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-   -   Satellite TV, Dish or Direct? (https://www.airforums.com/forums/f450/satellite-tv-dish-or-direct-135327.html)

ckottum 05-19-2015 11:40 AM

Satellite TV, Dish or Direct?
 
We have cable tv and internet at home but are away seasonally, about six months each, home and Airstream. Never had satellite tv but we are considering dropping the cable tv (keep the seasonal cable internet at home) and getting satellite tv for home and Airstream use.

Which satellite provider is offering the better overall service for a combination of home and rv use? We do not need the premium movie channels but a variety of entertainment programs, news, weather and sports is good. Our local broadcast reception here is poor primarily because of distance.

Economy, simplicity and reliability definitely matter in our rv decisions as a matter of principle. A simple-to-use satellite dish will also be needed. We are willing to spend up front for this, it is monthly service fees that concern us.

Suggestions will be appreciated greatly.

cheryl

SteveH 05-19-2015 11:52 AM

We purchased the Tailgater with it's receiver for the reasons you mention...simple to use, and set up, and we like the fact that we can pay for only the months we use it while in the Airstream.

I will not comment on which provider is the best, because this is the only experience we have.

paiceman 05-19-2015 11:55 AM

We have Direct, had it in a Motorhome as well. We simply take one box from home and that becomes our Airstream Sat connection. Have not used in the new AS yet, but plan on it next week. In the motorhome with a roof mount antenna it was flawless. We did not have local TV, but had everything else we wanted. I think we pay and extra $5.00 a month to use the Direct box remotely, but not sure can check if you need as my finance person does all that (wife).

jcanavera 05-19-2015 12:23 PM

I really can't compare the two satellite providers but I currently use Dish along with the Tailgater unit. The Tailgater unit is self aiming. I have an app with my iPad that allows me to turn on the iPad camera and look to the sky. It will show me if anything is blocking the Dish satellites. Easy to know where to place the Tailgater unit. The benefit for me is as a home Dish subscriber, is the ability to activate the HD receiver that I carry, only when I need it. So for a $7 monthly charge I get all the same programming that I do from home. Dish prorates so if you only need it for a weekend or a week, that monthly charge is prorated. I did buy the Tailgater dish and the receiver so there is that initial upfront cost for those two devices, but I own therm so there is no rental fees. If you have a model 211k or 211z receiver at home, you only have to buy the Tailgater dish itself. I have a Hopper and Joey system at home which cannot be used with the Tailgater dish.

The other advantage is the Tailgater dish can be placed around your site which is an advantage over the dishes mounted permanently on your trailer. This allows you to take advantage of nice sites that may not have a good southwestern exposure where the trailer is parked. Talking to Dish support I was told that the receiver could support at least 150' of 3 GHz rated external cabling. The Tailgater comes with 50' of 3 GHz cable.

The downside is that you are limited on the receiver that can be used with the Tailgater. It has no built in DVR with the pause/stop feature. You can add an external hard drive to record programming, but the unit can only handle one function. So you can't watch one program and record another concurrently. Also be aware that if you have local channels on your home service, once you leave the area serviced by the spot beam handling your home locale, you have no network channels. On the other hand you can change that spot beam if you are traveling by calling Dish. Note however is that if you change the spot beam city to accommodate the area you are camped in, your home Dish service will lose its spot beam reception until you call to request it be set back to your home city. If you have any scheduled recordings on your home DVR, any local network recordings will be unfulfilled.

Another down side is that while the receiver is HD compatible, operating two TV's concurrently is more of a challenge. Obviously as noted earlier, the receiver cannot support viewing two different channels at the same time. The other issue is to even get the second TV working you have to get a connection via a cable from the receiver to the second TV.

I know Direct has a similar system, and if you are interested you will have to talk to them regarding the monthly operational costs and if HD is important, whether their moveable solution like Dish's Tailgater will support HD service.

Finally my experience is as a Dish home subscriber. If you do not have Dish or Direct TV at home, your monthly costs will be more expensive and you may not have the option to turn off the service during the time you aren't on the road.

Jack

ckottum 05-19-2015 01:38 PM

We have been considering a Winegard G2 antenna because it can be used with either service provider, can be used as a portable or mounted permanent on the Airstream, and it's small. Apparently it can only provide HD tv with Dish service provider though.

Comments?

cheryl

NCMEDIC 05-19-2015 01:45 PM

Satellite TV, Dish or Direct?
 
We've had both, and prefer the Tailgater. It's smaller than the Carryout. I have a mast mounted pole mount for it, plus the tripod. Works great, but as you said it's in HD but only gets Dish Network.

jcanavera 05-19-2015 01:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ckottum (Post 1623947)
We have been considering a Winegard G2 antenna because it can be used with either service provider, can be used as a portable or mounted permanent on the Airstream, and it's small. Apparently it can only provide HD tv with Dish service provider though.

Comments?

cheryl

Cheryl, that is the major issue with Direct on many of these portable antennas. Apparently Direct's HD satellite is not close to their other standard broadcast satellites. This causes them to need a special LNB which doesn't lend itself well to the size of the dish used in many steerable units.

King antennas makes the Tailgater for Dish. They also have a dual unit that works with Direct or Dish that is the same size and look of the Tailgater. It has the same restriction about not being able to receive HD programming from Direct.

Jack

jcanavera 05-19-2015 02:11 PM

One last item is that if you decide to go with Direct, be sure you understand the "deal" that they offer. Apparently the FTC is asking them to respond to false advertising complaints.

DirecTV charged with false advertising - Mar. 11, 2015

Jack

ghaynes755 05-19-2015 03:09 PM

Cheryl I have a Dish system. I bought the X1 Dish package. Best price was from Amazon. I will ditto what Jack has written. The X1 gets its power from the satellite coax cable so only one cable unlike the G2 system which also needs a power cable.

I had DirectTV at home but switched everything to Dish since DirecTV doesn't do HD unless you have a manual dish setup or get something like the Winegard Travl'r for the roof of the Airstream. I'd rather put up solar panels and be able to move the small X1 in case of tree blockage. And I can suspend service at any time and it is only $7 per month for the additional receiver.

And you have the HD issue reversed. The G2 will pick up DirecTV but in SD only. It will also work with DISH and picks up both SD and HD signals. If you don't have anything at home now other than cable i would go the Dish route.

DaveFL 05-19-2015 03:10 PM

DirectV used to allow you to turn it off whenever you desired, now called vacation mode and they limit it to one time a year. Dishnet let me turn it off for 9 months, they emailed and said time was up and they would be turning on in two days, their 9 months was only 7 according to my billing, they charged $5 while it was off, but we still had the use of the dvr to watch movies prerecorded and even recorded more from their give away stations.
When we had Directv if we turned it off no charge, but couldn't use dvr as it tried finding signal and wouldn't play anything.
Both now don't seem to mine if you move your system to the rv, if you are staying in one place you can get them to change your locals.

RVDreamer 05-19-2015 03:59 PM

I have Directv and us the rooftop mounted Winegard Trav'ler automatic antenna. It works great and I have never had problems with weather or trees causing outage.
Dish uses a smaller dome antenna that loses signal easily when vegetation or rain storms obscure the signal.
The Trav'ler antenna is a full size dish which automatically seeks and finds the satellites when powered up. Once found it tweaks and optimizes the signal. It is compatible with all the current Directv receivers. Provides 5 simultaneous feeds so that you can record on 4 feeds and watch a fifth. Is full 1080p 24fps HD video and 3D TV compatible. I think the Dish HD is more compressed, at least it looks that way when viewed on a large screen.
Directv is also the only provider for NFL Sunday ticket. So if you want to watch your favorite football team while on the road, Directv is the only way to go.
The Trav'ler dish is very large and heavy. It pretty much requires professional installation due to the size, weight, and mounting plate necessary. It is pricey. Probably run between $2500 to $3000 to purchase and have installed.

ckottum 05-20-2015 09:03 AM

Thanks for the good advice. We decided on neither satellite service for the time being, disconnecting from cable tv (keep internet), ordered an amplified antenna for our house, already have one in the Airstream, and see how we do.

The cost of tv cable and satellite programming has overgrown the quality of content, it seems. We can get at least 5 or 6 broadcast channels in clearer HD, while internet movie streaming or downloading and whatever information we ask from it keeps us informed and entertained.

Perhaps cable/satellite programming quality is reaching for new lows. Nothing against political pundits, red necks and swamp people but that's not what were looking for on news or history channels. We're simply not using it enough to justify the cost.

Wondering if others are watching much less tv these days, especially when on long term travel with your Airstream?

cheryl

jcanavera 05-20-2015 09:50 AM

Satellite TV, Dish or Direct?
 
One of the reasons for keeping my home service is the portable satellite equipment we can use in the trailer. Prior to digital signaling we lived with analog TV and its snowy fuzzy reception. Once digital came however we found that even with the antenna enhancements we made, digital TV was much less reliable and in many cases campgrounds with decent analog reception became devoid of any reliable signals. As we have all learned you either have reception or you don't. Rural campgrounds seem to only have good reception for PBS stations or religious broadcast stations. A fact since these entities put their broadcast towers where land costs are cheaper and the ground altitude is higher.

I got tired of pictures popping in and out due to wind blowing the leaves on the trees etc. Satellite has pretty much eliminated the guess and efforts to find the local channels and the flakey service. What is also nice for us is that we can travel over 200 miles to the northeast or southwest and still be under the St. Louis spot beam signals. All the channels we see at home, we can get on the road in our regional area.

Jack

m.hony 05-20-2015 11:24 AM

We have DirecTV. I wish we had nothing. It is too expensive for too many reruns, advertising, and the same program on several channels. 257 channels and there ain't nothing on. If I ever get my wife on board with ditching the dish, we will have no cable or satellite service, but watch free over-the-air TV and internet services like NetFlix and such.
In the Airstream we watch free over-the-air TV and DVD movies.
Too me, camping is about getting away from it all- not bringing it all with you. I would rather walk, build a fire, cook out, ride a bike, etc. Wife doesn't necessarily agree with me-

Mldun 05-20-2015 11:29 AM

Has anyone with the Dish Tailgater found that you have to run the cable directly to the receiver instead of to the plugin outside the AS? I was told that there could be no connections in the line. Thanks!

fordfarmer 05-20-2015 11:32 AM

I have RV Pay as you go DISH account. It allows up to 3 free changes of address per month so you receive locals wherever you are (weather alerts) I pay in advance of each month I am traveling, and let it run out. It is supposed to be a lifetime account with no cost when I am not using it. HD is best on Dish. I have Direct at my home, they are not very cost effective if hd is imoortant due to antennae.

LucasS 05-20-2015 11:33 AM

Well I've had every version of satellite dish for a motorhome that has ever existed that works for DirecTV. I've always been an AV geek and TV addict to the point I've had DirecTV since it came out and also have full service Xfinity...(excessive, yah...I get that a lot)

So I started with a Winegard carryout manual dish (the domed ones didn't even exist back then) and I was simply able to take my receiver (actually I bought another receiver because at the time they had a keycard thingie that gave the receiver access) from my house to my RV and voila. Mind you back then aiming the dish manually was a pain in the +(#@....but times have changed.

My current setup is I have a Winegard Minimax in-motion for traveling so someone can watch TV going down the road (I've added another TV to my XC diesel...and am currently reworking the main to have a drop down 50" installed like my parent's have in their Newell). For when we get to the campground I fire up the Winegard Trav'lr. The Trav'lr is the only dish that can get DirecTV's HD programming outside of KvH made satellites. I have a KvH on my toad (Hummer H2). It's HD and in-motion but EXTREMELY expensive. (my friend owns my RV dealership so I get the friend's and family discount or I wouldn't even think about dropping nearly $3k on a sat for my SUV)

What I can recommend financially is using DirecTV at your home and RV on the same account. DirecTV actually has "DirecTV for Travelers" accounts and the two receivers in my XC are able to get network channels (not the local channels per se, if I want to watch the local news in whatever town I'm at I just raise my antenna with the Winegard Roadtrip HD adapter)....but DirecTV has network channels based out of Chicago (I think) you can get while on the road for ABC, NBC, etc.

So unlike 99% of the population I've never had problem with Comcast until recently and I've just decided (literally today) that I'm canceling their cable service and only keeping them for internet. One option while traveling if you have a REALLY good internet plan (or always stay at parks with good WiFi) is that EVERY cable/satellite service has an app or website where you can watch you programming on a laptop, iPad, etc...but be warned, if you're not on WiFi watching an hour long show in HD will blow though 2 gigs of data lickety split.

If you have any other questions just shoot me a message on here. I was the AV geek in high school and nothing's changed, lol

Happy Streaming!!

pappy19 05-20-2015 11:53 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by paiceman (Post 1623885)
We have Direct, had it in a Motorhome as well. We simply take one box from home and that becomes our Airstream Sat connection. Have not used in the new AS yet, but plan on it next week. In the motorhome with a roof mount antenna it was flawless. We did not have local TV, but had everything else we wanted. I think we pay and extra $5.00 a month to use the Direct box remotely, but not sure can check if you need as my finance person does all that (wife).

Same here with me. Dish has HD but Direct has a better channel selection, and I have had both. Direct TV is my choice since it only costs $5 for my AS receiver.

jcanavera 05-20-2015 03:38 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Quote:

Originally Posted by Mldun (Post 1624389)
Has anyone with the Dish Tailgater found that you have to run the cable directly to the receiver instead of to the plugin outside the AS? I was told that there could be no connections in the line. Thanks!

Not for me. I have a port that normally is looped that I can hook into. This bypasses the antenna amplifier circuit which can interfere with the signal that has to pass between the dish and the receiver. Here's a picture of how I hook up inside. Different models and vintages of A/S have different methods in bypassing the antenna amplifier.

I connect my satellite receiver to the cable/satellite in port as shown in the picture. When I am using the antenna, the short jumper cable plugs into that same port and I get the signal from the coax output in the jack on the left.

Jack

jcanavera 05-20-2015 03:43 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Colleenwl (Post 1624444)
We have found that taking a few DVD's with us is enough. Found out it was easy to buy & buy but really didn't watch very many again at home. Now we are enjoying again. Our DVD holders carry 50 movies, very compact to store in overhead closet in AS. We take one set in on return, then trade out for another set for next trip. After a full day out & about, nice to have these on board. Do not store permanetly in A.S.
We have xfinity/ Comcast at home. Verizon for Ipads & cell phones. Enough cost already spent. This was our solution.

Colleen

We found an Insignia HD TV at Best Buy that has a built in DVD player. We got it on sale for about $150. Won't play Blueray but we got a lot of DVD's at home that aren't in that format. We used to carry a small DVD play but it always was a mess to use since we had to pull it out and deal with the cabling to the TV.

Jack


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