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Old 05-30-2013, 09:34 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by perryg114 View Post
I called DISH today and their sales people are not from India. I did not call tech support. Maybe I should.

Perry
Yeah, quite often American companies who've outsourced their support offshore retain their sales and retention call centers in the US to keep you around.

I don't really have much to offer in the battle between dishes. I like that, with Dish, I can only pay for months I need to and suspend the account when I'm not in the trailer. I understand you'll use this at your house as well, so that's not an issue.

I also like the tailgater that Dish has available. I've never heard an owner complain about it.

DirecTV charges for HD but from what I've heard, if you add an additional dish for your RV, it's only $5 extra a month (assuming you have home service), so that's really attractive as well.
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Old 05-30-2013, 09:41 PM   #16
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I have had DirecTV since the beginning in about 1994. I don't know enough about Dish to comment. We take a receiver from the house when we go. We have an antenna in a carrying case to set up when we get to our destination. We have to know the ZIP code to get the azimuth and elevation.
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Old 05-31-2013, 09:00 AM   #17
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So how do the portable dish systems work? You put in a zip code and you get the alightment parameters. I assume you have to orient the dish to north or something like that?

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Old 05-31-2013, 09:38 AM   #18
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I have found Dish Tech Support excellent with no accent.

There are 3 kinds of portable dish systems:
1. A regular satellite dish on a tripod or some other mount. You have to manually set the elevation, azimuth(compass bearing) and sometimes the skew. There is a screen on the tv that lets you know when you've found the signal. But I found it to be a pita
2. Automatic or semi automatic dish antenna. For the Tailgater you enter the state you are in and push a button. It does the rest.
3. The satellite dishes that will follow the signal while in cruising down the road. $$$
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Old 05-31-2013, 09:38 AM   #19
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I'm pretty sure Dish support is in the US. I've been a long term customer and for the most part have been happy. One of the things I have noticed over the years is that other than receiver replacement, they tend to want to send a service person out if you have problems. When I first went with Dish, and you dealt with them directly, they sent you everything but the coax and you did the complete installation yourself.

In this case I had a problem with what I diagnosed as a bad LNB. I've replaced two of them previously but in this particular case they wouldn't send me a replacement. They insisted that someone come out. In the course of 4 hours they replaced a receiver, reran cable, put in a new switch to no avail. It ended up being a bad LNB and if they had listened to me and sent one, all that tomfoolery would have been avoided.

I just bought a Dish Tailgater for camping which is the dish "in a sealed box". Pretty cool in that it aims itself. While there is an equivalent model for Direct (made by the same company), it does not provide HD service due to what I was told, the Direct HD being delivered over the KU satellite band while their other services being delivered under a different frequency. If you ever look at a fixed Direct dish, you will see that odd ball LNB hanging out to one side. That's the HD LNB.

You are limited to certain receivers when using the Tailgater but if you have home Dish service, you can start and stop the service on your RV receiver without a surcharge. Cost for that receiver being functional is $7 a month. It has access to the same programming as your home receiver. Local channels are on a spot beam so once you are out of the range of your home spot beam signal, you lose those locals. You can call Dish and they will change your spot beam to the local spot beam (if one is present). Note however that this changes your account so you home receiver at that point will lose it's local connectivity. (This would be a problem if you have a home DVR and you are using timers to record local programming when you are gone). You can call once you get home and get your local channels changed back to your home area.

Note that there are stand alone plans for folks who have no home service but the cost is going to be higher due to the need to subscribe to a plan and commit to a term of service. You may also not have the option of turning the receiver off and on at will, and finally there may be service charges for changing your locals when on a stand alone plan.

Jack
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Old 05-31-2013, 09:44 AM   #20
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You guys know that Dish was bought out by an Indian Company (no not TATA Motors) but another company. Customer service is in India not the USA, which is why they have no concept of American culture and habits and logic...
I have dealt with Dish's tech support on two occasions, years apart. Once very recently and another time about five years ago. Neither time was the tech support way off in India. It was way off in the Philippines!

Once my Dish DVR was completely dead. The LEDs on the front would flicker and then go out. No power, nothing. Over and over.

After explaining that,
Dish: What does it say on the screen?
Me: Nothing. There is nothing on the screen.
Dish: What does it say on the screen?
Me: There's no power at all, there's nothing on the screen.
Dish: What does it say on the screen?
Me: Nothing.
Dish: What does it say on the screen?

etc...
They will try to charge you, from $50 to $75 five years ago to $95 recently, to send a technician out. If you remain adamant that you are not paying to repair equipment that you lease from them (it's their property after all), they will (grudgingly) send someone out for no charge.

This attempt at gouging appears to be located in their operation in Manilla. Once you get someone locally you are in good shape.
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Old 05-31-2013, 09:46 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by Lumatic View Post
I have found Dish Tech Support excellent with no accent.

There are 3 kinds of portable dish systems:
1. A regular satellite dish on a tripod or some other mount. You have to manually set the elevation, azimuth(compass bearing) and sometimes the skew. There is a screen on the tv that lets you know when you've found the signal. But I found it to be a pita
2. Automatic or semi automatic dish antenna. For the Tailgater you enter the state you are in and push a button. It does the rest.
3. The satellite dishes that will follow the signal while in cruising down the road. $$$
I have #1. It is highly dependent on a clear view of the southwestern sky. Sometimes it takes a while or 100' of cable to make it so. Sometimes impossible to get a signal. Sometimes get lucky and get 93% signal strength just by laying the dish out there. I keep the ZIP codes in notes on my phone and use the compass on my phone. Cell phones- the Leatherman or Swiss Army knife of technology...
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Old 05-31-2013, 09:46 AM   #22
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So when you end your contract after two years where do the electronics go?

Perry
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Old 05-31-2013, 09:50 AM   #23
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After the contract expires, you go month to month forever.

I don't know the nationality of the first person I talked to earlier this year or whether they were on the moon or India or Alabama, but they were hard to understand.

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Old 05-31-2013, 10:10 AM   #24
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After the contract expires, you go month to month forever.

I don't know the nationality of the first person I talked to earlier this year or whether they were on the moon or India or Alabama, but they were hard to understand.

Gene
Dish started a new pay as you go service for RVers. I had the regular to year contract but when it expired, I sent the equipment back and signed up for the new service. I bought a new receiver on ebay and had a tripod dish from the original contract. It gives you a permanent account but you pay one month at a time and turn off the service if you are not using it. The monthly rate is the same as the contract priced but you can turn it on and off when you are using your RV. There is no service charge for turning the service on and off once you establish this account.

Since we use our Airstream maybe a total of three months per year, we are saving the fees for the 9 months it's not in use. We just call them when we arrive at our destination and they turn the service on. This is primarily designed for RVers who do not use the service full time and works great for us. You can also upgrade or downgrade your programming anytime you want to with extra charges.
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Old 05-31-2013, 10:15 AM   #25
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Right now, I don't think we would use the sattelite for more than a week or two per year in the trailer. For short trips you can download stuff from your DVR to a laptop to view off the grid, at least that is what they are saying. When we camp we usually don't spend alot of time watching TV.

Perry
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Old 05-31-2013, 10:49 AM   #26
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So when you end your contract after two years where do the electronics go?

Perry
As noted you can buy your own equipment. I own my Tailgater and its associated receiver. No commitment or that equipment. On my home Hopper/Joey system, I got the equipment at no cost with an associated 2 year agreement. Since we've been with Dish over 15 years, I didn't see any reason why not to agree to 2 years of service. So technically the equipment belongs to Dish, but I am not paying a separate rental fee. It really becomes a moot point since even when I owned my own receivers, the service wasn't cheaper and Dish still replaced any component that failed. If you have issues with long term agreements then purchasing may be your best bet.

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Old 05-31-2013, 10:53 AM   #27
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I think I would just move the inside unit to the trailer. Is the receiver and Hopper made into the same unit or are there two discrete boxes? I would do the free with contract deal and buy a portable dish out of pocket.

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Old 05-31-2013, 11:49 AM   #28
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The Hopper is a receiver/DVR unit that has the capability of driving other remote units, appropriately called a Joey. The Hopper cannot work on the same line as a standard Dish receiver. In my home I have a dual coax feed from the dish on the roof to a small box called a solo node. From the solo node a single cable runs to the Hopper. Another cable from the solo node runs to a Joey. Technically all the tuners (3) are in the Hopper. The Joey units have access to the tuners and the DVR in the Hopper. One of the important needs of the Hopper itself is connectivity from the dish to the solo node and from the solo node to the Hopper all should be done with 3 GHz rated cables. The Joey connection from the solo node can be regular RG 59.

The Hopper is not compatible with the Dish Tailgater dish unit. You need a standard dish & LNB unit that can see the 3 dish satellites (assuming you want HD).

With the Tailgater you are use a 211k or a new 211z receiver. Those receivers have special software that controls the Tailgater dish. The Tailgater's dish is powered via the receiver and rotates to the correct satellite depending upon the channel you choose. It's extremely fast and in my experience from channel change to displayed picture, seems to be as fast as my Hopper using a fixed dish.

Obviously if you have one of the 211 receivers in the house, all you have to buy is the Tailgater dish and cable. Then you can remove it from the home and take it with you. No extra charges for doing this since the 211 at home is being paid for monthly anyway. I did notice that as a practice Dish is now shipping 3 GHz, 50' cables with the Tailgater (although I could not see that as a requirement). Technical support advised that I not exceed 150' in wiring length from the trailer to the Tailgater.

Jack
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