Apr 30, 2006, 11:07 PM
Post #10 of 12
All countries maintain the rights to the air space over them, most of them tax anything like satellite companies that use that air space - Mexico is no exception. So, while it is not enforced to my knowledge, it is illegal to use a foreign satellite system in Mexico because they are not paying the tax to use the air space. There are Mexican satellite companies and they are legal and presumably paying taxes. Dish, Direct and Star Choice are not. The FCC cannot license any company to sell service in another country, whether it is Mexico or Canada, thus they specify that customers of US companies must have a US address for service.
At this point, no one is enforcing this and no one seems to care. Of course, that could change. You should at least be aware of that although I don't forsee it happening.
There are brokers who will establish an account for you with Canadian Star Choice if you are from the US or with Dish or Direct if you are from Canada. They all require a credit card and some are shadier than others, so do some research.
There are dealers in Mexico who will provide everything and set it up for you but they are definitely operating outside the pale and what you get varies enormously and so do the costs, really do some research if you decide to go this way. It's easier and cheaper to set up the account while NOB, get it paid automatically from a credit card and bring the receiver down with you. As said above, the dish is the cheapest part and can be gotten anywhere. It's important though that the dish and feed horn are compatible, otherwise you will have a lot of grief.
The US companies, both Dish and Direct, have provisions for RVers that allow us to get national feeds (including NPR) from about 4 areas of the US. With Dish, I paid $5 for the Denver feed and $5 for the LA feed both of which included 4 network channels (ABC,NBC,CBS,Fox). To get this, I sent in an RV waiver along with a copy of the RV registration. It may be simpler now but if you are looking for a way around the spot beam loss of network channels and NPR, this is an option. The feeds available from Dish were LA, Denver, Chicago and NYC.
Last year I gave up Dish and got an account with Star Choice using a broker. I did this because I couldn't get Dish in the Yucatan without buying a huge dish. Star Choice works great with a small dish and gives us 2 US network feeds (we picked Seattle and Buffalo). We used it in Guatemala this winter and it worked there too. We also bought the NFL package that shows all NFL games during the season. That was a big plus, even the networks don't show all the games and there is no black out if the game is not sold out. For sh*ts and grins you can watch the weather is some godforsaken spot in Canada where it never thaws, that gets old quick though. You can also watch things like HGTV (one of my favs) but from Canada, a bit different but still cool.
Since I also use a satellite for internet, we are carrying a bunch of dishes on our RV. We set them all up on the deck of our condo in Akumal this winter and it looked like a dish farm out there. They are putting a new roof on this month - thanks to Emily and Wilma - and have promised a flat spot for dishes up there. I may buy a permanent dish for TV and just bring the receiver up to the condo. Of course, another hurricane could come along anytime and blow them all down. Ni modo.
Jonna - Mérida, Yucatán