How to Shop for Satellite TV Receivers and Dishes

Written by Sarah Gustafson

Continued from page 1

But what in blue blazes is a “D10?” Isn’t that Eminem’s Detroit rap posse? No, that would be “D12,” Slim Shady. A D10 is nothing more thanrepparttar set-top box that receives DirecTV signals. It features an Advanced Program Guide interface, and is capable of receiving signals from several DirecTV satellites torepparttar 148723 tune of over 225 channels. The box itself costs about $50 retail. A “multi-switch” is, well, a switch designed to allow more than one set-top box to receive information fromrepparttar 148724 same satellite dish receiver. Some models feature built-in amplification. The model offered with this package has three different outputs to send video to TVs in three different areas of a house. Other multi-switches are designed to allow one satellite dish receiver to provide video to more than one home. As might be easily guessed, DirecTV does not encouragerepparttar 148725 sharing of its video offerings by entire neighborhoods of houses. It does, however, promise to install these devices for you, at a combined package cost of only $47.95. What a bargain! It’s a good thing RapidSatellite doesn’t charge byrepparttar 148726 acronym.

The second ad presents only one new complication,repparttar 148727 “Triple LNB Dish.” A Triple LNB Dish, also known in DirecTV parlance as a Phase III Mulitsatellite Dish, is an 18” by 20” dish receiver that collects broadcast signals from three different satellites. Customers with high-definition TV sets will definitely want to upgrade to Triple LNB, because without it, it’s impossible to receive satellite broadcasts in HDTV. “LNB” stands for “low-noise block.” It’srepparttar 148728 device that hangs offrepparttar 148729 arm ofrepparttar 148730 satellite dish and looks sort of like a flashlight. So what does it do? To find out, we first have to crane our necks and stare up into orbit. The DirecTV satellite at 101 degrees has 32 transponders, numbered 1 to 32 for some reason, each of which sends a group of channels. Back on Earth, an LNB converter responds to changes inrepparttar 148731 voltage transmitted byrepparttar 148732 DirecTV receiver by looking at eitherrepparttar 148733 odd- or even-numbered channels. A Triple LNB Dish, not too surprisingly, includes three LNB converters, each operating independently ofrepparttar 148734 other two. That way, three different DirecTV receivers can look at three different stations on three different transponders. Long story short, it means Mom can watch HGTV while Dad checks out Sports Center. Meanwhile, their progeny have gathered around a third TV set to enjoy Aqua Teen Hunger Force, all atrepparttar 148735 same time. Thanks to DVR and TiVo technology, it’s entirely possible that all three programs were recorded weeks ago.

As forrepparttar 148736 third ad, a “Hughes Director” isrepparttar 148737 standard receiver offered with basic DirecTV packages. How standard? Many DirecTV vendors are now offeringrepparttar 148738 device free with purchase of a dish receiver. Still, it’s a perfectly adequate receiver, with many ofrepparttar 148739 features offered byrepparttar 148740 snazzier DVR80. While it can’t record video, it does offer a WatchWord search feature that scans through DirecTV program menus and alertsrepparttar 148741 user when favorite shows are about to come on.

The “HR10-250” receiver is a much pricier alternative, cashing in at somewhere around a thousand bucks. Still, as Ferris Bueller once noted, “It is so choice. If you haverepparttar 148742 means, I highly recommend picking one up.” It contains four tuners and a built-in DVR with TiVo. These four tuners allow for two HD shows to be recorded at once, even asrepparttar 148743 user watches a third prerecorded show. The 250 gigabyte hard drive holds about 30 hours of HDTV, or as many as 200 hours of non-high-def video (at 480 lines of pixels). PCWorld critic Cathy Lu’s review ofrepparttar 148744 HR10-250 decided, “Cost aside,repparttar 148745 DirecTV HD DVR isrepparttar 148746 best way that I've found to watch and record HD.” She gave it four and a half stars out of five. That’s pretty good for a machine whose profoundly uninspired name makes it sound like a tax form.

Sarah Gustafson is a freelance writer and contributing author to, a site that provides satellite TV news and consumer buying advice.

Your budget and taste for gadgets will you determine what type of cell phone accessories you need

Written by Syd Johnson

Continued from page 1
lot of cellular manufacturers are now including data kits as a part of their accessory offerings. I would go for a cell phone with Bluetooth technology. This allowsrepparttar phone to interface with other electronic equipment such as Blackberrys and PCs. You can download data, upload data or customize your phone from your PC and have it done in real time.

There are car chargers, desktop chargers, sports pouches, faceplates, masks, data cables and belt clips. The list varies by manufacturer, but only your needs and budget can guide you throughrepparttar 148579 long list of cell phone accessories that available online.

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