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Dish Network Technology Upgrade Problem


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#1 of 6 Mark Abrams

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Posted August 08 2008 - 09:44 AM

Recently I received both a phone call and a post card in the mail from DISH stating that because of "improvements" in their HD technology, they were going to upgrade the receiver I currently have to a newer model and that if I didn't upgrade, I would lose whatever little HD programming I had (I only get about 7 HD channels right now).

Now, I live in a small town off the beaten path in New England and my building is situated such that there are major obstacles (trees, other large buildings in back) to a clear field of view for satellite reception. As it is when DISH was first installed the technician that came out was able to mount the dish high enough on the building and point it between 2 trees, and I have little or no problems with reception, except when there's heavy rain.

Well the guy came out to do the receiver upgrade and tells me he needs to install a 2nd dish, which I hadn't been told on the phone. When he goes to see where the original dish was placed, he looks at his signal detection equipment and says there's no way I will get a signal on this 2nd dish, and that I'll have to just keep what I have. DISH tells me that they're switching all their HD programming over to another satellite and potentially I will lose all my HD programming which really has me bummed. Right now I hit Satellites 110 & 119. I hope at some point they don't stop using those satellites and make it impossible for me to get satellite reception at all. The installation guy didn't exactly get up on the ladder he just stood on the ground and decided that this new dish wouldn't work because of where it would be have to be pointed. I called DISH back and they agreed to have a manager come out and survey the situation, to verify that I wouldn't be able to get anything.

Anybody know the specifics of this "technology upgrade" DISH is undergoing?
I really don't want to lose all my HD programming - I've gotten so used to having it! They got me all excited about adding a bunch more HD channels to my lineup, and now they tell me I might lose what few HD channels I have even now....

I had tried DirecTV few months ago, but with them you have to hit 5 different satellites, so they cancelled the install once the guy came out to survey. Has anybody out there ever had to deal with a difficult site situation
where there are obstacles? It was recommended that I get an HD stick antenna (?) for my local channels - what are the best indoor HD antennas to buy? Any help would be most appreciated.

#2 of 6 Robert_J

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Posted August 08 2008 - 02:40 PM

Both Dish (E*) and DirecTV (D*) are going through HD growing pains. I am a D* subscriber and I get well over 100 HD channels. Not all of the programming is 24x7 HD but it is nice when an HD show is on.

You don't say where the 2nd E* dish was supposed to be pointing. Since leaving them 7 years ago I haven't followed them closely. With D*, you do have to hit 5 satellite locations but you only need 1 dish. Did anyone ever get on your house and actually look? Did you? It is as simple as using a compass, a protractor and a toilet paper tube.

For over the air digital TV you do need an antenna. But an antenna's function is dictated by it's shape. Stick antennas and other stealthy models basically suck. The ones that clip on the dish suck as well. The best description is "An antenna shaped like a bent coat hanger works like a bent coat hanger". Use antennaweb.org to find out the size and type antenna you need. Then go to Radio Shack and get one.

-Robert

#3 of 6 Mark Abrams

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Posted August 10 2008 - 02:09 PM

Hi thanks for the input - nobody actually took the time to get up to roof level and check the declination, positioning, etc ... they get here late in the day, and want to get home, and so just make "guestimations" of whether it will work or not. Anyway, I called DISH back and they agreed to send out a manager to survey the site/situation. It may very well not be possible, but I'd like to make absolutely sure before I end up losing the measly 7 hi-def channels I get as it is... they say they're switching all their hi-def programming over to another satellite in a different part of the sky.

Not sure about the antenna - I rent so would probably have to go with an indoor antenna, like the Winegard SS-3000 and some of the Terk ones... I live approx. 27.5 miles from the local station transmitters which are on top of a mountain. Not sure if I'm line-of-sight, however ..... antennaweb.org doesn't give me encouraging results (i.e., "no digital stations available") but it may still be worth a try because I live on the 2nd floor of a bldg with a clear view to the northwest where the transmitters are supposed to be.

Is dB amplification more important, or the distance the antenna is rated for, more important?

Thanks for the help... I'm trying to work through this....

#4 of 6 Robert_J

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Posted August 11 2008 - 05:36 AM

Antennaweb is very conservative in the estimates. I'm 22 miles from the tower farm and picked up all but 1 channel with a $5 Radio Shack Double Bow Tie antenna. A lot of people like the amplified indoor antenna from RS that sells for about $40. DO NOT BUY A TERK ANTENNA!!!!! They are the Bose of the antenna market. All hype and very little substance.

-Robert

#5 of 6 Mark Abrams

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Posted August 11 2008 - 06:24 AM

Robert, thanks for the great advice - is this the antenna you're referring to from RS? :

RadioShack.com - Home Entertainment: Accessories: Antennas: Indoor: Indoor VHF/UHF/HDTV Antenna with RF Remote Control

Also, is it better to place the antenna near a window looking in the direction of the transmitters, having to run more coaxial cable to the satellite receiver, or closer to the TV & satellite receiver, with only a few feet of cable?

#6 of 6 Brad Newton

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Posted August 16 2008 - 01:02 AM

Dish is also rolling out a new program that should become available late this month. It is called Eastern Arc. This simple means that the programmin will be coming from 61.5 72 & 77 instead of 110 & 119. All of this programming will be mpeg4 and the customer will have to use the vip series of receivers. I don't know if this would work for you or not,
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