This past week we've been dealing with some issues with our outdated KVH satellite system, Direct TV and numerous techs on the phone. It seems we never get the same answer to a question about trouble shooting our existing system, replacement equipment recommendations or just basic answers to basic questions. I don't believe some of the Direct TV people are working on the same page as you just would not believe the different answers we received on the same question when talking to different techs.
The circus started this past Tuesday when I noticed we were not getting certain TV programs like ESPN, any West Coast channel and certain movie channels. We did some preliminary checking of our system like signal strength from our roof mount antenna and everything appeared to be in working order. We called our cable company about our problem and after following some of their recommendations we lost our signal strength totally and could not recover it.
Sandy being the patient one went through the steps, I lost count of the number of times trying to reestablish the signal. First of all our KVH system is quite old and we learned the last time we had it worked on that there were no more system updates and if something happened again we probably should consider replacing it with a more up to date system. At that time we were given a ball park figure of $3000 to $3500. Ouch!!!!
Now we thinking that time has arrived. But, we wanted more opinions as to what out problem might be. So, we called the RV dealer where we had it worked on before and the tech who had worked on the system gave us some steps to try to restore our TV channels. None at first didn't work all we could get on our screen was "Searching for satellite signal”. We could never get the system to initialize. While talking about 15 minutes had gone by we all of a sudden got a signal. Yea!!! So we hung up and sure enough we had all of our TV channels. We thanked the tech and hung up.
That evening I switched to the Hallmark channel to watch Frasier. Yep you got it…… no signal. We went through the steps again and this time we lost everything again and as of this writing we still don't have a signal. The RV tech said its probably our receiver that’s gone bad. He said he could check it out for $300 minimum. No thanks we are not putting anymore money in this old system. So if it is the receiver that's finally bit the dust what do we want to replace it with another KVH? Sandy and I both have been wanting to upgrade our system to HD television and perhaps throw in a DVR receiver.
We contacted the tech at The RV dealer and he suggested we consider another KVH. So we asked him to work us up a quote and he said somewhere around $3000. We also understood that the system would be a mid range KVH travel in motion with capability to receive HD TV and all the trimmings that went that kind of system. So, an in depth research program got underway to get all the pros and cons we could gather from the manufacture, satellite provider and reading several RV forms.
This was enough to really boggle your mind and forced us to seek more answers to our questions and perhaps another system all together. We learned that any roof mounted dome that was plastic would not support Direct TV HD channels. I might add we did get answers contrary to this from Direct TV as well as some techs we talked to. We also learned from the RV dealer the system we were quoted is not a mid range system but just the bear basic. For $3000 I don’t think so. Back to square one we go.
I happened to remember my good friend Mark Hall telling me sometime back he wasn't real pleased with his Kingdome ( it didn't get HD Direct TV). He had heard some good reports on the Wineguard Trav'ler and was considering changing his system out to the Trav'ler. Yes, back to the drawing board we go and again we get all kinds of different feed back from the RV dealer tech, Direct TV and reviews on the Internet. The RV Tech said he thought its weight (53#) would be a maintenance problem.
I finally told Sandy that we can ride this horse right into the ground and we needed to move on and make some kind of decision. While thumbing through the recent Camping Word catalog I noticed they had the Wineguard Trav'ler Slimline on sale and most importantly their labor to install was $156 instead of $326. They will however charge $85 to remove the old KVH system. So we have an appointment for August 27th in Ft Worth.
Our last experience, we hope, was the mix information we got from Direct TV on the right receiver for the Trav'ler. That's another story in it's self and I have bored you enough. We will update you on the Camping World install next Saturday.
Until the next time. . . .MtnAire Travlers.