RV and Marine customers: Should you choose 18×20 or 18″ Round as your dish type?

DIRECTV Satellite was originally designed for home use. It’s pretty amazing that in the company’s 30 years, DIRECTV hardware has taken to the open road and the open seas. Pioneering companies like Winegard, KVH, KING, and Intellian have found ways to support DIRECTV programming in ways that were never part of the original plan. It’s now possible to get satellite TV 50 miles off shore in a moving boat, or in the middle of the woods using solar power. DIRECTV’s receivers have proven to be incredibly reliable, with some lasting decades so far. In fact, some receivers have lasted so long that the setup process for them has changed. Let’s dig in.

What makes RV and marine equipment so different?​

There are several things which distinguish RV and marine satellite equipment from equipment designed for homes. Most mobile and marine products are self-aiming, and some can keep working while you’re moving. But, that’s not the key difference as far as this article is concerned. In order to work on smaller boats and on RVs, a lot of DIRECTV equipment is designed to pick up one satellite signal at a time. Practically every DIRECTV dish for home use will pick up signals from three locations. That’s not true for mobile and marine dishes. They’ll only get signal from DIRECTV’s 101 and 119 locations, never from the 99 and 103 locations. Adding multi-satellite capability can be done, and larger systems from KVH and Intellian can do it. However, it’s a lot more expensive and the equipment is too large and heavy for RV use.

In order to work with DIRECTV’s receivers, most mobile and marine equipment imitates one of DIRECTV’s older dishes. If you read the satellite setup guides for these systems, they’ll generally tell you to set your dish type to 18×20 for best results. But that may not be the best advice anymore.

Satellite setup: a quick guide​

For a more detailed look at satellite setup, check out this article.

You’ll generally be prompted to set up your satellite system when you get a new receiver and you shouldn’t have to change that setup even if you change locations. While newer Genie systems will sense the dish type for you, that option isn’t available for mobile and marine customers.

When you get to the satellite setup screen, it will look like this:


The manuals will generally tell you to choose 18″x20″ Triple Sat LNB for your dish type. That was good advice until recently, but I recommend all new setups choose 18″ Round LNB as your dish type instead. The 18×20 dish type allows the dish to move between DIRECTV’s 101 and 119 satellites. that 119 satellite is on its way out. Every week, channels are moved from it or turned off. There are very few cases where you’ll need it. Setting the dish type to 18″ round will make the power-up sequence go faster and overall things should be more reliable.

If you need to change your satellite setup, here are the steps you’ll need to follow:

  • Press MENU
  • Arrow to Settings & Help
  • With Settings highlighted, press SELECT
  • Arrow to Satellite
  • With Repeat Satellite Setup highlighted, press SELECT
  • Press DASH to get past the warning screen

A quick note for H26K customers​

Commercial customers can now choose the H26K commercial receiver. This receiver is faster, smaller, and more reliable, but it requires a SWM multiswitch to operate. If your satellite TV system has one, that’s great, but this article is about single-satellite systems like Intellian’s i3, KVH’s Tracvision TV3 and TV5 Winegard’s Roadtrip T4, and KING’s Quest and KING One Pro. None of those have built-in SWM systems. It’s possible to add SWM to some of these systems. For more detail, call the experts at Signal Connect at 888-233-7563.

Should you change your satellite dish type?​

If what you have is working for you, there’s no need to change it. However, if you’re getting guide data errors or seeing long startup times, changing the dish type to 18″ round is usually going to improve things for you. If it doesn’t, it could be a sign of a failing receiver or a more serious problem. If you’re not sure what’s going on, call the experts at Signal Connect. We’re here for you during East Coast business hours. The number is 888-233-7563. If it’s after hours, fill out the form below. We’ll get back to you quickly!

The post RV and Marine customers: Should you choose 18×20 or 18″ Round as your dish type? appeared first on The Solid Signal Blog.

Continue reading...

Must-Have Electronics for Off-Grid Survival and Recreation


Users Who Are Viewing This Thread (Total: 0, Members: 0, Guests: 0)

Who Read This Thread (Total Members: 5)