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Old 12-16-2006, 02:43 PM   #1
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I have cable at home but I'd like to try a dish to see how it works before I cancel cable TV.
Do you hook the dish up at the same place I would plug cable in , in the MH? Is it the same kind of cable? Where do you buy the dish , receiver and tripod I have seen other RVers use. Do I need any thing else. Do you know a 'ballpark' price I might pay for this?
If you buy your own Dish , do you just call a provider and have it turned on? I'd like to have it turned on only as needed. Maybe for a month at a time. If I like it I might have the whole house converted to dish.
What I have found so far is they will give me free installation for the house but I 'd have to buy my own stuff for the MH anyway, and that's where I want to try it out. They said the one time free installation is free so I don't want to use it just for the MH.
I appreciate your help.
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Old 12-16-2006, 02:43 PM   #2
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I have cable at home but I'd like to try a dish to see how it works before I cancel cable TV.
Do you hook the dish up at the same place I would plug cable in , in the MH? Is it the same kind of cable? Where do you buy the dish , receiver and tripod I have seen other RVers use. Do I need any thing else. Do you know a 'ballpark' price I might pay for this?
If you buy your own Dish , do you just call a provider and have it turned on? I'd like to have it turned on only as needed. Maybe for a month at a time. If I like it I might have the whole house converted to dish.
What I have found so far is they will give me free installation for the house but I 'd have to buy my own stuff for the MH anyway, and that's where I want to try it out. They said the one time free installation is free so I don't want to use it just for the MH.
I appreciate your help.
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Old 12-16-2006, 04:46 PM   #3
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The dish itself is not activated. You activate the receiver box. Actually you activate the card that goes into the box but, for all practical purposes it is the box.

You can have them install it or not. If not, just buy the dish and the receiver. Hook them up and figure out how to aim the dish. Simple if you follow the instructions. There is a signal strength indicator in the receiver menu system. Then call in and activate the receiver.

Once you aim the dish a few times and play w/the receiver you'll be an expert.

Once you have a receiver activated you can move it between your house and coach. I and countless others do it all the time.

Of course there are other opinions, but I believe satellite is superior to cable for all of my needs. I prefer DirecTV for a few reasons. The most important is NFL Ticket and NFL Channel. (DISH may have the NFL channel now though)
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Old 12-16-2006, 05:13 PM   #4
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I had my free installation done in my motorhome. I had talked with a Dish provider ahead of time to see what they had. I bought a small tripod at an RV dealer because I didn't want to buy theirs which was twice at tall as the one I bought (and would take more storage space). The installed put the receiver in, put their dish ("free" with the service they said...) on my tripod, aimed it, and activated the receiver. I've moved it many times and got pretty good at aiming the dish until I bought an automatic roof-top dish last Spring.
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Old 12-17-2006, 04:41 AM   #5
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You can use the cable hook-up on your motorhome to transmit the satellite signal inside the coach IF the coax in the coach is RG6. We do this with our motorhome when we are in too many trees to use the roop-top dish. RG59 coax supposedly has too much loss for the relatively weak satellite signal. The type of coax should be stamped into the jacket. Probably the easiest place to see this is behind your selector box, if you have one. Look for the coax attached to the "Cable In" port. To use with satellite, you will need to disconnect this and attach it to your satellite receiver. If your coach has RG59 coax, I hear the flat, through-the-window cable adapters will work with satellite.

Concerning cost, DishNetwork and DirectTV have programs to provide up to 4 free receivers and one dish/LNB. You will only need to buy a dish/LNB for the RV. Camping World has a basic dish/LNB for around $50. You might do better on eBay.

You will also need a tripod. I agree with AFChap that the tripod from the satallite company (if you can even find one - DirectTV told me they would have to special order one and it would cost $40) will be too bulky and too difficult to use for the RV. Buy or make your own. Plans for making a simple ground-mount from PVC pipe can be found at: www.bbrv.dreamstation.com/sat.html.
Camping World has several that range in price from around $40 to around $80. Another mount that looks sturdy and versatile is the Bullseye Portable Dish mount, which can be found at:
www.rvdishmount.com.

I know many RVers move a receiver from their home to their RV when they travel, but a word of caution here. The satellite companies (especially Direct) strongly discourage this. The want you to have separate accounts for your house and your RV. I have read that Direct has even cut off satellite service when they found out the receiver was being used in more than one location. After all, as far as they know, it could be in your neighbor's house. You will need to decide for yourself what you want to do.

Good luck.
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Old 12-17-2006, 05:22 AM   #6
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Paz said<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">I have read that Direct has even cut off satellite service when they found out the receiver was being used in more than one location. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

There is a fine line here for DirecTV. Some folks have opened a satellite account, ordered multiple receivers and then given one of the receivers to a neighbor. DirecTV definitely thinks this is a "No-No" and will attempt to deal with those involved. The other problem is with the broadcasters who have pursued Dish Network over allowing local channel feeds to be delivered "out of area". While DirecTV does not appear to be the target of this yet, I'm sure that they have been watching and are taking steps to avoid allowing this to occur.

Somehow, an RVer taking a receiver from their own house, putting it into the RV when traveling and returning it to the house just doesn't seem to fall into one of those categories to me. Our receivers are connected at the house most of the time and paying another $50 per month for a separate account for occasional use, especially when we can only watch TV on one of those accounts at a time is just not going to work for me. I do understand and accept my exposure as a result.

For our setup:
1. I got a dish for free. A friend was throwing it away. He needed a dual LNB model so he gave me his old one. Many installers have extra dishes that they will often give away. Flea markets sell them for $5, etc. It isn't like buying a used receiver/card which could be a problem.
2. I bought a tripod at Camping World for $40. I like it because I can store it collapsed, with the dish attached in one of our basement compartments. Since I started hanging 2 filled gallon water jugs with a bungee cord from the base, it has never toppled over. I like the compass rose built into the tripod because it assists in aiming.
3. Our cable input in the electrical bay runs without an amplifier to our switch box location in the front overhead. I put a diplexor on the inside cable location, route one of the diplexor outputs to one input on the switch box and the other diplexor output through the satellite receiver to another switch box input. This allows me to connect either a CG Cable TV connector or my satellite dish to that outside connector and simply push buttons on the switch box to select the correct input - no changes in wiring required while on a trip. Diplexors are available at most electronics stores for under $10.
4. The frustration in aiming a dish can be overcome if:
- The tripod is setup plumb. Mine has a bubble level right on the base. I have a small level that I carry to check it if I'm in doubt.
- The dish is set up according to the readings provided by the receiver using the zip code look up. Pre-setting the azimuth and elevation before trying to find the signal gets me into the ball park to start with.
- the dish is moved very slowly during the alignment process. You have to give the receiver time to recognize and respond to the signal. I'm usually able to setup the tripod and then find the signal in less than 3 minutes. At first, I practiced setting up the tripod in my backyard at home. I had the home dish to use as a reference point.
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Old 12-17-2006, 05:24 AM   #7
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Couple of things on DirecTV:

DirecTV no longer cares about the separate accounts for RVs. I move my receiver all the time and tell them about it if I have trouble w/the service. I actually move my local channels as I travel. i.e. I live in the Buffalo area and now in Floriday. Just told them a zip code and they swapped the locals. They will swap them back in January when I return. Have done this for 3 years now.

They are more than helpful and don't care.

Second, the flat through the window cable does work well and I have used it befoe. However, the newer satellites don't mind the signal loss as much. You used to have use straight RG6 w/an amplifier. I have on many occasions used RG59 for portable setups or running it through the coach. The new receiver boxes have the amplifiers built in.

Third, a dish can support as many receives as you need up to 8. (you can actually get more) You just need a powered multi-switch in your house and you can wire every room. DirecTV will do this for free. I currently have 5 receivers registered w/DirecTV, two of which move around with me including a High Definition. Many people take a TiVo version with them which I will do next year.

Fourth, as mentioned there are many tripods out there. If you do a search on this forum you will find some pretty neat solutions that go up in no time at all.
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Old 12-18-2006, 07:53 PM   #8
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">I better get to CW and get a dish and tripod.... </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Your dish and tripod at rvupgradesstore....an iRV2 sponsor!
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Old 12-19-2006, 04:10 AM   #9
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I understand your nervousness about satellite. Like you, we never had anything but cable. However, going fulltime made satellite our only choice. I have found DirectTV to be very difficult to deal with on the phone. If you ever have problems, try to get past the initial customer service rep on the phone and get to a higher level supervisor. If you don't like an answer you get, call back and maybe the next person you get on the phone will be able to help you better.

As far as I know with DirectTV I don't "own" the receiver, I am leasing it. Even though I paid money up front to buy it at Best Buy, Direct gives credit to your account for the purchase so the receiver is "free.". Receivers or upgrades "bought" after the initial installation don't qualify for the credit, but as soon as you activate any "bought" receiver, they will start charging you the lease fee. When I upgraded from my initial simple reciever to DVR, I ate the $100 cost for the DVR and they still wanted me to return the first receiver to them.

With Direct, there is no extra monthly charge not to have a phone line attached. I have never had a phone line attached to mine. There is a $5 extra charge for Pay Per View if you order by phone rather than with your remote, which you can only do with a phone line attached. Besides, as chasfm11 said, if you take the receiver to your RV on a short term basis, they probably won't even know.
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Old 12-19-2006, 04:40 AM   #10
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Your dish and tripod at rvupgradesstore...

Edited your post instead of copied it....ooops!!!
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Old 12-19-2006, 09:26 AM   #11
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content"> Our receivers are connected at the house most of the time and paying another $50 per month for a separate account </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
Our new MH came with a satellite system. (Directv) I called to activate the new card and had no problem. They charge $4.95 for an additional receiver added to my existing account.
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Old 12-19-2006, 07:39 PM   #12
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Thanks again for your help. Not a single person told me "keep your cable", so satelite must work pretty good. I changed the install date til Sat because we have 4 to 8" of white stuff coming tonite. I also added an HD receiver for $5 a month and that changed things. Now I get an HD rcvr,a dual tuner recvr and a single tuner recvr that reqires no ph line. I don't know why she did'nt suggest that before.
Thanks again for your help and I'll probably have more questions when I hook everything up, maybe this weekend.
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Old 12-20-2006, 01:59 PM   #13
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Max49 <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content"> I don't know why she did'nt suggest that before. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

I think the answer to this question is that there isn't a lot of consistency in the approach and information provided by DirecTV. For that matter, many of us are the benefactors or the victims of the information provided by many of the large customer service operations. I often have to call several times to see if I can get a consistent response when I'm troubled by or doubt the first answer that I'm given. Javajelly's comment about DirecTV not caring about people using their home receivers in their is one of the answers that doesn't appear to be given consistently by DirecTV staff. I've seen numerous posts from others about problems with RV use of receivers in another forum.

My approach is that I ask the fewest question possible. Further, I rarely test company policies - those of DirecTV or any other organization. I've just learned that it is easier to stay happy that way.
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Old 12-20-2006, 04:18 PM   #14
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Chasfm11, as a subscriber to Directv for over 10 years, you hit the proverbial nail on the head!
Couldn't have said it better.

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