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Discussion Starter #1
I'm currently a Cogeco digital cable subscriber, in Deep River, Ontario. Cogeco sucks up here, I can't receive many of the channels listed on their website. So I'm thinking of dropping Cogeco and getting Starchoice.

At my apartment complex there are already a number of satellite dishes on the roof (a Starchoice dish and a couple of ExpressVu dishes). I take it that I will need my own dish? I notice on Starchoice's website the following:

All appointments are booked from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Your installer will narrow down a more specific time and if you have provided a phone number where you can be reached, we'll make every effort to call you in advance to notify you of the approximate time your installer will arrive.
8am to 5pm is a problem for me, as I work during those hours, and there is nobody else at home to allow the technician in to do the install. Does Starchoice do installs on the weekends? That would be ideal for a working stiff like me.

Also, do I need a normal Bell phoneline to hook up to the Starchoice receiver? Will the receiver work without a phone cable hooked up to it? I currently use Vonage and don't really want to get a Bell line if I don't have to.
 

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Yes .... and .... No

Yes some of the *C installers will do it on the weekend rather than calling *C directly I called local autorized dealers untill I found one that would it was the second call. They came on Saturday and did a great job.

As to the phone line I dont have one hooked up. I believe its for PPV orders using the remote. also it will show the caller on the screen if you have call display.

I have not used PPV and dont have call display so no phone line all is well

I too changed from cogeco in Peterborough. I pay less have added HD and seem to get a noticably better quality. especialy over the Cogeco analogue channels. Glad I moved wish I did it sooner I still use their Highspeed though.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Would I have to pay extra if I had a local authorized dealer install the dish on a weekend?

Does Starchoice deliver firmware upgrades to the receivers via the phoneline, or is that done from the satellite?

Also, I'm considering the DSR317 receiver as I don't have an HD TV. However, I may buy an HD TV in the next year or so. Could I get the DSR505 receiver and run it with an non-HD television in the meantime. Or will the DSR505 only work with HD TVs?
 

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I paid no extra for the weekend install you would have to ask though.

firmware updates are done over the satalite they just do it on there own no user intervention needed no phone line needed.

The The dsr 505 has outputs for standard TV. I record using a USB device using the S-Video inputs from both HD and SD brodcast. it also has Composite and RF (ch 3 and 4) outputs for standard TV.
 

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If needed, your Vonage line will work for PPV and caller ID.
Go for the 505 and watch HD output to your SD set with great quality.
ALL outputs are always active.
Code comes over the satellite.
Phoine line is optional.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Another question I had. Currently there is a Bell ExpressVu dish on the roof of my apartment. There is a cable running from it into my apartment's living room. The ExpressVu dish was left there by the previous tenant.

Could I hook up a Starchoice receiver (eg. the DSR505) to the ExpressVu dish and get a Starchoice signal? Or do Bell and Starchoice use different connectors on their equipment, ExpressVu and Starchoice dishes are aimed at different satellites, etc.?
 

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The cable, connectors and pipe mast are are re-usable.

The dish and lnb's are not interchangeable.
Bell uses circular polarization in the high portion of the Ku band while *C uses linear polarization in the low portion of the band.

In addition the 2 bell satellites are 9 degrees apart and sit over 82 & 91 degrees while the 2 *C sats are ~4 degrees apart and sit roughly over 107 & 111 degrees.
 

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The existing Bell dish and cable makes the Starchoice install about a 15 min job.
Just pop of the Bell dish and put on the Edish and aim to F1/F2. Make sure you mention this to the local dealer/installer will make them much more open for a weekend call.
You don't want to self install as it voids the lifetime dish warranty - meaning no free dish service.
Tell them to come over after work , early evening works well for such a simple job.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Will they come over to do an install after 5pm on a weekday? If so then that's fine. If not then I guess it has to be on the weekend.

I placed my order earlier this evening. Got the DSR505 with the Gold programming package. Starchoice is supposed to email me within the next 48 hours to set up an install date. If the technician phones then I'll mention that there is already an ExpressVu dish on the roof, with a line running to my apartment.
 

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So you ordered the receiver from the website? If so, they will send a confirmation email to you to verify the order. The receiver will then be shipped out to you because installers don't carry HD receivers with them. Once you get the receiver, you have to call Star Choice back and let them know you have the receiver and then they will book an install date.

If you don't call them back they will call you about a week after the shipment to see if you received your shipment. That was what I did when I was working in that department.

With regards to asking installers to come at a specific time of day, Star Choice cannot book specific times. All installs have to be booked for all day appointments. What I can do for you is find out if there are any designated Star Choice installers in your town and I'll let you know if they do weekends and how busy they are.

You will probably get the receiver on Monday (or even Friday) as it is being shipped from the Mississauga warehouse. I can give you a tracking number if you want. Just pm me.
 

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I've found that small town installers are much more flexable (and nicer) than their big city counter parts. When I first had my SC set up, the installer had no problem coming in the evening. Granted I didn't buy the system direct from SC (I used a reseller).
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Actually it appears as though the ExpressVu dish on my roof is being used by the tenant underneath me. I guess he was sharing it with the previous tenant who lived in my apartment. So I guess the ExpressVu dish can't be removed.

There is a Starchoice dish a few feet away from it though, above a neighbouring apartment. Is it possible that the technician could just disconnect my cable from the ExpressVu dish and run it over to the Starchoice dish, then connect the receiver in my apartment? Thus he wouldn't need to install another dish at all?
 

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If there is a free port on the dish, then yes, he could.
BUT, if he needs to add a multiswitch to extend the number of available ports, be warned that since they require power and do not use the power inserter method like some switches, an additional coax line to power the unit is required, so in that case, he might just as well install a new dish.

Maybe check with the *C tenant first, just to be proper.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
The technician is coming on Saturday to install my dish, or run a line to the existing Starchoice dish if it can be done.

I'm curious, I live in an apartment. Do I need written permission from the landlord in order to get the dish installed, or does that up to the technician who installs it, etc.?
 

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It would be best to get written permission from the landlord in case the installer asks for it. I have seen many installs get canceled by the installer cause the customer did not have the written permission ready.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I got Starchoice installed today. The technician guy arrived this morning. I OKed everything with my landlord and he stopped by as well to give his permission for the install.

It turned out that the technician didn't need to install a separate dish for me, instead he disconnected the cable running from my apartment to the ExpressVu dish, and connected it to the Starchoice dish that a neighbouring apartment uses. All in all it took about 40 minutes.

I didn't hook the receiver up to my phoneline, as I'm using Vonage and the Vonage adaptor is in another room. I could move my WiFi router, Vonage adaptor, DSL modem, etc. into the TV room and hook it up there and connect the receiver to it; perhaps later on.

I may also buy an S-Video cable to connect the receiver to the TV. I may get a DVD/HDD recorder soon as well and connect it to the receiver.
 

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OMG!

Hopefully he did a power flush on the coax from the ExpressVu dish before connecting up to your *c unit.

You have to be very careful that none of the compressed circular Nagravision bits are left in the coax as it might act like a virus to your new receivers.

This seems to be a known source of troubles for those switching, sort of like ExVu giving you the final finger for leaving.

Kudos to your landlord. And nice plans for the upgrades as well.

Enjoy and welcome!
 

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ARR

How do you do a "power flush" to the coax? What type of problems could you experience with the *c unit? Just curious as I have never heard of this before and I have switched coax's around between the providers in the past.
 

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Power Flush, part deux

The most effective technique is one that ensures all the Bev bits stay in the LNB and don't enter the coax.

Since the receivers powers the LNB with 13 to 18 V D.C, a larger A.C. voltage is recommended.
48 or greater, generally.

110 V.A.C. applied to the coax seems to work well with all Bell LNBs, is readily available and ensures that no stray bits enter the coax any further.

Of course this is NOT a homeowner recommended procedure and should only be attempted by a certified *C installer.
Bev installers have not been trained in this technique as doing the opposite has shown to have no ill effects and the linear bits adapt readily to their new circular home.

If you neglect this vital step, the presence of the circular bits can confuse the *c unit and compete with the normal video payload.
The net result is deteriorated signals that often appear washed out, fuzzy, and if the set is HD, almost like they dropped half the bits and ran it in 720p.
 
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