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HDTV Satellite basics please


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12 replies to this topic

#1 of 13 OFFLINE   Christopher Bosley

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Posted July 31 2001 - 02:54 AM

O.k., I'm getting ready to take the plunge on an HDTV satellite system and need the distinctions between Dish Network and Direct TV drawn. My impressions from reading the posts is that Dish has the edge at the moment, with a wider selection of HD content.

What about the systems themselves? What's the least I am looking at paying for a single unit (and what's the most I could pay if I wanted to)? Which receivers are favored more and why?

I'm also confused about the OTA capabilities. I live smack dab in the middle of an urban area that has at least one station broadcasting in HD (the NBC affiliate, and I'm not a Leno man so that content would not be a loss if I didn't get it). Can I just get a set-top digital antenna and hook it up to the satellite receiver or does there have to actually be an antenna mounted on the roof to receive OTA broadcasts? I have generally been able to receive local analog signals fairly cleanly (with some occasional tweaking) with a little Terk jobbie. Sort of a moot point at the moment if I chose to go with the Dish b/c they simulcast CBS's HD shows, e.g., The Masters.

Thanks for the input!

#2 of 13 OFFLINE   Robert_J

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Posted July 31 2001 - 04:26 AM

Receivers:
DirecTV (D*): All of the major manufacturers like Sony, RCA, etc.
Dishnetwork (E*): Manufacture their own equipment. Model 6000 is current, model 5000 has been discontinued. Rumor of a PVR model next year.

Dishes:
D*: 18"x24" oval gets everything
E*: 20" gets SD programming, 18" (pointed at 61.5 or 148 sat) gets HD programming.

Programming:
D*: HBO HD & Demo/PPV combo channel
E*: HBO HD, Showtime HD, PPV HD & Demo(only on 61.5 sat)

Programming rumors:
D*: Mark Cuban's HD sports channel in November
E*: CBS in August (may have to get a waiver from local CBS station)

OTA:
D*: Built into all receivers
E*: 8VSB module ($99 to $149 extra)

Antenna:
Depends on where you live. Most OTA HD is UHF. A few places use VHF. People have had good luck with the indoor UHF model from Rat Shack or the Silver Sensor (also UHF). www.antennaweb.org

Purchase: www.dishdepot.com (my favorite) www.dishking.com www.satelliteone.com www.bestbuy.com www.circuitcity.com

-Robert

#3 of 13 OFFLINE   DaveZ

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Posted July 31 2001 - 04:47 AM

Where do you live?

If you live in an area that has good CBS-HD reception, Dish's extra channel may not be necessary.

[Edited last by DaveZ on July 31, 2001 at 07:37 PM]

#4 of 13 OFFLINE   Christopher Bosley

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Posted July 31 2001 - 01:23 PM

I'm in Baltimore. In reading a little further, it seems that maybe just a pair of the Terk HD rabbit ears might be enough (when hooked up to the receiver) to capture local OTA transmissions. But if I go for the Dish Network, I wouldn't need to worry about CBS HD content (just the local snooze).



#5 of 13 OFFLINE   Bob Jackson

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Posted July 31 2001 - 06:23 PM

FYI: The NTSC analog locals are not currently available on DishNetwork for Balitimore, while they are on DirecTV.




#6 of 13 OFFLINE   Robert_J

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Posted July 31 2001 - 11:58 PM

Frank,
I have seen the press release. We will get it sometime but based on Dish's track record it will be late. Maybe I should have explained it better.

-Robert

#7 of 13 OFFLINE   DaveZ

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Posted August 01 2001 - 11:23 AM

The problem is, that if you live in an area that has a local CBS station, you have to get a waiver to receive CBS from your local station. It's unlikely you'll get a waiver because you already have a local station beaming HDTV.

Beware of some of those Terk antennas. I've heard most of them are garbage. The best plan is to get one from Radio Shack. They probably provide the best bang for the buck.

#8 of 13 OFFLINE   Christopher Bosley

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Posted August 01 2001 - 01:46 PM

My options as I hear you presenting them: (1) Dish Network, with the CBS HD feed, but without local NTSC analog transmission (Baltimore specific); (2) DirecTV, with no CBS HD feed, but with local NTSC analog transmission. Of course, if I'm in an area with good reception for all local digital transmissions, I suppose it becomes a moot point (assuming that all local channels are broadcasting/simulcasting digitally).

#9 of 13 OFFLINE   Kurt Lang

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Posted August 02 2001 - 02:11 AM

Is the information about Dish requiring two dishes correct?



#10 of 13 OFFLINE   Mike I

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Posted August 02 2001 - 02:49 AM

For dish network HD you do need two dish's which really is no big deal and is the single most reason that allows dish network to offer more HD programming...They have the bandwidth available for HD on the 61.5 bird...

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#11 of 13 OFFLINE   Kurt Lang

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Posted August 02 2001 - 05:37 AM

I'm a newbie to DBS so excuse me if this should be obvious to me. Can you run multiple dishes into a single receiver?

#12 of 13 OFFLINE   Les_D

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Posted August 02 2001 - 06:17 AM

Kurt,

Yes you can connect multiple dishes to a receiver.

The LNBs of each dish connect to a switch -> the switch connects to the receiver.

When you sellect a channel that is on a different satellite the receiver sellects the correct dish throuth the switch.

The oval D* dish is realy 2-dishes-in-one, one LNB focused on the 101 bird, the other focused on 119

The E* Dish500 is 2-in-1 also focusing on 119 and 110
the HD feed comes from 61.5 and is too far east to use a single dish to catch all 3 at once.
Les

more or Les

#13 of 13 OFFLINE   Kurt Lang

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Posted August 02 2001 - 07:07 AM

Thanks Les,

Got a new house going up and the development is away from town so DBS is the only option. Got a new HDTV capable TV on order so I wonder how the wife will respond to two dishes. Posted Image




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