Will soon be forced into DirecTV, what are my options?

Discussion in 'TiVo Help Center' started by BostonJay, Sep 13, 2007.

  1. BostonJay

    BostonJay New Member

    Jan 28, 2007


    I just moved to Los Angeles and the building I'm moving into only supports/allows cable service via DirecTV.

    I sold much of my stuff before moving and plan to buy a new HD (1080) TV and considered the HD service from DirecTV. However, I have a Series2 Tivo (with lifetime service) and don't think it will work with it and probably have to stick to a SD option with DirecTV.

    Basically, what are my options presuming I want to keep my current Tivo? Can I get HD service with DirecTV so that I can enjoy HD service on a HD TV but still hook up my Tivo to it or am I basically stuck with one of 3 options:

    1. Get SD DirecTV service and keep using my current Tivo, only enjoying the HD TV when viewing DVDs, etc, or broadcast (over the air) HD

    2. Get HD DirecTV (sans DVR) and buy a HD Tivo and commit to monthly service payments to Tvo.

    3. Get HD DirecTV with a DVR and say goodbye to Tivo. I'm not sure about this option, though, as it seems DirecTV doesn't even have a plan that offers a premium channel package *AND* HD service...?
  2. dswallow

    dswallow Save the ModeratŠ¾r TCF Club

    Dec 3, 2000
    If you're really stuck with DirecTV service, don't even try to keep using your TiVo. I suppose since you have lifetime service on it you may as well hook it up to an SD non-DVR DirecTV receiver and use it for something, if you're willing to pay the $4.99 mirror fee for the receiver. But whatever you decide to do with the TiVo you should go DirecTV's HD DVR... the HR20... for your main viewing on your HD display.

    There's no HD TiVo that'll work with DirecTV at all, except the old MPEG-2-only HR10 model, which cannot receive any of DirecTV's Ka-band channels.
  3. BobCamp1

    BobCamp1 Well-Known Member

    May 15, 2002

    If you need to use a DirecTV receiver inside your apartment, use an RCA receiver or another receiver that has a serial (a.k.a. "low speed data") port. Use the Series 2 to control the receiver. You'll lose DT capability. And you can't do HD.

    If you can plug in the coaxial cable directly into your TV and get the channels, then plug this cable into your Tivo. Call Tivo and tell them what your channel lineup is. In a few days, repeat guided setup and select your apartment complex. In theory, you can do HD too.
  4. BostonJay

    BostonJay New Member

    Jan 28, 2007
    $4.99 mirror fee? What's that?

    Other than the home media options, what kind of features from the Tivo can I expect to lose going this route (DirecTV HD DVR)? I know DirecTV currently has no VOD options and I was planning to take advantage of unbox & various media download features from the Tivo, but... arrrrg. I don't understand why the building only allows DirecTV. I looked into Verizon FiOS - no coverage in my area. Last ditch will be AT&T U-Verse but even if that's available I heard bad things about it.

    I figured as much after reading up on the bad news.
  5. classicsat

    classicsat Astute User

    Feb 18, 2004
    Ontario Canada.


    The mirror fee (per card) is a fee to have additional cards activated on a DirecTV account.

    You lose just about all the networking features with a DirecTV TiVo, and provider portability.

    To have Amazon and all that, you need a Standalone.
  6. gastrof

    gastrof Hubcaps r in fashion

    Oct 31, 2003
    Potato and pen.
    From what I hear, apartment buildings that use DirecTV often (if not always) feed the channels thru a cable system that's set up for the buiilding. It's DirecTV only in that that's how the building gets its channels. From that point on it's a local/builcing-wide cable system.

    As mentioned above, you mjight be able to use the TiVo's own tuner, if this is the case.

    TiVo may even already have a lineup prepped for your building.

    Even if the building DOESN'T use a Direct-based cable system but instead requires you to have a DirecTV receiver in your apartment, a Series 2 TiVo should work with a standard DirecTV box. Even one that gets DirecTV HD service.

    You just won't get HD coming out of the TiVo, that's all.
  7. BostonJay

    BostonJay New Member

    Jan 28, 2007
    More possibly bad news.

    I called the satellite company that handles installs for the building and was told that the building has a single community feed and HD is not available on that feed. And, I would need a DirecTV receiver in my unity for each TV I wanted to access channels on. I asked what model receiver I would expect and was told anything from a D10 to a D12. I searched on line and these things look like they're from the 1980s but there is hope to at least use IR to change channels from the Tivo.

    The only way I can get HD is to have my own mini satallite. I did see one on the balcony of the apartment unit, but I didn't look at the specific model. I won't have access to the apartment until my move-in date a week from now.

    I'm very picky about my TV options and this is sounding more and more like TV prison to me. What's the point of satellite if I can't even have a HD signal unless I pay up the a** for my own dish on top of other costs imposed by DirecTV?
  8. Fl_Gulfer

    Fl_Gulfer Tivo's R Us

    May 27, 2005
    It don't cost that much for a portable dish, like they use for RV's and as long as you have a clear line of sight to the Satilite you will be fine. when you set it up in your deck with a tripod mark the floor after you have it set and you can bring it in the house when your gone. Good Luck
  9. BostonJay

    BostonJay New Member

    Jan 28, 2007
    I wanted to share an update with my TV situation.

    The TV issue was really my only serious gripe with the building I moved into, it's hard to make a fuss over TV when everything else pretty good. Still....

    The building technically does not allow dishes to be installed outside of apartments although I've seen a few neighbors put a Dish Network dish on their balconies, the ones who are facing in the right direction. Even if I wanted my own dish for DirecTV to ensure max HD channels, I'm not facing in the right direction. And even if I was interested in Dish Network, I'm not allowed to drill holes in the walls so I would only be able to get reception in the living room.

    I called Verizon to see if FiOS could be installed, they said they can't install in ATT territory. I called ATT to ask about U-Verse and they said not available where I live, although I do now have a 6Mbps/768Kbps DSL from them.

    So all I had left was installing DirecTV. DirecTV had a special going for a free HD DVR and no setup fees, but when the installer came he said he couldn't install because the building had an exclusive contract with another company (I won't mention their name but it rymes with Petco Scammerite).

    The final result is I was forced to only be able to get DirecTV and only through the company that had an exclusive contract with the building. I don't know what the scam is but I don't understand why if DirecTV can offer me a free HD DVR, that I'm forced to buy it when having Petco Scammerite do the install. So it cost me a $300 + tax purchase at Best Buy. Further, I couldn't get them to avoid charging me a $50 install fee for the standard receiver in my bedroom. And if that's not bad enough, Petco Scammerite charges a $8.50/month fee for... I still can't figure it out. So since I'm locked into a 2-year for getting HD via DirecTV versus cable, and since DirecTV has a bogus additional $9.99/mo fee for "HD service" it's going to cost me over $800 more than if I'd been able to get something like Time Warner cable for the same time period AND I have no real VOD option through DirecTV.

    $800 more over 2 years for less capable service and I can't use a Tivo with it (HD or otherwise). BTW, the HR20 is fairly stable but it feels so CRIPPLED compared to all the features I got used to from my Tivo. I do have my Tivo hooked up to the standard receiver and it can change the channels on it (unit is a D12) so at least I could salvage having a Tivo that way.

    To top this all off, it seems DirecTV finally is testing out new HD channels but I can't get them yet. I connected the B Band Converters to it and guess what? Most likely the building does not yet have the right dishes on the roof to receive any new HD channels from the new satellites. I pretty much already new this when the installer mumbled that he couldn't tell me when the dishes on the roof would (if ever) get updated.

    Hey, but at least I have a bazillion sports channels............ which I could care less about.
  10. zalusky

    zalusky Well-Known Member TCF Club

    Apr 5, 2002
    Cupertino, CA
    I would say move.
  11. wolflord11

    wolflord11 Lord of Darkness

    Jan 16, 2007
    Um you are mistaken there.

    They have the Premier Package: 250+ Channels including 68 Xm Radio Channels.
    And Many of the Channels are also available in HD.

    I doubt very seriously you would receive the D10 Receiver. Directv stopped shipping these units awhile back. You may get the D11 or Newer D12 unit. The D12 has only been out for about 2-3 Months now.

    All 3 units can use IR to change the Tivo Channels. But the D10 has better results with the Low Speed Data Cable connector. It is far more reliable and faster than IR.
  12. TonyD79

    TonyD79 Well-Known Member

    Jan 4, 2002
    Columbia, MD
    Your apartment has an MDU (Multiple Dwelling Unit). The entire system has to be upgraded (dish, MDU, maybe even wiring) to get the new HD channels. Unfortunately, often the MDU is run by a contractor as in your case that you have to deal with.

    I feel your pain but the HD service fee is not bogus. Most companies charge something. It is the HD fee. But in your case you are getting reamed because you won't get what others will get for the same fee.

    I never moved into an apartment or my own place without verifying the TV situation.

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