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FTA Satellite Systems for beginners

Last response: in Home Theatre Legacy
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April 12, 2004 8:11:19 PM

Archived from groups: alt.video.satellite.mpeg-dvb,alt.video.satellite.mpeg-dvb,rec.video.satellite.dbs (More info?)

Greetings,

I've been trying to determine if a FTA satellite is a viable alternative to
the traditional pay cable/satellite that's offered in North America. Most of
my research has consisted of surfing the web, newsgroups, and satellite
magazines. Although I think I have a fairly good understanding of what goes
into setting up a FTA system, there's still some questions I'd like answers
to before investing in a system, so I was hoping the newsgroup community
could help out.

** Dishes
Are all dishes equal? What I mean is, will a 120cm dish work for both Ku & C
band, or do I need a specific model of dish for each.

** LNBFs
Assuming my previous question is true, can use the same 120cm dish for both
Ku & C band by mounting both a Ku & C band LNBF on the same motorized dish?
Or are the satellites positioned in such a manner that you require two
separate dishes for both. Is there a LNBF available that supports both Ku/C,
any recommendations?

** FTA Receivers
Can any FTA receiver that supports Ku/C band pickup a non encrypted Ku/C
band signal? Reason I'm asking is that I would like to pickup one of the
European FTA feeds offered through Globecast (the HRT feed) off of HotBird
and Telstar5. Problem is that I've read one more then one website that a
Globecast receiver is recommends for this feed. I was under the impression
that as long as the receiver was DVB/MPEG-2 Compliant the manufacturer was
irrelevant. Are they recommending this receiver in case the feed later
becomes encrypted so I can subscribe to it using the Globecast receiver? Or
is there something special about this signal that requires me to use their
brand of receiver? This would be disappointing as a GlobalSat model would
not be my first choice due to it's lack of PVR functionality.

** HDTV and Letterbox support
Is HDTV supported on FTA satellite? From what I've read HDTV is not fully
supported however there are receivers available that support the 4:3 aspect
ration. Meaning I can still connect a FTA receiver to a 4:3 aspect ration TV
without distorting the picture, it just wouldn't provide true HDTV quality.
Can someone please confirm this?

** Motors
Are they really as straightforward as they seem or is there anything I
should lookout for?

** PVRs, MP3 Jukebox, DVD Burning, Dolby Digital, and all the other toys.
What kind of extra's can you get on a FTA Satellite system. If I could build
my ideal receiver it would support:

PVR, MP3 Jukebox, DVD player/burner, Ku/C Band, DiSEqC 1.2, Dolby Digital
5.1, S-Video and/or Component Video outputs. It would also have to support
NTSC as I live in Canada.

Does anyone know if a receiver like this exists? Or if it will be coming on
the market soon? I've considered a multimedia PC but their noise, boot time,
and power consumption makes them unpractical for general TV viewing. I've
seen some good PVR units however non that support MP3 Jukebox or DVD
capability (which realistically I can live without if needed). Many of the
PVRs I've seen don't have S-Video or Component Video outputs. Or they do but
are missing a Dolby Digital output.

** Your general experience with FTA
If anyone could provide some feedback regarding their experience with FTA
satellite I would really appreciate it. I realize FTA can't fully replace
all the selection and features offered through pay service does it do the
job? The listings on LyngSat are impressive but it's hard to judge something
like this without actually investing in the system and trying it out.

Truthfully, as long as I can get feeds showing *some* of the more popular
programming offered through the US networks (NBC, CBS, Fox, PBS) as well as
some good European programming like BBC and European Soccer I'd be
satisfied. Movies would be a bonus as would local Canadian feeds. That way
I wouldn't have to bother with an antenna. Figure if I'm going to go FTA I
don't want to still be paying the cable/satellite company to get my locals
news. As far I can tell the only major Canadian network broadcasting FTA is
CTV. CBC and Global are not. Does anyone know if Hockey Night in Canada is
available through FTA?


I realize there's a lot of questions here so a sincerely appreciate and
thank anyone willing to help out with any of them.

Thanks again!

Cheers!
Anonymous
April 12, 2004 10:19:54 PM

Archived from groups: alt.video.satellite.mpeg-dvb,alt.video.satellite.mpeg-dvb,rec.video.satellite.dbs (More info?)

If your not looking to hack pay tv, I suggest you purchase a Blind search
receiver, makes the game much easier for a beginner I understand.
If your looking for pay tv I would continue searching for particular FTA
brands that have that capablity if modified. Better known as made for
testing such as Fortec, pansat, coship, etc.
"Stipe" <stipe@nospan.com> wrote in message
news:407af681$0$6560$9a6e19ea@news.newshosting.com...
>
> Greetings,
>
> I've been trying to determine if a FTA satellite is a viable alternative
to
> the traditional pay cable/satellite that's offered in North America. Most
of
> my research has consisted of surfing the web, newsgroups, and satellite
> magazines. Although I think I have a fairly good understanding of what
goes
> into setting up a FTA system, there's still some questions I'd like
answers
> to before investing in a system, so I was hoping the newsgroup community
> could help out.
>
> ** Dishes
> Are all dishes equal? What I mean is, will a 120cm dish work for both Ku &
C
> band, or do I need a specific model of dish for each.
>
> ** LNBFs
> Assuming my previous question is true, can use the same 120cm dish for
both
> Ku & C band by mounting both a Ku & C band LNBF on the same motorized
dish?
> Or are the satellites positioned in such a manner that you require two
> separate dishes for both. Is there a LNBF available that supports both
Ku/C,
> any recommendations?
>
> ** FTA Receivers
> Can any FTA receiver that supports Ku/C band pickup a non encrypted Ku/C
> band signal? Reason I'm asking is that I would like to pickup one of the
> European FTA feeds offered through Globecast (the HRT feed) off of HotBird
> and Telstar5. Problem is that I've read one more then one website that a
> Globecast receiver is recommends for this feed. I was under the
impression
> that as long as the receiver was DVB/MPEG-2 Compliant the manufacturer was
> irrelevant. Are they recommending this receiver in case the feed later
> becomes encrypted so I can subscribe to it using the Globecast receiver?
Or
> is there something special about this signal that requires me to use their
> brand of receiver? This would be disappointing as a GlobalSat model would
> not be my first choice due to it's lack of PVR functionality.
>
> ** HDTV and Letterbox support
> Is HDTV supported on FTA satellite? From what I've read HDTV is not fully
> supported however there are receivers available that support the 4:3
aspect
> ration. Meaning I can still connect a FTA receiver to a 4:3 aspect ration
TV
> without distorting the picture, it just wouldn't provide true HDTV
quality.
> Can someone please confirm this?
>
> ** Motors
> Are they really as straightforward as they seem or is there anything I
> should lookout for?
>
> ** PVRs, MP3 Jukebox, DVD Burning, Dolby Digital, and all the other toys.
> What kind of extra's can you get on a FTA Satellite system. If I could
build
> my ideal receiver it would support:
>
> PVR, MP3 Jukebox, DVD player/burner, Ku/C Band, DiSEqC 1.2, Dolby Digital
> 5.1, S-Video and/or Component Video outputs. It would also have to support
> NTSC as I live in Canada.
>
> Does anyone know if a receiver like this exists? Or if it will be coming
on
> the market soon? I've considered a multimedia PC but their noise, boot
time,
> and power consumption makes them unpractical for general TV viewing. I've
> seen some good PVR units however non that support MP3 Jukebox or DVD
> capability (which realistically I can live without if needed). Many of the
> PVRs I've seen don't have S-Video or Component Video outputs. Or they do
but
> are missing a Dolby Digital output.
>
> ** Your general experience with FTA
> If anyone could provide some feedback regarding their experience with FTA
> satellite I would really appreciate it. I realize FTA can't fully replace
> all the selection and features offered through pay service does it do the
> job? The listings on LyngSat are impressive but it's hard to judge
something
> like this without actually investing in the system and trying it out.
>
> Truthfully, as long as I can get feeds showing *some* of the more popular
> programming offered through the US networks (NBC, CBS, Fox, PBS) as well
as
> some good European programming like BBC and European Soccer I'd be
> satisfied. Movies would be a bonus as would local Canadian feeds. That
way
> I wouldn't have to bother with an antenna. Figure if I'm going to go FTA I
> don't want to still be paying the cable/satellite company to get my locals
> news. As far I can tell the only major Canadian network broadcasting FTA
is
> CTV. CBC and Global are not. Does anyone know if Hockey Night in Canada is
> available through FTA?
>
>
> I realize there's a lot of questions here so a sincerely appreciate and
> thank anyone willing to help out with any of them.
>
> Thanks again!
>
> Cheers!
>
>
>
>
Anonymous
April 13, 2004 9:46:05 PM

Archived from groups: alt.video.satellite.mpeg-dvb,alt.video.satellite.mpeg-dvb,rec.video.satellite.dbs (More info?)

On Mon, 12 Apr 2004 16:11:19 -0400, "Stipe" <stipe@nospan.com> wrote:

>
>Greetings,
>
>I've been trying to determine if a FTA satellite is a viable alternative to
>the traditional pay cable/satellite that's offered in North America. Most of

As an alternative to the cable programming perhaps, but for the most
part, not an alternative to paying for cable programming and getting
it or something similar free.

>my research has consisted of surfing the web, newsgroups, and satellite
>magazines. Although I think I have a fairly good understanding of what goes
>into setting up a FTA system, there's still some questions I'd like answers
>to before investing in a system, so I was hoping the newsgroup community
>could help out.
>
>** Dishes
>Are all dishes equal? What I mean is, will a 120cm dish work for both Ku & C
>band, or do I need a specific model of dish for each.
>

You need at least a 2.5 meter dish for effective C-band reception.
120cm is fine for Ku.

>** LNBFs
>Assuming my previous question is true, can use the same 120cm dish for both
>Ku & C band by mounting both a Ku & C band LNBF on the same motorized dish?
>Or are the satellites positioned in such a manner that you require two
>separate dishes for both. Is there a LNBF available that supports both Ku/C,
>any recommendations?
>

You can get C/Ku feedhorn assemblies so you can get both on the one
dish (but as I said, not the small dish you think for C-band).


>** FTA Receivers
>Can any FTA receiver that supports Ku/C band pickup a non encrypted Ku/C
>band signal? Reason I'm asking is that I would like to pickup one of the
>European FTA feeds offered through Globecast (the HRT feed) off of HotBird
>and Telstar5. Problem is that I've read one more then one website that a
>Globecast receiver is recommends for this feed. I was under the impression
>that as long as the receiver was DVB/MPEG-2 Compliant the manufacturer was
>irrelevant.

It being DVB compliant doesn't mean a thing. The pay service receivers
manual tuning is weak or non existant, or at least limited compared to
a genuine FTA receiver. Manual tuning is not a part of the DVB spec
that I am aware of.

> Are they recommending this receiver in case the feed later
>becomes encrypted so I can subscribe to it using the Globecast receiver?

Possibly.

> Or
>is there something special about this signal that requires me to use their
>brand of receiver? This would be disappointing as a GlobalSat model would
>not be my first choice due to it's lack of PVR functionality.

In general, providers don't like people using other than their
receiver for subscription to their programming.


>** HDTV and Letterbox support
>Is HDTV supported on FTA satellite? From what I've read HDTV is not fully
>supported however there are receivers available that support the 4:3 aspect
>ration. Meaning I can still connect a FTA receiver to a 4:3 aspect ration TV
>without distorting the picture, it just wouldn't provide true HDTV quality.
>Can someone please confirm this?
>
The receivers may support anamorphic conversion (converts anamorphic
SDTV transmissions to LBX on a 4:3 set), but that is a bout it. To get
actual HDTV broadcasts, you need an HDTV receiver such as the Integra.
Non HDTV receiver would lock up or do other wierd things if you try to
tune HSTV with it.

>** Motors
>Are they really as straightforward as they seem or is there anything I
>should lookout for?

Can't say for the Diseq motors.

>
>** PVRs, MP3 Jukebox, DVD Burning, Dolby Digital, and all the other toys.
>What kind of extra's can you get on a FTA Satellite system. If I could build
>my ideal receiver it would support:

Dolby Digital perhaps, if you have an A/V receiver, then you can get
the feeds that have AC3 audio only.

>
>PVR, MP3 Jukebox, DVD player/burner, Ku/C Band, DiSEqC 1.2, Dolby Digital
>5.1, S-Video and/or Component Video outputs. It would also have to support
>NTSC as I live in Canada.

Most of the ones sold in NA do support NTSC out. I wouldn't count on
component out, and leave PVR, MP3, and DVR functions to separate
boxes.

>
>Does anyone know if a receiver like this exists? Or if it will be coming on
>the market soon? I've considered a multimedia PC but their noise, boot time,
>and power consumption makes them unpractical for general TV viewing. I've
>seen some good PVR units however non that support MP3 Jukebox or DVD
>capability (which realistically I can live without if needed). Many of the
>PVRs I've seen don't have S-Video or Component Video outputs. Or they do but
>are missing a Dolby Digital output.

the Dreambox might, but AFAIK, it is not sold in NA. I think one of
the FTA manufacturers makes a DVB-FTA DVR.

You could aslo always get a PCI DVB-t tuner card and let your PC do
the work.

No (non-PC) device that records analog video records digital audio.

>
>** Your general experience with FTA
>If anyone could provide some feedback regarding their experience with FTA
>satellite I would really appreciate it. I realize FTA can't fully replace
>all the selection and features offered through pay service does it do the
>job? The listings on LyngSat are impressive but it's hard to judge something
>like this without actually investing in the system and trying it out.
>

Don't invest much, get a budget system. I'd get a blind search
receiver that suppors a motor, and a 90CM dish that can have a motor
added later.
If you like it, spend more, if you don't sell what you have, you
woun't be out a whole lot.

>Truthfully, as long as I can get feeds showing *some* of the more popular
>programming offered through the US networks (NBC, CBS, Fox, PBS) as well as
>some good European programming like BBC and European Soccer I'd be
>satisfied. Movies would be a bonus as would local Canadian feeds. That way
>I wouldn't have to bother with an antenna. Figure if I'm going to go FTA I
>don't want to still be paying the cable/satellite company to get my locals
>news. As far I can tell the only major Canadian network broadcasting FTA is
>CTV. CBC and Global are not. Does anyone know if Hockey Night in Canada is
>available through FTA?
>

CTV isn't broadcasting in FTA, they just have some feeds that way.
AFAIK, there is no FTA BBC available to this continent.
>
>I realize there's a lot of questions here so a sincerely appreciate and
>thank anyone willing to help out with any of them.
>
>Thanks again!
>
>Cheers!
>
>
>
Related resources
Anonymous
April 14, 2004 12:33:26 AM

Archived from groups: alt.video.satellite.mpeg-dvb,alt.video.satellite.mpeg-dvb,rec.video.satellite.dbs (More info?)

Ok. First, Cband signals need to be received with a dish of minimum 6 feet,
Ku band needs a minimum of 30 inches dish and DBS needs 18 inches. If you
have the place to get a big dish, get you a 10 footer, install a c-band, ku
band and DBS LNB if the mesh is tight enough and you will be able to receive
all the satellites on the arc! On a KU dish, you will be able to install a
KU and a DBS LNBF. About HRT, it is FTA presently and it has been FTA since
I have my FTA system (August 2003). So I don't think they'll scramble it.
You won't be able to get Hotbird in Canada. There are not much HD in FTA and
also not many receivers able to receive HD signals in FTA. Motors are really
helpful , I don't have one but I project of buying one in a couple of year
since I don't watch TV that much. They are great to surf the arc and search
for feeds with a Blind Scan receiver. Don't think about having a FTA
receiver with multiple purpose, It doesn't even exist presently and I don't
think they will do it later. But all FTA receiver sold in North America are
of course using NTSC.
"Stipe" <stipe@nospan.com> a écrit dans le message de news:
407af681$0$6560$9a6e19ea@news.newshosting.com...
>
> Greetings,
>
> I've been trying to determine if a FTA satellite is a viable alternative
to
> the traditional pay cable/satellite that's offered in North America. Most
of
> my research has consisted of surfing the web, newsgroups, and satellite
> magazines. Although I think I have a fairly good understanding of what
goes
> into setting up a FTA system, there's still some questions I'd like
answers
> to before investing in a system, so I was hoping the newsgroup community
> could help out.
>
> ** Dishes
> Are all dishes equal? What I mean is, will a 120cm dish work for both Ku &
C
> band, or do I need a specific model of dish for each.
>
> ** LNBFs
> Assuming my previous question is true, can use the same 120cm dish for
both
> Ku & C band by mounting both a Ku & C band LNBF on the same motorized
dish?
> Or are the satellites positioned in such a manner that you require two
> separate dishes for both. Is there a LNBF available that supports both
Ku/C,
> any recommendations?
>
> ** FTA Receivers
> Can any FTA receiver that supports Ku/C band pickup a non encrypted Ku/C
> band signal? Reason I'm asking is that I would like to pickup one of the
> European FTA feeds offered through Globecast (the HRT feed) off of HotBird
> and Telstar5. Problem is that I've read one more then one website that a
> Globecast receiver is recommends for this feed. I was under the
impression
> that as long as the receiver was DVB/MPEG-2 Compliant the manufacturer was
> irrelevant. Are they recommending this receiver in case the feed later
> becomes encrypted so I can subscribe to it using the Globecast receiver?
Or
> is there something special about this signal that requires me to use their
> brand of receiver? This would be disappointing as a GlobalSat model would
> not be my first choice due to it's lack of PVR functionality.
>
> ** HDTV and Letterbox support
> Is HDTV supported on FTA satellite? From what I've read HDTV is not fully
> supported however there are receivers available that support the 4:3
aspect
> ration. Meaning I can still connect a FTA receiver to a 4:3 aspect ration
TV
> without distorting the picture, it just wouldn't provide true HDTV
quality.
> Can someone please confirm this?
>
> ** Motors
> Are they really as straightforward as they seem or is there anything I
> should lookout for?
>
> ** PVRs, MP3 Jukebox, DVD Burning, Dolby Digital, and all the other toys.
> What kind of extra's can you get on a FTA Satellite system. If I could
build
> my ideal receiver it would support:
>
> PVR, MP3 Jukebox, DVD player/burner, Ku/C Band, DiSEqC 1.2, Dolby Digital
> 5.1, S-Video and/or Component Video outputs. It would also have to support
> NTSC as I live in Canada.
>
> Does anyone know if a receiver like this exists? Or if it will be coming
on
> the market soon? I've considered a multimedia PC but their noise, boot
time,
> and power consumption makes them unpractical for general TV viewing. I've
> seen some good PVR units however non that support MP3 Jukebox or DVD
> capability (which realistically I can live without if needed). Many of the
> PVRs I've seen don't have S-Video or Component Video outputs. Or they do
but
> are missing a Dolby Digital output.
>
> ** Your general experience with FTA
> If anyone could provide some feedback regarding their experience with FTA
> satellite I would really appreciate it. I realize FTA can't fully replace
> all the selection and features offered through pay service does it do the
> job? The listings on LyngSat are impressive but it's hard to judge
something
> like this without actually investing in the system and trying it out.
>
> Truthfully, as long as I can get feeds showing *some* of the more popular
> programming offered through the US networks (NBC, CBS, Fox, PBS) as well
as
> some good European programming like BBC and European Soccer I'd be
> satisfied. Movies would be a bonus as would local Canadian feeds. That
way
> I wouldn't have to bother with an antenna. Figure if I'm going to go FTA I
> don't want to still be paying the cable/satellite company to get my locals
> news. As far I can tell the only major Canadian network broadcasting FTA
is
> CTV. CBC and Global are not. Does anyone know if Hockey Night in Canada is
> available through FTA?
>
>
> I realize there's a lot of questions here so a sincerely appreciate and
> thank anyone willing to help out with any of them.
>
> Thanks again!
>
> Cheers!
>
>
>
>
April 15, 2004 1:45:48 AM

Archived from groups: alt.video.satellite.mpeg-dvb,alt.video.satellite.mpeg-dvb,rec.video.satellite.dbs (More info?)

Thanks for all the responses. Think I'm going to try and get a basic
Ku motorized system off ebay and go from there. If there's enough
decent channels with good service I'll upgrade later.




On Mon, 12 Apr 2004 16:11:19 -0400, "Stipe" <stipe@nospan.com> wrote:

>
>Greetings,
>
>I've been trying to determine if a FTA satellite is a viable alternative to
>the traditional pay cable/satellite that's offered in North America. Most of
>my research has consisted of surfing the web, newsgroups, and satellite
>magazines. Although I think I have a fairly good understanding of what goes
>into setting up a FTA system, there's still some questions I'd like answers
>to before investing in a system, so I was hoping the newsgroup community
>could help out.
>
>** Dishes
>Are all dishes equal? What I mean is, will a 120cm dish work for both Ku & C
>band, or do I need a specific model of dish for each.
>
>** LNBFs
>Assuming my previous question is true, can use the same 120cm dish for both
>Ku & C band by mounting both a Ku & C band LNBF on the same motorized dish?
>Or are the satellites positioned in such a manner that you require two
>separate dishes for both. Is there a LNBF available that supports both Ku/C,
>any recommendations?
>
>** FTA Receivers
>Can any FTA receiver that supports Ku/C band pickup a non encrypted Ku/C
>band signal? Reason I'm asking is that I would like to pickup one of the
>European FTA feeds offered through Globecast (the HRT feed) off of HotBird
>and Telstar5. Problem is that I've read one more then one website that a
>Globecast receiver is recommends for this feed. I was under the impression
>that as long as the receiver was DVB/MPEG-2 Compliant the manufacturer was
>irrelevant. Are they recommending this receiver in case the feed later
>becomes encrypted so I can subscribe to it using the Globecast receiver? Or
>is there something special about this signal that requires me to use their
>brand of receiver? This would be disappointing as a GlobalSat model would
>not be my first choice due to it's lack of PVR functionality.
>
>** HDTV and Letterbox support
>Is HDTV supported on FTA satellite? From what I've read HDTV is not fully
>supported however there are receivers available that support the 4:3 aspect
>ration. Meaning I can still connect a FTA receiver to a 4:3 aspect ration TV
>without distorting the picture, it just wouldn't provide true HDTV quality.
>Can someone please confirm this?
>
>** Motors
>Are they really as straightforward as they seem or is there anything I
>should lookout for?
>
>** PVRs, MP3 Jukebox, DVD Burning, Dolby Digital, and all the other toys.
>What kind of extra's can you get on a FTA Satellite system. If I could build
>my ideal receiver it would support:
>
>PVR, MP3 Jukebox, DVD player/burner, Ku/C Band, DiSEqC 1.2, Dolby Digital
>5.1, S-Video and/or Component Video outputs. It would also have to support
>NTSC as I live in Canada.
>
>Does anyone know if a receiver like this exists? Or if it will be coming on
>the market soon? I've considered a multimedia PC but their noise, boot time,
>and power consumption makes them unpractical for general TV viewing. I've
>seen some good PVR units however non that support MP3 Jukebox or DVD
>capability (which realistically I can live without if needed). Many of the
>PVRs I've seen don't have S-Video or Component Video outputs. Or they do but
>are missing a Dolby Digital output.
>
>** Your general experience with FTA
>If anyone could provide some feedback regarding their experience with FTA
>satellite I would really appreciate it. I realize FTA can't fully replace
>all the selection and features offered through pay service does it do the
>job? The listings on LyngSat are impressive but it's hard to judge something
>like this without actually investing in the system and trying it out.
>
>Truthfully, as long as I can get feeds showing *some* of the more popular
>programming offered through the US networks (NBC, CBS, Fox, PBS) as well as
>some good European programming like BBC and European Soccer I'd be
>satisfied. Movies would be a bonus as would local Canadian feeds. That way
>I wouldn't have to bother with an antenna. Figure if I'm going to go FTA I
>don't want to still be paying the cable/satellite company to get my locals
>news. As far I can tell the only major Canadian network broadcasting FTA is
>CTV. CBC and Global are not. Does anyone know if Hockey Night in Canada is
>available through FTA?
>
>
>I realize there's a lot of questions here so a sincerely appreciate and
>thank anyone willing to help out with any of them.
>
>Thanks again!
>
>Cheers!
>
>
>
!