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Post Info TOPIC: DirecTv for the Full Timer


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DirecTv for the Full Timer


Robin and I just left Costco after listening to the DTV pitch, and I gotta tell ya I almost jumped on it. But I am not the impulsive type and thought I should run it by the RV Dreams experts.

We currently reside in our S&B in upstate NY and intend to be FT in our Fiver come June 1st. In our S&B we have Time Warner Cable. The DTV pitch was to switch over for a $50 savings per month from TW (really like that) but the boy with a suit on says, "you use the same dish mount as your house". That dosent sound right to me.

What are the must haves with DTV for the FT RVer?

Are you happy you went with DTV?

Oh...Boy in suit also will give us a $300 Costco card when we sign up.

Looking forward to suggestions and comments.

Thanks,

Mike



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Mike,

We've been on Direct TV since sometime in 2003, when we moved to an acreage in the country.  I've enjoyed getting the shows I want, but in reality, I wish we could get satellite "packages" ala carte, meaning, picking a package of "x" number of channels and no more.  I probably only watch about 5 or 6 channels.

As for the sales pitch, I'm glad you held off.  Unless you choose to go with an automatic rooftop antenna, which of course, wouldn't be using your S&B's antenna, I'd say you will still have to have a separate dish antenna.  We have one that we bought that is separate and is on a tripod that is placed out where we can get a signal.  It is smaller than the one on a regular S&B, thus making it easier to stow away for travel.  Also, unless things have changed, I'm not sure how a home rooftop model of dish antenna would adapt to a tripod.

Use the "Search" function of the forums and use the search phrase "Direct TV" to see what has been discussed that is specific to that service.  Others on the forums will be able to give you a lot better information than I can, so I'd bet you will soon hear from them.

Here is a site that discusses the various options.  I see that at the site that I think he writes of attaching a different kind of base to the roof of the RV that a regular S&B dish antenna would mount on that is taken off of the mount "staff" for travel.

Satellite TV for Your RV

Winegard Antenna Systems for RV's

As a side note, once the introductory period is gone with any satellite provider, prices will go up, and likely will go up every year thereafter.  When we started out on Direct TV in 2003, we had a low monthly payment, but it was basic service.  I found out that a couple of the channels I wanted required going to a "higher than basic" service which cost more, in our case roughly about $80 a month.  (Don't make me swear on that dollar amount...after all, I don't pay the bills.

Terry

 



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Dishnet is RV friendly.......and has prepaid plans with no contract.......I pay 32 a month for basic and its fine and if I dont want it next month just call them and shut it off no charges.......2 months later if I want it they turn it right on......NO CONTRACT no trial period........no price increases.......no bull......and service techs that understand RV'S


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MikenRobin wrote:

Robin and I just left Costco after listening to the DTV pitch, and I gotta tell ya I almost jumped on it. But I am not the impulsive type and thought I should run it by the RV Dreams experts.

We currently reside in our S&B in upstate NY and intend to be FT in our Fiver come June 1st. In our S&B we have Time Warner Cable. The DTV pitch was to switch over for a $50 savings per month from TW (really like that) but the boy with a suit on says, "you use the same dish mount as your house". That dosent sound right to me.

What are the must haves with DTV for the FT RVer?

Are you happy you went with DTV?

Oh...Boy in suit also will give us a $300 Costco card when we sign up.

Looking forward to suggestions and comments.

Thanks,

Mike


well its rather obvious your not going to use the dish from the side of your house now is it not? realistically you need a self programing HD dish set up that is mounted on the roof of the rv so all u do is hit the button when you get to your camping spot. Around $1500-$2000 installed or more , second off  save $50 per month? based on what?  My TW deal now is only $50 so that makes my DT free????

Then what kind of receivers do u want ? HD with PVR I would assume and then the programing. Basic is cheap but add movie channels and NFL and NHL etc it gets pricey

Over all though Sat TV is the best way to go if your going to be traveling in a RV.If your going to just sit in one spot months on end then TW or whatever is available on Cable is the way to go $$ wise

BUT if you get the multi sat automatic dish system,HD pvr receivers etc and   decent program packages  sat tv is the way to go but its pricey  overall but very nice system



-- Edited by ticat900 on Saturday 28th of November 2015 10:36:35 PM

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We've been static full timers for over 4 years now.  While we could have gotten cable in Oklahoma City, we chose not to because for what we wanted, there was no savings and no option to take it with us if we took a trip in our RV.  As for where we are now, cable again is not a viable option, either by availability or price.

So, unless one is planning to spend a long time in one place, some satellite service is best.

As for cost, a simple satellite and tripod is a heck of a lot cheaper than an HD system on the roof.  I've got less than probably $150 in our outdoor setup and while it might take me a bit to get a good signal by adjusting the external dish on the tripod, it would take a heck of a long time to use up a couple thousand dollars for an HD system.  Now, if one has to have HD, then I guess one would have to be willing to pay more.  For us, we don't watch enough TV to make that worthwhile.

Terry



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We have Directv and do not regret our choice. We have the Distance Network Services so we get our "locals" out of NYC when we are traveling. If we are down in Florida (the upper half basically) we get our local channels out of Jacksonville also as that is where our mail service is located. Some people change their address when they travel to get the locals in the area they are in, but we don't bother. We just pull the locals in using the antenna. We do have the rooftop satellite dish that was mentioned previously and it is very easy and convenient. However, we have talked about the fact that if we ever traded our rig in, we might go with the tripod type just because when we are in a campground with trees it can be difficult to get a signal.



-- Edited by 2riker2go on Sunday 29th of November 2015 03:32:26 AM

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We have had Direct TV for 9 years now, going on ten.

We use a portable dish that sets up in about 10 minutes.

We carry enough cable that we can always get they dish out from under any trees.

The service is better than we had with cable at  the house.  Less outages.



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I too have had directv for many years and carry a 3lnb dish and a first class tripod. Set up takes min and with extra cable trees are not a problem. I once set the dish up in the river bed on the white River in Arkansas.
I hear good and bad about both dish and direct, I had dish many years ago and it was a real pain for me to set up.
I use over the air antenna for local channels if to far from home, which is usually in excess of 250-300 miles.


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dish or direct both take same amount of time to aim a dish. one advantage of a tripod dish is if your in a difficult signal area u can move it around
pros and cons on both. I prefer the roof auto systems. as far as dish and direct I know people with both and have used both and there both fine
Dish is better if u have older dish because u can get HD channels with the newer receiver with direct u need a fairly recent system (ant wise)


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We bought our DirecTV through Costco and found they wouldn't come out to do the initial setup in our RV. When I dug further, I was talking to a separate call center that dealt with Costco DTV customers only. When I called DTV directly, they said "Call them back and cancel. We can do it." I did, and it was no problem at all. We have a really good tripod and love the whole setup.

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I’ve used DirecTV for 20+ years and for 9 in the RV.  IMO, if you travel DirecTV has significant technical advantages over Dish.  Primarily as pertains to being able to get all the nominal TV channels, albeit in SD, from one satellite.  Dish requires two to receive two satellites to receive all mainline channels.

If you can afford the Winegard Trav’ler antenna it is one button simple and works extremely well.  It can also be selected to just search for the single SD satellite, 101, in a challenging environment.  Think trees as a challenging environment.  If you are able to receive that single satellite many, many times the HD satellites can also be received because they are so physically close, in space terms, to the 101 satellite.  (They are at 99 and 103 degrees in orbital position speak.)

By using the DirecTV dish SWM system a single wire to each receiver is all that is required to receive multiple channels for recording.  The DirecTV Genie will record 5 channels via one cable either from the roof mounted Winegard Trav’ler or a portable dish.  (Dish has a similar system but not as flexible by some opinions. See below link.)

This is not a “Ford / Chevy” discussion as some might take it.  Just having been in TV business for a long, long time I find the DirecTV system to be more flexible in RV service.  If you are stationary, it doesn’t make as much of a difference.  But on the road that’s a different situation.

Like all “technology” you get out of it what you put into it.  None of this is “plug and play.”  But once you learn how to operate and setup the equipment and learn about the options, it is no more complicated than any other facet of RVing technology.  Winegard, IMO, is an excellent source of assistance as they “do this mobile thing.”

http://www.winegard.com/travler/

This is another source of good, accurate technical papers on a lot of DirecTV equipment.  Don’t be overwhelmed with the list.  Most are pretty straight forward and it can give you some good information with a little time spend reading.

http://forums.solidsignal.com/showthread.php/5784-Solid-Signal-s-Downloadable-Tutorials-and-Reviews

Here is a specific link to a paper on DirecTV in the RV from the same site.  Please note page 4 of the DirecTV vs. Dish comparison table.

http://forums.solidsignal.com/docs/RV%20White%20Paper.pdf

It is always nice to save money, but IMO if you are a TV watcher it is sometimes best, especially for full-time, to spend the money upfront and get what works with the most flexibility if you are a traveling RV’er. Some feel Howard and Linda's opinions carry a lot of weight.  They have DirecTV with the roof mount automatic Winegard Trav'ler  antenna and a portable HD antenna as well using the SWM, single cable system as I mentioned.

Hope this might be of some assistance.

Bill



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Thanks, Bill.  I was thinking of you as one of those with a lot more information that I had.  I even saved a copy of that white paper on the services and systems myself.

Terry



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I just looked at a Dish net multi Tv system in a friends MH last week all "HD". only requires one main receiver and has what they call hoppers at the other tv.
easy for recording and watching different channels on separate tv at the same time. works great, very easy to set up
its as good or better than direct Tv

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ticat900 wrote:

I just looked at a Dish net multi Tv system in a friends MH last week all "HD". only requires one main receiver and has what they call hoppers at the other tv.
easy for recording and watching different channels on separate tv at the same time. works great, very easy to set up
its as good or better than direct Tv


DirecTV “Genie” system does the same thing but just has some operational advantages in RV’s based on some opinions.  There is also a lot of support – for free – via Winegard and Solid Signal.  As I often say, “A Choice.”  Both can work.

 



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Terry and Jo wrote:

Thanks, Bill.  I was thinking of you as one of those with a lot more information that I had.  I even saved a copy of that white paper on the services and systems myself.

Terry


Yes, Terry, glad you did that.  May make responses easier and quicker.  This is an ongoing question quite understandably.

For those that want to dig into DirecTV this is a very good site with a lot of simple, and also higher level, technical information.  You can register and an extremely knowledgeable individual who runs the blog will respond.  No charge.  He’s paid to do this by Solid Signal.  So Winegard will as well if you have their products.

As a comment for those perhaps reading along:  One of the things we must all remember is that these home satellite systems were never intended to be “moved” every other day, so to speak, other than the very high dollar Marine auto tracking systems. They were intended to be installed, mostly by a professional, and just work.  The average home user never even thinks about aligning a dish.

We RVers are a very, very niche group of users.  But once one understands how it works it becomes a pretty simple system and just part of the RV setup.



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Bill and Linda wrote:
ticat900 wrote:

I just looked at a Dish net multi Tv system in a friends MH last week all "HD". only requires one main receiver and has what they call hoppers at the other tv.
easy for recording and watching different channels on separate tv at the same time. works great, very easy to set up
its as good or better than direct Tv


 

DirecTV “Genie” system does the same thing but just has some operational advantages in RV’s based on some opinions.  There is also a lot of support – for free – via Winegard and Solid Signal.  As I often say, “A Choice.”  Both can work.

 


understood.The reason Iam leaning towards the dish set up is 1)HD Tv with stand dish system and 2) my friend can barley turn on a lite switch without instructions and he has no problems when stopping for a few days to set up dish and watch Tv. So iam impressed with how easy dish is to use and set up

Now that being said and all one wants is A one LNB sat antenna Then A simple tripod dish and SD receiver for one   TV  then direct is as simple as it gets



-- Edited by ticat900 on Monday 30th of November 2015 04:10:33 PM

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I am definitely going to need access to the football games during NFL season! I guess I better find a way to make that happen before we go out on the road.

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Let me begin by saying that what I am about to post is NOT based on experience, rather it is based on what I have learned and believe to be accurate. I just bought my first RV and am having the Winegard Trav'ler installed. It is self folding, roof mounted, auto seeking. It is a thing of beauty to watch it deploy and seek the sats ... of course such things fascinate me, my wife not so much. HA! Anyway, the reason I went this way is that DirecTV HD programing requires that and I definitely want HD ... and I subscribe to the NFL package, so for me DirecTV was the only choice. Like rodeojoe, the NFL package is the deal breaker for me. Dish is probably more RV friendly, but I've been a DirecTV person for 25 years and I gotta have NFL Football.

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Oh ... I forgot this part. I am just not comfortable setting ANYTHING up outside that isn't nailed down ... I would fear that it would grow feet and leave. I guess if you are boon docking, that wouldn't be such a big deal, but in an RV park, I just would not be comfortable leaving it (dish on a tripod) sit outside overnight.

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RonC wrote:

Oh ... I forgot this part. I am just not comfortable setting ANYTHING up outside that isn't nailed down ... I would fear that it would grow feet and leave. I guess if you are boon docking, that wouldn't be such a big deal, but in an RV park, I just would not be comfortable leaving it (dish on a tripod) sit outside overnight.


 9+ years, never have given it a thought.  We don' even lock the basement doors.  RV parks, are by and large, very safe places if you just use common sense about where you park.  

 

Barb

 



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RonC wrote:

Oh ... I forgot this part. I am just not comfortable setting ANYTHING up outside that isn't nailed down ... I would fear that it would grow feet and leave. I guess if you are boon docking, that wouldn't be such a big deal, but in an RV park, I just would not be comfortable leaving it (dish on a tripod) sit outside overnight.


you must be living in A awefull RV park in A  awefull area of the country then  because The resort I live in you can leave your wallet and keys in the car parked by the MH

and never fear.Not that I do just saying

I really have a hard time imagining a person packing away a sat dish system in a decent RV park



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RonC wrote:

Let me begin by saying that what I am about to post is NOT based on experience, rather it is based on what I have learned and believe to be accurate. I just bought my first RV and am having the Winegard Trav'ler installed. It is self folding, roof mounted, auto seeking. It is a thing of beauty to watch it deploy and seek the sats ... of course such things fascinate me, my wife not so much. HA! Anyway, the reason I went this way is that DirecTV HD programing requires that and I definitely want HD ... and I subscribe to the NFL package, so for me DirecTV was the only choice. Like rodeojoe, the NFL package is the deal breaker for me. Dish is probably more RV friendly, but I've been a DirecTV person for 25 years and I gotta have NFL Football.


Actually DISHnet also  has a great HD RV sat system and a great NFL and Hockey package at reasonable rates.  



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ticat900 wrote:
RonC wrote:

Let me begin by saying that what I am about to post is NOT based on experience, rather it is based on what I have learned and believe to be accurate. I just bought my first RV and am having the Winegard Trav'ler installed. It is self folding, roof mounted, auto seeking. It is a thing of beauty to watch it deploy and seek the sats ... of course such things fascinate me, my wife not so much. HA! Anyway, the reason I went this way is that DirecTV HD programing requires that and I definitely want HD ... and I subscribe to the NFL package, so for me DirecTV was the only choice. Like rodeojoe, the NFL package is the deal breaker for me. Dish is probably more RV friendly, but I've been a DirecTV person for 25 years and I gotta have NFL Football.


Actually DISHnet also  has a great HD RV sat system and a great NFL and Hockey package at reasonable rates.  


 NFL package (DirecTV) allows me to watch the teams I'm interested in each week.  Dish has "great football" if you're OK with the networks "game of the week".  What's "hockey"?😜



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Really ... why would you suggest I live in a "terrible park in a terrible state"??  All I said is that I I would not be comfortable leaving expensive things unsecured outside.  If you choose to do so, then be my guest ... and hope that works out for you.



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Ron,

Most of us have found that most RV Parks are very safe and don't feel the need to flood the moat, pull up the drawbridge and close the gate. If someone is so desparate for a banged up tripod and dish, welcome to it. We set up with the grill outside, chairs, patio rug, etc. None of it is terribly expensive. We only lock the basement bays if we are in a place that gives my tummy a weird feeling, and usually if I have that feeling, we are on our way down the road. Now computers, etc., are inside the coach with us because that makes sense and they are expensive.

Barb


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RonC wrote:

Oh ... I forgot this part. I am just not comfortable setting ANYTHING up outside that isn't nailed down ... I would fear that it would grow feet and leave. I guess if you are boon docking, that wouldn't be such a big deal, but in an RV park, I just would not be comfortable leaving it (dish on a tripod) sit outside overnight.


 I wouldn't be too concerned about your gear growing "legs".  There has to be literally tens of thousands of dishes out there and the rare instances of theft would be akin to the ocasional petty theft in any small rural town in America.  Does it happen... sure, but the odds of it happening to YOU are closer to winning the 1.5 billion lotto.  

Sleep well my friend, sleep well.smile



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Ok I need to clarify what I have read and learned from discussing my options with Direct TV. First let me make sure you know I need the NFL Ticket so I can watch my favorite team. Second, because we are getting a new trailer with the latest TV's we need HD programming.

1. I am unable to discern if any one that has posted with a "portable or tripod" system is able to get Direct TV in HD programming. That to me would be a deal breaker on a portable system (sorry, not interested in Dish as I know that their portable dish does receive HD programming - BUT no NFL ticket! Deal breaker there)

2. I spoke to a representative at Direct TV on Friday and he assured me that I could get HD programming on a tripod/portable system. I still have my doubts as Winegard is pretty explicit with their advertising that their portable systems only recieve Direct TV SD. Deal breaker again!

3. While I don't mind installing the trav'ler by Winegard, I would rather have the flexibility of a portable system. I have read where some have both a permanent mount and a portable. I'm too cheap for that. I can always mount some L brackets on the roof and use them with a tripod system if it will receive HD programming and we don't have tree/obstacles issues.

4. So as of know I remain unsure if there is a portable system that can receive Direct TV HD programming. I figured I could do a corkscrew into the ground with a chain/cable to the tripod with a lock. It would keep the honest honest and help prevent the system from toppling over.

Anyone have any input as to HD programming that they are receiving from Direct TV with a portable dish?

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Rick,

We have the Winegard Trav'ler Rooftop Automatic dish but we also have a DirecTV Slimline SWM portable dish for those times when the rooftop is blocked by trees. We're using the portable right now and getting HD.

The deal is you can only get HD on DirecTV with a portable dish that is in the traditional dish/antenna shape and that you have to manually point.

You can't get HD on DirecTV with the small portable dishes that automatically locate the satellites.  On those you can get SD only on DirecTV or HD on DISH.

Here is is our dish on a heavy duty tripod from TV4RV.com.  Our dish is a 5 LNB Slimline, but you really only need the 3LNB model for satellites 101, 99, & 103.

 

 

The newer dishes all have SWM technology built in so that you only need one cable from the dish.

The dish is rather large, so the heavy duty tripod keeps it more stable, plus it is adjustable, and allows for a tie down from the center.  Have never locked it up, and never worried about it.  The dishes are easy to come by - DirecTV gave us this one and many installers have extras, but if you have to replace one it's only about $60.

Hope that helps.  :)



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Howard, thank you. You answered my question as to being able to utilize a portable setup. In you opinion is it worth to have the  trav'ler if you still have to utilize a portable at times?



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The Trav'ler is awesome.  In my opinion, it is definitely worth it.  But that all depends on your own budget and wallet since the cost will be around $1,500 - $2,000 installed.  But it's really nice to park in a campsite, hit a button and have it lock onto the satellites automatically before you've finished setting up. When packing up, you hit another button and it's stowed before you put the slides in.
Having to set up the tripod and point the dish manually every time you move would be a pain, but once it's part of a normal set-up and take-down procedure, it's not that bad. With that said, since we have both and have been spoiled by the Trav'ler, I dread those occasions when I have to set up the tripod, point the dish, and then take it all down and store it again upon departure.  It's like a lot of things - you don't miss what you've never had, but once you've been spoiled it's hard to go back.  :)  
Rickl wrote:

Howard, thank you. You answered my question as to being able to utilize a portable setup. In you opinion is it worth to have the  trav'ler if you still have to utilize a portable at times?


 



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We have the same tripod as Howard. Worth every penny.

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Well, I haven't pulled the trigger on DTV yet. We have been very busy with the sale of our house and now that the sale of the household contents is over, I think I will get the DTV with the portable mount to save a little money.

Thanks for all your help.,

Mike



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If you are one who wants TV and considers it important, such as the NFL, get the, albeit expensive, Trav'ler antenna.  We've had one since 2008 and it simply works.  It can also be programed to search for just the SD satellite - 101 - in difficult situations.  Think trees or mountains.  90% of the time if it can "see" the 101 satellite (which is where all SD programming is located) it will get enough signal from the 99 and 103 HD Ka satellites to get the HD feeds as well. (I could explain why, but no one cares.  They just want to watch TV. :) )

We also have same portable system as Howard and Linda.  The tripod is actually a professional unit used by many TV crews for supporting very expensive field TV cameras.  I've probably bought 50-60 of these in my professional life.  It is worth the money to hold the portable antenna.  We don't need to use the portable very often but sometime there are just too many trees.

I use this site to help with rig site selection.  http://www.dishpointer.com/  A bit of work ahead of time can sometimes pick a very nice site and still use the roof mounted Trav'ler antenna.

Highly recommend getting the DirecTV Genie.  Works very well in the rig.

If you want a meter this is the one I use:  http://www.solidsignal.com/pview.asp?p=SATLOOKLITE&d=Solid-Signal-Ka-Hi%2FLo-Ku-Satellite-Signal-Tracking-Meter-SWM-Meter-(SATLOOKLITE)&q=look lite

It is the least expensive meter I've found that will work with the SWM system.  It will only peak the 101 satellite but once that's done you can fine tune the 99 and 103 via the receiver.  You can not use the little inexpensive meters with the SWM antenna.

Bill



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Bill, I'm confused. I'm on 101, and I have HD. Am I missing something?

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Diana and Jim wrote:

Bill, I'm confused. I'm on 101, and I have HD. Am I missing something?


No your not, that's kind of the point. :)  DirecTV, supplies (almost) all channels on satellite #101 in standard definition.  101 is parked right in the middle of the US - about Texas.  The HD channels are on 99 and 103.  These numbers correspond to degrees and they are both only 2 degrees away from 101.  "Most of the time" if the Trav'ler (or portable) antenna is peaked on 101 you will receive 99 and 103 (the HD channels) because they are so close. 

There is more to this "peaking" business but that's the point.  With DirecTV if you are in a difficult reception situation, like trees or even shooting right over the edge of a mountain (or hill) - if you can receive 101 you can get most all programming - albeit in SD.  That, to us, has turned out to b a very big advantage, in the RV world, over the Dish system which requires 2 satellites to be found to receive most all programming.  (In a home situation it doesn't matter.  This is not a Ford / Chevy discussion.)

More down in the weeds - The Trav'ler in the Multi-Satellite mode (I.e. find 99 - 101 - 103) will try and peak all three satellites.  If the conditions (dirt / trees) don't permit all three to peak the Trav'ler will - most of the time - eventually stop trying.  IF the antenna is set to just peak on 101 - manual mode - "read the manual" how to do this - it will just try to find 101 and peak on it.  If it can peak and lock on to 101 then "sometimes" 99 and 103 will be "just strong enough" to be received on the DirecTV receiver even though they were evaluated by the Trav'ler to be too weak to peak on.  "It depends."  But if you can receive at least one satellite - 101 - you will have 99% - 100% of your programming albeit in standard definition. 

All of the above applies to either the roof mount Trav'ler or a portable "HD" antenna such as is shown in Howard's picture in the above thread.

As a point of clarification, the DirecTV receiver in your coach is NOT used by the Trav'ler antenna to peak.  The Trav'ler has its own special receiver built in.

Bill

 



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Ok....so I am setting up a portable dish (no Trav'ler). I use Dish Pointer and set it to 101. The head on the arm has one oblong receiver on it #SL3S4NR2-14. So you are saying I'm good...or should I be shooting for 99 or 103? I appreciate the help.

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Diana and Jim wrote:

Ok....so I am setting up a portable dish (no Trav'ler). I use Dish Pointer and set it to 101. The head on the arm has one oblong receiver on it #SL3S4NR2-14. So you are saying I'm good...or should I be shooting for 99 or 103? I appreciate the help.


Your best, most solid signal will be if you peak 101 and then tweak the dish pointing a little to get the best signal you can on 99 & 103.  But, MOST of the time, if you peak on 101, the other two will just work and you'll get your HD.  That's usually what we do with the portable - just get the best signal we can on 101, and usually the signal on the other two are good enough.

Sometimes, however, if you are pointing through or on the edge of trees, you may be able to peak 101, but not get your HD because 99 and/or 103 are just barely blocked by leaves.  Tweaking the pointing may help, but if it's a very narrow hole in the trees, it may not.  But at least you'll still have all your programming - you just might have to "rough it" with SD at that particular campsite.  :)

 



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Thanks, Howard and Bill. I wasn't sure if I was doing something wrong. I've been getting a great HD picture, but I've only been working off of 101. I'll check the others next time also...if nothing more than to see how I'm doing. :)

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Ok, you guys got my interest peaked, especially since we are sitting in COE park this summer with spotting OTA signal. I'm curious how much you pay for the DirectTV monthly service. I know there are specials, but once you are past that, what is a normal monthly expense? Btw, the NFL network is really appealing 😀

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We use Dish Network. We have a Pathway X2. I set it on ground, connect cable, go about setting up camper. When I'm done, sat is playing. How much simpler can it be?

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Diana and Jim wrote:

Thanks, Howard and Bill. I wasn't sure if I was doing something wrong. I've been getting a great HD picture, but I've only been working off of 101. I'll check the others next time also...if nothing more than to see how I'm doing. :)


Yes, as Howard said, try to get all three satellites, sure.  "But if its working - your getting HD - you don't need to fix it."

Here's a trick that can help as I showed Howard at the Boondocking Rally: With the portable dish put the skew setting at 90 degrees.  Look on the back of the dish, there will be a calibration scale.  Peak 101 with the skew set to 90.  Once you have 101 peaked, reset the skew for your location based on either dishpointer.com or the number given on the receiver for skew when you insert the zip code of your location under "Dish Pointing."  Then re-peak 101 and then "tweek-in"  99 and 103.  Sometimes when you re-peak 101 with the skew set for your location - 99 and 103 will just "be there." This is what you are sort of experiencing and I've been attempting to share in my posts.

 



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Yeah, I've been leveling the tripod with the bubble on top, then setting the tilt and elevation on the dish before I ever put it on the tripod. It hits almost dead on with Dishpointer. I get numbers in the 90's on the Genie on 101. I will check out 99 and 103 on our next setup. We are currently dishless, due to one huge spruce tree. :). We are surrounded by trees except one small spot...and there is a spruce about 50 yards out, bigger than all get out. :)

Thanks again, guys!

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There are five different "base" packages ranging from $62/month to $145/month.  You have to be very careful with the semantics (channels vs networks vs packages and things such as NFL Network is different than NFL Sunday Ticket).  Be sure to look at the channel comparisons for the packages.  Then there are equipment charges and taxes that are based on your "service address".
There are two NFL Sunday Ticket packages - one is $45/month for six months and the other is $60/month for six months. NFL Sunday Ticket is a premium package to watch all games, while NFL Network shows a few games and is included on all but the lowest priced "base" package. 
They offer some really good pricing for new customers, but be aware of the classic "bait and switch" where they get you hooked and then increase your prices to "regular" pricing.  After the promotional period (usually 12 - 24 months) expires you can be looking at significant increases.  Be sure to understand what your total charges will be after the promotional period expires.  Right now they are offering the 2016 NFL Sunday Ticket for free for new customers.
We pay $120 a month including a Grandfathered package not offered anymore at $82, Distant Network Service (East & West Coast Network Channels - another grandfathered program to get both coasts) at $20, about $30 in equipment charges and taxes, and then I get a $10 discount because I always call and badger them for any discounts I can get.  :)
They also have a "Refer A Friend" program.  If you sign up using our account number, you get $10 off your bill each month and we get $10 off our bill each month.  Once you are a customer, you can do the same and get $10 off your bill each month for up to 10 friends.  We should have been pushing this program all along, but just haven't until recently.  Here is our Refer A Friend link for anyone interested.  :)
I have my issues with DirecTV, but we love our programming and Distant Network Services, and we never watch local over-the-air programming.  We drank the kool-aid and we're hooked, but if things get really tight, it's one of the first luxuries to go.  :)
fun2travel wrote:

Ok, you guys got my interest peaked, especially since we are sitting in COE park this summer with spotting OTA signal. I'm curious how much you pay for the DirectTV monthly service. I know there are specials, but once you are past that, what is a normal monthly expense? Btw, the NFL network is really appealing 😀


 



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Diana and Jim wrote:

Yeah, I've been leveling the tripod with the bubble on top, then setting the tilt and elevation on the dish before I ever put it on the tripod. It hits almost dead on with Dishpointer. I get numbers in the 90's on the Genie on 101. I will check out 99 and 103 on our next setup. We are currently dishless, due to one huge spruce tree. :). We are surrounded by trees except one small spot...and there is a spruce about 50 yards out, bigger than all get out. :)

Thanks again, guys!


Yep, get 101, probably get 'em all.  That's one of the advantages of the DirecTV product.  I will share when you look at the signal strength on the Genie, you can have a really low signal indication and still get "green" on the strength 'o meter.  Don't worry if 99 & 103 signal numbers are significantly lower than 101.  Actually with a portable antenna that's to be expected.  Not because of the portable dish but because you don't have a professional meter (they are expensive) to accurately point the antenna for the Ka 99 & 103 birds.  As long as you have a "green" on the meter in the Genie for 99 & 103, sit back and enjoy.

BTW, the portable DirecTV antenna is "capable" of getting as strong a signal as the roof mount assuming nothing is in the way. It's exactly the same equipment.  It's the "crude" pointing that causes the signals to be lower. It isn't possible to accurately - precisely - point a satellite antenna with the meter in the receiver - DirecTV or Dish.

Bill 



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Thanks, Bill!

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Bill, Dave here (Allegro Bus) from the boondock rally. Our 2007 Trac King is obsolete and we are now limited to Sat 119 on Dish and expect it to be unusable any day.  Our discussion at the rally and your posts here have convinced me to switch to Direct TV and we plan to have the Traveler installed next week in Red Bay.  My question is how is Direct for local channels? Our Trac King was not capable of receiving the local stations and our batwing OTA reception has been spotty (I use TVFool and a compass to point it because, well, I don't have a signal meter. Appreciate any recommendations on that as well). Do you call Direct to change your local area stations or can you just receive home address locals everywhere? We want to get CBS regularly.  

Also, you mentioned the Genie is a good fit. Is that just for the DVR or multiple TV support?

 



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Gpndavid wrote:

Bill, Dave here (Allegro Bus) from the boondock rally. Our 2007 Trac King is obsolete and we are now limited to Sat 119 on Dish and expect it to be unusable any day.  Our discussion at the rally and your posts here have convinced me to switch to Direct TV and we plan to have the Traveler installed next week in Red Bay.  My question is how is Direct for local channels? Our Trac King was not capable of receiving the local stations and our batwing OTA reception has been spotty (I use TVFool and a compass to point it because, well, I don't have a signal meter. Appreciate any recommendations on that as well). Do you call Direct to change your local area stations or can you just receive home address locals everywhere? We want to get CBS regularly.  

Also, you mentioned the Genie is a good fit. Is that just for the DVR or multiple TV support?

 


 

Hi Dave:

Trust all is well with "The Bus." 

We use the national service, not locals, for the networks, CBS, ABC, NBC, Fox, etc.  It's called DNS (Direct Network Service) and is receivable all over the US.  Yes, there is a charge but that makes it simple. 

Yes you can call DirecTV and get the locals for the area you’re in IF you don't do it too often.  Some have more success with getting them changed than others.  Persistence and trying another CSR is sometimes helpful. 

If you are just looking to watch the network programs, not specifically the local channels, DNS is the way to go.  If you want the local news, well, you have to go through the location changing process.  (This is a government thing again.)  Or use the off-air antenna to the TV.

For DNS - Once you have your equipment installed - you will need to submit a form required by the government. (Surprise)

Go here:  This will explain the process and provide a link to the form to fill out and (believe it or not) mail it in.

https://support.directv.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/1825/related/1/session/L2F2LzEvdGltZS8xNDYyNDUyMTE5L3NpZC9Vc1NDKkpQbQ==

Once you have DNS it just works and you can get the networks in all 48 states.  DNS “stations” are the New York or LA locals.  If your billing address is on the east coast you’ll get NY which I recommend.

Receiver – If you can still get a Genie HR-44 it is both a server and “feeds” your TV as well.  If they can only provide an HR-54 Genie that is a server only and you will need a client to feed the TV.  No big deal.  The system is actually very flexible but they are moving toward the server / client operation to actually simplify expansion.  Yes, either the HR-44 or HR-54 can work with multiple TV’s via individual clients.  Each TV having a “client” that gets its feed from the server.

To do multiple TV’s etc. you will most likely need a professional RV installer to do all this.  Electrically its simple, but you have to know how to do it and the “home” DirecTV installers usually won’t install cabling in a RVs.  Check with Winegard.  They may have a list.  I don’t have any as I did my own.

You will need the Trav’ler antenna installed and operating before having DirecTV come to install the equipment. I strongly recommend going via Winegard to get all the DirecTV equipment including programing service.  They know about all this and are used to working with RVers.  The regular DirecTV CSRs don’t really know about RV stuff.  We are just a blip as to the number of home and commercial customers. 

This can seem like a pain but once done it over and just works.

Hope this helps a bit.

Bill



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That's great Bill. It sounds like DNS is what we want. Not sure abou the New York locals since I am an Alabama resident. Maybe if it has southern sub-titles. 😜

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Well I do want to thank you all for the education on DTV. Yesterday we had DirecTV installed and we love it. The installer planted a pole next to the camper and was hooked up in no time. Then I ordered the tripod and meter from TV4RV.com should be here in a couple days. When we hit the road on June 1st I guess Ill have to learn how to set it up.

Thanks again,

 

Mike



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There is a slight learning curve to setting up a tripod, Mike...but once you do it a few times, it's pretty straightforward. The key is to anchor it to the ground (or a weight) and make sure it is level. TV4RV includes a cool little bubble level that I set on top of the post. Once that is level, it's just a matter of setting the numbers on the back of the dish. Be sure to note where they are now and compare them to what your Dishpointer app says on your phone. Familiarizing yourself now with that app will make it easier the first time you have to set up in a new location.

Quick note to Bill and Howard: We are set up at our next location and the numbers on all three birds look great. I pointed 101 and the other two just followed right along. I never thought to look at them before, but I will from now on. Thanks for the help!

Jim

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