updated 11:10 am EDT, Thu July 19, 2007
KVH TracVision SlimLine
KVH today introduced its TracVision SlimLine satellite TV receivers for RVs and trailers, hoping to catch vacationers looking to take HDTV with them on the road. All the new models rely on a 12-inch dome with a high-efficiency antenna that captures signals as easily as a 15-inch unit, making it easier to fit the receiver into tight spots; they also boast provider independence and will tune video from DirecTV and DISH as well as Bell Canada's ExpressVu service. New to any KVH set is an optional feature called AutoSwitch that lets DirecTV subscribers flip between HD and SD content as well as pick between any one of three satellites to find the sweet spot for reception.
Drivers can pick their model depending on how much tracking sensitivity they need, according to KVH. The starter TracVision R4 SL is made for small trailers and others where TV will only be needed in a fixed location and using an external satellite receiver box for HD; moving up to the R5 SL adds motion tracking for passengers who want to watch while on the road. The R6 ST adds a built-in DirecTV HD receiver and a dew compensation system that cuts through some rain and snow for a clearer signal. Topping the announcements is the R6 DX, which brings in an external multi-network box that can handle all three supported satellite TV networks and incorporates AutoSwitch.
Costs for each of the domes are unavailable but can be found at RV dealers and related shops, where the new TracVision domes should already be available; some 2008 model year vehicles already count the domes as an integrated feature.