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DirecTV in Costa Rica

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Ex Member
Ex Member

Apr 15th, 2007 at 2:31am  
I'm trying to figure out whether I can take my DirecTV boxes from here in the U.S. with me when I move to Costa Rica next year, and have them work with a properly positioned dish. I've heard that the 119 satellite is the only one visible down there, but is there any way for me to tell whether this is do-able?  I've used the lat-long finder to come up with the following:

Latitude = 10.4878, Longitude = -84.8584
Lat    = 10 degrees,   29.3 minutes   North
Long = 84 degrees,   51.5 minutes   West

If you want to point a satellite TV dish at Satellite= 119 West orbit longitude
Dish elevation= 48.7, Azimuth= 255.0 (magnetic compass), Polarisation= 71.7

What I don't know is how to interpret these results...can someone help?
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Eric Johnston
Senior Member

Posts: 2109
Reply #1 - Apr 15th, 2007 at 7:39pm  
The question you need to resolve is "Are the DirecTV programmes you want to watch in a beam that covers Costa Rica?"

The programs from 119 deg east come from several satellites and there are many different beams pointed at CONUS and various smaller parts of the US.  See

I think all of these beams are intended only for reception in parts of the US and the signal level contours will drop off rapidly outside the intended coverage.  It may be possible to receive programs in northern Mexico, but further south it will become progressively more difficult.

The dish pointing information you refer to is to enable you to aim your dish at the satellites at 119 deg east.  There is unlikely to be any detectable signal pointed down towards Costa Rica however.

Enthusiasts are welcome to try and if you have a very big dish perhaps 100 or 400 times the area of the nominal dish used in the intended coverage area then you may have chance.  With a sensitive 10m diameter Ku band dish it is suprising what you can detect, but even then it is uncertain.

I suggest you investigate other satellites, looking at both Ku and C band and see if you can find any programmes that are Free-to-Air that you may wish to watch and with beams over central America.  You will need a general purpose FTA type receiver and almost certainly a larger dish than that now usual for high power direct broadcast satellite services as in the US. are suggested suppliers of both equipment and information about FTA satellite TV.

Contacting satellite TV shops in Costa Rica is also likely to lead to good information about what is possible there.

Best regards, Eric.  
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« Last Edit: Apr 15th, 2007 at 10:59pm by Eric Johnston »  
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