Five Things Marine Installers Need to Know About DIRECTV

Are you a marine electronics installer who has questions about satellite TV installations? Signal Connect, the division of Signal Group responsible for satellite TV sales and support, has the answers.

Three members of Signal Connect hosted presentations at the National Marine Electronics Association (NMEA) Expo held September 26-28, 2017 in Seattle. The NMEA asked David RossEvan Weiss, and Josh Weiss to share their satellite TV installation knowledge with marine electronics professionals. The NMEA is a group that’s committed to enhancing the technology and safety of marine electronics. As an organization, the NMEA facilitates and supports the development and implementation of standards and uniform government regulations for recreational and regulated vessels used in the marine electronics industry. The NMEA’s annual expo is for installers and everyone else who works in the professional marine electronics industry.

The Signal Connect team shared some important tips and information with a large crowd of marine installers and manufacturers. After the one-hour presentation from Signal Connect, Evan, David, and Josh were flooded with questions from attendees eager to learn more. These questions allowed the Signal Connect pros to share even more helpful advice about DIRECTV installation. If you’re an installer who couldn’t attend Signal Connect’s presentation – or you’d like a refresher on what your learned at NMEA – we have what you need. These are important tips for anyone who installs DIRECTV in luxury craft and service vessels.

Here are the five things you need to know about marine satellite TV installation:

Question: “We heard that some DIRECTV satellites will go dark within the next year or two. Is there a future in marine satellite TV installations?”

Answer: There definitely is a future in marine satellite TV. It’s true that DIRECTV is discontinuing most or all of its standard definition (SD) programming in 2019. The company’s satellite 119 is going into a parking orbit in 2019 and will cease its broadcasts. DIRECTV’s remaining 101-series satellites will continue to carry most SD programming, but round dishes and 30cm marine antennas won’t be able to receive this programming. KVH and Intellian are working on a solution to this problem. In the meantime, DIRECTV is urging its customers to make the transition to high-definition (HD) programming. Marine installers like you will have plenty of opportunity to help your clients make the switch to HD.

Q: “You said Signal Connect can activate our clients’ DIRECTV and DISH accounts very quickly. How much does this service cost?”

A: Our activation services are free for marine installers. Just call us and we’ll get your client’s account activated, sometimes in as little as 10 minutes. As an authorized DIRECTV and DISH Network dealer, we have established relationships with these satellite providers. This means that we know who to call to quickly activate the even most complicated accounts. We take this off your plate so you can focus on the things that actually make you money.

Q: “What are the differences between commercial and residential installations, as far as marine satellite TV is concerned?”

A: This was a big part of our presentation and we’re happy to explain it again because satellite installations can get tricky. DIRECTV offers two types of accounts – residential and commercial. To be considered a residential account, the programming must be viewed by the customers only, and in a boat that isn’t used to generate revenue. If your client uses their boat to earn a living, even if it’s just a couple of charters each year, then they need a commercial account. Fortunately, there are many benefits to commercial satellite TV accounts, which Signal Connect is happy to discuss with you.

Q: “Can my clients bring their home receivers onto the boat/trawler with them to watch DIRECTV while they work?”

A: Yes they can, but it’s illegal if they do it. Clients who use residential satellite receivers in a commercial environment are committing fraud and/or misclassification, which is a serious offense. DIRECTV’s legal team is cracking down on anyone who violates the company’s compliance issues. This is why it’s important for installers like you to know the difference between commercial and residential installations. It’s equally important that you advise your customers as to which DIRECTV installation they should get on their boat(s).

Q: “If my client buys a boat that already has receivers on it, can we reuse that equipment?”

A: In most cases, yes. Much of it depends upon if the previous client is caught up with their DIRECTV account. If everything is good, your new client can reuse those receivers. The easiest way to know if everything is good to go is by sending the device to us. We’ll run it through DIRECTV’s system and get it cleared for you. Just like our activation service, we do this quickly and easily because of our relationship with the satellite service provider.

Signal Connect: The DIRECTV Resource for Marine Installers
When it comes to marine satellite TV activation and service, Signal Connect is your No. 1 resource. David Ross and Josh Weiss already have helped many installation professionals at the NMEA conference. They want to help you, too. They’ll answer your questions about DIRECTV’s services and equipment.  They’ll also get your clients’ DIRECTV and DISH accounts activated. To access the knowledge and experience of our marine satellite experts, call David (248-565-5574) or Josh (949-309-9131) directly. They’re more than happy to help!

About the Author

Jake Buckler
Jake Buckler is a cord-cutter, consumer electronics geek, and Celtic folk music fan. Those qualities, and his writing experience, helped him land a copywriting gig at Signal Group, LLC. He also contributes to The Solid Signal Blog.