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January 2008

Q.1 : Q: Must a satellite company provide local channels to any subscriber who wants the channels? (Asif Kamal, Behrain)

Ans: No. The satellite company has the option of providing local-into-local service, but is not required to do so. Some satellite companies are already providing this service in selected markets. Subscribers should contact their satellite company to determine whether and when the service will be available in their specific DMA and which DMA applies to them.

Q.2 : : I have been away and on my return I cannot watch any programmes from my viewing card and there is a message on the screen asking me to call to upgrade. Rashid Menhas, via e-mail)

Ans: If a viewing card has been in the box with the electricity disconnected or has been taken out of the box for a period of eight weeks or more this message will appear. The viewing card becomes dormant during this time. All you have to do is switch the digibox onto the green light and leave the card in the box. Gradually all of the missing channels will return within a 24 hour period.

Q.3 : How do I get satellite radio? Wajahut, Saudi Arabia)

Ans: Everyday we turn on the radio and tune into our favourite radio station. If we are in our cars, we listen and enjoy our station, and then as we drive further from home, the signal breaks up or becomes very static. This is the usual case with radio. This is because a typical radio signal can only travel about 30 to 40 miles from its transmitter. This is why when you travel long distances; you notice the station constantly changes. When this happens, you have to retune the radio to find another suitable radio station. What a boring way to travel. However, imagine a radio station that can broadcast its signal many more away from its transmitter, like 22,000 miles or more.

Q.4 : : What are the advantages of free-to-air digital TV? (Abid Hussain, Karachi)

Ans: Digital TV will offer a perfectly clear picture of all free-to-air channels, fewer reception problems, and access to new digital free-to-air channels and services as they are introduced. Digital removes the current constraint on number of channels and amount of content delivered under analogue transmission.

Q.5 : What is a satellite system? What does a satellite system consist of? (Arif Aziz, via e-mail)

Ans: A. A satellite system receives signals from satellites that orbit the earth. The satellites are in what is commonly called the Clark Belt, 22,000 miles from the earth's surface, directly above the equator. Satellites may transmit several different types of signals. One type is called digital MPEG-II. The signal is received by the satellite dish, then it is processed by the satellite receiver so it can be turned into audio or video that can be enjoyed by the satellite user, you. Some satellite systems can receive data from the satellite and many can even offer connection to the Internet.


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