Distant TV networks from satellite company

This is just an alert to AHR readers who've wanted to watch network TV (NBC, ABC, etc.) but haven't been able to get the signals with an OTA antenna. (I know, I know...who in their right mind would *want* to watch network TV, anyway?)
We live in a rural area in the U.S. that does not have cable TV, so we subscribe to one of the big satellite TV services. Getting the network signals has been a problem, though. We don't live in anyone's Nielsen market area, so we have to get network TV with an OTA antenna. Even with a huge antenna on a 20-foot pole, we've been unable to get decent signals for two of the main networks. This became a problem when my husband's alma mater was in a football bowl game that was televised on one of the networks we can't get.
I had tried previously to request "waivers" from the local network affiliates so we could subscribe to national feeds for those networks--but, no luck. Except for NBC, my letters were ignored. This time, when I checked the website for our satellite TV company, I found a page where I could type in our actual address to see if we were eligible for the national signals ("distant network service").
http://directvdnseligibility.decisionmark.com/app/AddressEntry.asp
Lo and behold, we live in such a remote area that we were already eligible for two of the four big networks, even without waivers! With a phone call and the flip of a switch (plus an additional fee), we were suddenly watching the football game. The satellite company automatically requested waivers for us from the local affiliates of other two networks, and, a couple of weeks later, we were getting 3 of the 4 network signals over our satellite dish. The fourth aready comes in just fine with our antenna.
So, if you want to get network TV but thought it wasn't available, check back with your satellite company. Maybe they can help you.
C. Brunner
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You don't say whether you're on DirecTV or Dish Network, so take this accordingly.
Before I moved and downsized, I was a Dish Network customer for years and enjoyed their service. I had subscribed to the network channels early on, before it became such a political football. I could get my locals with an antenna and did, but with Dish (at least at that time) if you took the East or West network feeds, you got whatever cities' feed for that particular network that they had on the bird that you were watching. I remember that at one time, the East feeds included a NY station, and another from somewhere in the Carolinas for another network. But I digress...
I kept the network feeds as part of the service for years. Several "threatening" letters came and went, but they never dropped the service. One feature that Dish offered at the time, was the ability to "park" your account if you were going to be away for a long period of time. The deal, then, was that they turned your service off, but kept your account active and only charged you $5 per month. The idea was that when you get back, you call them and they simply turn it back on. Well, I did just that, and saved $$$ since I was out of the country for several months.
What I found out when I tried to turn everything back on, was that at that time [on my return] you had to "re-qualify" to receive the network feeds. That killed my network service, since the rules had tightened up so much. There was no way that I could claim "no coverage" living reasonably close to a big city.
So, keep in mind that if you're on Dish, and you ever take advantage of the "vacation downgrade" or whatever they call it, you may have to do the whole letter writing, and applying thing all over again.
trebor
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not that it has any bearing on the issue, but I was doing some work in Kentucky for Dish network, basically trying to find the best place to pick up that cities locals to retransmit, and had to deal with the big three GM's and I asked one of them that same question and he said that he denys all waiver requests and if they fight it he will take a test truck out to the location and make it pass if he has to go 50', they have to go 50 feet, he didn't care. You have to remember, the networks couldn't really care less if you watch the show, they want you to watch the commercials, in the TV world it is all about the commercials and if you live in a city and watch the national feeds you are not seeing their local commercials and you are making the local network less desirable to local advertisers which is their main money maker. Go take a look at a local television station, all the news technology and triple doppler radar and High Definition content are all just ploys for you to watch the commercials, that blew me away when I realized that. nataS
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