Is there a way I can get Seattle TV channels from DirecTV even though I live in the Portland, OR market?
May 4, 2010 8:17 AM   Subscribe

Is there a way I can get Seattle TV channels from DirecTV even though I live in the Portland, OR market?

I live in Southwest Washington State - about 30 miles north of Portland, OR. The location is considered part the Portland TV market so we are only allowed Portland local channels. There is a vacuum of news coverage here concerning Washington State affairs, politics, government, etc. On the other hand, we're well informed about Oregon affairs which are mostly irrelevant.

Is there any way to get around this barrier? I have no objection to paying for additional service. What is the source of this policy?
posted by jorlando to Law & Government (5 answers total)
If you know someone who lives in the Seattle area, you could change your service address and get the Seattle channels. DirecTV uses directional antennas on its satellites, but the Seattle broadcast should still cover Portland OK. This is technically against their terms of service but they'd have no way to tell as long as you don't order PPV from the receiver (which would cause it to have to dial in).
posted by kindall at 8:27 AM on May 4, 2010

Yeah, I've done this repeatedly. One time, I did it just so I could get a Philly station because I was in one of their stories on the local news. I changed it back a couple of weeks later. You don't need to know anyone there, as long as you know of an actual address in the metro area where you want stations. Then just call them up, say you've moved already and got the dish set up, wired, etc. already, so you're just calling to let them know of the new address.

They even distinguish between "service address" and "mailing address," so you can change your service address with them, but keep your mailing address in Oregon, so you still get bills, etc. (though this won't matter if you do paperless billing).

PPV works fine, too -- nowadays, with VoIP, people porting numbers, etc., the caller ID information is very often unrelated to the physical location of the call. Plus, newer boxes do the ordering over the Internet, not a phone line.

The only caveat is that if you ever need to have them come out -- whether it's to add/upgrade a box, or run new wire, or whatever -- they're going to go by the service address. So you may have to change it a week or two beforehand, or just have a local freelance installer (and there's plenty of them) do the work instead.

I'm . . . just going to stop talking now. :-)
posted by CommonSense at 8:53 AM on May 4, 2010

Response by poster: Hmmm Hadn't thought of changing the service address.... hafta consider doing that. Better make sure there is no service already at that address tho ;->
posted by jorlando at 8:59 AM on May 4, 2010

Yep, totally works. Often, you'll see your channel lineup change while you're still on the phone with them. :-)
posted by CommonSense at 10:12 AM on May 4, 2010

Some people on satellite forums use the address of a McDonald's in the desired location as their service address.
posted by theclaw at 11:47 AM on May 4, 2010

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