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September 2008
Channel loss

Q.1 : This summer I lost all my channels from noon until about 7 pm almost every day. I've never had this problem before. (Zulfiqar, Karachi)

Ans: The LNB on the dish may have become temperature sensitive. Extreme heat or extreme cold may cause all your channels to go out. Check the temperature the next time it goes out and check it again when it comes back on. If there is a big difference, 90 when it goes out and 70 when it comes back on, the LNB may need to be replaced.

Local channels

Q.2 : Must a satellite company provide local channels to any subscriber who wants the channels? (Haroon Ahmed, via e-mail)

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.

Dish Network

Q.3 : Can I switch to Dish Network to get more HD Channels? (Waseem, Dubai)

Ans: I purchased all the equipment for HDTV using DirectTV and subscribe to their HD programming. The store did not give me the info that I would not get a lot of HD stations-mainly locals. After 6 months of TV, I found that directtv now offered HDlocal channels in my area. BUT, even though my TIVO (purchased for $600) states it is from directtv, I cannot get the local channels with it. The service man said he could hook me up to get local channels in HD but did not think I would be able to use my TIVo at all.

Satellite data

Q.4 : How long are the time delays with satellite data transmissions? (Mohamamd Rasheed, via e-mail)

Ans: Geostationary satellites are located in orbit approximately 36,000 kilometres above the equator. A roundtrip time to a satellite for data needs about 250 msec, the 2-way protocol latency is about 600 msec including SurfBeam system latency. To mitigate latency, which would impact on TCP throughput and web browsing speeds, a Performance Enhancing Proxy (PEP) and Web acceleration are integrated into the SurfBeam modem and DOCSIS head-end system.


Q.5 : What is Ka-band and what are its advantages? ( Sajid Iqbal, Peshawar)

Ans: Broadcast satellites principally operate in Ku-band frequencies that have the benefit of offering a broad geographic coverage through a single footprint. Ka-band, which is now beginning to be exploited over Europe, has other benefits.

One-way satellite

Q.6 : What are the advantages of the “one-way” satellite system over a “two-way” satellite system? ( Mohamamd Faran, Quetta)

Ans: Since “two way” satellite systems are not standards based, FTP and POP e-mails are very unreliable. Our “one way satellite system is less expensive than a “two way” system. Severe weather conditions can affect any satellite-based system. In fact, the end-user of a “two way” satellite system can experience a complete loss of connection. A “one way” satellite system uses both the satellite link and a redundant terrestrial telephone link to the internet. This means that the end-user connection may temporarily slow down in the case of very severe weather conditions but will not fail. Upload times on a “one way” satellite system are three to six times faster then on a “two way” satellite system.

Satellite receiver

Q.7 : Can I move my TV and satellite receiver to another room that has a cable outlet? (Amin Ullah, Peshawar)

Ans: If the outlet was not connected to a receiver and TV when the DISH Network system was installed, it is most likely not connected to the satellite dish. The additional cable outlet may be added to the system, service call fees may apply. Contact your DISH Network satellite installer for more information.

FTA Receiver

Q.8 : I don’t know the difference between pay and FTA Receivers. What are the differences in the various satellite receivers? (Wajid, Abbotabad)

Ans: The receiver electronics process information and change channels. The interactive TV Guide and Menu system is like a computer operating system. The hardware and the Guide/Menu system work together to continually retrieve programming information from the satellite. With up to 500 channels, you will be using the TV guide and Menus all the time, so ease of use and speed are very important. The early model receivers required a download from the satellite every time you wanted information on a listed program. The new DP301 has a memory chip that stores about 4 hours of the program guide information at a time. The DP510 and DP721 are fantastic because 7 to 9 days of program information is stored on the hard disk with every download.

Satellite dish

Q.9 : What are the basic requirements for installing a satellite dish? (Anwar Jamal, via e-mail)

Ans: There should no be no physical obstruction (such as another building) preventing the dish from receiving the signals, and the place you want to put the dish (balcony for apartments and garden or roof for houses) should offer the direction needed by the specific satellite plan.

TV problems

Q.10 : Can I connect the dish to more than one TV? (Irfan Zafar, via e-mail)

Ans: We have a device that helps you connect a single dish to a separate TV. The unit cost is RMB300 and there is no extra charge for installation. Nevertheless the channels on both TV are the same, if you want to watch different channels at the same time on those TVs you will need to get a separate receiver and card, meaning extra costs.

Weather operation

Q.11 : Does weather affect the operations of satellite TV? (Zahid Iqbal, Karachi)

Ans: Usually not. But for smaller dishes (dream satellite plan for instance) there may be short interruptions during heavy rains. However, our professional installation is made with signal strength optimization in mind, reducing the likelihood of signal loss during bad weather.


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