Which satellite system to buy

Discussion in 'Motorhome Chat' started by Dogeared, Apr 3, 2013.

  1. Dogeared

    Dogeared Funster

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    Help, we would like to get a satellite system that would work in the UK, France and possibly Spain. We have a small Peugeot Boxer Auto-sleeper, so roof space is at a premium. There are so many conflicting reports many of them a few years old. If anyone has any tips of what to buy or what to avoid, is would be appreciated. Thanks Barry:Smile:
     
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  2. JeanLuc

    JeanLuc Funster

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  3. joner8888

    joner8888 Read Only Funster

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  4. Daveo2006

    Daveo2006 Read Only Funster

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    I went with a dome as couldnt fit the big dish on my roof due to roof lights.It would have meant i couldn't open one of them properly.I wanted an auto finder one as i didnt want to be faffing about outside.I have also heard stories about people not using their freestanding dishes in windy conditions ( getting blown out of sync and also blown over into van) and dont incur any of these problems.Since its been fitted ive been on a couple of wooded sites where the dome has performed and the fella with the dish on the next pitch has admitted defeat.
     
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  5. JeanLuc

    JeanLuc Funster

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    I've had a Camos 40 (now Roadpro) for three years and I think it's excellent. Particularly valuable in windy conditions. But I'm not sure whether it will get English FTA channels below the centre of France once the new Astra 2F comes on stream. I spoke to Roadpro about this recently and their honest opinion was "we just won't know until the new satellite is fully operational". It used to be fine in the days of Astra 2D.
     
  6. atlantisbird

    atlantisbird

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    Sat dish!

    Hi,
    We could not get a signal on the factory fitted small antenna when we went into various fields particularly when we went to a meeting in south Wales where Detroit Solar had a stand and we just told them to sort it for both this country and Spain, should we ever go. In strong wind it automatically goes down and also if you forget to put it down when moving off it does it for you.
    WARNING! It took us ages before we realised you could get English channels as well as many other languages. :Rofl1::Rofl1::Rofl1:
    We had to go back to the stand for a Russian interpreter!! only kidding, good piece of kit with no problems.
    Why don't you send them an email asking which shows they are doing in your area.
    By the way the lads that did the work were very professional and respectful of our new van.
    Atlantisbird
    Ann & Harry
     
  7. Sidney

    Sidney Funster

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    I have used an all-in-one-box sucker mounted dish with success.

    I moved to a tripod mounted folding dish with easy find LNB and decoder and also had good luck with this.

    So they work - but neither where what you would call "easy" :Wink:

    Now I have a Vision II and still find myself staggered by how fast and efficiently it finds the satellites.

    It comes down to how much you want to spend and how important it is to catch a bit of British TV while you're away.

    Fleabay is always an option with used Vision II systems often selling for £300-£600
     
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  8. treetops1

    treetops1 Funster

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    Got 80cm Oyster dish ,takes a bit of room on roof but for us spot on ,even down into Spain.Down side a bit expensive lol.:thumb:
     
  9. JeanLuc

    JeanLuc Funster

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    Very capable dish and probably what I would choose if fitting again, but I wonder whether you will still get English FTA channels in Spain when Astra 2F gets going?
     
  10. Jaws

    Jaws Funster Life Member

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    Oyster for me too.
    I get full sky right down on the southern tip of Spain at Zahora :thumb:
     
  11. talaris

    talaris Read Only Funster

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    Big Oyster for me to. I think you can get a software upgrade for the new Astra so I am told.

    Watch them in the wind though or get them added to your insurance policy as a specified item. Comfort do mine for a few quid extra and it covers it being blown or knocked off.
     
  12. JeanLuc

    JeanLuc Funster

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    It's not so much the software that is the issue; SES Astra is tightening the beam on 2F significantly compared with the old defunct 2D that we have got used to. See the map in the post I have linked to in my second response above.
     
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  13. treetops1

    treetops1 Funster

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    feel prety sure there will be an upgrade of sorts when astra 2f comes in if required .harry:thumb:
     
  14. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    my set-up is simplicity itself.

    a quad LNB sky mini dish mounted on an old camera tripod

    total cost 18 months ago......£17.99 for the dish complete with 15mtr of twin coax and i had the tripod already. :thumb:
     
  15. Sidney

    Sidney Funster

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    Back to the OP's question... Which satellite system to buy?

    Ultimately if you're travelling around in Europe the answer is "buy the biggest offset dish you can afford and justify". Tinkering with the beam is something Astra has done for a number of years. It will continue to happen so an 85cm dish is going to give you more channels for longer.

    If you're spending extended time on a site on the fringe of the beam (Spain, Italy etc) strap a 120cm dish to the back of the van.

    If you're sticking close to home UK and northern France pretty much anything will do.

    If you're worried about what might happen in the future take a pile of DVDs away with you and leave the money in your wallet.
     
  16. MikeD

    MikeD Funster

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    VDO 40cm autotracking system

    We have a 40cm system on the roof and works well in Limoges.

    On our trip to Spain last year - it did not work either in the North mountains or the Costa Brava.

    You will need at least 85cm for Spain.

    Its not a bad system but the search gets confused if it can't find your designated satellite. It then throws a wobbly.

    Else switch it on and let it do its thing by the time you have got the kettle on it will have sorted everything out.

    MikeD:thumb:
     
  17. eddievanbitz

    eddievanbitz Trader - Funster

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    One thing is for sure. The old argument between dishes and domes looks likely to die a natural death.

    Traditional arguments are that from a practical point of view a dome is better from a maintenance perspective and less likely to be affected by tree branches and general road salts and grit, whereas a dish would perform better the further you went East and West.

    Everyone will have a view on this, but generally this is what we find to be true.

    Van Bitz started selling and installing electrical equipment in 1990 (before satellite systems existed for Motorhomes :Laughing:) and I have likened satellite TV to CB in the old days. When it came onto the market it was unregulated and worked well, and slowly by the time that GSM phones became viable it was regulated and tightened down to Paul point where no one wanted it.

    With the ability to receive digital media increasing rapidly, iPhones, iPads, Android devices, tablets, lap tops, X Box, Playstations, PC's the list is bewildering.

    This means electronic licences are scrutinised, where can this device be used? And what?

    the BBC for example, you have to have a TV licence to watch or download their programmes. They have no appetite to beam their programming halfway across Europe, free of charge for non license payers. Equally, they will have areas of demarcation where they are and not allowed to to transmit.

    Lets face it is you had payed the BBC loads of money to transmit the Olympics into Portugal, you wouldn't be happy to discover that the BBC were transmitting the Olympics across your Country, free of charge to anyone that had a dish and a Free To Air receiver. This is why BBC iPlayer is not available abroad once the systems realises that your using a non UK IP address.

    The same copyright restrictions apply to Sky as well. Try phoning Sky up and telling them that your in Spain and having problems:Laughing: them knowing that people take their equipment abroad is different to be "told" so legally being aware.

    Advertisers? Well they have little to gain advertising their products and services abroad, so are unlikely to be happy to pay more to say "Sky" to advertise the Romsey Motorhome show across Spain.

    So which ever way you look at it, from a legal point of view or commercial there is simply no way that the broadcasters have any incentive to have larger footprints.

    I would guess that as more and more demand comes from each Country for digital satellite media the domestic services will improve as footprints become more focused (narrower) which will mean better signal strength and quality over a smaller area.

    Bear in mind that Astra SES build, launch and maintain the satellites and the likes of the BBC and Sky are their customers. Astra are unlikely to build bigger, stronger satellite arrays to broadcast over a larger footprint, if their customers aren't prepared to pay extra for the service!

    Given all of that, I changed my motorhome last year, and although I have always had dishes, fitted an KVH, R4 Twin LNB system to my van as I normally watch more TV when the weather is rubbish and as a dome is unaffected by wind ( and lightening:Eeek:) I opted for ease of use, as I think that the performance argument is now or soon will be academic.

    Eddie
     
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  18. Jaws

    Jaws Funster Life Member

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    One thing I did do virtually as soon as the Oyster went on the roof, was dump the OEM LNB and replace it with a really good quality one.. .. It is supposed to be a .08 jobby but I would guess ( knowing the kit and where I sourced it ) it is proly a .1dB unit.

    Swapping the LNB is a job that anyone can do quite easily and is well worth the 2 or 3 minutes effort

    Also worth mentioning .. The further south you go, the more clockwise** skew needs to be put on the LNB

    There are usually marks to indicate degrees on an lnb, but if there isn't take it that when the cable entry point is pointing down, that is zero skew

    Put in simple terms, if you have the lnb positioned at zero ( more or less ) we will call that 6 oclock

    You need to loosen the clamp screws and turn it a few degrees clockwise.. by the time you get right down the bottom of Spain it will be set to about 7 oclock :Smile:

    That small movement can and will make a pretty big difference in what you can receive :Smile:



    **
    Clockwise as viewed if you stand in front of the dish
     
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  19. mondo

    mondo Read Only Funster

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    Tracvision do a half decent sat dome we had one got great reception all over France..It was a bit dodgy in Spain around Peniscola..but we did get some channels..I think it's a case of yer pays yer money etc...For lots of info on Sat Tv in motorhomes try this link http://www.satelliteforcaravans.co.uk Ok it says caravans but it all appertains to Motorhomes too...
     
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