Directv - Adding a 2nd TV

riboflav

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I have Directv and only have had one tv and Genie receiver. My parents were kind enough to give me a modest-sized HD tv when they recently moved into a smaller dwelling. So, today, I called Directv about adding this new tv to my account and was told it would cost me $99 upfront for the Genie mini (and that's just to rent it!) plus $49 for installation plus $7/month just to have the second tv. That would be $232 for the first year! For a small second tv (I mean, the tv brand new cost less than that). I asked if they could do better than that and they said no, so I hung up.

So then I looked into splitting the signal and found that I probably can mirror the main tv but cannot truly split the signal so that two different channels can be viewed at the same time between the first and second tv.

Money is a little tight so $248 to me is a lot right now but if they had come back with something about $80 -$100 less I would have done it.

Can I negotiate this (I have 10 months left on my 2-yr contract)? Is there a way to actually split the signal and just do it myself? Or, am I screwed?

My thinking is to threaten to cancel even with the contract. It'd cost me $200 to sever the contract which for Directv is a hell of a lot less than they would get by hanging on to me as a customer.
 

riboflav

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What's the installation for?
I guess to have a guy come here and do it. So, normally, I'd do it myself. However, the main receiver/tv is in my basement (which is also where the connection from the dish comes into the house) and the second tv is on the floor above it and the way the house is configured, it'd be awfully awkward I think if I did it myself. Does that make sense?
 

NJ_Sox_Fan

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I guess to have a guy come here and do it. So, normally, I'd do it myself. However, the main receiver/tv is in my basement (which is also where the connection from the dish comes into the house) and the second tv is on the floor above it and the way the house is configured, it'd be awfully awkward I think if I did it myself. Does that make sense?
Not really? When I added another mini genie, I just connected it to my tv via hdmi, and it found the wireless DIRECTV network. Unless you mean actually installing a cable hookup in that room?

Also, I've never had to pay any money for any equipment with DIRECTV. Yes, the monthly fees, i.e. $10/box or whatever, but never any money to get the new 4K box, for example .... or any mini genies, and I had 5 of them.

In short, I don't think you should have to pay the $99 at all, and unless I'm misunderstanding the $49 either.
 

riboflav

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Not really? When I added another mini genie, I just connected it to my tv via hdmi, and it found the wireless DIRECTV network. Unless you mean actually installing a cable hookup in that room?

Also, I've never had to pay any money for any equipment with DIRECTV. Yes, the monthly fees, i.e. $10/box or whatever, but never any money to get the new 4K box, for example .... or any mini genies, and I had 5 of them.

In short, I don't think you should have to pay the $99 at all, and unless I'm misunderstanding the $49 either.
Hmm... This may be what I'm missing. So, you had the mini and it required no wires other than from the mini to its relative tv and hooked onto the Genie's wifi? I feel like Directv was less than forthright with me regarding my options.
 

riboflav

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Yeah so after reading your post again, I agree that paying 7/month for having the mini and the second tv is reasonable but an additional 99 just for the mini is outrageous when I'm paying 7/month and 49 for installation when I could do it myself if it only involves a wifi connection.
 

cgori

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The box is $99 to buy ("rent" technically) from just about anywhere (here for example), it's just how they do things.

My recollection (I got rid of DTV a few months ago) is that it can either connect via WiFi or if you have a DECA-SWM (network-over-coax) then it also can get its network from there. It doesn't connect to the dish though, it just needs a network that connects to the Genie, since it is using the tuner in the Genie to do all the work of decoding the program. You shouldn't be paying for the install, unless you are completely unable to connect small electronic devices. It'll be power, HDMI, set up the WiFi (or hook into coax if you have it in the room). You have to have the box "activated" by calling DirecTV once you've done that.

The $7/mo per extra TV is basically standard for them too, and can get reduced/waived if you have a big bill but that's about it.

There's a 4K mini-Genie too, but you need the 4K-capable Genie (HR54) and the TV has to be 4K-capable. What's weird is the HR54 doesn't output 4K, only the 4K-mini-Genie does it. Seems like something of a hack. The 4K mini requires the coax connection to display 4K programming.

Lastly, beware that adding equipment sometimes restarts your 24-month contract clock with them. I was able to bargain that down to 12 months when out-of-contract.
 

riboflav

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The box is $99 to buy ("rent" technically) from just about anywhere (here for example), it's just how they do things.

My recollection (I got rid of DTV a few months ago) is that it can either connect via WiFi or if you have a DECA-SWM (network-over-coax) then it also can get its network from there. It doesn't connect to the dish though, it just needs a network that connects to the Genie, since it is using the tuner in the Genie to do all the work of decoding the program. You shouldn't be paying for the install, unless you are completely unable to connect small electronic devices. It'll be power, HDMI, set up the WiFi (or hook into coax if you have it in the room). You have to have the box "activated" by calling DirecTV once you've done that.

The $7/mo per extra TV is basically standard for them too, and can get reduced/waived if you have a big bill but that's about it.

There's a 4K mini-Genie too, but you need the 4K-capable Genie (HR54) and the TV has to be 4K-capable. What's weird is the HR54 doesn't output 4K, only the 4K-mini-Genie does it. Seems like something of a hack. The 4K mini requires the coax connection to display 4K programming.

Lastly, beware that adding equipment sometimes restarts your 24-month contract clock with them. I was able to bargain that down to 12 months when out-of-contract.
Really appreciate this warning. Would be a total deal breaker for me.
 

Papelbon's Poutine

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The box is $99 to buy ("rent" technically) from just about anywhere (here for example), it's just how they do things.

My recollection (I got rid of DTV a few months ago) is that it can either connect via WiFi or if you have a DECA-SWM (network-over-coax) then it also can get its network from there. It doesn't connect to the dish though, it just needs a network that connects to the Genie, since it is using the tuner in the Genie to do all the work of decoding the program. You shouldn't be paying for the install, unless you are completely unable to connect small electronic devices. It'll be power, HDMI, set up the WiFi (or hook into coax if you have it in the room). You have to have the box "activated" by calling DirecTV once you've done that.

The $7/mo per extra TV is basically standard for them too, and can get reduced/waived if you have a big bill but that's about it.

There's a 4K mini-Genie too, but you need the 4K-capable Genie (HR54) and the TV has to be 4K-capable. What's weird is the HR54 doesn't output 4K, only the 4K-mini-Genie does it. Seems like something of a hack. The 4K mini requires the coax connection to display 4K programming.

Lastly, beware that adding equipment sometimes restarts your 24-month contract clock with them. I was able to bargain that down to 12 months when out-of-contract.
I'd imagine the $7/month is a 'DVR' fee, no?
 

cgori

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I'd imagine the $7/month is a 'DVR' fee, no?
Alas, that is separate ("Advanced receiver fee" or something like that - covers the Genie DVR/receiver), which is in addition to the "HD fee" you pay.

They charge per TV as well. I found this out because I bought a small-ish Samsung TV for my office with an integrate mini-Genie - some Samsung and Sony TVs have it - and it came up with a screen that said I needed to activate it by calling DTV. When I called them they told me that I needed to pay an extra $7/mo for the pleasure of connecting a TV to the wire (no set-top box at all).
Gee, thanks.

(All of this can be semi-rebated with credits when you call to complain about your Sunday Ticket, but the credits only last 12 or 24 months then you have to complain again.)
 

riboflav

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Instead of calling tonight, I did an online chat. I managed to get rid of the $99 upfront rental for the mini and the $49 installation charge (they are still sending a tech to do the install). But, I had to agree to extend my contract by 12 months.

So, in sum, I'm paying $7/month and that's it for the second tv, but my contract which would have expired next summer will go one more year.
 

NJ_Sox_Fan

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Hmm... This may be what I'm missing. So, you had the mini and it required no wires other than from the mini to its relative tv and hooked onto the Genie's wifi? I feel like Directv was less than forthright with me regarding my options.
Sorry, didn't see this earlier, but yes. The mini had a power cable, and an hdmi cable. That's it. You should never have to pay any fee for any new equipment, just the fee per month to add an extra tv, or for the DVR, etc.
 

riboflav

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Sorry, didn't see this earlier, but yes. The mini had a power cable, and an hdmi cable. That's it.
No problem, that's what I thought you meant. And, I was prepared to tell them that I'll just install it myself but when they offered the deal above, I was like, sure. Another year on the contract doesn't matter a whole lot to me as an out-of-region Boston sports fan - I'll never cut the cord. The downside is it does limit my ability to negotiate Sunday Ticket. But I pay 180 (for ST) now under contract and I'm comfortable with that considering the enormous amount of hours I use it.
 
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cgori

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No problem, that's what I thought you meant. And, I was prepared to tell them that I'll just install it myself but when they offered the deal above, I was like, sure. Another year on the contract doesn't matter a whole lot to me as an out-of-region Boston sports fan - I'll never cut the cord. The downside is it does limit my ability to negotiate Sunday Ticket. But I pay 180 (for ST) now under contract and I'm comfortable with that considering the enormous amount of hours I use it.
Nice job! Try to get them to hook up the coax / MoCA to the box, it will make it more stable than being on wireless.