Battle of the 14″ TV dishes, ongoing


If a 14.5” stabilized dish can look, and work, fine on my 25’ Ralph, most anyone who wants satellite TV on board can have it. But there are a lot more choices since I tested KVH’s great little TracVision M3 in 2006. In the August PMY, I detailed SeaTel’s Coastal 14 and King Control’s Sea-King 9815–RJ, and how KVH had met this competition by rejiggering the original M3 into the M3st, M3dx, and M2 models. The battle was rejoined last weekend when King introduced the Sea-King 1500-HD.

Sea-King 1500-HDThis $4,000 dome (17” high, 16” wide) comes ready to bring in HD or regular TV from DirecTV, Dish Network or ExpressVU, and includes a multi-switch for connecting up to four receivers. The details aren’t on King Control’s site just yet, but this antenna, along with the larger 1800–HD, purportedly use an unusual rear feed LNB that “optimizes signal strength resulting in a substantially larger geographic coverage area,” and also “creates a lower center of gravity within the dome promoting greater stability, smoother motor operation and extended product life.”
   Incidently, if you already have a home dish or boat sat dome that sometimes experiences signal problems when it rains, you might want to check out King’s spray-on “rain fade solutions”. And, finally, please note the very able Ralph is sitting on a rebuilt trailer behind my house, awaiting new adventures, and is still for very much for sale. Geez, do I have to put a Mac on it (5,000 new Panbo visitors so far today)?

Ben Ellison

Ben Ellison

Panbo editor, publisher & chief bottlewasher from 4/2005 until 8/2018, and now pleased to have Ben Stein as a very able publisher, webmaster, and editing colleague. Please don't regard him as an "expert"; he's getting quite old and thinks that "fadiddling fumble-putz" is a more accurate description.

3 Responses

  1. Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

    I just received (and plan to look into) the following HD TV problem being felt by Sea-King user:
    “I just bought and installed a Sea-King 1500HD in part, because of the positive review on your web site.
    Their claim of “HD compatibility” with DirecTV, as with KVH’s, is a misnomer. Neither system is capable of full compatibility with DirecTV. Both require the removal of the BNC connector now bundled with Direct’s H21 receiver to complete the setup, which means out of the gate you are reduced to only 10-15 or the total 100 channels DirecTV offers. This is buried in Kingdome’s web site under the “HDTV Channel Lineup” but the link would be better title their “Channel Compatibilty Chart”, since a glance at it shows you can get all the HD channels on DISH but only a few on Direct. (needless to say I only read this after the purchase and install, even though I read everything else on the site and anything else I could find on the internet before I bought it.
    I spent a bundle on the antenna, receivers (part of King-Dome’s allure is their dual-nlb capability which affords more flexibility than the KVH – the other part is their use of standard receivers whereas KVH requires proprietary ones – never a good idea I my book!) and two HDTVs to get this set up on my boat, and I am sure a ton of other boaters are doing the same. My Marine Tech is one of the largest installers in the Great South Bay in Long Island and he is struggling with this dilemma on both the King-Dome and KVH units.
    Any education and insight you can offer on your site would be of significant benefit. This whole stream of technology is clearly in its infancy as to HD Technology, so as to have moved what used to be a stabile system (KVH and other gyro-based systems which provided in-motion on the old 101 satellite) back into the Dark Ages. There is literally no info on the Internet on this important topic, and I am hoping you can help fill in the blanks for us.”

  2. evey says:

    In one of your articles you mentioned a seasharp seavision , do you have any programing info on this product or where i can get it .

  3. Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

    Sorry, I don’t know what happened to SeaSharp. The Google suggests that it was once distributed by Ocean Equipment, and they might be able to help you.
    This may be a case where buying a low cost alternative turns out to be expensive!

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