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Does DirecTV really need a phone line?


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#1 of 14 OFFLINE   Tim Kline

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Posted January 04 2005 - 12:57 PM

So, I wanna get DirecTV. I've had it with cable.

But, it says I need to have a phone line for updates every night. Well, I don't have a normal phone line. I have no "landline" phone, but I have a Vonage internet phone. It works like a normal phone and all, so would it be ok to just plug the box into the phone line that's near the Vonage adapter and have no line connected to the other boxes?

I plan to get one of the boxes with Tivo also, and that box will go in a room on the other side of the house so there's no way to plug a phone cord into it. So, what do I do? Any thoughts?
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#2 of 14 OFFLINE   Dale B

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Posted January 04 2005 - 01:20 PM

Hi Tim, I have had my Direct tv for almost two years with no phone line hooked up. The installer said I had to have one until I told him to forget the installation, and then He said ok I can hook it up without a phone line. Don't know about upgrades, but mine seems to work just fine. Hope this helps a little.

#3 of 14 OFFLINE   Dean Wette

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Posted January 04 2005 - 02:21 PM

The phone line is used for PPV billing. I've had DirectTV for 6 years, and haven't had a telephone line connected most of that time.

You don't need it.

Dean
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#4 of 14 OFFLINE   Kevin T

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Posted January 04 2005 - 03:08 PM

yeah, what everybody else said. i had directv for three or four years and never connected a phone line to it. it's for pay-per-view only as far as i remembered.

kevin t
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#5 of 14 OFFLINE   Tim Kline

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Posted January 04 2005 - 03:24 PM

Thanks for the info Posted Image

So I guess I can just plug the tivo box into my Vonage phone box thingy to make it's calls for the initial setup and it'll be fine after that?
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#6 of 14 OFFLINE   Dean Wette

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Posted January 04 2005 - 10:55 PM

It doesn't even need the phone line for initial setup unless it's a DirecTivo. I'm currently using a Samsung SIR-TS360 and it's never had a phone line connected at all.

Dean
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#7 of 14 OFFLINE   Nathan Stohler

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Posted January 05 2005 - 12:01 AM

I believe the phone line is also used for periodic software upgrades. I have a long phone cord hooked up to my TiVo, so every month or two, when I'm tired of seeing the warning message, I drag the line to a jack and make the call. I would leave it connected all the time, but it's not convenient.

I have heard that there is a way to do updates over your computer's high speed connection, but I don't know the details. You could try a search on this forum; I think I saw that information here somewhere.

#8 of 14 OFFLINE   Jerome Grate

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Posted January 05 2005 - 12:46 AM

You don't need it if you plan on not using the following:
Pay Per view
Mail for upcoming events
Caller ID
Software upgrades
Now the software upgrades I'm not to sure about but the other three I use especially the caller ID.
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#9 of 14 OFFLINE   Robert_J

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Posted January 05 2005 - 08:32 AM

Early software upgrades for the DirecTivo came over the phone line only. The last one came over satellite but was activated by a phone call to Tivo.

Quote:
So I guess I can just plug the tivo box into my Vonage phone box thingy to make it's calls for the initial setup
Tivo and IP based phone systems are hit and miss. There are special settings in the call menu that need to be set up. Even then, sometimes it won't work. Take it to a friend's house if necessary so it can make it's first call. After that, just wait until you need a software upgrade. Mine hasn't made a call in 640 days. I get a daily "nag" screen reminding me how long it has been since my last call. I click the remote and it disappears.

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#10 of 14 OFFLINE   Tim Kline

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Posted January 05 2005 - 01:29 PM

thanks for all the info

I'm also planning on getting a wireless network here at home too so if there's a way that it can use that, that would be even better.

With my internet phone, it's just a box connected to my cable modem and I can plug any phone into that and it'll work. I use a cordless phone though that has extra handsets that I have all around the house with the main base by the modem. So anyway I figured if I just plug the tivo into the Vonage box it should work since it acts like a normal phone, it's just gotta dial 1 first

Oh and on a side note, if I get the "standard" installation will the dish that comes with it also be good for HDTV or does it not matter? I plan to upgrade later. I'm going to go with the 4 rooms free deal that best buy has on their website, only if I spend $100 I can get the tivo box and it's got s-video and optical audio which is all I need for my HT area right now... The optical audio is another reason I'm going with that since the standard boxes only have RCA jacks and I wanna be able to get surround sound when I can.
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#11 of 14 OFFLINE   Shane Martin

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Posted January 05 2005 - 11:59 PM

Quote:
I'm also planning on getting a wireless network here at home too so if there's a way that it can use that, that would be even better.
Unlikely to work with DTV given their DTivo doesn't have a network connection on it.
Quote:
Oh and on a side note, if I get the "standard" installation will the dish that comes with it also be good for HDTV or does it not matter? I plan to upgrade later
Make sure you get a Triple Sat Dish. Most likely you will.

#12 of 14 OFFLINE   LewB

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Posted January 06 2005 - 02:08 AM

Quote:
Oh and on a side note, if I get the "standard" installation will the dish that comes with it also be good for HDTV or does it not matter? I plan to upgrade later. I'm going to go with the 4 rooms free deal ...


The 'standard' 1 satellite (non-HD) dish only has 2 outputs so they would have to install a multi-switch to get you up to 4 lines from the 2 that come from the dish. The HD dish has four outputs. If you only have 4 'plain' receivers, then that will be fine. Start adding Tivos and you will need 2 lines per Tivo unit. A multiswitch will have to be added to get you up from the four outputs. Multiswitches that take 5 inputs (all 4 from the dish plus 1 ota) and produce 8 outputs can be had for around $70-80.
Ask DTV exactly what they will be installing. One 'trick' to make sure you get the big dish is to tell them that you plan on ordering the Para Todos package. You must have the big dish to get this package. Once the hardware is installed, just don't order the Para Todos, or go online and cancel it. It's not one of the services you MUST have to keep your end of the 1 year contract.

#13 of 14 OFFLINE   CarlosGH

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Posted January 06 2005 - 05:58 AM

If you don't connect Tivo to the phone line, do you still get the on-screen guide?

As for the dish, just go into Best Buy and pick the Winegard elliptical dish. Most of my customers take that one, but make sure not get any of the older 3-room or 2-room in box systems. They have the older RCA recievers (which were a little better because of the optical out), but the have the smaller round dish.

Is there a faq some where on multiswitches? Why is that you need a $60+ multiswitch and not a cheap, dime-a-dozen splitter?

#14 of 14 OFFLINE   Robert_J

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Posted January 06 2005 - 06:41 AM

Quote:
Is there a faq some where on multiswitches? Why is that you need a $60+ multiswitch and not a cheap, dime-a-dozen splitter?
LNB, Multiswitch, and DirecTV Signal FAQ's

-Robert


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