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Old 02-21-2007, 07:49 PM   #1
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It is obvious from this forum and talking to people at the rallies, the entertainment center is a problem area for a lot of people. In fairness to WRV, it is not a real easy thing to make simple. They are trying to take multiple sources and inputs and make them available to three different locations. These are:

Roof satellite coax
Aux satellite coax
Antenna coax
Cable coax
DVD/CD/AM-FM radio with surround sound
VCR
Satellite receiver

Then feed all of these to the front TV, the bedroom TV, and the outside TV. And then allow each one to view something different!!! On top of that, all of it has to fit into the available space. The fact that many flat screen TV's have no speakers adds to the problem.

Connecting them using the Winegard switch (on my '04) makes this about as easy to understand as possible with all the above conditions. It also results in the worst possible picture quality. Without a plasma/LCD screen, it would probably not be noticed.

My system When I got my coach worked just like the WRV manual said it would work. Press the correct buttons, and it works as advertised. Their included wiring diagram was correct.

I changed all of my entertainment center wiring myself to take advantage of the multiple inputs of the plasma screen and the DVD player. I used the best quality output from the DVD player and the best quality output of the satellite receiver to go to the plasma screen. The picture quality is much improved. But it is now more complicated, since now I have to change the inputs on the TV too. I made it worse by replacing the satellite receiver with a Tivo unit and the VCR with a DVD recorder. I traded simplicity for quality. Since I did it myself, I understand how it works and think it is simple. My wife doesn't!!

THEN I bought a Home Theater Master MX-500 universal remote. It can be programmed to replace all the other remotes. That in itself is a huge benefit. But the other benefit that many people don't understand is that I can also program it with macros to change the TV, DVD player, Tivo, etc. by pressing one button. If I want to watch a DVD, I press the DVD button on the remote. It changes the DVD player mode, the TV input, and then leaves the remote set to control the DVD player. If I want to watch the Tivo, I press the Tivo button. It changes the DVD mode, the TV input, and leaves the remote set to control the Tivo. If I want to watch the cable or antenna (depending on which Winegard button is pressed), I press the DVD-R button, and it switches the TV input, the DVD player mode, and turns on the DVD recorder, and leaves the remote set to control the DVD recorder. I can then tune the cable or antenna channels from it. What could be simpler??? And all without getting out of the chair.

Should WRV have included a universal remote? Probably. I guess now it does, with the Harmony remote. Should they have wired it differently? Debate it all you want. The fact is they didn't. Camping World sells those same Winegard boxes and I have seen them in other coaches, so WRV is not the only one who wires that way.

I would urge anybody who is tired of multiple remotes and trying to remember which inputs to change, or confused by the whole mess to buy a universal remote that has "macros". This is true with or without rewiring the entertainment center. You will be much happier at a relatively low cost. In the case of the MX-500, about $80. The cheap universal remotes that come with DVD players, etc, do not have macros. Macros are the key. The MX-500 is an old model. There are new and improved (and more expensive) models.

I would urge those who are not happy with the quality of the picture to investigate having it rewired to use the component video and S-video outputs of the DVD player and the satellite receiver. If you can get WRV to do it, more power to you. Personally I would not expect them to do it, at least not for free. Good cables cost money, and like they say, you get what you pay for.

Enjoy!
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Old 02-21-2007, 07:49 PM   #2
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It is obvious from this forum and talking to people at the rallies, the entertainment center is a problem area for a lot of people. In fairness to WRV, it is not a real easy thing to make simple. They are trying to take multiple sources and inputs and make them available to three different locations. These are:

Roof satellite coax
Aux satellite coax
Antenna coax
Cable coax
DVD/CD/AM-FM radio with surround sound
VCR
Satellite receiver

Then feed all of these to the front TV, the bedroom TV, and the outside TV. And then allow each one to view something different!!! On top of that, all of it has to fit into the available space. The fact that many flat screen TV's have no speakers adds to the problem.

Connecting them using the Winegard switch (on my '04) makes this about as easy to understand as possible with all the above conditions. It also results in the worst possible picture quality. Without a plasma/LCD screen, it would probably not be noticed.

My system When I got my coach worked just like the WRV manual said it would work. Press the correct buttons, and it works as advertised. Their included wiring diagram was correct.

I changed all of my entertainment center wiring myself to take advantage of the multiple inputs of the plasma screen and the DVD player. I used the best quality output from the DVD player and the best quality output of the satellite receiver to go to the plasma screen. The picture quality is much improved. But it is now more complicated, since now I have to change the inputs on the TV too. I made it worse by replacing the satellite receiver with a Tivo unit and the VCR with a DVD recorder. I traded simplicity for quality. Since I did it myself, I understand how it works and think it is simple. My wife doesn't!!

THEN I bought a Home Theater Master MX-500 universal remote. It can be programmed to replace all the other remotes. That in itself is a huge benefit. But the other benefit that many people don't understand is that I can also program it with macros to change the TV, DVD player, Tivo, etc. by pressing one button. If I want to watch a DVD, I press the DVD button on the remote. It changes the DVD player mode, the TV input, and then leaves the remote set to control the DVD player. If I want to watch the Tivo, I press the Tivo button. It changes the DVD mode, the TV input, and leaves the remote set to control the Tivo. If I want to watch the cable or antenna (depending on which Winegard button is pressed), I press the DVD-R button, and it switches the TV input, the DVD player mode, and turns on the DVD recorder, and leaves the remote set to control the DVD recorder. I can then tune the cable or antenna channels from it. What could be simpler??? And all without getting out of the chair.

Should WRV have included a universal remote? Probably. I guess now it does, with the Harmony remote. Should they have wired it differently? Debate it all you want. The fact is they didn't. Camping World sells those same Winegard boxes and I have seen them in other coaches, so WRV is not the only one who wires that way.

I would urge anybody who is tired of multiple remotes and trying to remember which inputs to change, or confused by the whole mess to buy a universal remote that has "macros". This is true with or without rewiring the entertainment center. You will be much happier at a relatively low cost. In the case of the MX-500, about $80. The cheap universal remotes that come with DVD players, etc, do not have macros. Macros are the key. The MX-500 is an old model. There are new and improved (and more expensive) models.

I would urge those who are not happy with the quality of the picture to investigate having it rewired to use the component video and S-video outputs of the DVD player and the satellite receiver. If you can get WRV to do it, more power to you. Personally I would not expect them to do it, at least not for free. Good cables cost money, and like they say, you get what you pay for.

Enjoy!
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Old 02-22-2007, 05:53 AM   #3
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Jim.....In all your rewiring did you bypass Winegard switch box???
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Old 02-22-2007, 06:59 AM   #4
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All the information about Universal Remotes is great but they won't help if you can't get any cable in the first place. When it rains we lose the Satellite and have nothing to fall back on with the front tv. Very annoying. Will try again when at Guarantee in Junction City or WRV this year to get this resolved. It has been this way for over a year. Not being technically equiped we are not going to tear the system apart ourselves. I don't mind paying anyone to fix this but we can't find anyone to work on it so far. Thanks for listening to my complaints.
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Old 02-22-2007, 10:14 AM   #5
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I am really wondering how many are as in tune with Jim's solution or appreciate Gary's comments. I am somewhere in-between. My first reaction to Jim was 'what did he say?' Due to the number of comments regarding the TV, some attempt should be made to simplify the operation. I am now used to how it works but to wait for 5 minutes or so for local or cable channels to download only to find that I didn't push the right button, is frustrating because I have to go thru the process all over again. I guess there is really no simple answer.
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Old 02-22-2007, 12:18 PM   #6
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Lundy,
you are correct in that there is no simple solution. I have wired many home theater systems and as Jim says because I wired it I knew what it was doing but my wife didnt. I have rewired home theater systems that were wired by "professionals" and asked myself as I was doing it "what were they thinking?". You can get better quality pictures by using better quality cables and types of connections (yes there is more than one way to connect your dvd/satelite to your tv than one).

Using universal remotes, particularly programmable universal remotes is supposed to simplify use but often the remote doesnt really know what it is doing. I have the Harmony remote that came with the 2007 SE but become frustrated with it and as I told Jim in another thread it sounds like his MX500 works better at a lower cost.

Dont know that this helped clear anything up but thats my 2c worth
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Old 02-22-2007, 03:21 PM   #7
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Gary & Betsy: Your loss of TV signal when it rains is common to all satellite systems. Since satellite TV signals are quite weak to begin with, the larger the antenna (satellite dish) the less the signal is diminished by rain, frost, or dew on on the antenna itself. Unfortunately, for rather obvious reasons, the satellite dish on the roof of a motorhome is much smaller than those we see in backyards or on roofs and thus is more affected by rain or dew on the plastic/fiberglass bubble covering the antenna.

You can buy sprays that theoretically will cause rain to "slide-off" the bubble (which will not help at all with dew) but posts on this forum indicate the sprays are only marginally effective. The only other solution is to keep rain and dew off of the bubble in the first place. To do that-- you either need to maintain high speeds (Audrey & John's solution ), park in an arid region , or place a hood over the bubble with one open side pointed at the satellite. The latter solution will not work in Texas (since the satellite is directly overhead) but becomes more effective the further north you travel (though it is a solution only recommended while stationary according to Ted) .

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Old 02-22-2007, 03:39 PM   #8
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We know we will lose the Satellite when we travel in rainy areas, Calif,Oreg,WA Coast. Also had snow this morning while passing thru the Klamath area of OR. It is still better than the problems caused by wind on the undomed Sats. The problem is still how to get cable when this happens. I figured out how to get the local stations, which is a pain, but I can't get the cable to work on the front tv and we don't really want to only watch tv in bed when it is raining. Otherwise we love our 2005 36FDDS Alpine and other than problems with things that have been added on, HWH Jacks, Awning and Micro/Conv. we have not had problems that weren't quickly fixed. I think I would like to have an old fashioned switch box put on the front system like we have in back. Thanks again.
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Old 02-22-2007, 06:46 PM   #9
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I have been reading these and other TV complaints and would like to join the group, offer my issues and resolution, and offer a couple suggestions.

We have the 2006 36MDDS with RCA HighDef receiver in front (which only works on high def with a dedicated land phone line, which we don't use), and a Magnavox TV in the bedroom with an old fashioned switch box. We have a Sony video/DVD/Tuner box in the front like on the Apex. We have no VCR or DVD recorder and would love one; including trying to have the factory install one in the front and they couldn't make it fit without creating a heat issue. We also have the Harmony remote, which takes a lot of getting used to.

We have had perpetual issues getting the satellite to lock on and connect with the receiver in the front. Everytime we move the coach all we get is a "finding satellites failed" and no action on the screen.

We have learned to get around this by turning both the front receiver on and then the Kingdome search routine. That almost always gets a "finding satellites failed". Then we reset the RCA receiver by pushing the button. That reconfigures the satellite and gives us another "finding satellites failed". Then we do the search routine on the Kingdome again, and it so far has found the satellite every time and we almost instantly get an "acquiring guide data" signal, and we're on TV in 3 or 4 minutes.

We have tried every other routine possible and found this works for us every time. Many calls to Direct TV hasn't done it' they blame Kingdome. Call Kingdome and they do a re-program to automatically go to the closest satellite as in the manual. I've found this helps only once in awhile. But do the routine above and it works every time for us.

Also, I have found the way to get a DVD recorder is to go into the towel/linen cabinet in the toilet room and put a DVD recorder in that cabinet, cut a hole through the wall and connect to the TV in the bedrooom. Run the DVD recorder off that TV and you're in business recording a DVD for both front and rear TVs. Finally, put a shelf in that cabinet and you can put all the goodies you need for satellite internet (Motosat controller, modem, wireless router) in there and have both in the same cabinet, which we have done.

Also, we have found when we hook up cable TV we often need to do an "auto channel search/program" on the TV to program the TV to find the channels. Then cable works. If that doesn't work, we go to menu on the hi def receiver, go to system installation and tell it "no dish" when it asks for the type of dish. That always works for us to get cable TV if the "auto channel search/program" didn't do it.

Sorry for the long-winded approach but maybe this will help some of you with problems with your TVs.

The best thing I have found to make the Harmony work as advertised is to shake it thoroughly and make sure may overhead cabinet doors are open, then sweep the Harmony from right to left across the front while holding the "watch TV" button down. That almost always gets everything started and working.
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Old 02-23-2007, 03:25 AM   #10
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Norm, The signal does get better when you travel north, but into my garage, I built a 24' X 46' US Building to house the Alpine. After a great deal of precise calculations I cut a hole in the roof in the proper direction for the satellite beam with tin snips (can opener would not work because of the ridges) Keep in mind this hole is not above the dish so no foul weather comes into play. As far as the dew is concerned I electrified the roof of the motorhome which created enough heat to dry the dew. You do have to be somewhat careful what you touch inside the motorhome. We no longer have to comb the pets hair(what little is left) as it stands straightout. It is also an excellent pet trainer. Some people might use it on other people but I attempt not to associate with them.
Norm, I truly felt you needed this explanation.

PS. I don't have to shake the clicker at all!
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Old 02-23-2007, 08:49 AM   #11
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I can't help with the switch or wiring problems as my 2002 is not like the new ones. I did add the antenna switch and change to connections thru the RCA jacks. My coach did come with the MotoStat automatic dish. I never have problems with dew and have only had fade a few time in very heavy rain. MotoStat is also the only mfg. that produces an antenna to receive all of the new Dirctv HD satellites. One thing to note of importance is that the MotoStat cannot be installed where the dome is now, it must be farther back. Mine had to be moved behind the front AC. The air flow in the front causes noise and the dish to bump up and down. This is not a cheap fix but I am sure will solve the rain and dew problem the best as possible and also allow receiving the new HD channels when they come out later in the year.

Here is link to info on the antenna.
http://www.motosat.com/products/tv_mhdtv/

Dale Gerstel
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Old 02-23-2007, 03:46 PM   #12
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Ted: What happens when you are standing in a Pennsylvania puddle and reach out to help Carol down the steps while she is hanging on to the metal door handle?

Assuming you are unable to tow your building when you travel, you might try taking the Kingdome off of the roof and mount it on the dash. Then all you have to do is park the coach pointed toward Texas and leave the wipers running.

dgerstel: I may have misunderstood, but I think my new coach is coming with HD TV, a DirecTV HD receiver, and KingDome HD with rotating wipers. I will be at the factory next week and will check that out.

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Old 02-23-2007, 04:24 PM   #13
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Sorry to start this thread, and then not get back in a timely manner. My internet was down, due to a bad cable. And no, I didn't wire it myself!!!

Mike:

Did I bypass the Winegard box? Yes and no. I left the coax wiring on the box the same as it was. This way the satellite, antenna, and cable can be fed to the bedroom TV and the outside TV using coax connections, as originally done. I left the satellite and Tivo F-type coax outputs wired through the Winegard box as original. But I also wired the component video output from the DVD player and the Tivo S-video output directly to the plasma monitor, not through the box, to take advantage of the superior picture quality. For the front TV, the only thing the Winegard box is now doing is controlling whether the antenna or the cable goes to the DVD-R, which I am using to tune those inputs.

Hugh:

The MX-500 is probably harder to program, and you do have to understand your system enough to know which inputs you are trying to control. It might be easier on the Harmony. I have never used one, so I can't tell you. But I will admit to having 3 of the MX-500's. Two at home and one in the coach.

Gary:

I had no intention about tearing my entertainment center apart either, but I found a wiring problem while installing the satellite dish myself. I am not a professional installer by any means. I just read the manuals that came with my DVD player at home. The rat's nest of wiring can be intimidating. I am just too cheap to pay somebody.

Oldforester:

I don't have High Def, so I can't make any comments on those systems. I can tell you that in my '04, it had a DVD player/sound system, Winegard box, and a VCR mounted on the left side of the TV and the satellite receiver mounted on the right hand side. I put the R-10 Tivo where the VCR was on the left side, but it was a tight fit. I had to find right angle connectors for all the wiring and the power cord, and do some chopping in the back of the cabinet to get the wiring to fit. The VCR would not fit on the right side, so I replaced it with a small DVD-R recorder, just to use it as a tuner for the cable and antenna. It fit easily on the right hand side.

Finally, I only know how my particular coach was wired at the factory. I have not looked at newer coachs very closely, but I know they are different than the '04's.
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Old 02-23-2007, 05:20 PM   #14
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Thanks Jim for the detailed info. I am going to check all my wiring tomorrow. Hope to see you at April Rally in Hemet.
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