Dish Network Marine Services in the Caribbean
Updated: October 2020
Dish Network is the second largest US satellite TV provider, with a constellation of satellites in several orbital locations and a combination of wide (CONUS) beams covering the contiguous US, and spot beams that cover small areas and carry local stations.
For terrestrial customers, Dish Network makes custom antennas and LNBs that can receive signal from several satellites at one time. No such antennas exist for the marine markets, therefore marine antennas will track one satellite at a time, and channel selection will be limited to whichever satellite is being used at that time. Switching between satellites can be cumbersome.
The footprint of some of Dish’s satellites extends off the continental US into the Caribbean. When combined, a vessel can travel through most of the eastern and western Caribbean, Mexico, Cayman Islands, and parts of Jamaica, Cuba, Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos, be within the footprint of at least one satellite and receive at least some of Dish’s channel lineup.
Service to vessels is provided through the Dish Outdoors program, a pay-as-you-go, no-contract offering. US billing and service addresses are required to establish an account.
For yachts arriving in the Caribbean, perhaps enroute to Puerto Rico, USVI or mainland US, we can supply Dish Network receivers and handle account setup and activation. At our St. Maarten base we can handle antenna conversion, equipment installation and integration with 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.
Dish Network Satellites with Caribbean Footprint
119W – this is the primary satellite used by Vessels in the Eastern Caribbean. It carries the majority of the channel lineup on its main CONUS beam, plus a Puerto-Rico spot beam. However it carries very few channels in HD. 119W is the only satellite that carries the US networks (ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC) on the CONUS beam through their local stations in NY or LA
110W – coverage mostly overlaps 119W (though a little smaller footprint), fewer channels but many more in HD.
61.5W – similar to 110W with additional HD channels
Most vessels opt to primarily use the 119W satellite as it offers the most channels. When looking to watch a particular sporting event or movie in HD on a large screen, switch to 110W or 61.5W for the duration of the program, then switch back.
77W – coverage in the Western Caribbean and Mexico. Fewer channels than 119W, and most of them in SD.
Dish Network Programming and Plans
Dish Network service to vessels is provided through Dish Outdoors, a pay-as-you go, no-contract program, billed monthly on your credit card. Several packages and options are offered, including regional sports, premium channels and Pay-Per-View. When selecting options pay close attention and make sure these channels are available on the satellite and beam that you will be using.
Most vessels select the “America’s top 120” or “America’s Top 250” packages + “Local Pack” with most channels available on the 119W satellite.
Account charges include programming package fees, plus a fixed charge per receiver (up to 6 receivers per a single account), taxes and fees.
Unlike most satellite receivers, Dish Network receivers run only on 120VAC, 60Hz. Many boats with 230VAC/50Hz power run them successfully utilizing step-down transformers, however as in any case when running 60Hz equipment on 50Hz power, pay close attention to any possible overheating issues and in case of any doubt consult an electrician.
The receiver currently used in the marine market is the Wally, with older VIP211k/z sometimes still available. All have both digital and analog audio and video outputs as well as Ethernet connectivity. A receiver can become a DVR by attaching an external USB drive and signing up to a DVR package.
Not all marine TVRO antennas will work, or can be converted to, Dish Network reception of the 119W/110W satellites in the Eastern Caribbean. Most, however, can be fitted to track the 77W satellite in the Western Caribbean. Conversion may involve a physical LNB change inside the dome, and reconfiguration of tracking parameters. Check your make and model below for details. Not sure? with a Virtual Service Call we can walk you through your existing setup and determine any changes needed.
For 119W/110W reception in the Eastern Caribbean, we highly recommend a larger antenna – 30″/80cm and up.
In St. Maarten, the Dish 119W satellite is at about 258 degrees true of azimuth, 24 degrees of elevation. When planning your dockage, make sure that there are no obstructions between your antenna and the satellite.
TV & TVHD Series
Legacy xx04 Series
TV1, TV3 and TV5 are too small to provide reception in the Eastern Caribbean. The TV5 may work sufficiently well with the 77W satellite in the Western Caribbean.
All TV-Hub models (A, A+ and B) will work with Dish Network.
The HD11 and the new UHD7 antennas are compatible with Dish Network service.
The previous-generation HD7 will not track the 119W/110W satellites in the Eastern Caribbean. It will track the 77W satellite in the Western Caribbean
i-Series antennas come either with a global “Worldview” LNB, or with region-specific LNBs. i-Series antennas with WorldView or All-Americas LNBs (but NOT a North America one) can be custom-configured to track the Dish 119W/110W in the Eastern Caribbean. All i-Series antennas with WorldView, North America or All-Americas LNBs can track the Dish 77W satellite in the Western Caribbean.
For 119W/110 reception in the Eastern Caribbean: i6w and i9w, as well as i6, i6p, i9p with All-Americas LNB can be made to work with a custom configuration
For 77W reception in the Western Caribbean: i6w and i9w, as well as i6, i6p, i9p with North America or All-Americas LNB are compatible
i4 and i5 may work sufficiently well for 77W reception in the Western Caribbean, but not for 119W/110W in the Eastern Caribbean.
i2 and i3 will NOT work.
For 119W/110 reception in the Eastern Caribbean: The s80HD and s100HD can be made to work with a custom configuration. The s6HD needs to be interfaced with an accurate heading sensor.
For 77W reception in the Western Caribbean: All S-series antennas are compatible
All t-Series “W” models (t80W, t100W, t110W, t130W) can be made to work with Dish Network satellites. “Q” models are not compatible.
For 119W/110 reception in the Eastern Caribbean: custom configuration may be needed.
For 77W reception in the Western Caribbean: All t-Series “W” antennas are compatible
The Raymarine 60STV and 45STV antennas will not track the 119W/110W satellites in the Eastern Caribbean. They will track the 77W satellite in the Western Caribbean when fitted with a North America LNB.
Other antenna brands such as Navisystem, Epac and Orbit, may be able to track the Dish 119W/110W if they utilize a DVB-S2 tuner with 8psk support OR can interface to an accurate heading sensor.
KVH TV-series and Intellian i- and t-Series antennas are capable of automatically switching between different Dish satellites depending on the channel selected on a “master” receiver. otherwise when switching between Dish Network satellites, you will need to manually select the required satellite on your antenna’s ACU, then run the Dish “check switch” procedure on each onboard receiver.