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Old 07-14-2008, 06:36 PM   #1
codeman671
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Default Any Directv experts???

I currently use Directv at the lake house (2 boxes) and have Comcast at home. I am interested in having it at my primary home (probably need 5-6 boxes) as well but would like to keep it at at the lake too. I know if I request to move the service, they install a new antenna at my primary and leave the lake antenna in place.

If I do move the service and have pay for enough boxes, can I just leave 2 at the lake and the rest at home, having it at both places? Or do I have to pay for 2 separate complete service packages? How many boxes can I run total at 1 location?

When calling Directv I am told that I must have 2 separate services, but I don't think that is the case. If it was possible, they certainly would not tell a customer that.

Any thoughts or experiences?
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Old 07-14-2008, 06:51 PM   #2
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All legality and TOS issues aside (or to answer your question from a purely technical perspective) there is no technical reason that you cannot have receivers spread across the US all on a singular account.

I had DTV many years back, and the receivers were supposed to be connected to a phone line in order to "phone home" occasionally. Generally this only happened if you bought a PPV movie.

I personally know of several people who use DTV receivers on their (large) boats and in/on tour buses, so the receivers do not need to be in a situation that they can "phone home" 100% of the time.

If I had to venture a personal guess, I would think the worst case scenario would be you would have to bring the boxes home periodically so that they could phone home from your main number ("home" is determined by checking callerid).

Personally, I would be inclined to try it first and see what happens

Which DTV receiver(s) do you have or intend to buy? I have a spare dual-LNB and a Winegard 4 receiver switch that you can have if you need/want them. I also have a dish aiming meter, some spools of cable, coax crimpers/cable ends and various installation paraphernalia (I used to own a home theater store and installation business (which is odd, because I don't watch much TV at all )). You're welcome to have the leftover bits if they're useful, and borrow any of my installer tools if you want to go a DIY route.
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Old 07-14-2008, 06:55 PM   #3
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BTW, if you don't intend to have 5-6 active viewers, and you don't have all HDTV's, it's cheaper to use a channel modulator to modulate the line-level output of the tuner onto a cableTV channel in your house. I'm almost positive I have 1 or 2 left over modulators as well. This is how I did my house with DTV, TV's in the master bath, kitchen, basement and garage didn't have dedicated tuners, they could just tune in to what one of the other tuners was watching. With it being just the wife and I, 2 tuners guaranteed we could each watch whatever we wanted individually at any location. Perimeter security cams were also modulated onto CATV channels, so you could see who was at the door or coming up the drive easily (yeah, I have some left-over B/w security cams if you want those as well).

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Old 07-14-2008, 06:56 PM   #4
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I tried it and they caught me because they want a phone line connected and can check the box and card,thus telling them where it is.I ended up just putting minimul service at one and max at the other and switing back and forth
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Old 07-14-2008, 07:05 PM   #5
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I tried it and they caught me because they want a phone line connected and can check the box and card,thus telling them where it is.I ended up just putting minimul service at one and max at the other and switing back and forth
We don't have either plugged into the phone line at the lake now and have full service with all channels. It was causing an issue with my phone so we unplugged them.

We don't typically get pay per views, I think it has to verify over the phone line in order to get a pay per view but am not sure.

What did they do when they caught you?
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Old 07-14-2008, 09:54 PM   #6
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Default Dont worry

Yes you can have DirecTV in both locations as long as you adhere to the following.

- If you want local channels, then you must choose the local channel you wish to watch from only one site on both sites.

- Your billing must be sent to one address

- The receivers must be set up with access the cards at one location and then moved to the new location.

- You need to have a dish and all appropriate wiring installed at the second location by an off clock knowledgeable installer

- Never hook up any of your two locations to a phone line. All of the same up dates you would receive through the phone will be downloaded through the Sat dish. If you wish to order a movie, you will have to go to directv.com, open an account as a user, and then you can order online movies or PPV specials that you want to watch on TV.

- You can find many installers who are more then willing to pocket the extra cash to help you set this up.


Good luck!
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Old 07-15-2008, 03:22 AM   #7
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Default Pah is correct.

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Yes you can have DirecTV in both locations as long as you adhere to the following.

- If you want local channels, then you must choose the local channel you wish to watch from only one site on both sites.

- Your billing must be sent to one address

- The receivers must be set up with access the cards at one location and then moved to the new location.

- You need to have a dish and all appropriate wiring installed at the second location by an off clock knowledgeable installer

- Never hook up any of your two locations to a phone line. All of the same up dates you would receive through the phone will be downloaded through the Sat dish. If you wish to order a movie, you will have to go to directv.com, open an account as a user, and then you can order online movies or PPV specials that you want to watch on TV.

- You can find many installers who are more then willing to pocket the extra cash to help you set this up.


Good luck!
I think you could order extra boxes from directv then get a satelite dish installed by a friend or technition that will look the other way for a few bucks. You might be able to talk directv into it because you need so many boxes. Ask for a supervisor and tell them you only use the lake dish for a few months a year and they might work with you.
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Old 07-15-2008, 11:06 AM   #8
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Directv will move my service to Dover for free (they will install a new dish here) but my old one still stays there. I think that once I get the extra boxes I need and everything is ready I can just move 2 back up there and not have an issue.

Between comcast internet and cable here, and Directv and Hughesnet there, it is $375 per month... Anything to cut that back a bit is worth looking at.
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Old 07-16-2008, 11:28 PM   #9
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They have a deal that you can put a dish in the motor home and only pay the extra few bucks. You can actually put as many receivers in the motor home as you would like. If you put them in a second home for some reason they now charge you the full monty.
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Old 07-17-2008, 02:12 AM   #10
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A few years ago Directv would shut down a box that didn't call in at least every three months. They have relaxed that now and boxes will stay up indefinitely without the phone connection. You can order pay-per-views but when the total of what you have ordered reaches $49.95 the box will not allow you to order more until it can call in.

A few years ago they were careful about sports subscriptions like NFL Sunday Ticket. The box needed call in and prove you were not in a blackout area. They don't seem to care about that anymore either, you can disconnect the phone line and the subscription stays up.

There is a soft, 12 box per household maximum, but the do not advertise it. You can sometimes talk your way past it.

If a box is without power for more than a week it starts to lose channel group authorization updates. This gives you a 721 error on those channels. You can connect it and wait a few days for the updates to take. However they now have a way to rehit your box yourself over the internet.

Go to DirecTV.com and Log in

go to> Customer Service

go to > Troubleshooting

go to >On-Screen Messages

go to > Please Call Customer Service Ext 721

At the bottom, follow the link in this line... "Finally try resetting the affected receiver by clicking here" Click There and then pick the receiver by unit id or card number.

Boxes do not call in immediately when the phone line is connected, give it 24 to 48 hours.

If you know how to "work the system" you can get waivers that allow you to receive the NY and LA national network feeds. My wife loves the LA feeds. If she misses a soap she can catch it three hours later in LA.
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Old 07-17-2008, 06:26 AM   #11
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If it is the box that calls out, what would happen in that case if you had a private number. No caller ID info would be displayed to Directv to verify the location.

Our boxes have not been plugged in for the last 2 seasons, it for some reason was screwing up our phone, leaving an open line so that our phone would go dead so we left them unplugged.
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Old 07-17-2008, 08:18 AM   #12
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If it is the box that calls out, what would happen in that case if you had a private number. No caller ID info.....
It dials a toll free number (800/877...), those numbers always get your caller id, regardless of privacy blocking.
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Old 07-17-2008, 09:04 AM   #13
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Its not really "caller id" that they use, that is a consumer product. They use ANI (Automatic Number Identification), you can't spoof it or block it. You also can't trick them by using a cell phone, ANI reports that as well.

The worst case scenario is that you swap the boxes every few months.

If one of you boxes is "Of Hook" all the time, or otherwise screws up your phones, then the box is bad. If you call customer service and complain just right, they will send you a free or low cost replacement.

There are things that Directv will tell you they don't do, like send you a 5 satellite dish and let you install it yourself. However if you get a supervisor they can make an exception.
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Old 07-17-2008, 09:09 AM   #14
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.... They use ANI (Automatic Number Identification), you can't spoof it or block it....
Actually, it is possible, and I've done it, its just the facilities are not available to the 'normal' user. Then there are also those infernal logs laying around....

Last edited by wifi; 07-17-2008 at 09:48 AM.
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Old 07-17-2008, 01:41 PM   #15
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I have had my directv hooked up for years with out a phone line. None of my customers have them hooked up either except for the few that use PPV. The problem that you can have now is that the spot beam does not allow for a unit to "travel" like they used to be able to. You certainly will lose your local channels if you move the box from say your house in MA to your place on the lake. The use of thier "mobile home" package that was mentioned above does allow the units to travel well but you I believe do not get local channels.
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Old 07-18-2008, 04:45 AM   #16
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I am going to try it this week, worst case I get stuck with 2 bills for both locations. I am tired of comcast anyhow, so either way I win.
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Old 07-18-2008, 06:57 AM   #17
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Exclamation Phone Home (of Direct TV) - or Hide and Seek

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Its not really "caller id" that they use, that is a consumer product. They use ANI (Automatic Number Identification), you can't spoof it or block it. You also can't trick them by using a cell phone, ANI reports that as well.
BI is right. Those toll free numbers know what phone number called them via the Automatic Number Identification (ANI) system which is totally separate from Caller ID (CID) and Calling Party ID (CPI).

Caller ID is sent to the called party on the same phone line as your phone call - as 1200 baud data in between the first and second ring sound. ANI is generated at the local phone company Central Office and sent via a different path to the Long Distance Providers and the TOLL FREE billing and handling systems. ANI is how the long distance companies know what number to bill for a call.

Anyway, that stuff was in place before VoIP. You can complicate the system with VoIP several different ways. Depending on your VoIP company, your Caller ID, ANI and CPI can display (record) three DIFFERENT messages (or phone numbers) for the SAME phone call. What those three systems display is influenced by the VoIP carrier and your caller ID blocked/unblocked setting.

The reason VoIP does not handle E-911 like a regular land line phone is because of the above. So, I believe that If your Direct TV home box uses your VoIP phone number, then your physical location is NOT included with the Caller ID, CPI or ANI. You can use your VoIP anywhere there is High Speed Internet access. That may be something to consider.

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Old 07-18-2008, 09:02 AM   #18
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I am up at the lake only in the summer and have direct TV. they are very responsive to completely shutting the system down after the summer and starting up again in April. I just give them the date I want to re -start the service and it is on when i get back.( usually have to call serivce to re initialize) and they don't charge for the months i don't use nor is there any fees to stop and start.
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Old 07-18-2008, 09:22 AM   #19
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I have had my directv hooked up for years with out a phone line. None of my customers have them hooked up either except for the few that use PPV. The problem that you can have now is that the spot beam does not allow for a unit to "travel" like they used to be able to. You certainly will lose your local channels if you move the box from say your house in MA to your place on the lake. The use of thier "mobile home" package that was mentioned above does allow the units to travel well but you I believe do not get local channels.
The "spot beam" does prevent you from getting locals if you move around the country. However New York City and all of New England are in the same spot beam. You will not lose locals unless you move beyond that area.

I have Boston Locals at my lake account. But they will want to give you Portland for this area. Again it takes working the system.

If you get an Directv RV account that can move all over the country, then you can have New York and LA locals that are not out of the spot beam bird. You get them everywhere.
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Old 07-20-2008, 07:49 AM   #20
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The "spot beam" does prevent you from getting locals if you move around the country. However New York City and all of New England are in the same spot beam. You will not lose locals unless you move beyond that area.

I have Boston Locals at my lake account. But they will want to give you Portland for this area. Again it takes working the system.

If you get an Directv RV account that can move all over the country, then you can have New York and LA locals that are not out of the spot beam bird. You get them everywhere.
Just remember bringing your receivers from your other house up to your lake house and using them up there is considered "theft of services". Honestly if you can afford the lake houses you are much better off paying an extra 60 bucks a month or what ever the bill is. First off you can call for service if there is an issue and secondly you can sleep at night with a clean concience. I wish that they still has their second house program that they had years ago but they stopped it for some reason and now only have the "RV" package. Probably because dad would get the service and all the kids would jump on board? If you live in MA and stay at your lake house all summer they will allow you to move your service OR shut it down in one location and activate it at the other. I do not know if there is a limit to how often you can do this or not.

As far as getting the locals. The NY locals are available to people lets just call it east of the miss.. They are on a older Sat. that does NOT have the spot beam technology. The Boston locals are on a sat that has spot beam. The HD locals are as well. The standard Def. channels have a much larger beam then the HD locals. I would be shocked if you got Boston HD locals at the lake? Also as they move channels around on satellites as more and more HDTV channels become available and they decommision older satellites you will find that some channels may all of the sudden not work.

All just to keep us all confused and me employeed
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Old 07-20-2008, 10:04 AM   #21
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Just remember bringing your receivers from your other house up to your lake house and using them up there is considered "theft of services". Honestly if you can afford the lake houses you are much better off paying an extra 60 bucks a month or what ever the bill is. First off you can call for service if there is an issue and secondly you can sleep at night with a clean concience. I wish that they still has their second house program that they had years ago but they stopped it for some reason and now only have the "RV" package. Probably because dad would get the service and all the kids would jump on board? If you live in MA and stay at your lake house all summer they will allow you to move your service OR shut it down in one location and activate it at the other. I do not know if there is a limit to how often you can do this or not.

As far as getting the locals. The NY locals are available to people lets just call it east of the miss.. They are on a older Sat. that does NOT have the spot beam technology. The Boston locals are on a sat that has spot beam. The HD locals are as well. The standard Def. channels have a much larger beam then the HD locals. I would be shocked if you got Boston HD locals at the lake? Also as they move channels around on satellites as more and more HDTV channels become available and they decommision older satellites you will find that some channels may all of the sudden not work.

All just to keep us all confused and me employeed
Your statement is uncalled for, incorrect and libelous. You have claimed I am breaking the law and should have trouble sleeping at night. You need to retract that statement immediately.

For your information I have two Directv accounts, one with a service address at Bear Island, Meredith New Hampshire, and one at my Massachusetts home. I never said any different or implied any different. You are welcome to come by Bear Island and I will show you the bills for both accounts.

On my Bear Island account I have High Def service, Boston Locals AND New York and LA locals. All perfectly legal, working and listed on my bill.
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Old 07-20-2008, 10:04 AM   #22
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BI, How does the RV package work? I mean how does the dish pick up the feed? I am asking this because I put up my own dish and if I was off even a tenth of an inch... no signal. So how does the traveling dish work? Great thread by the way, tons of useful info. Thanks BI for all the information. I'd love to hear how we can get the Boston Locals here at the lake as well.



Quote:
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The "spot beam" does prevent you from getting locals if you move around the country. However New York City and all of New England are in the same spot beam. You will not lose locals unless you move beyond that area.

I have Boston Locals at my lake account. But they will want to give you Portland for this area. Again it takes working the system.

If you get an Directv RV account that can move all over the country, then you can have New York and LA locals that are not out of the spot beam bird. You get them everywhere.
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Old 07-20-2008, 10:10 AM   #23
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BI, How does the RV package work? I mean how does the dish pick up the feed? I am asking this because I put up my own dish and if I was off even a tenth of an inch... no signal. So how does the traveling dish work? Great thread by the way, tons of useful info. Thanks BI for all the information. I'd love to hear how we can get the Boston Locals here at the lake as well.
You can either self-aim the dish when you're stopped, or there are also auto-tracking dishes that keep the signal fairly well locked while you're in motion. The auto-trackers are popular on band tour buses...

You can have to have pretty good alignment, but I've never heard of the sensitivity you described above, except in cases where trees are buildings were obstructing the signal.
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Old 07-20-2008, 10:14 AM   #24
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You can either self-aim the dish when you're stopped, or there are also auto-tracking dishes that keep the signal fairly well locked while you're in motion. The auto-trackers are popular on band tour buses...

You can have to have pretty good alignment, but I've never heard of the sensitivity you described above, except in cases where trees are buildings were obstructing the signal.

Maybe that's it. I do have several trees that are in the area of the signal. That's pretty cool about the self aimers. So for my information, how large is the "target" normally. I have no margin of error where I have the dish right now.
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Old 07-20-2008, 10:50 AM   #25
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You only need a "hole" in the trees as wide as the dish. However trees grow and branches sway in the wind. And that is only for a dish hitting a single satellite. If you want high def you must hit more than one satellite with an oval dish. And the high def satellites are a little lower on the horizon than the single sat dish. So for high def you need lots of open sky.

You should check your signal strength on a clear day, one of the setup functions on the box. If you are getting 90% or more that is a good signal. 80% will work, but indicates you are being obstructed or are off target.

Trimming a few branches can make all the difference. However the ones you need to trim are usually very high.
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Old 07-20-2008, 12:54 PM   #26
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Your statement is uncalled for, incorrect and libelous. You have claimed I am breaking the law and should have trouble sleeping at night. You need to retract that statement immediately.

For your information I have two Directv accounts, one with a service address at Bear Island, Meredith New Hampshire, and one at my Massachusetts home. I never said any different or implied any different. You are welcome to come by Bear Island and I will show you the bills for both accounts.

On my Bear Island account I have High Def service, Boston Locals AND New York and LA locals. All perfectly legal, working and listed on my bill.
BI my quoting you was for the purpose of continuing the spot beam conversation not trying to imply that you were stealing service.
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Old 07-20-2008, 12:58 PM   #27
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BI, How does the RV package work? I mean how does the dish pick up the feed? I am asking this because I put up my own dish and if I was off even a tenth of an inch... no signal. So how does the traveling dish work? Great thread by the way, tons of useful info. Thanks BI for all the information. I'd love to hear how we can get the Boston Locals here at the lake as well.
KVH and others make self tracking dishes that work quite well. Some what expensive for sure. Remember that Sat is a good ways off so a degree one way or another can make or break you. The new dishes in some ways are easier to aim up as they have much better shape to them but they also look at up to 5 satellites so...... The KVH units will allow you to look at one sat. at a time so multiple boxes in your RV can be an issue.

http://www.kvh.com/tracvision_kvh/
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Old 07-20-2008, 03:12 PM   #28
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You can also use a 24" dish instead of an 18" dish if your signal is a bit weak. This won't help if the problem is overgrown trees, but it can make a big difference during storms.

I had usually found that I could move the dish up/down/left/right about 1-2" and keep the signal, strength would obviously vary over that distance.

It's easier (IMO) to aim the dish with an on-line signal strength meter with you right at the dish. The meter will respond faster than the software on the STB, and it's easier to work with
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