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Best Satellite Provider?


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#1 BruceDouglas

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Posted 08 April 2014 - 10:05 AM

Direct TV vs. Dish Network.  Which provider is recommended by seasoned RVers?  Any suggestions will be welcomed.

 


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#2 jlandon13399

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Posted 08 April 2014 - 10:43 AM

I have found the HD quality of Direct TV to be a bit better than Dish....just my opinion.
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#3 BillAdams

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Posted 08 April 2014 - 10:50 AM

Both are just as good (or as bad) as the other.  You need to look into the specific programming you like to ensure you get what you like.  Dish has free HD and DirecTV charges $10/month.  DirecTV's satellites have a much better location and are easier to acquire Nationwide.  Dish has pay-as-you-go service and DirecTV requires a contract.  If HD is not important, DirecTV uses only one satellite for their SD and Dish uses 2.  I prefer DirecTV only for the location of their satellites and ease of use.  DirecTV also still has the DNS service available and Dish has discontinued it.


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#4 cmarq

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Posted 08 April 2014 - 06:39 PM

I use Dish at home and take a receiver in the MH when we go. I have had problems popup at home and in the MH.  Customer service in both cases has been excellent!   Both the reps on the phone and the tech who came to the house were very pleasant and helpful.


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#5 hermanmullins

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Posted 08 April 2014 - 07:10 PM

Bruce,
Welcome to the Forum. The best question is "who do you have now". As Bill said, both are good and not so good. I have Dish and am very happy with them. Go with your gut.

Herman
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#6 mrsrodeo

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Posted 09 April 2014 - 06:54 AM

We use Dish for both home and travel.  We had an awful experience with DirectTV in our home system when we called for tech support, and cancelled them.  We went with Dish about 13 years ago and have been happy with them since.  We have the same programming in the MH that we have at home, and love the pay as you go feature.


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#7 WhiteEagle

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Posted 09 April 2014 - 03:09 PM

We've had Dish for several years in house and in RV.. had problems initially (probably operator error) has been working great for past 2 years.since we upgraded everything to HD .... like being able to make a tech call whenever we move locations and get all local channels wherever we are... Have Big ten network and found out that even tho we have it, the BTN isn't broadcast outside of mid-US.... that may change ..I was however available on Direct TV even in FL and AL....


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#8 lmakin

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Posted 10 August 2014 - 05:22 PM

We are in the process of purchasing our first satellite system and see the prices are way out there, $150 to $2,000.  We see that some are mountable and some are portable.   We have Direct TV at home in 4 rooms of the house.  But I understand that an RV satellite is completely separate from your service at home.  I would like to hear from those who already have systems. I want to be able to turn on the TV and get reception.  We have been traveling part time for a while and never get many stations with our antennas.  Going to spend 3 or more months this year in the Motorhome.


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#9 Elkhartjim

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Posted 10 August 2014 - 07:07 PM

Imakin, do a forum search and you'll get lots of info.  The short answer is you need four things: a tv, a satellite dish of some sort, a satellite receiver and a satellite subscription to either Dish or Direct.

 

You probably have three of the four and only need some kind of dish.  I take one of my Direct receivers from the s&b to use in the motorhome which has a roof mounted satellite antennae.


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#10 BillAdams

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Posted 10 August 2014 - 07:49 PM

If you want to turn the TV on and watch TV then you need a Winegard Trav'ler.  It's a roof mounted DirecTV antenna that is fully automatic and takes nothing more than the touch of one button (and about 10 minutes) to watch TV.  This is what's going to cost you somewhere near $2000 unless you are handy enough to install it yourself (very easy if you are not concerned about drilling a hole in your roof).

Anything less is going to take some setup time and if you choose one of the dome style portables you will not be able to receive any of the DirecTV HDTV programming.

Let us know more about your needs.


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#11 cmarq

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Posted 11 August 2014 - 02:52 PM

We have had dish for years at home I take one receiver in MH. Using Wingard minimax 8000RT. As long as we don't get under trees it's great.  All high def.  The couple of problems we had Dish customer service was great.


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#12 jgallego

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Posted 11 August 2014 - 07:08 PM

I have had dish at home and on the motorhome.  Works great on both.  I have winegard that automatically connects and you can watch while driving down the road.

 

Jaime


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#13 TBUTLER

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Posted 12 August 2014 - 04:10 PM

Imakin,

 

When we moved into our motor home in 2001 I took the dish antenna from the house and used it for satellite service.  Each time we moved I would set it outside the coach and align it manually using a signal detector to make it a little easier.  If you move frequently this method becomes burdensome.  If you stay for weeks at a time in a single site, this isn't such a pain.  Look around campgrounds and you will still see some campers using this method.  Most make up some kind of stand for the dish, some quite imaginative.  Some are mounted on the ladder for travel, others mount them on the ladder more or less permanently and then realign at every stop.  Some people use water for ballast and mount them on the ground which allows you to move them from under trees to a spot where you can get satellite.  I've spent a fair amount of time trying to find a suitable hole in the tree cover.  One hint here is to look at the people who have exposed dishes to see where their dish is aimed.  It helps give you an idea of which way to point yours.  If you have Dish TV, look for somebody with a dish marked Dish TV, if you have DirecTV find a DirecTV dish and yours will point in the same direction.

 

After 2 1/2 years in that motor home we traded up to our present coach.  It had a KVH dome and it was a matter of pressing a button, waiting a minute or two and we had TV.  I loved it, even Louise could do it!... until it quit working.  Then I bought a lightly used KVH dome from a vendor at a Monaco International rally.  That lasted for several years until I had to have it repaired.  The repair turned out to be re-programming and that lasted another year and a half or so.  The next time that one quit it was a matter of sending it to the factory to have it repaired.  That meant big bucks so... Then I bought another KVH dome on Amazon for way less than normal retail and installed it myself.  That one is still working.  When it dies I will replace it with an open face automatic dish of the type Bill Adams mentions. 

 

The Winegard is one of several on the market.  Besides the advantage of getting HD TV, the dish is much larger and not impeded by the dome.  The larger dish will allow you to receive the satellite signal in some inclement weather when the dome will not get a strong enough signal to maintain a picture on the TV.  Pretty much every thunderstorm will knock out TV with a dome.  The dome also collects dew overnight and there will be days when the signal won't be strong enough until the dome has warmed enough to evaporate the dew.  There are models that have heaters to warm them but they cost more.  Having an open dish eliminates that problem. 

 

One of the disadvantages of having a dish mounted on the motor home is that you are at the mercy of the site where you park.  If you want to be sure of having coverage, you have to request a site with no trees.  At some campgrounds the owners/managers have learned which sites are not good for Dish TV and which are not good for DirecTV and they can give you an appropriate site if it is available.  Sometimes you can just move the coach a few feet one way or another to get reception.  We have specific campsites at some state parks where we stay frequently that we request because we know we can get reception on that site.  The hint above also works here.  Look at a site and see where you will find the satellite by looking at others in the campground then examine the trees or any large building to see if the site will work for your coach mounted dish.

 

As I mentioned, you can simply take a standard dish used on homes and connect it to your receiver and have service.  You would have to align it manually.  This isn't too hard if you are going for a single satellite (Dish HD works off a single satellite) but if you want HD TV with DirecTV you will have to align with multiple satellites which means you would have to find one satellite and then tilt the dish to find the others.  It isn't an impossible task but I think it would be quite frustrating so I wouldn't recommend trying that with DirecTV. 

 

Another thing to be considered is your desire to have network TV.  I believe that both Dish and DirecTV will provide a national feed for network TV.  We still have a highly valued grandfathered contract which allows us to have network TV (NBC, CBS, ABC, in some cases PBS) from the east coast (New York) and west coast (Los Angeles).  I am certain that now you can only get one or the other, not both.  We love the ability to time shift programs by watching them earlier on the east coast or later on the west coast.  You can rely on your regular antenna for local network TV but as you mention you may not receive many stations in some locations.

 

I should also mention that when we moved into our home we added receivers (HD receivers) and they are on the same contract with our motor home receivers (not HD receivers).  When I get a dish capable of doing HD in the motorhome I'll replace the receivers there and likely will just move them from house to RV though one of our receivers in the motor home is installed in an inaccessible spot that takes way too much work to remove it.  I added that one myself so we could watch two different programs on the living room and the bedroom TV. 


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#14 wigginsjsr

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Posted 12 August 2014 - 05:55 PM

We use Dish both in MH and at stick house. When we are ready to travel we just move one Hopper and One Joey to the RV so each TV can watch the channel of their choice. Have found service to be excellent. We use the Winegard automatic antenna. Winegard now makes some less expensive automatic antennas for Dish.
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#15 BillAdams

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Posted 12 August 2014 - 05:58 PM

We use Dish both in MH and at stick house. When we are ready to travel we just move one Hopper and One Joey to the RV so each TV can watch the channel of their choice. Have found service to be excellent. We use the Winegard automatic antenna. Winegard now makes some less expensive automatic antennas for Dish.

 

Not that will work with your Hopper/Joey setup!  The full sized open faced antenna (plus Solo Node) is required.


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