Do you need a “MIM” with DIRECTV?

If you have satellite TV on your boat, you know that there’s a lot more to it than there is on land. Even though the experience is the same, there’s a lot more going on behind the scenes. Instead of an inexpensive fixed dish, there’s a marine satellite antenna with a complex mix of computers and motors. You need it in order to keep focused on a satellite 22,000 miles away as you sail the seas. There’s also an antenna control unit (ACU) which tells the antenna which services and which satellites to aim for.

DIRECTV and DISH are different

Of course, DIRECTV satellite dishes aren’t the same as ones for DISH. That’s true on land and sea equally. With marine equipment, there’s a little bit extra to think about. DISH systems need a separate piece of equipment called a MIM. MIM is short for Multi-Input Module, and you can learn more about it here. It’s a device that translates the output from a standard satellite dish so it works with DISH equipment, and it’s mandatory if you have DISH. The newest version works with Wallys as well as older hardware.

However, a MIM not only isn’t needed for DIRECTV, it will actually cause problems. Connecting the output of the MIM into a DIRECTV multiswitch will cause you to lose roughly 50% of your signals.

How to fix the problem

If you’ve moved from DISH to DIRECTV, fixing the problem can be as easy as simply taking the MIM out and properly wiring the system. This simple diagram, provided by Intellian, shows the right way to wire a SWM system for DIRECTV.

There is something you will need to know, though. If you are using a marine antenna for DISH like the Intellian i3, you will only get signals from DIRECTV’s 101 satellite locations. This means you won’t receive most HD channels. Those channels are located on DIRECTV’s 99 and 103 satellite locations. In order to receive everything that DIRECTV has to offer, you’ll need to upgrade to the Intellian s6HD. This marine antenna allows you to focus on three satellites at once.

Your one stop shop for marine

If you need a satellite upgrade or anything else for your boat, Signal Connect should be your first stop. We can help you trick out your vessel with the latest technology, including satellite TV, internet, and cell phone signal boosters. You don’t have to leave anything at home! For less than you would expect, you can have all the tech you desperately crave. And what’s more, you can get top notch service. No one does more marine satellite activations than Signal Connect and we’re here to take care of you! It all starts with a call to 888-233-7563 during East Coast business hours. If it’s after business hours, just fill out the form below. We’ll get back to you, usually within one business day.

About the Author

Stuart Sweet
Stuart Sweet is the editor-in-chief of The Solid Signal Blog and a "master plumber" at Signal Group, LLC. He is the author of over 8,000 articles and longform tutorials including many posted here. Reach him by clicking on "Contact the Editor" at the bottom of this page.