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February 2008

Q.1 : I am a regular reader of Dish Channels. I need your help in setting my receiver to get more satellite channels. When tuning to an FTA (Free-to-Air) MPEG2 channel, what is needed to view an HDTV channel. Please guide me. (Anwar Alam, via e-mail)

Ans: Thank you for writing to us. A standard MPEG2 FTA receiver will not decode HDTV signals. You will need specially HDTV receiver for it. You try to tune to an HDTV signal with a standard receiver, in many cases the receiver will be very unhappy with that and lock up on you. It would be necessary to turn the receiver completely off (unplug it) and turn it back on after waiting a short time (30 seconds or so). If you want to view HDTV signals, you need an HDTV compatible receiver.

Q.2 : A large building is next to my door. I am getting problems to get more signals. Is it possible to receive satellite signals through these roofing tiles with a large enough antenna? Or are there special roofing tiles that are friendlier to a satellite’s microwave signals and don’t attenuate the signal as much? ( Shoaib, Rawalpindi)

Ans: Actually large building block the arrival of signals mostly. But don’t give up right away, there is a solution with an absolute minimum signal loss. The antenna should be mounted as high as possible inside the roof. The angle of the roof should not deviate more than 45° from that or those satellites that you want to receive. Then you will get more signals and channels in this way.

Q.3 : On my satellite receiver there are four LNB’s connected via a DiSEqC switch for reception of HOTBIRD, ARABSAT, NILESAT and the C-Band on ASIASAT. I want to receive a fifth satellite but where should the IF connection go? A friend suggested using a 0/12 volt switch but didn’t have much more advice to give. (Imran Akhtar, Karachi)

Ans: First of all you have to reach into your pocket and take out the cash you will need to buy a 0/12 volt switch and a second DiSEqC switch. Since you never really know what you will want to do in the future, I would invest in another 4-way switch so that eventually you can connect up to eight LNB’s. The power wire for the 0/12 volt switch is connected to the programmable switch output. The 0/12 volt switch has one IF output to the receiver and two IF inputs to which the two coaxial cables from the DiSEqC switches are connected.

Q.4 : Can you connect a wideband receiver or a scanner radio to a C-band or Ku-band LNB? If yes, what should we look out for? ( Jehanzeb, Peshawar)

Ans: Another satellite spy is born! Unfortunately, there’s not all that much you can get from analog SCPC anymore. But if you feel comfortable playing in the digital world, you will be rewarded. LNB’s require one or two voltages, something that the scanner radio cannot provide. You can supply the necessary power externally but that would be too involved (you would need a small metal box with “F” connectors, a capacitor and a power supply). We will make it simpler.

Q.5 : I want all my TV's to be independent, so any TV can be tuned to satellite and any other TV can be tuned to local channels, or vice versa. But, my house is pre-wired for cable and only has one cable in the wall to all my TV's. Can I do this without running more cables to the other rooms? (Qaisar Alam, Quetta)

Ans: Yes, you can have the satellite receiver output and local channels in the same cable, as long as the frequencies are far enough apart. Remember, the satellite receiver's standard output is to either channel 3 or channel 4. If all the local channels were above VHF channel 6 or UHF channels, there shouldn't be a problem. However, most areas have a local channel 3 or 4 or another channel that is so close to the receiver's channel 3 or 4, you would have interference.

Q.6 : What's Rain Fade? How it affects transmissions? (Zia-ul-Hassan, Lahore)

Ans: Water reflects or blocks the microwave signal. Normally, rain doesn't have any effect on the reception, but the torrential rain, as seen at times in the South and a few other parts of the United States, may keep some of the signal from hitting the dish. This is called rain fade and it wipes out the picture while the rain is coming down in sheets. The 20" Dish 500 prevents this problem most of the time. With the 510 Dish DVR you can play back uo to 100 hours of programs recorded on the hard disk, without even having the dish connected. This is great for heavy rain areas and RV owners


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