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Old 31-01-2011, 17:06   #1
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DirectTV or Similar for Cruisers in Europe ?

First, I know that DirectTV does NOT work in Europe.

Is there a European equivalent? Would it require a different dome, or just a different point to spot at?

I'll be cruising in and about Europe in a couple of years and I am considering getting a DirectTV dome(?) installed during a new vessel construction.

Should I wait until we get back from a 2 yr cruise, or install the equipment so we can get a European type DirectTV while traveling?

I hate for it to be 3-yr old tech when I get back and to have only been able to use it for the 1 year before we go across.

Mark
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Old 31-01-2011, 17:18   #2
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Wait till you are ready to use the DirectTv. Get the newest technology.
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Old 31-01-2011, 17:25   #3
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Mark, Europe has Sky TV and requires a different receiver and LNB. DirectTV equipment will not work over there, and the last I was involved, you could not buy Sky equipment from the US. You must actually be in Europe to receive satellite TV as you must be in the US to Receive DirecTV. It sometimes works on the fringe areas, we can pick up about half of the DirecTV channels in Georgetown, Bahamas, but south of there they all go. Chuck
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Old 31-01-2011, 17:49   #4
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I have a suggestion, that may be of interest to you or to other cruisers who wish to watch satellite tv while cruising.

In order to use what I am about to suggest you must have cable, or satellite tv access, either at your own land based home or a friend/family member and an internet connection at that same location.

I am familar with two device manufacturers there may be more. One is Slingbox the other is Hava. I use Hava and so I will use that as the example for installation and use.

The device attaches to your land based cable box or satellite receiver and to the internet via ethernet or wifi. Using a computer on the same network as the device, you install the provided software. The software will allow you to connect to the device via the internet and to control the cable or satellite receiver. You program the box with the particulars of your tv source and originate a username (a unique ID or unique ID number) and password. This allows only you or users you authorize to connect to the device, there can only be one connection at a time. The directions are fairly simple and straight forward.

Once you have completed the programming you can load the software onto a laptop or another desktop. When you want to watch something, activate the program and enter the username (unique id or unique id number) and password and it will connect you to your reciever at home. Using the remote (on screen remote that looks just like the one you have at home) you can control the channels, volume, on/off, the DVR, whatever your remote at home can do you can do through this programming. The tv at home does not have to be on, but the satellite or cable box and the Hava/Slingbox must be continuously powered and connected to the internet.

In my case I loaded the software onto a laptop which I can take to the boat. As long as I have an internet connection (WIFI in my case), I can see everything I could if I were sitting in my living room. The satellite/cable box your going to use should be dedicated to Hava/Slingbox use, so someone at home can't change the channel your watching!

What this allows you is access to tv programming you are already paying for at home anywhere where there is an internet connection available. The picture and sound quality suffer with slower internet connection speeds, but most of the time it is good enough to entertain and stay in touch with local news and such. And, it costs about $150 as opposed to the $1000's for an onboard satellite system that will only get you half way through the Bahamas (the US satellite TV companies footprint only extends through the northern half of the Bahama's according to their data).

This would work anywhere in the world with internet access.

Just a suggestion, hope it helps. I am not affiliated with either company.
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Old 01-02-2011, 01:56   #5
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KVH, make a dome that handles direct TV and SKY. you just need a Sky Box set top receiver and a Sky smart card. To receive in the eastern med, however you need a bigger dome then the smallest.

The KVH equipment can be got in the US, teh Sky box can be got over the internet, a bit ofgoogling will reveal all

Dave
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Old 01-02-2011, 06:42   #6
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Originally Posted by goboatingnow View Post
KVH, make a dome that handles direct TV and SKY. you just need a Sky Box set top receiver and a Sky smart card. To receive in the eastern med, however you need a bigger dome then the smallest.

The KVH equipment can be got in the US, teh Sky box can be got over the internet, a bit ofgoogling will reveal all

Dave

You DO NOT Need to buy a Sky receiver. Sky is good for English language broadcasts but you can buy DVB-S receivers all over Europe which will pick up all the Free-to-air transmissions.
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Old 01-02-2011, 07:38   #7
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Another option is to do what I do, stream or download TV via the internet. If you're in Europe and want British TV then all you need is a proxy server so your IP address appears to be in the UK. Then you'll have acces to the major British TV channels, BBC, ITV, CH4, etc.

Obviously, this won't work when at sea but i'm guessing you'd just like it in port anyway, most marinas have free WIFI these days. If anchoring, get a good high power WIFI antenna and you should get a signal in most places.
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Old 01-02-2011, 07:40   #8
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Old 01-02-2011, 13:35   #9
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Obviously, this won't work when at sea but i'm guessing you'd just like it in port anyway, most marinas have free WIFI these days. If anchoring, get a good high power WIFI antenna and you should get a signal in most places.
My experience of Wifi in marinas this year and last along the coast of Spain, France, Italy and Greece, was that very very few had enough throughput to stream movies, ones or two worked OK at 4am in the morning , but was about it.

Also few marinas had "free" Wifi, most had a small charge.

Dave
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Old 01-02-2011, 15:34   #10
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While I aggree that in general, public WIFI is not exactly fiberoptic in speed, most reasonably populated places will give you a useable speed. You'll find more and more bars and cafes these days offering free WIFI to customers and at a half decent speed and if your boat is equiped with a decent WIFI antenna then you should be able to pick them up.

The thing with the 'catch up services' offered by most of the major TV companies, is that they generaly use a lower res' compared to some of the movie streaming sites for their programs so streaming is more than possible. Here, if I get over 1 meg (yes, thats right, a whole ONE meg!!) it's a miracle but I've been able to stream and watch UK TV here in Southern Spain for nearly a year.

Me personaly, I only moved to a berth that even had a satellite connection at the begining of this year, the WHOLE of 2010 I relied on my WIFI connection only for my TV viewing so I can tell you, it's more than possible. Sure, it will vary area by area but it is a very cost effective solution and if you're in a really slow area, some services like the BBC allow you to download to watch later.
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Old 01-02-2011, 16:31   #11
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Do you really want Rupert Murdoch to get aboard your boat? Why not stick with the BBC or ITV and download the films you want to see. I wouldn't let that man on my boat if I was you.
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Old 01-02-2011, 16:34   #12
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hmm, our experiences vary, I certainly found mainly in the visitors berths that wifi was poor, equally many cafes had quite poor wifi rates, often the wired PC's were much better.

It maybe that your permanent berth is ok, ( my home berth near nice had appalling Wifi). Again in Italy I found it varies and often there seemed no useful other free and accessible Wifi nearby. Im an electronics engineer, I have a fairly good longe range Wifi system. I dont beleive that Wifi is any comparison against a KVH dome, with a freeview or Sky box for TV. in fact Id do as far to say that the OP wants TV , I'd buy a cheap terrestial dish, a sat locator and set them up on the dock as I needed them. Thats what I see a lot of .

Dave
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Old 01-02-2011, 17:40   #13
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Agreed, to be peferctly honest, since getting a new berth with a dedicated Sat' hook up, it is alot easier. Sometimes i'd be watching a good program and only get half way through before the dreaded 'buffering circle' decided to start playing, arrgghh!! I did have to plan my viewing much more before, either staying up late to take advantage of better bandwidth or setting my pc to download during the day so i'd have something to watch that evening. Now, I have the luxury of just switching the TV on and watching live with no trouble and it is the best solution, no doubt. (see, we can agree on some things Dave! )

However, I got the impresion they were on the move and dedicated boat based Sat' systems can be very expensive. Also, many marinas don't let you put a dish on the dock and to use a domestic setup for the Astra satallite to get UK programs, you need a pretty huge dish as the Med' is right on the edge of the sat's footprint. When it works, WIFI is far more cost effective and even if the bandwidth isn't good enough to stream, you can still download and also have access to all the UK's radio stations too.
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Old 01-02-2011, 18:17   #14
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However, I got the impresion they were on the move and dedicated boat based Sat' systems can be very expensive. Also, many marinas don't let you put a dish on the dock and to use a domestic setup for the Astra satallite to get UK programs, you need a pretty huge dish as the Med' is right on the edge of the sat's footprint. When it works, WIFI is far more cost effective and even if the bandwidth isn't good enough to stream, you can still download and also have access to all the UK's radio stations too.
Yes absolutly, Astra 2 is difficult to get east of Monaco ( 2D is very difficult) , I Have a KVH 4 dome, cost about 4K , its not bad, but again its a compromise, really you need a bigger dome, Astra reccomnends a 90cm dome for much of southern europe.

Sure I have internet radio from around teh world, good it is too. The beeb being in my opinion a shadow of its former self.

Dave
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