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  1. #1

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    Do you have DirecTV service?

    I have HAD IT with Time Warner Cable!! The cable and internet service at my mom's house went out at 12:15p on July 11. The rude and snotty "customer service" agent tells me that July 16, yes FIVE DAYS LATER, is the soonest they can get a technician out there, and they don't seem to think its a problem that we sit there for FIVE DAYS with no TV service at all, and no internet. Thank gawd she didn't have phone service with Time Warner or we'd be without phone service for FIVE DAYS as well!! Well bu-bye Time Warner! You just lost two life-long customers ... my mom's house AND mine!! (rant over!)

    So I am definitely going to DirecTV now, but their website is confusing. Do they have offices where you can go talk in person to a sales rep, or is it all over the phone? Cause I hate dealing with stuff like this over the phone! I want to talk to a live person I can see. I want to make sure I buy the right package to get the channels I want since it seems like you are locked into those packages for a set amount of time.

    I definitely want Universal Sports, so what package do I have to make sure I get?

    Do you ever have problems with their service going out, and being told you have to wait FIVE DAYS before anyone does anything about it?? (rant again!). I don't know anyone who has a dish, but its like a bowl, right? Does it fill up with snow and what happens when it does? Do you have to go on your roof and clean out the snow?

    How is the internet service with them? Is it high speed and you can watch streaming video with no problems? Or do you get your internet access elsewhere? I'm talking watching 'Ice Network' of course; I don't really watch steaming movies. I just want Ice Network to stream with no problems.

    Stupid question, but can you hook up a VCR to it like a cable box so I can tape when I am not at home? Also a DVD player? I've given up "taping to keep" because I never go back and watch my tapes, but I still want to be able to tapes my shows, and skating, when I am not at home or have a double conflict (two shows on at same time).

    Any other issues I should be aware of moving to DirecTV?

  2. #2
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    I have Direct for TV only, and I can answer a couple of questions.

    I know they do have offices. When I signed up, I did it over the phone, but the lady I spoke with was in a town about 20 miles. I could have gone over there, but I didn't. She was very nice, but then I was a new customer. Sometimes the people who sell actually work for both Dish and Direct. I've only had Direct for about a year and a half and have had no major problems. I don't really remember how long it was before mine was installed, but the technician came on the day he was supposed to. I only have one receiver; have lost the signal very few times, and those were during storms. Nothing has happened that I've had to call technical services for, so I don't know how responsive they are.

    Yes, you can hook up your DVD player. The technician can do it for you when he installs the receiver. Playing a movie on my DVD player is much simpler with the Direct setup than it was when I had Dish. I had to do all sorts of things with the remotes before the movie would play, but no longer have to go through that.

    I purchased the middle package mainly because it's the one with TCM. I get a gazillion channels I never look at. You should know that as of today, Viacom and Direct are in discussions about the cost of some channels, and we have lost several, including Nickelodeon. That might be a consideration if you have kids. Direct says Viacom wants more money, and Direct says they don't want customers to have to pay what is being asked. Of course, they've said nothing about lowering our rates because of the channels we've lost. Maybe they'll fill those spots with more shopping, religion or infomercial channels because we don't have enough of those.

    As for Universal Sports, you have to purchase a sports package to get it. I bought it during the skating season for $12.99 extra a month and canceled after Worlds.

    If you like music, it's my opinion that Dish has much better music channels, including a lot of Sirius stations.

    I have had some billing questions with Direct and had to call about three months in a row to get a satisfying resolution. Everyone I talked to told me something different.

    I switched from Dish to Direct, and although a lot of people seem to prefer Direct, I liked Dish better. Of course, they no longer have AMC (Mad Men) so I will probably stay with Direct unless that changes.

  3. #3
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    I forgot to mention, that for recording, get the receiver with the built in DVR. Mine will record two different channels at once, which is plenty for a one person household. You can set it up to tape anything and you have options for how long to keep recordings.

  4. #4
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    DirecTV is having a contract dispute with Viacom, so they've blacked out about a dozen channels, including MTV/VH1, Nickelodean/Nick at Night and Comedy Central. Someone on the disboards reported that they called to complain and played "let's make a deal" in order to get discounts and free upgrades.

    http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2956661

  5. #5

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    I adore it. I only lost service once in four years (hurricane). Easy to use. Not cheap but great customer service.

  6. #6
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    We've been with Direct TV forever. Tonight I called our local cable company and arranged to switch to their service. Our Direct TV bill was up to $110/month - HD service on one tv, one HD DVR, no premium except for Universal. Cable is $80/month, HD on all tvs, three HD DVR's, and everything Direct TV offered except some sports channels that I don't care about, and that I can add for another $10 if I so desire.

    I have always been happy with Direct TV's service, but the Viacom issue prompted the change. Holding us hostage doesn't sit well with me, and when I called and said I wanted 50% off my bill until such time that they settle with Viacom I was given an offer of $10 off our dvr for six months. I said that wasn't acceptable (it's the principle more than money).

    The cable company has no contracts for their service, and the dvrs are free (they'd take them back if we cancelled) so I have nothing to lose. If I hate them, I'll switch back to Direct TV, probably at a substantial discount for being a return customer.

  7. #7
    Reality TV's Bytch
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    So you only got 34 channels on DirectTV? Well, if DirectTV caved into Viacom, you're bill could've gone up 50%. I have Dish. I applaud when the carriers fight the providers over rate hikes. I don't want my bill to keep going up.

  8. #8

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    We love it. We do lose it whenever a storm is directly overhead but that lasts only a minute or two and it is better. In that sense, it works as a really good radar. lol That also didn't happen for the first 6 months or so that we had the service so we may also need our satellite repositioned or something. The only other problem is that our main DVR really gets slow when going through the guide and pulling up our DVR list but it has gotten better with the most recent update they did. We don't have this problem at all on the one in our bedroom that isn't the HD/DVR box.
    -Brian
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  9. #9
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    The Direct TV website says this about getting Universal Sports:

    - "Is Universal Sports Network available on DIRECTV?
    Yes, you can find it on Channel 625. From July 27 to September 30, Universal Sports Network will available to all DIRECTV for FREE. Starting October 1, Universal Sports Network will be available as part of SPORTS PACK."

    So you will be able to see the Olympics at no extra charge later this month.

    We have the Choice Xtra package which is 205 channels and we like it a lot. We also have the Sports Package because my husband is a sports nut. We've had Direct TV for about 5 years. When it snows heavily here we sometimes lose the satellite signal and have to brush off the dish with a pole or push broom, but that rarely happens. It has to snow a lot for this to be a problem. The dish location will be determined by the installer so that you have a good clear line of sight toward the satellite. We were able to locate the dish in a remote corner of our house on the back (south) side. I think it points southeast.

    The first two years of your contract you can get quite a few discounts, but then the price goes up significantly. If you want to get the "Refer a Friend" discount of $10 for 10 months ($100 total), PM me and I'll give you my account number to use when you sign up.

    It is easy to sign up over the phone. You may want to compare the packages they offer on the internet first to see which channels you really must have. You have 30 days to back out of the contract if you are not satisfied. We just installed new Direct TV at a rental house we bought in another state, because I hate the Comcast that was there previously, and so far it is working like a charm. If you bundle Direct TV with Century Link phone and internet, you get a big discount. Also, combined billing of the Direct TV charges on your Century Link bill saves you another $5 per month.

    One other thing is to get a DVR (digital video recorder) for your main receiver so that you can tape shows. We have an antenna wire that can be split in 2 to hook into 2 inputs on the DVR, thus allowing us to tape/view two shows at once (because there are two signals coming in).

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by BaileyCatts View Post
    I want to make sure I buy the right package to get the channels I want since it seems like you are locked into those packages for a set amount of time.

    Do you ever have problems with their service going out, and being told you have to wait FIVE DAYS before anyone does anything about it?? (rant again!).

    How is the internet service with them? Is it high speed and you can watch streaming video with no problems? Or do you get your internet access elsewhere? I'm talking watching 'Ice Network' of course; I don't really watch steaming movies. I just want Ice Network to stream with no problems.
    Re: your other questions above, you can change packages easily anytime you want, and you get credit or charged for the days you use each package in that billing cycle. It's easy to change packages. You can do it on the internet yourself. I did it with our rental house 5 days after the service started (we upgraded).

    I have never in 5+ years had our service go out for anything more than a few minutes. The only problem is getting snow off the dish in a heavy snowstorm. I think it's relatively quick if you need a technician to come out to service your dish. We had a great installer who did everything needed to string cable in the attic and under the house and get the TVs hooked up and running, including attaching the DVD players to the receivers in different rooms.

    We did last year have to buy a new receiver because the old one finally died after 5 years. Direct TV sent me a new one right away, and I had a few weeks to return the damaged one. There was a shipping charge for that. Setting up the new receiver was easy, and the person I spoke with on the phone for a few questions was very helpful. I like their phone support.

    You cannot get internet via Direct TV as far as I know. We get our internet service through Century Link.

  11. #11

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    We've never needed to remove the snow from our dish. Maybe it's how it's positioned? But it's never been an issue for us.
    Use Yah Blinkah!

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tesla View Post
    So you only got 34 channels on DirectTV? Well, if DirectTV caved into Viacom, you're bill could've gone up 50%. I have Dish. I applaud when the carriers fight the providers over rate hikes. I don't want my bill to keep going up.
    We get the usual zillion, but only regularly watch about a dozen, half of which are Viacom channels.

    Direct TV can surely negotiate something with Viacom without holding subscribers hostage, however they have a history of doing this (they did it before with Fox channels).

  13. #13
    Reality TV's Bytch
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    Quote Originally Posted by sk8er1964 View Post
    We get the usual zillion, but only regularly watch about a dozen, half of which are Viacom channels.

    Direct TV can surely negotiate something with Viacom without holding subscribers hostage, however they have a history of doing this (they did it before with Fox channels).
    Then why would you ask for your bill to be reduced by 50%? You're still getting a ton of other channels. It doesn't matter if you watch them or not. I think it was generous of DTV to offer you something at least. They didn't have to. To each their own. I find cable companies to be much worse than Dish or DirecTV and could care less about the missing channels. I just don't want my bill to go up because X company wants a ton more $$$ for their crap channels. And yes, I would feel that way about any channel that I watch that I would lose. I would just look for something else to watch, and either watch my show online (if possible) or wait until DVDs (if I really had to have it). Or just hunt for a recap online.

  14. #14

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    Do you have a Best Buy in your area? There's a Direct Tv store in most of them. HH Greg also has a Direct Tv store.

    We do occasionally lose satellite transmission during intense thunderstorms, very heavy rain, and heavy snow. If you have severe storms in your area, then it's best to have a backup internet service and/or weather radio to keep track of the weather because direct tv can go out when the storm hits... We have broadband cable for internet as a backup.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by GarrAarghHrumph View Post
    We've never needed to remove the snow from our dish. Maybe it's how it's positioned? But it's never been an issue for us.
    Do you ever get a 2-foot snowstorm? We have no problems when we get 6" or less.

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by madm View Post
    Do you ever get a 2-foot snowstorm? We have no problems when we get 6" or less.
    Oh, yes. I live in NY State, an hour north of NYC, at the base of the Catskill Mountains. Snow is my friend.

    I think it must be something about how our dish is positioned, because we don't get much snow on it that stays on it.
    Use Yah Blinkah!

  17. #17
    Beach Bum
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    I have it for TV only and I like it, but it is 1) expensive, 2) goes out a lot. Almost any small storm will take it out for a few minutes. We live in a suburban neighborhood with very tall trees -- I have enough southern exposure, but it breaks up quite a bit.

    The good thing is that whenever we'd had major power outages due to huge storms/snow, it just pops back on with no need for service. That was not always true of Comcast - sometimes they had to come rehang the cables after the power came back on - I have waited 3 weeks for that to happen.

    We did buy the insurance plan - one time our dish stopped working and they came out and replaced it for free. The downside is that it took over a week to get an appointment. Fortunately, it was not during Worlds or Olympics. Never had to clean snow out of it, but the snow/falling branches may have contributed to the dish failure.

    Also, my DVR stopped working and they also replaced that for free by mail with a newer model. I once ordered a new HD DVR because I got a second HD TV - they sent me the wrong non-HD DVR. They admitted the mistake, took the DVR off my bill, sent me the right one, and didn't charge for it.

    I have seen ads that they now have multi room DVRs so I am interested in that.

    I have Verizon FIOS internet, and it has never gone out on its own. It did not come back on once after a major power outage, but it was because the box got damaged. They came out in a day or two and fixed it.
    Last edited by Rob; 07-13-2012 at 05:09 PM.
    I think I will have a snack and take a nap before I eat and go to sleep.

  18. #18
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    Just to clear up a few things about programming.

    - Universal Sports will not be carrying any London Olympic coverage. As in 2010, they will probably have news and commentary but none of the actual sports coverage.

    - Right now Universal Sports is available on Directv and on DISH. It is not available on Comcast.

    - As mentioned above, Directv currently does not show MTV and the MTV family of stations - including VH1, Comedy Central, any of the Nickelodeon channels.

    - DISH is having a dispute with AMC. They do not currently show any of the AMC stations.

    None of the current TV providers is perfect. Choose the one that best meats your needs.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by madm
    - "Is Universal Sports Network available on DIRECTV?
    Yes, you can find it on Channel 625. From July 27 to September 30, Universal Sports Network will available to all DIRECTV for FREE. Starting October 1, Universal Sports Network will be available as part of SPORTS PACK."

    So you will be able to see the Olympics at no extra charge later this month.
    This is true about it being free from July 27 to September 30. I just talked to a DirecTV customer rep about it because I already have the Sports Pack.

    The only problem there would be is with DirecTV Everywhere if you don't have the Sports Pack (since Universal Sports is already part of the Sports Pack).

    I was going to cancel the Sports Pack until October 1st, but I wouldn't be able to sign in at Universal Sports website to watch the Olympics using my DirecTV password and username. The DirecTV Everywhere is for the purpose of being able to watch your favorite shows (including Universal Sports) while you're away from home. In other words, you can watch online at DirecTV or at other websites depending on what TV packages you're already subscribed to.

    The DirecTV rep told me that I wouldn't be able to use the DirecTV Everywhere feature at Universal Sports website if I didn't have the Sports Pack since Universal Sports is already included in the Sports Pack.

    The DirecTV rep did, however, give me a 5 dollar discount for the next three months since I already have the Sports Pack. Go figure.

    Just adding that the rep I talked to said that Universal Sports would be having Olympic coverage.
    Angie
    “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” ~ Thomas A. Edison

  20. #20
    aka IceSkate98
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    To verify, I just called DirecTV back. I talked to another rep that stated there would only be Olympic related coverage like news and commentary (completely the opposite from what the other rep. stated).

    The rep said there would be, however, actual Olympic coverage on NBC, ESPN, and BBC America.
    Angie
    “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” ~ Thomas A. Edison

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