Tuesday, May 02, 2006

"24" : Technical Difficulties

I missed almost 40 minutes of the episode last night. Not my fault, well, sorta.

3 years ago when we switched from DirecTV to Dish Network, the installer guy who must have been afraid of heights insisted on installing the dish on the side of the house, about 4 feet off the ground. This thing has been a bane to lawnmowing since. It sticks out of the side of the house at just chest level almost 3 feet out. To make it even more stranger, it points directly into a hedge of honeysuckle and beyond that a massive oak tree. I questioned the wisdom of this cuz even I know that you can't point a minidish at shrubbery and expect to get a decent signal-but the guy insisted this was the best possible location. (contrary to the DTV guy who wisely mounted their dish ON OUR ROOF because of the shrubbery issue years ago.)
This works fine in the winter and fall, but come spring and summer our reception can be iffy at best. Until just now it wasn't a big issue, because most of the channels that futz out because of the vegetation in spring have been all those dreadful shopping channels and ESPN. Don't watch 'em, so I didn't miss them.

This season it has become a problem. Now alot of the channels we watch on a regular basis crap out. I have pruned, clipped and yanked out offending vegetation in an attempt to improve reception to no avail. There's only so much you can do. Reception is better in the evenings, I've noticed. During the day-forgitaboutit. Our main offender is the huge oak tree, it has begun to leaf out and now that has doomed getting any locals channels, until the cool of the evening, when the leaves droop ever so slightly.
The company that installed that dish has gone under (gee, wonder why?) and another company has taken over the franchise. I called them. The guy was clueless as to what to do. He runs several bizs at his store-car stereos, cell phones, U haul rentals and now, Dish Network.
I suggested that maybe he could send his installer guy out here and reposistion the dish to someplace more sensible-LIKE THE ROOF! But he didn't think that would be a good idea.
First off I have the bigger dish for HDTV. And those are for ground applications or side mounts.
I would have to in essence buy an entire new system, with a smaller dish for a roof application, plus pay for the service call...total tab, about 250 bucks!!!
I'm sure it made sense to him on his end, but to me I smelled fish. Since he's noway an expert on satellite dishes, but merely a salesman for the product I don't think he was really putting too much thought or effort into a solution, now if by some chance I wanted a kickass car audio system-well, he would be the go-to man, but dishes...? One could move the current dish about 5 feet up that side wall of the house and get a clearer signal, but he still insisted that wasn't the way. Short of cutting down all the hedges and the 200 yr.old+ oak tree, a roof mount with all the extra expenses would be the only way. Arrrrrrgggghhhh.
So that's where it stands now. Since I'm on the countyline, just about, I'm considering calling the 'other' Dish Network franchise in the other town near me, in the next county and see what they say.

So long story short, that's why I missed most of "24". There was much wailing and gnashing of teeth in the WTR/HQ last night. Then the reception suddenly kicked in about 35 minutes into the show, once it got darky-dark outside here.

I did get to see Chloe zap the bothersome drunk for the second time with the stungun. That made me laugh and wish I had had one of those gizmos handy when I was a young wild thing and going to the bars.
Somehow, someway this issue will be rectified by next Monday!


Blogger Kathy said...

Well that sucks! I know how you really look forward to your 24. Wishing you better results next week.

5/02/2006 10:27 AM  
Blogger Lemuel Calhoon said...

Switch to the other dish service and get a free instalation and a free DVR.

5/02/2006 7:00 PM  
Blogger white trash republican said...

Well, after several phone calls today, I ended up at Dish network' C/S line. They're hooking me up with a new dish, that can go on the roof if needs be, taking that old crappy one away. 59 bucks, total. I can deal with that. AND it'll be done on Sunday! Just in time!
Sorry, Lem...DirectV is not an option with us. Had 'em before, they screwed us royal and they don't have the package at a price I like anyway. We can live without a DVR.
I guess I shoulda called the C/S number first, but in the past they've just directed us to local guys, so I thought I'd go that route first.

5/02/2006 9:36 PM  
Blogger Patrick Joubert Conlon said...

Again you did good. What a practical sensible hillbilly you are.

The joys of rural living. We got Dish because the Direct guy sells microwaves and doesn't know a satellite dish from a microwave turn-table but the Dish guy has one worker who knows what's what eventhough their main business is hot-tubs.

5/03/2006 12:17 AM  
Blogger white trash republican said...

Practical? Most times. Sensible? That's open for debate.
; )

5/03/2006 7:12 AM  

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