My father and mother will be transitioning to DirecTV soon from Dish. Actually they are coming back to DirecTV. They have a fifth wheel travel trailer they routinely travel in (especially when hurricanes force them to evac). He can set up the dish network dish he has with no issue....but my question is:
How hard will it be for him to set up a DirectTV dish every time he sets up?
Should he only go with One LNB Direct dish? Or is it really hard to point a Slimline provided he has a good plumb mount on the travel trailer....he can fabricate anything to mount a good mount so that's not an issue. He doesn't have an HD TV in the travel trailer (and I don't know his intentions on that....so I doubt they'll get one there..that's what made me think one LNB dish to start out with.
Thanks in advance.
'How Hard' is a personal thing.
I've had a portable single-LNB (16") portable dish for well over 14 years. Biggest thing is GET A GOOD BASIC COMPASS (cost: <$10). One short look at it will give a good idea of where the 101/Ku sat is, second, GET A CHEAPO in-line signal meter (cost: <$20). This system served me well for both RV and motel/hotel up through last year; of course, one needs to make sure (with the motel/hotel) to get a room with southern exposure, and get a couple of those 'flat coax' pieces to go through the sliders and such.
With the RV, get a couple good hunks of decent highly flexable RG6 coaxes (keep away from the standard semi-rigid types). That type is available from any good on-line cable store, get a couple of 50+' sections.
I started moving to HD last year, bought a Slimline with a tripod, and upgraded to a HD DVR for the 5th wheel. In doing 'testing' in my driveway, I found that the OLD meter I had used for years for Ku was 'good enough' to point the dish for what is, in reality, a non-permanent installation. I've found that getting 101 peaked up will get the 99/103 sats fairly well set in (sigs at least 70+), with 110/119 at the same level at a minimum. I thought at first that I'd have to pony up for one of the expensive meters, but it simply isn't needed, again, for temporary use.
The only bit*h is running the dual coax runs; but now that the SWMLNB is 'available', I've got that one my 'xmas wish list'. I'll see what the price is doing around the end of the year. BTW, I did buy an 'extra' standard LNB assembly 'just in case' one of them went out on me 'on the road'. Different make/model.
Again, the key for those who've never set any of this up, is to do it a few times in the driveway at home before heading on out. But except for the obvious increased size (and weight) of the Slimline, it's worth it to do HD. At some point, the 'new' 99/101/103 Slimline will become available, but of course if any locals are on 110/119, it won't get those. But like I said, it simply IS NOT THAT HARD to set up and get 'good enough' signals doing this on the road.
Total Cost (less the reciever/DVR of course): <$300 for dish/tripod/LNB's for Slimline system
Single LNB system, virtually free at this point. There are tons of 18" dishes out there, with single or dual LNB's, for next to nothing. Bash together a 'mount' and you're good to go.
The thing to keep in mind, THIS IS NOT DIFFICULT WHATSOEVER! All the threads you read here about poor installations is simply because the level of 'tech' the companies hire to do the work are usually about one step above (or below) folks that mow lawns for a living.
The biggest thing I've found that can confuse folks, especially up north near Canada, is the power level of the Nimiq sat is so strong, that one sometimes 'zeros in' on it (at 91deg) rather than DirecTV at 101. But down south (I used to live in Pensacola and St. Petersburg 10 years ago) it's not a problem whatsoever.
If SD is all they need, go ahead and pick up one of the old 18" dishes and 'play around' with it. Get the simple $20 in-line meter. Hook it up to your receiver. Play around with aiming it. You'll be surprised at how easy it is.
Of course, this is for SD only. But the HD Slimline is a pretty simple step up, and having a DVR 'on the road' is really REALLY nice.