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  1. #1
    Platinum Member
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    Palmyra WI
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    BX2230

    Default Satellite Elevation

    Spouse has finally decided she wants pay TV. Out here that means satellite. I will be reviewing the recent posts on the differences between the two providers (I believe it's just two). What I do need to know, as we have lots of trees, is the elevation angle of the geosynchronous satellites. I'll worry about the azimuth later. As this is latitude dependent is there a website where I can look it up for my latitude (42.88).
    BX2230 w/ FEL to care for 21 acres of woods, hills, pasture and swamp, 800' driveway

  2. #2
    Veteran Member gordon21's Avatar
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    Lake Lure NC
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    JD 790

    Default Re: Satellite Elevation

    Direct TV bases their data upon zip code. Enter a zip code on the receiver and it tells you all the settings to start fine tuning from. The zip code will also determine if you can receive local channels via DTV.

    Try directtv.com or else post your zip code so one of us can look up the data from our receiver.

    Important questions to consider:
    How many different channels would you need at one time? Only 1 per receiver. To watch two channels at once will require TWO boxes in the house. 3 channels means three receivers,etc.

    Do you want or will want within the next 12 months any type of Hi-def service? this is very important.

    Are you mechanically inclined to do the installation yourself? Some installers charge $150-600 to install what you can do for free.

    Do you want specialty channels such as NFL packages or Playboy?

    There are several HBO's Regular, family, latin, HBO2, HBO3, and then variations based upon west cost time. A show will appear at 9PM on HBO-east and then be repeated again on the west coast HBO 3 hours later when it is midnight on the east coast. Same thing with Showtime. I think there are about 5-7 different Showtime channels, not just one

    Some discounts are available with DTV for combining service with the phone company.
    Lewis Gordon

    JD 790, 300 FEL, 5' KK rotary mower, 5' boxscraper, Huskee 3PT logsplitter, JD#39N sickle mower and a Jinma 6" chipper in JD colors.

    My XUV gas Gator wants a brother !!!!!!!! (the diesel kind)

  3. #3
    Platinum Member
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    BX2230

    Default Re: Satellite Elevation

    I was searching the web again for info and found the term "look angle". That helped me find the site Dish Network - More Channels, More Choices, Free satellite system with free installation. that has a download for a calculator.

    Now on to the rest of the search.

    Thanks for the questions Gordon21.

    I can do the install myself. Depending on the specific satellite's look angle I may have to mount the dish on a post some distance from the house.

    We would probably only watch one channel at a time but if price is reasonable we may go for two boxes.

    Main reason for the service is so spouse can get all the NASCAR races. Other channels such as HGTV and History would be a bonus. Not sure if we would want any kind of movie service. Not interested in pay per view. I would probably like the playboy channel but we won't even go there.

    Hi-def, not sure.

    We likely will go with a bundle with Centurytel. There would have to be significant differences to do otherwise.
    BX2230 w/ FEL to care for 21 acres of woods, hills, pasture and swamp, 800' driveway

  4. #4
    Super Star Member
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    Apr 2001
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    PA
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    NH TC25D

    Default Re: Satellite Elevation

    Quote Originally Posted by midlf
    What I do need to know, as we have lots of trees, is the elevation angle of the geosynchronous satellites.
    The Dish Network elevations are 34, 32 or 36 depending upon the dish you have. AZ is 216, 222, 211.

    I had DirecTV for a few years. I installed the dish myself and ran coax to two receivers. The service was fine until the two trees I aimed between grew up and out, blocking the signal. Wife didn't want me cutting the trees down or clearing branches to allow the signal to pass through (go figure ). By this time, the local cable company offered HD and a discount for also having their cable internet service, so I switched back to cable and switched from DSL.

  5. #5
    Epic Contributor Bird's Avatar
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    Texas

    Default Re: Satellite Elevation

    We likely will go with a bundle with Centurytel.
    When we first got satellite TV down in the country in June of 1997, I bought the dish, box, etc. from Circuit City and my brother and I installed it for DirecTV. I also put up a Radio Shack antenna to get the local Dallas stations.

    However, when we bought this house in September of 2005, I had never heard of Centurytel Telephone Company, but they are providing our phone service, DSL Internet service, and Dish Network satellite TV that includes the local channels. Incidentally, that's for 2 TVs; one in the living room and one in the bedroom, and you can watch different channels on them at the same time, but there's only one converter box. The total installation charge was $28.39 but I'm not sure how much of that was for which service. They did tell me that it was a one year contract for the DSL and would cost $149.95 if I cancelled that within one year. So if you're going with a Centurytel bundle, you might be better off just letting them do everything.
    Bird

  6. #6
    Super Star Member
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    Triangle Of North Carolina
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    JD 4700

    Default Re: Satellite Elevation

    midlf,

    We have Directv. When I signed up they had a deal with free installation. The "installer" showed up and it was extra to put the dish on the ground compared to the roof. Yes you read that right. He wanted $50 to NOT climb on the roof.

    I said the installation was free. He said $50. I said put it in and I'll have a chat with Directv. He just had a regular galvanized gate pipe for a chain link fence with one end pounded into a spike. He put that into the ground and mounted the dish. The house was wired with a central wiring point so all he had to do was run the wire from the dish to the utility entrance, into the attic and to the "closet" Took him maybe 30 minutes.

    He wanted $50. I don't carry cash and never pay with a check only credit cards. He said he would stop by later for the check. Never saw the con artist again. I talked to Directv about their so called free installation. They said it was up to the installer to set the fee. I told them it was Directv that said it was for free not him and I was buying based on what Directv said. I came real close to telling them to come take the equipment.

    Since the flim flam man never showed up I did not push the issue. Since we did not live at the house yet he did not even setup up the boxes/cards and such. Its not hard. Put in the card and we had to enable them with Directv with a phone call.

    Our dish points off to the SSW and through some trees. I may have to drop one of the trees one day. I really wanted the dish on the roof so I would not see it and give it more height over the trees but after watching the Idiot errr, Installer, I figured it would be best for us all to have him put it on the ground. Some day I might put it on the roof.

    That is the only bad experience I have had with Directv in two years. My horror stories with cable are worse. Directv has worked in the two years we have had it. If we have a very bad rain we will loose the dish. That used to happen with cable as well. We used to laugh at the cable commercials saying they never dropped a signal like the Sats. BS. Our cable dropped the signal just like the dish does. Usually though if the Sat is dropping we are loosing power which was not true for the cable.

    We have four receivers for four rooms. On receiver feeds two TVs. I might do that with another receiver to feed the kids rooms. Works just fine. We get a package that gets me the science, history and the kids channels. We also qualify for the local stations which I could care less since we never and I do mean never watch anything on ABC, CBS, or NBC. We might watch something on Fox though I can only think that would be the 70s show and once a week I watch PBS for All Creatures Great and Small. Other than that its the kids, history and science channels. We are paying 65ish dollars a month. About what we paid for the same channel when on cable.

    Seems like every three months or so we have a talk about getting rid of Directv and just buying DVDs but it never happens. Directv is still cheaper than buying DVDs.

    Later,
    Dan

  7. #7
    Platinum Member Phils's Avatar
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    Cherokee, CA
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    PT-422

    Default Re: Satellite Elevation

    I've been using DishNetwork since they started. I've upgraded a couple of times, first to a receiver with DVR and last year to a HD dual tuner receiver, both with DVR.

    On the first upgrade to DVR it wasn't something I expected to use. Boy, was I wrong. Digital Video Recording is very cool: you can pause a program (the phone rings and you want to answer it but not miss the program). Or you are watching a program and have to leave before its over, so you "back up" to the beginning, press 'record', then go back to where you were and the program is recorded up to that point and it records to the end of the program. Or you tell the machine to record every new "Earl" and then they are on your machine whenever you want to watch them.

    The "dual tuner" means your receiver can be recording a show while you are watching another. Ever notice that most of the time there's nothing on worth watching but then two shows worth watching are on at the same time?

    If you have caller ID on your phone, when it rings the caller ID displays on your TV screen. I can say "... it's your mother..." and continue watching while DW answers the phone and gets to listen to her mother blather on.

    You can also use the dual tuner receivers to supply one TV as described above, or two different TVs. There's way more but this should be a post not an instruction manual.

    High Definition is another matter. IF you have an HD TV, you might want the HD receiver. Just be aware that Dish has more HD channels but they are broadcast in "less-than-hi-def" due to bandwidth limitations. Someday it'll all be in HD but for now I'd recommend skipping the HD unless it's something you really want. Yeah, the picture quality is better but worth the extra cost? Not really IMHO.

    Now, back to your question: depending on the service you want you may need to 'see' one, two or three satellites. Sometimes four. So the tree situation will certainly be a factor. You've already found sites that give you a rough idea. You probably also have an easier choice with a "bundle" from the cable co.

    Phil

  8. #8
    Elite Member RonMar's Avatar
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    Port Angeles WA
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    Jinma 284 delivered 06/28/05

    Default Re: Satellite Elevation

    Been a dish network customer for nearly 10 years now. I just upgraded my dish network to a high def package. This thing now looks at 3 sattelites(110,119 and 129). Due to problems with the 129 sat, they are installing 2 dishes in my area, one with a duplex downconverter for the 110-119 birds and a slightly larger dish pointed at the 129 bird. Their original plan was for one wide dish with a triple downconverter head but they can't get a good enough sig/noise ratio on 129 that way. All their hi def channels are now broadcast in 1080I and the 16:9 format including my local channels. I got to watch the seahawks get eliminated from the playoffs last weekend in absolutely breathtaking picture quality on my 37" LCD. Some of the programming on those channels are still in the lower resolution and are broadcast in 4:3 format(black bars on the sides).

    Dish network dosn't allow DIY installs anymore. Installation is $49 flat rate and new subscribers get this for free as well as $100-200 worth of rebates credeted to bill over time. Dish also dosn't sell their receivers anymore. You will lease it from them for about $6/month, but if it fails, they will just send you another one. The HD package we chose has so much stuff on it including some movie channels that we dropped the HBO programming package we used to carry. This offset the cost of the upgrade somewhat.
    Ron

  9. #9
    Veteran Member Mickey_Fx's Avatar
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    Vancouver Wa.
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    Yanmar Fx24D, Cub 3204

    Default Re: Satellite Elevation

    midlf, since your question was about pointing, I'll limit my comments to that.

    Both providers have multiple sats in different locations in the sky. Depending upon provider and which package, you could need to see 3 sats. Without knowing more, from where you would be mounting the dish, you need a clear view of the Southern sky. As long as you don't have any tall trees or buildings within maybe 50' that could block the view, you shouldn't have any problem setting up a sat system.
    Yanmar Fx24D,
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  10. #10
    Super Member schmism's Avatar
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    Peoria IL
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    New holland TC(33)

    Default Re: Satellite Elevation

    Quote Originally Posted by gordon21
    Are you mechanically inclined to do the installation yourself? Some installers charge $150-600 to install what you can do for free.
    i will garenetee if you dont install the dish on your house, it will NOT be put in the spot YOU want. It WILL be put in whatever spot is the MOST convient for the guy installing the dish.

    this likely means its the easyest to get to, and therefore the one single place that is the most "eye sore-ish" location.

    I can garenetee that if you walk around your house... find the ONE spot that you would hate to see it... it will get put EXACTLY there... clameing "this is the only place i can put it to have it work correctly"

    i strongly strongly suggest you stick the dish up yourself, or you better be the installers shadow the day the guys shows up to do it.
    Steve - TC33D 4x4 FEL, dual rear remotes with toys

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