Originally Posted by JeffCarol
How do you ensure TV signal is available? Can you get satellite service without breaking the bank?
I'd appreciate if you don't laugh at my newbie question.
First: I use a combination of technology, and a few upgrades to the standard RV over the air system.
There are several RV TV antennas, Many folks rave about the JACK, (I do not) this is a good antenna, medium range, fairly wide beam (Avoid "Omnidirectional" or "No aiming required" antennas) A better antenna is the Winegard,, Most RVs come with a Sensar II or III, these can benefit from two upgrades,, First is the addition of a WINGMAN (UHF Director Array) this improves UHF range by about 1.5 times, The Sensar IV,, comes with this already.
Next is the SENSAR PRO, if your RV has the standard TV wall plate with 12 volt outlet, switch, light and antenna connection, this replaces it,, It adds several features including more range (Gain). which is adjustable, READ THE MANUAL.
Last time I was where I am now, I could not watch OTA, But with the addition of the Sensar Pro and Wingman,, I'm watching a studio quality OTA picture as I type.
This is the best OTA (Over the Air) TV antenna for RV use, there are better ones but they do not fit the RV lifestyle well.
Next: Cable: Some parks offer cable TV, not all, Where I am it is free (included in site rental) some charge a Fee.
Finally Satellite,, Yes, you can do satellite, RECOMMENDATION if you are not already a sat subscriber subscribe with an RV account.. NOT a house account.
You have a choice of receivers, antennas (Dish or dome) and providers.
First: antennas: A ground mounted (Tripod mount) DISH is mandatory,, This dish type antenna should be matched to the receiver you buy or lease It will work with one or more receivers, both SD and HD if you have an HD receiver, It does require some set up time though, However it is mandatory.
Domes: Domes are somewhate limited, A dome type antenna will work with DirecTV, but not with DirecHDTV, most of them work with Dish, both SD and HD, but only with a SINGLE receiver, i you have multiple receivers (or a dual input DVR) you need two or you will be limited,, This is because both services scatter programming over 3 satellites (3 of 9) DISH all six sats are in the same band but the dome can only see one at a time, so if you have two receivers and each wants a different bird,, No joy.. Direc the HD birds are in a different band the dome can not see. That said, with Dish's Eastern Arc, you might get lucky with multiple receivers since most programming is on one sat.
Roof top or ground mount.
Roof top automatic domes and dishes are nice, a Dome can also record while you drive making it double nice. BUT, if you are parked under the evil signal eating tree...
Well that is why a tripod mounted dish is mandatory
(you knew I'd get around to that)
Cost: you have seen the advertised prices... THEY LIE.
Dish has a pay when you want it plan, You can buy a month's worth and use it a week at a time if you wish..
Dish however can not offer Distant Network Service (Described below) They can, though, hook you up with whatever is local. you just have to call them every time you move.
DirecTV can offer Distant Network Service to an RV account (not to a house account) this, of course, costs more (A few dollars a month) but you get programming from LA or NYC area delivered anywhere USA. If you get both LA and NYC you get double prime-time so you can record competing shows, one from NYC and one (3 hours later) from LA.. Kind of handy.