ASK-ME 98.05.27 * Q&A by SAT-MidEast

A satellite question and answer service by SAT-MidEast, Cairo, Egypt
enabled by TELE-Satellite International, SATCO-DX and TBS Internet.
- Answers on questions you always wanted to ask, but never did.
- The ASK-ME will be send irregulary to your mailbox, depending
- on the number of general interesting responses to be forwarded.
- News, frequencies and transponder changes from active satellites,
- this is full covered by the free-of-charge SAT-MidEast mailing list.
- A subscription to the SAT-MidEast free-of-charge mailing list:
- Send an e-mail to: majordomo@tags1.dn.net
- put on a single line: subscribe sat-mideast your_email@address

- SAT-MidEast maintains a web site with relevant Middle Eastern
- satellite information, and a regular updated, satellite based,
- archive of observations, features & news for the Middle East. 

        SAT-MidEast: http://www.sat-net.com/sat-mideast/
- Send an e-mail to: majordomo@drdish.com
- put on a single line: unsubscribe ask-me your_email@address

Hi folks, a week passed already, and here we go again, still waiting for
the one and only golden word !

Q: My location is Cairo and I use a 240 cm dish and a Nokia Mediamaster
9500. I tried to access the new MPEG-2 chanels which were updated May
14th on the Eutelsat II-f3, 16 East but nothing appeared, despite them
being on the wide beam. 

A: The mentioned channels are, as you say correctly, on the widebeam,
however at least two factors make it impossible to receive them:

1) The transmitted EIRP of the full signal is far below the treshold of
the Mediamaster 9500, which is set to a higher figure as the MM 9200.
You are not able to change this, without changing the software to
something like Dream 5.1 or so.

2) The signal is not transmitted to the full saturation capacity of the
transponder, they do not use the transponder capabilities to a full.

Solution: None for the moment. Be a little patient, the satellite will
be exchanged for a new one latest November this year. Insh'Allah.

A comparision:
Eutelsat II-f3  -> 50dBW power  -> Super and Widebeam
Eutelsat  III-f2 (W2) -> 95dBW power -> Superwidebeam , two spotbeams

Q: When do you think we should expect a video signal from Nilesat ?
Nothing before the official opening ?

A: Personally I don't think so, they wouldn't dare to start transmitting
prior to the official opening by President Mohamed Hosny Mubarak, would
they ?

It could be that a few test cards appear one or two days ahead of the
inauguration, just to make some quality assurance, but technically it is
not required at all, to have video or audio transmitted during the test.

This is quite insignifcant data for testing: precise activated test
waves and combinations of those with defined saturations are much more
effective. And not only the transponder has to be tested, this is the
major part for the user, but not for the satellite's operator.

It's like manufactering a car: Consumers are interested in comfortable
seats, a quadrophonic sound system and airconditioning, but does that
have any influence on the motoric capabilites of the car or its safety
record ?

Q: I have Nokia 9200S equiped with Irdeto CAM, but I don't know where I
can get an Irdeto card and how can I subscribe to ART channels and
Multichoice channels, and how much will it cost me, and how to pay.

A: You can get the full subscription information for Kuwait from the ART

As soon as you have subscribed you will get the smartcard from them.
The same is true for the Showtime package, look for information on:


For an eventual subscription to the Orbit Network you will have to take
into account that you will need a (new) dedicated receiver.


Q: My question is if I change my CAM into Viaccess CAM, could I receive
the Viaccess channels in Kuwait and where can I get this and smart cards

A: Unfortunately there is no Viaccess CAM for the Nokia Mediamaster
The present Viaccess CAM is build as a PCMCIA card with integrated card
reader and fits only in a slot on the Nokia Mediamaster 9600 series.

On the other hand, there is no Irdeto CAM for the Mediamaster 9600, so
actually you should have two receiver.

If you would have a receiver, able to decode the Viaccess signals, you
would still be needing a subscription from each provider of the
different packages, but theoretical you would be able to see them if
they are broadcasting on the widebeam of Eutelsat Hot Bird 2, 3, 4 and
soon Hot Bird 5.

See for a listing of the available channels and packages:

Q: Can you please provide me with the Multichoice Africa e-mail address

A: Hmmm...You can write to them but they will not subscribe you, as it
is illegal to do so. You have to be a citizen of a black African
country, to the  South of the Sahara.

You can try you're luck on the Multichoice Africa website in South

Or look for some local providers who are offering the original cards,
enabled for one year. They are quite costly however, but aren't pirated

Q: Can you tell me please if Multichoice (Eutelsat 11.823) is clear?
I mean if I purchase a d-box can I see the program without some members
card ?

A: Unfortunately there are only two channels to see if you would tune in
to the Multichoice Hellas package without a smartcard: CCTV-4, one of
the Chinese International TV channels, and ERT International, which
anyway is already free-to-air analogue on Hot Bird 3, 13 East, 12.284
GHz, H, available.

Multichoice Hellas is btw. using two frequencies on the 13 East
position: transponder 55, 11.823 GHz, H, and transponder 73, 12.169 GHz,

Now if you should ask me where to get a smart card, I would have to tell
you, that thanks to the local political conflicts of interest, there are
still none available. Legislation has still to be passed in the Greek

NOVA the main operator of the package has done some marketing, offering
a Panasat 520 IRD, with a 60 cm dish, but the activated smartcard is
delivered later, at a not disclosed point in time. If you still like to
try your luck, here are some numbers you could call in Athens:

Telefon numbers of Multichoice Hellas: 
	+30 (1) 679-1500 (Public Relations)
	+30 (1) 679-1557 (General Info) 
	+30 (1) 677-5000 (Subscriptions)

It is however not recommendable to buy the offered Panasat
receiver/decoder, as this machine is only able to receive MCPC packages,
any Symbol Rates below 15000 (SCPC channels) are not recognized. The
receiver can only store one package at the time and there is no way to
enter individual channel data (PIDs).

Try to buy a Nokia Mediamaster 9200 with IRDETO CAM (Conditional Access
Module) and FTA 1.0 software, or if you are more interested in VIACCESS
encrypted channels, buy a Mediamaster 9600-S with the VIACCESS PCMCIA
module with integrated card-reader. There is no Mediamaster (or any
other IRD) yet available who can receive both systems.

I do not recommend to buy an original German 'DF-1' d-Box, maybe they
are a little cheaper at the moment, but more difficult in upgrade later.

I have a Strong 1500 analog receiver with a 180cm dish and wide Ku &
C-band LNBs, with a 24 inch actuator

The frequency which appears on the screen in the frequency option is not
the real frequency it ranges between 900-2190. So how could I convert
the real frequency to be in this range ?

This is a slight calculation, whereby the basis is depending on the LOF
(Local Oscillator Frequency) of your LNB. This can be depending on the
model 9.750, 10.000, 10.600, 10.750 for Ku-band LNB's or 5.150 in case
it is a C-Band LNB. 

There are more variances around, anyway you have to check it in the
documentation that came with the LNB or on a label on the LNB itself.

Example in case the LOF = 10000 MHz: (e.g. Standard LNB)

On-screen 950   -> add 10.000   -> Act freq: 10.950
On-screen 1450  -> add 10.000   -> Act freq: 11.450

Example in case the LOF = 10.750 Mhz: (e.g. Wide LNB High Band)

On-screen 950   -> add 10.750   -> Act.freq: 11.700
On-screen 1450  -> add 10.750   -> Act.freq: 12.200

Q: The dish positions start from the Amos satellite West [ed: 4 West] to
the satellite containing the Sony, CNN, CNBC channels, [ed: PAS-4 68.5
East] so can I get the Nile-sat ? I tried, but I couldn't move further
than the Amos satellite.  What can I do to get the Nilesat.

A: The Nilesat is around 3 degrees further to the West only, well in
reach on your location in Jordan. First check if there are any
mechanical obstacles, hindering your dish to move further west-wards.

If this is not the case then check if there are limits set by the
software in the positioner part of your receiver.

If yes, move the westlimit a few numbers upwards, I can't tell the exact
number as this is subjective to your system set-up. Just try and take
small steps.

If the limits in the software are already wide enough and still you can
not move to 7 West, then check for mechanical limiters set on your
actuator (and eventual dish). If they are there relocate them a little
to give the actuator more space to move. The size of your actuator is
able to get the opening angles you would need.

Q: We are living as German expatriates in Abu Dhabi and wonder what
satellites are receivable here and what dish sizes are required to do
so. Your help would be highly appreciated.

Q: There are so many satellites available in Abu Dhabi that it would
take me hours to type them all down, I have to ask you to look for them

With a standard dishsize of 180-240cm (big for Europe, but quite common
here) you can get several Ku-Band and C-Band dishes from 150 East to
around 20 West.

You'll find all these satellites, the channels they feature and the
technical data on http://www.satcodx.com/  Look for regions Europa  and

The important SATs: Hot Bird 2, 3, and 4, Arabsat 2A, Panamsat 4,
Asiasat 2A.

Don't think about getting Astra in any form, only DW TV in Abu Dhabi. In
Cairo here at least I receive Pro-7, in case of a stroke of severe home

I'm a subsciber to the Orbit package. I have a satellite digital
receiver which I bought from Orbit dealer. Its model is D 9232 IRD. I
noticed other packages receivers can be programmed to receive free to
air digital channels.

Q: Is there a way that I can programme my Orbit reciever to receive
these other free channels available on different satellites?

A: The IRD (Integrated Receiver/Decoder) you own is from Scientific
Atlanta and this series is specially manufactered for Orbit. It is only
capable of receiving the older MPEG-1.5 digital broadcasts, which there
are very, very few on satellite, exept for the Orbit bouquets.

Your receiver can NOT be used to receive any of the DVB conform MPEG-2
channels which are flooding the frequencies these days.

It is untrue that receivers of other packages (in general) can be
programmed to receive all free-to-air programmes. I know of a few, e.g.
the PACE 500, the PANASAT 520 and more which are only MCPC package
receiver and cannot access most of the other channels.

You're receiver of choice should be a NOKIA, either a Mediamaster 9200
with Irdeto or a 9600 with Viaccess CAM (Conditional Access Module). You
could buy of course a model without any CAM, but I believe it is unwise
to do so.

Q: Where can I get CA module for Nokia 9600-S DVB.

A: The Nokia 9600-S Mediamaster has an PCMCIA slot, for Common Interface
Modules. There are three types available at present time: VIACCESS,
Cryptoworks, and CONAX.

You have to select the type(s) you are looking for, i.e. check the
encryption methods used of the channels you like to see. This you can do
by visiting 

	SATCO-DX: http://www.satcodx.com/ 

and look for details on the satellites you are able to receive.

In order to purchase the item, I would suggest you look primarely for
local suppliers in the Emirates, Dubai most probably and if there is
nothing available check:the official distributor of Nokia in Germany:

	MASCOM: http://www.satshop.com/
Q: I live in Iran. Here we have some trouble on connecting to internet.
I want to use internet and I can use satellite but I don't know what is
the necessary equipment for this purpose. Please tell me about those and
what is their technical specifications, such as required receiver card,
LNB and others.

A: To understand the internet offered through satellite, you have
primerily to understand that this is a one way service only.
The request for information goes still onto the internet in the standard
way: through a dedicated phone-line to the provider. The PC-card in your
computer, which is connected to your LNB in the satellite dish, receives
only the requested data, but that much faster than possible through a

So you need still a terrestrial connection to the internet provider, in
this case Zaknet, which is as far as I know the only Internet service
covering Iran, via the Asiasat 2 satellite at 100.5 East. From the
reception side you would have to be able to get a strong reception in
the C-Band from 3.940 GHz, Vertical.

As my inquiries unfolded I had to experience that ZAKnet unfortunately
does not offer the required service to Iran yet, and I have serious
doubts if they will in the near future. You may have to wait untill real
two-way satellite services, with the uplink from home are becoming
commercially available, a few years or so...

In any case the URL of ZAKnet: http://www.zak-sat.net/

We have bought a PACE Digital Satellite Receiver Model: DVS200, Exact
Model No.: DVS211M. We were not supplied with proper operational manual.
Hence we are unable to receive any free to air signals as the receiver
cannot be programmed.

Q; Is there anything you can do to help me ?

A: Due to the excellent services provided by Tele-satellite
International you can be helped immidiately. Go to the URL below, and
find the PACE DVS 200 manual complete on-line, in the English version.


If you are in the main menu, look a little around, there are plenty of
other manuals available, which eventualy may help you one day.
The service is constantly expanded, so visit this address regularely.

Q: Some strange things are happening with my new digital NOKIA 9600 S.
It works perfectly fine in the 11 GHz band but not in the 12 GHz band.
When in the searching mode it find the channels, but it won't display
the picture. All that appears on the screen is a message: "No (or bad)

I have an 180 cm antenna and a MTI universal LNB. As I figured the
problem can have two sources. One is that maybe the receiver does not
give the 22 KHz signal in the normal viewing mode. The other is that my 
LNB has the second L.O. frequency 10.75 GHz and not the usual 10.6 GHz.

Even if I set the correct value (10,75) in the blue menu, the receiver
considers 10,6 GHz. So, to find some particularly channels, I have to
subtract 150 MHz from the input value in the transponder frequency, in
"Channel Search" menu. However, after the channels are found, in the
same menu and in the "Advanced tuning" option from blue menu, the right
value appears.

A: As I read out of your above description you have a wide band LNB with
a low band LOF of 9.750 and a high band LOF of 10.750, and switched by a
22 Khz signal.

It is important to set-up your low and hi LOF's both in the "Antenna
Configuration" menu (and eventual the LOF of a C-Band LNB). You'll take
just any setting, say nr 1 and define it with your low band LOF 9.750,
then you go to nr 2: and define it with your high band LOF 10.750,
eventual nr. 3 with the LOF 5.150 for C-Band.

All these LOF figures are pre-programmed in the software, just select
them with the left and right buttons. Do NOT care about the names
attached to this numbers, like Astra, Hot Bird, Sirius, Panamsat or
Asiasat or Other1 etc. 
These differ from software type to software type and do NOT influence
your settings. Just remember the names belonging to the made settings.

(Personally I use Astra for the low band, Hot Bird for the High band and
Other1 for the C-Band.)

As soon as you do a search you enter the required name/number (actually
it is the attached name which appears, but that's in pricipal the same,
the name itself doesn't matter at all)

If you say you are experiencing still a wrong switch-over freqeuncy then
go to the service menu, page 4 and check the "Satellite band shift
freq." setting, for your LNB this should be 11700.00. If this is still
on 11600.00 just change it by using the left and right buttons and leave
the menus with return.

In the same menu you could also test the 22 KHz function, you can put it
manually on or off and see the results on-screen.

SME COMMENT: A follow up on this issue showed clearly that the 22KHz
tone is not send automatically on any antenna configuration other then
"Universal LNB".

Q: Where can I find a full description of the Mediamasters "blue menu"?
There are some parameters (Positio.. in the "Outdoor Unit
configuration", Add channel parameters in "Advanced tuning" and others)
unknown for me.

A: Find below some URL's with FAQ's, but be warned that this menu is not
to be used in all points, as it contains a series of errors. There are a
few settings which can seriously disable you're software, and corrupt
the database, which means you have to make a reset and start loading all
channels again. This happens especially wenn you are tuned in to a
package with conflicting ID's, (giving you already a "NO TS" on screen)

Q: I'm a subscriber of Showtime in Cairo and I'm experiencing some
strange reception effects with my system. The picture is often grainy
(not soft) and usually after I'm back (to Showtime) from channel
surfing, the picture seems softer (I always use the signal strength
meter in the installation menu for position tuning).

A: After reading your mail, I suspect a phase-error in the LNB or poor
cabling from the LNB downwards to the receiver. In case of digital
reception (and we are speaking only about this in the moment) the
quality of the video and audio cannot be different from one day to
another, even with a slight different location of the dish.

If the signal is received and a picture without regular interuptions is
established by the Mediamaster, then it should always be in an equal
very high quality, as the video and audio only is generated out of a
stream of related bits. There is nothing which can influence the picture
quality, exept some powerleakage or interference on the cable.

Interference in this case is the influence of electric activity in one
cable on the contents of another cable close to it. Electrical waves
tend to be tiny broadcasters themselves, this could lead to the "grainy"

But still I wouldn't start looking there, please check first your
set-up, what equipment is placed near to your Mediamaster, how is the
cabling from the Medimaster to the TV monitor and how is the temperature
of the surrounding equipment and the Mediamaster.

The Mediamaster is quite sensible to heat, I had also difficulties when
putting it together with another piece of equipment, (interruptions,
short freezes, or small green blocks on the screen) Since I have
isolated the IRD, giving it separated space in the set-up, this is gone.

Try to isolate the error here first before climbing on to the roof and
eventually change parts.

Q: Does it matter if the dish is exactly focused on the satellite or not
? Or is it the weather ?

A: Sure it matters, the better focussed the stronger the signal. If
there is a steady picture there is enough signal, if not: no picture
whatsoever. That's digital 1 or 0, all or nothing.

The better way to measure the incoming signal is to set the signal
quality meter to ON and therby displaying a number in the front if the

You can do this in the service menu, on page 4 "Test Functions": you
just set the "Signal Quality Indicator" setting to ON (the factory
setting is OFF). Unfortunately you have to do this every day once, if
you switch off your IRD at night, it is not stored.

The Mediamaster needs a minimal signal of around 60, every figure above
70 guarantees uninterupted reception. The average number is 100-120,
very good is 130-140.
Very soon you will be able to get all SHOWTIME and 1stNET channels from
one position again: Nilesat 101 on 7 West. Showtime just confirmed that
they are going to distribute their package of two transponder and from
ART it was already earlier announced that they will start 1stNet here.

You will be able to receive all channels with the same smartcard as you
have now, just move your dish, tune in the new transmission data and off
you go. (No sorry, I do not have this data yet)

You can locate the Nilesat easy if you check on transponder 10, 11.900
V, there is most of the time an empty carrier. And from next Sunday the
first channels will appear....

WHICH MEDIAMASTER 9600-S or 9200-S ?
Q: I have just received some offers for the Mediamasters 9200 and 9600.
How will I know which is having the facility for putting a CAM for
watching M-net and which is a better decoder between the two ?

A: They are both good, but that's not the question. In your case you can
only buy the 9200 while want to see M-Net, and the 9600S cannot be
fitted with an IRDETO CAM as required. The 9600 has a PCMCIA slot where
only VIACCESS, CONAX and Cryptoworks modules exist.

Buy the 9200 with IRDETO CAM (without country limitation) take care you
got it delivered with sofware FTA 1.0 or later (not the original NOKIA
2.234 software !) Take care that you not receive one with the special
Gulf Software with the PAS-4 and Asiasat 2 as preset, it has various
software difficulties.

Best regards,

Henk C. Room / Cairo - Egypt
- Middle East satellite information for analogue and digital TV:

	SAT-MidEast: http://www.sat-net.com/sat-mideast/
- SAT-MidEast mailinglist, weekly free-of-charge to your mailbox 
- for easy subscription go to:

	SAT-MidEast: http://www.sat-net.com/listserver/sat-mideast/	
- SAT-MidEast free-of-charge TV reception Q&A service - ASK-ME -
- for easy subscription go to:

	SAT-MidEast: http://www.sat-net.com/listserver/ask-me/
- For comprehensive broadcast satellite transponder information 

	SAT-MidEast recommends: SATCO-DX: http://www.satcodx.com/

[Other mailing lists|Sponsored by TELE-satellit]