Upgrading to DirecTV TIVO receiver questions

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Al Fischer, Sep 25, 2001.

  1. Al Fischer

    Al Fischer Stunt Coordinator

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    I am looking to upgrade to a DirecTV TIVO receiver. Either:
    Hughes GXCEB0T DIRECTV Receiver with TiVo or
    HUGHES E45 Platinum DIRECTV Receiver
    Right now I have a DirecTV Plus system, which I will move into my bedroom. I'm using a Dual LNB Dish. I am only using one of the LNBs right now.
    Question 1a,b & c: The TIVO needs 2 feeds, does that mean I can use a splitter right before the receiver? Or does it need to have its own line from the dish? If it needs its own feed, what do I do for the receiver in the bedroom? Split one of those lines?
    Question 2: How is TIVO? Will it be around to make it worth getting the lifetime plan?
    Any help, comments or suggestions will be greatly appreciated.
    Thanks in Advance
    Al
     
  2. Wayne Bundrick

    Wayne Bundrick Cinematographer

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    The TiVo/DirecTV box needs two lines to use the new dual tuner feature that records two programs at the same time. Since you're already using the second line for the receiver in the bedroom, to "split" the signal you need what is called a multiswitch. A multiswitch can connect the two lines from the dish to any multiple of receivers, typically they have 4 or 8 outputs but they make them with enough outputs to wire whole apartment buildings to one dish. Connect two outputs to the TiVo/DirecTV box and one to the bedroom receiver.
    If you plan to eventually use the oval dish's second LNB for the other satellite then you should get a four-input multiswitch designed for the oval dish. Otherwise you can use a regular multiswitch for the round dish.
    The lifetime subscription is $250. That pays for itself after two years at the $10 monthly rate. I think TiVo will still be around in two years. If you're not so certain then you could pay $100 for a one-year plan and save $20 compared to the monthly rate.
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    --Wayne Bundrick
     
  3. Al Fischer

    Al Fischer Stunt Coordinator

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    Wayne,
    Thanks for the info.
    I'll check out the multiswitch. Circuit City or Radio Shack, I assume.
     
  4. Sam R. Aucoin

    Sam R. Aucoin Stunt Coordinator

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    Al:
    Wayne is absolutely correct. DO NOT purchase a "splitter" - it will not work (at least not with a TIVO machine that has dual tuners). A multiswitch has a built-in amplifier that allows the signal to be "split" and still "full power" at the same time. A splitter will degrade the signal and will almost certainly not allow you to use the dual tuner in your TIVO (if that is the kind you end up purchasing).
    The only drawback to the multiswitch is price - Circuit City has them for almost $100. Because of the number of units I have (plus the fact that I have a dual tuner Sony Tivo SAT-T60), I HAD to purchase a multiswitch that allowed two inputs and had four outputs.
    Good luck.
     
  5. Wayne Bundrick

    Wayne Bundrick Cinematographer

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    A multiswitch is actually more complicated than that.
    Satellite signals have two polarities, the even transponder numbers have one polarity and the odd transponder numbers have the opposite polarity. A satellite receiver has to choose which polarity it wants by varying the DC voltage that it sends down the center conductor of the coax to power the LNB. The LNB will switch its polarity according to the voltage amount, I believe it's 18 volts for one polarity and 24 volts for the other.
    This is why you can't use a splitter for two satellite receivers. One receiver may want to tune a channel on an even transponder while the other receiver wants a channel on an odd transponder, and an LNB can't do both at the same time. And combining the voltages from two receivers isn't a good idea either.
    So, for two receivers, you need a LNB with two connectors. It is essentially two separate LNBs in one unit so that each receiver can tune channels independently.
    More than two receivers requires some trickery. A multiswitch connects to both connectors on the LNB. One is permanently assigned to even transponders, the other is permanently assigned to odd transponders. This makes both even and odd signals available within the multiswitch at all times. The satellite receivers -- any number depending on design -- connect to the multiswitch and control it as if they were controlling an LNB. When each satellite receiver sends 18 or 24 volts to select LNB polarity, the multiswitch intercepts this voltage and connects the receiver to the appropriate even or odd signal.
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    --Wayne Bundrick
     
  6. Al Fischer

    Al Fischer Stunt Coordinator

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    So for the Dual LNB, I will need a multiswitch that has 4 inputs and at least 3 outputs. Does that sound right? Right now, my dish has 4 inputs, with 2 outputs.
    Anyways, I did buy the DSR6000 for $159.99, and it comes with a $100.00 rebate, so $59.99 for the receiver isn't too bad at all. That makes getting the lifetime service very affordable.
    When it arrives next week, I have some wiring to do.
    Al
     
  7. James_A

    James_A Stunt Coordinator

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    Welcome to the Tivolution [​IMG] (sorry, couldn't help myself).
    Anyway, just as a recommendation, go check on Ebay or online to find cheaper multiswitches... I've heard as little as $20-$25 for one. Anyway, Walmart might also be a good place to start to look for a cheap one. The best thing to do, is to run the wires and test them using your existing box, so that you can just drop the new box in.
    Tivo is unbelivably great... I figure that I'll change my DirecTivo box for the latest and greatest, so I don't want to get lifetime yet. The best part about DirecTivo's is... you have to pay for only one Tivo subscription, unlike their standalone units. Tivo's change your way of watching TV. Right now, it's Sat morning, and I'm watching a taped version of the ScreenSavers.
    Have fun! and maybe (if you don't know about it already) check out Avsforums where they have a huge Tivo userbase.
    Duel tuners make it the greatest thing since sliced bread.
    Jim
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    Want to hold up a bank in Latin?
    "Catapultam habeo. Nisi pecuniam omnem mihi dabis, ad caput tuum saxum immane mittam."
    (I have a catapult. Give me all the money, or I will fling an enormous rock at your head.)
    [Edited last by James_A on September 29, 2001 at 07:04 AM]
     
  8. Evan A

    Evan A Stunt Coordinator

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    I saw some very reasonably priced multis at rat shack. I think they were ~$40
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    Evan Adams
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