ASK-ME 98.05.19 * Q&A by SAT-MidEast
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A satellite question and answer service by SAT-MidEast, Cairo, Egypt
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Here a collection of received questions:
MEDIAMASTER "RED" DEBUGGER MENU
Many people are scared to use the "red menu" in their Nokia box, yet
some time they need to use it to be able to receive the "soft encrypted"
channels and also to manually enter the PID for those of us who do not
have the latest software.
Q: Is there any documentation which can explain, in easy steps, how to
enter and insert channel information with an example ?
A: You say most people are scared to go into so-called 'RED MENU" and
they are right. It is a plain debugger menu for use by NOKIA software
engineers. It is much over-rated anyway. I haven't used it myself for
over a year, and that was long before I got any new software.
I will give you below some info, but be aware that all changes you make
using the RED MENU are only temporary, none of the channels you enter
with great difficulty can be stored for further use.
As soon as you switch off your box, or change to another satellite
position, evrything is gone, and for renewed viewing, you have to enter
all data again.
This just as a warning before you start.
* Following steps to enter data in the debugging "RED" menu:
1. Push without delays following four buttons: "RADIO" - "9" - "9" -
2. Push button "ARROW-UP" until in the IRD-display a yet unused factory
3. Push button "MENU", the debugging (RED) menu appears
4. Push button "8" (receiver set-up menu)
5. At "Select frequency integer" you enter the frequency as listed eg.:
11876 and push "OK"
6. Push "ARROW-UP" one time: "Select Symbol Rate integer" appears: enter
eg.: 27 and push "OK", enter 500 and push "OK" (to enter the figure
7. Push "ARROW-DOWN" two times: "Select to save Parameters appears: push
8. The requested channel should actually appear now, push "TV" to leave
the debugging (RED) menu
9. In a package can with "ARROW-LEFT" and "ARROW-RIGHT" be switched
10. If you recall the same channel later in the internal (RED) menu you
will find the same settings stored (but only until you make a system
reset or an automatic search)
Everything of the above only until a reset, and on your own risk.
There are really some settings which can destroy your software
beyond the point of repair.
MEDIAMASTER FREEZE UP
Q: I downloaded new software from the internet for my Mediamaster 9200
and it worked properly and better than before, but I tried the SR search
and it also worked good, then suddenly a PIN code was requested. I used
'1234' for the first try and it did work for me just fine.
But after I turned the IRD off and on again it asked me again for the
PIN code and when I entered '1234' it did not work like the first time
and it made it stuck on the same page where you enter the pin code.
I keep trying the same code but it is blocked on one area. What can I do
please It would be so nice of you if you give me an answer as soon as
you can, without waiting for your weekly submission.
A: Of course in this case you are served direct: I know of two different
factory settings for the Nokia: a) 1234 and b) 0000
If neither of these numbers work, you have to contact the guy from where
you got the software. He is the only one who can help you out. Or simply
pull the power-plug...
Did you try to make a total RESET ? You have to start over with channel
searching, but better then nothing at all?
Mediamaster Factory Reset:
Switch off the Mediamaster with the remote and push immidiately the two
outer buttons on the front panel of the IRD (there are only three, so
simply you don't touch the middle one). The focus is on immediately !
The word RESET appears on the display and you can start over again with
a clean machine (it does not cancel any new uploaded software however)
MPEG-2 DATA for NILESAT 101
Q: I would like to know if you have any idea about the symbole rate and
FEC to be used on Nile sat. I'm expecting no change for ART and Showtime
so there customers do not get in trouble again if the want to receive
from Nile sat.
A: It is true that ART and SHOWTIME have transponder on the Nilesat, but
are you sure they going to transmit their normal packages from there ?
I don't think so !
The ART will use their transponder for feeds to their uplink center near
Fucino, Italy; Showtime will use it for feeds and the feed for "Showtime
Egypt" which is already on terrestrial UHF waves.
The normal 1stNet and Showtime packages stay on respective Arabsat 2A
and Panamsat 4. The only expected change is that Showtime, after a
succesfull launch of Panamsat 7, will have additional capacity on that
satellite, which will be co-located to PAS-4 at 68.5 East in October'98.
Q: Do you have any idea which transponder frequencies are allocated to
which package ?
A: Frequency allocation and other transmission data have not been
published yet. First broadcasts could however be received on 11.900 GHz,
V, MPEG-2/clear, SR 27500 and FEC 3/4 and a series of VPIDs from
1001-1107 and APIDs from 1201-1207.
DEFECTIVE SERVO MOTOR
My Analogue satellite receiver which was performing very well, but
lately gives only vertical channels. I feel that when I change the skew
control I do not hear any sound of rotation from the LNB.
Q: Have I got to change the LNB/servo motor?
A: Could be, but I would primarely check the wiring first. It is
possible that just a wire went bad, or there is a poor connection from
the receiver to the dish.
After that, try to take the motor from the dish and connect it directly
to the receiver; if it does not work then, you will have to replace it.
TEST PACKAGES & MEDIAMASTER SOFTWARE UPGRADE
On the "British Telecom" package at 12.188 GHz, V, from Hot Bird 3, I
have received eleven new channels "Programme 1-11". You stated that
we need to enter the PID manually and this was the case with my system
before with this package, but last night it was different. Four out off
these eleven channels are active.
Q: May be I do not need to update my software any more ?
A: Changes like this occure all the time, sometimes more than one time
daily. These are not channels ment for viewing, these ar just some
free-to-air channels put into that particular package to test out the
technics and train the operators. These channels come just by luck (and
some fancy new satellites) in your reach now, they have been available
in Europe free much longer.
Don't count on it that they will stay, they will certainly NOT.
Enjoy them as long as they are free...and available.
Now is the time of big exhibitions, where all satellite operators,
broadcaster and cable companies want too show off (May 18th for instance
started the Cable & Satellite expo in London, where half of Europe is
meeting at the time). Therefore you see a lot of new packages coming up
and opening free to air.
The autumn will look a little bit different, then every package starts
closing up, preparing for the X-mas Pay-TV business !
In regards to changing you're software: Yes, I still think you should
upgrade, it's a simple task and you don not want to be left behind with
out-dated software: It's like refusing Windows'95 and working with DOS
3.1. It works, but it's not the way to go into the future...
BBC in KUWAIT
Q: I'm trying to receive the BBC digital in Kuwait from PAS-4. Is it
still in the clear as the SATCO-DX listing states?
The receivable MPEG-2 transmissions of BBC are NOT clear, they are
encrypted in IRDETO, as part of the Multichoice Africa package on 4.086
There is a PAL/clear transmission you should get from 3.864 GHz, V.
There is another MPEG-2 transmission on 3.996 GHz, H, on the so called
South Asian/Middle East beam MEPG-2/clear, SR 6620, FEC 3/4, Pids
This one is very difficult to receive, and I know of reception reports
only from India, Seychelles, Sri-Lanka and more direction to Australia.
This transponder is on a beam we actually should get (and we DO get a
lot of channels on this beam) but this one uses the satellites west
antenna and therefore has much more power to the east. All channels
using the east antenna coming better here and worse in Australia. The
beam is just much too big.
In October 1998 comes PAS-7 on the same location 68.5 East, with a much
simpler and more powerfull beam configuration, we have to wait for that,
maybe there will be some changes, which make it possible to get BBC
World in MPEG-2.
AUTOMATED SIGNAL SEARCH ON MEDIAMASTER
Q: My question is how can I search for new channels on the NOKIA
Mediamaster assuming I don't have the frequency and let the receiver
find these new frequencies.
Simply you can't, the Mediamaster software (if you have a 9200 it is the
version FTA 1.0, most probably) is not able to look automatically for
other frequencies then specified, with one exeption:
If you have left menu point "Network Search" to the factory setting
"Yes" when performing a 'normal' search, then the software will pick up
other frequencies which are found in the initial data stream transmitted
on the frequency entered. So actually what happens is that the
Mediamaster starts a search, finds the transmission data, finds the
"networked" frequencies and searches them then one by one, adding
channels to the master list.
Broadcaster use this to make it easier for their (paying) customers to
get all channels of the package when more then one transponder is used.
(and to bind customers closer to their channels in the package!)
In a multi-LNB and multi-dish set-up, as frequently found in the Middle
East, this system is totally inadequate, or you have to invest in some
pretty fancy DiSEqC digital switching equipment, as the Mediamaster
assumes to have ALL hi-and low band frequencies in both polarizations on
line, which in most DTH installations is not the case.
To find new digital channels you have only method: look for the activity
on the transponder, if there is nothing analogue to see, you'll try a
MPEG-2 search. Be aware however that not all channels are found when
entering only the frequency. The better the data provided to the
Mediamaster, the better the result in recognized channels.
Look for the digital listing on my website for some more details on
transponder, frequencies and PIDs for channels positively receivable in
the Middle East:
EUTELSAT II-f1 RECEPTION
I can pick up Eros TV from 11.658 GHz, V, but with a terrible picture.
Q: What is the reason for this, and what is the remedy?
A: In Cairo perfect reception, without any sparkies, and clear sound
from 6.50 MHz. Actually the reception was a little better as the normal
FT test card.
Be aware that transponder 39 is on the oldest Eutelsat on 13 East: the
II-f1, due for replacement in October/November this year.
The used transponder power is only 50 Watt, that of the Hot Birds 3, 4,
and soon 5, on the same position is 130 Watt: that is where the
difference mainly is coming from. The widebeam on the Eutelsat II-f1 is
also a little smaller.
You have to use a bigger dish, or live with it, until the replacement.
The Eutelsat II-f1 is scheduled to go after the replacement to 21.5
East, and used for feeds, telephony, and VSAT communication.
Q: Are there any free to air digital french channels on hotbird. TV5
A: Hmmm <grgrgr> Please refer for simple questions like the
receivability of single channels to the SATCO-DX charts or the HOT Bird
charts on the SAT-MidEast website.
It takes too much time to answer all these individual channel questions,
a little search effort from your side can be expected, as long as nobody
is paying me, for my services.
There are no digital transmissions of TV5 on the Hot Bird position
receivable in Kuwait. There is the French bouquet on transponder 77,
12.245 GHz, H, with SR 27500 and FEC 3/4, where FASHION TV is clear
(with good music and a lot of ladies with or without clothing) and also
the Russian WRC channel is still clear.
Furthermore you should get on transponder 70, 12.111 GHz, V, EuroNews in
Q: On which satellite and frequency is RTP (Portugal) showing?
A: Hmmm <grgrgr> The same as the above, please look for channels in the
available charts !
1) Hot Bird 2, 13 East, 11.727 V, PAL/clear
2) Express 2, 14 West, 4.025 R, PAL/clear
3) Express 2, 14 West, 3.836 R, MPEG-2/clear
NEW CHANNELS for the MIDDLE EAST
Q: Will Intelsat 805, Hotbird 5 and Eutelsat W1 and W2 bring any new Ku
A: Intelsat 805 will be positioned dat 55.5 West, I doubt that we will
see very much of it here in the Middle East and Levante.
The Eutelsats W1 (10 East), W2 (16 East), W3 (7 East), and W4 (36 East),
will surely bring some TV broadcasts to the region, but it has to be
considered that these are primarely tele-communications satellites, with
DTH TV only as a secondary option. All TV broadcast will more and more
become centralized on Eutelsats 'Hot Bird' position 13 East.
A secundary DTH position will be the 29 East position where in 2000 the
Europesat-1 will be located.
It is at the present time not published which of the current broadcaster
will sign new leases for the replacement 'W' satellites, but is clear
that none of the major channels will dissapear overnight.
It needs also some consideration that there is some competition for the
16 East position now the Nilesat becomes operational in a few weeks and
a very strong Ku-band Arabsat 3A will be launched next year.
The Hot Bird 5 will bring some very interesting channels to the Middle
East, by replacing Eutelsat II-f1 with very powerful transponder and a
strongly widened coverage. The Eutelsat 'Hot Bird' position at 13 East
will be the prime location for western type of entertainment.
But remember, for all of these channels you should have at least a dish
of 150-180 cm in Israel, and an increased number of them will be in
MEDIAMASTERs PCR PIDs
I have a Mediamaster 9200S. When I do a "Advanced Channel search" I have
, in the last row of the menu a function to insert: PID-PCR.
Q: What is it and how come these numbers never show in the tables
(SATCO-DX e.g.) ?
A: The PCR-PID is a so-called synchron PID, what it actually does is not
known to me, I will have to investigate deeper.
It doesn't matter that much in the moment, as the PCR PID is hardly used
by broadcaster, but maybe that will change over time.
Q: If I have to put something - what should I write? (because I find
always a pre-set number there, when I program a channel).
A: If you have to put something (and that can be sometimes the case in
order to receive channels with conflicting data, or feed channels) you
enter the VPID, when not otherwise stated.
There are actually only three known status of the PCR PID:
a) VPID entered, will return 8191 if reviewed again, but the entered
figure is stored with the data.
b) 8191 on any of the PIDs means that the PID is not set at all, it is
the highest possible number the software of the Mediamaster can set for
PIDs (HEXA DECIMAL: 1FFF).
c) Sometimes you see a PCR PID programmed as 1FFE or 8190, this means
that the programmer has entered a figure, which is not recognized or
used by the software.
So remember: 8191=not set, 8190=set but not needed, or VPID.
Q: Are there any other feed channels on our most popular sats that do
not appear on SATCO-DX charts ?
A: Yes, there are. Christian Lyngemark of SATCO-DX enters only regular
feed channels, and they have to be confirmed by more than two sources.
Most of the MPEG-2 feed transmissions go unrecognized anyway while the
uplinker uses only very small part of the available frequency, for
regular news feeds only 4-5 MHz bandwidth is used. This even could be
aside of any analogue transmission on the powerfull satellites of today.
Q: How come I cannot see the details of an already memorized channel in
the above mentioned receiver?
A: I don't understand you here: you CAN see the details:
Tune in to any channel, open the advanced search mode and read the data.
You can leave the menu, without doing a search, with exit !
Q: Why is the widescreen mode spent, without being able to change it ?
(does it need an update version ?)
A: You mean in the yellow "Service Menu" ? Be very carefull there ! This
menu has severe bugs, is not functional in all its parts, and can even
make your IRD unusable, when making a few illegal settings.
I really do not know why they put a widescreen mode here, these
transmissions could be much simpler recognized and dealt with by any
widescreen TV monitor.
I try to locate the Nilesat but I can't figure. I'm using a Nokia
Mediamaster with a separate positioner. On the Hotbird position the
positioner digits are: 1574 and I have digits: 1632 when I move to 1
Q: What should the position be to see the Nilesat?
A: The numbers shown on your positioner are only subjective to your
positioner, they can not be used to allocate a satellite other than on
your system set-up.
But it helps you in this case: We use some mathmatics:
Hot Bird is on 13 East, Intelsat 707 is on 1 West, between them are
exactly 14 degrees.
The difference in numbers on the positioner is 1632-1574 = 58.
Now we divide 58/14 = and the result is 4.143
This we take times 6 as we want to go from 1 West to 7 West = 24.858
Add this to the 1 West figur of 1632, so you should find Nilesat around
Be aware that this is an approximation it is mathematecal actually far
from correct, as the satellite arc is neither a circle nor do I know the
angle of your motor-arm to the dish, but to get a first signal from the
satellite is should work.
If you get now a signal, try to locate it precisely with a signal
strenght meter, either on the analogue receiver or on the Mediamaster.
Q: Please advice and update me with the average time they make test.
There have been NO MPEG-2 transmissions on the Nilesat 101 since May
14th however, you should look throughout the day for empty carrier
signals, which are best seen with an analogue receiver.
Here a list of all possible frequencies:
Personally I have seen very strong signals already on 11.747 V, 11.766
H, 11.785 V, 11.823 V, 11.900 V, 11.977 V and 11.996 H.
NILESAT 101, 7 West, launched with Arianespace V108 28 April 1998
tp#, freq#, A/D(Analog/Digital), F/C(Free/Coded)
Horizontal A/D F/C Channel Start
3 11.766 D F
5 11.804 D F
7 11.842 D F
9 11.881 D F
11 11.919 D F
13 11.957 D F
15 11.996 D F
17 12.034 D F
Vertical A/D F/C Channel Start
2 11.747 D F
4 11.785 D F
6 11.823 D F
8 11.862 D F
10 11.900 D F
12 11.938 D F
14 11.977 D F
16 12.015 D F
18 12.054 D F
Q: About REN on Grozino 31. Is this channel still active? Its home
A: REN TV on the Russian Gorizont 31, is still there, receivable and
active. You can get them daily from on 40.5 East, 3.925 GHz, RC.
You do need a standard analogue receiver, capable of receiving C-Band.
The channel is in PAL/clear and is broadcasting from the afternoon to
They have a homepage on the Internet: http://www.rentv.ru/
(Hmmm: I just got report that the homepage is inactivated, sorry !)
Q: What does RC stand for?
A: RC is Righthand Circular and is the polarization, there is also LC
which is Lefthand Circular. Mostly are used the abbreviations: R or L.
This kind of polarization is frequently used on C-Band satellites.
On Ku-Band satellites the main type of polarization is linear, which is
expressed in Horizontal and Vertical or abbriviated: H or V.
Q: I am living in Kuwait. Can I receive digital channels from Turksat?
or am I out of the footprint.
A: You're far out of footprint and still you could be able to receive
something with a little luck. I have reception reports of the Turksat
channels in the KSA, Rhyadh for instance.
But you will have to use a large dish, bigger than 360 cm, I assume.
All transmission use the Ku-Band: 10.950-11.200 and 11.450-11.700 GHz,
only Horizontal polarized. The Vertical polarized beam goes to
West-Europe and can not be received at all.
For actual channels take a look at:
UPDATE on ZakNet SERVICES
A mail received from ZAKNet by one of the readers in Israel:
Quote: Although ZakNet is currently not being offered in your territory,
we are working to ensure that ZakNet Services may be offered. The cost
of the ZakNet PC Card and ZakNet Services will depend on the current
market pricing. ZakNet though, wants to ensure that the price is kept at
a reasonable level.
Please stay tuned to our Hot New Section of our website, that is updated
ZakNet Customer Service Team
Henk C. Room / Cairo - Egypt
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