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Old 09-28-2007, 07:31 AM   #1
BirdingRVer
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Naive Questions about Satellite TV

After two weeks of full timing we are considering Satellite TV. The RV park we are staying at has cable TV as have most of the parks we have stayed in but, with a very limited choice of channels

First question: If you use a tripod can the Satellite dish be plugged into the outside cable connection in the service center?

Second question: Where should we start so that we can have some knowledge of what we should be considering and the cost associated with getting Satellite TV?
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Old 09-28-2007, 07:52 AM   #2
Dean A Van Peursem
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Grant,

You really only have two choices for mobile satellite TV. Dish or Directv. I'm only familiar with DirecTV. We have used DirecTV with our 3400RL for over a year now. We have had Directv at our stick house for years and have upgraded twice from a single LNB to 3 LNB with HDTV and now to 5 LNB dish for HDTV. It is my understanding that the 5 LNB dish is only required to get local channels in HDTV as well as the other HD channels that Directv offers. DirecTV has just added more HD channels and plans to have over 100 by the end of the year.

I don't know what Directv's policy is concerning an original installation of a dish on a tripod. I have heard they won't do it unless it is anchored in cement. But here is how I would recommend getting around the issue. Just by a single or 3LNB dish, very inexpensive now, buy a Wineguard tripod with adjustable legs so you can get the tripod level on uneven ground. The tripod comes with a compass and a bubble level which is all you need. Then buy a Directv receiver for regular TV or a HD20 for HD TV. They are sold individually. Then just call Directv to activate the card that comes with it. The Dish uses a coaxial cable that you can plug right into the TV/Satellite connector in the Convenience center. If your 3500 is like our 3400RL there are three coaxial connectors in the cupboard above the TV. The top one feeds back to the TV in the rear. The middle one is from the convenience center and the bottom one is the return from the rear. There will be a jumper between the top two which will need to be removed. Hook the receiver to the 2nd connector down.

Align the dish per the info provided by the receiver after entering the zip code you are currently at. Tune/adjust dish direction for maximum signal and then you should be off and running.
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Old 09-28-2007, 09:15 AM   #3
Bill and Lisa
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agree with everything said but will add that before trying to tune your dish make sure you turn OFF the antenna booster.

I notice you have an 07. Did it come with a HD TV installed? if so, was an input provided to the HD Tuner so you can actually pick up and watch HD over the air programs? Here is how to tell.....the coax providing the input to the TV needs to go through a splitter which has 2 coax cables coming out. One goes to the normal analog coax input. The other goes to the digital tuner coax input.

Bill
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Old 09-28-2007, 10:19 AM   #4
HamRad
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We use DirecTV. We simply take one or both of our DirecTV boxes with us when we travel. We also have just one lnb. We do not yet have the HD setup. I don't know how different that will be.

Our rig came with a separate connection for the satellite feed. For the dish we simply bought a dish from a local dealer. Got a tripod from RS.

One thing we did do was to download the RV Wavier request form and send that in. That allows us to get some east coast network feeds. Kinda nice when you want to watch competing programs. One of the nice perks is that we also get the extra channels at home.

We now have a slightly different setup. We also have DirecWay now called HughesNet. This allows us to connect to the internet. We bought our setup from DustyFoot. It consists of a heav duty tripod. A large oval dish with the receiver and transmitter for the internet. At the time they also offered an lnb for the TV part as well. They no longer offer such a setup. I suspect when we go to HD we can no longer use our current setup. We'll simply have to get the necessary setup and use another tripod. Just something else to carry and setup!

We, of course, had to run separate cables for each box. Our satellite will not work if connected through the cable TV connector. We also have separate cabling for the internet. we look like an octopus!

We finally have the setup system down to a fine art. Takes us usually only about 10 to 15 minutes to get signals on TV and internet.

We really enjoy having the TV and internet on the road. We also use the system at home. We used to have a DSL line at home but since we are on the road about half the year didn't want to continue paying for something we didn't even use.

Wish we could afford the automatic system but that is still in the $5k range. A bit too much for our limited budget.

Enjoy whatever system you end up getting.

HamRad
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Old 09-28-2007, 10:26 AM   #5
Countryfolks
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Pick up an antenna tuner also. It's a little meter you connect between the antenna and the receiver when setting the antenna up. Saves a lot of hassle.

We had Dish for years and used it at home [stick] and on the road with no problems. Check out what each of the providers offer in the way of programming to see if they have what y'all are interested in. They are similar but not the same.

I think I would get the tripod first then call a local Dish/Direct place of business and see if they would install on what you have.

On the Dish system there must be a direct connection between the antenna and receiver, no splitters allowed. I would think DirectTv is the same in most instances because the receiver sends power to the LNB to power it. The HD setup may be different.

Skip
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Old 09-28-2007, 01:49 PM   #6
BirdingRVer
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by Bill and Lisa



I notice you have an 07. Did it come with a HD TV installed? if so, was an input provided to the HD Tuner so you can actually pick up and watch HD over the air programs? Here is how to tell.....the coax providing the input to the TV needs to go through a splitter which has 2 coax cables coming out. One goes to the normal analog coax input. The other goes to the digital tuner coax input.

Bill
Yes our 07 came with the HD TV. Where should I be looking for this splitter?

I haven't figured out how to get behind the TV. Our 07 doesn't have the DVD holder that I have seen on the even newer 07.

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Old 10-04-2007, 04:46 AM   #7
gojodo
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I think you mentioned the reason you wanted Satellite TV was that the cable selections were not adequate in the park you were at. First I would suggest you go to DirectTV.com and look at the program guide to see what service you would want or if it satisfies your needs. We have Direct TV and to a great extent it is just another 200 channels of nothing. Then if you decide to go with the satellite my suggestion is to get the dish, without the tripod. I have a tripod but it just makes the set up less stable than sitting the dish and it's mounting bars on the ground. Good luck. John
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Old 10-05-2007, 07:11 PM   #8
boat391
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Grant I have dish network in our 3400 works fine love it. it is not hard to figure out how to point the dish and the dish is not to expensive the only thing I don't like about dish net is when we took our vacation to Yellow stone we could not get our locals and that ment no major networks I understand direct tv is different but I'm not sure why Iam about at the end of our sub to dish aand will be looking into direct for this reason ours plugs right in the the outside jack I do have to change the wires in the ent. center around but that easy to do if I can be of any help just pm me good luck happy trail till we see you again
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Old 10-06-2007, 06:07 PM   #9
exav8tr
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Grant, I have the King dome and a DirectTV HDTV receiver, of course, you need to have a clear view of the southern sky for it to work and receive a signal. Problem, last park, and many others will not allow this with the dome SOOOOO I purchased a 5LNB dish and had a tv guy install a switch that I can use either dish or dome, dpeending on the sit. Worked great there and I have not used it since.

BTW: DirectTV now has a HDTV/DVR, had I known I would have opted for this receiver.

I have a Home Theater guy coming out Monday to give me an estimate on: New 32" LCD/HDTV on articulating arm, new Home theater system including new speakers placed where I need them (not over kitchen table), a New single remote that I can use for all systems, wiring to basement for TV and elec. and an AV switch with multiple positions for switching possibilities and possibly a cabinet retrofit. After this I will be set for life (at least the winter).

We are, of course, fulltiming and enjoy our luxuries. I find it difficult dealing with multiple remotes and trying to remember which switches are for what.

Oh Well, life is short, trying to enjoy it......
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Old 01-05-2008, 03:19 AM   #10
Lije Baley
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Phil,

Have you learned how to aim the 5-LNB dish by now? I'm planning to replace my round, simple dish with the 5-LNB monster (and replace the SDTV with an HD model). I'm concerned with aiming the complex dish. Will I need an expensive meter? How big a tripod is necessary? Etc.
Thanks,
Bill
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Old 01-05-2008, 04:38 AM   #11
exav8tr
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Bill, aiming the oval dish is not hard. I use the numbers that Directv gives me for the current zip code, set them in the dish arm and then turn dish to align azimuth from compass. I do use the signal meter that tells me when I am on. Meter cost me $30.00, but you can still do it without a meter the old way. Winegard has a new roof top mount antenna that raises with the touch of a button and locks on automatically. I will be replacing my current roof top dome with one of these. It is an HD antenna also. Pricey but what isn't????? Check it out at CW.COM. It is called the Traveler....

I think the key to using a tripod mount dish is getting the tripod as level as possible. I watched a guy a few parks back work for three hours trying to get a signal. I asked him if he was level, his response was: "Is what level?" once he leveled his tripod Voila! A signal.......
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Old 01-06-2008, 12:46 PM   #12
Lije Baley
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As I said in the other thread, thank you. I'm anxious to get going, but each month I wait the TV will get cheaper! A Sharp 32" is less than half what I paid for one in mid '05.
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