Ed Baig and Jeff Graham, the reviewin' duo over at USA Today, were among the first to press with a review of DirecTV's new mobile receiver, the Sat-Go. As you Giz readers probably already know, the kit by Humax has a 17-in. LCD screen, integrated receiver, "laptop-style" battery, remote and antenna. That is, the lid of the carrying case is the antenna. Ed and Jeff were kind enough to share with us some of the shots they took that didn't make it into the final story. Follow the jump for excerpts from Ed's review.
While the $1,499 kit isn't portable in the sense that a laptop is, the guys say it's as "luggable" as any mobile computer built before 1990. Says Ed:
The trickiest part of setting it up is finding a suitable (and hopefully flat) spot to place the antenna. As with any DirecTV installation, the antenna requires an unobstructed view of the southern sky [hence the compass built into the side of the carrying case] ...The quick-start guide shows you dish-pointing coordinates for 15 major markets, with a lengthier list inside the manual. Pressing a button on the TV shows you a signal-strength meter; you'll need 50% or better to pull in a picture.
There's more bad news:
It's hard to imagine in this day and age, but tree leaves are the great technical barrier. They prevented me from ever getting a signal in my backyard. After a bit of trial and error, I was able to get reception in my front lawn.
If you're truly in the middle of nowhere, forget about catching much of the game if you have to rely on the replaceable lithium-ion battery; it lasts just an hour, and a full recharge takes eight hours.
The good news(?):
Under ideal circumstances, you'll connect Sat-Go to a wall jack, or cigarette lighter adapter for powering it up through your car or boat.
Since the satellite receiver is built into the LCD, you can use Sat-Go as an additional TV tuner in your house. Under that scenario, you connect the LCD by cable to the more typical dish installation on the roof.
Truth be told, while Ed gave it three stars out of four and called it "really cool" right in the headline, he seems smitten with the idea—especially for gameday tailgaters—not the execution. If you are still holding out for one, you might want to read Ed's column in full, skipping over the headline of course, or check out the more amusing video of Ed and Jeff discussing Sat-Go. (I'm no theater critic, but something tells me Jeff is just feigning ignorance.)
DirecTV Sat-Go [Gizmodo]