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DirecTV Sat-Go – Portable Satellite TV



Every now and then a product comes along that just completely redefines your perceptions. DirecTV’s Sat-Go is not it, but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t a pretty cool little gadget.

For those who aren’t in the know, Sat-Go is DirecTV’s mobile satellite system. Yes, you did read that right. It isn’t a TV, DVD player, or MP4 player- the Sat-Go is a mobile satellite TV, complete with built in dish and receiver. Now Americans can take the brain-washing effects of the TV with them wherever they go!

Unit Overview

You cannot get a Sat-Go unless you are a current DirecTV subscriber, so don’t even think about buying dozens of them to pawn off on eBay or across the border to the Canadians. Without valid membership, the Sat-Go becomes a $1,500 briefcase sized paperweight. Current DirecTV customers will be able to buy it either in store or by calling the DirecTV sales department directly.

It is of the same size and shape of a brief case, though it opens up to reveal a screen and a dish. The build quality and general aesthetics of the Sat-Go are top-notch, and the unit itself is surprisingly sturdy. We recommend against testing this theory out, however, as there’s nothing more frustrating than finding out you just trashed your $1,500 toy.

Review:

Th Sat-Go is the worlds first mobile satellite dish with a LCD TV attached to it. New buyers of the Sat-Go will find the 25 pound contraption rather hard to lug around, though that won’t stop the early adopters from enjoying their new electronic device. Admittedly, the idea of having satellite TV just about anywhere is a good one, and it’s hard to believe that someone hadn’t thought of this sooner!

The Sat-Go unfolds to reveal a LCD TV and a satellite dish. The dish portion of the Sat-Go has a built in compass, making it easier to find the south sky (where it is required to be aimed towards). The advertisements claim that so long as you have a clear view of the south sky you will be able to receive a signal and watch TV. My family and I decided that we should test this theory on our next camping vacation- we know a quiet little spot that’s 100 miles from anywhere.

Of course, visiting that spot necessitated a family vacation, and soon enough the kids had their bags packed, I had the car packed, and my wife had dropped our two dogs (German Shepard’s) at a kennel. We piled into the car and set sail for northern Virginia. The wife and the kids literally had no idea that the whole purpose of this camping trip was the test out the Sat-Go- they thought that it was another intimate family outing, and it was going to be, only this time we would have satellite TV as well.

Upon our arrival we unpacked the tents, set up our little area, and played a game of horse shoes. I didn’t mention the Sat-Go until later on the evening once we had finished eating dinner and were starting to relax. To the south of us was nothing, literally- not a tree, rock, or even a bird. The view of the southern sky was completely unobstructed. On all other sides we were surrounded by trees and random thickets of foliage, so it’s a good thing that the Sat-Go necessitates aiming to the south.

At about 8:30 at night I mentioned that I sure would love to watch 300. My wife and kids laughed, and my youngest son told me that I’d have to wait until I got home because “I dragged them all out here where there was no TV”. That comment stung a bit (I thought my boys liked camping), but I laughed it off and walked on back to the car. I came back to out little lounge area with the Sat-Go in hand. My wife asked me why I had brought my briefcase camping, and by this point I could hardly contain myself.

I found a nice flat spot for the Sat-Go to rest on, opened it up, turned it on, and started looking for a signal. I finally found the perfect spot that gave me a 73% signal rating, and then the picture came in crystal clear. I navigated to pay-per-view and ordered 300. I plugged it into an electrical converter that I had in the car so that the playback would last more than an hour (which is all you’ll get on its batteries alone), and together we all watch 300. I should mention that my youngest son is 14 and is really into Greco-Roman history- he loved it!

Overall

While the Sat-Go certainly has it’s share of flaws and design errors (like its rather unattractive brown/beige color combination), the novelty of having a satellite TV that can go anywhere is on that probably won’t wear off. Though the limitations are high, as is the price of admission, I expect the Sat-Go will do quite well.

One Response to “DirecTV Sat-Go – Portable Satellite TV”
Rick Brower - October 6th, 2007 at 4:22 pm

Guru
I want to use Dish Network (price) and want to go tatally 12 volt, I am really a rookie, I have a pop top camper, good batteries and solar, don’t want to use a converter!
I am considering the Side Kick dish.
I need a receiver.
Can you recommend anything?
Rick

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