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Old 05-31-2013, 09:46 AM   #21
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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. $$$
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.

Gene
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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.

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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.

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Old 05-31-2013, 11:54 AM   #29
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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.

Perry
Maybe someone who has the Hopper will have specifics. The Hopper is the receiver, but I believe it requires a twin coax connection to the receiver from the antenna; not really sure how that is accomplished with the existing cable arrangement in an Airstream. This is something you might discuss with a local agent as I doubt the sales or tech support on the 800# will be conversant on what you really need. The Hopper also has a disk drive for the DVR function which may be a problem if it gets a lot of jouncing going down the road even in the absence of 110v. A simpler single tuner non-DVR receiver that uses a single coax to the antenna will still get all the channels you subscribe to, but may be easier to live with on the road.

... As I was typing as fast as I could, I see Jack covered all the details and we are on the same page on this.
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Old 05-31-2013, 12:00 PM   #30
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Maybe someone who has the Hopper will have specifics. The Hopper is the receiver, but I believe it requires a twin coax connection to the receiver from the antenna; not really sure how that is accomplished with the existing cable arrangement in an Airstream. This is something you might discuss with a local agent as I doubt the sales or tech support on the 800# will be conversant on what you really need. The Hopper also has a disk drive for the DVR function which may be a problem if it gets a lot of jouncing going down the road even in the absence of 110v. A simpler single tuner non-DVR receiver that uses a single coax to the antenna will still get all the channels you subscribe to, but may be easier to live with on the road.

... As I was typing as fast as I could, I see Jack covered all the details and we are on the same page on this.
Fun when we cross posts! The twin coax lead goes into the solo node. That multiplexes the signal over to a single coax connection to the Hopper. Lots of traffic in and out on that single cable between the Hopper and Solo node. That's the big reason for the 3 GHz cable.

You could have the solo node external to the Airstream and have a single lead coming in. The issue is the Airstream's internal cabling. If its not 3 GHz, all kinds of problems can occur. I'm a prime example where the original installer of my Hopper thought my cabling was just fine. The Hopper worked okay for a day and then it started having a mind of its own. A repair man came back and put an impedance meter on the cable feeding the Hopper and realized that the first guy didn't do his job right. He ran all new 3 GHz cable from the Dish all the way into the house and replaced the RG 6 cable between the Hopper and solo node with a 3 GHz run. The system has run perfectly ever since.

Personally I'm happy with the 211z receiver in the trailer. And if I want, I can turn it into a DVR by purchasing an external USB 2.0 hard drive. Dish will charge a one time fee for unlocking the hard drive service on the receiver. I think it is $45.
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Old 05-31-2013, 01:43 PM   #31
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We have been using Windows Media Center for a number of years and we are addicted to the skip button and watching stuff when we want to. A DVR is a must have for us. Now that we are abandoning cable and Media Center is not being supported my Microsoft, a Satellite DVR seems the way to go. 30 sec commercials on Hulu is about as long as I can tolerate commercials. I loose interest and start channel surfing.

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Old 05-31-2013, 02:04 PM   #32
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I started reading this thread and got through the first page, but jumped to the last, so I hope I'm not repeating something someone else has said or missed a turn in the discussion.

We have Dish in our home for years, and have had it for a couple of years in the AS. I don't know how the others here have been able to move a receiver from their home and use in their AS, but we couldn't get it to work and were told we needed a special receiver, which we bought for around $150 (I think); we use a "Tailgater" for the dish. As someone else mentioned, they allow us to deactivate the AS receiver during the Winter to avoid the monthly charge when we aren't using it.

We love having the option to watch tv while away if the mood strikes us; sometimes we use it and other times not.

Dish has recently changed their programming setup and their billing practices. We have been paying for our programming annually for some years now, saving $$ from them by paying ahead. We recently received a letter stating that they are no longer going to allow that -- I imagine it's so they don't have to discount the cost to those paying annually.

We're pretty pleased with Dish, if we call and get someone with a heavy accent, I simply say, "I'm sorry, but I can't understand you. May I please speak with someone from the US?" They aren't always happy, but in the end transfer me. If I call and by chance reach someone from the US first time................I immediately tell them how wonderful it is to be speaking with someone I can understand.

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Old 05-31-2013, 03:15 PM   #33
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I don't know how the others here have been able to move a receiver from their home and use in their AS, but we couldn't get it to work and were told we needed a special receiver, which we bought for around $150 (I think); we use a "Tailgater" for the dish. As someone else mentioned, they allow us to deactivate the AS receiver during the Winter to avoid the monthly charge when we aren't using it.

Deb
Deb, if you were trying to use one of your home receivers with your Tailgater and the receiver wasn't the proper model 211, then as you noticed it won't work. The 211k and 211z receivers will work at home and with the Tailgater. Some folks use a standard dish mounted on a tripod. In those cases most of the Dish receivers from home will work.

Current pricing on the 211k is as low as $69 and the 211z is $89. Both prices are from an authorized Dish reseller on the Internet. The difference between the two receivers is that the 211z is smaller than the 211k. The 211z does not have a coaxial output for your TV. It only handles HDMI and composite cable out.

The 211z just came out in March and at the time, was not available on an individual purchase from Dish. I wanted it since I needed to have a smaller sized receiver due to the fact that the TV and receiver sit on a cabinet top over the top of our convection oven in our Classic. I bought mine from an authorized reseller.
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Old 06-01-2013, 07:23 AM   #34
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If you have never had either DrecTV or Dish Network this won't matter, but...I have had DirecTV for years and I am used to the button layout on the remote. When I am at the kids' house or my sister's house and try to use their Dish remotes it is a challenge. All of the same functions are there, but in different places.m also the on-screen displays are different and hard to get used to after using DirecTV for so long.
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Old 06-01-2013, 09:33 AM   #35
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Jack, thanks for updating me on the receivers, I imagine we have the 211k since it's about two years old. We really like the fact that we can carry the Tailgater around (so lightweight!) to get the best reception.

So, if I understand this correctly, we could use the 211k in our home if we wanted? I had no idea and thought it was strictly for use with the Tailgater.

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Old 06-01-2013, 09:51 AM   #36
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Jack, thanks for updating me on the receivers, I imagine we have the 211k since it's about two years old. We really like the fact that we can carry the Tailgater around (so lightweight!) to get the best reception.

So, if I understand this correctly, we could use the 211k in our home if we wanted? I had no idea and thought it was strictly for use with the Tailgater.

Deb
Deb, the only issue would be if you have a Hopper/Joey system installed. If you do, you would need separate coax run from the dish on the roof to the receiver.

Obviously if you don't have a Hopper then your existing wiring should support a 211k. For all intents the 211 series receiver was developed prior to the Tailgater dish and was a household unit. Some older 211 units which are not designated a k or z model, may not be able to support a Tailgater.

The folks at Dish have an RV support department and you can ask for them and discuss home use of your 211k if you have questions. I initially had some problems with my 211z on its first use and technical support transferred me to the RV support area. They gave me some initial setup solutions that got me going.

Jack
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Old 06-15-2013, 11:09 AM   #37
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Here's some more information about my experience after my first campout with my Dish Tailgater and 211z receiver.

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f451...h-98992-3.html

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Old 07-03-2013, 02:12 AM   #38
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I will never use directv again. They have silly policies about transferring equipment and services to others. I had an extensive directv installation at home with 5 DVR's all networked together for "whole home" including the supersize DVR that will record 5 things at once. Altogether I could record or watch 13 programs at a time in the house! It was a sweet setup and it took the installer an entire day to complete it.

Well, I went on the road full time and when I moved, they would not let the new people in the house take over a perfectly awesome installation! They'd rather send out an installer all over again and create a hassle not only for me but the new people too!

And it was a pain to terminate - they wanted to send boxes to return equipment. So I call 2 weeks before moving and they say they can't send out boxes until you turn off the service (not in anticipation). So there was no convenient way come moving day to have tv services stop that day and then ship off the equipment at the same time.

Instead, I had to have the prepaid return boxes sent several states away and I had to pack and move the 5 DVRs to mail from that location.

But when I called to cancel after packing and getting on the road, THEN they tell me they don't even want all 5 DVRs sent back! I tried to demand that they send boxes so I could return all of them since I already went through the trouble of hauling them across several states but that didn't get very far.

I suspect that they don't allow transfers as it could be a loophole in their 2 year contract and early termination fees. But that seems too short sighted to be plausible as they spend a fortune on marketing and acquiring new customers and on install labor. I can't figure out for the life of me why they wouldn't take an already installed customer through transfers like this. Heck, instead of sending an installer to install, they could even send so done out to do paperwork if they absolutely had to for some reason.

I'm planning to install satellite in my airstream in the next 45 days or so but it will be DISH - sounds like the pay as you go plan will not have any of this funny business with it.
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Old 07-03-2013, 07:08 AM   #39
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Well I just signed up for DISH and the Hopper DVR works great but the web interface viewer thing does not work well. This feature was oversold and now I am going to have to pay extra to get a box put in the bedroom. If you get a new system get all the extra room boxes while you can get the free installation.

Perry
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Old 07-03-2013, 07:32 AM   #40
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More Tailgater stuff
I went camping last weekend at a reserved spot with a not too good south sky exposure. While the tailgater only picked up one satellite this worked just fine.
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