OT Satellite receivers?

My turn for a question...
I used to be up to date on this, but not now. We have a satellite system for the caravan providing free to air channels only on (but not limited to) Astra 28.2 deg. At home we have a (now old) Sky receiver, with card slot and dish all working.
We gave up subscribing to Sky long ago. Now I appreciate we could use the caravan receiver in the house on the Sky dish to get the free to air channels - but read on. We were thinking of getting another free to air receiver for the house to use instead. Then I saw a system advertised for use with Sky, but it seemed to suggest that the Sky system could also pick all of the FtoA channels too.
Is our basic Sky supplied system able to tune to the FtoA channels, or is it locked to just the 'appproved' Sky ones.
--
Regards,
Harry (M1BYT) (L)
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On Sat, 10 May 2008 18:32:59 +0100, Harry Bloomfield
<snip>

uk.media.tv.sky alt.satellite.tv.europe alt.satellite.tv.europe.sky uk.tech.tv.sky
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Emil Tiades wrote:

Arse!
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You might like to look at the new Freesat receivers that are just beginning to appear. There is a lot of confusion ATM about this not least because of Freesat from Sky. These Freesat receivers receive the same program streams from Astra 2* as you are getting now, but use a new EPG that is not controlled by $KY so now you can have a D-Sat PVR without paying a subscription to Murdoch. *The Freesat EPG actually comes from Eurobird, three tenths of a degree further East than Astra 2, so as near as makes no difference.
You can manually tune a Sky box but it's a bit messy Try using "add channels" to tune to 10729MHz V pol, 22000 symbol rate, FEC 5/6 then store the stream "8350" you can now select 8350 in "other channels" it is Channel 4 and is FTA on that stream.
--
Graham

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If its a sky digital it will display a lot of free channels including the ones on freview. If it isn't a digital one, chuck it.
http://www.freesat.co.uk/ may be useful.
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dennis@home laid this down on his screen :

It is digital.

Thanks.
--
Regards,
Harry (M1BYT) (L)
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On Sat, 10 May 2008 21:29:22 +0100, Harry Bloomfield wrote:

Note that is the new BBC/ITV Freesat service. This "sort of" requires a Freesat receiver but see my other post about what your Sky Digibox will get you.
--
Cheers
Dave.




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laid this down on his screen :

Don't lose the card, you will want it even though you can't get sky with it.
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On Sat, 10 May 2008 18:32:59 +0100, Harry Bloomfield wrote:

Not surprised it keeps changing and has just changed again with the launch of the BBC/ITV joint venture "Freesat" *not* to confused with the long running "Freesat from Sky".
Your Sky box (assuming it's digital, but I should imagine it is) will receive lots of FTA channels accessable via the Sky EPG. This a Sky box comparision against the Freeview (digital terrestial TV):
On a DSAT Sky box:
FTA means receivable without a Sky card. FTV means you need a Freesat from Sky card but no subscription. SUB means you need to subscribe via Sky.
FTA Channels: BBC 1 (101), BBC 2 (102), BBC 3 (115), BBC 4 (116), ITV 1 (103), ITV 2 (118), ITV 3 (119), ITV 4 (120), ITV 2 + 1 (131), E4 (136), E4 + 1 (137), More4 (138), More 4 + 1 (139), Film 4 (315), S4C (134), Nuts (207), CBBC (613), CBeebies (614), CITV (621), BBC News (503), BBC Parliment (504), Sky News (501), S4C2 (507), Community (539), Teachers (880), Ideal World (634), QVC (630), Price Drop (635), Bid-Up (644).
FTV Channels: 4 (104), five (105), Fiver (182), Five US (180), Sky 3 (108).
SUB Channels: UKTV History (537), Virgin 1 (121), Dave (111), Sky Sports News (405), The Hits (350), TMF (348).
Channels not found in the Sky EPG: Smile, teleg, teletext.
The channels you "lose" between Freeview and Freesat from Sky are the SUB and "not found" ones. Your old Sky card should function as a "Freesat from Sky" card if it doesn't you also lose the FTV channels.
Has anyone found a decent channel listing for BBC/ITV Freesat yet?
--
Cheers
Dave.




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Dave Liquorice wrote:

I'm about to start using Freesat (the BBC/ITV version). To start with I'm going to use a single output LNB. If it all seems promising I'll swap this for a quad one.
However... my Televes masthead amp has an input for 'sat'. Does this mean that, when the multiplexed signal goes down the line to all of the wall sockets, I can plug the one feed into more than one satellite receiver? If so why sell twin and quad LNBs? I am sure that there will be a reason why one feed can only be used for one receiver.
Peter Scott

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I don't know what the SAT input does, but the answer to your fundamental question is 'no'.
LNBs can recieve 4 different 'signals' from the sat. at any one time. The channels are spread out between these 4 signals. When a sat reciever tunes to a channel, it sends up control signals to the LNB to tell it which of the 4 'signals' to tune to. The LNB is switchable between the 4 signals.
If you want to use 2 recievers, you need a dual LNB, so each reciever can tell it's LNB to select the appropriate signal from the 4. ( each reciever may be tuned to a station on a different 1 of the 4 )
Each reciever needs it's own LNB, because each reciever needs to control the LNB to tell it which of the 4 signals to tune to.
For larger installs, this doesn't scale well. We'd need one LNB per reciever.
So we install a special non-switchable 'quatro' LNB. It has 4 outputs, one for each of the 4 signals. Between them , these carry all of the channels. These go to a special device called a 'multiswitch'. It then has outputs ( 12, 20, or more ) to the individual recievers.
Each reciever thinks it's connected to it's own LNB, and sends up the control signal to select the 1 of 4. The multiswitch ( rather than the LNB ) interprets the request, and switches the appropriate 1 of 4 available at it's inputs down to that reciever.
--
Ron





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Ron Lowe wrote:

The sat input is an input to the masthead amplifier which then combines it with the UHF, VHF and DAB signals. From what you've said it's unlikely to be useful.

Right I thought it must be something like that. So there is a handshake between the receiver and the LNB.

This is for me one disadvantage of freesat. Instead of a distribution system of the single terrestrial signal I'll need to have a dedicated feed from each LNB output to a receiver unless...

Rather like a network switch. This is a clever idea but probably beyond what I need on grounds of cost if nothing else. However I will look into it. Any recommendations for suppliers?
Ron, thanks very much for your clear and thorough explanation. Have you thought of putting an entry on Wikipedia? I am sure that there must be many like me thinking about changing to freesat and needing their thoughts cleared. I guess this might conflict with your business though. Perhaps not a good idea.
Peter Scott

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Ron Lowe wrote:

Hi again
Is this the sort of thing I need? Labgear Enhanced Multi-Switch Distribution 8-Way from Screwfix (of all places). At 70 that looks feasible.
http://www.screwfix.com/prods/49732/Electrical/TV-Range/Amplifiers-Distribution/Labgear-Enhanced-Multi-Switch-Distribution-8-Way ;jsessionidDWHNXTKQUS2OCSTHZOCFFQ#
Presumably if I had a quad LNB and eight receivers (not that I will have 8) the fifth and subsequent ones would be locked out by the switch? Or would a request for a channel that was already used by another receiver be connected to a second receiver?
Peter Scott
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On Mon, 12 May 2008 09:31:33 +0100, Peter Scott wrote:

That's the sort of thing but note if you also want to distribute FM and/or terrestial TV over the same coax you need a combiner for those signals before the multiswitch. Earthing bars may be required as well for the ins and outsl, though in a single dwelling that might not be quite so important as in a multi dwelling installation.

You feed a multi switch from a quattro LNB not a quad. The former provides four fixed feeds of hi/lo band and horizontal/vertical polarisatation, the latter four individual and independant feeds of the signal as reqested by the receiver.

Yes, any RX can receive any channel irrespective of what any other reciever is asking for.
--
Cheers
Dave.




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http://www.screwfix.com/prods/49732/Electrical/TV-Range/Amplifiers-Distribution/Labgear-Enhanced-Multi-Switch-Distribution-8-Way ;jsessionidDWHNXTKQUS2OCSTHZOCFFQ#
Yes, that's the kind of thing. You get 5-in or 7-in. The 5-in requires you to combine UHF, FM and DAB ( if required ) beforehand. The 7-in has seperate UHF, FM and DAB inuts.
I just installed a 7-in 12-out version: http://www.antiference.tv/isys7-stand-alone-irs-multiswitches

No, with a quattro LNB, each of the 4 sat signals is available on an internal 'bus' in the multi-switch. Ecah output is fed from one of the 4 by switching circuitry controlled by what that input's LNB is requesting.
Each of the 4 sat signals can be fed to as many of the recievers as necessary.
It's truly like every one of the 12 recievers is connected to it's own LNB.
There's really no down-side.
--
Ron



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Typo...

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Ron Lowe wrote:
Sorry to go on but I just found this site, for anyone else who might be interested.
http://www.satellites.co.uk/satellite/tutorials-how-guides/41947-multiswitches.html
Thanks again Ron
Peter Scott

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If you use a twin or quad LNB presumably the signal is shared between them so you need a larger dish. I was planning to use an 85cm one for a quattro LNB. Will this be OK?
Peter Scott
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No you don't if you buy a decent multiswitch and quattro LNB. The loss is made up such that the signal level is approximately equivalent to a single LNB.
Unlike a TV antenna arrangement where the signal is distributed at the transmitted frequency through the cable, for satellite reception, the LNB down converts the signals to an intermediate frequency range of 950-2150MHz (for the majority of TV satellites with footprints over Europe).
This document from SES-Astra (operators of the Astra fleet) gives some more explanation of what goes on with a quattro LNB.
www.ses-astra.com/resources/pdf/en-shared/technical_support/QUATRO_LNB_1_0_0.pdf
You
can see in the block diagram that there is amplification at the front and also before driving the cables. The important point is to use a good quality branded CT100 cable (and not just cheap crap from B&Q).
Other than that a multiswitch is quite plug and play. The small ones intended for a house or small multi-occupancy dwelling are quite inexpensive and don't need much if anything by way of setup. There are larger professional grade units on the market that have adjusters and additional features such as DiSEqC
Information on that on this page from the other major European satellite operator, Eutelsat:
http://www.eutelsat.com/satellites/4_5_5.html
Again, this should all be plug and play, but check specs for components for that point. If you are using a single dish, then this should not be a problem. I have a multiswitch with two sets of inputs to handle two dishes. One is a fixed 60cm dish for Astra2, the other is a larger 85 or 90cm motorised one for everything else. The arrangement allows any type of receiver to plug into a wall outlet and for the correct dish to be selected. The standard Sky boxes do not support the DiSEqC switching required to do this (or at least the type I have doesn't), whereas the generic DVB-S receiver (an Echostar) does.
In terms of what can be received, I can generally get results from most satellites from around 40 degrees E or W
http://www.lyngsat.com/tracker/europe.html
http://www.lyngsat.com/tracker/atlantic.html
although it does depend on the footprints used on given transponders.
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Andy Hall wrote:

AIUI all Sky Digital boxes have had hardware support for DiSEqC, from Day 1 of their digital platform. Until relatively recently though Sky haven't made any use of it, so it's remained an invisible feature, not accessible through the standard UI.
DiSEqC is being used now though in Sky's implementation of the SCR (single cable routing, aka 'Unicable' or 'One-Liner') system where one RF (1st IF, really) cable can be passively split to feed up to 5 (? exact number) tuners. This works by putting intelligence in the LNB or multiswitch in the form of IF-IF frequency conversion, so the LNB/switch can 'serve' a required transponder/multiplex on an IF channel dedicated to a particular tuner.
Full protocol details are in EN 50494. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unicable has some background.
--
Andy

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