I went out on my first campout with my 211z receiver and Tailgater. I was about 200 miles northeast of St. Louis in the Bloomington Illinois area. Much to my surprise, I was still receiving my St. Louis locals at that location. I thought that the spot beam service was more limited. Since I was closer to Chicago than St. Louis I'm a little surprised.
I called tech support when I got home and they were surprised also. For my side, I was happy that I got that coverage but I was curious if Dish had a list of the metropolitan areas being supported by spot beams and maybe a coverage map showing the relative areas that the spot beam covers. Tech support said they had no such information and it really was an engineering question. Unfortunately I don't think we have access to that type of support as customers of Dish.
Looks like with a little help from some Internet sites you can research this information. I found a map that shows all the Dish spot beams that service metropolitan areas within each state. From the maps it becomes very obvious why I was able to see St. Louis locals from Bloomington Il. Too bad Dish technical support folks don't have this information at their fingertips.
This site has the satellites, maps and all the information you need to see. If you click through to your market, you can find the spot beam and the coverage map for that beam. Note that once you get to the station listing for your market, click on the spot beam number for your specific local TV station channel. That will pop up a regional map that will show the graphical coverage map of the beam.
Now I can research before a trip if my destination locale is serviced by a spot beam and specifically the spot beam assigned to a specific station market. So for all intents I can call for the switch to that markets spot beam once I get set up.
Check out the 129 degree satellite that Dish uses and the number of spot beams that cover the country. Coverage from 129°
Note the map labeled Ciel2 All Spots.
The nice thing with this information is that you can now plan in advance as to what markets are covered in each spot beam. So for example if I'm up in Door County Wisconsin, I can call Dish and ask them to switch my service to the spot beam which covers the Green Bay market. The other interesting thing is that it very much looks like almost the entire US is covered by a spot beams. In some cases the spot beams for different market areas overlap. So like when I was up at the Moraine View rally, if I were a person out of the Chicago area, I could have asked to be connected to the Chicago locals and someone else in the same location could request St. Louis locals. It's all very interesting.