Satellite TV Information

Recent News:
The changeover from Echostar 7 to Echostar 14 at the 119W satellite position has whacked some US Dish Network clients with a big stick,   eliminating access to many channels across much of Mexico.

After moving Echostar 14 satellite into position to replace the old Echostar 7 at 119W,   last week   Dish Network started tightening up their broadcast coverage, allowing less signal to bleed south into Mexico from their “new” 119W satellite.   Reliable sources report that Dish Network will continue to make significant adjustments and changes to their signal for the next 2 weeks or so.   Dish Network will continue adjusting and changing the footprints of their 119W its signals transponder by transponder (adjusting signal strengths and coverage areas), which changes signal strengths almost daily this past week.

When they have finished tweaking coverage maps, they’ll also change formats of their Forward Error Correction (FEC from 5/6 to 7/8), which will limit receiver’s future ability to lock on weak signals.

As a result of these changes, reliable sources report that dishes receiving signals from the new Echostar 14 at 119W will see varying performance and varying signal strengths for the next few weeks.    June 16 is the projected completion date for changes, so, any changes you make now may not work in 3 weeks.

If you are a Dish Network customer, depending on where you live in the Northern Hemisphere, you may find that you will either continue to get good service from 119W, or you will need to change equipment, or change satellites,  or  change providers.

Dish Network USA Users in Guadalajara, Jalisco, & Lake Chapala area report that 1.8 m dishes are currently working with much weaker signals in some locations, but that 1.8 m dishes lose some transponders after 11:00 at night due to too weak of signals.  Users with smaller dishes in these areas are reporting total loss of signals.

While no one can accurately predict the future all the time, it appears that 2.4m or larger dishes in those areas will likely be able to continue to receive Dish Network’s 119W CONUS beamed signals.

Dish Network customers in Yucatan w/ 1.8 meter dish report full signal strength (35% – 40%) on 119W transponders with valuable channels like the Jewelry Channels, Weight Loss Gimmicks, Fads ‘R Us, et al, while transponders with unimportant channels like ESPN, Discovery, Animal Planet, TVLand, etc have no usable signals even with a well-peaked 1.8 m dish.

Some folks are giving up on 119W and going to 110W  or  129W,  though it takes a 2.4 m dish in much of Mexico and HD service to receive many of the CONUS beam channels on 129W.  See CONUS beamed channels on 129W at http://www.lyngsat.com/packages/dish129.html .    Note that it takes a different LNB to get HD programming: either the Dish Pro or Eagle Aspen LNBs work for receiving Dish Network’s HD signals, and you have to have an mpeg4 receiver like the Dish Network VIP series to support HD signals, where the old mepg2 receivers like 311’s & 322’s, 6000’s, & 811’s offer only Standard Definition (SD) signals.

As before, 110W continues to supply consistent strong CONUS beamed signals for lots of SD programming and some HD programming, and some people report that well peaked 1.1m dishes are sufficient to receive decent signal strengths SOB (40% and higher). Sidelight: 62W has some Dish HD programming, but they are phasing out the 62W HD broadcasts.

For purely scientific reasons, we’d love for people from around North America report their locations, dish size, and 119W signal strengths by transponder number as things change over the next few weeks.

Reader feedback about Shaw Direct?

What a great hobby!
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© Steven M. Fry

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17 Responses to Satellite TV Information

  1. Pingback: Nope, It’s Not Another Blog on “My Life in Mexico” | Surviving Yucatan

  2. Brian voris says:

    I am in San Miguel de Allende and currently have the 6000 reciever with the small dish and have lost all the signal. I am hoping someone here will try the big dish and let me know if that works….

  3. yucalandia says:

    Have you adjusted your small dish to attempt to get 110W? (Echostar 10/11)

    I am not familiar with 110W’s coverage & signal strength in San Miguel Allende, but since adjusting the dish is free, and risks no harm, then it seems like a reasonable thing to try, to get a broad selection of DN programming. Here’s a free site that uses Google Earth to directly zoom in on your home for determining where to point your dish: http://www.dishpointer.com/.

    If you prefer to manually enter your GPS coordinates, then you can use this site to calculate where to point your dish: http://www.satsig.net/ssazelm.htm.

    If you want to get a really big dish and try to get 2 satellites with one dish, then check out this website for general instructions: http://www.satsig.net/pointing/multi-lnb-dish-pointing.htm and use this site for coordinates for aiming the dish: http://www.satcalculator.net/.

  4. Roy says:

    Thank you a lot for this information, i have many time trying to reach the 119w In Chetumal Mexico, now i know is time to search for other sat, i have 110w In a 1.20 dish, and i have a 2.4 antenna and i will try to get the 129w. Thanks i will ley you know id it was possible.
    thanks for this Post is very helpful.

    • yucalandia says:

      Based on our latest satellite dish set-ups in the north Yucatan, it takes at least a very very carefully adjusted 1.8m dish to get most of the available 119W transponders, and it takes a 2.4m good quality dish to get them more easily and reliably.
      steve
      -

  5. Before moving to Merida do you have any recommendation what satellite system and hardware to get in the US?
    Meir

  6. Lee says:

    I live in the Yucatan and I am locked into 61.5 and 110W satelites. You can receive cbs,abc and nbc off of 61.5, you will have to change your address with Dish to lake charles. La.

    • yucalandia says:

      Lee,
      Good to know that there are other options here. Do you think the 61.5W has a better selection of channels available in Yucatan than 119W? What size dish do you use for the 61.5W – 2.4m? For readers who only have 1.8m dishes, do you know what selection of channels can be received on 61.5W?
      THANKS,
      steve

      • Lee says:

        Steve, I use a 1.8 meter dish and I get a very strong signal. They have just moved a lot of locals off of 77w to 61.5 and i have changed my locals to Monroe Louisiana because I can receive more locals including Fox. The 61.5 has some great programing and it is in HD and the programming is pretty close to 119W.

      • yucalandia says:

        Lee,
        Good update. A friend just described how a 1.4m parabolic dish also gets 61.5W very well now here in Merida – and he’s offering a switch to mix the signals from all 3: 61.5W, 110W, and 119W. The signals on some of the 119W transponders are very weak with a 1.8M dish, so, it might be worth adding the 3’rd dish & satellite.
        steve

  7. DAVID says:

    I was contemplating going to Dish Network but with all the problems of reception and setting up the account to circumvent being in Mexico, I elected to go with Shaw Direct instead. .If you can put up with the Canadian programming ( too much hockey and curling ) and live with the U.S. network programming that they provide then they are by far the best bet and I receive perfect reception in Vera Cruz state about 600 miles south of Brownsville using a .75M dish.
    Also Shaw doesn’t ask any questions about your physical location … just use one of many itermediaries to provide a Canadian billing address and pay with a U.S. credit card

    • Yvonne Wilmer says:

      I have brought my shaw direct dish and receiver and LNB with me. Where can I find an installer for this system. We live near Tekax, Yucatan, about and 1 hour drive south of Merida. Please help. I can be reached @ wilmerpond@yahoo.com Thanks, Yvonne Wilmer.

      • yucalandia says:

        Ricardo Medina installs them for about $75 USD in Merida. Tekax? I don’t know the cost.
        I just sent Ricardo a text message. He replied “yes”…

        call or text him at 999-217-1220
        steve

  8. disney_locator says:

    If you have any problem finding a signal satellute I am sending you a recommendation for this site locator satellute
    http://www.sat-locator.com/

  9. rm leonard says:

    i have a 6 foot dish and direct tv 110 i live near corazol belize and would like to convert from direct to shaw. any advice on where to purch
    ase needed equipment.

    • yucalandia says:

      RM Leonard,
      From the Lyngsat maps, I think you can get both 107.3W and 111.1W (Anik F1 andd Anik F2) signals.

      This means you need to decide if the SD programs on Anik F1 suit your needs, or if you also want the HD programming that lives on Anik F2.

      1. If SD programs on F1 are sufficient, then you only need a different Shaw Direct compatible LNB – and move your dish a tiny bit: rotating it just 3 degrees south and tipping it just 2 degrees back => which means just a few millimeters in each direction at the attachment to the base.

      2. If you want both SD and HD programs, then you need to add a small dish (90 cm – 110 cm) and buy 2 LNBs and a Shaw compatible disk equalization switch to combine the signals from the 2 LNBs. Aim your big dish at 111.1W Anik F2 (for HD programming), and aim the new small dish at 107.3W Anik F1.

      In either case, you’ll also need a Shaw Direct receiver. If you want HD, be sure to get a Shaw receiver that accepts HD. There was a fellow on Mexconnect in central Mexico who did not quite know how to set up such systems, and he wound up with an extra receiver – so you might check there?

      I think that about covers it,
      steve

  10. Yvonne Wilmer says:

    Tekax is near Oxcutzcab. We are about an hours drive south of Merida. Easy to find. Take the hwy to Cancun, follow the exit to Chetumal, then go 87 kms(look for the km sign) and enter Xaya. In Xaya, in the centro, turn right on a dirt road, and go about 5 kms. Rancho San Juan is on the left hand side of the road. Is a hacienda. We are the only Canadians around this area. Hopefully your friend can contact us. My email is wilmerpond@yahoo.com … Best to call around 7 pm in the evening. Thanks for you help. Yvonne Wilmer.

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