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September 2010

Q.1 : Why Do Analog TV Signals Often Look Worse on an HDTV than on an Analog TV? (Mohammad Omar, Saudi Arabia)

Ans: It is true that, in most cases, an analog video signal displayed on an HDTV will not look as good as it would on an analog set: the basic reasons for this is that the video processing circuitry in an HDTV upscale the image, which can improve the good aspects of the image. However, at the same time, the video processing also will magnify the defective parts of the image, such as interference and video noise that is not as noticeable on a lower resolution analog set. In this case, the quality of the video processing in the TV can have either a positive or negative effect on the degree of correction for poor analog signals.

PC to pick up satellite TV

Q.2 : Can I use my PC or Mac to pick up satellite TV? What is the easy way for it? (Faheem Khan, Dubai)

Ans: Yes. There are several makes of digital TV receiver card or USB device for PC users, which can tune in satellite TV and display it on your monitor, make recordings to your hard disc, and receive high-speed internet-by-satellite.

More satellites

Q.3 : How can I get more than one satellite? I come an article about it. (Shahzad Hassan, Karachi)

Ans: You can have more than one dish, or have up to four ‘offset feed’ LNBs on the same dish, but at most these can only be for satellites within 10-15° of each other. A motorised dish will provide a greater selection of satellites from across the whole sky. Users of small dishes up to 90cm can use a simple DiSEqC 1.2 motorised mount. Dishes of 1m and above will need a more powerful and complex 36V motor drive.


Q.4 : What are DiSEqC and USALS? What are its advantages? (Inam Ullah, via e-mail)

Ans: Digital Satellite Equipment Control is a standard created by Eutelsat for receivers to select between LNBs and control motorised dishes. A DiSEqC-compatible receiver sends pulses at 22kHz, along the LNB cable to control a DiSEqC switch or motor. Mini-DiSEqC switches can select between two LNBs. DiSEqC 1.0 is used for up to four LNBs; DiSEqC 1.1 for up to 16 LNBs, using two sets of pulses. DiSEqC 1.2 uses the pulses to instruct a ‘smart’ motor to move east or west, or to go to a preset position. USALS (also known incorrectly as DiSEqC 1.3 or Goto X) uses an even smarter mount that can find any position in the sky based on a single reference bearing and the user’s longitude and latitude.

FTA channels

Q.5 : How can I get encrypted channels? I am now not interested in FTA channels more. (Qayyum Iqbal, via e-mail)

Ans: You’ll need a viewing card and the hardware to use the viewing card, either built into your receiver, or with a conditional access module for a receiver with a common interface port.

Digital broadcast

Q.6 : Is the difference in image quality that much better in a digital broadcast? (Zafar Hakeem, Sharjah)

Ans: Ans: Absolutely! Switching from an analog TV system that is subject to impulse noise, ghosts, color errors, and "snow" to an all-digital system will make a tremendous difference. And it gets even better as image resolution is increased AND the picture aspect ratio becomes wider. Many people have commented that watching HDTV is like "looking out a window", or "actually being there". That's how good the picture quality is. Many people have commented that watching HDTV is like "looking through binoculars," "looking at a photograph", or "actually being there". That's how good the picture quality is.

Satellite TV

Q.7 : I am a customer of satellite TV since very long. I had observed that more and more customers are joining satellite TV. What is the basic reason behind it? (Wajahat Ansaree, via e-mail)

Ans: Cable TV companies use a combination of analog signals and digital signals. This often produces a very poor picture quality. A fuzzy picture. Satellite TV companies such as DISH Network use 100% digital technology. This produces crystal clear and sharp images which are easier and more enjoyable to watch. Also, cables are under the ground and sometimes little critters can knaw away at the cable thus allowing rain water to seep into the cable and this also causes a very fuzzy picture. With satellite TV, the coaxial cable runs from the satellite dish on your roof down and straight into your house avoiding this problem. So people are tired of watching a fuzzy – distorted picture.

Signal Booster

Q.8 : When would I need an in-home amplifier (SIGNAL BOOSTER) to improve the signal? (Sajid Jamal, Quetta)

Ans: You would probably need a SIGNAL BOOSTER amplifier if you have three or four splits (three or four TV's) connected to the incoming cable or output of your Satellite receiver. If you have a home antenna and need to improve signal strength of your off air signals. TV picture quality of distant channels will be "snowy" or granular. A SIGNAL BOOSTER amplifier placed at the antenna output can improve picture quality decreasing granularity and making distant channels viewable.


Q.9 : Is there a way to evaluate in home cabling and splitting without expensive equipment? (Amjad Khan, via e-mail)

Ans: If you have a small portable TV you can start at the cable entrance to the premises. Tune the TV to the lowest and then highest channel carried by your cable system and evaluate the picture quality. If it appears reasonable then continue to next splitter and do the same at the input and output of the device. Continue this procedure through your home cabling and splitting. If you continue to loose picture quality as you progress through your cabling then you probably could use a SIGNAL BOOSTER amplifier. With a home antenna follow the same procedure noted above but from the antenna.With a satellite receiver you will only have to observe one channel and that is the one chosen for the output of the receiver.


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