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KVH M3-ST Obsolete?
Let me start by saying that I don't know a lot about satellite TV on a boat, but the 2010 GB I recently bought came with a KVH M3-ST which seems to work reasonably well, albeit SD only. I do like the fact that the system is wholly contained in a single, out of sight black box, uses a single rf remote for both it and the TV and runs on 12v. Apparently my honeymoon with the system is about to end based on this email I received from ATT:
"Starting on 4/30/19, you will no longer be able to view your local channels with your current equipment. We're updating your equipment and service at no additional cost so your TV watching is not interrupted. After your update, you can enjoy your favorite DIRECTV® entertainment with additional benefits!"
The mail goes on to say that they are providing me with a Genie HD DVR, etc...
My initial reaction is that this is clearly not marine specific but rather some sort of general mailing. I wonder if anyone here knows what this change is all about and what viable solutions are available to me going forward.
There seems to be a great big "it depends" in answer to your question. I've done some reading and from what I can find here: https://www.dbstalk.com/community/index.php?threads/directv-announces-2019-date-for-dropping-mpeg2-sd.221602/page-13 and here: http://www.irv2.com/forums/f53/end-of-direct-tv-standard-def-387950.html . It appears to indicate that DirecTV is transitioning to an all HD, all MPEG4 (how they encode the signal) lineup. This may mean they are getting rid of Ku broadcasts. Ku is the frequency of broadcasts the round dishes used in most in-motion stabilized dishes receive. The only dishes I'm aware of that can receive Ka (the frequencies DirecTV is moving towards) are higher dollar products like the KVH HD7 and Intellian S6HD (and larger from both manufacurers) that start around $10,000.
DirecTV doesn't make many of their decisions based on the needs of the in-motion crowd so I wouldn't expect a lot of clarity. My best suggestion would be to call KVH customer support. They're most likely to know what's happening and what options you might have.