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Old 10-14-2019, 11:15 PM   #1
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TV wiring in Dutch Star (need for multiple DirecTV boxes?)

I've got a question about the wiring of the multiple TVs in a Dutch Star. I'm planning on upgrading to a late-model Dutch Star soon, and I'm exploring my options for TV connectivity, considering DirecTV satellite or possibly just going with a streaming service (via FireStick or the like).

My question though is about how the multiple TVs are wired in the coach, and whether I would need *separate* DirecTV boxes, one per TV, or whether I can use just *one* such DirecTV box and have it supply the signal to *all* of the TVs. In my mind the question comes down to whether coax from the satellite dish on the roof goes first to a coax splitter, with the splitter then feeding each TV separately via coax (which would then mean a separate DirecTV box per TV), or does the satellite dish coax go just to one central location (where I would connect a *single* DirecTV box), with the DirecTV box output HDMI then connecting to an HDMI splitter that is wired to all of the separate TVs in the coach.

So how is this generally wired in a standard Newmar Dutch Star configuration, and do folks using DirecTV generally have to have a separate box per TV, and can you do it all with one box?

Tom
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Old 10-15-2019, 12:48 AM   #2
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There are some pretty good threads on this topic already but let me give you the simple and quick answer.

The “Sat” (dish, directv) HDMI input provided goes into an HDMI splitter and is sent to ALL TVs; Main, Front, Bedroom, and Outside.

The “DVD” input does NOT go to the bedroom; there is a separate unit for these TV.

Sooooo, what I did, was swap the HDMI cables so my AppleTv uses the “Sat/Directv” cable in the AV cabinet. That way I’ve got AppleTv on ALL my TVs...which is what I want.

My DTV is connected via the DVD cable in the AV cabinet, so it feeds the Main, Front, and outside TVs.

Works perfect for my tech tastes of watching everything on my AppleTv; YouTube TV, Netflix, Prime, etc.
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Old 10-15-2019, 10:07 AM   #3
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Thanks very much, CaptainGizmo; that's exactly the information I was looking for! :-)
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Old 10-15-2019, 10:28 AM   #4
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You’re welcome.
BTW, I didn’t mention that I just leave the main DVD player completely unplugged. It’s worthless to us.
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Old 10-16-2019, 09:54 AM   #5
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In my 2017 4369 DS, the Sat HDMI splitter only feeds the front and outside T.V.s. Bedroom only has a cable connection for park cable or antenna, it also has it's own DVD player. I use a DirecTV Genie with a wireless bridge and a wireless mini receiver for the bedroom.
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Old 10-16-2019, 10:36 AM   #6
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A lot depends on what year you buy. Captain Gizmo's answer is correct IF you buy a 2019 or newer Dutch Star.

We owned a 2014 Dutch Star that we bought off the lot. Back then, having HDMI connected TV's was an option. The satellite was wired in the following manner. The satellite coax exited the satellite and ran to a splitter on the roof. The splitter ran coax to the bedroom and front entertainment cabinet. The coax going to the front entertainment cabinet connected to the satellite receiver. The satellite receiver then used an HDMI cable to run to an HDMI splitter. That splitter then ran HDMI cables to the main TV, front TV and outdoor TV if you had one. If you wanted the bedroom TV to receive satellite, you needed to add a second sat box to the bedroom TV or add a wireless sending unit from the front sat receiver to the bedroom TV.

In 2019, so many people were requesting that the front satellite receiver be connected to the bedroom, that Newmar finally made it standard. You may find a 2018 or older that has the HDMI cabling to the bedroom, but that would have been a special order. If you get a coach that is pre 2019 or doesn't have the special order, you can get a second box or do what many have done, get a wireless connection between the front sat box and bedroom TV, pretty inexpensive. There is no longer a coax splitter on the roof. It's all done by using HDMI splitters. Another improvement.....Newmar later took the HDMI splitters out of the entertainment cabinet (clutter) and moved them to different areas. Mine are in a bay, under the coach.

In my 2014, the cabling running around the coach was HDMI, which is a terrible cable to use in a moving vehicle because the ends don't lock into place. I'm not sure, but I think around 2017 models, Newmar went to Cat 5 cabling for the long runs throughout the coach, then used a termination box that converted the cable back to HDMI, a better system
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Old 10-16-2019, 10:42 PM   #7
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Thanks Dutch Star Don for the additional thorough description.

So if I understand you correctly, you're saying that the DirecTV box can output its signal on Cat5 Ethernet, which in the newer models gets distributed (for the "long runs") and then converted at each TV to which it runs from Cat5 to HDMI? I didn't realize that the box supported that form of output. So in that case is the *splitter* a Cat5 splitter, such that a single Cat5 output of the DirecTV box splits to Cat5 to each TV, with the Cat5-to-HDMI converter at each TV?

And while I'm at it, and at the risk of hijacking my own thread, I noticed in your signature that your toad is a GMC Canyon, and I was considering getting the same (or Chevy Colorado) as my towed vehicle. Was wondering if you're happy with it, and how complicated the "setup" is for enabling it to be towed. Anything "special" in terms of modifications required, or can you just hook it up and go, both from the mechanical and electrical standpoints?
My apologies if this is considered bad etiquette to "hijack" like this on the forum; I figured that you might just provide a quick/simple answer if/when you reply again to the pertinent question regarding the cabling above, and I could let it go at that; I won't try to prolong this "side discussion" on this thread topic).

Thanks again!

Tom
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Old 10-16-2019, 11:09 PM   #8
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Tom, my 2019 uses HDMI splitters, two of them in the slide through bay. One is for the sat receiver, to the four TV's and one is to split the DVD player to the four TVs.

The Canyon/Colorado require that the battery be disconnected when being towed. All new GM vehicles use electric power steering. When the ignition is off the power steering is still active. Towing the GM's without disconnecting the battery will damage the steering.

On mine, I installed a Roadmaster battery disconnect (electric). From a button, inside the truck, I can electrically disconnect the positive side of the battery. This has worked perfectly for three years. The only caveat, it cant be used on a diesel. They draw too much current when starting.

To tow, you shift the truck electrically into Neutral, shift to Drive, make sure the transfer case in Neutral, disconnect the battery, shift to Park and turn key to Accessory.

I find my Canyon tows really well behind my DS.
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Old 10-17-2019, 07:45 AM   #9
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Thanks again, Dutch Star Don. Regarding the wiring though, I'm a bit confused simply because the one thing you're saying seems to contradict one of the others. You've indicated that your splitters are HDMI, and that makes perfect sense, but then it would also mean that it must be these *HDMI* outputs that are making the "long runs" to reach all of your TVs. But then at the very end of your prior post (two posts ago, not your most recent) you had talked about how you thought that "back around 2017 or so" they switched over to use *Cat5* for the "long runs," to avoid the problem of HDMI cables coming lose.

So that's my confusion: do you have HDMI cables making the long runs to each of the TVs, or do you have Cat5 cables making those long runs? And if the latter, then it would seem that the *splitters* must themselves also be Cat5 (not HDMI). But then perhaps I've simply misunderstood what you are referring to when you talked about the "long runs."

Sorry for belaboring, and I appreciate your patience in responding! :-)

Tom
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Old 10-17-2019, 07:56 AM   #10
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go back to post #5. we have direct tv at home and use a genie, wireless bridge, and a couple of mini genies. we simply take them from the home to the trailer when we take a trip. the only wiring is one coax from the satellite to the genie. there is also the power inserter and a power pass through splitter to run coax to the wireless bridge. no wiring is required to other tv's. just plug them into a wireless mini genie. you can run up to 5 seperate programs at the same time either recording them or broadcasting them to any tv. identical to home! no extra cost nor do we even tell direct tv.
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Old 10-17-2019, 08:36 AM   #11
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Hi bigchick, and thanks for the reply. Yeah, I understand the alternative of using the wireless genies, and I appreciate your taking the time to explain the approach you use (I'll consider it). But I'm still interested in understanding what Dutch Star Don was explaining with regard to the use of HDMI vs. Cat5, if only for my own edification! :-)

Tom
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Old 10-17-2019, 09:25 AM   #12
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On our 2013 DS, there is a sat dish feed that goes into the cabinet above the drivers seat . The directv box's output there goes thru HDMI splitters to the televator TV, the over the dash TV and the outside TV. The bedroom TV is not serviced via the front Directv box. There is, however, a satellite feed in the bedroom so you can add a second directv box
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Old 10-17-2019, 09:55 AM   #13
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Newmar made some smart changes a few years ago. They use to put everything in the entertainment cabinet and run wiring all over the coach. Now, they locate the entertainment equipment above/near the main TV, shortening the distances you have to run cabling. My splitters are directly under the main TV in the pass thru bay. I would have to look to see where they convert back and forth from HDMI to Cat 5. I've never really looked. I don't know what the converter looks like either, just haven't had a need to explore that far.
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Old 10-17-2019, 07:56 PM   #14
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AV Diagram

As an attachment is how Newmar wires the TV eyc.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf AV Set up.pdf (162.2 KB, 18 views)
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