DirecTV Local Channels Question...

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Tim Holyoke, Feb 8, 2003.

  1. Tim Holyoke

    Tim Holyoke Second Unit

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    I had some questions on DirecTV local channels...

    I live in the Madison, WI broadcast market, and DirecTV doesn't currently offer the local channels for this area. The closest market that DirecTV offers local channels for is the Milwaukee area. I read on the DirecTV site FAQ that, "If you do live in an area that's served by broadcast network affiliates, we can only provide you with non-local signals if your local TV stations provide waivers for you. Our Customer Service centers have more information about this process and can take requests for waivers." I live in a rural area, so currently use an antenna, which gets so-so quality. My question is: Has anybody gotten a waiver from their local markets allowing them to get DirecTV local channels (I believe you have to get NYC or LA channels)? What do you think my chances would be of getting a waiver? What would the process entail? FWIW, I live about 50 miles from the Madison area. Thanks a lot.

    Tim
     
  2. Robert_J

    Robert_J Lead Actor

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    Some stations will grant waivers without any questions. Most deny the waiver and you must pay for a signal strength test. If you OTA signal is not adequate, then the station is required to grant the waiver and reimburse you for the cost of the test.

    The easier way is to "move" to Milwaukee.

    -Robert
     
  3. Kevin T

    Kevin T Screenwriter

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    i live in mobile, alabama and it'll be a cold day in hell before directv picks up our local channels. i requested a waiver and was denied. it's possible that your stations will grant your request but i'd say your chances are slim and none...and slim's on vacation right now.

    kevin t
     
  4. StevenJL

    StevenJL Extra

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    Tim,

    I live in Fitchburg and about year and a half ago, tried with couple of stations with no luck. They weren't too nice about it either. But you live 50 miles away from Madtown so why not give it a try?

    Steven
     
  5. Gary Shipley

    Gary Shipley Second Unit

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    Tim, I lost my local CBS station which was 90 miles away and received OTA only because of a sister station 20 miles away.The sister station became a UPN affiliate,so I could no longer receive CBS.The CBS affiliate offered waivers to those in my area. I called DirecTV,told them of the situation, and within 3 days I not only had the East Coast feed, but the West Coast as well.All I can say is to give it a shot.All it takes is a phone call.Gary
     
  6. Tim Holyoke

    Tim Holyoke Second Unit

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    Thanks...OTA is over the antenna or something similar? Would I just contact each station in the broadcast area, and who, just a general customer service contact?
     
  7. Robert_J

    Robert_J Lead Actor

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    OTA - Over the air or off the air. Either way it's getting your TV signal through an antenna.

    You need to call DirecTV to start the waiver process. They will contact the stations. If the stations don't answer within 30 days you are granted the waiver by default. Your local stations don't want to lose viewers so don't bet on getting the waiver granted. You can keep trying and get the signal test but that will take time and money (up front anyway). "Moving" is easier. Change your service address to a Milwaukee address and keep your billing address as your current address. You can immediately sign up for their locals.

    -Robert
     
  8. Tim Holyoke

    Tim Holyoke Second Unit

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    Thanks Robert...how would I go about changing my service address to a Milwaukee address? Would it be legal? Would I need an actual address of somebody I know? Thanks a lot for the help.

    Tim
     
  9. Robert_J

    Robert_J Lead Actor

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    Using the address of a friend that DOESN'T have DirecTV is the best. They will be able to forward you any mail that happens to be sent to the service address. Other addresses could be at an apartment, just pick some non-existant apartment # or even something like a McDonalds.

    Just call D* up and tell them you are moving but you still want your bills sent to your old address. If they ask, give them a cell number as your contact number. Legal? It's a gray area. You aren't stealing since you will be paying the $5/month for locals. D* is not supposed to give you the locals since you don't live there but they don't really try to confirm your address. Also it's $5/month more for them.

    The only drawback to this is that Milwaukee is on a spot beam transponder. If you are outside of the beam then you will not be able to get a signal. But I do know of people getting locals over 150 miles from the city the beam is pointed at.

    -Robert
     
  10. Scott Kimball

    Scott Kimball Screenwriter

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    Just call DirecTV and make the request, then go from there.

    The only waiver I got from Dish Network was for PBS and FOX (no local fox affiliate, PBS granted a waiver).

    Bear in mind that a waiver is at the discretion of the affiliate, UNLESS you are less than a "Grade B signal strength." Affiliates use contour maps to judge Grade A and Grade B signals for your location. If you fall in a Grade B contour and have special circumstances that put you under a Grade B signal (terrain blocks signal), that's when you get in to the signal tests.

    FYI, a Grade B signal can mean a pretty poor picture with interference. Basically, if you can see and understand a program using an antenna at a 20ft elevation, that's considered "acceptable."

    Your other options are to try and skirt the regs by providing a different service address, as mentioned - or get an RV exemption. If you have a camper / RV (and have official title to it) you can get this exemption. If you don't have one, people have been known to buy a wreck, just to get the title, then pursue the RV exemption.
     
  11. Jay Mitchosky

    Jay Mitchosky Producer

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    Moving to Programming forum.
     

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