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DirecTV or Dish Network

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I've been RVin' since '64 and with Class A's since '74. I've had external, tripod dishes and in-motion, Kingdome/DirecTV installations. Since DirecTV now does not permit the latter option, I need to find something else. I have DirecTV at home and don't really want to switch to Dish. Has anyone used a Slingbox to access their home TV while traveling? Pros and cons?

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I've been RVin' since '64 and with Class A's since '74. I've had external, tripod dishes and in-motion, Kingdome/DirecTV installations. Since DirecTV now does not permit the latter option, I need to find something else. I have DirecTV at home and don't really want to switch to Dish. Has anyone used a Slingbox to access their home TV while traveling? Pros and cons?

Could you clarify what you mean by "DirecTV does not permit the latter option?" The DirecTV service is available with most any antenna setup in any RV without issue.

As to the Slingbox option, you are going to need an internet connection to receive the programming and that's not going to work in this kind of a mobile environment. Camp ground wifi is usually setup to block streaming or kick you off if you do and cellular data limits will be exceeded in short order if you try to use that option.

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I am using the same Directv hd receivers in my motorhome as in my house. I have a slimline 5 lnb dish in both locations. My motorhome has a MotoSat automatic.

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I have had Direct TV in my house and 4 coaches since 1997. Worked OK, only problem was when I called them, unless I got them to understand that my down load was for the RV, not home, they would change all 5 receivers.

In my current RV, I have DISH....no problems with reception on all 3 satellites, even got it in "Rocky Point", Mexico, last week. It's a roof mount, Winngard Traveler.

My best friend was camped next door to me, in a trailer and he got it to on a Dish portable. We both call and charges stop, when we are home.

Before crossing the border, I made a 3 minute call to dish and they changed local channels (ABC, CBS, NBC and FOX) to Tucson, AZ. Zip code. Try that with Direct TV!!!

Carl Christensen

Galveston, TX.

2010 AMC Tradition 45Y

2013 Jeep Wrangler, toad

Travel with "Lucky", the dog....she is the real owner.

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My motorhome dealer installed a rooftop Dish-compatible dome antenna and a Dish TV receiver before I took delivery of my coach in May of 2012. Shortly afterward, I opened a subscription to their satellite service. After I subscribed and paid in advance with a credit card, they eliminated my local channels from their service but never offered to reduce their price for the lost service. Although they require that I buy channels, that I never watch, in order for me to get the movie channels that I do watch, it was working pretty well until recently. Pictures were HD and beautiful.

I dewinterized my coach this spring, after suspending my satellite service through the winter, then called Dish TV to activate my service. First they incorrectly told me that they would need to send a technician to "adjust" my antenna at a cost of $135.00 before activating my service. Since my antenna tracks the satellites automatically, that was completely unnecessary. Finally, after reaching a supervisor to explain that my antenna was on the roof of my motorhome and needed no adjustment they finally agreed to activate my service. On April 18th, I paid them $82.60 for a month of "premium" service with the understanding that I could pause my service when it was not needed and not pay for unused time. Until yesterday, I had used just nine days from my prepaid month having paused and unpaused the service three times.

When I called them on July 7th to remove the pause again, even though their most recent bill stated that I owned them nothing, they demanded that I pay them an additional $104.69. They refused to explain why I could not use the remaining time for which I had already paid but had not used. When I tried to get an explanation they offered none, but repeatedly and robotically said that I would need to pay them $104.69 or they would not unpause my service. There was also no explanation regarding how much additional time that the $104.69 would buy me.

At this point, I have a huge investment in an automatic tracking antenna, receiver and hard drive (which they charged me $42.40 to activatein order to digitally record satellite programming) but am being blackmailed for more money that I do not feel that I owe them. Otherwise, all of that expensive equipment that I bought to receive satellite TV is useless. If Dish TV is going to bill me for service in my RV, when it is not being used, then their vaunted RV pause program is a sham. Have other subscribers had this problem? I am beyond frustrated over this.

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If you have been able to randomly turn your service on and off on a daily basis you have just been lucky. This is not a service Dish offers. If you don't have anything in writing that says you can, you are not going to have a leg to stand on. Dish has 2 options. Sign a contract and get free equipment and you can suspend the service for up to 6 months at a time but no less than 1 month at a time. The second option is their pay as you go service where you pay (30 days at a time) for the service when you need it. I have heard of a few people reporting they stopped service one month and picked it up again when they added another 30 days.

I really am sorry to hear that you are having issues with your service but it really was never designed to work that way.

You can drop a line to Charlie Ergen at CEO@dishnetwork.com if you would like to air your grievance.

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Thank you for your comment and for the address of Charlie Ergen. When I bought my motorhome the following was advertised on Camping World's Website:

"Enjoy DISH Network Pay-As-You-Go programming with the ViP211k receiver.

"Pay-As-You-Go is ideal for anyone wanting to enjoy satellite TV on a seasonal or temporary basis without having to commit to a long term contract. Purchase the DISH Network 211K HD receiver and prepay for 30-days of programming at a time. Stop and start programming as you need, without penalties. The DISH Network 211k is an HD single-tuner satellite receiver that works with any satellite antenna compatible for DISH Network on both SD and HD televisions. ViP211k is DVR ready so you can add our own external USB hard drive. Own up to 3 ViP211k receivers. Programming package, HD upgrade fees, additional receiver fees, installation and satellite antenna not included."

I have email messages from DISH TV acknowledging every time I paid them and every time I paused and unpaused their service. From my perspective, if DISH-TV did not offer such a service then why were they sending me email messages acknowledging it?

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They absolutely DO offer pay as you go service which you pre-pay for 30 days service at a time. The wording after that is poorly done and I understand why you are frustrated about your service. It was "intended" to mean you could turn the service on and off "for 30 days as a block" and not on a daily basis. That also might be their "updated" policy and was not the policy at the time, I cannot be sure as I have no interest in Dish or any other service provider. I just know how it's always been explained to me. You would likely need to look into some kind of documentation provided by Dish and not by Camping World.

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When I log into www.mydish.com to check my balance and view my bills, it shows that I have a credit balance of nearly a half-month's service. They apparently charge me $5/month while my service is paused plus for the days that I actually use their service. Their billing system reflects, in writing, what was explained to me verbally when I purchased their service. Even their automated phone system tells me that I owe DISH-TV no money when I call. I'm sure you can understand why, when my account shows a credit balance, that it doesn't make sense to me that, when I get a live person on the phone, he or she demands more money to remove my pause in service when the service I have used has not consumed what I've already paid them.

If DISH-TV provides any documentation about their RV service on their Website, they've made it very difficult to find. The other infuriating thing that their representatives do is hang up on me if I ask them a question that they cannot answer or are unwilling to answer. Twice, when I asked them to explain why I owed them more money when my current bill shows a credit balance, the representatives with whom I was speaking disconnected my call. I have written to Charlie Ergen and am awaiting his response.

Many of us who own motorhomes but who are not full-timers don't take our coaches on the road for a month at a time, so buying a full-month continuous block of programming to use for just a weekend or two would not be cost-effective. That was why the advertised DISH-TV service was more appealing than the alternatives we considered.

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Go to http://www.sadoun.com/Sat/Products/JVI/Acutrac22Pro-MKII-Dual-Input-Satellite-signal-meter.htm and spend $99 and get yourself an Accutrac 22 pro installation meter. It had a battery that enables you to attempt setup without having to be tethered to your receiver. It has 2 meters in one that allows you to see two satelites at once and have their signal strength reported to you. I have had one for years and where other folks cannot get a signal, this works. In addition, for iPhone, download the app SATFINDER. This app allows you to look 'through' the camera and 'see' the satellites AND whether there are obstructions in your way, like trees, bushes, etc. Also be VERY careful that you are not under overhanging bushes/limbs. The 'attack' angle is usually pretty high and easily an overhanging limb will block the signal. This device will work for ALL satellites including Hughesnet and you can select the ones you want to look for. Just be SURE that you have phone service before you attempt to use. I always set mine prior to getting to the campground just to be sure because the 'picture' will be pretty close. It will be perfect if you have service at the spot on which you are standing, but your compass on the iPhone needs to be working. Been there, done that from North Carolina to North Dakota to Big Bend to Stanley, Idaho.

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