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Old 07-15-2011, 09:30 PM   #1
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DirecTV on the boat without the antenna

Ive been receiving off the air TV programming since I bought my boat a year ago and have not really been satisfied with the channels available. I may have found a way of getting the DirecTV programming that I receive at my home to my boat with only some fairly inexpensive hardware and my cell phones data connection.
*
Heres how I think it works. A hardware device called a slingbox is connected to your DirecTV receiver and your home Internet connection.* You must then download a program to your cell phone that gives it access to your DirecTV receiver through slingbox and the internet. Using your cell phone you access the internet and through sling boxs internet site you can control your DirecTV box from your cell phone. You can watch live TV or if you have a recorder you can watch recorded content. To get the signal on your boat TV you purchase a TV out cable for your cell phone that connects to your TVs component Video and Audio inputs.
*
A slingbox is about $170 and the phone software about $30. No monthly fees.
*
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Old 07-16-2011, 01:40 AM   #2
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RE: DirecTV on the boat without the antenna

Let's know how that works for you T-J. Also what it will cost in the use of the mobile phone connection. How is that worked out - no such thing as a free lunch remember. Sounds almost too good to be true...? There would be a download cost surely?
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Old 07-16-2011, 05:50 AM   #3
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RE: DirecTV on the boat without the antenna

Yes I've thought about the cost of the data connection. I have Verizon's unlimited data plan but apparently it's not really totally unlimited. Perhaps John B can chime in here, our cell expert.

No free ride you say, seems our president is starting to learn that.
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Old 07-16-2011, 08:44 AM   #4
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RE: DirecTV on the boat without the antenna

Very clever, Tim.* My son used Slingbox for awhile to watch football games from his office when he had to work Sundays.* It didn't provide the best viewing experience, as I recall but the technology may have improved.* This was a couple of years ago.

I'd try to test it first if possible.
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Old 07-16-2011, 08:45 AM   #5
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RE: DirecTV on the boat without the antenna

I have AT&T's unlimited date plan, which is essentially limited to land. Even in South Louisiana, on the beach, I have been hit with "international roaming" charges. Telephony isn't so bad, but data will kill you. $.50 for a text message and $.10 per KB or something like that. I've had to call customer service many times to have these charges straightened out. After 6 years of working on the Louisiana gulf coast, I've made enough of those AT&T people cry and they finally seem to have my account straight. They can tell where I am and whether or not I am actually using my phone or if it is just accessing the network to update the time.

My point is this; you don't have to be roaming very far to be roaming digitally and it will cost you. I had a DTV receiver in my RV and I set up an antenna at every stop on a home-made tripod. The installation was very stable...way more so than it would be on a moving vessel. There's a very narrow beam of reception, as I'm sure you're all aware. I know they're expensive, but I really think that the cost of an automatic satellite antenna would be worth it in the long run. You might find that after you pay a few months in data roaming charges that you could have bought an automatic antenna.
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Old 07-16-2011, 02:25 PM   #6
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RE: DirecTV on the boat without the antenna

I've gotten on the Android forums to find out about the likely hood of exceeding my data plans limit. I have no idea if using slingbox is like streaming video data, but I would guess it is. I'll post the results.
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Old 07-17-2011, 08:25 AM   #7
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RE: DirecTV on the boat without the antenna

>>I may have found a way of getting the DirecTV programming that I receive at<< >>my home to my boat with only some fairly inexpensive hardware <<

Why not pick up a cheap used antenna, take a box from home of buy one on Ebay and for $6/month you have DirecTV.* It's worked for me for several years.*

*

John Esch

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*
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Old 07-17-2011, 01:11 PM   #8
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RE: DirecTV on the boat without the antenna

Quote:
johnesch wrote:
Why not pick up a cheap used antenna, take a box from home of buy one on Ebay and for $6/month you have DirecTV.* It's worked for me for several years.*

*John Esch

Fet-Esch*
*John, not a bad way to go. However my marina doesn't allow dish's and I would like to get programming when away from my dock.*

In talking with some other folks, it appears my unlimited data plan with Verizon is really unlimited for the time being. If Verizon does impose a 2GB limit as they probably will eventually even to existing customers, then from my research it appears anywhere from 9 to 18 hrs of TV will be available before reaching the 2GB monthly limit. I'm still trying to nail this down though.
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Old 07-17-2011, 03:50 PM   #9
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RE: DirecTV on the boat without the antenna

I have Slingbox on my laptop. It doesn't work through a phone connection (just tried it). I have a Telus stick data connection over the cell network, that I am using to browse this forum. When I am in good solid wifi, the slingbox works, but the quality of the picture is not as good as the tv at home, and the channel selection is dependent upon how the slingbox is hard wired in at home. You can send whatever signal your slingbox is connected to. At home I have a Shaw cable connection for tv, which goes to all of the outlets in the house. on one of those outlets, I have the slingbox, which then sends that signal to my computer. On the outlet with the big tv, I also have a Shaw PVR, which then gets me HD tv and some movie channels that are not on the basic cable, so the channel selection I get on my home tv is better than the selection that shows up on the slingbox. I could put the slingbox after the PVR, but then I wouldn't get the good selection and HD at home.
I also have the slingcatcher at my summer place on Saltspring Island, and it connects to the tv there. For the first year or so that worked fairly well. The picture quality isn't always satisfactory. For example, during the Stanley Cup finals, it was hard to watch the hockey games, as the screen resolution ofter wasn't good enough to see the puck. More recently, the Slingcatcher has been unable to connect. It seems to need a very robust internet connection at both ends, so if there is any weakness in the system, it doesn't work.

I have tried Netflix most recently, and when I have a good wifi connection, I can get excellent quality video, and a great choice of things to watch, all for $7.99 per month and no hardware to buy. I just tried connecting to Netflix over the Stick and it connected fine, with great screen resolution. So if your phone data plan is truly unlimited, that seems a far better bet than Slingbox. If you have a HDMI outlet on your laptop cabled to your tv, you can get HD on the boat.
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Old 07-17-2011, 04:56 PM   #10
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RE: DirecTV on the boat without the antenna

Quote:
timjet wrote:my marina doesn't allow dish's and I would like to get programming when away from my dock.
*The way I understand it, The Freedom of Information Act does not allow them to do this. Lots of court challenges of HOA rules overturned the restrictions on communication antennas. YMMV
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Old 07-17-2011, 05:19 PM   #11
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RE: DirecTV on the boat without the antenna

On the cheap and while it doesn't work underway or at anchor, I have a small DirecTV dish on my boat and bring one of my receivers from home when we think we may want TV. Especially on trips, it's nice to occasionally see the local news. *If I was live aboard, I would probably pop for the $3000 tracking system. *It will work pretty much anywhere in North America I've had it as far North as Desolation Sound, no problem.

Koliver

What do they have in BC now? *I have a friend in Mission who has DirecTV, but last I heard was he had his bill sent to a US address. *That would be perfect for your Saltspring home?

Timjet

They probably dont want it erected / attached to the dock or piles, but you should be able to mount it on your boat. *If you don't want it permanently mounted, they make an RV model that is mounted on a flat compass rose plate that folds up for storage. *Set it on any highpoint on the boat with a clear SE view (on the west coast), point and shoot and you should be good to go.

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Old 07-17-2011, 07:26 PM   #12
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RE: DirecTV on the boat without the antenna

Direct would need to be billed to a US address. Plus, you can't tell them that it is for a non-US location, except a boat or RV. We have Bell and Shaw (Starchoice) in Canada. Bell us like Direct, they need a Canadian billing address, and you can't tel them you are going to the US. Shaw doesn't care about your location, but you need their receiver as well as their box. hey only have a fixed mount receiver. KVH doesn't make one that works with Shaw.
I will stick with Netflix for now,as it has more TV and movies than I can watch. If I am going to be consistently away from decent Wifi I may consider a dish of some sort.
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Old 07-18-2011, 02:33 AM   #13
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RE: DirecTV on the boat without the antenna

but I really think that the cost of an automatic satellite antenna would be worth it in the long run.

For most boats that anchor out a $900 "good enough" antenna works fine.

The antenna stays locked on the sat. as the boat swings , no problem.

The height must be adjusted manually , but for the usual 75 mile a day cruiser its not that often.
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Old 07-18-2011, 05:26 AM   #14
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RE: DirecTV on the boat without the antenna

What brand of antenna can you get for $900. When we lived aboard we had a dish mounted on a piling at our slip. Just relied on the regular antenna (pretty bad in our area) or the DVR when we were cruising.
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Old 07-18-2011, 05:41 AM   #15
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RE: DirecTV on the boat without the antenna

Check out Track it TV, formerly Followme TV. http://www.track-it-tv.com/default.aspx?From=FollowMeTV

Less than $900.
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Old 07-18-2011, 08:54 AM   #16
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RE: DirecTV on the boat without the antenna

>>my marina doesn't allow dish's and I would like to get <<

>>programming when away from my dock<<

What marina is it and where are you located.* This is the first time I have ever heard of not being allowed to have a DirecTV dish on your boat. I would like this info for future reference.* Thanks.

John Esch

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*

*
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Old 07-18-2011, 10:38 AM   #17
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RE: DirecTV on the boat without the antenna

"This is the first time I have ever heard of not being allowed to have a DirecTV dish on your boat."

The usual is you can not install an antenna to the marinas docks or pilings , installed on your vessel is ordinarily OK.
But would be Nazis abound.
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Old 07-18-2011, 06:07 PM   #18
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RE: DirecTV on the boat without the antenna

Quote:
Check out Track it TV, formerly Followme TV. http://www.track-it-tv.com/default.aspx?From=FollowMeTV

Less than $900.
Has anyone used or any experience with this system?

Sounds practical from a technical point of view. *It is based on an electronic compass and tracks the compass bearing not the sat. pilot signal. *However, electronics *and step motors stuffed in a PVC pipe makes me suspicious though. *I think I would want to see one or talk to people who have one, before handing them my $900*
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Old 07-18-2011, 06:21 PM   #19
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RE: DirecTV on the boat without the antenna

Quote:
GonzoF1 wrote:timjet wrote:my marina doesn't allow dish's and I would like to get programming when away from my dock.
*The way I understand it, The Freedom of Information Act does not allow them to do this. Lots of court challenges of HOA rules overturned the restrictions on communication antennas. YMMV

I think you are misinterpreting the law and court decisions.***A town, city, HOA, etc. cannot prohibit the installlation of communications antennas three meters in diametor or less,* but Condos, appartment buildings,*and such can prohibit anyone from installing them on common property such as roofs and exterior walls.** The law doesn't give an apartment renter or condo owner the right to drill or cut holes in the roof or exterior walls.

Under the law, the marina could not prohibit you from installing an antenna on your boat, but they can prohibit you from installing one on the dock (which is their property).

*
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Old 07-19-2011, 12:39 AM   #20
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RE: DirecTV on the boat without the antenna

Quote:
Edelweiss wrote:
Check out Track it TV, formerly Followme TV. http://www.track-it-tv.com/default.aspx?From=FollowMeTV

Less than $900.
Has anyone used or any experience with this system?

Sounds practical from a technical point of view. *It is based on an electronic compass and tracks the compass bearing not the sat. pilot signal. *However, electronics *and step motors stuffed in a PVC pipe makes me suspicious though. *I think I would want to see one or talk to people who have one, before handing them my $900*

*I don't have any personal experience with this system, but I ran into a couple a couple of months back*that had one on their boat and they were quite happy with it.
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