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June 2010
Signal booster

Q.1 : I am a regular reader of Dish Channels, but writing a letter for the first time. Can the signal booster reduce the quality of my TV pictures? (Nazim Hussain, Karachi)

Ans: Yes, there may exist situations where TV picture quality is reduced but probably only where there is already enough signal level for good quality pictures. An amplifier is not recommended or needed in these situations. You could also run into a problem if there is excessive tilt across the TV channel band. All this means is that the lower channels are at or above the level for good pictures and the higher channels are below the level for good pictures.

TV signal

Q.2 : Can my TV signal detect tornadoes? Hope I will get the answer through your magazine. I am waiting for it. (Ubaid Rehman, via e-mail)

Ans: You may have read about a technique called "the Weller Method" of tornado detection. The idea was to be able to use your TV as a lightning detector to detect the radio waves emitted by a lightning flash, with the assumption that tornadic thunderstorms were very active lightning producers. But, not all tornadic storms produce large amounts of lightning. And, TV's are all different and have different sensitivities, and some are even made to filter out lightning signals.

Weak signals

Q.3 : What happens if you detect a signal? What is the easy way for it. (Masood Akhtar, Quetta)

Ans: The first thing to do is to confirm that it's truly extraterrestrial. Remember, with tens of millions of channels and antennas that are among the world's largest, SETI picks up signals frequently. An important test to verify that a signal is truly extraterrestrial would be a confirming observation at another radio telescope. Once an artificial signal is confirmed as being of extraterrestrial intelligent origin, the discovery will be announced as quickly and as widely as possible.

Video signal

Q.4 : Q: How do I connect the video signal to my TV ? (Athar Iqbal, Peshawar)

Ans: You connect it to the SCART input using a SCART cable with RCA inputs, basically you use the same cable used to connect a video camera to your TV.


Q.5 : We have more than one TV in our house; can we get the DIRECTV System signal on all of our sets? (Sajid Mehmood, Dubai)

Ans: Yes. Have an additional line run to each TV that you want to receive the signal from the DIRECTV System receiver. This allows you to watch the same satellite programming on as many sets as you want. If you would like to be able to watch individual programming on each TV, you will need a dish with multiple outputs. A DIRECTV receiver and cable feed is required for each TV you would like to receive programming on.

Resolution of TV

Q.6 : How does the resolution of my TV affect how the signal is displayed? (Amjad Qaisar, via e-mail)

Ans: Good question. Although many TVs claim to be "HDTV compatible," that does not necessarily mean they can accurately display a 1080i or 720p broadcast. This depends on the native resolution of the display itself. For example, you can buy a $3,000 plasma TV that is described as HDTV compatible, but the native resolution of the screen is only 852 x 480.

Cable TV

Q.7 : How do I get the best Cable TV signal and good Cable Modem service? (Tahir Khan, Saudi Arabia)

Ans: The best strategy for keeping a good strong signal is to keep the splitters to a minimum. When that can't be done, then an amplifier is your best bet. But even when using an amplifier you need to be very aware of where your cable modem is installed - if you have one. Usually the cable company will install a splitter very close to where the cable comes into the home, and run one connection to the cable modem, and the other connection to the TVs in the rest of the house.

Satellite dish

Q.8 : How do I set up a satellite dish? Tell me the easy method. (Mudasir Aziz, Peshawar)

Ans: Setting up a satellite system in your home is relatively straight forward and any DIYer can do it. Firstly, you have to ensure that the fixing to which the satellite dish is affixed is secure. Secondly, the dish has to be aligned perfectly otherwise you will not get a signal. To give you an idea it is like pointing a gun at a motor car 22000 miles away, but with a small amount of trial and error. This isn’t as complicated as it sounds; Maplin provides the help and gadgets to make it easy.

Frequency signals

Q.9 : Can a digital satellite receiver use the radio frequency signals which are sent directly through the coaxial cable of cable TV? (Fazal Dad, Hyderabad)

Ans: No, a digital satellite receiver receives signals between 900MHz and 2GHz from the LNB on the satellite dish. Cable frequencies are between 50MHz and 850MHz. Even if the satellite receiver could receive the cable frequencies there is a difference in the way that cable and satellite digital transmissions are modulated so it would still be incompatible.

SCPC services

Q.10 : I visit your website frequently. It is a great website. It provides a good knowledge base for satellite questions. My question deals with SCPC services. Is there a listing of what services are available on each satellite? I've never seen one published in any form, either in a magazine or publication dealing with satellite TV. (Mujeeb Rahu, Multan)

Ans: Usually you will need so many as possible handbooks of the different satellite-providers and the ITU-listings. Most stuff comes from own experience and from friendly sources. All this is partly packed into the pc (and never find it again!) and kept on thousands pieces of papers (taking 50% of my time to keep them more or more less in order). Real books on this are not available, but from to time we publish actual listings Dish Channels.


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