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Not if you want to enjoy the DIRECTV HD experience just like at home!

The fact that some competing antennas only look at one Ka- or Ku-band satellite at a time raises a host of issues that boat owners who want DIRECTV HDTV will need to face along with the frustration that goes with them!

Receiver Lockup

First, HDTV subscribers typically want to stay on the HDTV channels. You're paying for the higher quality so why would you want to watch standard definition programs? However, DIRECTV broadcasts its program guides for all of its Ka-band satellites via the standard definition Ku-band 101°W satellite. As a result, boat owners will need to switch back to the standard definition 101°W satellite at regular intervals for up to an hour at a time to refresh their programming guide.

So what happens if you don't? Well, the program guide expires and the DIRECTV Ka-band receivers lock up as they have no valid programming information. When that happens, boat owners will need to call DIRECTV and carry out a lengthy reactivation and reboot process. This isn't exactly what you want to experience in the middle of watching the big game in high-def while relaxing at anchor offshore!

Limited Choices & Satellite Battles

Because competing antennas are only looking at one Ka- or Ku-band satellite at a time, every television on board is locked into watching only those channels that are broadcast by that single satellite. But say your spouse wants to watch "Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives" on FOOD Network HD, which is broadcast by 103°W and you want to watch "Monday Night Football" on ESPN HD, which is broadcast by 99°W? One of you is out of luck. Looks like it's time for a coin flip to see who wins!

Signal Blackouts

The one-satellite-at-a-time solutions rely on a component - the LNB - to slide back and forth to support first one satellite and then another. The simple fact that the LNB needs to shift positions to move from one satellite to the next causes an immediate disruption in the satellite TV picture on every TV. If you're at the dock, this blackout might last 3-5 seconds. However, if you're underway and experience dynamic motion (a rapid turn for example) as that switch takes place, the delay may be significantly longer -- on the order of several minutes -- as the antenna enters a search pattern to find the satellite again (lost now because the satellite switch took place as the vessel's position relative to the satellites changed dramatically). And if someone watching a different TV changes the channel broadcast by another satellite? Well, then the TV you're watching goes dark and you have to guess which channels are now available to you.

The TracVision HD7 Difference

By offering simultaneous reception of two Ka-band and one Ku-band satellite, the TracVision HD7 eliminates all of these issues. The DIRECTV program guide is constantly refreshed and never expires. Everyone can watch whatever DIRECTV channel they want when they want. And you don't need to switch satellites so blackouts won't happen.


Getting HDTV at sea has never been easier! KVH's 12-inch, 14-inch, 18-inch, 24-inch, and 32-inch TracVision M-series antennas offer HDTV-ready designs and easy system configuration. They are fully compatible with Ku-band HDTV from services like DISH Network and Bell TV, along with HD services offered internationally.

Making it even easier, the TracVision M-series antennas allow boaters to switch from the HDTV satellites to the standard programming satellites right from their seat simply by changing channels with the remote control, unlike competing systems that require you to use a control panel or a toggle switch.

The TracVision M-series also supports DIRECTV's Ku-band standard definition broadcasts. For details, contact the KVH Sales Department.

For a DIRECTV HD experience just like you enjoy at home, check out the TracVision HD7 with TriAD antenna technology, allowing it to receive broadcasts from three DIRECTV satellites simultaneously, including two Ka-band satellites.

For more details about KVH's support for HDTV programming, visit our HDTV resource page.

No, the rugged KVH TracVision antennas are designed to withstand normal environmental situations, such as hot summer sun, and inclement weather, including rain, snow, and sleet.

The primary use for the TracVision HD7 will be to enjoy DIRECTV HDTV programming via the 99°W, 101°W, and 103°W satellites. However, boaters who wish to watch programming from other DIRECTV satellites, such as the 61.5°W, will be able to use the IP ACU or iPhone App to make that switch. Likewise, it is also compatible with Bell TV (formerly ExpressVu) in Canada, allowing boaters who head north in the summer to watch Canadian programming.

For boaters heading south, the TracVision HD7 is also available with KVH's exclusive Ka/Ku-band Tri-Americas LNB, which supports DIRECTV service in the continental United States as well as DIRECTV Latin America service in the Caribbean, Mexico, and Central and South America. This option will enable boaters to switch among these different services without requiring any hardware changes.

Certainly. Like any TV system, TracVision is designed to be a part of a versatile entertainment system, which includes DVD players and VCRs, as well as console game systems like Nintendo, Playstation, and XBox.

Using a DVR with a satellite TV antenna at sea requires reception of all Ka- and Ku-band transmissions simultaneously. Without it, your DVR will run into issues if the channel you want to record was being broadcast by a satellite different from the one you were watching last. The DVR would try to record but there would be no programming available because the antenna is looking at a different satellite. Well, that's never going to be a problem again. Thanks to TracVision HD7's simultaneous reception of all three primary DIRECTV satellites, onboard DVRs work exactly the way they do at home so boat owners and their passengers can watch their favorite shows live or on their own schedule via the DVR!

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