Which satellite system to get...

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Nov 26, 2005
Hello....can anyone help direct me to info about which system to go with on my new motorhome.. 
There are two parts.....which dish ....on top  in motion or stationary....or go the cheaper route with a stand...
The other decision is which service....I see ads all the time for free HD receivers and Recorders for free and free second receivers ....But not sure
which service most people are satisfied with...And what is the deal with signing the waiver for different channels....I would kinda like having my home
channels on the satellite....Thanks, Scott
The choice is between DirecTV and Dish Network.  However, as of now, Dish Network cannot offer the Distant Network Stations as a result of a court order.  DNS is available to the RVer from DirecTV by filing a form stating that the receiver is installed permanently in an RV and including a copy of the RV registration.  The DNS are in place of local channels, as those are almost exclusively spot beamed and cannot be received when you travel away from your home area.

The choice between a manual ground, manual roof, and automatic roof mount is mostly one of money and convenience.  In my opinion, the best compromise is the manual roof mount, it's not only much cheaper than an automatic mount but also faster to point.  The ground mount has an advantage in that it can be positioned away from the RV when parking under trees or where the satellite would otherwise be blocked for a roof mount.

There are always offers of free, or cheap, receivers/DVRs with a new account.
Go with DTV and demand a Tivo unit. DTV will try to get you to buy their 2nd rate DVR. Don't fall for it. The tivo functionality is far better. Dish does not have tivo so is not to be considered.

Browse Motosat website for the best type of antennas. Rooftop, auto seek and lock on to signal. Dishes 18-24 inches. I used a 24 incher and got signal in Dawson City Yukon and lost it at Tok AK. Dishes are susceptible to wind, however. Antennas come with a range of options from one LNB to 5. The latter is for HD TV and must look at multiple sats to get all the needed signals.

Domed units allow you to get signal while in motion. The dome attenuates signal and water on dome makes it worse. I have a Tracstar dome system that I removed due to signal loss due to dew.

I have never used a tripod mount so have no opinion.

I am not up on the current advertising ploys.

The 2nd receiver used to add $5.00 to monthly bill. Good for the spouse to use with bedroom TV.

The waiver, with a copy of RV registration lets you buy east and west coast network feeds. I think the spot beam feeds of the local stations is part of the basic fee. Spot beams only reach 100-200 miles from home which is the address on the account.
I too will recommend Direc, even though the best they offer is a TiVo intergrated DVR/Receiver (And get a dual unit too)

Dish, if you can get one old enough, may still have a few replay based DVR's lying about.  Much better than TiVo in my book but hard to find,  Even Replay does not make hardware any more, but that's another story

Dish, has not done well in court lately and currently can not offer nationwide Network television,  Direc can, so go with Direc

The suggestion you visit Motosat for an antenna... EXCELENT suggestion
Ok...so it sounds like DirectTV is the way to go for now....where do u get the waiver form?

Also I think I would rather have a in motion dish....which would you suggest and can all of them recieve HD programming..

And how hard is it to install the in motion dish yourself?

Thanks, Scott
The DNS waiver is available from the DirecTV web site.

There are no inmotion antennas that can receive HD programming as to receive both the regular channels and the HD channels, you need multiple LNBs that are pointed at different satellites and the inmotion antennas can only point at one satellite.  I would recommend the Motosat antennas if you want HD programming.  Their top of the line MHDTV antenna is fully automatic and has LNBs to receive all of the DirecTV programming.  Of course, you will also need an HD receiver to take advantage of the HD programming, it's more than just the antenna.
Well, there are two questions I'll give you food for thought on both

Dish/Direc  Just now Direc can offer what is called "Distant Network Service",  DISH can not.  DNS as we call it here, is ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX and whatever UPN is calling itself these days (CW).  Now if you live in, oh, say Chicago, you are in luck but otherwise get more than a hundred miles more or less (Usually less) from home and with DISH, no more network tv  So consider Direc.

Also, Direc has most all it's programming on one bird (Satellite, located at 101 degrees in this case) Dish splits between two birds, (110 and 119) Thus Direc is an easier setup.  So again, consider Direc

Now, the mount choice

In-Motion, when coupled with a DVR, means the wife's soaps get recorded while I drive (Daytime) or my Primime time gets recorded if I'm driving at night.

Automatic roof mount sets up at the touch of a button of the click of a switch

Manual roof mount requires pointing, this may, or may not, require climbing on roof (Some set with a crank like your batwing does)

Tripods are the hardest to set up plus they need storage when not "in use"

HOWEVER: what happens if you are parked under the big signal eating tree?  Answer with all roof mounts  NO TV

But with the tripod you can often set up "Remote" by as much as 50-100 feet (Length of your cable) allowing you to get out from under said tree.

The best mount is what the See-Ya coach has... A roof top dome device (Either in-motion or automatic) for places like where I'm parked now (lots of sky, no trees) and a tripod for places with more trees and a switch to choose  I am almost there
Dish does have DVR. It has gone through the older Replay to the PVR (which I have and there is no charge for) to their current DVR offerings which charge a monthly fee. Fee is not as high as TiVo monthly fee.  Can not comment on the distants as that has no effect on my use.

I believe that's a dial-up offering provided by a third party.
Ahh, good old dial up!  Doesn't work too well when you don't have a landline!

I've got verizon wireless on my laptop, but I need something for my wife.  In this park we're in, they have Wi Fi.  In the last one, we ordered cable TV and got a package that included internet.  That was a good internet connection!  About 4.5Mbps.  I bought a wireless router with a built in cable modem.  Too bad we were only there for two months.

I'm going to check with Sam's club and costco today to see if they have any deals on DirecTV.  What's the difference betwen Tivo and DVR?

We have 6M cable at home, so understand how you liked it.

Bruce Patterson said:
What's the difference betwen Tivo and DVR?

DVR is a generic term (digital video recorder). Tivo is a proprietary DVR and owners believe it's the best things since sliced bread. DTV has their own DVR, which is what we have and we're happy with it.
I believe I previously saw a receiver in stores with "DTV/TIVO" on the box, presumably because the receiver and access card work only with DTV (?) But that's not what we have.
The Hughes R-10 receiver is a Tivo, but the other models are not.  I don't think you can get a true Tivo powered receiver from Hughes any longer.  You may find some in the stores, however, and they should be marked as Tivos.  They may be made by various manufacturers like Sony and Phillips.
Ned said:
I don't think you can get a true Tivo powered receiver from Hughes any longer.

That's my understanding Ned. But what's special about Tivo vs any other brand of DVR?
Tivo just does it better :)  They've been at it longer than anyone else and have such an easy to use interface and more usability features.  The software, because of it's age, it more stable than most others too.
Having seen Tivo in action, I guess I don't get it. When our friend/neighbor (who has Tivo) visits our house he says both systems have features he prefers. But each to his own. In our case I took advantage of the "free upgrade" offer, so the price was right.

Right now I'd settle for either one; We have an intermittent cable/connector between the dish on the coach and the DVR. I have a couple of new pre-made cables ready to install when we stay in one place long enough for me to open up the hole in the roof.
If you don't take advantage of the advanced features of the Tivo software, then there is no particular advantage over any other DVR software.  But when you use it to the fullest (season passes, wish lists, the display options, etc.) then Tivo is far ahead of the others.  If you just need a VCR replacement, then you will be happy with any of the DVRs.

You did check all the connectors for good crimps, right?  Almost all cable problems are in the connectors.  Sometimes it's easier to just replace all of them one at a time until you find the problem.  Usually easier than pulling new cable.
Here are my opinions after two years of experience.  Sorry I am late to this thread.

First I would recommend both and auto roof mount and a tripod mount for the reasons Ned Mentioned... sometimes the roof mount is stuck under an object just when that Superbowl game is going to be broadcast.  Camper World sells a lightweight tripod and dish for less than $100.  Get the little tuning meter also.

However, I would not worry about a manual mount being faster.  We just press a button and then go get a cup of coffee or a beer while this dish does its thing.  Or even go about other set up tasks for the new campsite.

Get DirecTV.  Far better than the competitors.

As for Tivo, keep in mind the latest dual DVR from DirecTV is excellent, and many software updates, one as recent as last week, have added tons of features.  We could argue from now till the cows come home which unit is better.  I love the updates that have been done.  My recommendation is get the best money deal you can on either one.  I wold not pay a cent for either, since you should be able to get one of them for free.  BUT BE SURE TO GET A DVR.  We started out with a standard receiver, and when we switched last year at QZ to a DVR a whole new world opened up for us.  Our viewing pleasure increased 1,000% once we realized how the program search features would combine with automatic storage of program material for our viewing pleasure at out own convenience.  If there is nothing good live, we always have tons of goodies to select from.  WE LOVE TIMESHIFTING!!!

And finally, we did opt for the in motion sat, but if I had it to do over I would have spent the extra money elsewhere.  We have used in motion maybe 5 times in two years.  It does not work well in cities or mountains.  and on the straightaways we are too busy enjoying the scenery.  After all that is what RVing is all about.  The best use I have ever found for in motion was to turn it on about 10 minutes before reaching the campground so that the sat would be all tuned in when we were finished parking.  And I got that idea from someone here on this forum.

I would also avoid the King Dome and try to get the KVH.


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