DirecTV Latin America/Caribbean Marine Services

Intelsat DLA-1 Satellite, launched October 2014

Intelsat DLA-1 Satellite

Updated: September 2020

DirecTV provides satellite TV services in parts of South America, as well as the Eastern and Southern Caribbean, through its DirecTV Latin America brand. It is a separate service from DirecTV USA, using different satellites (DLA-1 and DLA-2 at 95W) and requiring different LNBs and receivers.

In early 2018 DirecTV Latin America has completed its transition from its older Galaxy 3C satellite, which provided a very limited set of channels over a wide area of coverage to a constellation of two new satellites: DLA-1 and DLA-2. The new satellites are positioned in the same orbital slot (95W) as the old Galaxy 3C and broadcast in the Ku band, so existing antennas can be used. However, a new LNB with expanded frequency range (DLA-W) will eventually be required to be able to receive all the channels, particularly in the South America region.

Service to vessels in the Caribbean basin is provided through DirecTV Caribbean, based in Trinidad. DirecTV Puerto Rico, long popular with yachts, has stopped offering services to marine customers.

Our Services

Our services are designed to bring DirecTV Caribbean to your yacht in the shortest amount of time and the minimum of hassle. We stock receivers and LNBs at our St. Maarten facility. We process all the paperwork for you, test and activate the receivers on our bench, and deliver them to your boat ready to go. We can convert your antenna to track the DirecTV LA satellites, install the receivers and interface to your AV control system.

For yachts that will not use St. Maarten as their first Caribbean destination, we can arrange for shipping of the receivers to a convenient location.

Regretfully we do not provide residential/terrestrial installations or service.

DirecTV Caribbean Coverage

DLA-1 Coverage Maps on Satbeams.com

DLA-1 coverage maps on Satbeams.com

DLA-1 coverage map provided by DirecTV Caribbean

DLA-1 coverage map provided by DirecTV Caribbean

The West Beam of the old Galaxy3C satellite provided expansive coverage, extending into the Western Caribbean, parts of the West Coast of the USA, parts of the Southern Bahamas as well as South Florida. The new DLA-1/DLA-2 beams are much more focused and cover mostly the areas serviced by DirecTV Latin America. This means that vessels cruising in the Western Caribbean and Central America that were previously able to utilize DirecTV LA now need to switch to a provider that covers the area, such as Dish Network or Sky Mexico..

DirecTV Caribbean Programming and Plans

DirecTV Caribbean provides programming in English and Spanish. Many channels will appear familiar to US viewers, but the actual programming may be somewhat different, as they are the Caribbean/Latin America feeds of those channels.

US networks (ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX) are currently NOT carried by DirecTV Caribbean, and the previously-available NFL Sunday Ticket and NBA pass packages have also been dropped.  Some sports programming (e.g. post-season NFL) that is broadcast in the US by one of the networks may be available on a different channel on DirecTV Caribbean.

Programming Links

Channel lineup and packages for the Eastern Caribbean
Daily program grid from DirecTV Caribbean
Channel description links from lyngsat.com
ESPN Caribbean 2020-2021 NFL Schedule

Subscription Packages

All DirecTV Caribbean marine plans are prepaid. Full-year and 6-month “Season Pass” plans are offered. A few premium packages are available, with movies, sports and international programming. A DVR option is available as well.

A second and third receiver can be added to an account as “mirrors” for a reduced fee. A fourth receiver incurs a full charge again; the fifth and sixth are “mirrors”, and so on.

The end result is quite a complex pricing structure. A yacht with 6 HD non-DVR receivers that will be cruising the Caribbean for 6 months, and signs up for HBO Max/Fox+ and Max Pack Sports on all the receivers will pay a little less than $1,800. We will work with you during the signup process to select the most cost-effective combination for your needs.

Other Countries

Residents of Latin-America countries like Venezuela or Columbia can bring receivers from their own countries, which will enable them to watch local channels. The receivers will work throughout the coverage area, but local South-American channels that are carried on the south beam will not be received while in the Northern part of the Caribbean

Receivers

All receivers support North-American TV video standards (1080i/720p/480p 60Hz digital, NTSC analog) and will run on both 110V and 220V power.

Two types of receivers are available:

HD Standard Receiver

The LH01 receiver is a small unit (6-1/4″w x 4″d x 1.5″h) with both HDMI and composite/RCA outputs. It does not have a DVR. Unfortunately the power supply (12VDC, 1.25A) is a “wall-wart” type which makes swapping receivers a little more difficult than it has been before. It is however compatible with some recent DirecTV USA models.

We generally keep a stock of these receivers at our St. Maarten location for immediate activation.

HD-DVR Receiver

The new LHR01 receiver includes a DVR and not much else. Gone are the component video and digital audio outputs or the previous generations of LHR26 and 22, and the same goes for the IP and USB controls.  On the plus side it is significantly smaller. Two coax cable runs from the multiswitch are required to view one channel while recording another. Installation of a UPS is highly recommended as the receiver has a built-in hard drive and takes several minutes to initialize after a power failure. Power supply is an external “brick” – 12V/3A

Remote Control

Both standard and DVR receivers come with the standard DirecTV infrared remote controls, identical to that of DirecTV USA. Control systems and universal remotes programmed with DirecTV USA codes will work unchanged with the Caribbean receivers.

Not Available on current DirecTV Caribbean Receivers:

  • Control via Ethernet/IP or USB – if you have USA receivers or old Caribbean DVRs that provided that functionality then you need to convert your control system to IR
  • RF Remote – if you use that to control DirecTV USA receivers installed inside cabinets then you will need to install an IR extender system to enable IR control of your new DirecTV Caribbean receivers

Antenna Compatibility

Most (but not all) marine TVRO antennas 24″ (60cm) and larger will either work, or can be converted to, DirecTV Latin America/Caribbean. Conversion may involve a physical LNB change inside the dome, and/or changes to the distribution wiring belowdeck. Check your make and below for details. Not sure? with a Virtual Service Call we can walk you through your existing setup and determine any changes needed.

In St. Maarten, the DirecTV LA 95W satellites are at about 244 degrees true of azimuth, 47 degrees of elevation. When planning your dockage, make sure that there are no obstructions between your antenna and the satellite.

Sea Tel
TV & TVHD Series
The Sea Tel 80 TV, 100 TV, 100 TVHD, 120 TV and 120 TVHD are all compatible with DirecTV Caribbean; no LNB changes are needed, but satellite tracking parameters need to be entered into the Sea Tel LMXP controller.

TVHD systems wired with only a DirecTV USA SWM will need will need to be re-wired with a “legacy” multiswitch.

Legacy xx04 Series
The Sea Tel 4004, 5004 and 6004 antennas with DAC20xx control units can be converted to DirecTV Caribbean by installing a DLA LNB
KVH
TV Series
TracVision TV-Series antennas have region-specific LNBs. TV10, TV8, TV6 and TV5 antennas with either DLA or Tri-Americas LNBs are compatible with DirecTV Caribbean service. Those with Linear or US-Circular LNBs can be converted with a Latin-America or Tri-Americas LNB Kit

TV5 will work in areas where signal is strong but may not perform well in areas that are at the edge of the signal like the Eastern Caribbean island chain.

TV1 and TV3 are NOT compatible.

Systems wired with only a DirecTV USA SWM will need will need to be re-wired with a “legacy” multiswitch

All TV-Hub models (A, A+ and B) will work with DirecTV Caribbean.

HD Series

The HD11 antenna is compatible with DirecTV Caribbean service. A small below-deck rewiring is needed to enable reception of all available channels

The HD7 with Tri-Americas LNB is compatible but the LNB has limits that make some channels unavailable

The HD7 with US-Only LNB can be converted to a Tri-Americas LNB

The new UHD7 is NOT compatible and cannot be used with DirecTV Caribbean

Systems wired with only a DirecTV USA SWM will need will need to be re-wired with a “legacy” multiswitch

Intellian
i-Series

i-Series antennas come either with a global “Worldview” LNB, or with region-specific LNBs. i-Series antennas with WorldView, Latin-America or All-Americas LNBs are compatible with DirecTV Caribbean service. Those with linear or US-Circular LNBs can be converted with a Latin-America or All-Americas LNB Kit

i6w and i9w, as well as i6, i6p, i9p with Latin Americas or All-Americas LNB, are compatible without changes. i6, i6p and i9p with North Americas or Universal (linear) LNBs can be converted.

i3, i4 and i5 will work in areas where signal is strong but may not perform well in areas that are at the edge of the signal like the Northern & Eastern Caribbean island chain.

i2 is NOT compatible.

i-series antennas configured for Dish Network (with a MIM unit) or DirecTV USA (with a SWM) need to have a “legacy” multiswitch installed

s Series

The s80HD and s100HD are compatible

s6HD is NOT compatible

t Series

All t-Series “W” models (t80W, t100W, t110W, t130W) are compatible. “Q” models are not.

Raymarine

The Raymarine 60STV antenna is compatible with DirecTV Caribbean service when outfitted with a South America LNB

The 45STV can technically be converted as well, but due to its small size and lack of presence in the region we don’t have data to predict how well it will perform

Others

We have done DirecTV conversion work on other antenna brands such as Navisystem, Epac and Orbit, but these necessitate working directly with the manufacturer to facilitate the conversion

DirecTV SWM

A DirecTV USA SWM (single-wire multiswitch) installation is NOT compatible with DirecTV LA receivers. While some LA receivers have a “SWM” label on their coax port, it is a different SWM specification than the one in the US. If you try to wire DirecTV LA receivers to a DirecTV US SWM, you will get unpredictable results – some of the receivers may work while other will not. It is our understanding that no DirecTV LA SWMs are produced, so if installing multiple receivers, you need to wire your antenna to a “legacy” multiswitch.