I have a friend that is splitting his subscription 3 ways.
Direct TV is furnishing him the full package. It runs around 110$ a
month last time we talked about it. Plus he pays $5x3 for the extra
He has 2 of the boxes in his house and one at his parents house and
one at his wife's parents house. 3 families split 125 and get
But,I wonder if he could be prosecuted for cable signal fraud? That usage
may be contrary to the subscription agreement.
(with possible BIG fines)
Wouldn't DirectTV notice that 2 of their boxes are on different phone
Heck,they might even monitor UseNet newsgroups for this sort of info.
There is no requirement for DirecTV to be on a phone line for normal operations.
None of ours have been since they were activated. As far as that goes, what's
to stop someone from bringing all the receivers to the subscriber's house to get
activated, then carrying them back to their ultimate home? DirecTV can't tell
where the signal goes, since it goes everywhere anyway.
Would this be fraudulent? Hell, yes. The chances of getting caught are nil but
if you do I'd imagine it'd be your ass.
My friend said that all 3 homes subscribed to Direct TV for a year.
This gave them all the hardware and installation free.
After the year, one of them had Direct TV install 3 more boxes in the
single home and added all the channels. This gave one subscriber 4
boxes with every channel.
The other two dropped their service and used 2 of the 4 boxes.
This is old news to satellite providers. Satellite TV companies do
unannounced phone audits of customers with multiple boxes; if you don't
respond to the audit they shut down your service; if you can't provide data
on all of your boxes they can (will!) stop service to the suspect units --
and you'll never get them back onto the same base plan again.
Sounds like a good way to start up intra-family squabbles.
DTV can do an instant binary edit/write to the card, but not without a
phone line connected. IIRC.
Up to the death of HU cards and the early P5 card a Satellite had no
beariing on an "audit".
"The voices in my head may not be real, but they have some good ideas!"
They can download anything they want into your DTV rx via the sat link. I
haven't had mine hooked up to a phone in years. The DTV version of Tivo
gets all updates from the sat. Back when a friend was pirating DTV his
cards to the hit without a landline hooked up.
I've had DTV for 10 years and never hooked up to phone line after the first
year. Nearby lighting strikes roasted the modem in the receiver so I never
bothered to connect the phone line after that. Never been phone audited and
order ppv through their web sight.
What is the phone audit all about anyway, are you saying you get a call from
DTV wanting s/n's from your receivers?
Yes -- we have four receivers (Living Room, 2 Bedrooms, hobby room), and
about two months after installation we got a call auditing our use of the
receivers, asking for a couple of code numbers out of the software for each
receiver. This required going to each room, turning on the system and
getting setup info on the screen. Being careful and not sure who was
actually calling, I wouldn't answer their questions and asked for their
phone number. Then I called Dish TV (my provider) but their customer
service wasn't aware of what was happening (so I didn't return the auditer's
phone call). Two days later my satellite service was shut off, even though
I was paid up. I called CS again, they transferred me to the audit company,
and we went through our system receiver by receiver. They told me at the
time that they would shut down any receivers that couldn't be audited and
would start charging a monthly fee to have them reinstated. Within an hour
of the end of the audit satellite service was restored.
The audit was not particularly friendly (I won't go into details, but they
appeared to be starting from the position that I was cheating on them by
having receivers spread out in several houses.) There have been a few times
when I have seriously considered terminating the Dish TV service, and this
was one of those time. If I hadn't had a lot of my money already tied up by
purchasing the Dish receivers, I probably would have moved to Direct TV at
that time. I did make a formal complaint to Dish TV Customer Service about
this procedure, and it hasn't happened to me since.
It may be that if you only have two receivers you're a less visible
target -- certainly someone with four receivers is in the top few % of their
business and anyone trying to get away with having receivers in multiple
houses is likely to have four or more receivers, so we were an obvious
Which really shows just how poorly the one box per room design is. 4
TVs is not an uncommon thing. Paying rent to the satellite company
for 4 is. It is a very unfair charge.
The unscrambling design could have been done on the incoming signal
before splitting it to the rooms. It was a conscious decision on the
part of the satellite company to charge more. Most people don't pay
extra and are inconvenienced by having to watch the same show in more
than one room. The tuner and the remote control for the TV are
It is the main reason I am still using Cable.
Clearly you have a very poor understanding of how the Satellite
systems work and more importantly how the descrambler works. I sure
don't think you would be willing to pay the price of a descrambler
that would have to descramble all the signals for hundreds of channels
and post them on different frequencies on your internal wiring.
Descrambling multiple channels simultaneously requires equipment per
channel. The number of channels available is normally much greater
than the number of channels being watched at any one time.
Unscrambling all channels as they enter the house would therefore be
much more expensive.
To make Bob and Mark's explanation a bit clearer.
Each 'unscrambler' can only do one channel at a time. You tune to
channel 24, 24 is all that is unscrambled. You want just one box, no
problem but every tv in the house would have to watch the same
Of course you could have an (expensive) stack of 40 unscramblers,
each set to a different channel, connected to an RF modulator
operating on a different channel, and combine their outputs. Then you
could watch any of those 40 channels on any TV at the same time
without additional unscramblers.
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.