What to do with 4 Digital Satellite Receivers (forclosed home came with them)

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I bought a foreclosed home and it came with two satellite dishes and four things called "Digital Satellite Receiver", e.g., Sony SAT-B55 with an "Access Card" in the slot in back.
What would you do with these four satellite receivers?
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On Fri, 1 Jan 2010 15:08:45 -0800, Donna DeLong wrote:

I should mention I can call DirectTV to ask them to take them back but does Direct-TV actually come to my house to get them (which is a pain) and will they insist on removing the two antennas on the tile roof?
I don't see anything useful I can do with the four Direct TV satellite receivers so they can have them but I don't want anyone crawling on the tile roof to break even more tiles (I already have to get dozens of broken ones fixed, presumably from their installers).
In summary, is there anything "useful" I can do with these four direct TV digital satellite receivers (what would YOU do with them?)?
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I see them all the time in second hand stores. Someone must want them. Actually I think electronic hobbyist buy them.
Jimmie
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On Fri, 1 Jan 2010 15:27:06 -0800 (PST), JIMMIE wrote:

Maybe someone can tell me what good these are.
Here are the four that were left, cordless, in the house (all with cards): * Sony SAT-B55 Digital Satellite Receiver (card in rear slot) * Sony SAT-B65 Digital Satellite Receiver (card in front slot) * DirectTV H10 HD Receiver (card in front slot) * DirectTV H11 Satellite Receiver (card in front slot)
What would a typical person do with these 4 boxes (and the two dishes on the tile roof)?
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On 1/1/2010 5:47 PM, Donna DeLong wrote:

Search "completed auctions" on e-Bay and you will find a bunch of them that have sold. That should give you a pretty good idea of their value. It appears that the majority of them bring somewhere in the neighborhood of $20 each.
Don
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IGot2P wrote:

If you bother to post an ad, make sure you call the satt company and see if they can be activated first- that is the first question the potential buyer will ask. If the magic number off the box or card has money owed on it, all it is good for is parts. I buy them for the hard drives, if they are DVRs. I wouldn't go ebay, shipping is absurdly high for the few bucks you will get. I'd go local ad paper or Craig's List.
-- aem sends...
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On Fri, 01 Jan 2010 19:45:45 -0500, aemeijers wrote:

What exactly do I ask the DirectTV company? Do I ask "can these be activated?"
And, how would I know if money is owed on them? I suspect if the previous ownes were foreclosed, they didn't pay their DirectTV bill (I heard the gardeners were never paid so they broke all the sprinklers as revenge.)
The one good thing about hard drives is I use the curved magnets on my refrigerator so it will be interesting if they have decent hard drives in them.
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On Fri, 1 Jan 2010 15:47:39 -0800, Donna DeLong

Good for nothing unless you subscribe to DTV service and activate the units. Likely they would send a new card (?) for the boxes.

Acquire "satellite" signals from space, for your television viewing.
Are you certain the dishes are mounted on the roof?! They sometimes need adjustment, so going on the roof is burdensome. In my town of 2 million people, I've never seen one on the roof.
Check to see if they are mounted on the fascia board with lag bolts, and not on the roof. Simple to remove using a ladder and hand tools.
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I travel extensively between Omaha-KC-OKC-Dallas-San Antonio and very frequently see dishes mounted on rooftops. I'm not sure I've seen them on tile roofs, however. That does sound unusual.
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On Fri, 01 Jan 2010 22:19:00 -0600, Char Jackson wrote:

It was my mistake. The two gray DirectTV dishes are actually on the boards at the lip of the roof (not on the tiles themselves).
Lots of tiles are broken so I figured the guy who put them up walked on the roof as the wires are draped across the roof, but maybe he used a ladder.
I'm wondering if I should leave them there (perhaps they are of some use somehow to me, no or in the future?) or have the DirectTV company pull them down.
What would you do with the two dishes on the boards near the lip of the roof?
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On Fri, 1 Jan 2010 22:36:18 -0800, Donna DeLong

If it were me who purchased a house with a couple of dishes installed and I had no intention of using them now or in the foreseeable future, I'd remove the dishes and caulk the mounting holes.
To me, they look ugly. Even more so if they aren't being used. Secondly, when the wind blows, the dishes are putting extra stress on the boards on which they're mounted.
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On Sat, 02 Jan 2010 01:40:54 -0600, Char Jackson wrote:

I wonder if the two ~18" DirecTV dishes would be useful as a WiFi antenna? http://www.engadget.com/2005/11/15/how-to-build-a-wifi-biquad-dish-antenna / http://www.trevormarshall.com/biquad.htm http://martybugs.net/wireless/biquad /
Or maybe I can repurpose the DirecTV dishes as Free-to-Air TV antennas (with a suitable FTA receiver)? http://www.topbits.com/what-is-free-to-air.html http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free-to-air
Any experience out there in that?
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Direct TV wont come out to take them down-Unless YOU are prepared to pay for a Service Call.
Put them on CRAIGSLIST in the FREE section and someone will happily come and take them down for you.
Explain that they'll need to bring a ladder with them and add in the 'AD' that the climbing is 'at their own risk". Have them caulk the holes where the lag screws were..YOU may need to have a tube of caulking ready when they get there.
If you were in my town (Tus AZ) I' d come and get them.
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On Fri, 01 Jan 2010 16:31:02 -0800, Oren wrote:

But do the satellite dishes do anything for me (perhaps in the future)?

Oh. You're right. Both are mounted at the corners (two opposite corners) on the wood vertical boards. A 28' ladder might get to them w/o walking on the tile roof so your suggestion is a good idea.
I'm inclined to leave them (in case I need them in the future, but, w/o the receivers, I'm not sure what good the satellite dishes are).
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On Fri, 01 Jan 2010 16:31:02 -0800, Oren wrote:

I checked each of the DirecTV cards in the 4 receivers.
They seem to be the latest DirecTV "P4 ISO7816 smart access cards" (which came after 2002) as shown in the picture on this web page.
http://www.topbits.com/kinds-of-directv-access-cards.html
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Yep Engadget has a build your own bi-quad using the dishes picks up wifi 30 miles away and using this bi-quad as digital antennas for tv are ten times more stronger because of the huge surface area of the collector concentrating the signal to a focal point verse an array!
Hooked to rotor you can get local stations twice as far away ,as an array,without pixelization!
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On Sat, 2 Jan 2010 02:28:56 -0800 (PST), joeturn wrote:

Interesting. Do I understand this right? You're saying I can "repurpose" the two spare satellite dishes and 4 receivers as a "regular" TV antenna (and a WiFi antenna too)?
That would be wonderful!
There is no cable or DSL up here in the mountains so it would be useful to pluck "regular" TV right out of the air (just like in the olden days).
Is this the article you're referring to? http://www.engadget.com/2005/11/15/how-to-build-a-wifi-biquad-dish-antenna /
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I'm beginning to realize I should just throw away the 4 satellite receivers and concentrate on finding a use for the 2 dish antennas.
I noticed there is something called "Free To Air" satellite reception. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free-to-air
Do you think I can use the existing 18" circular DirecTV dishes and just buy a FTA receiver to replace the 4 DirecTV receivers in the house (as suggested here)? http://www.topbits.com/what-is-free-to-air.html
Do I understand FTA correctly that all I need is one FTA receiver and I can get free television signals from an existing DirecTV dish?
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On Sat, 2 Jan 2010 23:42:36 -0800, Donna DeLong wrote:

Yep - since these are tied to a proprietary receiver box, etc.

Normally FTP requires either a 1.7 meter ku-band dish, or an 8 foot analog dish. The second one will receive a greater number of interesting FTA channels - for example Classic Arts Showcase. There are also a lot of relatively low priced subscriptions services directed at North American markets, available for the 8 footers. I did my own survey several years ago, when I decided to drop cable, and as far as I could tell the FTA that the ku-birds carry is mostly religious junk, though there are exceptions, things like NASA.
The best way to have fun with ku-band is to move to Europe, where most material, including some HBO channels, is nationally funded, in effect FTA.

You also need the receiver box, and a motorized mount so that it can aim at the various satellites. There are kits for this in the several hundred dollar range that include the dish, mount, and computer card to drive the dish. You are still limited by the poor selection of channels available in the US.
I'm posting from the gps group - I'd aim a virtual dish at some of the alt.satellite.tv groups for more info.
--
Mike Russell - http://www.curvemeister.com

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Oops - ku dishes are less than a meter in diameter - as small as .7, not 1.7m as I said in my last post.
--
Mike Russell - http://www.curvemeister.com

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