DirecTV + HDTV.....What do I need?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Robert_Powers, Dec 12, 2002.

  1. Robert_Powers

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    Alright, right now I have a DirecTV Plus receiver for the analog 27" TV in the den.My dish is one of those big oval dish's that span about 35" wide that was used for sat internet at one point but not anymore.I have a brand new 54" HDTV sitting in the HT room.Now I want to get HDTV from DirecTV but I also want to keep the regular analog in the living room for the Non-HDTV broadcasting.Do I need to buy another dish for this to work?Or with the oval dish can I buy another single LNB(2 single LNB's on the oval) or a duel LNB?I want to utilize HDTV programming in one room and keep the regular in the other(like it has been).What exactly do I need to make this work and can this be done on one DirecTV bill/account?
    It's allot to ask but I have no clue what the hell I'm going to do.I'm new at this HDTV with sat programming and we only have the one HDTV and I don't want to take away the viewing from the den.I may not be able to afford the HDTV receiver form DirecTV yet but I want a mind set on what all I need to get to make this work.I apologize if this is the wrong forum.I didn't see much of HDTV hardware in the forum descriptions only programming.Thought since this forum explains satellite hardware this would be the place to ask.
    Thanks for any help you can provide.[​IMG]
    Robert
     
  2. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

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    The oval dish should be OK. What is really needed for DirectTV is for the dish to be able to point to two (and ideally three) satellites at the same time (right now the third is for HD Showtime). This requires the elliptical dish (which it seems as though you have) and two (or three) line outs from the dish. If you only have two, you can buy an upgrade kit quite cheaply. In my opinion, even if you don’t have Showtime, you should prepare to point to all three satellites, as DirectTV has moved their HD programming from one satellite to another in the past. Plus, I’m not sure where they will choose to place future HD channels.

    Be forewarned that right now DirectTV has only three HD channels and two of them are premium: HDHBO, HD Showtime and HDNet.

    Network HD must be picked up over the air (OTA) via your local channels (I have heard that there is an exception for CBS HD, if you don’t live in an area where CBS hd is telecast OTA), but I can’t confirm that because I live in an OTA friendly location.

    This means that for most HD programming, you need an antenna. You don’t need any special antenna to pick up HD (or any digital signal): standard ones will do. Depending on where you live, this could be as simple as rabbit ears, plus a loop or bowtie, or an antenna in your attic or a roof-mounted monster with a rotor.

    Finally you need a tuner for digital signals. There is no way around this unless the tuner is already in your set (and you indicate that it is not). The good news is that there is a wide choice of HD set top boxes (STB) or tuners available for DirectTV. The ones with which I am familiar will also allow you to connect your antenna (or a cable signal), so a single STB will handle both the dish and the antenna. The bad news is the cost.

    Cost ranges from the discontinued RCA 100 (not recommended by me) and the Hughes E86 (less than $500) to around $800 for the newer models (Sony and Samsung for example). One big difference is that the older STBs only output 1080i or analog. Not 720p or both analog and digital at the same time. Some newer models will output analog and digital signals simultaneously, and all of the ones than I’ve seen will let you choose analog, and the different digital signals.

    You will need two boxes if you want to watch different programs from the satellite on your two different sets at the same time. Otherwise one will do. You do need to be aware that your older set will only understand an analog signal, so if you choose the one box option, you will have to switch the output back and forth (or watch OTA on the analog set).

    I think that about covers it.
     
  3. Robert_Powers

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    Many thanks for your reply.[​IMG]
    So you are saying there are DirecTV receivers that also have OTA tuners with them as well?That sounds allot nicer than having to buy and extra OTA tuner later on for the local stations.My TV doesn't have any info about it accepting 720p, only 1080i/480i/480p.Does this mean that the 720p can be converted to 1080i though, right?Or I think I read that some tuners can convert the 720p to 1080i or am I wrong?
    Is there a website I may go to that can let me know if I'm able to receive OTA in my area?Or what I can receive where I live?
    Sorry for so many questions.
    Again thank you so much.
    Your reply has been very helpful.[​IMG]
    Robert
     
  4. Robert_J

    Robert_J Lead Actor

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    Lew is mostly correct but let me clear some things up.
     
  5. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

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    The fact that your TV does not accept 720p is not really a big deal. The Hughes E86 only outputs 1080i or (analog) 420i, converting 720p to 1080i.

    The newer STBs allow you to choose which digital output you want, so in your case just choose 1080i and the box will convert.

    To repeat, you can just run the coax from an antenna to your STB and it will handle both analog and digital signals for your TV. In fact, the Hughes (and I presume the rest) will add all of the OTA channels to the online program guide, which is kind of nice.

    Good luck Robert. I’m just waiting for ABC/ESPN to get their Stanley Cup telecasts in HD.
     
  6. Robert_Powers

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    Sounds great, thank you for all the replys.[​IMG]
    This really helped out my predicament here on what to do and get.[​IMG]
    Many Thanks...
    Robert
     

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