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Old 08-22-2008, 06:46 AM   #1
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Local channels question for Directv

I have a question regarding local channel availaility. I live in western Georgia near the Alabama line. I currently have cable but I am considering changing over to Directv. My Georgia home zip code will put me in the Atlanta local channel area. I am about to purchase a lake lot just over the Alabama/Georgia state line just a few miles away. Since the zip code for the lake lot (35959) is in the Birmingham, Alabama local channel area, will I not be able to get local channels from either Atlanta OR Birmingham (while camping at the lake) ? Of course, I plan to rent an additional receiver and buy a dish for the lake lot. The lot is approximately 5 miles over the state line.

The customer service folks at Directv tell me that I would have to sign up for the service, and then question the installer when he shows up. I would like to know the answer before then. IF anyone can help, I would appreciate it.

Thanks, Tom.

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Old 08-22-2008, 08:15 AM   #2
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I can't answer your questions about local channels, but I can speak from experience in dealing with Directv. They are liars! The telephone people will tell you anything they think you want to hear to get the installer to your house. If the installer comes to your house, he is trained to tell you anything it takes to make you a committed customer. You will be hooked for a two year committement, that you will have great, great difficulty getting out of no matter what you are told by the Directv people.

I'm telling you this, from personal experience. I was a Dish customer for 9 years and thought I wanted to switch to Directv. When I spoke to their telephone people, I was told that I had a month ('You have 30 days to decide and if you want to go back to Dish, just call us and cancel".). I had the Directv system installed (terrible job by an incompetant installer), and did not like their equipment: it had much less recording capability than Dish's. I had it removed after 17 days. I continued to be billed by them for over six months, although I had signed no contract with them. I was told that the initial person I spoke with at Directv lied to me and I had made a two year committment which cost $460 to get out of. It was hell dealing with them. Finally after writing to my state's Attorney General and several times to my credit card company, Directv gave up trying to collect from me.

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Old 08-22-2008, 02:11 PM   #3
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I have had Direct TV since 95 . My plan is different than yours will be, as my units are not rented. In the 90's you had to buy the units and install yourself or have installed by a local serviceman. I bought a second receiver so grandkids could watch cartoons in the bedroom. my service for the second unit costs $5 per month. I have the local Houston Tx. programs at home. When we travel I have a portable dish that I set up and put the receiver from the bedroom in the rv. Anywhere I set up the dish I get Houston local programing...

If you have it set up at your home with Atlanta local programing that is what you will have at the lake if you take the receiver from home.your service is based from the card inside the receiver. I wouldn't tell Direct about the 2 locations as you will only confuse them.

Dish network basically is the same way. My daughters family just takes one of the receivers from home and uses a portable dish at their campsites . works fine for them.

Good luck

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Old 08-24-2008, 04:29 PM   #4
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Thanks for the replies!

Kay, I want to make sure I understand your post. Are you saying that if you (or your daughters) camp at a location that is in a different local channels area than your "home", that you are still able to pick up the local channels from your "home" area?

The customer service reps tell me that if I am camping in a "zip code" that is outside my "home" area, that when I enter the zip code of where I am camping, I will not be allowed to receive the local channels from the home area. I'm wondering (if I HAVE to enter a zip code) if I enter the zip code of the home area even though I would physically be about five miles outside it, if that would work. The customer service rep went on to say that I may "possibly" be allowed to get the local channels of the campground area IF that area grants a "waiver". Complicated, huh!

Anyway, I hope you are correct that I am able to get the Atlanta local channels even though I camp in a zip code slightly outside the Atlanta home.
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Old 08-24-2008, 05:32 PM   #5
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The new receivers may be different than what I have and require a Zipcode to be input if it has been unpluged. That would be a pain as you would have to do a new setup on a power outage. I doubt they are that complex.

You can purchase a second dish on ebay or find someone local that has changed to Dish and doesn't want the old Direct dish anymore. You type in a zipcode to find the correct degrees left to right and up and down. Once you install your dish at your cabin you should never have to move it. Ours has been on the side of our house since 95 and still gets a great picture. When we have traveled I use a dish on a tripod. Sometimes it is easy to get set correctly and sometimes it is will try the patience of a saint.
I am better at the mechanics than the electronics of how this works.

Yes I am saying that I get my local channels where ever I am set up. Ark and Okla are 2 places I have retained local Houston coverage.

Yes many of the installers are rude and incompetent, I don't have to deal with them as I own my equip. My daughter has Dish and I have had to deal with the servicemen to work on hers and they can use some improvement.

I don't have a HD nor DVR. I don't need them.I don't do pay for view.

I wish you luck.

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Old 08-25-2008, 06:19 AM   #6
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Over the last couple of years, DishTV has gone to "spot" transmissions and I'm unable to pick up locals after I go over Wolf Creek Pass. Denver locals were pulled three years ago and even though we live in Colorado, we're forced to watch New Mexico locals. This is a hot political potato here in SW Colorado, especially when Cowboy games are shown instead of the Broncos! The ZIP code for the billing doesn't always work in certain geographical areas.
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Old 08-25-2008, 06:34 AM   #7
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I was also considering DirectTV at home and to have it for the Airstream. My neighbors across the street recently got DirectTV. They were promised the local stations from Panama City and Dothan which they did not get. Now they have TV without the networks at all. When they told DirectTV what they had been promised, they were told that the salesperson was wrong, and they had no recourse. They had to get basic cable to get the networks.

When I recently spoke to DirectTV, they told me that I would definitely have the local network channels. I told the salesperson that I wanted that guaranty in writing, and was told that they would Not do that and hung up on me.

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Old 08-25-2008, 07:44 AM   #8
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Some of the new DirecTV and Dish receivers have the built in ATSC digital off air tuners built in. I think all of the HR series from DirecTV do. You simply hook up an outside off air antenna to the port on the back of the receiver and go to the set up menu and do a search for local off air stations. When it finds them, it puts them in the Channel Guide, along with the programming information. You will actually get a better picture than you would off the sat. Plus, if you get rain fade from a storm, you still get your locals. I have one at home and it works great!
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Old 08-25-2008, 10:37 AM   #9
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I have Direct TV since 2002. I have on occasion, brought an extra receiver and dish to watch TV when we go out, however, did not get my local Austin channels as I was outside the local "spot beam radius" of my home service area.

I contacted Direct TV to find out what I needed to get locals. I was informed that locals are "spot beamed" in my home area only and that I could "apply" for networks on the east and west coast. In order to complete my application, they directed me to an RV affidavit that needed my VIN #, etc, which basically stated I would be using this in an RV etc.

I submitted this form and was informed that Direct TV then submits this to the networks on my behalf to request the the network channels. (2.99/ month for each network like ABC, NBC, etc).

2 weeks later, I received a postcard from Direct TV stating the networks denied my request - no reason and no recourse.

I checked another forum board for Monaco RVs and have also discovered that recently, no one applying is getting approval either.

I dunno why - but this is starting to be a pain in the butt.

Good thing I have slingbox, so as long as I have a good broadband internet connection, I can watch my TV and control my Direct TV receiver and PVR as if I am at home on the couch! I usually only use this when I travel overseas, as camping and TV usually don't mix for me too often!!
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Old 08-25-2008, 11:53 AM   #10
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Apparently the new units are upgraded to restrict local areas. I hate to hear that. Mine may not work anymore. I haven't used it outside my local area in over a year.

I am glad that some of you answered on recent changes

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Old 08-26-2008, 07:16 AM   #11
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It sounds like the application process for the local channel "waivers" is a joke. It also sounds like the word of a Directv salesperson plus $1.00 will get you a junior bacon cheeseburger at Wendys. If someone is not allowed to use an extra receiver to get their local channels while camping a few miles up the road, then Directv is going to lose a lot of potential customers.
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Old 08-26-2008, 07:58 AM   #12
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Spot beam locals are usually good for 250-300 miles from your base point. We have the RV local package that give you locals out of NY or LA where ever you travel. Don't waste your time calling DTV to get it. Their reps are clueless. The Escapees RV site has some excellent threads on getting local DTV service.

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