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Dotson1813

RV Satellite Service Recommendation

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There are two service providers, Dish & DirecTV. We have had DIRECTV since we purchased our first motor home in 1997. No problems with service, but our dish antenna and receiver are obsolete. A new receiver isn't a problem, but the dish is about $2000. We do have ABC, CBS & NBC FEEDS from New York and LA which is nice as we travel across the country. Local channels over the air are better definition, but not always available. 

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Satellites orbit in space.  What is it that you are wanting?  Are you looking for a recommendation between DirecTV or Dish Network or are you looking for a recommendation on the type of antenna you would use to receive the satellite signal.  If it's the latter, which satellite TV service do you have now?

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You should be able to find a cheaper auto-tuning antenna than $2000 unless you need to have HD resolution.  For $2000 I'm guessing you're looking at a "Trav'ler" dish.  You can find cheaper solutions than that.  The smaller portable dishes for Direct TV cost more than the ones for Dish Network but they're still a lot cheaper than the $2000 you mentioned - even the "in motion" models.  Here's several to look over and compare:  https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=portable+satellite+dish+for+direct+tv

Here in the mid-west we have lots of trees, I often get a site under one of them and it blocks my roof mounted dish.  When that happens, I've got a potable and 50ft of cord that usually allow me to get a good signal but not always.  

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We have the Winegard Traveler for Direct TV. Paid high $15 hundred range and installed the unit my self. Once you get used to HD, other resolutions are difficult for us to enjoy. Started enjoying TV in Kansas City area at 6yo old with my family's first TV. Put up with awful reception from place to place as our family moved with my dad's military career.  Never had cable anywhere. Probably was not much better than OTA anyway. Joined Direct TV in 1995. When they rolled out HD service and I viewed it at Circuit City, it was expensive, but I got on a wait list at Sears for a Samsung HD CRT set.  Thing weighed a ton but I got it up the steps from our garage, and onto a cabinet with some assistance from Betty. Been hooked since. Gave the original set to a friend and moved up in size when the widescreen became available. Biggest was a 52" LCD Samsung. If you just want noise in the background with a not very good picture,  watch park cable. If you want to fight with a portable dish for SD cable, go for it. Been there, done that. 

The Traveler Direct TV Dish is it for us. It can be moved from RV to RV. If you are debating the wisdom of buying one, than you are not a lover of a quality signal with many choices, that you can not get with OTA tv and even then you have to be mostly within 40 or 50 miles.

 

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We have used the Winegard Traveler with Dish Network setup since 2011 on 2 different RV's.  Installed on original RV and move it to the new RV myself.  Not overly complicated, but getting the dish up on the roof is not easy, bulky and a bit heavy.  The Dish Traveler is about $400 to $600 less than the Direct TV.  We had/have Dish at our sticks & bricks and just pick up the receiver (DVR) and move it to the RV when we travel.  I see the Dish Traveler advertised on Amazon for around $1100 or less every once in a while. 

One thing about Dish Network is we can change local channels from one area of the country to the other area with a quick "chat" session with MYDish.com.  Note you don't have to change local channels every time you move.  Just when you move out of the spot beam.  In the west the spot beams cover about the entire state.  Denver covers Colorado, Portland covers Oregon, most of Washington and part of northern CA. 

We spend a lot of time out in the boonies far away from over the air signals.  Just pop up the dish and we have the locals as long as we have a view of the satellite.

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Believe that I read the Direct TV Traveler can be modified to receive Dish signals. One or the other, not both. Bill Adams would know.  We do not dry camp anymore so there is usually park cable for local channels. When I book a reservation, I always tell them that that we need a site that works with a roof top dish. Most are becoming pretty savvy about them. If they don't have such a site, we move on in our search.

Direct TV has twice the customer base that Dish has. Gotta be a reason.

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Seems that way...but, for me, I learned something that I have been wondering about.  Therefore all is not lost, but it's getting frustrating!

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With Dish I get 3 satellites,  110, 119, and 129 but with a dome antenna it is only one satellite at a time but dish antennae do provide HD. 

Well, I have to say I used to get those satellites but the MH flooded during Harvey and waiting for insurance company to total it.

My next system will be a DISH system.

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For Dish SD reception you use both satellites 110 and 119 to receive HD reception you must have 3 LNB dish to pick up all 3 satellites 110, 119 and 128. Dome satellite domes have only one LNB and can only receive SD TV. To my knowledge no one has yet made roof mount dome that can utilize the 3 LNB's required.

The Winegard Traveler is the unit we have and it works very well. The reason we went whit Winegard is because that is what w have at home.  

Herman

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The automatic roof top units for Dish only tune one satellite at a time - either 110, 119 or 129.  There are no hard and fast rules for what's on those satellites but in general many of the local channels are on 110.  Most of the SD programming is on 119 and 129 carries most of the HD programming.  As you change channels, a signal goes to the dish that tells it to re-position to the correct satellite.  Never is more that one satellite signal used.  Dish Network has two constellations.  The 110-119-129 satellites are called the "western arc."  You can also use their "Eastern Arc" satellites at  "61.5°, 72.7° and 77°"  if your view of the sky and the western arc is blocked.  On my GM-1518 Carryout dishes, I have to flip some DIP switches to make that change.  That's good to know and gives you an option that might give you a better chance get a signal before giving up.

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11 hours ago, manholt said:

Seems that way...but, for me, I learned something that I have been wondering about.  Therefore all is not lost, but it's getting frustrating!

What is it that you learned here?

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Dish=same money per month for your contract, DIRECTV=an increase of over half for last year of contract....I'm not a sport nut, nor do I care much for movies.  I do want options on world news and local.  Also History, travel, Animal, Food and National Geographic channels. Dish is the best for my wish and since I have the motorized dish/DISH on my roof and receiver, I might as well re instate the service....cancelled 4 years ago.

I also learned today, that DIRECTV is having a wobble, lose of picture problem, because one of their satellites is dysfunctional and crashing!   

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While I'd rather be able to select my "local channels" online, I like being able to call Dish Network, tell them you're traveling in an RV and have an agent switch my local channels to a city near where ever we happen to be with our service.  They'll switch your "service address" everyday if you ask them but usually the "spot beam" is wide enough I can't drive through it in a day. 

Background:  There are about 210 "local TV markets across the United States.  Congress told the satellite TV carriers that if they carry one station in any of those areas, the "Must Carry" every channel in that market.  This was done at the request of the cable TV lobbyists to burden the satellite TV providers and make their prices cost prohibitive.  Comparatively, cable TV prices would look more attractive.
https://www.fcc.gov/consumers/guides/receiving-television-broadcast-stations-satellite-tv-companies
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_television_stations_in_North_America_by_media_market

In order to accomplish that feet, the satellite TV industry developed "spot beams" that service only the areas they're aimed at.  That allowed them to reuse the same frequencies several times across the country.  These spot beams carry the local TV channels in the area they're aimed at.  When you leave the area they're illuminating, you loose those channels and need to have your service switched to area you've entered.  I'm from the St Louis area.  I can receive the St Louis locals all across Missouri and Illinois but if I go much farther, I'll have to switch to another city's local channels.  Local channels are ABC, CBS, NBC, PBS and various others that direct their ads to your local market.

 

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8 hours ago, Moonwink said:

While I'd rather be able to select my "local channels" online, I like being able to call Dish Network, tell them you're traveling in an RV and have an agent switch my local channels to a city near where ever we happen to be with our service.  They'll switch your "service address" everyday if you ask them but usually the "spot beam" is wide enough I can't drive through it in a day. 

Background:  There are about 210 "local TV markets across the United States.  Congress told the satellite TV carriers that if they carry one station in any of those areas, the "Must Carry" every channel in that market.  This was done at the request of the cable TV lobbyists to burden the satellite TV providers and make their prices cost prohibitive.  Comparatively, cable TV prices would look more attractive.
https://www.fcc.gov/consumers/guides/receiving-television-broadcast-stations-satellite-tv-companies
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_television_stations_in_North_America_by_media_market

In order to accomplish that feet, the satellite TV industry developed "spot beams" that service only the areas they're aimed at.  That allowed them to reuse the same frequencies several times across the country.  These spot beams carry the local TV channels in the area they're aimed at.  When you leave the area they're illuminating, you loose those channels and need to have your service switched to area you've entered.  I'm from the St Louis area.  I can receive the St Louis locals all across Missouri and Illinois but if I go much farther, I'll have to switch to another city's local channels.  Local channels are ABC, CBS, NBC, PBS and various others that direct their ads to your local market.

 

I use the chat option with DirecTV and they change my locals when I plan to stay somewhere for an extended period of time.  I just did this when I spent a couple of months in FL but I am now in MI and heading for NJ so during the travels and while here I am watching Networks using DNS.

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10 hours ago, manholt said:

Dish=same money per month for your contract, DIRECTV=an increase of over half for last year of contract....I'm not a sport nut, nor do I care much for movies.  I do want options on world news and local.  Also History, travel, Animal, Food and National Geographic channels. Dish is the best for my wish and since I have the motorized dish/DISH on my roof and receiver, I might as well re instate the service....cancelled 4 years ago.

I also learned today, that DIRECTV is having a wobble, lose of picture problem, because one of their satellites is dysfunctional and crashing!   

Yeah, I am a bit skeptical as when you try to leave the site you get a pop up trying to get you to sign up for the Dish service.  There is an obvious bias in the reporting when there plan is to try to get you to buy something after reading the review.  I have seen many offers at different times offering both Dish and DirecTV with 2 year guarantees and the offers vary almost daily depending upon where you sign up and who you ask.

Additionally, if you are an AT&T customer then all bets are off the table as DirecTV is a much better deal with savings of at least $25/month over their current pricing.

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BillA.  I forgot about AT&T buying DirecTV.  My phone is AT&T.  I just hate having that big expensive dish on my roof & than spending another $2,000+ for the change over! :angry: 

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I know, 3 months+ later, here is an update.

Had my DISH removed yesterday and a DIRECTV installed, Model SK-SWM3! :) Also got the Samsung HT-J5500W.  Will use the speakers at house.  In the coach, I'm now hooked up with all speakers from front to rear in parallel, that makes a Hugh difference in the quality of sound.  Picture is the best I've had...probably due to new equipment, from TV to Blu-Ray!   I'm a happy camper again! :wub:   Swallowing that $2,400 pill, felt a little better after 4 years...:( 

Ran it thru Linda's account for $25 extra per month.  I cancelled mine at the house several months ago, I traveled to much and now the house will be for Sale by January.

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On 9/10/2017 at 7:39 AM, Hermanmullins said:

For Dish SD reception you use both satellites 110 and 119 to receive HD reception you must have 3 LNB dish to pick up all 3 satellites 110, 119 and 128. Dome satellite domes have only one LNB and can only receive SD TV. To my knowledge no one has yet made roof mount dome that can utilize the 3 LNB's required.

   I am using an ancient KingDome 9702LP satellite dome with only 1 LNB and receive HD signal on probably 25 channels from Dish Network.  I normally point to the satellite @ 119 where my locals are.   Satellite @ 129 has lots more HD channels but I almost never re-point to that one.   

Maybe the issue above with with DirectTV?   Cause Dish has no issues with HD.  They have lots of other issues, but not with reception.  :)

 

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