TiVo with Dish Network = boom?
March 11, 2006 7:01 PM   Subscribe

TiVo with Dish Network in a 30-year-old high-rise Chicago building?

I'm finally taking the plunge - getting a DVR. I know, I'm way behind.

I am concerned, however, because when I called Dish Network to get a DVR through them (you know, swap out my current receiver for a DVR receiver), they told me my apartment building (owned by a massive, national leasing company) has asked that Dish not install DVRs in the building. The CSR told me that they don't often see this kind of request, but when they do, it has something to do with the electricity that DVRs draw (??).

Is my building making this request for some safety reason? Is there something I should know before I buy a TiVo instead of the Dish Network DVR? I don't want my TiVo/receiver to explode, and I certainly don't want to short out the entire building (or a portion thereof).

Some more history on the building - built in 1975, it has not undergone a gut rehab or a whole ton of updating. Despite that, it's a very nice building, very well-maintained, in downtown Chicago. No high-speed networking. I have DSL with a wireless connection. My TiVo would be connected to a land line for updates. My Dish Network receiver is Dish model 3750. The TiVo I am interested in purchasing is the 80-hour Series2 DVR. I've lived here for more than three years, and I have never received a letter or policy notification about this. The building switched from RCN cable to Dish Network approximately 18 months ago. The satellite dish is located on the top of our building and is managed by the leasing company. Programming is provided through a coaxial cable connection in every apartment. Basic channels are included in rent fees, but additional programming is available through a receiver (which I obviously have).

If you have any advice to offer on using or purchasing TiVo with Dish Network, I'd appreciate hearing that as well.

Thanks to all!
posted by MeetMegan to Technology (7 answers total)
Best answer: DVRs shouldn't draw very much current.... certainly less tha, say, a vacuum cleaner (which I assume they allow!) I call BS on the Dish Network people.

If they won't let you get a DVR, you could probably rig up one of your own with a space PC, a TV tuner card, and software such as Beyond TV or SageTV. If you're not familiar with any of this stuff, the articles at Build Your Own PVR are a good source to read.
posted by fvox13 at 7:11 PM on March 11, 2006

I call bullshit as well. I used to work for a massive national leasing company also based out of Denver (not yours) and I can tell you that they did not prevent people from using DVRs or satellite dishes.

I know that my old company had worked out a deal with Comcast to provide cable service to all of their properties in the Comcast areas at a discounted rate... but that was several years ago (I remember seeing some of the details in archived files on the company network, dating back to 1999 and 2000).

Perhaps your company has done something similar... working out a deal with the local cable monopoly to try and push you towards using cable.

Anyway, I would suggest that you contact someone in the company -- skip the community manager and go directly to their regional or district manager, or even to someone in the corporate offices, and ask them if this is their policy.

In fact, you could email the CIO directly. From their website, his name is Daniel E. Amedro, and from googling the domaine name for listed email addresses, it looks like it would either be danielamedro@archstonesmith.com or damedro@archstonesmith.com.
posted by Jim T at 7:53 PM on March 11, 2006

Ah. And it looks like I skipped some of your post about the centralized dish on top of the building. Stupid not-reading-the-whole-post-before-responding problem.

But I still recommend contacting the CIO and asking him if that is the policy.
posted by Jim T at 7:58 PM on March 11, 2006

My TiVo would be connected to a land line for updates

Landline? ReplayTV connects using ethernet (or wireless) for guide and show streaming. I've heard that Tivos can also do this now. WHy use your phone line when you have DSL?

And the draws-too-much-current story is just rubbish.
posted by meehawl at 8:23 PM on March 11, 2006

Response by poster: Meehawl, I need to purchase another component to connect the TiVo to my wireless network. I'm not the world's most accomplished techie and I figured it was just one more thing to worry about. I need the land line to have the DSL to begin with (that's the way my building works - it's through SBC...I mean AT&T...Dish Network doesn't provide DSL to our building) so I have it anyways. Might as well use it, particularly because I handily have a phone jack about 2 feet away from the entertainment center where I will be using the TiVo.
posted by MeetMegan at 8:51 PM on March 11, 2006

Just order a TiVo and be done with it. Dish's DVR sucks anyway.
posted by k8t at 12:12 AM on March 12, 2006

I'll call bullshit too.

How much power it draws? Better not buy any new electronic devices as they might overload your building.

Next time a CSR answers something like this...ask for it in writing...or their supervisor. Call back and see if a different CSR gives a different answer.
posted by filmgeek at 6:27 AM on March 12, 2006

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