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Thread: FTA as opposed to FTV and Freesat...

  1. #1
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    FTA as opposed to FTV and Freesat...

    OK;
    First of all many thanks to Satman for the response to my PM on EOS regarding Sat Suppliers in Spain.
    Demon turned out to be first rate.

    Anyway...Just after we moved to Spain a couple of years ago I bought an FTA Satellite Kit from AKI, based around an 80cm offset dish. it never was particularly successful other than for Hotbird and Astra 1 and having established that the main output from these two satellites is German and the fact that the box got so incredbly hot, we abandoned the idea and went over to TDT. Things remained pretty static until a couple of weeks ago. I was doing some shopping in Carrefour and saw that they were clearing their stocks of an ultra cheap FTA Sat box.At less than 30 Euros this was too good to miss so I bought one with the sole intention of trying to get the FTA output from Eurobird and Astra 2. Having only an 80cm dish however led to problems; no matter how I tried I couldnt get the dish lined up on these satellites; hence my call to Satman...

    Through the company he recommended I bought a Sat Finder and within an hour this morning I had the thing set up and working. I have found 220 channels altogether; OK a lot are repeats, but it appears that during Daylight hours at least I can find most of the UK transmissions I would hope for. Various flavours of BBC 1, ITV and Ch 4 and its derivatives.
    Using a combination of the Satbox and the Satfinder and a portable TV I got the system up and running, then removed the Satfinder and ran a short feeder from the LNB to the Satbox. Brilliant; a few of the Astra channels from the UK were a bit pixellated, but still well over 200 useable channels.

    I left it running most of the afternoon, and then made up a new cable to reach the bedroom where the Satbox was to be located. This cable is about 30 feet long, assembled using RG-6 cable with twist on F type connectors. By the time I had got everything sorted out and tidied away it was after nightfall. I set up the Satbox in the bedroom and on switching it on found that all of the UK TV channels were heavily pixellated and impossible to watch. So I have a question; Is the pixellation due to dish size? or Is it due to the long feeder? or Is it due to the atmospheric changes that occur around dusk?

    Moving on from here I have another question; Having established that reception of over 200 channels is possible with the current rig, I might just break out the original FTA box from AKI and my old Sky Digibox A Panasonic TU-DSB 30 and try to bring them back into operation.The Digibox has been out of action for at least two years and the associated Viewing Card probably has a Stop Order on it.

    Will the Digibox work as an FTA box? Will the presence of a Viewing card give any advantages? like FTV or Freesat?
    Assuming that I can get it up and running will I be able to use 12129 as the default LNB freq to force the box to look at the South beam rather than north beam?
    Would I actually get any signal at all at this freq on an 80cm dish?

    I propose replacing th LNB with a triple or quad output device so as to be able to run all three boxes. This link http://www.demon-multimedia.com/prod...58&ampliada=Si leads to a quad output LNB which I think would be suitable but I won't order it if the Digibox cant be brought back into use; I'll order up a twin instead. Any Comments?

    Satman; there is a lot of totally useless information in this post but it might help you to get a clearer picture of what I am trying to achieve. I cannot go any bigger than a 1 metre dish; I simply have no where to mount it. My roof terrace is very small and already much of it is taken up with storage boxes...
    I would appreciate any comments or observations ...

    fb

  2. #2
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    Re: FTA as opposed to FTV and Freesat...

    hi and welcome
    So I have a question; Is the pixellation due to dish size? or Is it due to the long feeder? or Is it due to the atmospheric changes that occur around dusk?
    if this is on ALL channels then it could be an issue with cableing...
    or your dish hsa moved out of alignment
    or the skew of the lnb is not correct.
    channels like sky news should be easily available on the 80cm - and it is very skew friendly.
    a channel like true movies is skew sensitive especially on an 80cm dish.
    sometime meters can "amplify" the signals and give a false impression that signals are stronger than they seasm, so always try the sigansl with and then without the meter.
    Will the Digibox work as an FTA box? Will the presence of a Viewing card give any advantages? like FTV or Freesat?
    the panasonic will not like the weak signals it has to deal with and so will tend to lock up all the time. they do not like channel hopping. i have a stack of 20 here...all replaced as people were tired of constantly rebooting them
    a viewing card (ex sub or freesatfromsky) will get you five and its associated sister channel. a card normally opens sky3, and strong itvs and c4s, but definatley not on an 80cm dish.
    apart from the sky guide, certain text and interactive features, and not having to manually update channels then a sky box without a card and a fta receiver are basically the same
    Assuming that I can get it up and running will I be able to use 12129 as the default LNB freq to force the box to look at the South beam rather than north beam?
    you only need to change the default transponder freuqnecy on a sky box (especially using a 80cm dish) to help the digibox boot up. a sky digibox needs about 6 hours of epg data to fuction. it first looks at the 11778 freuqnecy - which sits on the north beam and can be tricky to receive. so you ask the digibox to look at a south beam frequency for this data. no matter what DT you set, 99.99% of the time, after a successfull boot and youy can get channels, the DT will revert back to 11778....as it should.
    changing the DT does NOT make channel reception easier or last longer...it just helps the box boot process.
    if you change the DT to 12129, and watch say bbc news, the box will use 11954H for bbc bnews as that is the correct frequency for bbc news...it will totally override any DT value..
    I propose replacing th LNB with a triple or quad output device so as to be able to run all three boxes.
    afaik lnbs come with one, two, four or eight output..not three...
    i have not tried one yet on my 80cm dish, but a lot of installer are using invertos (universal LNBs) for big dishes...they use these as they are cheaper to buy than invacom prime focus lnb, and i have found them not to perform as well as the invacoms PFs, but some installers are just trying to rip off people by claiming they perform better, and charge the same price even though the invertos are much cheaper to buy at cost!

    Hope all of this helps...
    The Sat and PC Guy
    UK Satellite TV, Sky TV, Freesat TV and Spanish Digital TDT Installations Costa Blanca Spain
    96 281 9796 / 620 130 292
    info@satandpcguy.com (alternate email satandpcguy@gmail.com )
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  3. #3
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    Re: FTA as opposed to FTV and Freesat...

    Thanks very much for your prompt and very helpful advice.
    1)The pixellation is limited to the UK BBC,ITV and Ch 4 channels only and is OK during daylight hours. I will check it out again tomorrow and see if it is breaking up at all and try a little judicious tweak of the skew angle if necessary.
    2)Given there is not a hell of a lot of difference in the cost of a dual port LNB and a quad port I might just go for a quad.

    If all else fails and the Digibox doesnt like working here, I might just buy another el-cheapo from Carrefour.
    As I've said elsewhere we are not interested in going the whole Sky route;I dont want to direct any money in Murdochs direction; hes too rich and powerful as it is!
    FTA along with Spanish TDT gives us more than enough to keep us occupied!

    thanks again.

    edited for spelling error!

  4. #4
    Site Owner / Satellite Installer
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    Re: FTA as opposed to FTV and Freesat...

    1)The pixellation is limited to the UK BBC,ITV and Ch 4 channels only and is OK during daylight hours. I will check it out again tomorrow and see if it is breaking up at all and try a little judicious tweak of the skew angle if necessary.
    then that is due to either your dish is not aligned correctly or accuratly, or your dish is too small to receive those channels on a stable basis.
    The Sat and PC Guy
    UK Satellite TV, Sky TV, Freesat TV and Spanish Digital TDT Installations Costa Blanca Spain
    96 281 9796 / 620 130 292
    info@satandpcguy.com (alternate email satandpcguy@gmail.com )
    Costa Blanca Satellite TV / Sky Tv in Spain - Our BLOG
    Like us on Facebook for the latest Satellite TV in Spain

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