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

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On Fri, 1 Jan 2010 19:24:42 -0600, HeyBub wrote:

Interesting. Are you saying the two dishes attached near the roof are mine by virtue of being sold with the house while the four receivers are not because they are not attached to the house?
What about the propane tank that was attached to a concrete slab. When I called around, nobody could tell me who owned it but I didn't call all suppliers. There is nothing in the paperwork about the attached propane tank.
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That's what he's saying. I can't personally verify whether that's true, but it sounds reasonable.

Since the receivers are not part of the property, it depends on who they belonged to before. If they were leased from DirecTV, they belong to them, but they may not care about getting them back (used boxes probably aren't worth what they would pay someone to go pick them up). If they belonged to the previous owners of the house then I guess they are yours and as far as I know you can sell them. Probably most useful to someone who's box has failed so they don't have to buy a new one.
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Donna DeLong wrote:

That is true of thing like light fixtures, doors, windows, etc. The dishes, though, could come under the accessory category, not a permanent mount. You don't get pictures hanging on the wall.
If you plan to get service, it may be good to have them there to avoid the hassle of a new install. I have no idea of their life though.

The propane tank is possibly the house property, but that is rare. State laws may vary, but it is typical that the tank cannot be filled by anyone but the owner, making it tough to change suppliers. Most will have a sticker on them by the company that supplied it.
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On Sat, 2 Jan 2010 07:32:31 -0500, Ed Pawlowski wrote:

I don't know how old the two dishes are but the owners who were foreclosed on bought the house in July of 2006 so they are probably of that vintage since wires below them are painted but not these dish cables.
It seems the 2 dishes are more repurposeable than the 4 receivers.

I'm sorry I took this OT, but to respond, it's a 1,100 gallon tank but it has no sticker on it.
I called around to find out who owned it but gave up after waiting on hold at several companies. Everyone I called said they'd fill it after an initial inspection. They asked for a "bill of sale" and I gave them the title papers to the house (none of which mention the propane tank other than it's working).
The propane inspection cost $125 and they checked that the earthquake straps, concrete pad and roll-down-the-hill posts were all to code. Then they filled it to 80% at $2.49/gallon (my first home owner shock!).
Back to the dishes, since I have no money (anymore), I am going to see if I can "repurpose" the satellite dishes as a TV or WiFi antenna as suggested to pluck free signals out of the air as suggested at http://www.engadget.com/2005/11/15/how-to-build-a-wifi-biquad-dish-antenna / http://ubuntu-utah.ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?pt17904 http://forums.macrumors.com/archive/index.php/t-87523.html
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Donna DeLong wrote:

That's the general rule of Real Estate law. There are, obviously, exceptions but the exceptions have to be raised by someone other than the (new) real property owner. The presumption is that if it's permanently attached to the property, it's part of the property. Some exceptions, possibly involving the propane tank, may be covered by local law. In the case of the propane tank, one resource to check is a local real-estate agent. You are probably not a pioneer regarding this issue.
Myself, I can't see much practical difference between a propane tank bolted to a concrete pad and a buried oil tank. Or a car port.
Even IF the original owner maintains some claim to the satellite dishes or the propane tank, you can reasonably assume he's abandoned them.
In the case of the satellite dishes, again, I'd remove them, doing it carefully.
My son found a dual-lnb dish set out for heavy trash. He scooped it up, took a picture, and sold it on Craigslist. Got twenty-five bucks for the thing.
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On Sat, 2 Jan 2010 07:25:05 -0600, HeyBub wrote:

I wonder how long abandonment lasts?
The foreclosed house was empty for two years.
In the end, none of the doors even locked anymore yet nobody took the receivers or the dishes (although they did take the glass microwave dish and the grill, all the pool equipment, and the fireplace burners. :(
It seems the dishes and receivers aren't all that useful unless they are used for DirecTV subscription (which I'll never get) or if I repurpose them.
It seems the 2 dishes can be repurposed as free-to-air TV and WiFi antennas and the 4 receivers can basically be sold to someone who does have a DirecTv subscription (assuming there's no money owed on them).
I would like to have TV up here in the hills. Should I just put up a really good TV antenna hooked to the 10,000 gallon water tank instead?
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I take the stuff off them, and use them for bird feeders and bird baths. Maybe a "water feature" with cascading water from one to another. Electronically, they are worthless. Maybe a buck's worth of copper in all of them.
Steve
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On 01/01/2010 06:08 PM, Donna DeLong wrote:

They are good for boat anchors or door stops. They don't want them back. They give them out free.
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On Sat, 02 Jan 2010 10:53:18 -0500, Van Chocstraw wrote:

In summary, it seems the receivers are only good for someone who has DirecTV (as a spare for example), and even then, someone said only if no money is owed on them (or the cards in them).
I'd wager money is owed on the DirecTV because the house was a foreclosure and there were piles and piles of old mail in the mailbox much of which was collection agency stuff.
I'm thinking the 2 dish antennas may be more usable but then I have to compare their usefulness to just buying a really good antenna to pluck TV signals out of the air up here a few thousand feet up above the valley.
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On 01/02/10 11:53 am, Donna DeLong wrote:

For several years now DirecTV's contracts have said that even if you "buy" a DirecTV receiver or Digital Video Recorder, it is still considered to be leased and remains the property of DirecTV: the "purchase price" (whether they come directly from DirecTV or from Best Buy or from ...) is merely the initial payment.
I have read of cases where people have acquired DirecTV receivers (e.g., on eBay) that DirecTV claimed belonged to them: on the one hand they refused to reactivate them for the new "owner"; but OTOH they did not want them back.
I think your safest bet would be to write to DirecTV, quoting the model numbers, serial numbers and the numbers on the cards, and ask what you should do with them -- making clear that you are not interested in subscribing to DirecTV yourself.
If DirecTV says they don't want them back -- or simply does not respond at all after a month or two, I guess that leaves you in the clear to do whatever you want with them.
As for the dishes... The older round or slightly elliptical ones are being replaced for High-Definition service via new satellites. When our old one was replaced, the installer threw it down on the ground but took away the LNBs (the more-or-less cylindrical gizmos that point into the dish). He would have taken away the slightly damaged dish but was happy to leave it for me to repurpose.
Perce
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On Sat, 02 Jan 2010 14:06:53 -0500, Percival P. Cassidy wrote:

Interesting. That would mean I can't sell them but I don't really want to go to that trouble for 20 bucks each anyway. That's one reason why I was wondering what good they were (to me).

Oh. I didn't think about the "reactivation" needed. So, if I wanted DirecTV or the Dish Network, I'd have to call them to activate the 4 receivers and they would if money wasn't owed on them?

I should do this. The only thing I'm worried about is that they'll want to also remove their two dishes on the roofline boards (it doesn't seem clear who owns them even though they're "attached" to the house).

This is a reasonable plan. I don't actually have any "plans" for the 4 satellite receivers (Sony SAT-B55 Digital Satellite Receiver; Sony SAT-B65 Digital Satellite Receiver; DirectTV H10 HD Receiver;DirectTV H11 Satellite Receiver).
I was just wondering if the satellite receivers were "useful" to me in some way.
Apparently the only real use for satellite receivers is for me to sell them to someone who has DirecTV or Dish Network; but that's not worth it for me for the 20 bucks each would fetch on Craigslist.

These look round and are about a foot and a half in diameter. Does that make them the old ones or the newer ones?
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No,just the ACCESS card.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DirecTV
--
Jim Yanik
jyanik
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Donna DeLong wrote:

List them on Craig's List or ebay and hope you make a few bucks.
--- ---
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DA had written this in response to http://www.thestuccocompany.com/maintenance/What-to-do-with-4-Digital-Satellite-Receivers-forclosed-hom-416131-.htm :
Donna DeLong wrote:

Assuming the dishes are properly mounted and the cables leading to the receivers are still intact, the installed dishes by themselves may be worth much more than the trouble of removing them and selling the individual components on eBay can fetch you. The receivers can be relatively easily upgraded by just buying new ones but the labor to install the dishes and run the cable to the receiver is a fixed cost, already paid for by someone else. Unless your HOA has a problem with the dishes, I would just leave them until you decide if you want the service. Assuming this is an older DirectTV install, maybe you can get some kind of an upgrade deal from them for the four receivers? Worth a call to them (if you want the service of course)
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On Sun, 03 Jan 2010 00:41:37 +0000, DA wrote:

That makes sense. I assume the dishes work with any supplier (although they have the DirecTV logo printed on them which I can see from the ground).
I guess what you're suggesting is: a) Leave the 2 dishes where they are (with all the wires running into the house as they are)
b) Get rid of the 4 satellite receivers (Ebay or otherwise)
c) If I ever wish to have DirecTV or Dish Network, then just call them for new satellite receivers and cards.
Is that the suggestion?
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DA had written this in response to http://www.thestuccocompany.com/maintenance/Re-What-to-do-with-4-Digital-Satellite-Receivers-forclosed-416412-.htm : Donna DeLong wrote:

That would be the wisest thing to do IMHO. Cables can be moved if the length allows but if the current locations make sense given your new furniture layout, I would just leave all cabling as is. Worst thing that can happen - you will realize they were NOT properly installed to begin with and have to be re-pulled. Even then the old cables can prove useful by becoming essentially pull-strings for the new ones.

I guess I would swap b) and c) - call DirectTV first, see if any deal is to be had with the old receivers in it, then sell them for $10-$20 on eBay if they were not required. I think these days you'd definitely want HD channels and those old receivers are not going to provide that.
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On Sun, 03 Jan 2010 17:03:44 +0000, DA wrote:

I'm going to take your suggestion and leave the cables where they lie. http://blogs.consumerreports.org/electronics/2009/02/dtv-tips-choosing-and-using-an-antenna--1.html
I'm currently looking up over-the-air (OTA) TV reception and I found from online resources that I can find the GPS coordinates of my dish antenna as the starting point for a new OTA TV antenna.
Since the roof is a tile roof, I'll probably try to have the antenna mounted on the chimney but going to the coax cable at the DirecTV dish (which I will disconnect and just leave there).
The online FCC web pages tell me I need a large directional UHF & Hi-V TV antenna with a pre-amp (violet type) and a remote-controlled motor to aim to south.
Specifically, due to line-of-sight mountainous terrain, my OTA TV reception realistically seems to be only these 4 channels: 1. PBS UHF Strong (-37dBm, ESE 123 degrees) 2. CBS UHF Strong (-51dBm, N 8 degrees) 3. NBC HiV Medium (-60dBm, N 6 degrees) 4. FOX HiV Medium (-67dBm, SSE 141 degrees) And maybe: 5. ABC HiV Weak (-84dBm, ESE 123 degrees)
I'm still looking up what a "dbM" is and how much amplifier "power" I need to get a good signal out of those figures (-84 dBm to -37 dBm). If you know of a web site that will calculate the size of amplifier needed, that would be helpful as I haven't found a good online amplifier power calculator yet.
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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DBm
Db(a ratio) in milliwatts = DBm generally specified into a particular impedance,like 600,50 or 75 ohms.
--
Jim Yanik
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On Sun, 03 Jan 2010 12:23:14 -0600, Jim Yanik wrote:

The problem I'm trying to figure out is what OTA TV antenna to buy and what power to use for the preamplifier given these reception numbers.
For example, if I use a DB8 antenna with a specification of: http://www.showmecables.com/viewItem.asp?idproductQ87 ) # High gain across entire UHF band (UHF channels 14-69) # Max Gain 15.8 dB
How do I figure out if 15.8 dB is enough to receive the signal of the PBS station in my area, which apparently has the following reception:
* PBS, KTEH, UHF Analog channelT.1, digital channelP, * Strong signal, Power=-64 dBm, NM&.8 dB (how do I use these numbers?) * Distance!.1 miles, Pathdge (does "Path" matter?)
Is it obvious to you or do I need to run a calculation to see if 15.8 dB is enough gain for this strongest station in my area?
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Donna DeLong wrote:

http://blogs.consumerreports.org/electronics/2009/02/dtv-tips-choosing-and-using-an-antenna--1.html
Don't mount the antenna on the chimney! The difference between 28,000 miles and 27,999 miles, 5,260 feet is negligible.
Mount the antenna on the ground. It's easier to aim and easier to clear of leaves, snow, and bird shit.

If you're going to use one antenna, you'll have to aim it at at least three different places. Tough to do if it's on the freakin' roof.
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