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October 2009
DTV Broadcasting?

Q.1 : What Is the difference between Analog and DTV Broadcasting? Hope you will guide me well through your magazine. (Imran Abbas, Karachi)

Ans: DTV is an advanced broadcasting technology that replaces analog over-the-air broadcasting. Digital broadcasting allows stations to offer improved picture and sound quality along with a host of other advantages over analog broadcasting. For example, rather than being limited to providing one analog program, a broadcaster is able to offer a super sharp High Definition (HD) digital program or multiple Standard Definition (SD) digital programs simultaneously. Digital television offers many advantages over analog television for viewing broadcast TV. A broadcaster also can use its DTV signal to provide video and data services that are not possible with analog technology. Full-power television stations serving every market in the US are delivering DTV programming.

FTA channels

Q.2 : What are free to air (FTA) satellite TV channels? I want to watch most of FTA channels. (Faran Alam, Hyderabad)

Ans: Free to Air satellite television channels are digital MPEG2 channels that are not scrambled and do not require a subscription to view them. They are provided by many satellite and television broadcasters to allow reception any FTA satellite receiver. You can find a listing of these channels on many websites such as

Dish size

Q.3 : What size dish I need for the free to air channels? My dish size is 8 foot. ( Sajid Ikram, Islamabad)

Ans: For the C-Band signal channels you will need a 10 ft dish, however these are not as common. For KU-band channels you will need a 30 inch (76 cm) dish or larger.

More satellites

Q.4 : How do I move my dish to get more satellites and more channels? Currently, I am getting four satellites only. (Saqib Alam, Peshawar)

Ans: If you have a receiver that has DiSEqC 1.2 (input switch) you can easily view more satellites and more channels by adding a DiSEqC motor to move your dish. These motors are configured to align your satellite dish with the various angles and settings. This allows you to access many satellites with a single dish and a single receiver.

Setting dish antenna

Q.5 : No matter how carefully I aim my dish, it is seldom right-on the first time. Why is this? ( Rizwan, via e-mail)

Ans: Most people make the mistake of holding the compass near the dish and try to point the dish in the same direction the compass needle is pointing. The dish is made of steel, which deflects the compass needle a bit, and gives a false reading. That is why the satellite never seems to be exactly where you point the dish. Our alignment systems use the compass to "pre-align" the tripod, well away from the dish, and gives a very accurate alignment. When mounted, the dish is generally within 2 to 3 degrees of being "dead-on" the first time.

C-band satellite

Q.6 : How many channels can be received with a full-size C-band satellite dish? ( Azmat Ali, Quetta)

Ans: Full-size satellite dishes provide more viewing choices than any other TV delivery system, including cable. More than 250 channels transmit on a regular basis and another 250 transmit on an occasional basis. The "500 channel universe" is a reality with a full-size dish.


Q.7 : Q: What is a transponder? I often read this word in your magazine. (Munawar Alam, Karachi)

Ans: Satellite TV and radio channels are transmitted back to earth via a transponder on a satellite. C-band satellites have 24 transponders.

Channel reception

Q.8 : Do all satellite TV channels require a subscription fee? ( Shahab Khan, Balochistan)

Ans: No. More than 100 channels broadcast programming on a regular basis, and another 150 or more channels transmit wild feeds. Only C-band satellite TV provides hundreds of free channels and wild feeds.

DTV advantage

Q.9 : What is digital television (DTV) and what are its advantages? ( Adnan, via e-mail)

Ans: Digital television (DTV) is a new type of broadcasting technology that is transforming television as we now know it. By transmitting the information used to make a TV picture and sound as "data bits" (like a computer), a digital broadcaster can carry more information than is currently possible with analog broadcast technology. The difference between analog and digital broadcasting is similar to that between compact discs and cassette tapes. Digital TV offers a better viewing experience with vastly improved picture and sound quality. DTV also is more efficient than analog TV technology, so broadcasters will be able to produce additional signals using the DTV system. This means that they can broadcast programs on more than one channel, a feature called “multicasting.”


Q.10 : Are all programmes Broadcast in High Definition (HD) Digital TV? ( Kashif Hussain, Rawalpindi)

Ans: No. The majority of daytime programming and late-night programming is in standard digital the square format. The amount of HD content is increasing but we're not close to watching all-HD TV. It's way too expensive for every production company and broadcast station to convert completely to HD. In addition, there is far too much analog programming to throw away.

Intelsat serve

Q.11 : What markets does Intelsat serve? (Ghulam Haider, Saudi Arabia)

Ans: Intelsat operates in almost every country in the world serving the telecom, broadcast, government and other communications markets. With optimized capacity on a combined fleet of over 50 satellites and a large, complementary terrestrial infrastructure including eight owned teleports, fiber connectivity and more than 50 points of presence in almost 40 cities. This global terrestrial infrastructure enables us to deliver services that combine satellite capacity, teleport operations, satellite communications platforms, cable and other ground facilities for integrated, end-to-end telecommunications solutions. We operate our global communications infrastructure through network centers staffed by multilingual and knowledgeable employees hailing from approximately 70 different countries.

Repair TV

Q.12 : How to repair a Satellite TV? My Satellite TV is out of order these days. (Ateeq Hussain, Abbotabad)

Ans: Thunderstorms, torrential rains, snowstorms and hurricanes can wreak havoc with dish alignment. Kids might trip over a poorly installed dish, or the dish might be hit by a football. Sometimes, there is a manufacturing defect in the equipment, or the system may be in need of general service and maintenance. Under such circumstances, you will receive either a poor signal or no signal at all. Unlike cable TV, where an outage affects several subscribers, satellite TV problems typically disturb one customer at a time. Listed here are the steps you can take to get your satellite TV functioning properly again


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