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Installation Questions--DirectTV w/ Tivo

Last response: in Home Theatre Legacy
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July 21, 2005 10:30:41 PM

Archived from groups: alt.cable-tv,alt.satellite.tv,alt.video.ptv.tivo,rec.video.cable-tv,rec.video.satellite.dbs (More info?)

In about 36 hours the DirecTV installer should be coming to set me up with
DirecTV and 2 DirecTV Tivos.

I'm a bit anxious about the complexity of the install. The existing TV
wiring in my home is very poor. In light of that and the fact that each room
will now need 2 coax runs, the installer is going to have to do some attic
work. This is going to involve walking on some rafters and then fishing some
walls.

I'm fully prepared to pay for a custom install, but am a bit concerned about
the installer's willingness to do this. I asked the DirecTV installation
dept--I placed my order directly on their web site and then called them
about this. They tell me that their installer will be able to do this work,
but there will likely be an additional charge. I have no problem paying this
as long as it's not outrageous. I figure, though, that the install folks
(not being the ones who will actually do the install) will tell me whatever
just to keep the order.

Can anyone share experiences about how difficult it's going to be to get
this work done?

In the past I had a miserable time getting my existing wiring done.
Electricians in this area wouldn't even return my phone calls, so I'm just
quite a bit apprehensive about how much of a hassle this is going to be.

If the installer is experienced (which I'm obviously not), the job shouldn't
be a big deal. A couple of years ago I had the phone company come out and
redo some wiring. A team of 3 guys showed up and had the entire job done in
less than 30 minutes. They obviously know what they were doing.

FWIW, I'm located in Pensacola, FL, but any advice from anywhere would be
greatly appreciated.
Anonymous
July 22, 2005 2:10:19 PM

Archived from groups: alt.cable-tv,alt.satellite.tv,alt.video.ptv.tivo,rec.video.cable-tv,rec.video.satellite.dbs (More info?)

> I'm a bit anxious about the complexity of the install. The existing TV
> wiring in my home is very poor. In light of that and the fact that each
room
> will now need 2 coax runs, the installer is going to have to do some attic
> work. This is going to involve walking on some rafters and then fishing
some
> walls.

They can do it either by pulling four wires down from the dish and run two
to each receiver OR they can pull two down from the dish, install a
multiswitch and then run the two to each receiver. A multiswitch won't be
included in the 'free' install but if you want less wiring crawling down
from your roof it's worth considering. But otherwise if they can get to the
top of each wall where you want the outlet then it's really not that big a
deal. Hotter'n'hell up there in a Florida attic in July but if they're
local they're know that going in.

Just make sure they avoid taking shortcuts that look unsightly. While it
might be easy for them to just run the wire across the roof and around the
outside of the house, putting clips up everywhere, it's ugly. Better to
have them run things in a way that doesn't otherwise junk up how the house
looks.
Anonymous
July 22, 2005 3:54:36 PM

Archived from groups: alt.cable-tv,alt.satellite.tv,alt.video.ptv.tivo,rec.video.cable-tv,rec.video.satellite.dbs (More info?)

wkearney99 wrote:
>>I'm a bit anxious about the complexity of the install. The existing TV
>>wiring in my home is very poor. In light of that and the fact that each
>
> room
>
>>will now need 2 coax runs, the installer is going to have to do some attic
>>work. This is going to involve walking on some rafters and then fishing
>
> some
>
>>walls.
>
>
> They can do it either by pulling four wires down from the dish and run two
> to each receiver OR they can pull two down from the dish, install a
> multiswitch and then run the two to each receiver. A multiswitch won't be
> included in the 'free' install but if you want less wiring crawling down
> from your roof it's worth considering. But otherwise if they can get to the
> top of each wall where you want the outlet then it's really not that big a
> deal. Hotter'n'hell up there in a Florida attic in July but if they're
> local they're know that going in.
>
> Just make sure they avoid taking shortcuts that look unsightly. While it
> might be easy for them to just run the wire across the roof and around the
> outside of the house, putting clips up everywhere, it's ugly. Better to
> have them run things in a way that doesn't otherwise junk up how the house
> looks.

There's also the wall fishing that he said he wants for a "pro-look"
kind of install.
Depending on the age of the house, that can be extremely
complicated/costly without some extensive sheetrock work, plaster, and
painting.
For instance,like on the house I have (NJ) due to the fire blocks they
installed inbetween the studs during the construction.
Related resources
Anonymous
July 22, 2005 8:04:37 PM

Archived from groups: alt.cable-tv,alt.satellite.tv,alt.video.ptv.tivo,rec.video.cable-tv,rec.video.satellite.dbs (More info?)

> There's also the wall fishing that he said he wants for a "pro-look"
> kind of install.
> Depending on the age of the house, that can be extremely
> complicated/costly without some extensive sheetrock work, plaster, and
> painting.
> For instance,like on the house I have (NJ) due to the fire blocks they
> installed inbetween the studs during the construction.

He mentioned attic work and being in florida. One might infer it's also a
single-story house which would allow easy fishing up inside the wall to the
attic space. Open hole smaller than a j-box, run a drill bit (designed for
the purpose) up to the header of the stud and put a hole through it. Fish
the line down from that point using the bit. I just did 8 of these in our
house and it's sooooo much easier than fish tape. Either going up to down
through the floor. There's no "extensive" repair work needed whatsoever
when the job's done right. Worst case is a little clean-up around the hole,
but that's usually covered by the wall plate.

So yeah, it will always depend on the type of construction and the layout
desired. But there's middle ground that can be found between making it
completely invisible (in-wall) and the ugly-ass way some installers want to
crawl it along baseboards, over doorways and the like. It's your house,
don't let lazy installers make it look bad.
Anonymous
July 23, 2005 3:17:38 PM

Archived from groups: alt.cable-tv,alt.satellite.tv,alt.video.ptv.tivo,rec.video.cable-tv,rec.video.satellite.dbs (More info?)

wkearney99 wrote:

>>There's also the wall fishing that he said he wants for a "pro-look"
>>kind of install.
>>Depending on the age of the house, that can be extremely
>>complicated/costly without some extensive sheetrock work, plaster, and
>>painting.
>> For instance,like on the house I have (NJ) due to the fire blocks they
>>installed inbetween the studs during the construction.
>
>
> He mentioned attic work and being in florida. One might infer it's also a
> single-story house which would allow easy fishing up inside the wall to the
> attic space.

Mine also is single story. But, the fire blocks are installed,
staggered, in between every stud at or around the four foot mark from
the ceiling.
That means a hole has to be drilled through those blocks somehow so as
to fish the wires through them, plus go through all the insulation.
On my house, all the interior walls are insulated as well.
(makes it real cozy-n-quiet when the wife and I are bumpin' uglies!:) 
That's why I tried to think ahead, and had MANY coax and phone lines
running to each room before it was all buttoned up.


> Open hole smaller than a j-box, run a drill bit (designed for
> the purpose) up to the header of the stud and put a hole through it. Fish
> the line down from that point using the bit. I just did 8 of these in our
> house and it's sooooo much easier than fish tape. Either going up to down
> through the floor. There's no "extensive" repair work needed whatsoever
> when the job's done right. Worst case is a little clean-up around the hole,
> but that's usually covered by the wall plate.

I never used(or found) one of those bits, so you most certainly could be
right.

>
> So yeah, it will always depend on the type of construction and the layout
> desired. But there's middle ground that can be found between making it
> completely invisible (in-wall) and the ugly-ass way some installers want to
> crawl it along baseboards, over doorways and the like. It's your house,
> don't let lazy installers make it look bad.

Hear Hear!
Anonymous
July 24, 2005 5:06:42 PM

Archived from groups: alt.cable-tv,alt.satellite.tv,alt.video.ptv.tivo,rec.video.cable-tv,rec.video.satellite.dbs (More info?)

> I never used(or found) one of those bits, so you most certainly could be
> right.

They're available at most big box stores like home despot. It's basically
an auger bit that's several feet long. Along with a handle that helps the
bending of it. That and there's a small hole at the end of it that
accomodates a hook to pull the wire back down. I've drilled up through the
sort of blocks you're talking about. The bit hits a hard spot, you listen
and tap around a bit to make sure it sounds like wood; not plumbing or
electrical stuff and then you drill right through. You then just push it up
to the next level and repeat. Once you break through to the attic (or
ceiling joist space below) you attach either your wire or a guide string and
pull the bit back out of the entry hole.

In most simple walls this is a reasonable easy process. There are of course
plenty of pitfalls like drilling upward only to find the top header is
directly underneath a stud (or below into a joist) but those can usually be
avoided by taking a CLOSE look at the destination area. When looking down
from the attic you should be able to see some sort of indicator where a wall
is situated. Usually where the BX armored cable comes up from an electrical
outlet. Likewise from below looking at nails holding the base of the stud.
Or where an AC duct is running.

As for insulation you're only turning the bit when it's in contact with
wood. When moving through insulation you're just pushing it. If it's loose
or layered this will just pass right through. Expanded foam would
potentially be a problem as might pre-fab wall systems. But if it's the
typical stick-framed stud wall it's usually not too hard. The most
difficult part is putting up with insulation in a sweltering attic.

-Bill Kearney
Anonymous
July 24, 2005 6:21:14 PM

Archived from groups: alt.cable-tv,alt.satellite.tv,alt.video.ptv.tivo,rec.video.cable-tv,rec.video.satellite.dbs (More info?)

wkearney99 wrote:

>>I never used(or found) one of those bits, so you most certainly could be
>>right.
>
>
> They're available at most big box stores like home despot. It's basically
> an auger bit that's several feet long. Along with a handle that helps the
> bending of it.

That has got to be the tough part... bending the drill bit and ..


> That and there's a small hole at the end of it that
> accomodates a hook to pull the wire back down. I've drilled up through the
> sort of blocks you're talking about. The bit hits a hard spot, you listen
> and tap around a bit to make sure it sounds like wood;

....knowing, via expertise(?) what stuff sounds like?!
Trial and error on another person's house is not my cup of tea! :) 
Although, I do have a plethora of rather long drill bits for masonry and
wood, none I have ever used that were over two foot long, however.
Yes, the wood ones did have a hole for that purpose, but I could never
bend one.
That's why I never got involved in or for those installations that
were beyond my "expertise."

But, good tips, regardless.

(snip all the good stuff)
Anonymous
July 24, 2005 11:37:19 PM

Archived from groups: alt.cable-tv,alt.satellite.tv,alt.video.ptv.tivo,rec.video.cable-tv,rec.video.satellite.dbs (More info?)

> > They're available at most big box stores like home despot. It's
basically
> > an auger bit that's several feet long. Along with a handle that helps
the
> > bending of it.
>
> That has got to be the tough part... bending the drill bit and ..

Eh, it's not all that difficult. The bit's several feet long and the bend
radius is about 2 feet using the handle. Yes, it's stiff but not impossibly
so.


> Yes, the wood ones did have a hole for that purpose, but I could never
> bend one.

Yeah, it's impossible without the handle (that they gouge around $9 for...)

These links (STFW for others) are examples of them:
http://www.agtprint.com/s16/01/
http://www.agtprint.com/s16/01/htmfiles/j712.html
http://www.agtprint.com/s16/01/htmfiles/fb.html
!