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Posted Sep 26, 2013
11:44:12 AM
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Having issues getting DirecTV installed in multiple rooms, MDU

We recently sold our home and moved out of state into an apartment complex.  The company that owns the apartment building contracts to an outside vendor for DTV and Dish and that company handles all satellite hookups.  We have problems since day 1.

We moved on September 1 and the first appointment we could get for hookup was on Sept. 11th.  When the 3rd party vendor came out, he announced that the connection board in the building's maintenance room was "overloaded" and he would have to return the following week with a bigger board.  He was able to wire the TV in our living room and we are using our HD DVR receiver with that television and we paid the mandatory $150 fee they charge to hook up service for two televisions (we were screwed out of our DTV movers' deal having to work with this other company....DTV's hook up charge was much more reasonable and we were to get Sunday ticket as part of it....*poof* that disappeared).

After a week passed and no communication from the vendor, nor any returned phone calls, I called Direct TV, explained the situation and the CSR offered to remove our other receiver from our account and send us a box so we could return it.  I emailed the vendor to let them know we would no longer be requiring their services and asked if there would be a partial refund of the fee we paid since only one television was wired.  I immediately got a call back (a miracle!) with the woman saying their technician would be out on Thursday (today) to install the other panel and hook up our television in the bedroom.  He did show up.  He did not install another panel, however he did hook up our receiver which did not work.  He then informed me that because we lived in an MDU, our bedroom was too far away from the satellite to get a signal.  We were also told that an individual satellite could not be installed because the complex' owner felt they were "ugly", even though there are other satellites installed on some balconies in the unit.

My question is, can I cite FCC regulations about this re: individual satellite installation on patios and balconies.  As I interpret it, a landlord may not prevent the installation of a satellite dish on areas such as those and again, there are other units that have them.  I have also read about sinking a pole into a bucket of concrete to anchor a dish to prevent drilling into balcony/patio beams.  Does DTV allow for this?  What are my options and rights here?  We are living in Iowa.  Thanks in advance for any advice or help.

We recently sold our home and moved out of state into an apartment complex.  The company that owns the apartment building contracts to an outside vendor for DTV and Dish and that company handles all satellite hookups.  We have problems since day 1.

We moved on September 1 and the first appointment we could get for hookup was on Sept. 11th.  When the 3rd party vendor came out, he announced that the connection board in the building's maintenance room was "overloaded" and he would have to return the following week with a bigger board.  He was able to wire the TV in our living room and we are using our HD DVR receiver with that television and we paid the mandatory $150 fee they charge to hook up service for two televisions (we were screwed out of our DTV movers' deal having to work with this other company....DTV's hook up charge was much more reasonable and we were to get Sunday ticket as part of it....*poof* that disappeared).

After a week passed and no communication from the vendor, nor any returned phone calls, I called Direct TV, explained the situation and the CSR offered to remove our other receiver from our account and send us a box so we could return it.  I emailed the vendor to let them know we would no longer be requiring their services and asked if there would be a partial refund of the fee we paid since only one television was wired.  I immediately got a call back (a miracle!) with the woman saying their technician would be out on Thursday (today) to install the other panel and hook up our television in the bedroom.  He did show up.  He did not install another panel, however he did hook up our receiver which did not work.  He then informed me that because we lived in an MDU, our bedroom was too far away from the satellite to get a signal.  We were also told that an individual satellite could not be installed because the complex' owner felt they were "ugly", even though there are other satellites installed on some balconies in the unit.

My question is, can I cite FCC regulations about this re: individual satellite installation on patios and balconies.  As I interpret it, a landlord may not prevent the installation of a satellite dish on areas such as those and again, there are other units that have them.  I have also read about sinking a pole into a bucket of concrete to anchor a dish to prevent drilling into balcony/patio beams.  Does DTV allow for this?  What are my options and rights here?  We are living in Iowa.  Thanks in advance for any advice or help.

Having issues getting DirecTV installed in multiple rooms, MDU

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Sep 26, 2013 1:51:40 PM
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ACE - Expert

Not sure if the FCC will help you since they already provide DirecTV services so they are not denying you not to have it.  in situations like yours, is very sad, but you are stuck with dealing with the MDU vendor

Not sure if the FCC will help you since they already provide DirecTV services so they are not denying you not to have it.  in situations like yours, is very sad, but you are stuck with dealing with the MDU vendor

*The views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.

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Sep 26, 2013 2:17:07 PM
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Essentially, they are denying it.  If a TV cannot receive a signal and it cannot be wired to get one from the central satellite, what else would it be?  If we had our own satellite, this would not be a problem.  My questions center more around whether or not the landlord can say, in clear violation of FCC statute, that we cannot have our own satellite installed on our balcony and whether or not DTV allows the pole in a bucket of cement method to install it.

Essentially, they are denying it.  If a TV cannot receive a signal and it cannot be wired to get one from the central satellite, what else would it be?  If we had our own satellite, this would not be a problem.  My questions center more around whether or not the landlord can say, in clear violation of FCC statute, that we cannot have our own satellite installed on our balcony and whether or not DTV allows the pole in a bucket of cement method to install it.

Re: Having issues getting DirecTV installed in multiple rooms, MDU

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Sep 26, 2013 2:24:14 PM
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ACE - Expert

From the FCC OTARD

The rule allows local governments, community associations and landlords to enforce restrictions that do not impair the installation, maintenance or use of the types of antennas described above, as well as restrictions needed for safety or historic preservation.  Under some circumstances where a central or common antenna is available, a community association or landlord may restrict the installation of individual antennas.  The rule does not apply to common areas that are owned by a landlord, a community association, or jointly by condominium or cooperative owners where the antenna user does not have an exclusive use area.  Such common areas may include the roof or exterior wall of a multiple dwelling unit.  Therefore, restrictions on antennas installed in or on such common areas are enforceable.

DirecTV will not install in a bucket

From the FCC OTARD

The rule allows local governments, community associations and landlords to enforce restrictions that do not impair the installation, maintenance or use of the types of antennas described above, as well as restrictions needed for safety or historic preservation.  Under some circumstances where a central or common antenna is available, a community association or landlord may restrict the installation of individual antennas.  The rule does not apply to common areas that are owned by a landlord, a community association, or jointly by condominium or cooperative owners where the antenna user does not have an exclusive use area.  Such common areas may include the roof or exterior wall of a multiple dwelling unit.  Therefore, restrictions on antennas installed in or on such common areas are enforceable.

DirecTV will not install in a bucket

*The views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.

Re: Having issues getting DirecTV installed in multiple rooms, MDU

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Sep 26, 2013 3:12:12 PM
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ACE - Master

I can't believe your bedroom is too far from the dish. Looks to me like you need a tech who actually understands what he is doing. My guess is that he can't get the receiver to work and the distance thing is just made up. You should contact the company responsible for the MDU and ask them to send someone else.

I can't believe your bedroom is too far from the dish. Looks to me like you need a tech who actually understands what he is doing. My guess is that he can't get the receiver to work and the distance thing is just made up. You should contact the company responsible for the MDU and ask them to send someone else.

*The views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.

Re: Having issues getting DirecTV installed in multiple rooms, MDU

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Sep 26, 2013 4:19:13 PM
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I couldn't quite believe it either.  This company has been dicking us around for almost a month on this install.  Had an actual DirecTV tech been allowed access, I'm sure we would be properly wired by now.

To peds48, specifically, patios and balconies are areas where satellites may be installed.  We have a balcony and again, some units do have dishes installed on them.  Ref:  Frequently Asked Questions | Everything you want to know from information about receivers and gettin...

I couldn't quite believe it either.  This company has been dicking us around for almost a month on this install.  Had an actual DirecTV tech been allowed access, I'm sure we would be properly wired by now.

To peds48, specifically, patios and balconies are areas where satellites may be installed.  We have a balcony and again, some units do have dishes installed on them.  Ref:  Frequently Asked Questions | Everything you want to know from information about receivers and getting a new digital tv c…

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Sep 26, 2013 5:19:34 PM
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ACE - Expert

I agree as well.  specially since a splitter can be used from the lines that are already there

I agree as well.  specially since a splitter can be used from the lines that are already there

*The views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.

Re: Having issues getting DirecTV installed in multiple rooms, MDU

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Sep 28, 2013 8:55:41 AM
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Apparently, our issue is beyond the ability of the company to repair.  They are giving it another shot on Tuesday, again with the excuse of installing a board that can accommodate more connections, but if that doesn't work, our landlord has given us permission to have our own satellite installed, as long as it is on a pole where the other two common satellites are located (one for DirecTV, the other for Dish).  And they will allow DirecTV to do the work, which eases our misgivings considerably.  Otherwise, we would have been looking at biting the bullet and paying the ETF to get out of our contract and (shudder) go back to cable.

Apparently, our issue is beyond the ability of the company to repair.  They are giving it another shot on Tuesday, again with the excuse of installing a board that can accommodate more connections, but if that doesn't work, our landlord has given us permission to have our own satellite installed, as long as it is on a pole where the other two common satellites are located (one for DirecTV, the other for Dish).  And they will allow DirecTV to do the work, which eases our misgivings considerably.  Otherwise, we would have been looking at biting the bullet and paying the ETF to get out of our contract and (shudder) go back to cable.

Re: Having issues getting DirecTV installed in multiple rooms, MDU

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Sep 28, 2013 10:32:49 AM
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Here's a link to the "landlord permission form".  It may smooth the way if the installer is reluctant to make an install on a MDU location.

http://www.directv.com/see/pdf/installationpermissionform.pdf

Here's a link to the "landlord permission form".  It may smooth the way if the installer is reluctant to make an install on a MDU location.

http://www.directv.com/see/pdf/installationpermissionform.pdf

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Sep 28, 2013 10:56:50 AM
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ACE - Master

Just FYI, your last post makes more sense, and I have a pretty good idea what is going on. The MDU uses a technology called SWM (Single Wire Multiswitch). There are a set of boards each supporting 8 (probably) tuners. A DVR is two tuners, a receiver is one tuner, a Genie is five tuners. When you are designing an MDU, you usually allocate a certain number of tuners for each apartment (often four).  My guess is that the particular SWM board you are connected to is oversubscribed - it should not be, if the person responsible for MDU design had done a good job, because you only have two tuners (one DVR) and are only asking for a third, and three tuners per apartment is more than reasonable. But however it came about, looks like there are already eight tuners connected to the SWM board and no more capacity for your extra receiver. Nothing to do with your bedroom being too far away, nothing to do with signal strength, that is just BS. The solution is to add another SWM board to the system, giving eight more tuners so you can add your extra one.

FYI, this SWM overload issue is why you can't add more receivers to the system yourself, it has to go through the MDU manager. It's also why there is such a high connection fee, it's so they can pay for the extra boards in the MDU system.

By the way, this overload issue often happens without the MDU manager being able to anticipate it, because people add their own receivers without going through the management company, to save money, and the result is too many tuners on the system.

Anyway it looks like there is someone there who understands all this, and maybe you can get sensible info this time.

Just FYI, your last post makes more sense, and I have a pretty good idea what is going on. The MDU uses a technology called SWM (Single Wire Multiswitch). There are a set of boards each supporting 8 (probably) tuners. A DVR is two tuners, a receiver is one tuner, a Genie is five tuners. When you are designing an MDU, you usually allocate a certain number of tuners for each apartment (often four).  My guess is that the particular SWM board you are connected to is oversubscribed - it should not be, if the person responsible for MDU design had done a good job, because you only have two tuners (one DVR) and are only asking for a third, and three tuners per apartment is more than reasonable. But however it came about, looks like there are already eight tuners connected to the SWM board and no more capacity for your extra receiver. Nothing to do with your bedroom being too far away, nothing to do with signal strength, that is just BS. The solution is to add another SWM board to the system, giving eight more tuners so you can add your extra one.

FYI, this SWM overload issue is why you can't add more receivers to the system yourself, it has to go through the MDU manager. It's also why there is such a high connection fee, it's so they can pay for the extra boards in the MDU system.

By the way, this overload issue often happens without the MDU manager being able to anticipate it, because people add their own receivers without going through the management company, to save money, and the result is too many tuners on the system.

Anyway it looks like there is someone there who understands all this, and maybe you can get sensible info this time.

*The views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.

Re: Having issues getting DirecTV installed in multiple rooms, MDU

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Sep 28, 2013 12:53:06 PM
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Thank you again.

I did mention the board issue in the second paragraph of my first post, "We moved on September 1 and the first appointment we could get for hookup was on Sept. 11th.  When the 3rd party vendor came out, he announced that the connection board in the building's maintenance room was "overloaded" and he would have to return the following week with a bigger board. "  Your explanation regarding this was very clear.  I don't know why the excuse went from the bigger board being needed to our bedroom being too far away to wire, but that is how it was presented to us (same technician, btw).

When the technician last visited, he did not have the promised board with him.  We were assured he would be bringing in on Tuesday.  If he does not, or has any other unforeseeable problems, we will proceed with the installation by DirecTV leaving the third party vendor out of the mix.

dcd, thank you as well for the link to the permission form.  I will print it out and ask our landlord to fill out his portion and have it ready to sign in front of the DTV technician should it become necessary for DTV to do the installation.

Thank you again.

I did mention the board issue in the second paragraph of my first post, "We moved on September 1 and the first appointment we could get for hookup was on Sept. 11th.  When the 3rd party vendor came out, he announced that the connection board in the building's maintenance room was "overloaded" and he would have to return the following week with a bigger board. "  Your explanation regarding this was very clear.  I don't know why the excuse went from the bigger board being needed to our bedroom being too far away to wire, but that is how it was presented to us (same technician, btw).

When the technician last visited, he did not have the promised board with him.  We were assured he would be bringing in on Tuesday.  If he does not, or has any other unforeseeable problems, we will proceed with the installation by DirecTV leaving the third party vendor out of the mix.

dcd, thank you as well for the link to the permission form.  I will print it out and ask our landlord to fill out his portion and have it ready to sign in front of the DTV technician should it become necessary for DTV to do the installation.

Re: Having issues getting DirecTV installed in multiple rooms, MDU

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Oct 3, 2013 8:40:59 AM
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I am happy to report after the technician installed another board, as texasbrit had indicated needed to be done, he was able to successfully get our bedroom television wired to receive DirecTV.  However, the box was still trying to "call" for local channels in Indiana as our HD-DVR had done initially.  With that box, a single call to DirecTV was all that was necessary, the CSR did something at her end allowing it to change to locals immediately.  With this box (a standard receiver), I had to reset the box, remove the cable from the back, hook it back up, reinstall the receiver...nothing worked.  I called the technician back, he returned, called a different department, performed a few steps as indicated by the CSR he spoke with and we had locals....along with ones for Indiana showing in the guide.  She suggested resetting the box once more which he did and finally, the guide was reflecting the proper channel line up and our television was no longer trying to locate Indiana channels from Iowa.

Thanks again for the help and the information I received on this forum.  It allowed me to clearly understand the issue and how it had to be approached.

I am happy to report after the technician installed another board, as texasbrit had indicated needed to be done, he was able to successfully get our bedroom television wired to receive DirecTV.  However, the box was still trying to "call" for local channels in Indiana as our HD-DVR had done initially.  With that box, a single call to DirecTV was all that was necessary, the CSR did something at her end allowing it to change to locals immediately.  With this box (a standard receiver), I had to reset the box, remove the cable from the back, hook it back up, reinstall the receiver...nothing worked.  I called the technician back, he returned, called a different department, performed a few steps as indicated by the CSR he spoke with and we had locals....along with ones for Indiana showing in the guide.  She suggested resetting the box once more which he did and finally, the guide was reflecting the proper channel line up and our television was no longer trying to locate Indiana channels from Iowa.

Thanks again for the help and the information I received on this forum.  It allowed me to clearly understand the issue and how it had to be approached.

Re: Having issues getting DirecTV installed in multiple rooms, MDU

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Oct 3, 2013 9:57:37 AM
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ACE - Master

I am pleased we were able to help you.

I am pleased we were able to help you.

*The views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.

Re: Having issues getting DirecTV installed in multiple rooms, MDU

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