the names of satellite providers, you had Primestar, Alphastar, in March of 1996 Dish Network was born, their parent company being Echostar. Since DirecTV was the only non-star provider and there was P*, A*, E* and the abbreviation, DTV became used for Digital TV, D* made the most logical sense. The acronym DSS was also used as a shorthand for DirecTV, DSS was the joint partnership of DirecTV and the USSB, but when DirecTV bought out the USSB a few years ago, the term DSS was no longer used. Granted it’s still used by some but by strict definition DSS doesn’t exist anymore. Alphastar was a medium power DTH service that went belly up in August 97, IIRC.
 

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I can't speak for D* sub's in Ohio, but a good signal in Atlanta (90+) will result in minimal rain fade. I have seen it perhaps 8-10 times a year since '97. The longest outage was around 3 minutes so it has never been a big deal.


As far as D* vs. Cable HD, I have never heard of anyone regretting the switch. I'm sure there is someone out there who has but they would be rare.


I have installed 3 systems with HD Cable & found the picture to be soft compared to D*. Also, I have yet to see a cable stb that allows an OTA antenna. That could be a Comcast thing though.
 

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Cleveland and Pittsburgh (my area) get roughly the same weather, so I can comment.


\\I figure I loose signal once every 2 months, on average. It's really not something I think about, because typically it comes back in just a few minutes.


Go DTV. I couldn't possibly be happier. (OK, i'm a liar.. Give me a 100+ hour HD DVR and THEN, I couldn't be happier! ;) )
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Steve Mehs
Hey a fellow Buffalonian :D


Here’s a quick history lesson. :) E* and D* have been common internet short hands for the DBS providers dating back to the early days of small dishes back in 1994-96 and were used on the newsgroups and on dbsdish.com. The *, meaning star was derived from the common theme among the names of satellite providers, you had Primestar, Alphastar, in March of 1996 Dish Network was born, their parent company being Echostar. Since DirecTV was the only non-star provider and there was P*, A*, E* and the abbreviation, DTV became used for Digital TV, D* made the most logical sense. The acronym DSS was also used as a shorthand for DirecTV, DSS was the joint partnership of DirecTV and the USSB, but when DirecTV bought out the USSB a few years ago, the term DSS was no longer used. Granted it’s still used by some but by strict definition DSS doesn’t exist anymore. Alphastar was a medium power DTH service that went belly up in August 97, IIRC.
I see said th blind man.


My first and only thought was; it was a way to 'hide/disguse' the tern from anyone working for the providers doing a search because of the high amount of satelite theft. Sounds good.


How about the early days of C-band in the 80's? You remember C-band, where real men play!






(P.S. just kidding)
 

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I guess I'll post an update to my comment from yesterday.


Pittsburgh (and I would assume the Cleveland area as well) got some nasty rain today and some uber high winds.


My DTV was out for ~10 minutes or so, until the horizontal rain and microburts let up ;)


That being said, when I switched over to our cable (room mate works for Adelphia, so we get free basic.. We only watch it if we HAVE to) that was out as well. For 3 solid hours!


As I said above, occasionally the dish will get dropped, but it's only for a few minutes. Typically, when the cable goes out (I know this especially from back before we had DTV), it's out for hours.


Keep in mind, the only physical connection you need to worry about is from your dish to the mux, down to the ground block and ground block in to the TV's. When some guy takes out a utility pole with his Caddilac land yaught a mile away, you're dish is uneffected while a hundreds of cable customers now get to tune into rabbit ears ;)


More of my 2c.
 
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