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Post Info TOPIC: DirecTV & Distant Network Service


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DirecTV & Distant Network Service


Distant Network Service (DNS) is the ability of mobile satellite TV users to get east coast (New York) and/or west coast (Los Angeles) network feeds in lieu of local stations (ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC).

RVers are required to submit an affidavit of mobility with RV registration data to be eligible for this service.

We signed up for DirecTV DNS getting east and west coast feeds back in 2005.  Recently, we had been hearing that DNS customers would lose one coast.  Well, last night we lost our west coast stations.

So, I did a little research.

Apparently, a postcard was supposed to be sent to all current DirecTV DNS customers explaining the change.  And on that card, IF you already had DNS in Standard Definition (SD), you could send the postcard back in and opt to keep both east and west coast feeds.  BUT the monthly cost would go up to $20 a month from the current $14 a month.  However, PBS and the CW network would be included whereas there was a monthly subscription fee before.

Here is the text of the post card that was sent to a west coast person:

"As of November 29, 2010 DIRECTV will replace your Mobile Vehicle Distant Network Services (DNS) programming package with a new $15 per month single coast package. This package will include the West Coast DNS feeds of ABC, CBS, CW, FOX, NBC and the national PBS feed. ABC, CBS, FOX and NBC will be available in HD to customers with HD equipment and HD access. . . Existing DIRECTV mobile vehicle customers may instead choose to receive a dual-coast DNS package that includes both the East and West Coast feeds of ABC, CBS, CW, FOX, NBC and the national feed of PBS for $20 per month. To upgrade to the dual-coast DNS package, you must check the box and return the reply card by November 18, 2010."


However, several RVers, including us didn't get the postcard.  There are a variety of reasons the postcards weren't reaching their destinations or weren't sent out at all, but I won't get into that.

Today, I called a phone number I found on another Forum:

DNS Eligibility Group  1-800-263-0028

I waited on hold 20-25 minutes, but I finally spoke to a rep named Jan.  Figuring they must be frazzled from all the irate customers, I decided to be really nice.  smile

After explaining we didn't get the postcard, she looked for a record of our RV waiver documentation.  Finding it, she checked with a supervisor, and after about 5 minutes our west coast feeds were reinstated (and PBS and CW are there as well).  I acknowledged the $20 fee and that was that - done deal.

Now some report they have had the same experience and taken care of this over the phone.  Others are reporting that they have HAD to send in the postcard or a letter to this address:

DirecTV : Mobile Network Services
PO Box 6550
Greenwood Village, CO 86155-6550


So, if you have (or had) Distant Network Service with both east and west coast feeds for Standard Definition (SD) programming, you CAN keep both for a little more money each month.

OR, you can let one coast go and still pay $15 a month for either the east or west coast depending on your service address.  No, they don't cut your fee in half because you lost half the stations.  smile  East & Central time zones get east coast channels and West & Mountain time zones get west coast channels.

Now, new DNS customers won't have the option of both coasts.  And, if you cancelled your DNS previously, you can't get both feeds now.

Also, I've heard that those that want DNS in High Definition (HD) will only get one coast.  I do believe that is correct, however, the postcard isn't clear and there are conflicting reports. 

One question is "If you just have DNS for one coast, can you change your service address and switch from east to west or west to east as you travel back and forth across the country?"  I'm seeing conflicting answers on that question, too, so I'm not sure.

Anyway, I had been hearing the rumors and they were true ... except that those of us that previously had feeds from both coasts prior to the change can still keep them if we wish.  And, even if you didn't get a postcard and send it back by Nov 18, you can still opt for both coasts (in SD for sure) as long as they can see your RV waiver documentation is on file and you pay the additional fee.

Just thought I'd post our experience in case anyone else is surprised .... or cares.  biggrin

 



-- Edited by Howard on Wednesday 24th of November 2010 04:07:42 PM

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Just an FYI This is not an issue with Dish Network,only Direct TV.For now anyway.smile

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Host

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Just realized only half of what I wrote actually posted.  It's all there now.  smile

Racerguy, that's why I titled the thread "DirecTV & Distant Network Services".  biggrin

But, since you opened that can of worms ....

DISH has been banned from offering Distant Network Services by a court injunction since 2006, but RVers have been able to get DNS for DISH through a third party - MyDistantNetworks.com.  However, the new law passed in May - The Satellite Television And Localism Act of 2010 (STELA) - allows DISH to get back into the DNS game and in September 2010, they met the requirements to do that.  We'll have to see how that affects those using MyDistantNetworks.

STELA is the reason being used by DirecTV to mess with the Distant Network Services, so my guess is the same issues will apply to MyDistantNetworks and DISH at some point.

Somebody's always gotta be messin' with somethin'.  smile



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My badashamed didn't read the title. I'm sure Dish isn't far behind. Wonder how much more this will cost us.hmm

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Yep, we lost all DNS channels yesterday afternoon. I called DirecTV but it was late and they said the DNS department had gone home and asked me to call back today. This morning I checked the guide before calling DirecTV and we now have both east and west SD and HD DNS service.

FWIW, we received the card and mailed it back stating that we wanted both east and west DNS service. I'm guessing they shut everybody off last night before they assigned the new network package.

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We're in the process of researching TV service. For the beginning, we are going to be set up with the winegard carryout mp1 gm-mp1 manual portable system. It doesn't support HD in DirectTV, but it does in DISH. Is DISH an ok system? And what is the process for getting it set up in the fiver? I do not have it in the house, we have cable. Do I call DISH and tell them I need it set up in an RV? I also want DVR, can't live without it now! And how does the east/west coast feed work, is it necessary to have both? Is that how you get your broadcast stations, such as ABC, CBS?

Thanks...as you can tell, I find the TV stuff more confusing than most other stuff!

Karen

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We had been with DISH for 14 years and were experiencing problems with our receiver BUT they said it was our KVH dome antennae. They even insisted it was the antennae when we borrowed our neighbor's free standing antennae and still had the same problem. Anyway,since it wasn't our first bad encounter, we decided to leave DISH and sign up with DirecTV in August 2010.
Prior to signing with DirecTV, we wanted to make sure we would still get both East & West Distant Networks as we have been RV fulltimers since 2002. We were promised and assured; we submitted via FAX our Vehicle Registration, along with the DirecTV waiver. 
It took a few days to get the East Coast feed (because of our Credit Card billing address location).
It was a nightmare for a few weeks! Finally in late Sept they were able to turn on West.
We received the PostCard in October, checked YES that we'd pay the $20/month for Dual-Coast Distant Network Services and mailed it in a few weeks ago. We did make a scanned copy of the postcard- the part we mailed did NOT have any of our Info- there was a very small encrypted mark; I can only guess it contained our account number....
Tuesday, Nov 23 we used the DVR and recorded a west coast program.
On Wed, we noticed West Channels were not available- gone from our program guide!
Friday, we called: DirecTV / RV Customer Service at 800-769-4635 and then Distant Network Eligibility at 800-263-0028.
We were told, TOO BAD, you had to be a DirecTV customer before May 2010 in order to qualify for dual Coast Network Feeds!
Dual Feeds are no longer available for New DirecTV customers. 
The Supervisor then explained that their contracts are NOT for specific Programming or Pricing and either can change at any time.   Doesn't matter someone promised us! Doesn't matter it took a few months to catch up to us. They have to comply with the FCC rules and regulations.

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Jim and Pat


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Jim and Pat, I didn't know there was a cutoff date for this offer. Since your the 1st person that's posted you couldn't get in on this deal can you tell us what DNS programming you are getting? Are you getting SD and HD DNS channels from just one coast?

I think the change they made was to allow existing customers to get both east and west SD and HD channels. Before this change I had both east and west SD DNS channels but only west HD DNS.

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Dan, I am seeing more and more people that were "grandfathered" in on the east/west coast feeds are getting both SD AND HD for both coasts.  We only have SD, but I would think the HD customers are pretty happy with that even with the increased price.


Karen, since this thread is fairly narrow with regard to Distant Network Service, I would post your questions under a new Topic.  For what it is worth, DNS is a way to get broadcast networks, but not the only way.  smile

Jim & Pat, I can certainly understand your frustration.  I went back and read some of the law, STELA, which was passed in May.  It clearly "grandfathers" customers that had DNS "at the time of the law's enactment" which was May 2010.

It doesn't specifically state that "grandfathering" applies ONLY to those that were DirecTV customers at that time, but that's clearly how DirecTV is interpreting it.  However, because they sent you a postcard giving you the option of dual coast feeds, I certainly wouldn't go down without a fight.  I would try sending them a copy of your waiver with DISH if you have it.

I can't find anything in the new law that refers to RVers or mobile satellite TV users.  It only references "unserved households" and talks about signal tests that only apply to stationary customers.  There is no question in my mind that DirecTV is doing their own interpretation of how the law applies to mobile customers.  Obviously, that's good for some of us and not so good for others.



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I am so excited to be the FIRST! We are always in the wrong line at the bank or supermarket and last everywhere else! LOL!!!

Today, we are only getting East Coast DNS in SD. We have a KVH dome on our 2007 Fleetwood and can not justify $1700+ for an antennae capable of HD.
Our DirecTV subscription is free HD for life.

If we use a free standing (tripod) antennae, we can get HD.
However, please take this for what we have been told or as a warning:
we were informed by DirecTV this would make us ineligible for DNS as that antennae is NOT permanently mounted to the RV- a requirement for the RV waiver!

Don't get me started on what we've been told and what we've gone through with DirecTV since August! I write too much now, you'd still be reading through tomorrow if I share what we've experieinced already!

DirecTV said we received the postcard in error. The FCC dictates the laws and DirecTV will comply and they not put their licensing in jeopardy, so sorry, too bad etc!

As DISH customers we were able to get both East & West DNS provided by All American Direct for the last 6 (?) years when DISH lost the ability to provide DNS which turns out to be the cause of STELLA.
To add to our history: We received both East & West DNS at our fixed home residence with DISH when we lived in a rural town in northwest Ohio beginning in the 90's.... with no local service, no cable TV etc! Such experience has only added to our TV viewing routine based on many years of dual-coast network service the last 14 years! How did TV become a habit?

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Jim and Pat


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Ok - Im gonna ask a "dumb" question - why would you want both west & east coast feeds? Isnt one of them good enuf? I am getting ready for full time - 2wks to go! - and have purchased a wingard SK-1000. I was thinking about DISH service, now I'm getting the feeling that might not have been the right choice...just want HD and to be able to to record 2 channels at once. Didnt know anything about a form for full time use...wasnt mentioned by company where I picked up receivers from.

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Convenience and habit are the reasons we want both E&W distant networks.
In the mid-late 90's we had E&W at our rural OH residence because DISH offered it as a subscription package. We had an RV but an RV waiver was not required back then.
The ability to tape from two different time zones was great. 
Habits die hard and yesterday's luxuries become tomorrow's necessities.... plays a part too. Sometimes we'd forget to set up the VCR (remember them?) or there would be a power outage and a program wouldn't tape; but we could catch it again 3 hours later from West.
As full timers we enjoy the convenience, especially since we are now currently on the West coast. We've been in some rural areas where we can't receive the local stations with our "batwing" antennae. We enjoy seeing the local NY news (family still in NY) and while we're in CA keeping touch with local CA news too!
The convenience of recording two programs at once- but there are three networks and it has happened I'd like to see whatever was airing at the same time. So, having E&W allows me to capture all programs, recording E for two and 3 hours later recording the third on W.
I read this over and it almost sounds as I'm glued to the TV!  Love the DVR to watch whenever we want and a bid plus, the ability to fast forward through commercials etc.  It sure reduces the time actually viewing!


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Pamela, I forgot to mention: with the recent FCC ruling if you do not already have E&W Distant Networks you probably will only be able to receive one; either NY or LA. This will be determined by the billing address you use on the credit card you have with DISH or DirecTV. Unfortunately, many companies do not understand RVers; even DISH and DirecTV employees/Tech Support don't understand... and are completely lost when we have mentioned being RV and Fulltimers! This naturally leads to many frustrations.
I'm not familiar with your antennae- but it would have to be capable of receiving HD. DISH & DirecTV both offer HD and ability to record 2 channels at once.
There are other factors involved in RVing with having DISH or DirecTV. No longer are you allowed to take your reciever from your home/residence and put it into your RV without having to pay extra. I'm not familiar with the details of that- however, I've heard other Rvers say they are supposed to pay for an additional programming subscription; but that is if you will maintain a home along with having an RV.
I understand DISH will soon be allowed to offer Distant Networks again; if they aren't already. They had a "sister" company when DISH lost the abillity when they got in trouble with the FCC a few years ago. The sister company (All American Direct, now known as Sobongo) provided Distant Networks for DISH Customers with a subscription.

Oh, by the way, I remember being told by a teacher: the only dumb question: is the one NOT asked!
Hope I've helped and not added to your confusion.

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Jim and Pat


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I could be mistaken, won’t be the first time, but I don’t think this is correct as stated:

“No longer are you allowed to take your receiver from your home/residence and put it into your RV without having to pay extra. I'm not familiar with the details of that- however, I've heard other Rvers say they are supposed to pay for an additional programming subscription; but that is if you will maintain a home along with having an RV.”

Howard can chime in here, but you “can” take your home receiver with you if you maintain a sticks and bricks subscription and without additional charge.  However, you won’t be able to receive the local stations (the ones with the networks, Fox, ABC, NBC, CBS) very far from home.  (Very far “depends,” but let’s just say 150 miles to be safe.  YMMV.)  However, if you take your “home” receiver with you it will receive all the other channels you pay for at home, including HD if you have an HD RV satellite antenna, with the exception of the “locals.”  

I just wanted to make the point I haven’t seen anything that prohibits you taking the receiver from your S&B house to the RV, technically or legally.  The only limitation in doing so is satellite reception of the networks / your locals.

Hope this helps just a little, but probably confuses some more.  Sorry, it isn’t that complicated but sometimes it just seems so.

Safe travels


Bill



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All -

Think I got it now...I've never had DISH at home - ATT has been my provider and I am TOTALLY spoiled with being able to to record 4 channels at once! That is why I went with DISH with HD and 2 DVRs - can record 2 channels with the winegard SK-1000 satellite and still watch a recorded show. Not as good as 4 but better than 1! The DISH provider knows its going into an RV and they didnt mention any waiver - I will make sure to ask again. Since I am in CA with a PO box here I would assume that I would get the West Coast channels but I guess if I use a S. Dakota address (my son's) I could get east coast - decisions, decisions...

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Hi we are hopefully going to be full-timing within the next couple months. My question is does anyone have anything good or bad to say about the winegard carry-out dish. Besides the price? We are just unsure which
Type or brand to buy.



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Michelle


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Sorry that I don't have an answer but a suggestion:
Because I'm still learning about Posting here, you may want to start a new Subject to ask your question about your antenna...


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