I see a lot of satilite boxes at the thrift store

Discussion in 'TiVo Help Center' started by replaytv, Oct 24, 2011.

  1. replaytv

    replaytv gun talk ignore list

    4,401
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    Feb 20, 2011
    Denver ish...
    I see a lot of satellite boxes at the thrift store. Can they be used without service from DISHTV or DirectTV as a digital tuner box for SD antenna TV?
     
  2. Chris Gerhard

    Chris Gerhard Well-Known Member

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    AR
    Many of the HD satellite receivers include OTA tuners which will receive SD ATSC channels. The receivers will have an input for antenna, not just pass through and should be identified on the box somewhere as working with an antenna signal. How well they work without satellite service is another question but trying to buy obsolete satellite receivers for use with an OTA antenna is a fool's game. I can't think of any SD satellite receivers with OTA antenna input but maybe somebody else can.
     
  3. gastrof

    gastrof Hubcaps r in fashion

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    Potato and pen.
    I'd also question their being at a thrift store. Do people even own satellite boxes? Don't they get RENTED like cable boxes do? Wouldn't any at a thrift store still actually belong to the satellite company?
     
  4. jfh3

    jfh3 Active Member

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    Denver area
    Most, if not all have been leased the last few years. However, it used to be that most were owned - the only thing leased was the access card.

    If you want just a tuner, you would be better off using an un-subbed Premiere, for a variety of reasons.
     
  5. replaytv

    replaytv gun talk ignore list

    4,401
    1
    Feb 20, 2011
    Denver ish...
    Of course, a unsubbed Premiere would be a better idea, but I have never seen a Premiere at any thrift store, although people have reported them here on this forum and I have heard of people buying them here in Denver. There are lots of Premieres for sale on craigslist, but they always want a premium price.
    I had been told by a satellite employee that all the Tivos with satellite tuners were still owned by the satellite provider, but thought that didn't jive with what I had heard in this forum.
     
  6. Chris Gerhard

    Chris Gerhard Well-Known Member

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    AR
    I agree or a TiVoHD. I have a couple of old DirecTV receivers with OTA tuners but haven't connected any of them in years. I don't think there is any value really although a couple of them were good OTA tuners for the time. TiVo with dual tuners and 30 minute buffer beats them all easily.
     
  7. MichaelK

    MichaelK Active Member

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    NJ
    I think that's exactly reversed.

    way back when satellite tivo's actually existed they were for PURCHASE only. There was no leasing at Directv at that time. So any tivo with a satellite tuner was privately owned and could be sold at will. (only the access card was owned/leased by/controlled by directv).

    It's possible that there were a few during the transition period from buying to leasing boxes that directv owns but I dont think any existed like that.
     
  8. mr.unnatural

    mr.unnatural Well-Known Member

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    Ellicott...
    A lot of the older satellite boxes you're seeing are most likely older mpeg2 DirecTV receivers, both standard def and HD. When DirecTV launched the newer mpeg4 birds they eventually transitioned all HD content over to the new satellites, rendering the older mpeg2 HD boxes and HDTivos useless for anything but standard def channels still in use and OTA reception. When many DirecTV subscribers upgraded to HD, they replaced their older mpeg2 receivers with newer HD models. Since they were owned and not leased they were disposed of by any means available.
     
  9. Series3Sub

    Series3Sub Well-Known Member

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    There are still plenty of satellite boxes for sale for ownership. The sat companies will give a way or greatly subsidize the first to or 3 or 4 boxes (at Dish it is the number of "Tuners" not boxes) on your account: those are the leased boxes. But if you want more for additional rooms or purposes, you then have to buy the boxes at retail from them or other retailers or private parties and you OWN them. The sat companies don't care if you use owned or leased equipment In fact, there are still some hardcore sat subscribers who refuse to lease boxes and always own, for their own reasons that don't make much sense to me.

    At Dish the maximum number of boxes on a residential account is 6, meaning a potential maximum of 12 tuners in your home. I believe the first 4 sat tuners (or up to 6 sat tuners soon if not already)--in the form of any combination of single or dual tuner boxes (or boxes that support 1 or 2 TV's) are for lease/give-away/subsidy. Beyond that is on your own dime. ATSC tuners are NOT counted in the "tuner" count per residential account.
     
  10. Series3Sub

    Series3Sub Well-Known Member

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    In the case of Dish, only the HD boxes have the built-in ATSC digital tuners. The very old legacy HD boxes (6000, 811) use the PSIP for program guide data of the OTA digitals. The more recent ViP generation boxes require a subscription to Dish's Local-into-Local stations service to get guide data for the OTA digitals, although you can still set manual recordings withOUT an LIL subscription, and DO NOT use the PSIP for guide data (PSIP is used for Channel ID) for the OTA digitals (guide data file sent by satellite).

    However, regardless of the box, one must subscribe to some sort of qualifying sat subscription (the have the really cheap Family packs or Welcome packs and other subscriptions below the standard one, but it must qualify for OTA tuner to function) for the OTA tuner/s (2 OTA tuners in the case of the "K" series) to function. So, if you don't have a satellite package subscription, your OTA digital tuners do not function.

    Dish's reasoning is that they are satellite boxes, and they didn't want to give away a what would be a very sophisticated OTA DVR box with people not subscribing to any sat services.

    Since it is a "satellite box" Dish does NOT need to comply with FCC mandates regarding the PSIP, and can do what it want in regards to its OTA tuners. The mandates apply to only OTA/ATSC boxes and TV's.
     

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