MIBS #2: KVH V3, Intellian s6HD, & SeaTel ST24


Mid-sized yachts (and workboats) hungry for connectivity have to be pleased with KVH’s introduction of the TracPhone V3 mini-VSAT in Miami. The appeal is fast “Internet access and e-mail for just $0.99 per MB along with crystal-clear voice calls worldwide for only $0.49 per minute with no fine print and no hassles” via an antenna only 14.5″ in diameter and 25 pounds. The original V7 was way smaller than other VSAT antennas when it was introduced in 2007 — still is, I think — and check the difference.  Note too how much KVH has extended its mini-VSAT service coverage.  The hardware cost is still pretty high, but if you watch the animated V3 presentation, it’s clear that KVH now sees mini-VSAT’s low service prices as a real challenge to even Inmarsat’s small Fleet Broadband systems (which it also sells)…

Meanwhile, KVH got its own (satellite TV) flank attacked with Intellian’s Miami intro of the s6HD, which can bring in all three DirecTV Ka- and Ku-band satellites simultaneously, quite like the existing KVH TracVision HD7, except that it’s less expensive.  I can’t say I thoroughly understand how either antenna accomplishes the difficult goal, but some of the bits and pieces look quite different, and maybe the performance is too?  Battle of the big R&D departments!  More Intellian s6HD info here.


Cobham’s SeaTel has not yet attempted to build a multi-band, multi-sat TV antenna {correction: DTV04 HD PDF here}, but it is proud of its rugged new ST24 (PDF spec sheet here). Thus the demo boat was this sport fisherman with a monster tuna tower; imagine the forces and motions that antenna has to compensate for, and live through, way up there. And SeaTel says the ST24, especially good with low altitude sats, has been extensively tested in Alaska and Norway.  We didn’t see much motion our evening out through the Miami cut, but the Dish HD TV was certainly crisp and stable. I also spotted a neat feature on the toushscreen GACP (Graphical Antenna Control Panel) that comes with… 


Sorry for the blurry shot, but shouldn’t every piece of marine electronics with a display have a screen where the installer or dealer can leave his or her contact info? 


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.

4 Responses

  1. Peter says:

    Dealer info page is a neat option.
    As long as it is easy to access/obvious for a new owner.
    I lost count of how many times I would step unto a customers boat and bring up a page(satellite shot for example) on their chartplotter,only to hear”I’ve never seen that before!”LOL.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I keep all relevant information about the boat,manuals, serial numbers etc etc on a 1 GB jump drive. Everyhting is in one place and should I ever sell the boat i can pass it on to the new owner

  3. Anonymous says:

    I can confirm that the new Sea Tel ST24 touch screen is very easy to use. The touch screen has been designed with the user in mind. With eight pre programmed satellites, just one press of the screen and the unit adjusts itself to the required satellite. With a number of other neat little features this is a great addition to the small Sea Tel TVRO range.

  4. Birdman says:

    If KVH wants to REALLY release a “new” product, it would be a 12″ Sat. dome that provides 2 services: DirecTV service, and a Sat Phone.
    Every Searay on the planet (and we all know how many of those are around!) would install one.

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