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Guest Message by DevFuse

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The SAT-GO: First Look


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12 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   Earl Bonovich

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Posted 31 March 2007 - 06:49 AM

DBSTalk is proud to present to you DirecTV latest technology:
The first completely portable satellite TV solution:

The DirecTV SAT-GO!:

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DirecTV's official site for the SAT-GO!: http://www.directv.c...ssetId=P4110014

...Ads Help To Support This SIte...

#2 OFFLINE   Earl Bonovich

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Posted 01 April 2007 - 04:41 PM

When I received the package... there was a definent "oooohhh" factor with it.

Even with the HR20... it was still a DVR...
Even with the LCD unit... it was still just an LCD TV

The FlipTop was as close as I have come to an OOOHHH factor when opening it's box. This is one cool little unit, and my friends that have seen it... are still asking me about it.

The neighboors are actually interested in it... because it could make the baseball practices a little more manageable.

The unit is built by Humax.
It is classified as an integrated TV unit, so it is an owned box... not a lease.
It still requires a DirecTV programming package, and can be added to your base package... for the $4.99 mirroring fee.


One last thing.... While this is targetted at an obvious market... don't write it off as something you may not want. As I will show you in the pictures later... This unit has a very practical application for even the non-active outdoors person..

#3 OFFLINE   Earl Bonovich

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Posted 01 April 2007 - 04:46 PM

When you first get the box... you immediately get an idea of the weight of the unit... Why? Well...99% of what is in that box is part of the SAT-GO. It weighs a NET: 26lb

If you are going on a backpacking trip, or long hikes... this really isn't going to be something for you. But if you are a modern camper... where your car is right around that tree... this will be fine.

Even before you open the unit, there are things to note on outside:

The unit is definently plastic... feels like plastic (vs the recent HR20-100 where it kinda looked like plastic but was metal). But it is not a cheap plastic. This is some stiff stuff the unit is encased in. The pictures don't really show it well... but there is a decorative lines that go from the outer edge of the case, to the center raised area.

The clasps are not cheap ones... these are heavy duty crome clasps... they don't lock (like say luggage would), but they are solid and if closed... there is no reason to fear the unit opening.

The handle is curved.. When carried with the DIRECTV logo outwards, the unit is very well balanced and it is easily carried while walking.

The bottom of the unit has 5 rubber footings, so there should be no question of which side goes down.

As you will also note... there is an included compass... It is a dual compass... It is used for both DIRECTION and elevation.
Also it is included in the case... no "Where is the compass?" ... if you have the case... you have a KEY important setup tool..

The buldge in the top part of the case is very important.... The top lid of the case, is the DISH. That buldge is the backside of the dish, similar to the LNBs. This is where the signal is ultimately received and collected, and transfered into a wire... for usage by the receiver.

#4 OFFLINE   Earl Bonovich

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Posted 01 April 2007 - 05:07 PM

Once you have opened the case... you now get to see the components.
Just open the two latches and lift. Once open... you will see in the top cover the dish.

When you lift the top, you will notice it is on a double hinge... not only does it go UP and DOWN, it can be turned left/right.

  • Top open- The Dish: (Note: WebCam is from my computer in the background, not the unit) Small Large
  • Top twisted: Small Large
  • Top rotated and tilted in the "ready" position: Small Large

Well the dish is all neat and has a very "James Bond" feel to it... it is only going to get you so far.. The LCD/Receiver integrated unit is also inside:

The LCD can be used while still in the case or it can be removed from the case.


You may have noticed it in the DISH photos, but there is a thin GOLD cable in the case. This is a removable cable that connects the Case-Dish to the receiver. It is about 15ft long. You can remove it (and replace it if necessary) but it is not recommended to remove it from the case. It would be VERY bad if you get to your destination, and it is not there.

It folds up nicely, with a velcor tie, to keep it bundled... and tucks in nicely between the back of the receiver and the back of the case.



#5 OFFLINE   Earl Bonovich

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Posted 01 April 2007 - 05:23 PM

The LCD portion of SAT-GO is a fully independent piece of the system.
It can totally operate independent of the outer case.

This is where some planning comes into owning a SAT-GO.
Everyone that wants one of these... isn't going to be traveling all the time.

You can connect this LCD/Reciever to your home SAT signal (it is compatible with any dish that DirecTV offers). You are going to pay the $4.99 mirroring fee on this unit, so why not use it more often. However, do note... This is a D11 receiver inside... and it is not compatible with an SWM feed.

Me personally... I will replacing my Samsung FlipTop in my office, with the SAT-GO unit... Once I build a small shelf for it. But it would make a good unit for a craft room, or work area... or maybe even a small room or den.
Before anyone asks... no, you can NOT have my FlipTop... it is going to find it's way to the kitchen under one of the cabinets.


The LCD unit is 17" (13.3" x 10.6"). It has a Max Resolution of SXGA 1280x1024. The viewing angle: H 80deg x 80deg; V 80deg x 80deg

The speakers are very good, given the size of the unit. They are built into the LCD segment of the unit (vs built into the base like the Samsung FlipTop). I got to about 50% volume, and that was WAY loud enough for normal usage... at 35% it was at a comfortable level.


The unit also has a standard headphone jack... I think that is a 1/8" (3.5mm)... It is not any odd; special size.

#6 OFFLINE   Earl Bonovich

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Posted 01 April 2007 - 05:31 PM

New Unit: New Remote: RC64S

This is a limited function small form factor remote control.
There is a reason why it is small... it has a home: INSIDE the base of the unit.

This area of the base was designed nicely for the remote. It fits the remote perfectly. However to get it out, just push on the bottom edge, and the other side lifts up making it easy to grab. No worry about busting a nail or using the camping knife to get it out.
There is a TV mode and a DirecTV mode on the remote. As you would expect, when in DirecTV mode, it controls the receiver and DirecTV functions... and will control power and volume of the unit as well.

In TV mode, is where you can access TV functions, such as input.. color settings, and other status areas.

If you lose it... don't worry.
It uses the same frequency as the RC series remote controls... So your RC23/24/32/32RF/RC32BB/RC34 ect... will control the unit.
But, you will probably want to replace it... and I have confirmed you will be able to purchase a same model replacement from DirecTV.

Also TWO AAA batteries for the remote (while most RC series use AA)


#7 OFFLINE   Earl Bonovich

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Posted 01 April 2007 - 05:43 PM

Powering the Unit:

This is a Tri-Source power unit:
  • AC Power
  • DC Power via external
  • DC Power via battery

The AC cable is ALWAYS connected to the unit. It is housed in the base of the unit, in a compartment... It can not be removed.

The DC power cord, is your typical lighter cord. It has a special connector, that will plug into the side of the TV unit.

The Battery pack is removable... and is charged when the unit is plugged into the AC... I have not confirmed if it will charge while plug into a DC source.

The unit will run for approx 1 hour on a full battery charge, and it takes about 8 hours to charge the battery.

The unit consumes about 70W at it's maximum... So using a portable generator should give you plenty of power, but when using it with a car... I would make sure you start it up every once and a while to recharge it's battery so you are not stuck.

I have also confirmed, that you will eventually be able to buy additional batteries. They are not available at this time, however they are expected to be around $80.



#8 OFFLINE   Earl Bonovich

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Posted 01 April 2007 - 05:50 PM

Need to play some "Madden" during the tailgate, before all the pre-game starts? Don't worry... there are multiple connections on the back of the unit.

There is a A/V In... and a component A/V In.
There is also a USB port (disabled), phone line (need to pay for PPV), and an A/V out ... You could connect it to your Mini-Van inputs, to allow two more screens for the SAT signal. (for example).


As I said earlier... inside this base is a D11 receiver... As with EVERY DirecTV receiver... an access card is needed. Well... IMHO, this is one of the more fascinating advances with this unit.

The Access card is now a SIMM... Just like the ones used in our cell phones.
Small profile, sits under a panel... No longer the big credit card sized.
Why do I think that is cool... Did I mention it was the same size as the one in our Cell Phones?


Another thing to note about the LCD screen... It is recessed a bit.
This is great, so you don't have to worry about putting down a soft surface when you want to flip over the unit.


And finally... two last pieces:
The top is position sensitive. When it is lowered, it powers off the unit. So you can't accidently put it away ON.

And of course: All hooked up and ready to go:

The image is bright, vibrant, and is very good. As noted earlier on, the sound from the system is pretty good given the size of the speakers.

#9 OFFLINE   Earl Bonovich

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Posted 01 April 2007 - 06:29 PM

It's is name is SAT-GO after all... So... Let's Go... (to my backyard :) )

Setting up the unit outside is pretty easy.
Few steps to it:
  • Place the case on a surface
  • Open the case
  • Open up the LCD screen (or remove the entire LCD unit)
  • Twist and then "point" the dish

The manual that comes along with the unit, gives you rough angles and elevations for major cities in the US.

This DISH can only see the 101 SAT. (but the receiver inside can also see 110,119 if connected at home).

If you don't know what city you are close too, or the zip code... you need to point the unit towards Texas. The receiver does have the typical "enter your zip code" to give you the exact alignment, but... tried and true... just slowly move the dish around to you get the signal.

The compass on the back is great... it has elevation and direction.
I highly recommend that you put the unit on as level of a surface as possible, it will make it easier to point.

Power up the unit... when it get's to the DirecTV screen... you can hit the Signal Button... this button is built in macro to the system, that will take right to the SIGNAL screen..

You can then use this screen, to point and fine-tune the signal.

In the picture below... I was able to get about a 70% signal in about 3-5 minutes of tinkering. IMHO... I would recommend at least at 60% signal. Reason being is that the wind is going to bounce the dish a bit, and people walking around..

You have a 15ft cable there... so you can move that Dish a little ways from your TV unit. You can also add a different wire.. so maybe even putting that dish on TOP of the car is an option.

Once the TV is up and has a picture... It is bright enough to see it, even in daylight. I was able to sit in the chair (you will see in the picture), and was able to watch the show.

Also note... no power wires... this is all on the battery...



#10 OFFLINE   Earl Bonovich

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Posted 01 April 2007 - 06:40 PM

Okay... what is one of my reviews... with out showing you in the inside of the unit.

Couple things:
  • I did not open up the LCD screen area of the unit. The only thing there is the screen and the speakers... so I didn't want to take the risk of not getting it back together
  • Opening the base section was a MAJOR PITA... this was one of the more difficult ones. Screw here, Screw there.. I can very close to saying: Screw IT.. :D Then there was inner clips, that I had to be cautious of. Bottom line... if you get one... Head the warning in the FCC Customer information section: " DO NOT DISASSSEMBLE THIS EQUIPMENT. It does not contain any user-serviceable components" ;)

At it's core, the SAT-GO runs a D11 unit. It has an updated power supply to handle AC, DC Source, DC Battery, and charging that DC Battery.

It has an updated smart card reader to support the SIMM side.
But at the end of the day, it is still an SD-D11 receiver in there.

I am not a detailed chip guy... so I won't go into too much detail in comments. Other then taking the top off... there where no other lids that came out of the unit.

So... I'll let the pictures do the rest of the talking:


#11 OFFLINE   Earl Bonovich

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Posted 01 April 2007 - 06:43 PM

This is a pretty cool unit... Not for everyone... but it will have very good appeal to those that need it. (Tailgaters, Campers, and other Travlers).

Couple other notes:
  • The unit does not have an NTSC or ATSC tuner... it can only get a signal from DirecTV SAT, or an external device (such as DVD, Game, or another DirecTV receiver)
  • I do not have a price on the unit at this time
  • Availability approximately May 2007

So hopefully you enjoyed this first look at the new DirecTV SAT-GO unit...

Continue the discussion over here:
http://www.dbstalk.c...ead.php?t=84076

Earl

#12 OFFLINE   Earl Bonovich

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Posted 03 April 2007 - 10:43 AM

Some more TidBits that I have received:

Inside the unit, it is using a Genesis / Faroudja DCDi Cinema™ controller.
This controller is responsible for formating any incomming video, enhancing the video, and noise reduction.

It is also why.... the unit will except a 720p/1080i signal via component... and WILL display a 720p picture... So guess you can say this little portable unit is an HD display, depending on the video source.
Earl - Gotta Love Karma

DIRECTV employee since April 2008.
All comments are my own. Unless specifically stated, my views do NOT represent the views of DIRECTV

#13 OFFLINE   Earl Bonovich

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Posted 21 July 2007 - 01:15 PM

Some minor updates:


As noted back in March, the SAT-GO will accept a 720p signal via component.
Well... I am using that now with my h21 connected to it... and the picture is SWEET......

Also... anyone that needs to program an RC Series remote, to control the TV portion of the SAT Go: The code is: 11501
Earl - Gotta Love Karma

DIRECTV employee since April 2008.
All comments are my own. Unless specifically stated, my views do NOT represent the views of DIRECTV




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