International channels and DIRECTV 4K? Can it be done?

Here’s a story that’s changed a lot in the last few years. Let’s sayyou’re looking for the large number of international channels on DIRECTV. In past years you might have found that you need a dish like the one you see below.

This is DIRECTV’s WorldDIRECT dish. It’s designed to pull in channels from DIRECTV’s satellite at 95 degrees. For about 25 years, this dish was used to pull in international programs. While it will also pull in standard-definition programs, if you wanted HD or 4K, you needed two dishes. That wasn’t good for anyone. People didn’t want two dishes, and it was an additional cost.

Then there was the wiring

In order to use this dish for HD, you needed not only the second dish but a multiswitch to combine them. For those who wanted 4K service, you also needed a special combiner because the multiswitch had 6 inputs. All well and good but you needed to bring in 7 wires. This made for very confusing setups, not the sort of thing that DIYers wanted to do. Add to that, there were originally about 6 months between the time the multiswitch was available and the time the combiner was available. You begin to see how this whole thing was very frustrating.

Luckily, things have changed

DIRECTV has retired its satellite at the 95 location and moved its international programming to the 99 and 103 locations. This is great news for people with international packages. Because this programming is on the reverse band, you will need the latest Slimline dish, but that’s literally all. People with international packages get the same single-wire experience as everyone else. They can easily use Genie DVRs and all the modern things that make DIRECTV Satellite so popular.

What about mobile and marine?

If you’re taking your satellite system on the road or on the water, things get a little more complicated. Many RV systems only look at one satellite location — DIRECTV’s standard-definition satellites at the 101 location. This essentially means that you can’t get international channels while you’re in motion. However, the reverse band LNB can be retrofitted onto some dishes that are designed to be used when parked. This will give you HD, 4K, and international channels just like you’re at home.

For marine customers, it’s not always possible to retrofit the 4K LNB, but it can be done with some models. It depends on the age of your equipment and what’s inside that big white gumdrop. The answer also really varies by manufacturer, since the antenna control unit also has to be able to understand what you’re doing.

How to get the answers you need

If I mapped out every possible answer to working with mobile and marine customers, this would be a long article indeed. On the other hand, residential customers just need the new dish and this would be a very short article indeed. Rather than doing either of those, I’m going to suggest that you talk to the experts.

Call the folks at Signal Connect. They’ve done more RV and marine activations than anyone else in the world. They’re also among the top dealers for residential and commercial DIRECTV systems. They will work with you to get all your questions answered. This isn’t some overseas call center with a bunch of people reading from scripts. When you call use, you’ll be connected with real experts who do this stuff every day. Not only that, they’ll give you their email addresses and direct phone numbers. You can reach the same person you talked to, anytime you need them. Try that with an overseas call center.

It all starts with a call to 888-233-7563 during East Coast business hours. If it’s after hours, just fill in the form below. We’ll call you back, 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.