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Sat TV Update

Old 10-09-2008, 07:16 AM
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Default Sat TV Update

With the changes to DTV coming and DirectTV moving HD channels to the new Ka Sats does it make sense to go ahead with a sat TV system (KVH M3ST DirectTV). I don't think we'll notice not having HD on the small standard TVs on our 38DA but wonder if the cost will drop for the KVH M3 because they won't operate with the Ka sats. Any thoughts from the sat TV gurus?


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Old 10-09-2008, 10:58 AM
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Default RE: Sat TV Update

If you're sure you won't ever want HD then yes it makes sense...I would imagine the price on the M3's will drop significantly...currently alot of unhappy boaters that purchased M3's and now can't get HD capability and you may be able to pick up a used one ALOT cheaper.

I will have to say...I just setup an M7 for a client with plasma's...and the HD was remarkable...yes..that much of a difference.
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Old 10-10-2008, 03:53 AM
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Default RE: Sat TV Update

You can still get HD through Dish Network and SeaView without a problem. I talked to a KVH rep yesterday, He said they don't have any plans right now to support DirectTV HD until all 3 go to the same frequency band.
Personally I would not go to HD on a boat right not. TOO EXPENSIVE!!!!!

BTW, the M3ST does not do HD, only the M3DX.
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Old 10-10-2008, 09:30 AM
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Default Re: Sat TV Update

I'm waiting for a Sat TV receiver that is not much bigger than a GPS receiver. THEN, I'll get one.

OR, they make a dome with both Radar and Sat TV reciever all in one. The radar would be on the bottom, and the sat receiver dish would be on the top. THAT would be killer, can't beleive they haven't dne it yet.
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Old 10-10-2008, 03:25 PM
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Default RE: Sat TV Update

There ARE alternatives. Especially for inland boaters. My laptop will pick up the internet via wi-fi while I'm moored at many marinas. Once I have the 'net I'm able to view my home cable tv/dvr by using a device called Slingbox. It offers all of the same features just as if I was sitting in my living room. While at anchor or moored away from a Wi-Fi source I can use my pocket-pc as a tethered modem to bring the internet to my laptop. I have a Sprint(HTC) Touch that works great. As long as the cell signal is decent I can enjoy all of my cable/dvr programs. Once you've bought the Slingbox there are no additional fees. As I recall it was about $130 at Best Buy.
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Old 10-11-2008, 07:07 AM
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Default Re: Sat TV Update

I've been watching the marine HDTV space for a few years waiting for someone to come out with something for DirecTV. The problem, as some have pointed out, is DirecTV is moving their network to Ka-band instead of the Ku-band. It's not a "software" upgrade to make this work on the older systems. That would be like trying to get your AM radio to receive FM radio broadcasts. I find it hard to believe that KVH would just give up on DirecTV as they are essentially giving up on the marine market IMO. I just don't think they are telling people what's going on right now.

There is a company called Intellian out of Irvine, California that just released a Ka-band marine dish:

The K6 is a big antenna and the dome diameter is about 28"... they have a K4 model which is a more "normal" size of 20" in diameter. That's about the same size as my current KVH TracVision 4.

This is the gotcha though. I downloaded and read over the whitepaper. You have to have two antennas... one for Ku-band and the K4/6 for Ka-band. That probably puts this over a $10K option... but it's the first and we shall see what others come out with.

As far as the other alternatives, the Slingbox thing is neat technology but the resolution is bad. If you have a bigger HD panel in the boat, you will not be happy with a slingbox. Also, most of the broadband cell providers are eliminating their "unlimited" data plans and you will not be able to broadcast video without getting cut off in the future (if you have not already). There ain't enough wireless spectrum for people to do that.

I think everyone wishes the antennas were smaller (the size of a GPS) but I don't see that happening. If you look at power requirements vs. size and the amount of data (especially with HD on the narrow Ka-band) required, I'm impressed they got it in a package the size of my KVH TV4.

It would be great if KVH came out with a Ka-band system like Intellian and we could keep our current Ku-band system as the second antenna. That would make it much cheaper for those of us that want the 100+ HD channels.
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Old 10-12-2008, 09:28 PM
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Default Re: Sat TV Update

Screw the HD, just make a Direct TV dish, that is less than 12" wide, around 6 or 8" would be best. And, can be done.

I bet SeaTel comes out with one. I'll stop by there office in Concord, CA in the next few weeks, I have an office up the block from them I visit a few times a year.
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