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Old 03-24-2014, 09:01 AM   #1
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Newbie considering satellite TV reception

I do not have satellite TV reception in my 2012 Berk or home and have done some investigation; probably enough to be dangerous. Since I did not get an antenna mounted on the RV's roof my first questions are if it it is within reason to mount one on the roof, and what are the pros and cons of the roof-top versus the portable dish? I am not considering In-Motion and have read that the dome types are not as good as the naked antennas. I have seen non-dome antennas mounted on the roof.

I see where Weinguard's best portable antenna (TR-6100) does three satellites and will do HD (which I want), but only with Dish Network. Does Direct Tv do HD?

Do I need two receivers or a receiver with dual tuners to service the front and rear TV's?

What are the pros and cons between Direct TV and Dish? Your experiences, suggestions and guidance would be greatly appreciated.

Gale & Hank- 2012 Berkshire 390BH
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Old 03-24-2014, 09:22 AM   #2
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Newbie considering satellite TV reception

We love HD TV but find we can live without it in our trailer. With 2 separate receivers dish is out of the question because of the satellite switching. I installed a Winegard RM DM46 dish on the roof and carry a portable dish to use when needed. A lot of people complain that when it's raining or morning dew they have to wipe down the dome to get reception. I've used this setup on many RVs over the years and found in our opinion to be the best of all worlds. I'm sure those with $2,000.00 domes on their motorhomes would differ and their probably right but our setup serves the purpose. On my last 5th wheel I had 3 separate receivers and 2 output jacks to allow neighbors to tap into my dish.

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Old 03-24-2014, 09:26 AM   #3
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Direct TV does HD, but the antenna that's needed is pricey - while some of Wineguard's more affordable, such as the Carryout while do Dish HD from the get-go. We opted for Dish for a variety of reasons, less costly, monthly plans, more variety being among them. We also opted for the Carryout because it comes with a 50ft cord that allows you to place the antenna "wherever". Of course that doesn't help you a whole lot if "in motion" is a gotta have..... Wineguard has a great on-line brochure that breaks it all down
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Old 03-24-2014, 09:35 AM   #4
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There are lots of threads on the forum here where you can research. Most likely, your questions and many more are answered there. Here's a recent thread with similar questions:

Satellite tv

This is a forum search for the tag "satellite"
satellite - Forest River Forums - Threads Tagged with Satellite

In the end, you'll discover it's just an individual choice of Winegard on the roof ($$$), dome ($$), or portable ($). Ditto with Dish vs DirectTV. Folks that have one of these at home usually go with the same.

Good luck in your research!
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Old 03-24-2014, 09:48 AM   #5
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This is a very timely thread for us as we are considering switching from cable to satellite at home and we would like to be able to use the same receivers and a portable dish while travelling. At the risk of highjacking your thread would it be possible for some Canadian members to chime in to see what they do when travelling in the U.S.. If Bell satellite won't work there what do you use. I like the idea of a monthly plan as someone suggested if it is a sort of pay as you go or as you use it. It does not make good economic sense to purchase a full plan to use a few weeks a year. Besides I have been told they require a permanent U.S. address. We will be following this thread closely as long as it is active. Old Guys (Brian and Joanne)
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Old 03-24-2014, 09:51 AM   #6
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Newbie considering satellite TV reception

Old Guys,
This might be what you need.
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Old 03-24-2014, 10:06 AM   #7
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My winegard traveler was not connected to the bedroom tv until the factory corrected it so I purchased the winegard razor portable antenna about $80.00 from camping world. I was surprised that most times I got at least 10 channels and the picture was clear. I just hang it in the small side bedroom window. I hope it will work with my little tv outside this summer. No monthly payments
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Old 03-24-2014, 10:20 AM   #8
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Thank you JWEDELL. That is a really good informative site and seems to be exactly what we require if it is necessary to purchase a second satellite option if it turns out Bell Satellite will not work in the U.S. Thanks for the input. (Old Guys) Brian and Joanne)
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Old 03-24-2014, 11:26 AM   #9
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Then again, perhaps it is time for a paradigm change....

One of the perks of my job (For those who do not know, Yes I really am a Rocket Scientist ) Is we have a HUGE influx of young engineering talent. The team I mentor is a mix of interns, grad students, and they have a "old fart" member who is a ancient 32 years old

The advantage of this, however, is I am pretty much on the bleeding edge of all the new technology and....word on the 20-something street is Cable/Satellite is almost a dead technology. Current thought is 5 years tops and Comcast/DirecTV/WOWway et al will either go away or be completely transformed. OK, so transformed by what? The Internet my friends.

After chatting with my teammates and challenging them to design a system that would work for me here are a few solutions for ya'll to consider (NB: If you are a boondocker that camps away from cell service these solutions will probably not work for you):

For the "I GOTTA" have my cable TV because I need my series TV fix when I am on the road set:
DirecTV subscription with a Genie DVR and a GenieGO. You set your DVRs at home to record away whatever (and you can have up to 4 DVRs!). Your GenieGO connects to your home WIFI network and you access GenieGO from any WIFI hotspot and watch whatever you want that has been recorded on your DVRs. (

Same as above but you want to stream live tv: Get a slingbox and hook it to your home cable receiver (any company) and access it via any WIFI hotspot. (

Accessing content on your TV or Tablet in the RV without the above "pay-by-the-month cable accounts" is easy provided you have a WIFI access point. Here are 3 solutions. :

Google Chromecast (This requires your TV to have a HDMI input): (Chromecast)

Roku. One model works with virtually any TV, the newest "Dongle" plugs directly into a HDMI port on your TV): Roku Streaming Player

Apple TV. If you use Apple products and have a iTunes account with a lot of purchased content as we do, this is a great solution. In addition, the Apple TV allows you to stream content from your iPhone or iPad to the TV that is connected to the Apple TV (Apple - Apple TV - HD iTunes content and more on your TV.)

Our current solution is the Apple TV, because most places we stay at have free WIFI & Cable. In addition, if you are close enough to a town that has a TV, the antenna on your rig should pull in the local stations so you can watch them.

My team mates convinced me to pre-order a Roku stick. This device is just being released this week so I do not have it in hand yet. This $50 gadget plugs into the HDMI port of your TV and gives you access to Netflix, Amazon Video, Hulu, and a zillion other stations (most free and some are a pay per view or subscription). I'll let folks know how this works after our next trip APR 4th.

So, to recap, my current solution is a Apple TV + the newely acquired Roku Stick (total investment: $148). Those, plus my DW's and my iPads (which can stream to the TV through the Apple TV) - oh any my wife's Seagate Wireless 1TB "Media Server" drive (stores about 200 movies and TV shows for completely off-grid viewing - an additional $179 - Wireless Plus, Wireless Hard Drive, iPad Hard Drive | Seagate) work for us.

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Old 03-24-2014, 11:34 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by dmac623 View Post
Direct TV does HD, but the antenna that's needed is pricey
I would agree, *IF* you are only interested in an "automatic" antenna. If you are willing to use a "manual" antenna, then it can be pretty inexpensive. We see DirecTV HD dishes on Craigslist quite often for about $50 - $75, often with stand / tripod, LNB and cabling.

Ours was $50 and was a DirecTV SL3 Slimline, with a base, stand, SWiM SL3 LNB and 30' of cabling. This is perfect for us, because it's the same dish we have at home. That means we can take our HD DVR (HR3400) from the house and put it in the trailer and go. Setup is reasonably easy and usually takes about 10 - 15 minutes. We get All our recorded shows, HD and Local channels.

To further enhance the experience, we bought a "client" box (C-31), a power inserter (Pi-21), 2 way splitter, DVR power cord, 2 HDMI cables, 2 DirecTV remotes and installed all in the RV. We got the stuff from Amazon / ebay and I think we paid a total of about $100.

What we do it, simply unplug the DVR from the house, carry it to the RV and plug it in (all connections are already there now). Drive to our destination, set up camp, set up the antenna, pull up the Dish Aiming applet on the DVR, enter the zip code, use the coordinates to aim the dish (rough aim), use the signal strength applet on the DVR to make the fine tune and voila!

We have the same service we enjoy at home. AND with the extra client box, we can watch different things in the bedroom vs the living room.

Oh, and we also have PLEX Media server running on a laptop with a ROKU in the Living room and a Chromecast in the bedroom. This provides us with access to our collection of several hundred movies, Netflix or what ever else we feel like watching.


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