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Old 05-22-2015, 06:48 PM   #1
richsadams
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D*TV TiVo Advice Please

Haven't posted here in ages, but thought I'd get some advice from the experts.

We're giving up "city life" for a more laid back rural experience on the pacific coast. Right now we're enjoying our Premiere XL and a Series3 that's still going strong, both with lifetime subs.

Although it's less than two-hour's drive, the home we're buying doesn't have "normal" cable service (yet) so satellite or OTA are the only options. AFAIK OTA isn't so good there. FWIW their "high speed" broadband is DSL. OMG! So I'm a bit apprehensive on a couple of levels. That being said, we're doing this.

The two satellite options are Dish and D*TV with D*TV being the only one offering a TiVo-based DVR.

When I look at the specs I feel like I'm stepping back in time with "wish lists", "swivel search" and so on. Are they that far behind? It apparently only has a 500GB hard drive as well. A TiVo sub is an added cost to consider.

Soooo...my dilemma...stick with TiVo and suffer through their antiquated version or bite the bullet and go with D*TV's "Genie" DVR - which comes as close to modern TiVo specs as anything else. (I'm also leaning toward D*TV due to the additional rugby programming which Dish doesn't offer.)

If I were to stick with a D*TV TiVo could I get two machines, one for each TV? That would give us the semi-luxury of having four tuners and double the storage. However I can't tell if they are capable of transferring or streaming content from one to the other. If not, that's not too helpful. I'm guessing I couldn't upgrade to a larger hard drive like I've done with past TiVos either.

So what would you do?

TIA!

EDIT: I found some more info about D*TV TiVos at Weaknees...and it wasn't very positive. They can add additional storage which is good, but that's about it. It appears that if I want the kind of service I have currently...record four channels at once, view all recordings on either TV, etc., I'm going to have to go with DirecTV's Genie DVR. *Sigh* Can anyone prove this theory wrong? It would be awesome if so!


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Old 05-23-2015, 01:25 AM   #2
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There has been a lot of discussion here about the TiVo-powered THR22. I have one as well as a HR44 Genie. Yes, the THR22 is basically an HR10 from 2010 that can get the modern DirecTV programming. Same old UI and features. It works well as long as that's your expectation. I prefer the Genie overall. The THR22s cannot share programming or talk to other DVRs.

My advice is to get the Genie. It's really pretty good, though the UI isn't as nice.

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Old 05-23-2015, 01:36 AM   #3
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Cool

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There has been a lot of discussion here about the TiVo-powered THR22. I have one as well as a HR44 Genie. Yes, the THR22 is basically an HR10 from 2010 that can get the modern DirecTV programming. Same old UI and features. It works well as long as that's your expectation. I prefer the Genie overall. The THR22s cannot share programming or talk to other DVRs.

My advice is to get the Genie. It's really pretty good, though the UI isn't as nice.
Thanks very much for that Steve and, sadly, understood.

I only strayed from the TiVo family once in the last decade-plus and that was a short-lived experiment with what turned out to be a clunky Comcast DVR that doubled as a frying pan. "Never again!" I thought.

Well, although I believe all cable companies to be the spawn of Satan, I hope that the recent push to install fiber optic in my new home's area comes to pass sooner than later.

Glad to hear that the Genie is working satisfactorily though. Since my very first Series1 I doubted if anything could replace TiVo. Still feel the same way, but sometimes a man's gotta do what a man's gotta do.

Thanks again...and of course if anyone else wants to chime in please feel free!

Otherwise I'll report back on my "Genie" experience.

Why do I feel like I'm about to cheat on my best friend?

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Old 05-24-2015, 12:12 PM   #4
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Regret that I have no advice to give on the subject, but I'm glad to see you're still alive and well. We've missed you in the hard drive discussions.

As for OTA, unfortunately it seems you just missed out on a deal on lifetimed OTA only Roamios which TiVo ran for a very short time as a marketing test.

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Old 05-24-2015, 12:39 PM   #5
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Regret that I have no advice to give on the subject, but I'm glad to see you're still alive and well. We've missed you in the hard drive discussions.

As for OTA, unfortunately it seems you just missed out on a deal on lifetimed OTA only Roamios which TiVo ran for a very short time as a marketing test.
Hey Unitron! Glad you're still able to sit up and take nourishment as well!

I noted the Roamio OTA offer...I think there's a new one for $399 with LT sub now which is still a great deal. Of course our Series3 can do OTA too so it would be great if that would work.

However due to CC&R's the best I could do in the new digs is an attic antenna (although they'll let you hang a satellite dish on your house...go figure). Based on the reception patterns I can find online, broadcast signals are marginal at best in that area so I don't think OTA is in our future.

The really aggravating thing is that Charter Communications covers that area but cuts off their service about a half-mile from our new home. Of course no one I can talk to at Charter has any clue as to if or when they'll be able to extend service to our place. It's a fairly new housing development so...

I'll keep an eye on things here and let everyone know how it goes there.

Cheers!

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Old 05-25-2015, 12:59 PM   #6
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However due to CC&R's the best I could do in the new digs is an attic antenna (although they'll let you hang a satellite dish on your house...go figure). Based on the reception patterns I can find online, broadcast signals are marginal at best in that area so I don't think OTA is in our future.
If you're not already familiar with OTARD, it might be worthwhile to investigate and see if those antenna restrictions are lawful. If they're not, the next question is whether or not the fight is worth it.

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Old 05-25-2015, 01:11 PM   #7
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If you're not already familiar with OTARD, it might be worthwhile to investigate and see if those antenna restrictions are lawful. If they're not, the next question is whether or not the fight is worth it.
Thanks beartrap..good advice. Agreed about the fight though. It probably wouldn't be prudent, at least at this time, to get into a tussle with the HOA...being the new kids on the block and all.

At some point I have to believe that it will be worthwhile for a provider to step up and start delivering decent cable and/or broadband service in that area. It's growing rapidly so it may be just a matter of time.

We were so spoiled with Verizon's FiOS service, but they're no longer in the mix in the northwest. CL is expanding fiber optics where we currently live, but who knows how long it will take them (or anyone else) to consider the ROI worth it where we're moving.

We'll keep our fingers crossed and see how it goes!

Thanks again!

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Old 05-25-2015, 02:18 PM   #8
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FWIW, I would have no qualms over going to DirecTV and their Genie DVR. While it's not quite as polished as the Roamio and the GUI seems antiquated in comparison, it does offer a nice experience and some things the TiVo doesn't. One example that I loved and miss a lot for sports was the PIP/POP function, especially on Sunday football day where I would have my beloved Eagles on the main window and NFL Redzone on the smaller one and easily switching between them for audio during commercials.

Their SWiM system with the a Genie Minis is a nice reliable solution as well. In fact I'm still using their deca system for whole home Ethernet connectivity. (Same as moca, but on different freqs to compensate for the satellite IF)

I think if it didn't cost so much, since they nickel and dime you for everything, then I'd still be using DirecTV.

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Old 05-25-2015, 03:19 PM   #9
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FWIW, I would have no qualms over going to DirecTV and their Genie DVR. While it's not quite as polished as the Roamio and the GUI seems antiquated in comparison, it does offer a nice experience and some things the TiVo doesn't. One example that I loved and miss a lot for sports was the PIP/POP function, especially on Sunday football day where I would have my beloved Eagles on the main window and NFL Redzone on the smaller one and easily switching between them for audio during commercials.

Their SWiM system with the a Genie Minis is a nice reliable solution as well. In fact I'm still using their deca system for whole home Ethernet connectivity. (Same as moca, but on different freqs to compensate for the satellite IF)

I think if it didn't cost so much, since they nickel and dime you for everything, then I'd still be using DirecTV.
Thanks very much for that Dave. Great info and it gives me some hope for the future. Ha!

I need to do some more research on their SWiM system. I found this DirecTV forum and it sounds promising. I ran CAT 5e to almost all of the rooms in our current house...so spoiled there as well.

The owners of the house we're buying currently have DirecTV. I'm headed over there for an inspection tomorrow so I'll have a closer look at the setup they have.

Now if someone will do something about the circa 2000 broadband service CenturyLink offers I think I'd be a little less apprehensive.


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Old 05-26-2015, 05:25 PM   #10
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Also check out www.dbstalk.com. There are many ex-TiVo fans there as well as some (like myself) who switched from DirecTV to Cable/TiVo. They have a bunch of "First Look" posts that detail the various hardware options.

The Genie is quite good...not quite a Roamio, but pretty close. The biggest thing you'll give up vs. a Premier or Roamio is the OTT apps.

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Old 05-26-2015, 09:39 PM   #11
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Also check out www.dbstalk.com. There are many ex-TiVo fans there as well as some (like myself) who switched from DirecTV to Cable/TiVo. They have a bunch of "First Look" posts that detail the various hardware options.

The Genie is quite good...not quite a Roamio, but pretty close. The biggest thing you'll give up vs. a Premier or Roamio is the OTT apps.
Hi Diana. Thanks so much for the tips and the link. I'll be sure to check it out!

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Old 05-28-2015, 02:58 AM   #12
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DTV Expansion Drives

Thanks for the www.dbstalk.com link again Diana!

After some more research it turns out that it's easy to attach an external/eSATA drive to DTV's "Genie" DVR...up to 6TBs if one was so inclined.

One of my concerns about DirecTV's DVR was the 1TB hard drive, which in this day and age is small-ish.

So it's almost like the old TiVo days of eSATA drives...the difference being that the DTV DVRs use an external drive exclusively whereas TiVo added external capacity to the internal drive.

Based on various posts on that forum it looks like this Thermaltake enclosure with this WD AV/GP 3TB drive will more than meet our recording needs.

So although it's still not TiVo I'm feeling better about moving to DirecTV, at least for now.

Thanks again!

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Old 05-28-2015, 03:45 AM   #13
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......: One of my concerns about DirecTV's DVR was the 1TB hard drive, which in this day and age is small-ish........
One thing about DTV is that they use MPEG4 compression so a 1TB drive will hold a lot more than one being used in a TiVo on an MPEG2 cable system.

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Old 05-28-2015, 04:19 AM   #14
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One thing about DTV is that they use MPEG4 compression so a 1TB drive will hold a lot more than one being used in a TiVo on an MPEG2 cable system.
Ah, good point. 3TBs should last forever then!

BTW, have you (or anyone) ever done a side-by-side video quality comparison? I recall complaints from folks about the amount of compression satellite companies used to employ which resulted in lower quality images as compared to cable and/or OTA.

TIA!

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Old 05-28-2015, 07:09 AM   #15
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Ah, good point. 3TBs should last forever then!

BTW, have you (or anyone) ever done a side-by-side video quality comparison? I recall complaints from folks about the amount of compression satellite companies used to employ which resulted in lower quality images as compared to cable and/or OTA.

TIA!
FIOS and DirecTV have the best HD PQ in the business. We had both for about a month (as we burned down the recordings on the Genie) and some channels were slightly better on one, others channel looked better on the other.

SD, however, is horrible on DirecTV. It is way over compressed. So as long as most of your viewing is HD, you'll be fine (and DirecTV has more channels in HD than most cable systems).

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Old 05-28-2015, 08:24 AM   #16
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We switched from a Tivo Premiere 4 and a Tivo Mini with Suddenlink to a Directv Genie and Genie Mini about a month ago and we really like it. Having on demand is nice. HD picture quality is great and the channel selection is much better than Suddenlink. So far we have not had any signal issues or really any problems at all. If you decide to go with Directv PM me and I can send you a referal to save $10 a month for 10 months.

My only complaint is the same as Diana, SD is horrible on Directv. Thankfully only 3 of the channels we watch in my house are in SD (Esquire, Sprout and Nick JR). Also the remote is strange compared to the great Tivo remotes.

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Old 05-28-2015, 10:03 AM   #17
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On all digital TV systems, satellite and cable, picture quality will vary by channel. For cable, it will also vary by provider (and not just a name such as "Comcast" - each local system will use different compression rates.)

Overall, DirecTV has excellent HD picture quality.

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Old 05-28-2015, 10:10 AM   #18
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FIOS and DirecTV have the best HD PQ in the business. We had both for about a month (as we burned down the recordings on the Genie) and some channels were slightly better on one, others channel looked better on the other.

SD, however, is horrible on DirecTV. It is way over compressed. So as long as most of your viewing is HD, you'll be fine (and DirecTV has more channels in HD than most cable systems).
Thanks very much Diana, good to know.

We had Verizon FiOS for several years and absolutely loved everything about it; broadband, TV and service. Frontier bought them out in our area and they couldn't have screwed things up more. We switched to Comcast and things have been okay since.

Luckily I think we only watch one show on one SD channel, TVLand, so I'm happy to hear that DirecTV's HD PQ is good.

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We switched from a Tivo Premiere 4 and a Tivo Mini with Suddenlink to a Directv Genie and Genie Mini about a month ago and we really like it. Having on demand is nice. HD picture quality is great and the channel selection is much better than Suddenlink. So far we have not had any signal issues or really any problems at all. If you decide to go with Directv PM me and I can send you a referal to save $10 a month for 10 months.

My only complaint is the same as Diana, SD is horrible on Directv. Thankfully only 3 of the channels we watch in my house are in SD (Esquire, Sprout and Nick JR). Also the remote is strange compared to the great Tivo remotes.
Thanks jjd_87. We'll certainly miss the TiVo features we've grown to know and love for more than a decade.

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On all digital TV systems, satellite and cable, picture quality will vary by channel. For cable, it will also vary by provider (and not just a name such as "Comcast" - each local system will use different compression rates.)

Overall, DirecTV has excellent HD picture quality.
Thanks again Steve and understood.

It's reassuring to hear that most folks that have switched to DTV seem fairly satisfied.

Cheers for that!

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Old 05-28-2015, 12:16 PM   #19
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Thanks!

Hi Jeremiah,

Awsome! Thanks so much for the referral link.

Iíll keep you posted!

Best wishes,

Rich

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Old 05-28-2015, 12:20 PM   #20
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Hi Jeremiah,

Awsome! Thanks so much for the referral link.

Iíll keep you posted!

Best wishes,

Rich
Glad to help you out. Its scary giving up Tivo but so far we really like Directv. Although your right it does feel like cheating on a friend. I felt really sad when I boxed them up and sold them.

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Old 05-28-2015, 12:23 PM   #21
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Glad to help you out. Its scary giving up Tivo but so far we really like Directv. Although your right it does feel like cheating on a friend. I felt really sad when I boxed them up and sold them.
Yep...it will be a sad day indeed. Since there are rumors that cable/fiber optic service will be coming to my new neighborhood and both TiVos have lifetime subs I'm torn about selling them. I may wait a while and see how it goes. Plus we have a LOT of recordings to watch before they go anywhere.

Thanks again my friend!

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Old 05-31-2015, 03:17 AM   #22
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Just to be clear and concise about how "antiquated" it seems: the THR22 (DirecTiVo HD) is based on the Series 3 platform. That should make it clear what you are getting

Further, many of the advances features from the retail TiVo's are NOT available on the THR22 such as no OTT apps; no transfers between two THR22's; and more. I won't get into how I think TiVo was terribly treated by DirecTV. Let's just say DirecTV agreed to a new DirecTiVo product only because TiVo agreed in the contract NOT to sue DirecTV for patent infringement. DirecTV got what it wanted, but not really the loyal TiVo users who deserved at least an S4 platform and without the LONG delays. the THR22 is controversial.

Yes, the one feature I miss on TiVo's is the PIP. After all these years when it seems almost everyone else has PIP, TiVo never brought it to its subscribers is somewhat odd because TiVo has so many other good features. If TiVo had PIP it would be an ever stronger #3 to #1 Dish Hopper and #2 Genie. But those three are easily the top tier and far better than any other DVR's out there today. You can't go wrong with any of those three.


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Old 05-31-2015, 10:43 AM   #23
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Just to be clear and concise about how "antiquated" it seems: the THR22 (DirecTiVo HD) is based on the Series 3 platform. That should make it clear what you are getting

Further, many of the advances features from the retail TiVo's are NOT available on the THR22 such as no OTT apps; no transfers between two THR22's; and more. I won't get into how I think TiVo was terribly treated by DirecTV. Let's just say DirecTV agreed to a new DirecTiVo product only because TiVo agreed in the contract NOT to sue DirecTV for patent infringement. DirecTV got what it wanted, but not really the loyal TiVo users who deserved at least an S4 platform and without the LONG delays. the THR22 is controversial.

Yes, the one feature I miss on TiVo's is the PIP. After all these years when it seems almost everyone else has PIP, TiVo never brought it to its subscribers is somewhat odd because TiVo has so many other good features. If TiVo had PIP it would be an ever stronger #3 to #1 Dish Hopper and #2 Genie. But those three are easily the top tier and far better than any other DVR's out there today. You can't go wrong with any of those three.
Agreed and understood. Even our Series3 seems more robust than DirecTV's version of TiVo.

Ultimately the TiVo DirecTV is offering does a disservice to both companies. I feel sorry for anyone that orders it from DirecTV as it may lead them to believe that all TiVo products are that poor...so bad press for TiVo. I can't imagine DirecTV customers being happy with such a crippled product either.

Unless DirecTV brings their version of TiVo into the 21st Century it would probably be best for both companies if DirecTV stopped offering it. IMHO of course.

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Old 05-31-2015, 11:09 AM   #24
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The only people buying the THR22 are those who have past experience with TiVo, almost entirely those with DirecTV TiVos, especially the HR10-250. The THR22 is pretty much a drop-in replacement for the HR10 with nearly identical functionality, and as that it is successful. There are some incremental improvements, such as SWM compatibility and networking (so that the phone line is not needed), but really, that's it.

For people moving to DirecTV from cable and who are used to newer TiVo models, the THR22 is a giant step back in time and these people would be better served by the Genie. Even for those who like the TiVo UI, I can't recommend the THR22 unless you have zero interest in features beyond that of the HR10. (My wife falls into this category, which is the only reason I have a THR22.)

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Old 06-01-2015, 11:46 AM   #25
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The only people buying the THR22 are those who have past experience with TiVo, almost entirely those with DirecTV TiVos, especially the HR10-250. The THR22 is pretty much a drop-in replacement for the HR10 with nearly identical functionality, and as that it is successful. There are some incremental improvements, such as SWM compatibility and networking (so that the phone line is not needed), but really, that's it.

For people moving to DirecTV from cable and who are used to newer TiVo models, the THR22 is a giant step back in time and these people would be better served by the Genie. Even for those who like the TiVo UI, I can't recommend the THR22 unless you have zero interest in features beyond that of the HR10. (My wife falls into this category, which is the only reason I have a THR22.)
All good points and thanks again Steve!

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Old 06-02-2015, 01:58 PM   #26
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Bundles?

So as mentioned the only broadband provider in our new area is CenturyLink. They have a package deal with DirecTV that looks like it could save us some money.

However I wanted to check here to see if that makes sense, or if we should just sign up with each company individually.

Also, either way, how we'd go about using the referral info that was kindly past on to us for a discount.

TIA!

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Old 06-02-2015, 02:01 PM   #27
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So as mentioned the only broadband provider in our new area is CenturyLink. They have a package deal with DirecTV that looks like it could save us some money.

However I wanted to check here to see if that makes sense, or if we should just sign up with each company individually.

Also, either way, how we'd go about using the referral info that was kindly past on to us for a discount.

TIA!
When we signed up we did it at Sam's Club and received a $200 gift card. Then after we were signed up they told us to call back and the referral was added to the account. Unless you are getting some kind of super deal you should be able to call and add it afterwards.

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Old 06-02-2015, 02:04 PM   #28
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When we signed up we did it at Sam's Club and received a $200 gift card. Then after we were signed up they told us to call back and the referral was added to the account. Unless you are getting some kind of super deal you should be able to call and add it afterwards.
Ah...got it. That sounds like a plan.

There are so many "deals" out there. Seems like not only DirecTV is making them, but there's the bundle with CL plus several what appear to be "brokers" selling packages. Sheesh!

Thanks for that!

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