View Full Version : Satellite TV

Richard Barnes
10-21-2009, 09:33 AM
It is time to replace the in-motion satellite system on our coach and I'm seeking advice on which HD system to purchase. I find only a few reviews on-line and they are sketchy at best. All suggestions will be greatly appreciated.

10-21-2009, 10:51 AM
We have a King Dome in motion, would not recommend this unit to anyone, really miss the KVH R6 we had on the bus.

We also were very impressed this summer with over the over the air signals in the new digital format, so much so that I purchased 3 items while on the road, a signal booster (Amplifier) a Winegard wingman for HD digital signals http://www.winegardwingman.com/ plus an additional antenna that attaches to the basic Winegard that will pull in signals from 50 miles away. All in all the signals were great and it was nice to get local news and WX on the road. We only used the Sat TV 2 times in 5 months as a result. There are cases when you will get few choices but some times you will auto tune in 20 or even 30 channels. The biggest aspect for us is the ability to get a quality picture and local info while on the road.

10-21-2009, 11:43 AM
Richard, something to consider is how many TVs you want to be completely independent. An in-motion satellite can only see only one satellite at a time and only one receiver can control the satellite selection. Each dish company has different equipment configurations and each satellite company has different satellite offerings with different configurations of HD and SD offerings.

We have a single KVH dish, 3 HD TVs and chose Dish Network. The HD receivers are the smallest in the industry and require no additional equipment to tune the dish or receive HD signals. The front TV controls satellite selection, the bedroom TV can watch any channel on the selected satellite and the outside TV mirrors the front TV. Also, all TVs can tune any HD over the air signals. Most, but not all, Dish Network HD channels are on one satellite so most of the time satellite selection is not an issue. One feature of Dish Network we enjoy is their local channels package since you can change your service address whenever you move to a new area and view the local stations through your satellite receiver.

When considering your options, a wiring diagram for your coach could help. In ours, Liberty prewired some extra coax cables in each run that we were able to use.

And then the audio . . . and TV selection . . .

10-21-2009, 11:50 AM
I been using KVH TracVision R6 ( Non HD Direct TV)for 2+ years with out any problems. If I wanted HD I needed to switch to Dish Network . No local cannels. I get NBC,ABC,CBS with feeds from LA and NY.

mike kerley
10-22-2009, 03:32 PM
We now have two dishes on the roof. An older KVH in motion and a MOTOSAT HD unit that serves us when parked. Both dishes are plumbed to AB switches so both HD tv's (Direct TV receivers with DVR's and dual inputs) can be served by the inmotion or the stationary/automatic HD dish. This allows us HD programming while parked, inmotion SD on the two televisions inside while on the road and also provides a back up if either dish fails or is blocked by tree's. The outside TV is also an HD unit but is only plumbed to the in motion unit, for now. To feed more than four receivers (each DVR has two inputs) I need to locate another switch to split the signal for the outside unit.

Works good and not real complicated as I have the AB switches in the bedroom above the controller for the two units on the roof. The MOTOSAT unit works great, but takes about 10 minutes to find all five birds and finally lock on for use. I've used the alarm from the crank up antenna to warn me if I forget to put down the MOTOSAT dish before moving and removed that old antenna from the roof. The male voice in the CC alarm chip tells me "roof top antenna raised". Not that I would ever forget.

We love having HD programming.

Ray Davis
10-22-2009, 03:44 PM
I think I am going to have to go through some back-bends to convert my Marathon. At present, I couldn't even get off-the-air TV.

On my current coach (not sure if all Marathons are like this. I know that BUSTER is not, but I think that Kevin's IS)

Satellite, VHS, DVD and TechLink all have standard def composite video outputs. These 4 outputs are routed to a modulator which puts these 4 video signals out as regular TV channels 100, 102, 104 and 106 on a single coax. This output is then sent to a mixer/amplifier, which mixes those channels with the signal from the park cable (if present), and sends it to all TV's in the bus. So, changing from DSS to VHS to DVD is a matter of actually changing TV channels, not video inputs.

The batwing antenna seems to be routed directly to the VHS recorder, and instructions basically say that to watch off-the-air TV that I have to first tune to the VHS channel (104 I think), and then tune the off-air channels with the VHS tuner.

This all worked fine in the SD video days. It works OK at the moment with everything as long as it's still standard video. So, my satellite still works, as does the VHS and DVD etc.

Should I want to go to HD, I'm not sure what I'm going to have to do. I haven't actually looked at the cabling, but I assume it's nice in that there is a single coax going to each of the TV's from the mixer.

So, it seems that I probably need to:

1. Find a HD capable variant of the mixer?
2. Find a way to route the batwing (or external antenna to the mixer)
3. Find a way for this to work with a hi-def device like satellite.

So, I have some work to do.


PS: Not to mention, purchasing HD capable TV's!

10-22-2009, 08:19 PM
Johnny I have DirecTV and if I am out of my home area I can't get ABC, CBS, NBC East or West. What feature do you have that allows that?

10-22-2009, 09:14 PM
Richard, there is not an "in motion satellite for HD on the market. That is why Mike is using two systems a tilt up dish for HD and the in motion with SD. If you want to stay with SD I would recommend the TracStar it is the most reliable in motion on the market. A little pricey but for no hassle TV it's the one to buy.

10-22-2009, 09:39 PM
Elliot, we get HD with Dish and KVH while rolling down the road, and we get locals within about 250 miles of our last registered service address. Fun to glance at on the back up camera monitor while driving.

10-22-2009, 09:58 PM
I have been using the KVH R-6 for 2.5 years with no problem, DirecTV.

10-22-2009, 10:08 PM
Yes Jim your absolutely right Dish does have the in motion for HD. My mistake, I should have clarified that Direct TV is the one that does not have an in motion system for HD channels. We have always used Direct TV and I have never given much thought to Dish Network because of the network channels issue.

10-22-2009, 10:24 PM
Johnny I have DirecTV and if I am out of my home area I can't get ABC, CBS, NBC East or West. What feature do you have that allows that?


I just found out that my bat wing antenna on top of the coach will process digital signals without any other equipment. I thought that I would need a special digital antenna or a converter box. Not so, my digital TV will pick up ABC, NBC, & CBS thru the roof top bat wing antenna.

Don't forget to AUTO program the channels each time you change locations.

The picture on the local channels is crystal clear; it's like watching satellite.

10-23-2009, 01:23 AM
Thanks Tuga I will have to get an converter box since I have old style TV's.

mike kerley
10-23-2009, 04:03 PM
For Direct TV East and West Coast feeds, fill out their RV waiver sheet and pay a monthly fee per network. You'll then get ABC, NBC, CBS and FOX on the 380 channels in SD and 390 channels in HD. East and west coast feeds. Very handy if you miss a network program on the East coast feed and can record it later on the West Coast feed. Its been years since I filled mine out, but I believe I had to prove that I owned an RV and promise to move it X many times a year from my home base.

All these extras are what makes my monthly TV bill more than what my first mortgage payment was.

10-23-2009, 04:22 PM
For East coast and West coast feeds I filled out the waiver (RV use) . No problems.

Ray Davis
10-23-2009, 04:43 PM
I have west coast feeds with my standard subscription, as that's where my zipcode is. At one point I had both east and west, and it stopped suddenly. I called and they indicated I needed to submit the waiver paperwork. But they wanted and addition $9.95 a month for that. I didn't feel it was warranted, for something I use so little.

But, I'll admit, it would have been nice to have both feeds while on the road. There's nothing worse than watching a 10PM show at midnight because you're in the wrong timezone.

10-23-2009, 05:11 PM
There are a couple of things I miss about DirectTV and the big one is the east and west coast network feeds. You can get something like that with Dish, but it is Chicago and San Francisco. And to get the HD versions is pretty expensive.

Other than almost all HD with Dish, a nice thing about Dish is being able to change your local networks by calling Dish and having them change your service address. Of course, you only get one chance to see something or record it, unlike the DirectTV network feeds.

10-23-2009, 11:12 PM
I have DirecTV West Coast feed but can only get it in the Oregon area. Maybe I only have Local channels?

10-24-2009, 08:30 AM
With Direct TV, your local channels are spot beamed. You can usually get those channels up to about 75 - 100 miles from home and then you lose the signal.

I was forced to choose between the East or West feeds and they would not allow me to get both. I am charged 14.00 for the Distant Network Service for Mobile Customers (East) and an additional 5.00 for the receiver in the bus.

For those receiving East and West, how did you manage to get both feeds and what's the cost?

Ray Davis
10-24-2009, 10:33 AM
I had both feeds for awhile, but they turned off, and it was part of my normal service.

I get LA area channels around channels 2-13 (actually more), and then again there are the east/west network channels in the 380's. Up there I only get the west coast feeds.

It may have been affected by the fact that my account was originally a home account. When I moved back to SoCal, I didn't need it for home (we have cable), but I've kept the account active for years, and only now use it in the bus.


10-24-2009, 03:21 PM
I had to send a copy of the registration card to them to prove that it was a mobile unit and then I got all the major networks(east and west).

mike kerley
10-27-2009, 12:02 PM
RV waiver for east and west coast and I believe I pay $5.95 per month per network. (4) Shows up on all receivers.