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Old 11-06-2009, 10:38 AM   #1
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Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Fort Gratiot MI
Posts: 450
Hi everyone,

I am thinking of getting Dish network installed in the house with the HD receivers,and had called the local store that does the install and selling of the equipment. I asked the store owner about taking and extra dish with me camping.

The owner I talked to said it is extremely hard to find an HD satellite signal because it has to be lined up with 5 satellites, and that I wouldnt want to take an extra dish with me camping because the satellite dish has to be set up by a professional because it is so hard to find the 5 satellites correctly so that you get a signal. He said that just putting the dish up on a house is very hard to pin point the satellites that way and couldnt imagine that I could do it myself for a weeked/ weeklong trip.

Is he just a dufus or is it that hard to find the satellites? Now keep in mind it is the HD setup he is talking about.

I have read where alot of you guys use and have satellite dishes and seems that it doesnt take that long to set them up as long as they are level and pointed the right way.

I did have Direct TV about 12 yrs ago and back then they didnt have HD recievers and I set up my own system on the house and did all the install myself for it. I remember it wasnt that hard to find the satellite and set it up using the tone from the TV to pin point the right direction.

Do you all have HD satellite dishes and is it that hard to set up?


Brian, Tamara, Abigail

2003 Lincoln Navigator Ultimate Edition 4X4

2004 Crossroads Cruiser CT30RL
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Old 11-06-2009, 10:57 AM   #2
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I don't know about Michigan, but where I am North of Seattle there are only three satellites for DN. Two for most programing and one for HD. I have two dishes to hit the three SATs but they do make a dish that will hit all three SATs by itself.

I have seen a lot of dishes next to RVers so it can't possibly be that hard to pinpoint the SATs. I know they sellSAT finders which help in locating the signals (Radio Shack may have one).

BTW, if you are a new DN customer, the install for the home should be basically free.Edited by: Stan
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Old 11-06-2009, 11:08 AM   #3
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Location: Alabama
Posts: 98
We have Direct TV and use a portable satellite dish with our RV. We never have a problem unless we are camping in an area heavy with trees. Recently we were able to get a signal with DTwhen a fellow camper with DN could not. I don't know if one is better than the other but weve been pleased with DT.
Kay and Teddy Jones

Jasper, AL

2009 30SK

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Old 11-07-2009, 12:49 AM   #4
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The dealer may be right. We are part of a volunteer group that use our RVs while working. A few of our members do use Dish, but most use DirecTV including myself. I can usually set up my system in a few minutes and so can the other DirecTV users. Then we typically help the Dish guys "try" to get their systems working, sometimes more than a hour, other times longer and sometimes they just give up. I have two Dish units that I removed from my MILs house when we got it ready to sell. None of the Dish guys are motivated to get a free dish/LNB. Next time, you are camped where there are a lot of portable dishes, go count how many are DirecTV vs. Dish. Then decide what you want to do. BTW, when we upgraded to HD, I moved the old std. def. Tivo receiver to the Cruiser, works great.
Larry Day

Texas Baptist Men-Retiree Builders member since '01
13 Silverado 3500HD D/A, 2wd CCSB srw, custom RKI bed
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Old 11-07-2009, 01:20 AM   #5
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I have dish and love it. Now I do not have HD so I only need to locate two ( making sure the mount is level but it is no problem at all. Just get a compass and point in that general direction. I have a signal meter to do the fine tuning so you do not have to listen for the tone in the camper or relay with the DW. < id="gwProxy" ="">< ="jsCall;" id="jsProxy" =""><div id="ref">
George and Debi
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Old 11-07-2009, 12:04 PM   #6
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Location: MAGALIA, CA
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I may be able to help. I have been using satellite set ups while RVing for about 14 years. I used to have DISH until 3 years ago when they cut off my east coast channels and then I switched to Direct. IDO have the HD package with Direct. I did have the HD package with DISH 500but at that time they were only using 2 satellites( 110 and 119)and it was easy to set up.

My current Direct HD package does require locking in 5 satellites( 99, 103, 101,110 and 119). I assume DISH now also requires the same. It takes quite a bit longer to set up the the HD 5 LNB antenna disc, but is is very doable. The instructions that come with the disc are good and if followed will get you a great HD picture.I got my second HDantenna(disc) on ebay with instructions. I think anyone that is used to setting up a portable dish for standard satellite TV can do it. But as I stated it takes longer as your have to really get it right to dial in those HD satellites, which for Direct are 99 and 103. I assume they are the same for DISH.

Given all that, I onlytake my 5 lnb HDdish on trips where I know I am going to be stationary for an extendedperiod of time. Like spending the winterat one park in Arizona. When I am traveling or boondocking I carry my 3 lnb, smaller dish which only picks up a couple of HD channels (plus all the non HD channels) but is much easier and fasterto set up.

So bottom line. It can be done but is more time consuming and you need a little set up experience. Your Satdealer is wrong! You cando it! An interesting side note is when I first got my Direct HDTV, the satellite shop guys came to my house to install the equiptment and none of them had done an HD set up before. I knew more about it than they did and after spending 6 hours trying to get it set up I finally convinced them to come to my computer and read the install instructions that I had downloaded from the Direct website. It will not take that long to do set it up if you follow the instructions, but these guys keep insisting they knew how to do it. I would say it takes me about 30 to 45 minutes to set it up at a site that has a clear view of the southern horizon versus about 5-15 minutes for the standard 3 lnb dish.

My experience with Dish and Direct! I like the Dish menu and channel guide better (fewer steps). Dish is less expensive.Dish customer service iscrappy and you always have to elevate your phone call to at least a supervisor to get a factual answer. I got all the way up to the VP one time to get a straight answer. He didn't tell me what I wanted to hear so I quit Dish, but I did appreciate his candor. Direct has much better customer service. Their reps are generaly much better informed or know where to send you for the answers. Their tech reps are much better trained. They almost always have the answers. The offset is Direct will cost you more.
Kurt and Gloria

2007 CF30SK Cruiser

2006 Dodge 5.9 CTD,48e,4x4,QC
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Old 11-09-2009, 12:47 AM   #7
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As with anything else "practice makes perfect". When I started using Dish with a tripod I struggle the first few times getting the signal. I started practicing at homewhenever we had the camper there and it became easier the more I did it. It takes me about 10 minutes to get set up and watching TV now.I would think hitting 5 satellites would be difficult but with a little practice it should be do-able. Good luck and let us know how it turns out.
'05 2500 HD
'04 PF30CK
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Old 11-09-2009, 01:36 PM   #8
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As Stan said above, 3 satellites should get you everything including HD. There is a remote possibility your locals would need a separate dish. I don't think Dish has a dish that picks up more than 3 satellites.

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