Questions from a Potential Newbie

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by RichMiller, May 23, 2001.

  1. RichMiller

    RichMiller Extra

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    Hello!
    I'm tired of cable, and really like the idea of moving to a satellite system for getting my TV. I have a few basic questions first, though.
    1) I live in an apartment, and while the management has no real problem with dishes being installed, my particular building is situated badly. Namely, azimuth 224, elevation 39 (Richmond, VA) is only visible through a window in my HT room, which I'd prefer to keep dark by keeping the window shuttered. Is it possible to get good reception through glass? Will installation be more trouble than it's worth? I can shroud the dish as it points out the window to help with the ambient light issue, but I'm not optimistic about reception.
    2) I do most of my TV watching time-shifted via two TiVos, which I understand means I'll need to split the sat signal between (at least) two decoders. Will I need to pay monthly fees for each decoder? Are there any other issues involved with splitting the signal besides using a Radio shack splitter like I've already got for my cable feed?
    3) I'm big on sports, so DirecTV seems like the better option programming-wise. I notice from a cursory look that there seems to be a real preference for Dish Network in this forum. Picture quality and lineup differences aside, are there other issues I should know about between the two providers?
    -Rich
    ------------------
    Technophilia is like hemophilia...
    In both cases bleeding oneself dry is a danger.
     
  2. kevin oswald

    kevin oswald Agent

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    Direct TV does have the best sports package. There is no doubt about that, but dishnetwork seems to have better picture quality and so on.. so it is a trade off.
    You can get a signal through a window if neeeded, it will not be as strong. Why not mount it on the wall outside of the window? I know management probably would not like that. Yeah you will need two receivers to use two different Tivo's. You will have to pay about $5 extra a month for the second receiver.
     
  3. RichMiller

    RichMiller Extra

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    Kevin, thanks for the quick reply!
    Yeah, management doesn't allow exterior dish mounting unless you put it inside a patio or landing that is part of your unit, and my patio faces the exact wrong way. FCC regs allow them to make the distinction.
    $5 a month I can do, considering I'm paying upwards of $70 for 83ish channels from AT&T "Broadband."
    -Rich
     
  4. Scott Kimball

    Scott Kimball Screenwriter

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    Would management allow you to locate the dish outside as long as you don't put holes in the building?
    You could take a rigid piece of angled steel, say six inches or more along the vertex for stability, twelve inches out from the vertex on one side, and three or so out on the other. Mount the dish on the long end, close and lock the window on the vertex. You can pass the coax signal through the glass using devices designed for that purpose.
    You lose the window for ventilation, but mounting this way requires no damage to the structure.
    -Scott
     
  5. RichMiller

    RichMiller Extra

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    Scott:
    I'm pretty sure that's out, because the *look* of the installation is the primary reason for the restriction, not just hole-drilling.
    I imagine the limitation as it was explained to me as a force-field extending up from the base of the foundation, so unless the window is recessed into a patio I can't put anything outside the window because it would penetrate that force-field. And the window's not recessed in my case.
    -Rich
     
  6. Bob Jackson

    Bob Jackson Stunt Coordinator

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    They can NOT ban based on looks. They can ban on safety. They may be able to ban on the space outside the window is common area if there are no window boxes, flags, etc on any unit.
    One guy bought one of those $250 flat dishes and mounted it outside his window because his complex banned dishes hanging out of windows, but not A/C units.
    See http://www.dbsforums.com/ubb/Forum1/HTML/003382.html .
     
  7. RichMiller

    RichMiller Extra

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    After a read of the thread you forwarded, I think the mention was made that a Homeowners' Association (HOA) can't ban dishes outside a window, but as soon as the guy mentioned he was in an apartment and there was no HOA (i.e. you're renting, not an owner), everyone backed off.
    There's a pretty thorough parsing of the FCC ruling in the handout the management gave me, and it seems to me that the ruling pretty much specifically states that apartment complexes can impose restrictions based on the apartment renter not controlling any space outside of his floor plan. Since all the apartments here have central air, leaning on rules for window A/C units probably won't get me anywhere. I'll look for flags, flowerboxes, etc. though.
    Any apartment dwellers have other experiences that might help here?
    -Rich
     

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