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Dish or Direct, & why?


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We dropped our satellite TV several years back and are now considering going back to it. If we do so, then we also want to be able to use it with one of the portable, automatic dish systems when we travel in the RV. So my question is, which service, which portable dish, and what works best together?

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If you're only planning to use the sat service while staying in your TT, then the Dish "Flex" month-to-month service with a Wally or VIP211 series receiver and the Pathway X2 may be the best choice. The upside is that you can start and stop the service as needed with no long term contract. The downside is that you must buy your own receiver. The automatic dome would not be supplied under contract anyway, so that's a purchase item either way.

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If you're only planning to use the sat service while staying in your TT, then the Dish "Flex" month-to-month service with a Wally or VIP211 series receiver and the Pathway X2 may be the best choice. The upside is that you can start and stop the service as needed with no long term contract. The downside is that you must buy your own receiver. The automatic dome would not be supplied under contract anyway, so that's a purchase item either way.

HD is not a critical factor for us and since going part-time the TV is less important when in the RV so this may be the best answer for us. Buy the equipment and only pay while at home-base. Our little RV is very lacking in places to put the receiver.

 

Keep the thoughts coming as I've been out of this for so long that what used to be no longer applies.

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If you are wanting HD it is Dish, assuming you really want a portable.....as stated above. I'd use a Winegard Pathway X2 along with a Wally receiver....potentially on the Pay as you go plan. You can add an external hard drive to the Wally and have a nice DVR for a single location. And you will get HD on that sat dish. Also, that dish is larger than some of the others so maintains signal better in challenging conditions - meaning weather and tree branches.

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HD is not a critical factor for us and since going part-time the TV is less important when in the RV so this may be the best answer for us. Buy the equipment and only pay while at home-base. Our little RV is very lacking in places to put the receiver.

 

Keep the thoughts coming as I've been out of this for so long that what used to be no longer applies.

 

If you're planning to only use it at the home base, I'd suggest a permanently mounted triple LNB dish for the Dish month-to month service. The larger reflector means less rain fade, and since it "sees" all of the sats at once, there's no re-aiming delay when changing channels. The larger dish will also give you more receiver choices, such as the multiple tuner Hopper DVR series. I don't know if the Dish eastern or western arc sats are more suited to your location, but that would only affect which triple LNB was fitted to the dish. Aiming would be a "one and done", so there's no need at all for the automatic dish unless you do plan to travel with the system at some point.

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If you're going DISH, then I suggest a Winegard Pathway X2 with a VIP 211 receiver with one of the Monthly Programming Packages.

 

This gets you a single-tuner HD receiver (not a DVR). The X2 is an automatic antenna that can pick up all of DISH's sats.

 

X2 - and an external hard drive can be added to the 211Z and other receivers to make a DVR out of it. The fact that the antenna can be carried out a ways from the rig increases the chances of getting an unobstructed view of the satellites if you're on a wooded site. The combo has worked well for us. We have the Flex Pack with locals for about $45/month and it's more TV than we need or should be watching...

 

Rob

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X2 - and an external hard drive can be added to the 211Z and other receivers to make a DVR out of it.

 

Yes, you'll get a single-tuner DVR which allows you to record an OTA program while you're watching a show on one of the DISH channels (or vice versa).

 

If you can live with these limitations, then you're good to go.

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Yes, you'll get a single-tuner DVR which allows you to record an OTA program while you're watching a show on one of the DISH channels (or vice versa).

 

If you can live with these limitations, then you're good to go.

 

Technically, it's a dual tuner dvr. You can record an OTA program and a satellite program at the same time. You can even do that while watching a previously recorded program if you wish. It's more than enough dvr for me, as it probably would be for many others who don't spend hours per day in front of a tv.

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The reason we went with Dish is to make sure we could get the PAC 12 network, Go Beavs!

So, we have Dish + Hopper at home. We just take the hopper with us while on the road, with lots of stuff pre-recorded on it.

If/when we are able to do more camping we will probably get a carry out satellite dish.

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It sounds as though dish is the only one to consider.

 

Yes, you'll get a single-tuner DVR which allows you to record an OTA program while you're watching a show on one of the DISH channels (or vice versa).

 

If you can live with these limitations, then you're good to go.

We rarely have recorded any show but that might change if we go back to Dish. The other big deal is to be able to use the same equipment in the home-base stick house and in the travel trailer on the road.

 

Thanks for all of the advice. We are still considering what we will do.

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It sounds as though dish is the only one to consider.

We rarely have recorded any show but that might change if we go back to Dish. The other big deal is to be able to use the same equipment in the home-base stick house and in the travel trailer on the road.

 

Thanks for all of the advice. We are still considering what we will do.

 

I have the DISH VIP211K with DVR capabilities. I've never had much interest in recording programs, only do when a one time event is on while I have to be somewhere else. However, I find the DVR functions very valuable. If you've watching a program and have to do or go somewhere else for a few minutes (like someone knocks on the door, a bathroom break, to tend to cooking, etc.) you can just pause the DVR and return later and continue.

 

Also, if you're momentarily distract and are not sure of what you just saw or heard, you can go back and see it again. The DVR is constantly recording what you're watching so as to give you that capability. DVR is great for sporting events. I sometimes will record an NFL game while I'm away from home. I can watch the game later in about 30 to 40 minutes, just by advancing through the huddles and commercials.

 

I very much enjoy the DVR features, yet I don't have a library of recorded programs. I don't think I'd like to not have DVR functionality in the future.

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It sounds as though dish is the only one to consider.

We rarely have recorded any show but that might change if we go back to Dish. The other big deal is to be able to use the same equipment in the home-base stick house and in the travel trailer on the road.

 

If you're going to record, then I'd suggest DirecTV. Unlike what others have said, I don't think that a 211 will cut it as a DVR. Too limited even if you get two 211 receivers.

 

So . . . For any of the DISH multi-tuner DVRs (622, 722, Hopper) you would need to use a rooftop Winegard Travler (~ $1200 + installation) or a portable tripod that you would have to manually aim. That can be a PITA.

 

On the other hand, though a DirecTV DVR would not be HD, a DirecTV DVR can be used with a not-so-expensive portable automatic dish like the King Controls Quest. Also, I think a DirecTV HD receiver can be used with the Quest (though you wouldn't get HD while camping). This way you should be able to take your house DirecTV HD receiver on the road. However, ask the folks with DirecTV to be sure.

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First figure out what you want at home, then use the same company in the RV.

 

For us we have Dish at the house and had had it for several years after getting into a fight with Direct TV over something.

 

We went to CW and bought a 211Z and a Tailgater. We hooked all of it up in the driveway and didn't like the signal from the Tailgater (compared to the house) so we took it back and exchanged it for a Winegard Pathway X2 and it worked very well. We also bought the over the air adapter and added a hard drive to it. Over all it worked very well as long as you wanted to watch one satellite at a time.

 

Last spring I bought a Wingard Trav'ler and mounted it on the roof of the trailer and now use our Hopper when we travel. It's just like being home.

 

If you are interested in the Pathway and 211 please PM me, I'll make you a deal.

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Another option is either Direct or Dish for the home, and then Sling'ing (Like a Slingbox 500) your shows via broadband connection while traveling.

 

This assumes you have a broadband data connection that as your traveling, and that is not always the case:)! (Streaming in 480 will use quite a bit less data then HD or even now a days 4K.

 

We know one couple that do this with Direct. They have ULD via Verizon, and usually stay in places where 4G and or LTE are available. For times that they don't have the bandwidth. They carry two or three DVD's of programs that they want to watch multiple seasons of. (We passed on the first 5 years of Downton Abbey to them.).

 

Best to you both,

Smitty

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