ASK-ME 98.06.04 * Q&A by SAT-MidEast

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Q: How can I watch the Telecom 2B/2D satellite, on 5 degrees West in
Istanbul ?

A: It shouldn't be that difficult; You need a C-Band (3.600-4.200 GHz,)
and a Wide or Universal Ku-Band LNB with the standard frequency ranges
of (10.700-12.750 GHz).

The C-Band transmissions should arrive in Istanbul with 32-33 dBW, which
requires a 2.4 m dish for watchable video.
The Ku-Band transmissions are much weaker with also 30-34 dBW which
requires a dishsize of 3.6 to 4.8 m to achieve watchable video.

In North Afirca, the Levante or Middle East is hardly reception
possible, at least I didn't have much succes, beside a very noisy C-Band
reception in very good atmospheric conditions.

Q: Is it possible to watch the BFBS TV with a Nokia 9500 or any other
receiver at 37.5 degrees Orion?

A: The Orion 1 broadband Europa wide beam comes with 45 dBW to Turkey,
so technically your receiver will pick it up. Still you will not be able
to see BFBS TV while it is encrypted in a special mode only to be
encrypted with a special BFBS addressable card.

It is almost impossible to get a valid card, if not entering the British
Forces... with all the consequences.

Q: I would like to know how the system works. Is it individual for each
subscriber or for every base ? If I have a friend in the forces, would
it be possible for me to get the card for my receiver?

A: The BFBS issues smartcards on request to members of the British
These cards have a serial number and an electronic code, as every other
smartcard. The code is known to the BFBS subsciber service and therefore
the card can be enabled or disabled via the satellite signal.

If you have somebody in the army who will give you a card, it will work,
as long as that guy is backing you up, and doesn't want to see BFBS
him/herself, there are never two cards issued to one and the same

The friend who will give the smartcard to you offend British Civil and
Military laws, and can be severely punished, including jail sentence.

Q: I have a NOKIA 9200S with IRDETO CAM, when I tried to connect
SHOWTIME on PanamSat-4 and FIRST NET on ARABSAT 2A with Disecq switch to
my NOKIA decoder it couldn't switch  between the 2 networks. When I
setup one network it's works but when I try to add a second network the
first network doesn't works !

A: This doesn't have anything to do with DiSEqC, it works mosty probably

The datastream of Showtime on PAS-4 has the nasty habit of changing the
stored data in the Mediamaster of the 1stNet on Arabsat 2A.

This is a result of the earlier partnership between the both networks on
that satellite. If you watch Showtime on PAS-4 and thereafter inspect
the data of the 1stNet on Arabsat 2A, you will find the freqeuncy, the
SR and the FEC changed to the OLD settings used on PAS-4.

You can actually solve this problem by tuning in to Nilesat 101 at 7
West, where both packages are available, using the same SR of 27500 and
FEC of 3/4. The data for both packages below, and there are some more
interesting  Free-To-Air packages for you on that satellite, see

        Nilesat 101: http://www.satcodx.com/nile101.shtml

1stNET/ART:     tp 19   12,072 GHz      H       SR 27500        FEC 3/4
1stNET:         tp 08   11,862 GHz      V       SR 27500        FEC 3/4
Showtime:       tp 15   11,996 GHz      H       SR 27500        FEC 3/4
Showtime:       tp 17   12,034 GHz      H       SR 27500        FEC 3/4

(Please check the 1stNET/ART frequencies as they in progress of change)

In case you prefer the other satellites than you have to try to store
the 1stNet package with a slight different SR 27492, and use only the
"Advanced Search" option. If this also does not solve the problem, then
you have to store the individual channels with there PIDs, you only
loose the Channel Naming, but nobody can change it anymore over air.

It seems that software is the most important factor in dealing or
selecting Nokia digital receivers. There are many software available
such as FTA 1.0, original NOKIA 2.234, Nokia Gulf Software addition,
Dream 5.1 ICC ver.4.008, Overflow software and many more. 
Q: What should I use in my receiver ?

A: I must tell you one thing, this software issue is much, much
overrated! Most people believe that by changing the software they get
all coded channels free, and pornographic channels from every satellite.
It's clearly not so.

A little fantasy and experimenting with your present software can bring
wonders. Did you ever try when you got a channel with "NO TS" to change
the SR number ? Most people put -for instance- always 27500 in there, I
tell you don't! If you get a "NO TS" start first loading with a slightly
different SR, for instance 27492 and you will mostprobably have solved
the conflict.

The 2.234 software which is a NOKIA factory software has disadvantages,
no PIDs, no multiple LNB set-ups etc. But it works good. The Mediamaster
9200 should be operated with FTA 1.0, and nothing else. All other stuff
makes it work better in some parts, worse in other.

The Overflow software is an enlighted piece of software but only for
enthousiasts who don't mind to find a bunch of numbers, roughgly put on
the screen, and who likes to check into every possible corner of his

For the normal TV viewing, using a Mediamaster, is it my opinion that
you are best off with official software, such as provided by Nokia. I
will not propagate anything else. If there is anything really good and
consumer friendly, NOKIA will adept it and bring it out themselves.

Actually: In autumn '98 comes the completely new NOKIA 9800 onto the
market, available with three different CPU clockspeeds 40/60/100 Mhz, a
complete new software, which improves the channel finding methods;
storage will be manyfold, and some other niceties (which I'm unable to
make public) as well. 
Do NOT expect any of the present software to run on that machine, and do
NOT assume that the future software will be usable in the present IRD's. 
Hmm..., too much said already....<grgr>!

Q: I'm a subscriber of STAR TV. Due to legal issues (That's what STAR TV
says) I receive only channel V international from Asiasat 2. Is there
anyway of receiving the other channels somehow? I'm irritated because I
have paid US$ 420 per year for subscription plus decoder charges and I
only receive Channel V.

A: Correct, you are unfortunately a victim of the unresolved media
situation in India, even when subscribing from the Maledives.

There's not much you can do, other to get a deal with STAR TV itself,
they are the ones enabling or disabling the channels you may receive. If
they are not willing to widen your bouquet, then unsubscribe. I do not
believe that Channel V is worth a dollar-fifty a day !

Check the other possibilties you have to get the channels you want to
see from other packages, covering the Republic of the Maledives via
other satellite packages: http://www.satcodx.com/asia.shtml

Q: How could I receive MTV Asia "not the indian version " in Cairo, I
have an 240 cm dish with analogue receiver.

A: The service you are receiving now is MTV India from Panamsat 4 at
68.5 East, 4.182 GHz, H. MTV Asia is in analogue form closest
broadcasted from Palapa C2, at 113 East, 4.120 GHz, H. Technically it
would be possible to get this broadcast, but in real life I doubt it,
especially in Cairo itself.

You should live on a hill outside of ther city, with complete free sight
to the East and use a dish of around 3.5 to 5 meter. The satellite is
around 1-1.5 degree over the horizon only.

Q: I'm looking for the address or contact info of the company that is
providing internet service on the Hotbird satellite similar to what
Zaknet offers on Asiasat 2. I believe they are Telecom Italia but not

A: There is not yet a company providing this service in Kuwait, and
hardly in Europe. These various services are still in the initial
It has to be clear that only the reception of the data comes via
satellite. As long as the company offering this service does not have a
local service in Kuwait, to forward your data request, and coordinate
the reception, you will never receive a bit.

It is not only the purchase of a DVB/MPEG-2 PC card, you need the LOCAL
subscription to a provider of the service.

NHK Premium
Q: I have a Nokia 9600. Could I purchase a PowerVue CAM and install it
in my IRD and subscribe to NHK Premium?  Why do I have to purchase the

A: If you want to see NHK Premium you have to buy a Scientific Atlanta
IRD as there is no PowerVu CAM and, most probably, never will be.

Scientific Atlanta will not allow the use of their technology by anybody
else then themselves. It is the same with IRDETO, you can not find an
IRDETO CAM for your receiver, and it will not come soon either, at least
not in this year. There are a lot of rumours: tales only, wishfull
thinking !

Q: I live in Kuwait and I use 6ft dish for Hot Bird and the same for
PAS-4, and I bought a Nokia Mediamaster 9600S before two weeks. When it
starts I see the word "CI1.0" in the  display of my Mediamaster.

A: The first word you'll see on the display is the Software Version

Q: Do I need to upgrade the software that come with receiver as I see in
the Internet many upgrades in different sites. What will be the benefits
to me, and if that is required, can you advice me with that regard.

A: No, there is no need for you to upgrade, this software is quite
and everything else on the market does not help you at all. Stick with
the factory software, it makes things more comparable and you can follow
all instructions or tips you read somewhere on the internet, which is
not always the case by using "hacked" software.

I do not know all the versions available by heart, I have seen many, and
will always advise to stick with the official versions. If there are new
ones they will be made available from the NOKIA website.

Q: I used your information to access the blue/service menu and tune the
signal strength indicator on and found it helpful, as my understanding
that the signal for HB 2, 3, 4 are stronger than PAS-4 as seen when
looking at signal strength meter, but when I turn on the signal strength
indicator inside the service menu I found out the opposite, I got these
reading: for PAS-4: 100-120, For HB 2, 3, 4: 58-85. A friend of my
recommend to me use "20 db in-line amplifier" and I used and found
difference in the signal

A: Correct, there are different ways to measure the strenght of a
signal, the "red" indicator takes one, the SQ number takes another. The
matter is what effects the reception the most. The red indicator I would
use only to pin-point my dish to the satellite and check if 'generally'
I have switched to the correct band, and if 'generally' a signal is
available. To measure the quality of the signal, (and then sometimes to
observe that it is below the treshold of the Mediamaster) I use the
Signal Quality Indicator in the display.

If you use an in-line amplifier you have to know that you are not only
are amplifying the signal, also the noise. But it can be helpfull to
overcome long cabling loss.

Q: What are the benefits of using the blue/service menu other than what
is mentioned above and red menu. Is their any obscured channel in my
area (Kuwait) that I will get.

A: It is a service menu, and actually if you have made your set-up for
LNB's switch-over freqeuncies, power on/off settings there is not much
reason to go there, as there is no reason at all to go to the debugger
menu the so-called "RED Menu". I wouldn't know what somebody wanted to
do there.
You can't change anything there what you couldn't do with the normal
menus. It's all temporary changes anyway. Forget about it, I have not
entered it since more than a year...

By using any of these menus you will NOT get any channel you can't
receive without manipulation.

Q:  The NTSC's channels like: NHK-NTSC and TFC in PAS-4 are "shrinked".
Is their a way to allow the receiver not to send the signal for the NTSC
stations in PAL.

A: They are actually not shrinked, even if it looks like it:
The NTSC signal has only 525 horizontal lines, the PAL signal has 625
horizontal lines, that's the difference. Why bother? We should thank
NHK  to broadcast four options: NTSC/PAL, Japanese/English. After the
present tests all information on the four channels will be the same, the
only difference is the technical quality. Just tune in to the channel
you have the set-up for and voila: (I guess most probably :

Q: Is their a way to allow the receiver to send a signal in 6:19 ratio
as that option is disabled in my Mediamaster.

A: You mean 16:9 (widescreen). No, that part of the software is not
anymore integrated, it had to be taken out of the 2.234 version of the
Mediamasters software when re-writing it to FTA 1.0 (the CD-ROM access
dissappeared as well). The avalaible PROM memory did not allow to be
these parts to be included and can therefore not be activated. I agree
that it would have been better to adjust the menus also,in order not to
make false hopes.

Q: Is their way to for the channel "HR-NET" which shows some material in
inverted video to disable that effect.

A: Not the complete signal is inverted, only the colours are affected,
with a color coding. This is a cheap and easy way to encode the signal a
little, which is not intended to be seen Free-to-Air. There is nothing
what you could do to change it, exept buy the same studio equipment as
they have. Anyway it's hardly worth the trouble, did you follow some of
the contents ?

Q: Is it possible to use a single Universal LNB lets say to watch
Showtime package from more than one receiver. My second question is do
you recommend the use the of the Universal LNB instead of the Normal one
since lo/hi and polarity is solved and why most people over here are not
using it.

A: To watch a single package from more than a one receiver is simple,
you need nothing special, just more receiver and more smartcards !

If you would like to tune into different packages, and most probably on
different polarizations, then it getting more difficult.

There you need a set-up where both High and Low bands in both
polarizations are constantly available. It would make the use of any
type of receiver much easier, but it requires the set-up of a
professional, which then also can tell you exactly what LNB's to use in
your location.

It would be wise to combine such a set-up with the DiSEqC system.

The Wideband LNB tends to be more phase stable and attentative than the
Universal LNB type. That's why they are more expensive most of the time.

Q: Is there a way to watch any package without paying the subscription
though there is an official smart card ? In case of the pirate card, and
as I have been told, there is a code to enter through the remote control
to open the package, can this code  - if available - will work on the
official cards.

A: If there is away, then I don't know about it. Pay the subscription,
it's much easier, and much more fulfilling in the afterlife...

Q: Can I upgrade my NOKIA 9200 decoder to a double card reader ? What do
I need and where I can find it?. 

A: Yes, it can be done, but it is not recommendable to do this yourself.
It requires a little soldering on your motherboard and is a quite
delicate job if you are not into that stuff regularely.
Get in contact with Bakker Electronics in Holland, they can help you,
they're simply the best: http://www.avd.nl/bakker.electronics/

Q: Can I receive the MultiChoice-South Africa in KU-BAND from
PANAMSAT-4 here in Muscat, Oman ? I am already receiving it in C-BAND
but there are more channels in KU-BAND. 

A: No chance ! The South African beam is a quite narrow targeted
spotbeam on the southern tip of the African continent, there is not that
much overspill...

Q: Is there any digital FREE TO AIR channels in the NILESAT ?. 

A: Some at the time, but most of them you will receive already from
other satellites, if you mean foreign channels. Domestic Egyptian
channels are plenty on air, mostly of educational nature.
Beside transmissions of Oman and Bahrain is nothing there yet. Planned
are for the near future to broadcast some Lybian Channels and
transmissions from Iraq.

Q: Why the Program Guide doesn't work in my NOKIA 9200 when I receive
the Showtime/1st Net channels, and it's works when I use the Galaxy

A: The Showtime/1stNet channels do not have their EPG in the DVB conform
format, they use a proprietary one, receivable which the receivers they
provide, like Galaxy, Panasat 520, Pace 500.
There is presently nothing what you can do to change this.

Q: Is there WideScreen movie channel I can receive in the Gulf? 

A: Hmmm, a widescreen 16:9 moviechannel ? No, the only channel I know
you can get is just showing a testcard, and is mend to be for the World
Cup Soccer games from France: Check out on Hot Bird 2, transponder 52,
11.766 GHz, V, SR 27500, FEC 2/3.

Q: what about FILMNET in MultiChoice Hellas package, is it in English
and why it's so poplar channel?

A: I can't tell if it is more popular then any other movie channel,
actually I doubt it. There is much talk about it: rumours. You are not
even able to subscribe to this package. There is Showtime, now with the
Hallmark channel additional, there's is 1stNET, and finally Orbit.
Plenty too choose from.

Q: If I enter the service menu and want to view the data structure my
Mediamaster alwasy behaves strangely and looses it's programming.
What do I wrong ?

A: A small error in the MediaMaster software which causes an antenne
selection problem, lets the sotware always switch to the first (1)
setting of the antenna selector, when the "Add Channel" menu titel is
selected in the Service Menu.

TIP: To make advantage of this error, and not haveing to reload most of
the packages over and over again, change the settings so that all high
bands are now on selector one (normally set-up is low on 1, high on 2).

In the low bands is very little digital movement (at the present time)
so the need to chance is reduced. Personally I can switch in and out of
the service menu, watch all the channels and hear all the radios when
clicking through the packages, really fun. The software still makes the
same error, but at least it switches now (wrongly) to the correct

Q: In order to receive the french package on Intelsat 803 what would be
the size of the dish for Cyprus ?

A: I assume you are talking about the Canal Select package from
transponder 20L, 3,650 GHz, R, in MPEG-2/Mediaguard encrypted ?

This needs a dishsize of 180-240 cm, with an absolute minimum of 150 cm
if you are in an excellent position without too much weather influences.

Try the clear reception of transponder 21L, 3,724 GHz, R, as a
comparison. If you get that, then it is maybe worth to buy an IRD able
to receive the Mediaguard encoding.

Q: I have an inquiry about Nilesat Digital receiver, and if I can use it
to receive other satellite digital free channels ? or the receiver is
tailored for only receiving frequencies of Nilesat channels ?

A: I maybe ignorant, but what receiver you are talking about? Is there a
"Nilesat Digital Receiver" on the market ? If yes: Where did you see it
? How much does it cost  ? I like to know everything about it.

Best regards,

Henk C. Room / Cairo - Egypt
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