Missing some Music Choice channels on your boat or RV? Here’s why

If you have satellite TV, you’ll love the Music Choice channels included with your DIRECTV subscription. Music Choice provides dozens of live channels plus on-demand content. It’s easier to use than ever, especially if you follow the steps in our tutorial. It works on practically any DIRECTV system with practically any receiver, although it’s best with a Genie system.

Why are some channels missing?

If you are on a boat or RV, you might notice some Music Choice channels missing. Or, when you go to tune to them, you might notice that you get a 771 signal loss error or some other error. It can be frustrating. There’s a simple explanation for why this is happening, but fixing it can be a little more frustrating.

It comes down to satellite placement.

Most of the Music Choice channels come from the 101 satellite location. The 101 location was the first satellite location for DIRECTV. It’s where any standard definition channels broadcast nationally still live, and it’s also where many of the Music Choice channels live. But… not all of them are broadcast from that location. Some are broadcast from satellites at DIRECTV’s other two locations. The 99 and 103 locations are used for the majority of HD and 4K programming as well as a lot of local channels.

For reasons known only to AT&T engineers, there are about ten Music Choice channels that broadcast from either the 99 or 103 locations. MAybe it has something to do with managing each satellite’s output. At any rate, it’s not a big deal for users at home or in business because those users have multisatellite dishes.

Satellite TV users in RVs or smaller boats usually have single-satellite dishes. These dishes will only work with DIRECTV’s 101 satellite and won’t receive programming from either of the other two satellites. Those other two satellites use frequencies that single-satellite mobile dishes can’t receive.

What are your options?

Honestly there aren’t a lot of great options. I will say that Music Choice has a lot of content that is available on the 101 satellite. The stuff that isn’t… isn’t. It’s just something that you’ll have to live without.

If you upgrade to a multi-satellite dish, you’ll get those Music Choice channels plus many more. It’s a great investment if the boat is large enough. The multi-satellite dome is about 33% larger than the single-satellite dome. This makes it a bad choice for smaller boats, and practically impossible to deal with in an RV. RV users can upgrade to something like Winegard’s SK-SWM3 Trav’ler, but this dish only works while the RV is parked. It’s self-aiming and incredibly reliable, but definitely not suited for use while driving.

Find out the whole story

If you’re ready to get more out of your satellite TV experience, call the experts at Signal Connect! We handle more mobile and marine accounts than anyone else in the country, maybe even the world. When you call, you’ll get a professional who’s ready to help. Our team is available to our customers 24/7… why not join the many others who have chosen Signal Connect? It all starts with a call to 888-233-5834 during East Coast business hours. We’ll get you connected with a tech who will work with you from beginning to end. If it’s after business hours, just fill out the form below and 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.