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Old 03-21-2016, 01:26 PM   #1
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SatTV -- KVH problems, What is Best?

I equipped my boat during commissioning with a KVH M7. I just learned that Dish has changed the format of its signals and KVH will not support M7's with a 2008 serial number (which mine is, although it was commissioned in 2009), so now my KVH receiver is unable to receive HD from Dish (and almost since I got the unit, it was not compatible with DirectTv HD programming, a problem I solved by switching to Dish on my boat).

So, I find myself in the market for a new satellite antenna system. Aside from KVH (which has created a bad taste in my mouth by not supporting my M7, based arbitrarily on serial number, from what I can tell), what does anyone have/recommend for HD programming?
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Old 03-21-2016, 01:40 PM   #2
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I still think that KVH is the standard. Have you tried really pushing and escalating the issue with them? I always got great service from them. Sounds Apple-esque, who will dump support for old equipment and software faster than that. Perhaps have one of their larger dealer/installers go to bat for you in exchange for doing the service.

I know a few people have been happy with the Korean Intellian units, but I always felt uneasy based some experiences professionally with Korean electronic and computer makers.
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Old 03-21-2016, 01:48 PM   #3
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Sounds Apple-esque, who will dump support for old equipment and software faster than that.

I know a few people have been happy with the Korean Intellian units, but I always felt uneasy based some experiences professionally with Korean electronic and computer makers.
As far as escalating this, from what I can tell DISH's very recent change (ie, the last week or so) will affect every current KVH customer using Dish. Most will be able to upgrade, but until then their system will have little or no functionality. Maybe KVH will rethink their approach. (In fairness, they are offering a $500 trade-in discount, so a replacement system won't be much over $12K (not much consolation, if you ask me).

You make a good point about Apple -- but I dumped their products. Unless the replacement KVH system is demonstrably and substantially better than the next best system, I am also dumping KVH. It looks like the main competitors are Raymarine and Intellian, so I will be checking out the offerings of both. On the face of it, the competing systems are way cheaper and equally capable.
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Old 03-21-2016, 01:56 PM   #4
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While DISH has converted all of their satellite transmissions over to 8PSK on all satellites, it seems that your problem is specific to HD and not SD programming. Is this the case. Are you able to acquire satellites and receive SD programming? What specific model of DISH receiver do you have paired to the KVH? There is some DISH HD programming on the 119 satellite (ESPN for example). Does that show up in your channel guide?

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Old 03-21-2016, 06:53 PM   #5
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This is a timely post as I am shopping satellite dish options for a refit project. I have been with Dish for nearly 20 years and am totally unaware of a major change that should make anything incompatible. I have Dish at 3 locations so I may find out very soon.
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Old 03-21-2016, 07:01 PM   #6
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"Sounds Apple-esque, who will dump support for old equipment and software faster than that". Really George? Which Apple products discontinued support after less than ten years?
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Old 03-21-2016, 07:49 PM   #7
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While DISH has converted all of their satellite transmissions over to 8PSK on all satellites, it seems that your problem is specific to HD and not SD programming. Is this the case. Are you able to acquire satellites and receive SD programming? What specific model of DISH receiver do you have paired to the KVH? There is some DISH HD programming on the 119 satellite (ESPN for example). Does that show up in your channel guide?

Tom
My KVH is currently unable to locate any Dish satellite and had not been able to download any program information, and cannot "find" any Dish satellite's, despite a fresh re-configuration. I don't recall which Dish receiver I have, but as I understand it my KVH's failure to acquire or track any Dish satellite must be independent of any problem/limitation with the receiver. KVH told me that they would immediately email a patch that would allow me to receive 119 in SD (the email has not arrived), but, to coin a phrase, "I need my HDTV".
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Old 03-21-2016, 08:13 PM   #8
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KVH doesn't publish much information on how it acquires or tracks a satellite and how it spoofs the receiver to believing it is looking at 3 satellites simultaneously, but a patch that would allow you to acquire SD programming on 119 should also allow you to acquire 110, and 129 where most of the HD programming is located. Let me do some checking and see what I can uncover.

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Old 03-21-2016, 08:26 PM   #9
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It looks like the main competitors are Raymarine and Intellian, so I will be checking out the offerings of both. On the face of it, the competing systems are way cheaper and equally capable.
Sea Tel and Sailor from Cobham are competitors.
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Old 03-21-2016, 08:57 PM   #10
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This sounds like a KVH issue and not a provider issue. I have a 20 year old dish and Lnb on my main home that I am watching HD dish on right now. KVH is now no longer going to be a consideration for my plans.
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Old 03-21-2016, 09:19 PM   #11
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FYI, I have an Intellian I4 and for the last week we cannot receive the Dish signals. I had the people who did my install 3 years ago at the boat today. They called Intelliian and were told that Dish did something to their satellites and that their phones are "ringing off the hook" with this issue. They went on to say that Dish is working on it. It's interesting that the same thing happened to us last year at about the same time. This is most frustrating.

I was just on the phone with dish and they will not accept or deny responsibility.
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Old 03-21-2016, 09:46 PM   #12
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KVH doesn't publish much information on how it acquires or tracks a satellite and how it spoofs the receiver to believing it is looking at 3 satellites simultaneously, but a patch that would allow you to acquire SD programming on 119 should also allow you to acquire 110, and 129 where most of the HD programming is located. Let me do some checking and see what I can uncover.

Tom
I may have some insight to your "spoofing" question, based on my experience in switching over to Dish several years ago. In order to properly configure my Dish receiver, it was necessary to go through an automated process in which the Dish receiver checks signal strength on each of the sats. Apparently it sends a signal that lets the antenna know to repoint itself, the the Dish receiver checks signal strength. It isn't very patient and will abandon the test with a reported failure very quickly. The advice I received from Dish (surprisingly enough) was to keep trying, as sooner or later the acquisition time would be short enough that it would pass. I must have tried 20 times (at 10 minutes each). The first sat is easy, when it moves to the second sat is usually fails, but passes once in a while, then moves to the third sat, and usually passes that. Somewhat akin to winning a trifecta, finally I got three in a row! But my conclusion is it doesn't really do a lot of spoofing, and instead relies on a receiver that isn't smart enough to expect to get all three at a moment's notice. Apparently very few Dish receivers will actually work with this antenna set up.

The KVH guy told me that there would be a patch that would let me receive SD programming on 119 only.

Thanks for your help! -Rick
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Old 03-21-2016, 09:50 PM   #13
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This sounds like a KVH issue and not a provider issue. I have a 20 year old dish and Lnb on my main home that I am watching HD dish on right now. KVH is now no longer going to be a consideration for my plans.
Although I acknowledge that the problem was occassioned by Dish changing its broadcast format, I fault KVH for arbitrarily refusing to support product that is pre-'09. I would feel a little better if I thought KVH's cutoff wasn't arbitrary, but it sure sounds like it is marketing driven -- they have a part, won't sell it and instead want me to upgrade (and are offering a $500 discount off MSRP ($12,500+) for a factory deal (which I am sure nets them way more than they get from their sales to retailers).
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Old 03-21-2016, 10:19 PM   #14
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Although I acknowledge that the problem was occassioned by Dish changing its broadcast format, I fault KVH for arbitrarily refusing to support product that is pre-'09. I would feel a little better if I thought KVH's cutoff wasn't arbitrary, but it sure sounds like it is marketing driven -- they have a part, won't sell it and instead want me to upgrade (and are offering a $500 discount off MSRP ($12,500+) for a factory deal (which I am sure nets them way more than they get from their sales to retailers).
Talk to KVH, their Corporate office, about the cutoff and issue. Not their distributors or representatives. Find the decision maker.

Now, what I don't understand in your anger toward KVH and looking for alternatives, why don't you feel the same toward Dish? Dish caused it and not just for KVH. They changed their systems without working out compatibility for this part of the industry. No joint testing. No giving them some form of Beta to work through the issues. If I was KVH or the others I'd be furious with them. The problem is that plenty have been furious with Dish many times and the CEO has done a masterful job of insulating himself.
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Old 03-21-2016, 10:59 PM   #15
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I have a KVH M-7. I am running DirectTV. I don't need HD. We had Direct out to the boat to install a new land base antenna. They only install the new antennas which supports HD even though you do not want HD.


To make a long story a little shorter, (keeping in mind this was a 8 hour ordeal for us as we were trying to combine AT&T with Direct) Direct told me they no longer support the DVR receiver I have. They had just turned it off. At the end of the day, I called Direct and acted as if I was an installer, told them I need to activate box xyz with a serial number xyz and boom, I now have my old system back on line.


BTW KVH has always given me great service. I sent the electronic boards to them and they reprogrammed them both and my cost was $400 when I first installed it.
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Old 03-22-2016, 12:36 AM   #16
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Rick

Thanks for the input. The switch you use SW64 is no longer made as DISH switched switching technologies over 10 years ago. The new switches are much faster in checking satellites but it doesn't look like KVH switched over to that technology until 2009. The new switches also required new LNBs on the antenna.

From Howard's comment, it looks like Intellian ran into the same issue as KVH. The comment that DISH is working on it, is probably not true. DISH is not going backwards. Intellian and KVH are going to have to go forward. DISH swapped out probably 2 million plus customer set top boxes to make the change they made. The whole purpose was to provide more capacity for more HD programming. It's the same reason DirecTV started using satellites at 99 and 103 degrees using Ka band. It took the marine satellite tv industry a couple of years to catch up with that.

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Old 03-22-2016, 01:52 AM   #17
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Wow!! Timely posts--thank you. I just spent last weekend removing the 18 month-old KVH TV 5 from my boat and sending to KVH to fix. It wasn't tracking the Dish satellites. So maybe my KVH 5 is OK and it's a DISH problem? Neither KVH nor the local dealer said anything about a change....
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Old 03-22-2016, 07:29 AM   #18
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I have a. kvh m1 setup. Kvh changed to a tv1 system. and no longer supports the M1 set up wish you were available new as recent as a year and a half ago. No options other than replace the whole system. thankfully they were able to repair my old Reciever but any new parts are unavailable
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Old 03-22-2016, 09:54 AM   #19
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I have a. kvh m1 setup. Kvh changed to a tv1 system. and no longer supports the M1 set up wish you were available new as recent as a year and a half ago. No options other than replace the whole system. thankfully they were able to repair my old Reciever but any new parts are unavailable
What I'm reading here is be very careful what you purchase in the near future. There's going to be a bunch of stuff hitting the market (both new,used and refurbished) that may turn into a great boat anchor real fast.
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Old 03-22-2016, 09:58 AM   #20
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What I'm reading here is be very careful what you purchase in the near future. There's going to be a bunch of stuff hitting the market (both new,used and refurbished) that may turn into a great boat anchor real fast.
I'm reading that plus no that even if it's new today, two years from now it may be technologically obsolete.

And to people like Dish, the marine industry is completely immaterial. We don't even show up as a blip on their radar. They really aren't very concerned about KVH or any of our issues. Can't really say that's wrong either, as a business has to concentrate on it's primary customer base.

While to KVH and others we might be a premium customer and our total cost of satellite television is high, to Dish, we're no more income than any other customer and probably require more customer service than land customers.
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