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Author Topic: DirecTV HD...on the road.  (Read 3092 times)
TomCat
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« on: March 03, 2008, 02:48:37 PM »

I'm a full timer with no real street address, but I do have a place on the high plains of Colorado where I usually squat, just east of Colorado Springs.

Having been a DirecTV customer since the previous century, I have the Total Choice Plus package, without Colorado Springs local channels, because I can get them, and much more in HD from an OTA antenna.

I do however, have the Distant Network Package, with ABC, CBS, FOX and NBC feeds from both coasts. CW and PBS are available as well for an extra $1.50 each, per month.

I already have two HD flat panel TV's in my coach, and now that DTV has the new birds in the sky, and there are lots of HD available when it comes to their programming, with more coming soon, I'm interested.
 
A small amount of DTV's HD channels are on the 110* bird which I can get with my KingDome while on the road.

However, if I want the full HD package, I'll need to install a new 5 LNB SlimLine dish at my squatting location in Colorado, and run a cable in the window like I do now with my 3 LNB 101*,110*,119* dish. (I'm parked in a metal building)

Here is my question...
Anyone aware of a product on the market that will allow us to receive the KU and KA satellites while in motion, or while parked away from home, without setting up a Slimline dish?
Janet from DTV DNS department (An RV'er herself) says it's just too hard to align the SlimLine while on the road.

Anyone working on this or have any ideas? I'm gonna email Ali at KingDome and see what he has to say about it.

Jay
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« Reply #1 on: March 03, 2008, 03:56:11 PM »

   We recently had the 5 LNB DirecTV antenna installed at our place. With an installer that works this area and basically know where to preset the antenna before installing it, he still used a fancy (read $$$) meter to adjust the antenna. He said that because you are receiving signals from several birds at the same time, the alignment is very critical. That said, I seem to recall seeinf an ad for an in motion antenna that is supposed to receive the HD signals, but I can't remember what brand or where I saw the ad.  Jack
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« Reply #2 on: March 03, 2008, 06:16:09 PM »

Hi Jay,

I'm in Middelton RI as we speak at KVH headquarters getting my dealer certifacation. I arrived at 5pm and just had dinner with 3 KVH reps.

My first question to them was just what you asked.... They told me that HD can be done with a single LNB in motion unit and they will show me tomorrow in the plant.

They also told me that I can  recieve HD with my A-7 with a minor flash software change.. They will also give that to me tomorrow..

Sorry to keep you and me in suspence but I will have answers for you this time tomorrow!

Nick-
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« Reply #3 on: March 03, 2008, 07:00:51 PM »

Hi Jay,

I'm in Middelton RI as we speak at KVH headquarters getting my dealer certifacation. I arrived at 5pm and just had dinner with 3 KVH reps.

My first question to them was just what you asked.... They told me that HD can be done with a single LNB in motion unit and they will show me tomorrow in the plant.
They also told me that I can  recieve HD with my A-7 with a minor flash software change.. They will also give that to me tomorrow..

Sorry to keep you and me in suspence but I will have answers for you this time tomorrow!

Nick-

Nick,

Thanks for your input...good timing!

Please verify that we are talking ALL DTV HD channels, from both KU and KA satellites, and not just the 110* satellite.
DTV is presently beaming down from 99*, 101*, 103*, 110*, and 119*, with the majority of the HD progamming on the new 99* and 103* birds.

Thanks,

Jay
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« Reply #4 on: March 03, 2008, 07:28:16 PM »

Jay,

They said something about only looking at 99 or 103, not both at the same time..?

Tomorrow, tomorrow...Lol
Nick-
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« Reply #5 on: March 03, 2008, 07:33:35 PM »

Inquiring minds want to know!  Keep us posted.
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« Reply #6 on: March 03, 2008, 07:40:56 PM »

Jay,

They said something about only looking at 99 or 103, not both at the same time..?
Nick-

If the roof top unit can see the 99* and 103*, we should be good.
I guess if you tune in a channel that your receiver says it cannot see, you switch to the other HD bird.

Close enough for me.

Thanks Nick.

Jay
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« Reply #7 on: March 03, 2008, 07:45:34 PM »

I thought mobile sat systems just toggled between sats depending on the channel you're watching. I just installed mine recently and unlike a permanant dish on the Terra firma with multi lnbs and skews and other technical jargon, the mobile unit moves to the sat needed at the time. Simple software (or not) might be able to refigure a mobile system. You're right, inquiring minds want to know, (my wife). We'll be sitting here on the edge of our seats waiting for more info. Thanks Nick Smiley
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« Reply #8 on: March 03, 2008, 08:00:59 PM »

I have been working on a customer install and Gary Swaim is installing the new Motosat HD system (http://www.motosat.com/products/tv_HD/index.asp) on the same coach.  From what Gary tells me, it was just released and is selling like hot cakes at around $2300 and change. 

I don't know much about the technology, but I don't think anyone had an in-motion true HD system that catches both bands and all the birds. 

Jim
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« Reply #9 on: March 04, 2008, 02:14:23 PM »

Hi Guy's,

Here is the facts. The KVH R6dx is the unit to recieve in motion HD. The R6 is the new 12" high dome type which is able to handle either Direct TV and Dish 1000 HD systems. Right now, Direct TV's 110 bird is the only one you have to look at giving you about 100 HD channels. If any of you remember about a year ago, Direct TV launched 6 new sats on a russian misstle in the pacific from an abandoned oil platform. Well, it lifted about 8' and fell back to the platform and blew to pieces,
killing 34 engineers along with all 6 birds. Each bird costed 250 million dollars which were not insureable through Lloyds of Londen. A total loss which was passed on to each customer to the tune of 4 dollars a month. Needless to say, that launch would have put Direct TV years ahead of the competition.
 In about 2 months, Dish 1000 HD service will be miles ahead of Direct TV with 4 new birds that will give you 200 HD channels. And KVH is right there with the most easiest equipment to use in the market. The R6 dx is user friendly which puts the end user in control of the software set ups. Meaning, all on screen programming with out the need of a lap top and software. Dish 1000 on the 61 bird will be the highest in the sky and on KU ban. with 200+ HD channels. KU ban has the cleanest signal in the US with very little rain fade. This meand you will be able to see over more trees and buildings with less loss of picture.

More after dinner...
Nick-
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« Reply #10 on: March 04, 2008, 04:00:49 PM »

Thanks again Nick, for a great report.

When I read in your post about DTV losing 6 birds in one fell swoop, my curiosity got the better of me, and I wanted to know more.

From the news articles I can find, DTV only planned two launches in 2007. Those were for birds D10 and D11. (D12 is on the drawing board.)

DTV's D10 bird was not involved in the January 2007 SeaLaunch explosion, but was delayed for months by the damage to the platform.
http://www.engadgethd.com/2007/01/31/sea-launch-explosion-may-delay-directvs-100-hd-channels/

Here is a report from just last month... http://www.tvpredictions.com/dresults021408.htm  about the newest launches planned by DTV.

Thanks again and I look forward to your next installment.

Jay
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« Reply #11 on: March 04, 2008, 05:21:16 PM »

Hi Jay,

Thanks for the links. They clear it all up...

By September this year, KVH is slated to release their newest creation that will concour the "5" LNB's [like the stationary dishes] with
one LNB designed with 4 gyros and gps. The new design is up and running here at KVH as proof to us dealers. KVH is an ISO9000 shop
and must proform the proper testing for it's certifacations and patons. The only thing I can tell you is that it all fits under their new style
12" high dome.

Back to the HD set-up for KVH and Direct TV.  Check this pdf out
http://www.kvh.com/inthenews/pdf/RVPro_Feb2008.pdf

Nick-

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« Reply #12 on: March 04, 2008, 06:18:30 PM »

More good news from KVH

According to Dave Walker, Technical Training Manager at KVH, we can recieve local channels from Direct TV when we travel from city to city even

if your recievers in your coach are on your home account. The recievers need to be dedicated to the coach or they will get "pinged" and damaged.

We will have to fill out the vehicle affadavid form and send it in to Direct TV. Direct TV will tell you that you can only recieve East or West coast programming

on local channels but, the big secret is that you will recieve the locals in the areas that you are in. If not, he says to call him direct and he will assist us in getting

this done correctly. I will be doing this as soon as I get home!  Here is the form

http://www.kvh.com/pdf/DNS_Vehicles_Aff.pdf

Nick-
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« Reply #13 on: March 04, 2008, 07:41:19 PM »

Thanks for all the wonderful information Nick. The KVH sounds like it's ahead of its time, or am I just behind the times? Huh PP Now if only they could fit that internet sat inside that 12" dome too Cheesy, Wouldn't life be grand? We wouldn't need any high-priced dino, we'd just sit and veg LOL
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« Reply #14 on: March 05, 2008, 02:00:47 PM »

Hi Guy's,

I have a correction to make reguarding the R6dx KVH unit. I earlier stated that it only needs to look at the 110 bird to
recieve 100+ channels. The correct statement is that the R6dx switches between the 110 and I beleve the 99 to recieve
the 100+ channels. The R6dx does this automaticly depending on the channel you choose to watch. This is available now!
Sorry for the mess up!
Nick-
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« Reply #15 on: March 06, 2008, 05:29:00 AM »

The recievers need to be dedicated to the coach or they will get "pinged" and damaged.



Hey Nick,  What does this statement mean. I can no longer use my home receiver in the coach?
Thanks,
Tom Hamrick
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« Reply #16 on: March 06, 2008, 05:51:46 AM »

Hi Tom,

No, You can use your home recievers in your coach anytime you want but, you won't be able to have local programming

out of your home area unless you fill out the afadavid and let Direct tv know what recievers are in your coach.

If you don't choose to have locals when you travel, and just take a reciever with you from your home, but, you won't be able

to leave the reciever in your coach more then 3 weeks.  After 3 weeks, if they ping the reciever and it is not in your Home Area,

they will burn the curcuit board and card in your reciever.


Thats one of the reasons you see so many recievers on e-bay for 5 to 10 dollars! One thing about Direct TV, you never own the reciever,

you lease it...  That is how they can distroy it any time they want.

Good Luck
Nick-
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« Reply #17 on: March 06, 2008, 06:28:02 AM »

Hi Nick when did thay start leasing the box? we got ours from circuit city for cash never told it was still on a lease, we have been useing it since 04 still never had a lease from them. Darren.
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« Reply #18 on: March 06, 2008, 06:35:55 AM »

    When we got our new HD receiver from DirecTV, I asked the installer what they would do with the old receiver. He said "nothing, that is your receiver, do whatever you want with it".  The old recveiver was the one we got from DirecTV when we originally signed up with them. We have 3 receivers from DirectTV. All are listed at our residence (bedroom, living room-HD, and shop office). Shop office is actually in the bus. We do not worry about local programming when traveling because we get those over our batwing antenna. We have been traveling like this since 2000 and SO FAR, DirecTV has not done anything. Do I need to be concerned about them destroying one of our receivers?  Jack
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« Reply #19 on: March 06, 2008, 07:27:17 AM »

Hi Guy's,

Direct TV doesn't want the old recievers either... If you read closely to your Direct TV agreement, [read the fine print] it explains

that all Direct TV recievers are leased weather you buy them from a retailer or from them.

If I remember correctly from class, the actual retail cost of a reciever is about $475.00 but they lease them to you

for much, much less..

Nick-
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« Reply #20 on: March 06, 2008, 01:10:45 PM »

Nick,

The receiver is just that, a receiver and not a transmitter. If they send a signal to the receiver asking where it is, there is no way for the receiver to respond to this message unless it can transmit to the sat and that would require FCC approval.

Is there another way?

This sounds like DirectTV hipe.

Dan C.
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« Reply #21 on: March 06, 2008, 01:14:49 PM »

Nick,

The receiver is just that, a receiver and not a transmitter. If they send a signal to the receiver asking where it is, there is no way for the receiver to respond to this message unless it can transmit to the sat and that would require FCC approval.

Is there another way?

This sounds like DirectTV hipe.

Dan C.


Hi Dan,

Yes, there is a ping tone. There is a decisive tone that they recieve for each "Spot Area" of local programming.
And of course, they can burn the card and board.. Don't ask me how!  I don't know that one.

Nick-
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« Reply #22 on: March 06, 2008, 03:53:08 PM »

Hi Dan,

Yes, there is a ping tone. There is a decisive tone that they recieve for each "Spot Area" of local programming.
And of course, they can burn the card and board.. Don't ask me how!  I don't know that one.

Nick-

Nick,

Having been through it before, I can tell you that the signal they send down from time to time doesn't hurt the receiver, but will fry the crap out of your smart card.

Please don't ask me how I know this.  Wink

Jay
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« Reply #23 on: April 11, 2008, 09:22:36 PM »

UPDATE... 1 for 1

Satellite launch, 3-14-08 of AMC 14 was a total loss. [150 million$ loss]

Sorry folks, this was Dish Networks KU ban HD satellite that was to put them ahead of Direct TV with 200 + HD Channels but failed to make orbit.

2008-03-14  AMC 14  Dish Net  61.5W  32 Ku band TP
was to replace EchoStar 3


Now both DTV and Dish have both suffered a loss this year with HD sats.

Nick-
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« Reply #24 on: April 12, 2008, 10:02:48 PM »

Re the issue of leased vs. owned, we'll add our 2-cents worth.  For Christmas 2006, we got ourselves a DirecTV HD DVR receiver.  DirecTV had us on a list of customers who wanted one, but they said we'd have to wait as they didn't have any in stock at that moment.  My wife was in Best Buy and saw one sitting on the shelf (the last one, too) so she put it in her cart and paid $300.  We don't recall seeing any fine print on the receipt.  Nevertheless, when we hit the road for our summer vacation in 2007, we called DirecTV and put our home receivers on suspension (reduces the cost).  But after a month or so had gone by, we got a message on our home phone from DirecTV... somewhat garbled but mentioning a "recovery pack" -- my wife called DirecTV and it seems they didn't understand the suspension was temporary and they had sent out a packing box for us to return the "leased" HD DVR.  Well, after a discussion with the DirecTV rep, my wife said the suspension was temporary, we had no intention of returning the box, and good luck getting into our hurricane-secured house to get it. 

It's true that DirecTV doesn't want the old style receivers back, but they seem pretty keen on recovering the HD DVRs.  However, it's also probable that as technology marches onward and they come out with the next new style/model of receiver, they won't be all that interested in getting it back by the time we are ready to get something else.  And by the way, even though they claim it is leased, if it is damaged in anyway the replacement will be on your nickel.  They won't repair or replace; they suggested perhaps Homeowners Insurance would cover it.  I suspect that's not likely, considering typical deductibles, even if your policy covers electronic equipment.
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« Reply #25 on: April 13, 2008, 05:43:34 AM »

Hi Kirby,

If you will be spending your winters or just vacationing for at least a month in another market of DTV, listen to this.

Instead of suspending your service, tell them that you have moved. [to where ever your vacation site is] But, keep your billing

address the same. When your vacation is over, tell them you moved back. This is working very well with the SS guy's at RV.NET.

Good Luck
Nick-
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« Reply #26 on: April 13, 2008, 10:40:49 AM »

Good idea for anyone who might be staying put in a particular location while away from home base.  At the moment, we're more like gypsies in our 5 to 6 months of travel each summer, but someday that may change.  Especially as we look at the cost of fuel!!   Undecided
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« Reply #27 on: April 13, 2008, 04:43:44 PM »

Just to clear up some confusion:

If you bought your DirecTV receiver in a store prior to sometime in 2005, you own it.  The lease-only policy was not in effect then, and the receivers were actually sold and became the property of the buyer.  (The smartcard has always been the property of DirecTV.)  I own my el-cheapo receiver.

Also, there is no way for a receiver to report anything back to DirecTV unless you have it connected to a phone line.  That being said, there is a data channel that is constantly sending cryptograhic unlock codes to all legitimately licensed receivers based on smartcard number.  If you stop paying your bill, the codes sent for your specific smartcard will disable it entirely.

The system is designed such that the receiver must be in contact with this data stream for a certain amount of time each month, to keep the codes in sync.  If you pack up the receiver, or take down the dish, for more than about 30 days, your receiver will stop working.  You will then need to call DirecTV with your smartcard number, tell them that your unit was off-line, and have the "reactivate" your smartcard.  They will enter the command in their system, and the satellite will send the special code message that your receiver will need to re-sync and be able to decrypt the channels.

This same back-channel can be used to send a destruct code to a receiver for a smartcard that has, for example, been reported stolen, or is suspected of being modified somehow to pirate the encrypted signals.  Merely taking a receiver on the road with you, assuming you have properly notified the carrier, will not prompt a destruct signal.  However, unless you pay the extra fee for mobile units to receive east or west local channels, your local channel reception will end as soon as you leave the "spot beam" that is being used to supply those local channels to your house.

FWIW, we don't pay the extra local channel fee, and our receiver has been "on the road" continuously for three and a half years.  But we also don't get any local channels, unless we get within about 100 miles of our mailbox in Washington.

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