Intellian Technologies k6
When DirectTV decided to migrate its HD programming—now 130 channels strong—from Ku to trickier-to-lock-onto Ka-band satellites, it was a bummer for boaters with the big, hi-res screens on which HD truly shines. But newcomer Intellian Technologies has come to the rescue with the first marine system to fully support DirectTV's new strategy. It does require both the 28-inch-high i6 antenna shown here and an equal-size k6 dome, but the $14,995 system switched smoothly and quickly between the five current DirectTV satellites in a demonstration I attended. Intellian's dual controller was also impressive for its eight direct-to-receiver outputs (which means the end of messy splitters) and its support of DirectTV's new MIM antenna-switching feature. In fact, Intellian is coming on strong. It offers six Ka-band stabilized dishes ranging from the 11-inch i1 mentioned above to the 33.5-inch i9, and just introduced Inmarsat FleetBroadband systems in three matching sizes. The company also brings to the U.S. market a long satellite antenna manufacturing history, including an energetic R&D department, and it's rapidly building a nationwide network of dealers and technical support facilities.
This article originally appeared in the February 2009 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.