To Charge or Not to Charge: Did You Roll a Truck for DirecTV Update?

DirecTV's software update initiated the Energy Saver mode in some of its HD satellite receivers. It meant a truck roll for integrators with technophobe clients. Can you charge them for pressing a button?

Jason Knott · February 16, 2012

“To charge or not to charge… that is the question.”

Last week DirecTV gave a reason for every integration company to have a responsive service department, but the bigger question is how many dealers charged for a service call caused by the satellite receiver software update?

Here’s the story… just like several years ago when DirecTV changed its channel lineup overnight, last weekend the company did a software upgrade for certain HD satellite receivers that turned on the Energy Saver mode. According to industry forum posts, the updates occurred on the HR24-500 units but not on the HR21 units.

The Energy Saver mode automatically puts the receiver into standby to save energy after so many hours of idleness. The result is a loss of picture and sound until the receiver is turned back on or any one of the following buttons is pressed:

  • LIST
  • MENU
  • INFO

Homeowners can also bypass the Energy Saver mode in the receiver’s Setting menu. The software upgrade caught many homeowners by surprise and some dealers still have clients who won’t try to “fix” anything themselves but instead just pick up the phone and call your service department.

The question for integrators is: can you charge the client for such a simple service call fix like this? Clients of CE Pro 100 integrator DSI Entertainment Systems in Los Angeles who had blacked-out TVs were concerned about hosting Grammy Awards-watching parties. The company’s service department was fielding requests all weekend.

What do you think… charge or no charge?

Secure Your Free Pass to CEDIA EXPO 2019

Register before Sept. 2 to gain free access to the opening keynote, product training & education series as well as the show floor including Innovation Alley and much more. Don’t miss your chance. Sign up today.

  About the Author

Jason Knott is Chief Content Officer for Emerald Expositions Connected Brands. Jason has covered low-voltage electronics as an editor since 1990, serving as editor and publisher of Security Sales & Integration. He joined CE Pro in 2000 and serves as Editor-in-Chief of that brand. He served as chairman of the Security Industry Association’s Education Committee from 2000-2004 and sat on the board of that association from 1998-2002. He is also a former board member of the Alarm Industry Research and Educational Foundation. He has been a member of the CEDIA Business Working Group since 2010. Jason graduated from the University of Southern California. Have a suggestion or a topic you want to read more about? Email Jason at

Follow Jason on social media:

Jason also participates in these groups:
LinkedIn · Google+

View Jason Knott's complete profile.

  Article Topics

Blogs · DirecTV · DSI Entertainment · All Topics
CE Pro Magazine

Read More Articles Like This… With A Free Subscription

CE Pro magazine is the resource you need to keep up-to-date on the latest products, techniques, designs and business practices. Subscribe today!

Subscribe Today!