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Infomation on recieving European Satellite channles?

Discussion in 'Satellite TV, Sky TV & FreeSat' started by C-M, Jun 7, 2005.

  1. C-M

    C-M
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    I will soon be moving house and would like to set up a satellite system. I don't mind sky but would also like to like to recieve channels such as RTL etc.. which are not broadcast on sky.

    I have been doing a little reading and have found that it is possible to set up the equipment to recieve channels from other satellites. I understand I will need a dish, lnb (possibly twin cam one), and a set top box.

    My question is does anyone know or have links to what satellites can be picked up in Europe and the channels they carry?

    Also what equipment would i need exactly? I was looking at this set top box . would i be able to use this box to recieve european channels, and provided my dish is pointed at the right satellite to recieve skychannels too?
     
  2. Chris Muriel

    Chris Muriel
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    Best place to look at is www.lyngsat.com (Christian Lyngemark's excellent site).
    The FTA digital hannels are coloured/shaded yellow.
    You may also want to look at www.kingofsat.net.

    Many Eurpopean channels aren't scrambled (some RTL channels, Prosieben, Viva, Onyx etc.) so, depending n what you want to watch you may not need a CAM and might consider an FTA receiver.
    The Technomate's are quite well thought of and can operate a DiSEqC or USALS compatible motor to move your dish. For Hotbird and Astra a 90 cms offset dish would be adequate.
    The Technomate will not receive $ky's FTV or their scrambled channels - Sky uses embedded videoguard encryption for which you cannot buy a CAM.


    Chris Muriel, Manchester.
     
  3. C-M

    C-M
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    been doing somemore reading and am now wondering if it would be possible to use a larger dish say 90-100cm running 2, dual output LNBs and hook one up to a sky box, and one up to another STB to recieve european channels. I read somewhere that using a larger dish with 2 LNBs it is possible to recieve signals from sattellites upto 20 degrees apart meaninf i could recieve both astra2 and say hotbird or astra1 etc..

    i got most of my infomation from this site: http://www.hf.uib.no/smi/ksv/satfaq.html

    I also stumbled accross, satellite reciever cards for the computer, does anyone have any experience with these at all?
     
  4. Chris Muriel

    Chris Muriel
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    For strongish birds like 28E and Hotbird the 2 carefully positioned LNBs will work.

    I use 2 PCI satellite cards - although neither of mine have CAM interfaces.
    The cards act as a tuner whilst the PC does the MPEG decode.
    Hence you need at least the manufacturer's recommended CPU speed and a half decent graphics card to do this.
    For HD you need much more (like 3 GHz CPU) but if you want that , have a look at posts about it in the HD section of these forums.

    Chris Muriel, Manchester.
     
  5. vex

    vex
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    This used to be a common way of getting p*rn from euro satellites when Sky was on the Analogue astra satellite.

    I would guess that since they have move further round the sky, (IIRC 19Deg to 28Deg) this will be harder to do.

    The whole idea of two LNB's on a dish pointing at two different satellites works on the basis of a poor quality dish and its reception 'sidelobes'! As its focal point is not a 'focused' and the rest of the dish is not as good at rejecting signal as it therotically should be.

    As the satellites you want to receive get further away from each other the harder it will be to use the imperfections of a dish and its side lobes for reception.

    I would recommend finding a good quality 'motorised sat dish installer' who will be able to recommend if this is possible or suggest an alternative.

    Chris
     
  6. C-M

    C-M
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    I'm planning on doing all of this myself and as cheaply as possible. currently looking at dishes around one meter if needed.
    Think i will have 2 setups then since you think it will be difficult to use a single dish with multiple lnbs to receive sky, astra1 and hotbird.

    so the equipment list for Hotbird/astra1 as follows:

    1m dish,
    2 LNBs, been looking at this http://www.satellitecentre.co.uk/item--MTI-Monobloc-LNB--LNBmonobloc but would prefer two quad output lnbs instead.
    holder for lnbs,
    Diseqc switch
    Decent reciever.

    what do you reckon?
     
  7. vex

    vex
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    That looks really good.

    When I was just coming out of the satellite game the only way to do it was with a array of arms or adaptors to space the LNBs apart from each other.

    1mtr or even a good quality 80cm should be ok. The important thing to look for is the noise figure of the LNB, the lower the better.

    Chris
     
  8. C-M

    C-M
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    yeah been researching LNBs and might go with 2xInvacom 0.3 DB and use an adaptor to fit them both on the arm.

    i guess then though i will need to set the angles myself?

    The twin lnbs i've seen all seem to be .6db, hence why i think 2x .3db ones will be better if a little more expensive.
     
  9. Chris Muriel

    Chris Muriel
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    Invacom do make a twin with 0.3 or 0.3 dB NF.
    Try not to get too carried away with noise figures though.
    As an RF engineer (originally) I know how NFs work ; I also know that most LNB manufacturers use low NF as a marketing trick.
    A figure of "0.3 dB" typical means nothing. 0.3 dB max across its whole range would be very good.
    At 1 time individual LNBs came with a measurement chart with a graph showing the NF across the whole band (very rare these days). NFs are also notoriously hard to measure correctly/accurately at these frequencies.
    Of equal or greater importance is the phase noise and local oscillator drift when it is for digital satellite reception ; often this poorly specified. A good(ish) one will have drift less than 500 KHz or less than 0.5 ppm. However, you are talking serious money for an LNB like this ; look at the Norsat PLL-controlled LNBs to see examples.
    In practice dish-size is far more important than modern consumer LNB NFs.

    Here endeth lecture/rant.

    Chris Muriel, Manchester (European correspondent for USA satforums)
     
  10. vex

    vex
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    Good point, well made Chris M. :smashin:

    I did a quick reply on a coffee break from work and so didn't go into details.

    Having been out of the satellite game for 5 - 10 years I was just concerned over the performance of using the deformaties of a dish and a high noise figure lnb.

    If they are down to .6 and even .3 typical then, as you say, the dish will become more important.

    It was more important when LNB's were closer to the 1dB average when I was in the industry. At the time I ran a 80cm high performance motorised dish and a very specially selected .6 MAX Swedish Microwave LNB. Amazing performance matching most 1.2mtrs of the time.

    LNB cost a fortune! But I did work for the importer at the time :thumbsup:

    Chris
     
  11. C-M

    C-M
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    ok then. the problem i have been finding is that these twin LNBs only come with a single output (most seem to have a disqc switch build in), but that means i could only hook up a single reciever.

    With the premade twin LNBs will it just be a case of installing them on the arm of the dish then facing the dish inbetween the 2 sats i'm after? or will the LNBs have to be placed at certain angles on the dish (if so how would i measure this)?
     
  12. vex

    vex
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    Normally (and looking at the design of the twin thing) you would point the dish at the weekest signal and then the stronger one would come in off the to one side.

    From memory this would be point it at the Eutelsat and the Astra one would be off to the side.

    Chris
     
  13. Nick_UK

    Nick_UK
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    Funnily enough, the bigger the dish, the harder that is to do. You could always use a motor to move the dish. Aligning one of those can literally take all day - I know, I've done it :suicide:
     
  14. C-M

    C-M
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    hmm i wanted to do it as cheap as possible to meet my requirements.

    so what equipment would i need for a motorised set up?

    Could you guys spec me the equipment & rough prices for both motorised and double LNB system?

    My aim to to be able to catch astra+hotbird.
     

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