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to HD or not to HD?

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  • to HD or not to HD?

    I'm thinking of buying my husband an HD Tivo as a holiday gift. I would like to set it up and do the whole thing as a surprise for him, but I'm not so sure what I need to do! I have DirecTV and a regular Tivo that came with my DTV service a few years ago, when I initially ordered it. In order to utilize the new HD Tivo, what steps do I need to take?

    Since I would now "OWN" my Tivo, do I have to pay for DVR service from DTV anymore? Do I have to give the original box back to DTV or can I use it in another room?

    I have also heard a rumor that DTV doesn't work with Tivo anymore. Does that effect me?

  • #2
    Basically, it's pretty easy to do. We still have HD TiVos in stock and you can probably find them in a few other places out there. Ours are here:

    Then, once you get the unit, you can get free installation from DirecTV as long as you agree to consider it to be "leased" from them. You mentioned specifically owning it, and you can, but technically if you go that route, then DTV won't do the free install. That may not matter if you already have a 3LNB or 5LNB dish - then you can just install it yourself in place of your existing DirecTV DVR.

    For the other DVR, you can go ahead and use it in another room absolutely. Again, if you want DTV to do a free install of it, you have to agree for that HD one to be a "lease."

    Fee-wise, you already pay for the DVR service on your account since you have a DVR. You'll want the HD package also, which is $9.99/month (usually the first three months are free).

    And the rumor? Nope. DTV and TiVo still totally work together. In fact, they recently signed an agreement that commits the two of them to work together until at least the end of 2010 - maybe longer!
    Been here a long time . . .


    • #3
      still another HD question

      Humor me... what distinguishes 3LNB or 5LNB dish from whatever other dish DTV installs and how could I see for myself what my dish is? Assuming I do have the proper dish to accommodate HD DTV, can i just swap my old tivo for the new HD one? Is it a complicated procedure?

      Also - with regards to to the Tivo being "leased" from DTV... I'm not sure I like that idea, considering I'm the one who spent the money on the box. What does a leased box from DTV entail? Would they ever be entiled to it? In your opinion - is it worth the free install & loss of "ownership" or should I try to install myself? (I am mildly technologically competent... although you probably can't tell from all of my silly questions!)


      • #4
        3LNB and 5LNB dishes can see that many satellites: 3 for the 3LNB, 5 for the 5LNB. The HD TiVo only needs to see the satellites that the 3LNB can see - it can't do anything with the transmissions from the extra two satellites that the 5LNB can see.

        How can you tell what you have? The 3LNB is oval and it's about 20" to 24" the long way. The 5LNB is a real monster - it's almost a yard across. And it has two arms coming out to see hold all of the LNBs in front of the dish.

        If you have either of these dishes, yes, you can just swap the old TiVo for the new one.

        On leasing vs. owning, that's a bit of a tough call. The DTV rumors are that they'll never ask you for the unit back, but we certainly can't make that claim. The word is that they wanted to fatten their balance sheet, and one way to do that was to lease equipment, so it looks like they own all of the receivers in people's houses. But we really don't know what's behind the situation. Our view is, that if you are comfortable with the wording, and you expect to keep the unit for a while, you might as well lease and let DTV do the work for you. And, should you need a new dish, let them put that up free also. That said, if you are simply swapping out a box and not moving the second box to another room, then you have nothing to gain leasing, and you should own.
        Been here a long time . . .


        • #5
          The HR10-250 and the 5 LNB Dish

          I live in the New York City Metro area and I need the 5 LNB dish to receive my local channels. I just ordered an HR10-250 with a 5 LNB dish. How compatible is the HR10-250 with the 5 LNB dish? If it cannot use all 5 LNBs, what can I use for my local channels? I really don't want to use one of DirecTV's non-TiVo DVRs.

          Last edited by JClore1950; 11-11-2006, 08:40 PM. Reason: I wanted to delete my last name.


          • #6
            Actually, while the HR10 is fully compatible with the 5 LNB dish, it really gets no more data from it than it would from a 3 LNB dish. It won't get the MPEG 4 locals. But in New York (and LA) the HD locals come on the MPEG 2 streams, so you can get them with a 3 LNB or 5 LNB dish. Even better, if you can get locals via antenna, they are much, much higher quality since they're uncompressed.

            For more info about the HD locals via antenna, see here - it's really the best answer:

            Local HD Channels via OTA Antenna
            Been here a long time . . .