Contact US

Log In

Come Join Us!

Are you an
Engineering professional?
Join Eng-Tips Forums!
  • Talk With Other Members
  • Be Notified Of Responses
    To Your Posts
  • Keyword Search
  • One-Click Access To Your
    Favorite Forums
  • Automated Signatures
    On Your Posts
  • Best Of All, It's Free!

*Eng-Tips's functionality depends on members receiving e-mail. By joining you are opting in to receive e-mail.

Posting Guidelines

Promoting, selling, recruiting, coursework and thesis posting is forbidden.

Students Click Here

Satellite channels.

Satellite channels.

Satellite channels.

I have been told that a regular 'Dish' type system can actually be pointed at other satellites to get, say, local news channel feeds.  I always assumed every satellite had its own encryption and compression schemes rendering zero cross compatibility.

Anybody have some clarification on this?

Keith Cress
Flamin Systems, Inc.- http://www.flaminsystems.com

RE: Satellite channels.

I think that only works with the older satellite dishes, but you'd only get the network feeds, not the local stuff, since that isn't broadcast over satellite as a general transmission..  

DirecTV basic programming comes with local channels as part of the package, though.


FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies

RE: Satellite channels.

In the USA, the two main DBS satellite TV providers are DirecTV and Dish Network. DirecTV, being the first DBS system, is technically unique (reportedly even down to the packet size). Dish Network uses a variation of the international standard DVB.

For comparison, in Canada (Hi!), there is Bell ExpressVu that uses the same technical standards and equipment as Dish Network; and StarChoice that is FSS (not DBS). Of course, the Canadian systems have their own satellites and programming. Even if the Bell/Dish receivers are often the same, they have their own firmware loads, model numbers and serial number ranges.

Getting back to your question as I think you intend, the two US systems are using multiple orbital slots. Most home installations are aimed at just the two primary orbital slots. If you want even more channels (niche, ethnic, local), then you might have to get the triple dish (and possibly an updated receiver) to cover three orbital slots.

If you were asking about 'Dish Network', then the two primary slots are at 110W and 119W. That's all that most people have installed. The 'extra' slots are at 61.5W, 129W, and 148W. What channels are on what slot? I wouldn't know. You'd have to ask your local dealer exactly what is required to meet your needs.

A good website to see the satellites is www.lyngsat.com

http://www.lyngsat.com/america.html shows the orbital slots covering North America.

If you have an old Dish receiver, you might still need a new one to be compatible with the more complicated dish installation. The old reciver can normally be put into service in another room. There might be a requirement for more RG-6 cables from the dish to inside.

The equipment and installation costs should be negligible when compared to the subscription fees in the long run, so go for it (get a dual-tuner High Def PVR). If you can make sure it's the latest MPEG-4 compatible version, then you'll be set for a few years.

RE: Satellite channels.

Thx IR.  Part of the problem is that the package was purchased only because local channels were available.  Since the purchase they lost some legal challenge and with it the ability to supply the local channel.  If this wasn't bad enough... They continue to charge for the local access they don't provide.  When called on it after several arguments they stop charging for it.  Until the next June rolls around then the charge reappears requiring the same phone calls all over again each year.

VE1BLL; Thanks for that "over-all".  That link is most interesting!!! Wow there are a lot of satellites.  They're crammed up there.

Keith Cress
Flamin Systems, Inc.- http://www.flaminsystems.com

RE: Satellite channels.

I think that even if you can get a view of the other slots, the receiver is coded with your particular subscription, so only a cracked receiver will be able to receive programming that not paid for.

Don't know if it's possible to clone the subscription card, though.


FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies

RE: Satellite channels.

'Free To Air' (FTA):

There are probably hundreds of niche, primarily ethnic and religious, free TV channels available on satellites over North America. These aren't the old Big Ugly Dish (BUD) 8-12 foot C-band dishes of old. These channels are available on Ku-band using a smaller dish (24 inches up to 1 meter). The channels are digital using the international standard DVB.

As already mentioned, on Lyngsat [F] indicates FTA.

The FTA receivers are available for perhaps US$80 and up. The dish and LNBF might be another $60 or so. You can spend a lot more if you want for motorized dishes and/or switches, and even PVRs. As with everything, the sky's the limit.

There is no monthly charge for legitimate FTA channels and absolutely nothing illegal about it (it's a bit like the modern version of shortwave listening 'SWL').

BUT... (!!!!!!!!!!!!)

The term FTA has recently been hijacked by satellite TV pirates who use reprogrammed FTA receivers for more nefarious activities. It's gotten to the point that it can be difficult to search for information about legitimate FTA unless you know where to look. Sigh...

Also, the legit FTA channels are not really a replacement for normal domestic TV for most people. If you have a niche interest, it can be very worthwhile. If you liked SWL back in the old days you might find FTA entertaining. There are no guarentees with FTA. Your fav channel can disappear, might move to a new satellite, or might become subscription. It can be a full-time job just keeping the receiver up-to-date with the ever-changing channels and associated numbers.

There is also the subject of 'feeds'. You can find people getting set-up to send news feeds back to the network. See the news before anyone else does. Another source of amusement for those with nothing better to do. NOT a replacement for your local news.

On Lyngsat, the numbers around 4000 MHz (4 GHz) are C-band and would need the BUD. The Ku-band is the 11+ GHz range and can use a smaller dish (24" to 1m).

Galaxy 25 (formerly IA5) is the main FTA bird:


Red Flag This Post

Please let us know here why this post is inappropriate. Reasons such as off-topic, duplicates, flames, illegal, vulgar, or students posting their homework.

Red Flag Submitted

Thank you for helping keep Eng-Tips Forums free from inappropriate posts.
The Eng-Tips staff will check this out and take appropriate action.

Reply To This Thread

Posting in the Eng-Tips forums is a member-only feature.

Click Here to join Eng-Tips and talk with other members! Already a Member? Login


Close Box

Join Eng-Tips® Today!

Join your peers on the Internet's largest technical engineering professional community.
It's easy to join and it's free.

Here's Why Members Love Eng-Tips Forums:

Register now while it's still free!

Already a member? Close this window and log in.

Join Us             Close