Satellite TV in the Caribbean
Updated: October 2023
Satellite TV is not dead…yet. Even in the age of streaming and Starlink, yachts with existing TVRO antennas that are based in the region or regularly return for a winter season may want to enjoy the reliability and availably of live sports, news and entertainment that satellite TV provides – accessible from every TV onboard.
We can help with antenna conversions, supply and install receivers – onboard at our convenient St. Maarten location or remotely from anywhrre.
Regretfully we do not provide residential/terrestrial installations or service.
DirecTV Latin America/Caribbean (DLA)
DirecTV LA is the most popular English- and Spanish-language pay-TV service in the Caribbean. The service is carried on the DLA-1 and DLA-2 (95W) satellites with circular polarization and requires a 24″ or larger antenna for optimal reception, and a specialized DLA LNB.
Programming varies from country to country in the region. Yachts sign up for prepaid marine service from DirecTV Caribbean in Trinidad. DirecTV Puerto Rico, a long time favorite for yachts has migrated off the DirecTV LA platform and is no longer offering services to marine customers.
We provide complete DirecTV Caribbean turnkey solutions, including antenna conversion, receiver sales, service activation and integration into your yacht’s A/V system.
More Information: DirecTV Caribbean
Choose DirecTV Caribbean for:
- High-quality coverage with small antennas across their full service area
- English and Spanish languages
- International sports
- Control-system compatibility with DirecTV USA
- Simple to acquire and setup
- Only Eastern Caribbean option for KVH legacy HD7 antennas
Dish Network USA
Dish Network provides service in Puerto Rico and the USVI, and the footprint of its two main ConUS satellites, 119W and 110W extends further to the Northeastern Caribbean. A large (1m+) antenna is useful for coverage throughout the entire footprint, while smaller antennas can be used in areas with “hotter” signal.
If you are arriving in the Caribbean from across the Atlantic, with the USA as your eventual destination, Dish service could be a good solution. We can assist you with receiver acquisition & installation, antenna conversion, service activation and integration into your yacht’s A/V system.
More Information: Dish Network in the Caribbean
Choose Dish Network for:
- Single provider for USA, Northeastern Caribbean, Bahamas
- US news and sports channels
- Pay-as-you-go plans
Although not officially published or supported, most transponders on DirecTV’s main Ku-band satellite 101W as well as some on the Ka-band satellites 99W and 103W are now being received in the northeastern Caribbean and can be tracked with marine antennas.
Many vessels report continuing to receive DirecTV USA coming down from the US through the Bahamas and as far south as St. Maarten & St. Barths. In some cases antennas and receivers need to be re-configured to enable reception of all channels – contact us for a service call to help you optimize your system for the best possible reception.
For vessels heading from the Caribbean to the USA we can now provide installation and activation services through a DirecTV USA authorized reseller, so that you can enjoy service as soon as you enter the coverage area. Please note that DirecTV USA does not have a pay-as-you-go program and requires a 2-year contract and US billing and service addresses and a valid credit card, so this option makes sense only to vessels heading for a long-term stay in the US, or those that want to take advantage of HD programming and exclusive sports that DirecTV carries. Other vessels may prefer using Dish Network.
Choose DirecTV USA for:
- Best-quality USA coverage (with an HD antenna)
- US news and sports channels
The French-language service is carried on the Intelsat 35e (34.5W) satellite with good coverage throughout the Caribbean.
We can assist with antenna configuration, receiver acquisition and installation, service activation and integration into your yacht’s A/V system.
More Information: Canal+/Canalsat Caraibes
Choose Canal+ for:
- French-language programming
- Linear LNB – no antenna conversion required for European-based yachts
Sky Mexico is a Spanish-language offered exclusievly in Mexico.
Service is provided from two satellites:
The older satellite (58W) has more limited coverage and programming. Reception requires a linear LNB.
The newer satellite (at 79W) has a larger coverage area and better programming. However, reception requires a specialized stacked LNB which is currently not available for marine antennas.
Spanish-language Dish service with Mexico local channels
Unlike many European countries where free satellite TV service is subsidized by local taxes on TV sets, very few Free-to-Air services operate in the Americas. Those that do offer mostly specialized programming, such as religious and international/ethnic channels. In the Caribbean, some FTA programming is available on the The Galaxy 19 (97W) satellite.
More Information: Galaxy 19 on Lyngsat.com
KiwiSat is a new Caribbean Satellite TV provider operating on the SES-10 satellite at 67W and focusing on the residential and hospitality markets. Our understanding is that they do not currently support marine installations. If you have acquired their receivers and service, we can assist you with antenna setup, receiver installation and configuration, and integration with AV control systems.