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Old 01-13-2020, 04:53 PM   #1
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TracVision M5

We have a TracVision M5 dome on our boat. We donít currently subscribe to satellite TV.

Iím thinking about removing the dome. I was told by an electronics vendor at the Stuart boat show this past weekend that the M5 is essentially obsolete. He said that you canít buy a control box for it other than second hand. And when DirectTV upgrades its satellites, it will be truly obsolete.

Can anyone confirm this?

Thanks, Mike
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Old 01-13-2020, 05:33 PM   #2
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We have a TracVision M5 dome on our boat. We donít currently subscribe to satellite TV.

Iím thinking about removing the dome. I was told by an electronics vendor at the Stuart boat show this past weekend that the M5 is essentially obsolete.
I can't confirm that but I can say that I unsubscribed from Direct TV, bought a Glomex OTA antenna, hooked it up to the same cable that the DOME was using & bought a Samsung 43" Smart TV. The HD picture is fantastic, I get all the main broadcasters plus about 30 more & There are no monthly payments! Also, by using the hot spot on my cell phone I can surf the Internet and buy my stuff on Amazon! (Free movies to all Amazon Prime subscribers.)

I think that satellite TV is on its last legs!
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Old 01-13-2020, 05:47 PM   #3
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Not sure. For $7 a month I receive 250 channels, on demand movies and several XM radio channels via Dish, who does a great job in my mind. Intellian system on boat. 3 satellites instead of 1 with Directv.
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Old 01-13-2020, 06:02 PM   #4
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I have an M5 and with a PCB upgrade I can get all three satellites and HDTV. Streaming TV sounds nice until you actually try it: it does not take many HD movies to use up your 15gb hotspot limit or your 20gb Unlimited limit and get throttled down to dialup speeds. Over the air TV is great until you start to travel and leave the service area or anchor out and the boat begins to swing then you learn pretty quickly why people spend good money on satellite systems.
Get your S/N and call KVH to see if there is an upgrade path.
We have and use all three, each has its uses. Island WiFi has a modem for $100 a month that gives us true unlimited data via ATT for our favorite British mysteries on Acorn, Britbox and Prime, OTA lets us see local channels without changing our home stations on Dish and satellite lets us record my wife’s soaps and my cable favorites.
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Old 01-13-2020, 08:57 PM   #5
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Works great until you move out of range of the broadcast antennae. Pretty much, for OTA you must be with about 45 miles of the antennae, plus or minus. That means you must be close to amdecent sized city to get OTA. For many, this works just fine. For us, not so much. Tried it. Got very little.
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I can't confirm that but I can say that I unsubscribed from Direct TV, bought a Glomex OTA antenna, hooked it up to the same cable that the DOME was using & bought a Samsung 43" Smart TV. The HD picture is fantastic, I get all the main broadcasters plus about 30 more & There are no monthly payments! Also, by using the hot spot on my cell phone I can surf the Internet and buy my stuff on Amazon! (Free movies to all Amazon Prime subscribers.)

I think that satellite TV is on its last legs!
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Old 01-13-2020, 09:22 PM   #6
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The M5 can only receive ku band. It can only process standard definition TV. Since DirecTV is dropping it’s standard definition ku channels to add more HD you will eventually not be able to receive any DirecTV channels on the M5. I believe there is an upgrade that converts the M5 to Dish network. You will not be able to get HD but you should still get SD TV. Problem is it’s probably cheaper to buy a new Intellian HD I3 than to convert an old M5.

So basically what you heard is absolutely true for the m1,m2,m3 but might not be completely true for an M5.
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Old 01-14-2020, 01:29 PM   #7
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The M5 can only receive ku band. It can only process standard definition TV. Since DirecTV is dropping it’s standard definition ku channels to add more HD you will eventually not be able to receive any DirecTV channels on the M5. I believe there is an upgrade that converts the M5 to Dish network. You will not be able to get HD but you should still get SD TV. Problem is it’s probably cheaper to buy a new Intellian HD I3 than to convert an old M5.

So basically what you heard is absolutely true for the m1,m2,m3 but might not be completely true for an M5.
I am adding a new control box and discussed this issue with KVH. They told me no big deal if I have SD. The new box converts the HD to SD. Call KVH.

However about 2 years ago when AT&T launched a new satellite stated that they would no longer replace satellites in the future. So DircTV is in the process of a slow death.
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Old 01-14-2020, 02:17 PM   #8
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We get lots of HD with our M5. The above post #6 is just wrong. We use the VP-211 basic control box, we got one from Dish and another new in box from eBay. Added a 3tb external hard drive to both and activated for one time fee, now we have full DVR capability and HDTV with Dish Outdoors account.
Pro-tip: if you make Palm Beach your local stations, nearly all HD cable is on the same satellite (129) this makes it easy to automatically record TV without changing the satellite. That means you can record without being onboard to change satellite or while you are sleeping.
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Old 01-14-2020, 04:52 PM   #9
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We get lots of HD with our M5. The above post #6 is just wrong. We use the VP-211 basic control box, we got one from Dish and another new in box from eBay. Added a 3tb external hard drive to both and activated for one time fee, now we have full DVR capability and HDTV with Dish Outdoors account.
Pro-tip: if you make Palm Beach your local stations, nearly all HD cable is on the same satellite (129) this makes it easy to automatically record TV without changing the satellite. That means you can record without being onboard to change satellite or while you are sleeping.


So the M5 is usable on Dish without any modification? Can you tell me what type of plan you have with Dish and rough cost/month?
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Old 01-14-2020, 06:07 PM   #10
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Codger2 - What model of the Glomex OTA antenna are you using. It's got to beat my rabbit ears <LOL>.
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Old 01-14-2020, 06:10 PM   #11
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I humbly suggest that if want to learn about the plans Dish offers that you simply go to their website. We have a Dish RV account that we use with an Intellian i4. Does anyone know whether the M5 will have to be reconfigured for Dish?
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So the M5 is usable on Dish without any modification? Can you tell me what type of plan you have with Dish and rough cost/month?
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Old 01-14-2020, 06:16 PM   #12
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In order to get hd from dish with a vp211z you need a mipps. Some were in Woodland Hills system is a mipps. Now it might be built in to his KVH controll box or it might be separate and he forgot about it. Usually It takes a Dish or directv specific control box. Also which generation of M5 can make a difference. We don’t have enough information to tell you what you can do. However, we think you should look further into this. Your best course of action is to find the serial number of your control box and call KVH directly.
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Old 01-14-2020, 06:22 PM   #13
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We get lots of HD with our M5. The above post #6 is just wrong. We use the VP-211 basic control box, we got one from Dish and another new in box from eBay. Added a 3tb external hard drive to both and activated for one time fee, now we have full DVR capability and HDTV with Dish Outdoors account.
Pro-tip: if you make Palm Beach your local stations, nearly all HD cable is on the same satellite (129) this makes it easy to automatically record TV without changing the satellite. That means you can record without being onboard to change satellite or while you are sleeping.
My post is not just wrong. While I might not be aware of an updated control box for Dish HD, most of the post Is about Directv. You can not get ku band with the M5 so ultimately you will not be able to use it with Directv.
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Old 01-16-2020, 06:54 AM   #14
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Thanks for the info. As far as I can tell, I donít have a control box. I have the dome and the connections for a box...but no box.
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Old 01-16-2020, 08:38 AM   #15
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See post #4: I needed a PCB upgrade from KVH. Only late model M5’s are eligible for this. Call KVH with your s/n to find out.
You will need a tech to do a software update to make it work.
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