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> Satellite Tv Advice Needed
MelindaK
post Oct 18 2012, 11:26 PM
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I am thinking of breaking down and getting satellite tv for the TT. Which has the better pay as you go Dish or Direct TV? Any preference on satellite dishes? My brother mentioned the cube since it is automatic. Not sure I want to pay that much, but I don't want to spend an hour setting up tv reception either.

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hoefler
post Oct 19 2012, 07:05 AM
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We added another tuner to our home account with Dish, cost $7.00 a month. They gave use another Dual Tuner DVR free. We use the Winegard that is roof mount on our rig and the Winegard Carryout portable when the roof top is blocked. The only real expense we had was the cost of the portable, and we get the same programming that we get at home.
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RLM
post Oct 19 2012, 09:16 AM
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Most folks who already have satellite TV in their home just take the receiver with them in the RV. You don't have to do anything special to do that except to have a spare dish and the connecting cables inside and out. I prefer DirecTV in the RV mainly because you only have two settings. Azimuth (left and right) and elevation (up and down). With Dish you have a third which is Skew (tilting left and right).

In most cases, set up and satellite locating takes about 15 minutes from start to finish once you get accustom to the procedure. Unless you are traveling all over the US, the settings are going to remain close to the same from place to place. You can go online to purchase a satellite signal finder for a bit less than $20. They make the job much easier. There is always someone in a campground with a satellite dish set up. Just venture over with a compass and check out the direction theirs is pointed and you're half way there.

The size of the dish probably depends on how much storage room you have. The oblong dishes are smaller. The newer slimline (DirectTV) is bigger and would make it easier to find a satellite just because the bigger dish captures the signal better. But it will take up some room. Plus, with the bigger ones you will have more wind resistance and it will have to be well staked down. You probably will be able to get the older one cheaper if you look for them at places like Craigslist.

My RV has a roof top automated antenna, and like the Cube, is a wonderful push button operation. That is when I'm not parked under trees that block the signal. I suppose buying one would depend on how often you use it.
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John Blue
post Oct 19 2012, 09:36 AM
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We use Direct TV and have a dish set up at home. The months we travel in motorhome I move the same tuner to the MH and we are ready to go. I use a dish on the ground and it takes me a couple minutes to line up the dish. Dish cost was around $20 and I mounted it on a 2x8x24. I use 75 feet of cable and over the years we have only been shut down a couple times due to large numbers of trees.

I have looked at people who work for hours to set up a dish and think how hard can you make this little job. The dish is dropped on ground and elevation is set at (51) all the time. Next I set the azimuth close to (220) (note: 220 is for southern US) with a $2.00 compass. I cut a 2x4x20 in half at 45 degrees. Now you have two pieces of wood to set under front or rear for the 2x8 wood base plate. I move the dish around and find the lock up tone. Now use the 2x4 wood if you need it to support the wood base in correct elevation position. In most cases you will not need the wood if ground in level.

We have used this for years now. Roof systems will work if you have no trees to work around. We stay in the woods a good bit and if you use the compass to find 220 degrees before you pick a camp site you will have little trouble with setup. We also carry two Motorola 2-way radios if dish is on other side of MH and I cannot hear the tones. Wife calls out the reading on meter as I move dish around. We are in the woods now with heavy trees all around the MH and set up time was less than one min. Works for me.





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jim crowl
post Oct 19 2012, 06:41 PM
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I had DirecTv the first year on the road, but discontinued it. I found the digital RV antenna pulled in channels that I enjoyed more than those on the dish. I admit I'm not a huge television viewer, so I was okay with the channel selection varying as I traveled. However between free digital tv, parks with cable, and the ability to watch most programs I couldn't receive on tv from the Internet I used the dish less and less.

I struggled the first couple months setting up the dish. Some times it only took a few minutes, and other times it seemed like forever. I found some things that made it fairly easy thereafter:
1) Use a small level to make sure the dish is very level. Otherwise the settings will not be accurate.
2) Sometimes it was easy- sometimes not. I found out another reason. I was sometimes getting the suggested settings off my receiver, and other times off of one of two websites. In all cases the zip code was correctly entered, but I found all three options gave differing suggested settings. I struggled the most when using the DirecTV suggested setting off the receiver, as it was much less accurate that the others. At least this was the case with my receiver.
3) My inexpensive meter sometimes gave false readings, so I put it away, opened a window, and turned up the volume and used the sound from the meter on the receiver.
4) One of the easiest ways to set it up was to find another DTV dish in the campground and look at the settings.
5) I was moving quite a bit over a number of states, so had to change settings but logging the actual settings used made it a snap if I returned to the same area later on.

If money isn't a big issue, get the cube, and you'll have TV without bother.
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joez
post Oct 19 2012, 07:26 PM
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QUOTE
I have looked at people who work for hours to set up a dish and think how hard can you make this little job.


I must admit I am one of those klutzes that never found setting up a dish to be easy. We carried one to supplement the rooftop dome when we parked in trees. After a limb fell on DW and broke her shoulder, we decided to avoid trees so we almost always have a clear path for the dome. If I were to buy another dish to supplement the dome I would buy one of the portable ones.

This may not be important to most, but due to a set of unusual circumstances, we ended up with Direct and Dish in the same house with the same level of programming package and identical television and sound equipment. We actually could watch either for about four months while waiting for a contract to expire. Based on programming and picture quality, we chose to keep the Direct.
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RLM
post Oct 20 2012, 09:15 AM
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QUOTE(jim crowl @ Oct 19 2012, 07:41 PM) *


2) Sometimes it was easy- sometimes not. I found out another reason. I was sometimes getting the suggested settings off my receiver, and other times off of one of two websites. In all cases the zip code was correctly entered....


Zip code use is not always going to be accurate because there may only be one for a huge geographical area. The zip is for the post office and it may be lots of miles from the location of the RV. There are smart phone apps out that can locate a satellite more accurately based on one's physical location.
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Denali
post Oct 20 2012, 10:51 AM
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The ease of setting up a satellite dish depends on the type of service you want.

The simplest is basic DirecTV without HD. A single-LNB dish (the only kind with no skew setting) requires only pointing at a single satellite.

If, however, you want HD TV or more than the basic channels or Dish Network service, you will be using a dish with anywhere between two and five LNBs, for pointing at 2-5 different satellites simultaneously. That requires setting the skew, as well as the azimuth and elevation, differently as you travel.

We had Dish Network standard-definition service for years. Assuming I had a clear shot at the two satellites that it requires, I could aim the dish in just a couple minutes, anywhere in the Lower 48. Once north or south of the border, it becomes increasingly difficult, as the signals get weaker and the satellites are closer to the horizon.

For the last year or two, we have had Dish Network HD service. Setting up that dish is much more difficult, but I eventually get it done wherever we are.

Our best friends have DirecTV HD service. Setting up their dish is even more difficult.


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MelindaK
post Oct 20 2012, 01:43 PM
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I am leaning towards Direct TV as I was going to use my parents account. I have heard you could add service for an RV. I do not have cable/satellite at home and not home enough to warrant the cost.

If I understood everything correctly, if I added on the service to my parents Direct TV I would need an extra receiver from Direct TV. Then see what dish is available through Direct TV or purchase a dish and add the cables and I am good to go.

I am one of those that when I purchased my first travel trailer I swore there would not be a television in the camper. At the time I did not realize I would have family/friends traveling with me and I caved in bought a TV. After traveling to different areas, moving up to a larger travel trailer, and spending longer amounts of time out on a trip I have found I like being able to catch a weather forecast. If the weather is bad and we are stuck inside I like having something to entertain the company and it would help to have more than one or two channels.

As always, you all provide great information and I greatly appreciate you sharing your knowledge and experience with me.
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Frank Henn
post Oct 26 2012, 04:40 AM
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We have Direct TV and take the receiver from the bedroom. It is not an HD receiver. I use the Qube and for a Klutz like me I can have it set up and running in less than five minutes
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cactusjack
post Oct 30 2012, 07:19 PM
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The first question is this. How large of a TV screen will I be using. If its larger then 32" then you need to ask your self the question Do I want HDTV or Standard Definition (SD) TV.
Reason: SD stinks on big screen TVs. We are talking "blur vision" vs. crisp sharp images from HD satellite signals on a 55" or larger screens.

The cube satellite receiver is kind of expensive considering that it only works for SDTV satellite channels. A cheep Directv D12 (SD) receiver and single LNB 18" dish on a tripod is maybe $40 (because both are out of date technology) will do the same thing.
An SD image is not too bad on small screens. The nice thing about SDTV antenna aiming is that you only need to find one satellite and you can use a cheep satellite finder $15 and a magnetic compass to help you. Aiming a “HDTV” satellite dish and feeding the signal to an HD receiver is much more difficult.
Reason: An HD antenna has to be able to see and lock on to at least three satellites. A lot of people who camp get very good at using these numbers to preset the antenna while its on the tripod and then they get a helper to look at the TV signal screen while they move the antenna to find the middle satellite. Look for other campers who have a tripod and satellite dish set up. You can use their antenna to take a sighting with your compass. Also RVs are very happy to help you set up your antenna.
Based on your zip code Directv and several other internet sites provide the numbers for the exact magnet heading and degrees of elevation tilt and skew (antenna side tilt). The trick is make sure that the tripod is level and that the antenna mounting mast is absolutely vertical. Youtube has a lot of how to video’s on satellite antenna aiming.

Current Technology: The current Directv “Slim Line” SWM HD dish $100 feeding its latest $200 HR24 receiver(s) has to lock on to five satellites. In order to find the three or five satellites the antenna has to be tilted a tad on its side. Unlike SDTV you can’t use an inexpensive a satellite finder to help with the process of moving the antenna up and down and side to side as you zero in on the one satellite. Directv charges extra for HDTV. DISH does not. If you have the satellite receiver located in an RV Directv can provide (for a fee) Distant Network Service (DNS) DISH can not provide DNS.
QUOTE(MelindaK @ Oct 19 2012, 12:26 AM) *

I am thinking of breaking down and getting satellite tv for the TT. Which has the better pay as you go Dish or Direct TV? Any preference on satellite dishes? My brother mentioned the cube since it is automatic. Not sure I want to pay that much, but I don't want to spend an hour setting up tv reception either.

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docj
post Oct 30 2012, 07:58 PM
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QUOTE(cactusjack @ Oct 30 2012, 08:19 PM) *


Current Technology: The current Directv “Slim Line” SWM HD dish $100 feeding its latest $200 HR24 receiver(s) has to lock on to five satellites. In order to find the three or five satellites the antenna has to be tilted a tad on its side. Unlike SDTV you can’t use an inexpensive a satellite finder to help with the process of moving the antenna up and down and side to side as you zero in on the one satellite. Directv charges extra for HDTV. DISH does not. If you have the satellite receiver located in an RV Directv can provide (for a fee) Distant Network Service (DNS) DISH can not provide DNS.



A couple of corrections--

--DirecTV HD actually uses only the satellites at 99, 101, and 103 except for a few smaller market local channels some of which are on the 110 and/or 119 satellites. Our Winegard Trav'ler uses the 101, 110 and 119 satellites for alignment, but the latter two aren't used for any channels we receive.

--Dish can, indeed, now provide DNS channels. Its prohibition was lifted in 2011. Even during the period that Dish was on "suspension" with respect to DNS, a third party (All-American TV, or something like that) was able to sell the service to Dish customers.


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Denali
post Oct 31 2012, 09:25 AM
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QUOTE(cactusjack @ Oct 30 2012, 06:19 PM) *
If you have the satellite receiver located in an RV Directv can provide (for a fee) Distant Network Service (DNS) DISH can not provide DNS.
As Joel pointed out, DNS is available with Dish. It's only $5/month for both the New York and Los Angeles local stations. Depending on your location, one of the coasts will be in HD. Dish can also provide PBS, for $2/month. The last time I saw it discussed, DirecTV was not providing PBS to its mobile customers.


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docj
post Oct 31 2012, 03:22 PM
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QUOTE(Denali @ Oct 31 2012, 10:25 AM) *

As Joel pointed out, DNS is available with Dish. It's only $5/month for both the New York and Los Angeles local stations. Depending on your location, one of the coasts will be in HD. Dish can also provide PBS, for $2/month. The last time I saw it discussed, DirecTV was not providing PBS to its mobile customers.


We do get PBS as part of our DirecTV DNS package, it just isn't in HD. DirecTV used to provide both NY and LA feeds on DNS, but now they only give you one unless you are grandfathered. You get either east or west depending on your account address. Our SD address gets us the eastern feed which we prefer since we can always DVR shows and watch them later.


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MAFLAF
post Nov 3 2012, 07:31 PM
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QUOTE(MelindaK @ Oct 19 2012, 12:26 AM) *

I am thinking of breaking down and getting satellite tv for the TT. Which has the better pay as you go Dish or Direct TV? Any preference on satellite dishes? My brother mentioned the cube since it is automatic. Not sure I want to pay that much, but I don't want to spend an hour setting up tv reception either.

We are fulltimers and have a Dish Tailgater. It's small enough to not take up a lot of room and easy to set up. Takes about 15 mins. once parked to set up and start watching (plug in, put on top of 5th wheel then aquire signal). We prefer the tailgater since it can be moved around to get a signal if we need to. Can be locked if security is an issue.
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