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Old 11-01-2019, 09:15 AM   #1
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Satellite Antenna Purchase

I am contemplating buying a dish for our boat and would like to hear thoughts and experiences from those that have dishes. We reside on the Columbia River and are thinking of an Intellian i3 setup with Dish pay-as-you-go. (We don't have Dish at home.) Our plan is to be all over the PNW and SE Alaska once retired. Please let me know your experiences.

I heard that Satellite radio cuts off at the Canadian boarder. Is there an issue with satellite TV doing the same?

I have tried over the air antennas and streaming but results were bad to poor.

Thanks
Tim
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Old 11-01-2019, 11:26 AM   #2
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We have a KVH system and located in the San Juan area. KVH uses Direct TV. We get service everywhere up the inside passage and thru out SE Alaska, but we loose all the local Seattle stations when we cross over into Alaska.
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Old 11-01-2019, 11:33 AM   #3
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The i3 will lose its ability to get HD tv at Blind Channel B.C. I have not been far enough north to tell you when you lose SD tv but it’s well past the north end of Vancouver island. I would recommend going with the I4 over the I3 if possible. Dish Sat 129 is very weak and has most the data on it. I find myself having to reboot the system during long periods of bad weather.
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Old 11-01-2019, 11:37 AM   #4
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I heard that Satellite radio cuts off at the Canadian boarder.

Thanks
Tim
Over many years, we have not found this to be the case.
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Old 11-01-2019, 11:58 AM   #5
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I switched from KVH to Intellian. Happier with Intellian. Make sure you are getting a receiver capable of receiving Ka band (basically high-def, but make sure Ka) as Ku is being (or perhaps has been) phased out by both Direct and Dish (at least in US). The biggest (and perhaps only) difference between the numbers within any given model range (ie, i3 vs i5 or i7) is dish (the antenna, not the service) diameter. Dish diameter controls how weak a signal you can receive. Dish and Direct both broadcast highly directional signals, so as you leave the footprint of their intended range (ie, going off shore or across boarders from US to Mexico or Canada) the signal gets weaker and you need a bigger antenna to receive it. I don't recall any loss of signal up to the north end of Vancouver Island, but didn't go further north than that. Your Intellian should be able to receive either Direct or Dish signals (obviously, you have to subscribe), but requires a change of transponder (no big deal if you have easy access to the antenna; I don't) and receiver, as well as a little reprogramming.
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Old 11-01-2019, 12:06 PM   #6
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Get the largest antenna you can afford. You stated you want to cruise SE Alaska. The further north you go, the larger the antenna you will need.

We have a KVH M-7. I start loosing the local (Portland) in northern BC. on a clear day I can get local channels in Ketchikan AK.

I receive regular DirectTV all the way to Juneau. I do not have HD.
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Old 11-01-2019, 02:47 PM   #7
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What is the general range of subscription costs for sat?
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Old 11-01-2019, 02:51 PM   #8
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What is the general range of subscription costs for sat?
Same as residential service. I think I pay Direct $5 per month for an extra receiver (I have that Direct at home) and an extra $7 since its high def, and an extra $8 in related taxes and fees. Probably some other hidden stuff too, but ostensibly its cheap.
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Old 11-01-2019, 02:54 PM   #9
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Same as residential service. I think I pay Direct $5 per month for an extra receiver (I have that Direct at home) and an extra $7 since its high def, and an extra $8 in related taxes and fees. Probably some other hidden stuff too, but ostensibly its cheap.
Have any numbers for base service, as I don't have a home account to ad a receiver to...
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Old 11-01-2019, 03:02 PM   #10
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Have any numbers for base service, as I don't have a home account to ad a receiver to...
Probably $75 per month, by the time you add the basic "extra" channels/package. But if you go wild and get HBO, etc., it could be $150 per month (as ours was until I got a look at the bill). My wife thought it was OK because some of her friends pay over $200 -- I think they get the porn channels.
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Old 11-01-2019, 09:59 PM   #11
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Thanks for all the comments. I am pleased that overall they are positive comments.

Tiltrider1, when you need to reboot for weather are you close to home or farther north?

The Dish RV service is $38-$95 depending on the package and $7 for additional receivers.

Stabi, the comments of radio going away were for Sirius radio.

Please let me know if there are anything I should think about in the purchase or install.
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Old 11-01-2019, 11:23 PM   #12
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One issue we have had with the last two boats is the power supply going to the dish. They need to have a dedicated 110v to 12v converter to supply clean 12 volt power. After we installed that, no more problems.
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Old 11-02-2019, 02:23 AM   #13
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Thanks for all the comments. I am pleased that overall they are positive comments.

Tiltrider1, when you need to reboot for weather are you close to home or farther north?

The Dish RV service is $38-$95 depending on the package and $7 for additional receivers.

Stabi, the comments of radio going away were for Sirius radio.

Please let me know if there are anything I should think about in the purchase or install.

Sitting at the dock in Seattle. Dish sat 129 used to be a lot stronger. Why itís gotten so weak over the last year I donít know. The bigger the Sat dish the better the reception.
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Old 11-02-2019, 08:25 AM   #14
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We use Sirius Radio with an external Shakespeare Galaxy SiriusXM Satellite Radio Antenna from the PNW up to SE AK yearly. There are times when the feed will fade out for < a minute as the satellites realign.
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Old 11-04-2019, 08:55 AM   #15
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Stabi, that is good to know one of my mounting options had me removing the Sirius antenna. After looking at the mast over the weekend I think I can reconfigure the mast(36") to make both the radar and Sat. dish fit ok.

My install on the mast has has the dish unobstructed except for the anchor light mount. In looking around I saw several dishes mounted in the middle of large masts that I though would interfere with reception if the boat was oriented adversely. Is this true or are the dishes less susceptible to obstructions that the installation instructions make you believe?

Thanks for all the input everyone.
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