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Old 04-09-2012, 12:11 PM   #1
Gary McCoy
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Need DirecTiVo Upgrade advice

I am a longtime DirecTiVo user - I have two standard definition Hughes HDVR2's that I own and an old oval triple feed dish on the roof.

One of the HDVR2's is ailing (one bad tuner and a bad fan) and I'm tired of repairing it. The other HDVR2 is 100%, and is connected to an old SDTV in a back bedroom.

My programming package is the (older, no longer available) Choice Extra Classic Package with Local Channels. Over the last few years, this has increased in price from $39.99/month to a remarkable $82.99/month, including the DVR fee, etc.

I'm retiring soon and I want to upgrade my equipment and programming package to something I can pay for on a reduced income without pain. I understand I will need at least one HD receiver and a dish antenna upgrade. I will pay for those before retiring, the main concern is minimizing the monthly fee.

I don't actually need local channels - I have a rooftop antenna and get 50+ over-the-air channels and subchannels for free in the SF Bay Area. (In case you are wondering, the subchannels that DirecTV doesn't give you often contain more compelling material than the main HD channel.) The antenna feeds a TiVo HD dual tuner and broadband-connected DVR that I also own, so I already have full dual-tuner DVR capability on local channels/subchannels, independant of DirecTV.

I am fond of many of the free satellite channels (ESPN, FX, SyFy, History, FoxNews, Spike, USA, TNT, AMC, TCM, FMC, BBCA, A&E,etc.etc.) that I presently get in SD only. I don't subscribe to any premium channels, I am satisfied to order disks or stream content from NetFlix. I'd like to get these satellite channels in HD, but my main requirement is a minimum monthly fee after I am retired.

What's my best strategy to minimize the monthly charge? I don't really care whether I buy or rent the gear, but the low monthly fee is important.

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Old 04-09-2012, 01:31 PM   #2
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For all intents and purposes, there is no purchase option that makes sense. All D* equipment is leased.

If you're currently paying $82.99/Mo, you're already paying for HD (that's the cost of my package), so getting an HD DVR should not cost any more (unless you get the TiVo option). You could call D* and get a $10 reduction in your bill for at least 2 years by going autopay and if you get the right CSR, may even get a cheap or free upgrade to an HD DVR.

Other than that, you can reduce your programming level (HD is included where available in all packages), but you may lose some of your favorites. The best thing to do is look at the different packages on the website to see what you're likely to lose.

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Old 04-09-2012, 04:53 PM   #3
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Unfortunately, I don't think you can get a break on your bill if you are willing to give up your local channels on DirecTV... I think they consider local channels to be "table stakes" as it relates to programing...

What you can do is try and get your bill reduced by $20.00. You can get $10 for HD access (effectively making HD access free), and they will usually give you another $10 off of your programming package...

Other than that, get rid of the protection plan if you have it...

You can also save a bit of money if you go from your Choice Extra Classic to the new Entertainment package, which is $14.00 cheaper...but you lose a bunch of sports channels... So if you aren't a big sports fan, that can save you some change...

You'll have to call every 12-24 months to continue to get the dual $10 credits... I have to call every 12 months myself... I hate it... But I don't hate it enough not to do it

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Old 04-16-2012, 03:16 AM   #4
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I got mine from orbitsat.com, and everything worked out. They have a deal now for the full Sony T60D DirecTivo with Standard installation, for $169.

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Old 04-16-2012, 07:57 AM   #5
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The Sony T60 receiver came out in like 2002. It's worth between $9 and $30, depending on the intelligence of the bidder.

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