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  • Were you thinking of standard-definition service in your RV? Stop.

    "No one cares about the TV quality inside the RV." Yeah, I've heard that too. But you need to care, especially if you're thinking about putting a TV in that RV for the first time. You need to know about some serious changes that are happening with DIRECTV and DISH.

    Of course, you probably wouldn't put a tube TV in your new RV anyway, even if you could find one. They are heavy and take up a lot of space. But most likely you were thinking of putting in a smallish flat TV and maybe you were thinking, save a few bucks and get a standard-definition-only setup.

    Standard-definition, in case you've not heard the term before, means the kind of TV we all watched back in the 20th century, with relatively blurry images on a relatively square screen. Even when standard-definition images are shown on today's flat TVs, it's pretty easy to tell the difference. And it's true, it's harder to tell the difference on smaller TVs or from a larger difference, but it's always there.

    If you're thinking that you don't need to pay extra for a dish that picks up today's high-definition images, here's the bottom line.

    Time's up for DIRECTV customers.
    DIRECTV is not activating new standard definition accounts except in special cases, and the reason is simple: they're cutting out all standard definition service within two years. They've been working up to this for close to a decade, and with their older satellites going out of service, they're moving forward with HD and its even glitzier cousin, 4K.

    DISH customers shouldn't be so smug either.
    DISH still lets you get standard definition equipment and most smaller sized RV dishes can get at least some HD content. But it's clear the writing's on the wall there as well. There's no motivation for DISH to keep putting out standard-definition signals on satellites that cost them a lot of money to operate once DIRECTV stops doing it. While they haven't made the announcement, it's pretty likely they'll cut and run on standard-definition not long after DIRECTV does. In fact I expect the entire pay-TV industry to follow DIRECTV's lead and go HD-only by 2021. You heard it here first folks and you can pull this article up in three years and tell me how I'm doing.

    So when you look at things that way, you have to be future proof. You can't be putting in an expensive satellite system in that RV you've bought and know that it's going to be useless in just a few years. You don't want to do that. What you do want, is to call the experts at Solid Signal at 877.312.4547 and get the right answers. No one activates more RV satellite systems and no one has the level of expertise we do. It's definitely worth giving us a call and finding out what your options are. Don't get stuck with the wrong system!

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    Comments 4 Comments
    1. HoTat2's Avatar
      HoTat2 -
      The big question is though...

      Is it "SD" that's actually going away in 2019, or just "MPEG-2 based SD" (i.e., the old "DSS" format)? I can't imagine all programming on the DBS Ku band itself going away as DIRECTV cannot solely rely on the Ka (and now Reverse Band) for everything due to rain fade issues inherent at those frequencies ...

      And they can't duplicate all the HD channels on the 32 narrower bandwidth transponders on the DBS Ku band at 101W, even if they convert the 6 spotbeam tp. channels to CONUS wide ones and use 8-PSK modulation on all RF carriers (the above assumes the use of DBS Ku tps. at 110 and 119W is excluded since most subscribers have SL-3s nowadays).

      So there's still a big question mark as to specifically what DIRECTV intends for the DBS Ku band beginning in 2019.

      Hey Stuart, you or someone else at S.S., got any inside contacts to someone like Phil Goswitz who might be able to fill us in? Lol ...
    1. Stuart Sweet's Avatar
      Stuart Sweet -
      Actually I hope to have clearer answers in the next few days. And I just might be able to ask Phil Goswitz himself.
    1. dsiebert's Avatar
      dsiebert -
      DSS can't go away, some Directv HD receivers' network tuner is DVB-S/DSS only. Any transponders the network tuner needs to tune on 101 will have to remain DSS. Nothing stops them from doing MPEG4 SD or HD on DSS transponders though
    1. Stuart Sweet's Avatar
      Stuart Sweet -
      Very astute. Note that no one is saying the 101 satellite is going away -- it isn't. At least one satellite at 119 is, though, and the 110 has not been used for US DIRECTV for some time.