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Track It TV® FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions about Track It TV®

Marine Satellite TV Tracking
Since 1996  -  Just $896.90

Simple, Lowest-cost, Accurate
Dockside, At Anchor, Motoring in calm conditions
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Why change the product name to Track It TV®?

Track It TV® was formally know as Follow Me TV®. We changed our product name to aggressively emphasize our product's ability to work worldwide with almost any type of satellite TV dish, as well as many other directional antennas used for a variety of applications. Our product has been successfully used by customers for such things as satellite phone, cellular phone and broad-band Internet applications using Yagi style antennas, Wi-Fi Internet access with directional "Cantenna" type antennas, and by Ham Radio operators who want to use directional Yagi antennas while "maritime mobile".

Since other satellite (and non-satellite) antenna types can potentially be used with Track It TV®, we've explored these possibilities along with some of our customers. "Piggybacking" such antennas on top of satellite TV antennas, or mounting them alone on a Track It TV® system, allows users to point to multiple and different types of satellites (and/or non-satellite targets) at the same time, with simultaneously tracking from multiple broadcast locations.

To alert you to these exciting possibilities, we've designed this new web site. And we've given our product its new name of Track It TV®. Our customers in the past have successfully used a variety of satellite TV and non-satellite antennas and shown us the way to extend our tracking product use. We anticipate our customers will confirm other antenna possibilities that we see out there for Track It TV®.

We'll keep you posted, as we along with our customers explore emerging services with satellite (and non-satellite) antennas that are suitable for our tracking product.

How does the Find feature work?

Whenever the Find button is pressed, the Track It TV® shaft turns to a previously memorized "Find" direction (or azimuth) and then continues tracking. When setting up the system initially, after setting the correct elevation on your dish, you use Right and Left buttons to turn your satellite TV dish to point to the satellite and pick up the signal. This "Find" direction is then memorized by pressing (2nd Func) and (Reset) Find buttons together. Thereafter, any time you press the Find button, the shaft will rotate to the "Find" direction and continue tracking, causing the dish to point to the TV satellite and pick up the TV signal. Complete Find details are found in the Track It TV® Operation Manual available by clicking on Technical Details.

Can Find track changes in elevation and azimuth when I travel?

Not automatically, and as you travel, both elevation and azimuth to the TV satellite can change. However, the DSS setup menu on your TV gives new azimuth and elevation as you move, and you can quickly compensate for a new azimuth by using "fine adjust" 1/2° Right or Left button presses, after using the Find button, even while the boat is turning. Once you are satisfied with TV signal reception, memorize this new "Find" direction by pressing (2nd Func) and (Reset) Find buttons together.

Even while swinging wildly at anchor, it is easy to "step over" to the required new azimuth from the original "Find" azimuth in controlled 1/2° increments as described above. Elevation may also require adjusting, depending on how far you have traveled - about one degree for every sixty nautical miles traveled North or South - but this is an easy manual operation.

Can Track It TV® handle multi-satellite dishes?

Yes. Many of our customers have used these dishes in the United States. The dishes have both an elevation and a skew adjustment so that multiple satellites can be accessed at the same time. Such dishes may be a little less convenient as you travel, since as you move over longer distances you may have to reset skew, in addition to elevation, to pick up several satellites.

Can Track It TV® handle Hi-Definition TV (HDTV) dishes?

Yes, Track It TV® can handle the smaller 3-LNB Ku band DISH® Network type dishes which are used for HDTV services. Many of our customers use these dishes in the United States to obtain an exceptional high quality viewing experience on their vessels. Additionally, the DirecTV 18" x 20" Phase III dish with an SL3 LNB is used by some of our customers for HDTV although it sometimes requires minor adjustments with the Right or Left buttons to fine tune the appropriate HD satellite.  It may also lose the HD signal in the event of rain, but has the advantage of being able to simultaneously receive the standard definition programming if HD signal isn't available.  

Various larger and heavier HDTV dishes have been introduced recently by DirecTV and Dish Network which, because of their size and weight, realistically cannot be handled by Track It TV®. In this category is the DirecTV® Five LNB Ka/Ku SlimLine Dish, designed to handle their Ka band dedicated HDTV satellites. This dish weighs about 20 lbs with a 22.5 inch x 32.5 inch dish size. DISH® Network offers a couple of large and heavy HDTV dishes for "Local High-Definition Compatible" programming (the DISH 1000+). Due to high wind loading, in residential applications these dishes require a 16 gauge or thicker galvanized steel pipe of 2 inch diameter that must have several feet buried in concrete or have equivalent support. These offerings exceed our recommendations for larger dishes (see Can Track It TV® handle larger dishes? below).

Can Track It TV® handle larger dishes?

Yes. The advantage of the larger 24" dish is that it can extend reception to so called "fringe areas" beyond 150-300 miles where 18" dish coverage gets weak and may not be able to pick up signals well.  However, as dish diameter increases, the beam width of the signal decreases making the signal more susceptible to loss due to vessel rolling.  For this reason, the rule of thumb is to use the smallest dish available that will still provide an acceptable signal level.  With  a reasonable level of signal strength in an area, an 18" diameter dish has about a 6-8 degree beam width or "window of reception", while a 24" dish has about a 4.5 degree "window".  Track It TV® , due to its extremely accurate tracking, has no difficulty tracking with these dishes.  Additionally, Track It TV® has a very strong oversized stepper motor that allows larger dishes to be handled with ease. The exposed part of the Track It TV® turning shaft is about 8-1/2" high. It is sized to allow mounting of either a basic DSS 18" dish on the shaft, slightly larger 20" multiple LNB (multi-satellite) style dishes and even  larger 24" dishes.

What is the geographic coverage for DSS satellite TV?

For information click on Dishes, Coverage Area, & Plans

How do I purchase Satellite TV services and equipment?

For information click on Dishes, Coverage Area, & Plans

What is the best DSS dish and receiver for my boat?

From a technical perspective, all of today's systems are very similar. Performance is virtually identical.  The convenience of menus has become pretty much equal across systems as well.  If you have a choice of programming providers, check the channel line-ups of each to determine whether they have the programming you want.  Some offer more sports programming, some offer more movies, some more children's programming, etc.  In the US you can get a dish and multiple receivers for almost nothing when signing up for service for the first time. To locate equipment and service sources click on Dishes, Coverage Area, & Plans.

How did you develop such a low-cost tracking system?

We have been ruthless in putting all our costs into only those components that are critical to tracking. We've used the strongest stepper motor and all metal gear case with the most precise, reliable air craft grade digital electronic compass. We left out everything that smacked of unnecessary "gold-plating", but put everything in what would get more accurate satellite tracking.

Why this set of priorities? We wanted to keep costs low without compromising performance.  We invested in tracking because that's the heart of the system. With accurate tracking, you get an enjoyable experience watching satellite TV. Without it, you get annoyed at the video interruptions.

Use this link, How It Works, to learn more about our approach to product design. Our design approach delivers the lowest cost satellite tracking system available, while at the same time offering extremely accurate tracking. In fact we believe it's better tracking than any other systems currently available.

How do I get additonal information?

If you have any other questions or need additional information, please contact us and we'll be glad to help you. For additional product information, you may also want to check out the product literature available on ourTechnical Details page.


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