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Old 08-01-2015, 05:36 PM   #1
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Boat communication

Looking for info on the best set up for TV and internet for boat underway and docked. How is direct TV? What about a good internet provider?
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Old 08-01-2015, 05:49 PM   #2
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KVH or the like SAT TV. Wave WiFi Rouge , a Cradlepoint 4G router Ian's switcher integrated into an onboard network. If are going offshore or out of the country you might look at a VSAT system as well.
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Old 08-01-2015, 07:38 PM   #3
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I use directTV with a KVH sat dish. The company paid for the dish, and the crew pays 145 a month for satellite TV. If you use internet, your local provider has stand alone modems that provide coverage for the boat. You could even network off that to wifi to your phones.


On my personal boat If I can't find it on my phone, I don't need it. And I removed the TV cable, and tv stand. I am trying to get AWAY from this crap on TV (if only for a while) On the occasion that I do need internet, my phone acts as a wifi hotspot. But that is very infrequently.


Regarding how 'good'? Any satellite is direct linked to a satellite in view. If you're in a wooded area, trees, leaves, or obstructions any satellite is degraded. Even at sea the satellite is subject to heavy rain or sleet, snow. If you're tied to a dock with a visual obstruction to the southwest, then you'll be lucky to get steady satellite also.
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Old 08-01-2015, 07:42 PM   #4
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Cappy, What model KVH did you get, is it autotracking? Is it 12v or 120v? Thanks.
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Old 08-01-2015, 08:46 PM   #5
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Boat communication

We had gone through several older 'RV' models about 30" in diameter. They do track. But they aren't so friendly with the marine environment. The company wanted to upgrade our Sat phone system. They bought the kvh antenna that does BOTH sat phone and sat TV. These antennas are about 15" in diameter. I notice the model numbers have changed now. Best for you to call KVH and get the straight scoop from them which antenna will do what you want.

It appears the current version we have is the TV1 HD TV satellite and KU band cell When we got ours it was 4k. These list now for 2k. Not sure if it's the correct one. Does t seem right that the price dropped that much.
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Old 08-01-2015, 09:27 PM   #6
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Thanks for the info, I will check with KVH and the competition. I like the smaller sizes, much easier to place and install.
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Old 08-02-2015, 12:21 AM   #7
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I have a KVH satellite phone and internet system. This is a completely separate system than the KVH units that provide dish network and or direct tv.

Our satellite system is called Mini Vsat V3. It is auto tracking and works very well in a heavy open ocean sea state. Speeds are about 2mbps down and something like 128K up.

The cost is not cheap with the hardware running something around $12K. The service is not cheap either. In the summer we run a 3GB plan for $1400 a month then we drop down to a 50MB plan for $50 a month in the winter.

The phone service is very clear but does have satellite delay, and costs $0.49 per minute with no LD fees added. We have a dedicated US based number as well.

Our vessels network is on and available 100% of the time. When we are within cellular range it automatically prefers the cellular connection, which we have two of using a load sharing scheme.
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Old 08-02-2015, 04:35 AM   #8
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Thanks for the info. I will be in the Tennessee river system 80% of the time, or in my slip, because of work. What do you use dockside?
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Old 08-02-2015, 09:40 AM   #9
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Thanks for the info. I will be in the Tennessee river system 80% of the time, or in my slip, because of work. What do you use dockside?
Our boats network uses cellular as its internet connection when within cellular range.

Lots of ways to do that. Simple tethering works for many. We prefer a always there connection so we use a router that has cellular capability.
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Old 08-02-2015, 10:12 AM   #10
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I plan on having an office on board, so that complicates things a bit. Do you use your cell phone account for internet or is it to slow or causes batch files?
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Old 08-02-2015, 10:35 AM   #11
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I plan on having an office on board, so that complicates things a bit. Do you use your cell phone account for internet or is it to slow or causes batch files?
It depends which provider you have. Most have gone to a limited data plan, with unlimited download speed, OR an unlimited data plan that 'auto throttles' download speed after you use up a good portion of what they 'feel' you should be appreciative to use. Verizon comes to mind here.

If you want to couple using data for work, file transfer then you would be fine with most any data plan by most any provider. But if you want to download streaming movies, music and other high bandwidth stuff, they will throttle you down in speed.

A couple guys I know have stand alone wifi modems with Verizon, ATT and T mobile. The only ones who grumble are the Verizon users. When it gets near the end of the month they all complain about 'slow speed'.

My boat has Verizon aircard. It is usually slower than my Phone, but likely because it is loading laptop pages, rather than Iphone pages.
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Old 08-02-2015, 10:44 AM   #12
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I have Verizon service and agree. Not the best. You know what the range is on those stand a lone wireless units?
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Old 08-02-2015, 11:24 AM   #13
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I have Verizon service and agree. Not the best. You know what the range is on those stand a lone wireless units?
Same as your phone. They use the same network, and have the same power.

My company bought external antennas for the early wifi aircards. I didn't really see any benefit. If you're planning on operating the boat in an area that has crappy cell service, you'll have crappy internet. Unless you go satellite. Hey, it's a write off isn't it?
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Old 08-02-2015, 11:30 AM   #14
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I plan on having an office on board, so that complicates things a bit. Do you use your cell phone account for internet or is it to slow or causes batch files?
We run our business from the boat much of the summer. Thst is the onlly way we can justify the satelllite system, since we boat in remote areas.

As far as cellular based internet we use AT&T so don't know how other providers do it. We have a 60GB data plan and they do not throttle anything. Depending on other users of course we typically get 10 mbps or thereabouts speeds in the morning which is when we're "working". Afternoons things slow down a bit but internet still works great.
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