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MJBoater's profile

Tutor

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4 Messages

Mon, Nov 21, 2022 9:33 PM

Thinking of Direct stream.. lots of questions

Been a Direct sattelite guy for maybe 15 years. Looking to cut cost but not quality.

1. Ive noticed a little difference in quality of picture between Firestick and AppleTV.  AppleTV 4K looks a little better.  But hears the rub, I will need to get the Stream boxes.  My wife doesnt like the way the remote works on Firestick and ATV4K.

How is picture quality thru the boxes? (I am using a LG CX OLED from about 11 feet.  I can see a lot of detail.)

2. Are the stream boxes IR or RF?  if the stream box is IR only, what solutions have you done for an in cabinet install?

3. Are there  different versions of the stream boxes or remotes?

4. Is it better to buy a refurbished unit or new unit? (are these model year or month differences?  Like there is a 2020 box vs 2022 that uses a different processor?

5.  I will need to buy 3 Stream boxes. Is it better to call into Direct stream or cheaper to do it online?

6. Can you order online the diferent stream boxes (refurb vs. new)? I thought I heard they dont charge you $10 per month if you order online or something like that.

7. When I signed up for Direct stream's 1 month trial, it used my DirectTV login and PW.  It appears to have brought over all my recordings.  Is that normal?  What happens to my recordings when I get the stream boxes?  What happens when I cancel my DirectTV subscription?

8.  The People's Court dilema.  This is one of my wife's favorite programs.  Not all the local channels I currently have on DirectTV are on the DTV stream version.  This includes the channel that People's Court is recording from ... Does Direct stream also have The People's Court thru ON DEMAND? (where its not getting the recordings from the local channel).

9. Is the Direct stream wireless or you need to run a CAT5 to it for internet?

Any help is greatly appreciated.

JAL123

Mentor

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111 Messages

9 days ago

1.    Picture Quality between satellite and Stream is almost identical.   To my eyes, Satellite has better color saturation, but isn't quite as sharp as Streaming.   These differences are very minor.

2.  Boxes are both IR and RF.

3.  I believe all of the boxes are identical, except for perhaps the manufacturer.  You can use the Directv Satellite remote with the stream box, but only in IR mode.

4.  All of the processors are the same, AFAIK.   I bought 4 refurbished boxes from the Directv Stream website for $50 each.  They looked brand new to me.

5.  Don't know if CSRs sell the refurbished boxes, but you should start service on line, as you get free unlimited dvr with on-line sign up.

6.  You can order either refurb or new on line.  I think you can pay in full for the new as well, but get the refurbs, which are significantly less expensive.

7.  It brought over your recordings because you can use the Stream app with satellite.  It is syncing with your satellite box because the service is confused and thinks you signed in with your satellite credentials.  Once you make the switch and get rid of your satellite boxes, you won't see your satellite recordings anymore.

8.  Whether you can get People's Court I don't know.  But the stream boxes have access to thousands of apps from the Google Playstore, so my guess is you will find it.

9.  Directv Streaming box has both wireless and ethernet.  I prefer ethernet for a solid connection and faster speed.   

(edited)

Tutor

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4 Messages

9 days ago

My buddy said the stream boxes were only IR.  Is there a setting inside one of the menus to make it RF with the remote that comes with it?

I looked in the Firestick and AppleTV4k menus for the purchase of teh refurb or new stream boxes and could not find it there?  

thx for the rest.  Very helpful

Jrandomuser

ACE - Expert

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616 Messages

9 days ago

Some additional comments:

  1. I haven’t really noticed a significant difference among any of the devices.  However, I don’t have anything on as good a TV as an LG OLED, so YMMV.  One possible issue is that all the DTV Stream content is HD of some flavor (or in a few cases lower), so the device that does the upscaling may matter. If that is always the TV, it’ll be a wash. 
  2. RF only with the supplied remote. And the supplied remote is needed for voice control. 
  3. & 4. There has only been one “box” design, with as noted 2 manufacturers.  There were 2 remote designs,  it the original (inferior) remote was only distributed with beta test units.  Some of those may still be available on eBay - avoid them. 

    6. They only sell the units, not “lease”. The new ones are $120, which you
          can pay all upfront or $5/month for 24 months. I don’t believe  $10/month is an option anymore. 
     7.  There are also lots of problems reported with people trying to re-use their satellite credentials when they switch to stream (probably because DTV’s accounts system isn’t smart enough to distinguish them properly).  I believe the reps recommend using a different email and user Id for stream for that reason. 
    8.  As you’ve discovered, DTV Stream, like all live streaming services, offers fewer local broadcast channels than cable or satellite (for a variety of reasons) and that’s unlikely to change soon. Also, their on-demand library is provided by the networks they carry - they don’t record anything themselves. Since syndicated shows (like People’s Court) don’t have a network, they don’t offer it on-demand, and you won’t find it on another app unless the show has its own, which doesn’t appear to be the case. So your only real option to go with streaming would be to use an antenna for OTA for that show. 

janice805

Mentor

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140 Messages

8 days ago

Yeah, I have several LG OLED TVs (C1 and C2) and I have a combination of both DTV STREAM and DTV SATELLITE.  On my OLED the Stream service really lacks sharpness.  My satellite picture is clear, sharp, colorful and Stream cannot compare.

Note:  I use splitters and can watch my Satellite programming on 3 different TVs, and my Stream programming is split between 2 TV's.  And even with the Genie split 3 ways the picture is so very much better.

I watch/record People's Count also.  It's on my local FOX station.  If that's where you watch it now, your same locals should be available on Stream.

JAL123

Mentor

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111 Messages

8 days ago

Would you recommend the OP stay with satellite?

Jrandomuser

ACE - Expert

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616 Messages

7 days ago

@janice805 It is definitely not true that satellite and have the same locals.  I don’t know what is common with satellite but my guess in terms of locals is 

    cable > satellite > streaming

And that would be true for any streaming. Where I am, the local cable provider offers ~30 broadcast stations and subchannels, DTV (satellite) offers 16 (which includes all the primary locals but not the subchannels), and DTV Stream offers 9 (which includes the main locals except CW, but no independents or subchannels). 

Jrandomuser

ACE - Expert

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616 Messages

7 days ago

@MJBoater Your friend is wrong. The DTV streamers are RF using their own remotes. You can control them using third party remotes set to DTV satellite codes (or actual DTV satellite remotes) over IR.  The supplied remotes support IR for controlling TVs and/or sound bars (on/off, volume, mute perhaps one or two additional items). 

As far as ordering the boxes - I believe you need to go to the DTV website and log in with your subscription credentials to get to the account management page. One of the entries there allows ordering them. 

Tutor

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4 Messages

7 days ago

I wonder if there is a difference between the strem box and the Firestick 4k/ ATV4K apps in quality.  @janice805 are you using the stream boxes or apps?

Can anyone else comment on this that have OLED TV's as well?  Mine is a 77" LG CX at 12 feet

(edited)

janice805

Mentor

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140 Messages

7 days ago

I am using 2 DTV Stream Boxes (one on a splitter).   I'm so used to satellite that I use the stream boxes because the function is similar to my genie remote.  Easier to use.  Picture pops in quicker using the stream box than the Roku.  Picture quality?  I'm not sure because rarely do I use my Roku for this service.

And as far as RF, the remotes are definitely RF.

Also, above someone mentioned "locals".  I get the same on Stream as I get on my Satellite service.  But, I only care about ABC, CBS, NBC, and FOX.  So both services (in my area) have the same locals.

Tutor

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4 Messages

7 days ago

So the streaming version is never going to be as good as streaming because satellite is uncompressed?

Streaming TV service usually has lower quality than satellite TV service. This is because streaming providers compress their shows in order to send them over the internet. This can often result in lower image quality and choppy playback.

But yet VUDU and others can stream 4k HDR/ATMOS/Dolby Vision movies.. so its possible, but uses more bandwidth

litzdog911

ACE - Sage

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43.7K Messages

7 days ago

There's no difference in video quality between DirecTV Stream and DirecTV Satellite as long as you have fast internet download speed. Both Stream and Satellite video is "compressed".  All digital video formats use some form of compression. 

JAL123

Mentor

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111 Messages

5 days ago

The difference I notice is that with satellite, the picture is very good quality from the moment the channel tunes.  With DIRECTV Stream, it can take between 5 and 20 seconds for the picture to be good quality—judder is pretty bad initially.   This is apparent with channels with tickets at the bottom. 

Also, to my eyes, the color saturation looks better in satellite.   

When streaming settles down, the picture does look sharp.  

(edited)

Jrandomuser

ACE - Expert

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616 Messages

5 days ago

I’m not sure how DTV satellite handles switching between channels in the incoming signal.  However, DTV Stream actually sends a control signal back to the server saying to send a different stream, so it starts from scratch when the new stream starts.  The (modern) compression algorithms used for video encoding employ motion compensation - effectively they send only the differences from the previous video frame. That means, especially if the picture isn’t changing dramatically, that it may take some (perhaps substantial) number of frames until it builds up the full frame data. But I can’t really picture that taking as much as 20 seconds, especially if the picture elements are changing. 


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