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Old 05-29-2016, 11:11 AM   #1
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Dome unit vs Dish unit for TV

We have a 2003 Travel Supreme DS02 40' coach. It was purchased three years ago. It came with a King Dome satellite TV unit for either Dish/Direct. We will be going full-time in the beginning of next year and will want satellite TV. I have been noticing other RV's with domes as well as some with open satellite dishes. This may sound like a dumb question but is there a difference in performance between the two (other than the obvious construction) or is it basically esthetics?

Would appreciate some insight on this. Thanks.
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Old 05-29-2016, 11:19 AM   #2
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Inside the dome , is a small dish , very small. The larger exposed dish is a better system and my dome would start loosing signal as soon as any rain started, and coated the dome . Both systems require a clear shot at the sky in the direction of the satellite and once your set and leveled , moving for signal to another site could be a PIA.
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Old 05-29-2016, 11:32 AM   #3
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-my open face 3LNB DISH HD dish provides 3 Sat signal option to each of 3 receiver/TVs simultaneously
-my king Tailgater dome unit provides choice of 3 satellites to only ONE 'main' receiver/TV, with an optional 'secondary' signal to another - but only channel choices from the same Sat that the main tv is tuned to at the time it's programmed(though this can be changed if desired, just time consuming)

I don't find one 'better' than the other when it comes to signal or picture loss - rain does not seen to bother the dome any more than the big dish - and both use the same receivers, I just connect my coaxs to whichever I choose to use depending in the situation...
parked for more than a night or two - big dish
just an overnight at walmart - dome
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Old 05-29-2016, 11:59 AM   #4
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Dome setups due to smaller antenna are more subject to rain fade. Domes have only single satellite at a time capability, so all TVs must watch channels on same satellite and there is a small time delay when changing to a channel on a differing satellite.

We have a dome currently and plan to install a open dish Traveler antenna at retirement when we will use the coach for more extended trios.
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Old 05-29-2016, 12:06 PM   #5
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If you want DirectTV HD then there is no option other than the open dish units. We have the now, out of business, MotoSat, but RF Mogul makes a replacement controller and dish unit now. Good to know since our original controller burned out.
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Old 05-29-2016, 01:01 PM   #6
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Dome unit vs Dish unit for TV

If you are looking to buy a new satellite setup it is hard to beat the performance and flexibility of a Winegard Travelr. There are some limitations to domes and as others have said . Much smaller dish and performance can be marginal at times. Also with a smaller dish and single LNB only one satellite at a time is tuned in. So switching channels on a dome can also means dish has to switch positions to acquire the other satellite for another channel. The dome must remain fully powered if you are changing channels. Travelr can be powered off until ready to stow and move one without losing any capability.
The Travelr uses same dish and LNB's as a home setup so you have all the same features. Multiple receivers, HD capable for directv or dish, but you must choose which you want up front as the Travelr is setup up specific to each.


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Old 05-30-2016, 10:00 AM   #7
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Thanks all. The information was exactly what I was looking for.

i'll probably deal with the dome for a while then change to an open dish when we retire next year.
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Old 05-30-2016, 01:09 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Chemosavvy View Post
Thanks all. The information was exactly what I was looking for.

i'll probably deal with the dome for a while then change to an open dish when we retire next year.

One bit of additional information, your KD unit will not work with DISH Network in all probability. DISH made some recent changes to it's transmission encoding that rendered most older KD and KVH domes unable to find DISH satellites.
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Old 06-04-2016, 06:45 PM   #9
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I don't find one 'better' than the other when it comes to signal or picture loss - rain does not seen to bother the dome any more than the big dish -
Whether or not you notice the difference, it's very real and is a fact of life of having a smaller reflector on the antenna. Capturing satellite signals is purely a function of how big a receiving area you have; dome systems all use dishes considerably smaller than the one used on the Trav'ler.

Furthermore, the dome itself is a dielectric material that causes some reflective loss to the incoming signal. It's like going through a window pane; there is a small, but very real loss. In addition, if the dome has a film of water from rain or heavy dew, that also will further attenuate the signal.

Usually, the incoming signal strength is such that you don't notice the difference between the dome and the open, full-sized dish. But if you are trying to watch TV on a rainy day you will quickly discover that the dome loses its signal long before the larger reflector does.
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Old 06-05-2016, 01:17 PM   #10
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Dome vs Dish question is really based on many criteria:

1. Do you want in-motion? If so dome is your only answer.

2. Do you want SD or HD? If SD dome allows you to use either Dish or DirecTV as your carrier. But, it seems as though DirecTV's SD service on 101 will disappear in 3 years. So, you just need to know that this is a short-term decision. There is no word about them shooting up another bird to fill that slot.

3. If you want HD on DirecTV (as has been noted) you will need a dish; no ifs no ands no buts.

4. Dish supports HD on a dome.

So, it is really not about dish or dome, but what kind of service you want and what carrier you want. Only you can sort that out for yourself.
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Old 06-05-2016, 01:24 PM   #11
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Dome vs Dish question is really based on many criteria:

1. Do you want in-motion? If so dome is your only answer.

2. Do you want SD or HD? If SD dome allows you to use either Dish or DirecTV as your carrier. But, it seems as though DirecTV's SD service on 101 will disappear in 3 years. So, you just need to know that this is a short-term decision. There is no word about them shooting up another bird to fill that slot.

3. If you want HD on DirecTV (as has been noted) you will need a dish; no ifs no ands no buts.

4. Dish supports HD on a dome.

So, it is really not about dish or dome, but what kind of service you want and what carrier you want. Only you can sort that out for yourself.
IMHO one other question should be added:

Do use a DVR and want to record multiple channels or watch one channel and record another?

Only a dish with multiple LNBs can do this; domes can't record multiple channels unless they happen to be broadcast from the same satellite.
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Old 06-05-2016, 04:39 PM   #12
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IMHO one other question should be added:

Do use a DVR and want to record multiple channels or watch one channel and record another?

Only a dish with multiple LNBs can do this; domes can't record multiple channels unless they happen to be broadcast from the same satellite.
Great point. I certainly overlooked this.
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