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oldcodger

Satellite TV greenhorn

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We have been full timing for six years and have not thought too much about satellite TV until recently. We know next to nothing about it except what I have started to read in this forum. So, what questions should I ask and what type of searches should I do to start gathering information on this subject? 

Thank you

Dave

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1. Carry out and or tripod.

2. What is best for full timers?  Read about "pay as you go" but is this option available on both systems?

Dave

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"Pay As You Go" is only available from Dish, and only with owned, not leased, equipment. A carry out dome style dish limits your choices to just the Dish Wally or older VIP series receivers. A tripod mounted multi-LNB dish will work with any Dish receiver including the 16-tuner Hopper 3 DVR.

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We have both a tripod and auto-roof. We started with a tripod and treated ourselves to roof years ago.  We enjoy the automation of roof and the HD reception which we also get on a tripod. If you camp normally with a lot of trees a carryout or tripod would be best with 100' of coax.

I am not sure if a little carry out domb gets HD. I never investigated it. 

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4 hours ago, oldcodger said:

1. Carry out and or tripod.

2. What is best for full timers?  Read about "pay as you go" but is this option available on both systems?

Dave

I wouldn't get on Pay as You Go unless you intend to suspend service for part of the year.  It's my understanding that you won't be eligible for special pricing with Pay as You Go.  Dutch will correct me if I'm wrong.

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I would advocate a roof mounted Winegard Traveler. This is an automatic dish. Turn the power on and it finds the satellites is maybe 3-5 minutes. Also but a tripod and get a dish for it. Sometimes the trees will prevent signal reception. 

Dish or Direct? I think it is now a tossup. With Eastern Arc bird Dish eliminated the Northeast reception problem.

Bill

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10 hours ago, Bill w/bus said:

Dish or Direct? I think it is now a tossup.

I might have agreed a year or more ago.  However, since DirecTV was bought out by AT&T, it seems (according to posts here) that it is getting more and more difficult to change your service address as you move around.  For us, we aren't always (actually, rarely) in places where we can get local channels using the OTA antenna, so getting locals via satellite *for us* is a must.

Of course, you can always apply for DNS (Distant Network Service -- locals out of either Los Angeles or New York) which would solve the problem of trying to change service addresses as you move.  The question is -- is this still available with DirecTV/AT&T?

Another problem with DirecTV, if you're planning on getting a dome, is that you can only receive SD programming and, according to posts here, DTV is doing away with SD programming in the near future.  So where does that leave all DirecTV subscribers who use a dome to receive programming?

Edited by LindaH

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DNS is still available with Directv.

I don't recall the specifics but someplace we had a discussion about SD going away(I thought this) and was corrected. You will need to look for the thread.

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22 hours ago, SWharton said:

DNS is still available with Directv.

I don't recall the specifics but someplace we had a discussion about SD going away(I thought this) and was corrected. You will need to look for the thread.

Good to know that DNS is still available. 

So DirecTV SD isn't going away?  I know I read it in a thread here, but don't always keep up with some threads, so missed it if someone said that SD wasn't going away.

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10 minutes ago, LindaH said:

Good to know that DNS is still available. 

So DirecTV SD isn't going away?  I know I read it in a thread here, but don't always keep up with some threads, so missed it if someone said that SD wasn't going away.

The expectation is that DTV will convert some of the existing KU band SD capacity to HD, but not all of their HD roster will be available to KU only dishes like the portable domes.

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I have had both Dish and DirecTV, now ATT, in our RV. They both have pause features and because my better half likes ATT that is what we now have. They both cost about the same for the same type of packages. I do have to pay for two extra receivers. We have three TVs in our 42 foot fiver. With ATT I do have to pay about $5 per month for the Detroit Tigers games when I am in the UP.

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On 11/18/2018 at 9:47 AM, oldcodger said:

what questions should I ask and what type of searches should I do to start gathering information on this subject? 

How much TV do you watch? Are there some/many shows you would want to record?

Do you want an "automatic" or a "manual" system? Automatic = a dish that acquires satellites at the push of a button. Manual = a tripod-based system that must be set up and aimed by hand. In general, automatic systems are easier of course, but usually more expensive than a tripod system.

Answers to these questions will go a long way to determining what type of system you get -- for example, one with little or a lot of recording ability.

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Thank you for all of the replies. So much to consider. To narrow it down some would like a system that could accommodate two tvs and could be set for local news an weather where ever we might be, either east or west, north or south. To answer the question about recording we really don't record anything. If we miss a show it will be new to us some other time. Also would like an auto set up but would like get started with a tripod or carry out system to see how it works and if we like sat tv.

Thanks

Dave

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Once you decide on Direct or Dish go to tv4rv.com. He has complete tripod setups. He has the best tripod around, looks like a surveyors tripod. Prepare to be frustrated when learning how to set it up. Best solution is to find someone in the cg that uses a tripod and ask for help. 

Edited by SWharton

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As far as local programming  for weather, we use our phones for that. We use Dish due to the portable domes with HD. I never call to get locals since we see no need in them. We did at first but found we didn't ever watch them.

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I do watch a lot of news on TV but I almost always have a baseball game on if I can find one. Not that I can always watch but I do listen.

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37 minutes ago, oldcodger said:

To narrow it down some would like a system that could accommodate two tvs

Certainly the Winegard Trav'ler will do this (automatic, roof-mounted, open-faced dish...about $2,000 installed).

As far as domes are concerned, not all of them will handle 2 TVs.  But even for those that do, there is a big limitation...a dome "sees" only one satellite at a time, so if you are both watching different programs on different TVs, in order for each person to be able to watch their program, they will have to be on the same satellite.  If the programs come on different satellites, you'll have to flip a coin to see who gets to watch their program.  That's where a multiple-LNB, open faced dish like the Trav'ler or similar dish on a tripod shines.

42 minutes ago, oldcodger said:

To narrow it down some would like a system that could ... be set for local news an weather where ever we might be, either east or west, north or south. 

If you want to receive local stations for the area that you're currently in, then Dish is your best bet.  One can either call or use their Chat feature to change the SERVICE address so you can pick up local stations.  While some people seem to be able to still change their service address with DirecTV, since their merger with AT&T, it seems to be getting harder and harder to do that.  Of course, if you're in an area where you can pick up local TV with your OTA antenna, that's certainly a solution.

DirecTV does have DNS (Distant Network Service, major networks -- ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC -- out of either Los Angeles or New York, depending on which time zone your RV is registered in).  Dish now has DNS, too, but currently it's only out of Los Angeles.

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9 hours ago, oldcodger said:

Thank you for all of the replies. So much to consider. To narrow it down some would like a system that could accommodate two tvs and could be set for local news an weather where ever we might be, either east or west, north or south. To answer the question about recording we really don't record anything. If we miss a show it will be new to us some other time.

I suggest getting a Winegard Pathway X2 automatic carryout dish and two DISH Wally receivers. This setup allows you to receive DISH HD programming anywhere. Plus, you can connect a hard drive to a Wally receiver to get a very basic DVR.

With DISH you can get local TV stations wherever you travel. Just call up DISH, tell them where you're camping, and they'll enable your receivers to receive local TV stations. I don't believe DirecTV allows you to change local stations at will. Since you want local news and weather, you don't want DNS because that is LA and NY stations only,

9 hours ago, oldcodger said:

Also would like an auto set up but would like get started with a tripod or carry out system to see how it works and if we like sat tv.

If you've never set up a satellite TV tripod dish, I don't suggest you start now. Get a carryout, regardless if you use DISH or DirecTV.

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28 minutes ago, Zulu said:

I suggest getting a Winegard Pathway X2 automatic carryout dish and two DISH Wally receivers. This setup allows you to receive DISH HD programming anywhere. Plus, you can connect a hard drive to a Wally receiver to get a very basic DVR.

With DISH you can get local TV stations wherever you travel. Just call up DISH, tell them where you're camping, and they'll enable your receivers to receive local TV stations. I don't believe DirecTV allows you to change local stations at will. Since you want local news and weather, you don't want DNS because that is LA and NY stations only,

If you've never set up a satellite TV tripod dish, I don't suggest you start now. Get a carryout, regardless if you use DISH or DirecTV.

Only thing to add is you will have to watch programming on the same sat. If it has 110 locked in, the second receiver will only get programming on 110

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Thank you to all who have replied. DW and I are leaning real heavily into a sat system and all that goes with it. I guess another question would be is it easier to have qualified techs set up a system or should I (not real electronic-ee savvy) attempt to do this??

Dave

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4 hours ago, oldcodger said:

Thank you to all who have replied. DW and I are leaning real heavily into a sat system and all that goes with it. I guess another question would be is it easier to have qualified techs set up a system or should I (not real electronic-ee savvy) attempt to do this??

Dave

My answer to this depends on how much of a DIY'er you are.  There is no real rocket science involved.  I like to DIY things and have installed both roof mounted and ground mounted (both tripod and dome style) satellite systems.  None of them was particularly hard, but they all required some basic DIY skills.  The roof mounted system required a lot more work, but still wasn't particularly difficult.  If you are comfortable with basic installation skills and have a basic working knowledge of your RV and its systems, adding a satellite system is not particularly difficult.  There are a lot of good wiring diagram references on the internet to help out and several companies that offer satellite equipment have very good help lines.  You will need some specific tools (especially if you end up having to make coax cables to a specific length), but there is nothing that is insurmountable for a handy person.  If you are a fulltimer that doesn't have a good location or the right tools for the install, then it may be worth paying someone to do it (especially for a roof mounted install).

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