ASK-ME 98.05.12 * Q&A by SAT-MidEast
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Hi folks, welcome to the second edition of ASK-ME, this is the one where I
stop counting. The initial response was great, thank you all !
For all who are wondering and have deep thoughts about it: the questions are
lined-up following the date of reception.
First some remarks and responses to last weeks issue:
IN RESPONSE TO:
> INTERUPTED C-BAND RECEPTION on MEDIAMASTER 9500
> Q: Many people complain that the get interrupted signal with their
> Nokia "Mediamaster 9500" when using C-band only. They tried many things
> such as replacing the LNB, feed horn, larger dish.... nothing works
> except grounding the dish by a separate wire. It seems that the D-box
> has no problem with C-band but Mediamaster does have this problem. So
> what you think about this issue, is it related to the connection set-up
> with the analog receiver ?
I received a comment from the Gulf area (translated):
RESPONSE: I experienced the same problem of "freezing" pictures on the
C-Band. Sometimes on Asiasat-2, sometimes on Panamsat 4, and eventually on
Arabsat 2A: clearly originating from various directions.
As source I suspect Radar sources of US-Navyships and AWACS. Airport Radar
makes also pictures freezing and sometimes produces a complete Black-Out.
On various occacions I build a Faraday-cage on 6 foot (180 cm) dishes and
the interruptions disapeared. Always check the analogue signal coming from
the same direction: a white flash and sometimes a rumbling picture is
I myself use a "Wineguard" deep perforated 10 foot (300 cm) dish and have
almost no problems, but these dishes are quit costly.
IN RESPONSE TO:
> IRDETO CAM for MEDIAMASTER 9600
> Q: I have found a site at BELGIUM selling IRDETO cams for the 9600, I
> doubt very much on this news please tell me what are your impressions
> because you are my reference in this field.
I did hear ABSOLUTLEY NOTHING on this subject. Really sad !
ASTRA in ISRAEL
Q: You wrote that Astra 1G can be seen in Cyprus with a 2.40 cm dish.
Could it be seen in Israel with a 2.40-3.00 cm dish?
A: There are several reports from Israel receiving Astra 1G with a 240 cm
dish. But of-course only the digital transmissions. And don't be to
dissappointed: there are only three channels receivable in the clear: One
Canal Satellite promotional channel, and two time the German channel Pro
Sieben as a transmission to Austria and Switzerland.
For the rest of the channels you need either German, French or Spanish smart
cards.See also the SAT-MidEast report from 98.03.27 or
BBC in ISRAEL
Q: Can BBC World on Eutelsat F1 be seen using a 1 metre dish in Israel?
A: Unfortunately BBC on Eutelsat II-f1, transponder 38, is transmitting only
on the super beam. I gues you would need a dish of around 7-11 meter to get
a viewable picture. So you're out of luck there....
Wait until Hot Bird 5 replaces the Eurelsat II-f1 in October, things might
chage a lot !
D-BOX in EGYPT
Q: Is it possible to receive Free-to-Air digital programs using a d-Box in
A: It would be no problem, but it is not recommendable.
The original German d-Box has only menus in the German language, a software
without C-Band menu, and the software is specialized on the reception of the
There is also another big disadvantage: the d-Box (which is the initial type
of the NOKIA Mediamaster 9500) is very difficult to upgrade to newer
software and always loosing its original programming, whereby the
recommendable Mediamaster 9200 lets you upload various kinds of software,
downloadable from the internet, and then transferred from your PC to the box
in less then 15 minutes.
And the price difference can not be that much in Egypt !
Remember to purchase a IRDETO CAM with it, if you intend to watch the 1stNET
(ART) or Showtime packages, at any time later.
RECEPTION in ISRAEL
Q: Is there anything from Panamsat 4 analog clear KU band viewable with a
100 cm dish in Israel ?
A: Only 12.604 Ghz, Vertical: NHK from Tokyo, the rest is Showtime and ART
digital Pay-TV and feeds. The NHK feed will cease end of May however.
Q: Apart from their "Emeq Haela" test card, are the Israelis broadcasting
anything from Amos 1?
Here is some kind of a mistake: The "Emeq Heala" testcard is on 10.967 GHz,
V, on the Intelsat at 1 West and NOT on Amos.
The Amos satellite is at 4 West and has plenty of Ku channels onto your
(See SATCO-DX chart: http://www.satcodx.com/amos1.shtml )
10.968 V IBA 1 (Israel channel 1)
11.012 V IBA 3 (Israel channel 3)
11.052 V Test card Amos
11.094 V Ofek (digital)
11.xxx V plenty of feed channels
11.554 V Middle East TV (Lebanon)
11.598 V Channel 2 (Israel Commercial Broadcaster)
So turn your dish three degrees further to the West and you have at least
channels more !
A FOLLOW-UP ON THE ABOVE
I have an old Hinari receiver. It's display tunes between 1 and 100 (IF
frequency 950-1750 MHz according to the manual), with no frequency readout !
I can just pick up the Iranian channels on Intelsat 602 at 62 degrees.
Will my receiver pick up NHK on 12.604 GHz, V ? What number on the display
between 1 and 100 corresponds to 12.604 GHz ?
No, it won't find it. I do not have the number in my head but you can find a
frequency to channel conversion table on my website:
You have to know the LOF (local Oscillator Frequency) of your LNB however !
SKYPLEX ON HOT BIRD 4
Q: Please help me understand: why can't I see 10.719 GHz, V, digital but I
see the DUNA TV very good ?
A: There are a few differences in the nature of these Hot Bird 4
but in principal, with a correct set-up, they are easy receivable.
"DUNA TV" on transponder 115, 10.815 GHz, H, is an analogue broadcast,
therefore needs an analogue receiver.
"Skyplex Tests" on transponder 110, 10.719 GHz, V, are digital transmissions
and need therefore a digital receiver (IRD).
If you own these pieces of equipment, and have them correctly connected to
your LNB and TV-monitor there should be nothing in the way of a clear
reception in Israel.
Did you check the correct polarization of the LNB towards the Skyplex
frequency (V): it should be oppposite to the DUNA TV polarization (H).
Your LNB and receiver should also be able to get the extended (lower)
frequency spectrum, older equipment goes only as low as 10.950 MHz.
WHICH LNB to PURCHASE
Q: I own both analogue and digital Pace FTA receiver, no CAM's. Dish 110 cm
with LNB till 9.750-11.900 GHz, which I need to be replace.
Please recommend me a LNB to get as many digital packages as can be received
A: In order to get all available channels, analogue and digital, you should
be able to receive the extended Ku-frequency spectrum, e.g. 10.700 to 12.750
GHz. This requires a so-called Wide-or Quattro band LNB or an Universal LNB.
I recommend to buy the Wide-band LNB, which is the more expensive of the
two, but has more phase stability and power behind it. Buy one with a
reasonable low noise factor, equal or better than 0.8 dB, and choose any
well known brand: SMW (Swedish Microwave), Chapparal, Gardiner, etc.
Do NOT go for the special offers here; it is a very precise and delicate
piece of equipment you are buying here, so spend something on it. You don't
buy it everyday either.
And always remember, it is a myth that a difference of 0.1 dB in the
noisefactor gives you much better/worse reception results. It is plain NOT
true. The main difference for quality reception lies in the dish size. It is
really a fact here: Size does matter. Just buy the biggest dish you can
afford and is legally allowed to put up. You will never look back in anger.
TWO CHANNEL MEDIAMASTER AUDIO
Q: How can I get proper audio if there are two different or an obvious
mixed sounds coming out of my receiver ?
A: I understand that you have the TV audio on one channel and a radio
audio on the other channel, both coming out of the TV-set ?
This is a result of the broadcaster/uplinker using a two-channel audio
carrier (similar to a stereo audio carrier). If your TV-set does not has a
possibilty to switch to either of the two signals then you have to take the
audio from the audio-line-output of the Nokia, where it is delivered in
Feed this into your Hi-Fi set or any other available amplifier and you have
the audio you require. The Mediamaster itself is not able to select between
the left/right of an available stereo or two-channel audio signal, if not
separated specified as so-called TRACKS in the datastream. Those you can
select by using the radio button and the left/right buttons.
EGYPTIAN TV on INTELSAT 707
Q: I can not get the Arabic digital channels on 1 degree West in Tanzania.
A: The Egyptian channels are Left-hand polarized and have the frequency of
4.135 GHz. The beam is covering Tanzania, so reception should be possible,
however the signal is not that strong. There are frequent dificulties
reported from Central and lower Africa. A dish size of more than 3.5 to 5
meter is actually recommended.
MEDIAMASTER CIRCULAR POLARIZATION SETTINGS
Q: On the NOKIA there are Horizontal and Vertical polarization settings. Now
if the feed is Left and Right instead, how do I enter this polarizations ?
A: Yes, strangely some software shows this phenomenon; it is also not
available in the FTA 1.0 and some 9600 software. (Actually it is visible in
the "Service Menu" but it cannot be set correctly there either)
I also do not have it on my 9200 machine. You just have to approximate it:
if you need Left-hand polarization, select Vertical, if you need a
polarization select Horizontal. The Mediamaster is not so specific, he will
find the correct setting most of the times by itself, and if one time it
doesn't work: just try the opposite. There's not much what you can do here
anyway (beside changing the software, which is always an option).
POWERVU ON THE MEDIAMASTER
Q: How do you get the digital channels which are Powervu and others ?
A: And others ? I do not know about others, but not encrypted PowerVu
are recognized by the Mediamaster, in some cases you have to put in the
PID's, but these are rare. Most availabale PowerVu signals are however
encrypted, and therefore not viewable with a FTA Mediamaster.
WHERE IS APSTAR 2R ?
Q: How do I tell the position of Apstar 2R satellite as now there is no
analogue at all. I can find Thaicom 3 as there are analogue transmissions,
but on Apstar the Plus 21 channel is in digital, at the time when it was
still analogue I had saved it but it got erased.
A: It's not that difficult: You know the position of the Thaicom 3 on 78.5
and you have also reception from the Panamsat at 68.5 East. These positions
are only 10 degrees apart, so divide the difference by five, add it to the
position of Thaicom and you have the approximate position of the Apstar 2R
at 76.5 East, precise enough to tune in to the C-Band frequency of the Plus
21 channel (3.787 GHz, H). Then you can, by checking the signal indicator,
fine tune the position to an optimum and thereafter tune into the MPEG-2
signal for clear reception.
(Comment: The Plus 21 signal has ceased in between, bad luck!)
Q: I'm resident in Egypt and have interest to connect to the Internet
through my Nokia 9500 but I haven't any idea about this, would you help with
any information ?
A: I suspect you are tricked by the channel information on your Mediamaster
display, where it says in a few MPEG-2 packages "Internet" or "Internet
To make it short:
There is no way you can make the Mediamaster receive Internet data. The
information you are reading are channels in the MPEG-2/DVB data stream,
correctly containing Internet Data, but they are supposed to be used with a
There are several hard/software combinations available, which contain a card
for your computer and a software package enabling you to access the
satellite internet data. Your computer has to be physical connected to the
satellite dishes LNB.
It works on the bases that you are normally connecting to the internet using
a local telephone line, request the URL's, pages or pictures normally: the
incoming data however is received, up to 600 times faster, through the
satellite signal. I have seen demonstrations of this happening and it really
amazing, like reading in a book, almost immidiate access to all internet
In Egypt this service is available via Zaknet, which transmits through the
Asiasat 2, at 100.5 East, 3.940 GHz, V. For more info look at:
I do not have an address available for the latest offers via Eutelsat Hot
Q: Will it work also in Israel ?
A: Perfectly, even Saturdays !
ASTRA RECEPTION in KUWAIT
Q: I've heard it's possible to receive Astra (digital) in Kuwait using a 16
foot (500 cm) antenna. Is this true?
A: Maybe on a lucky day, but I seriously doubt it.
I have already difficulties to receive it without interruptions here in
Cairo. The latest Dutch Canal+ broadcasts (two in clear) can be seen only
during the daytime, at night no chance) The only three stable channels is a
PROMO from Canal Satellite and the two Swiss/Austrian service of Pro Sieben
(a German channel), the rest is all encrypted.
I have had no reception results further away than Israel and Palestine.
WHAT IS POWERVU ?
Q: What is PowerVu? NHK World Premium uses this.
A: PowerVu is just another encryption method for MPEG-2 transmissions, just
as IRDETO, VIACCESS, CONAX, SECA-MEDIAGUARD, CRYPTOWORKS etc. PowerVu is
mostly used in areas where a mixed type of signals is required, PAL and
PowerVu seems to be very good in those kind of combinations, I've heard.
It is up to the broadcaster to decide what kind of conditional access he
prefers to use.
Just for your info: NHK World Premium is until May 3O still free-to-air on
Panamsat 4, 68.5 East, 12.604 GHz, V. This is not NHK World anymore...but
ceases in two weeks. From then on only the MPEG-2 transmissions in C-Band as
you found in the previous SAT-MidEast report.
IRD FOR NHK PREMIUM ?
I got "How to receive NHK World TV" brochure. It says to receive "NHK World
Premium" one needs to purchase Scientific Atlanta PowerVu IRD Model D-9234.
The service starts in October 1998 for Asia/MidEast, N.Africa,Europe, N/S
America. Contact: NHK Joho Network, Tel 81-3-3485-7730.
Q: Can Nokia MM 9600 decode PowerVu or only free to air digital?
The Mediamaster can receive PowerVu signals, but only the un-encrypted ones.
In case of NHK you could see with the Mediamaster the freeto-air channels of
NHK World. (Actually they are already broadcasting from PAS-4, as-we-speak,
and I can see them with my MM 9200)
The PowerVu/encrypted signal of NHK Premium will require the above menioned
SA receiver and a PAY-TV subscription to NHK. See the SAT-MidEast report
from 98.05.08 for the reception details.
LNB CABLE SWITCHING
Q: I recently ordered a Nokia MM 9600 and three 6 foot dish (fixed) for Hot
Bird, Asiasat, PAS-4. Since Nokia has only one LNB input, they told me I
need a switch. Is this "switch" manually operated?
A: You will have a generous set-up and have lots of future viewing pleasure.
Yes, you have to get the signals from the LNB's on the dishes into the
Mediamaster, which needs a lot of cabling and complicated manual switching,
if there wasn't a much better solution:
The Mediamaster 9600 software and the FTA 1.0 software for the 9200 do both
This is a digital switching device/system, able to connect to all used LNB's
(and even more compatible equipment), easy from the Set-up Menu of the
Mediamaster in a one-cable solution. This is highly recommendable in all
cases of multi-dish/multi-LNB installations, and will solve a lot of
connection headaches right from the start.
Remember you get from the Hot Bird dish already 4 different signals: Ku
low/high band H, Ku low/high band V, then two from Asiasat 2A, C-Band H/V
(disregard Ku-Band here) and from Panamsat even 6 different signals: Ku
low/high band H, Ku low/high band V and C-Band H/V. That's a lot of
connections to be made...
Get in contact with your local installer, and ask him for a catalog of
available DiSEqC equipment, you should in your case go for the Level-II
switches. (Send me also a set, I would love to install it !)
Q: Can the Nokia receive analogue signal in addition to digital?
A: No, the Mediamaster is purely a digital receiver, hybrid receiver (with
without positioner) are slowly entering the markets, but cannot be
recommended yet, for private viewing.
BBC and CNN on Ku-BAND
Q: Can BBC or CNN be picked up in clear on Ku with a 100 cm dish in Israel?
A: No, neither of the one transmitts in clear in the Ku-Band, to your area.
BBC World is in C-Band: 3.996 GHz, H, from Panamsat 4, 68.5 East.
CNNi is in C-Band: 3.843 GHz, R, from Arabsat 2A, 26 East.
THE ALL PURPOSE RECEIVER (any particular colour ?)
Q: About how much for a receiver that will pick up all Ku and C band
broadcasts? Will it need a new LNB as well?
A: I'm not sure to get your question right here ? Allmost all receivers
either analogue or digital ar able to receive Ku-Band and C-Band right from
Where it comes down to is most of the time the LNB, which clearly have to be
One for Ku-Band: recommended wide-band from 10.700 to 12.750 GHz, Noise
lower than 0.8 dB.
One for C-Band: recommended extended range 3.400-4.200 Ghz, Noise lower than
These two LNB have to be combined, to be put physically in the focal point
of your dish. Here is the Chapparal Corotor II the system of choice. You can
choose then how many cabling you want to get down from the roof to your
receiver, get eventual switches, and finnaly have a combined signal cable to
OVERFLOW DVB98 MEDIAMSTER SOFTWARE
I have visited the site you recommend for down loading Nokia d-box
software, but I got confused when I read that "Overflow Os/Firmware" is the
best software to be used with Nokia 9500/9200 or d-Box.
The site also mentioned FTA 1.0 as the second best.
I down-loaded all of these software but, FTA 1.0 can not be unzipped at all.
The "Overflow Os/Firmware" need what is called "boot loader".
Q: Can you give us your opinion in regard to what software we should use for
the Mediamaster and how to up-load it.
A: The Overflow software is really the best, but still in an undocumented
test version. I do not recommend this for normal use of the Mediamaster. The
Overflow DVB98 is a software for enthousiasts, who actually love to try
every new software version for their Nokia and help the author to improve
the software package.
As soon as this package reaches a final stadium of testing, I will recommend
it in the weekly SAT-MidEast reports.
For the time being I suggest you go for the FTA 1.0. If you have downloaded
the file it should be un-zipped on a Windwos'95 machine, as far as I know.
Ask any computer specialist how to do that. I have neither a Windows nor DOS
machine and have absolutely no idea how to do this. I've been told it is a
job of a couple of minutes, as is the uploading of the software into the
After Un-Zipping you need a so-called "null-modem cable" to connect the
Mediamaster to your PC, but actually there is a good description is in the
If all not works: go to the official NOKIA page and download the official
package with documentation from there:
PANAMSAT 4 IN THE GULF
Q: Do you happen to know wich one of PAS-4 can be received in the Gulf area?
I suppose you mean which of the beams can be received ?
A: In the Gulf you receive the South Asian/Middle East Beam Hemispheric Beam
(C-band), African Hemispheric Beam (C-band), Middle East Spot Beam
(Ku-band), Indian Spot Beam (Ku-band).
The best is you take a look at the official Panamsat map at:
If you are interested in channels receivable look for channels on the
mentioned beams in Christian Lyngemarks SATCO-DX chart:
there are just to many channels to mention them all here.
MULTICHOICE HELLAS SUBSCRIPTION
I'm located in Kuwait, and I can receive the Multichoice Hellas signal
(MPEG-2) broadcasting from Hot Bird 2, but I don't have the smart card for
Q: Where can I find it in europe, how can I have it ?
A: The Mulichoice Hellas package is subscribable only to Greek citizens
living in Greece. Don't be upset too much, most of the contents of the
package are in the Greek language anyway.
If you still want to try your luck, here are the telephone numbers:
+30 (1) 679-1557 (General info number)
+30 (1) 677-5000 (Subscriptions)
LNB and FEED HORN
Q: Can you explain to me the difference between LNB to feedhorn
I'll try to say it short and effective:
The feedhorn collects the microwave signals at the focus of a dish and
channels them to the LNB.
The LNB (Low-Noise Block down-converter) amplifies received signals and
converts them from microwaves to lower-frequency electrical signal to send
down to the receiver.
EL RESHAD TV, WHO, WHAT and WHERE ?
Q: Last week you wrote about El Reshad and I wonder what more do you know
1) Where are they feeding from?
2) How can we contact them?
3) Who are the key people to contact there.
Unfortunately I'm not able to tell you anything. It has been discussed over
the net, with several observer. We were not even able to pin-point the
country of origine of the transmissions.
They seem to focus on a special group of Moslim believers. The transmissions
from both Eutelsat II-f1 and Arabsat 2B have ceased since the last report.
It could have been tests for something bigger, still to come.
The only solution: check regularely the big internet search engines,
possibly they come up with a related link.
MEDIAMASTER " NO CA MODULE"
I live in Sri Lanka and I am using 4 metre antenna with a Mirage LT-8000
analogue receiver and Nokia 9200 MediaMaster. I also have a Noka d-Box.
Now these are my problems.
When I tune the Nokia 9200 I get a lot of channels some of them are very
good in picture quality. and on some channels I get the message on screen "
No CA Module..."
Q: Does this mean that I should have a card or a decoder ?
Q: If yes have I got to have several cards/decoders for the several
Q: What type of Card/Decoder(s) I should buy and what will it cost about?
A: The message "No CA Module" indicates that you are receiving an encrypted
channel. This can be in one of the many used systems: Irdeto, Viaccess,
CryptoWorks, Conax, Seca-MediaGuard, PowerVu etc.
All these systems are incompatible with each other and for some you will
even need an dedicated receive/decoder.
The Mediamaster 9200 features in the moment only a slot for an IRDETO-CAM
(Conditional Access Module) which is hidden behind the thin plexiglas cover
of the display of the IRD. Next to it, to the right, is the slot for the
smart card. A Viaccess PCMCIA CAM with integrated card reader is presently
only available for the Mediamaster 9600, as well as a Philips CryptoWorks
PCMCIA CAM for the same IRD.
You should review the channels of your liking on Christian Lyngemarks
SATCO-DX charts: http://www.satcodx.com/ and then make your final
selection on what to see, with which decoder system.
Be aware that most encrypted channels however not need an IRD alone, you
will have to subscribe to the various programme provider to get an activated
smart card. Entertainment TV is mostly Pay TV, unfortunately.
With the analogue receiver I get some channels encrypted.
Q: Have I got to have several decoders to see these channels?
Q: What is a D2-Mac Decoder and what channels I can see with it ?
Q: Do I need to have a card or cards also ?
A: It is the same as in the digital world, there are plenty of encryption
systems available, for which you have to buy specific decoders and have to
get individual smart cards. A D2-Mac decoder is just one of them.
Select the channels you would like to see and then decide on what type of
decoder you should buy, if ever.
Q: Could you please explain the use of decoders in a simple and practical
A: The audio/video signal is mixed-up following a computer generated scheme,
before broadcasting. The so-called seed information is known to the
broadcaster and is partly made available on the smart card. This enables the
decoder to reverse the scrambling of the received signal to obtain a picture
as it was prior to encryption. Some loss in quality is mostly observed.
There is sometimes also some identification information added to the
signals, controlling the lawfullness of the used smart cards (adressable
systems). The same method is also used to enable/disable smartcards over the
air, even an upgrade of the information on the smartcards can be performed.
I was receiving Star Sports with my analogue receiver until March when they
shifted it to Digital mode. Now how can I receive Star Sports?
Q: Do I have to purchase a receiver sold by Star Sports ? (This they sell to
cable operators only)
A: You're right. I doubt however that STAR TV will sell you one of its
receiver/decoders without proof of you being a Cable TV provider. And then:
you are sure not willing to pay those horrendous fees, don't you ?
I'm not particular aware of the domestic TV infrastructure on Sri Lanka, but
there must be a Cable TV operator providing these signals. Or, as it is done
in Egypt: an encrypted local UHF based network bringing signals cheap to the
population. Maybe one of the readers on the Island could help me out, so
that I can bring some updated information in one of the next mailings.
Henk C. Room / Cairo - Egypt
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