ASK-ME 98.06.25 * Q&A by SAT-MidEast

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After a long break finally a new issue of ASK-ME. No sickness, no
errors, no vacation, no nothing: it's just probably the lack of new
channels, the World Cup soccer and the summer break, which prohibits the
usual flood of questions.

So let's dive again in the -this time quite trivial- pool of inquiries:

Q: I have a Nokia 9600S. If I buy an IRDETO CAM would I be able to
subscribe to SHOWTIME and take only the smart card. Do you know a
retailer who have IRDETO for a 9600S.

A: Technically is the Mediamaster able to receive those transmissions,
but unfortunately there does NOT exist something like an IRDETO CAM for
the Mediamaster 9600 series. The IRDETO CAM is not produced for the
Common Interface or PCMCIA slot supported in the 9600.

The only Mediamaster which fit an IRDETO CAM are the 9200 and the older
9500 (or the not-recommendable German d-Box)

Q: What is the major difference between a Nokia 9610-S and the 9600-S?

A: The 9610S is the version for Northern Europe/Skandinavia and is
delivered with a CONAX CAM on PCMCIA card.

The 9600S is the version for Central Europe (France mainly) and is
deleivered with a VIACCESS CAM on PCMCIA card.

Further are these machines identical, with slight differences in the
software, which only the languages concern. There are no functional

Your next question will be: Is there no Mediamaster able to receive all
different enryption methods? The answer is plain , sorry NO, and it is
in the foreseeable future not yet in store. The problem lies with
IRDETO's policies and procedures.

Q: I have a problem when I receiving any NTSC channel (NHK for example):
on the Nokia Mediamaster 9200, it's like freezing the picture every 20
second then jumps and back again .. this happen periodically. Do you
have any explanation and how could we fix it?

A: There is a known problem of freezing video on the Nokia in the
C-Band, when there is interference from other (RADAR) waves in the
reception area.

It is not only particular to NTSC channels. If you are living along
coastlines, in zones where military operation or airports are located,
you could be in trouble. 

It has also been observed in Cairo, Egypt on the two lines from the ERTU
broadcasting center and Maadi Uplink station, and the ERTU broadcasting
center and the new Uplink in 6th of October city. If your dish is
pointed to 68.5 East (NHK on PAS-4) and you'r crossing one of these
lines then you could have this effect.

There is hardly anything to do, exept putting a ground wire to you dish,
or put up some earthed shielding (maze) in the direction it is coming
from. It is not such a satisfying fix, but at least cheap.

Q: Please let me ask you if there is anyway to control a 5 V/gnd
polarizer using the digital IRD, or do I have to replace the feedhorn
with a ferro-magnetic one? 

Do you control the polarization on your setup through your analog
receiver by changing to a horizontal/vertical channel everytime you want
to switch to a digital channel with a different polarity?

A: The Mediamaster has no controls for any kind of polarizer. The
easiest way to do it is to run the Mediamaster as a slave to the
analogue receiver.

For instance I have hooked the Mediamaster up through a decoder port, so
if I have a channel which is in MPEG-2 I set it up like any analogue
channel and set it then to input one or two, depending where the IRD is
fed through.

This free's the Mediamaster of any switching of LNB's, feeding the
correct LNB power and/or 13/18 Volt switching or even the 22KHz tone, if
the set-up this required.

For the Hot Bird at 13 East, I have defined four channels on my analogue
	1) low vertical
	2) low horizontal
	3) high vertical
	4) high horizontal

so to see the channels I just switch through these four channels
(actually only the high ones, in the low bands are very few MPEG-2
transmissions). You can easily see from far on the Mediamaster display
if you have the correct one, while the indicator is one line or a square

Of course there are different set-up possible, this is only one
solution. You have only to take care that you are not feeding from both
receivers operating power to the LNB's. I have solved this by 

A): putting a power-blocker inline from the Mediamaster to the LNB's, or

B): you can switch power off in the Service Menu, which you can enter by
going to the menu point "System Settings" (DO NOT click OK !) Just put
your cursor on it !!! Then enter your PIN number (factory preset is 1234
or 0000) and your there look into those menus (DO NOT change too much,
can be fatal) until you find LNB POWER set it to SIGNAL !

Q: Kindly advise me if the FTA 2.0 software upgrade for the Nokia
Mediamaster is good for my d-Box 9500S. If not kindly advise me from
where I can get the software upgrade of my d-Box.

A: The FTA 2.0 works only on the 9200 series; the CI 2.3 only on the
9600 series. For the 9500 is no official upgrade software available
while it has only an upgrade path via satellite or additional hardware.

You can try one of the following addresses to get more information on
where eventual (inofficial) software can be downloaded:


Q: I've heard about a software enabling me to use the PACE 500 and
PANASAT 520 receiver to watch the Nilesat channels, free-to-air plus
another additional 4 networks.

A: Sorry, I have never heard about this particular software update.
Technically it could possibly exist, as the only obstacle to receive
other MCPC packages is the check on the availability of the parental
control signal, which is only provided by governemental approved

I would love to have it myself, as I have still a new PANASAT 520 in my
cupboard and never a chance to use it. So, anybody aware of something
please give a notice ! Thanks.

I have flashed my Nokia d-box with the new FTA 2.0 and it works fine, I
have the following questions in regard to this software update:

Webmasters Comment: Be aware however that in the answers on the
following questions I can only assume the answers, as I do NOT have this
software installed yet. I still cannot afford to buy a PC able to
perform this task. Sorry.

Q: The FTA 2.0 is to Supports Non-DVB compliant channels. What they mean
by this and is there any channel we receive digitally via the d-box and
is not DVB compliant.

A: FTA 1.0 did the same, it is nothing new. An example of non DVB
compliant signals are the PowerVu signals. They can be received as long
as they are not encrypted.

Q: What are the uses of Video CD with the Mediamaster, is it just to run
the CD on your PC and why doing via the d-Box ?

A: You can connect a digital video player (the old laser-player) or a
DVD player to the SCSI port of the Mediamaster, which is then
autimatically recognized, initialized, and can be directed for all
remote functions (play-stop-forward-back-standby-freeze etc) from the
NOKIA remote.

This function was already available in the older 2.234 Nokia software,
but was temporary removed due to location problems in the PROM's. This
space has become available now due to tidier programming and the removal
of the so-called "RED-MENU".

Q: The letterbox mode, is it to receive personnel e-mail from provider?
and is it useful in our area since most of  the channels information is
not available or can't be read by the d-box.

A: The letterbox mode is part of the system for widescreen TV (16:9)
which has two modes of display. You are only able to fully use this if
you have a widescreen TV monitor.

There is however a change in the mail-message system. The earlier NOKIA
software did receive messages from Service Providers (s.a. Your
subscription renewal is due etc), but it did not store them. So, if you
where not on that particular moment watching that package where the
message (for you only) was submitted it got just lost. Now in the FTA
2.0 software the message is stored in the Flash RAM, and can be
re-called when going to this menu-point.
Q: Parental rating with the new software has age specification, is there
any channel in our area which use age specification.

A: There are three: SHOWTIME, 1stNET and the Multichoice Africa package.
The SHOWTIME and 1stNET packages do have a special signal in their
data-stream, which for instance enables the PACE 500 and PANASAT 520 to
open up the signals. If this signal is missing the receiver will give
the "Parental Control" Message.

I do NOT have tested this new Parental Control System, and I'm not sure
if it will disable some foreign or adult channels in the future.

Q: Some Nokia software over the Internet claim that for example you can
watch some encrypted German channels, is this true ?

A: I doubt it very much. Some software is receiving more or less
channels then other, that is true, but to disable encryption ? Not
without a proper decoder and a valid smart card.

But on the other hand, if you are able to easily up-and download
software, why don't you make a test with some specific channels you
would like to see ?

Webmasters Comment: Due to the valid cooperation of this particular
inquirer, we have found out that in FTA 2.0 opposite to the latest
German d-Box software version, the various ID's (VPID, APID, PPID) not
have been integrated in the Service Menu's "Advanced Tuning" menus.

Q: Receiving Eurosport, I have several languages on top of each other.
How do I select only one ?

A: You have to go to the audio part of the installations menu of your
receiver. There you are able to enter the freqeuncy you require.

It may be nescessary to reduce the bandwidth to a narrower one as
currently selected.

Your initial information was minimal so I'm able only to give these
global answers, but they should work for you.

Here the list of avaialble languages and their respective frequencies on
the Eurosport audio subcarriers (in MHz) from Eutelsat II-f1, 13 East:

6.65    German
7.02    English
7.20    German
7.38    (Cancelled, was Polish)
7.56    (Cancelled, was Spanish)
7.74    (Cancelled, was Russian
7.92    Italian

Q: In some cases, when I rotate by hand my 0.8 dB LNB I can get a better
picture. So I was wondering whether I could use a polariser to do this
without the need to adjust by hand, but automaticaly from my receiver
(Radix A700).

A: I understand that you have an LNB where both polarizations are fed
down to the receiver and selected by 22KHz or 13/18V ? It seems this is
not correctly working, maybe always set to either Horizontal or

I personally prefer to work with a polarizer mounted on the feedhorn,
while this gives you the maximum flexibility to set you polarization,
especially if also C-Band (with R & L polarizations) should be received
from the same dish.
Q: I understand that skewing the signal has similar effects. Is this
correct? Will a polariser do, or result with a more poor picture? 

A: I would check for cable or switch errors first, then possibly go for
a polarizer. Skewing is actually only fine-tuning of the general
polarizations setting. Some receiver don't have this option while they
store individually polarization settings for each channel.

Q: I would also like to know if there is an LNB on the market better
than > 0.8 dB for a parabolic dish.

A: Sure, there will be, but don't spend any money on it, or the old one
must be defect. This 0.1 or 0.2 dB less noise is mostly only available
on paper, or in a special frequency range, and above all does not give
you a much better picture. What counts is the size of the dish, every
increase here does wonders, but narrows the angle to the satellite.

But I know that you have already a nice 180 cm dish, and with an LNB of
0.8 dB it should be working fine. I suggest that you do a little
fine-tuning, in the set-up of the dish towards the Arc and get the
polarization right.

Then you must have sparkle free pictures from most satellites
receivable. The new Thor 3 on 0.8 West (D2-Mac) will also be perfectly
receivable in Greece.

Q: With a valid smart card, is it possible to receive the Multichoice
Africa package on the C-band with 1.5 Meter dish in Jordan?

A: It is just so on the limit. To be sure I would like to say NO, you
need at least 180 cm. But if other conditions are favourable, and you
are not too far to the north of the country it could just come in.

No guarantees however, a 240 cm dish is recommended by Multichoice !

Q: Do you know if Orbit is planing to use MPEG-2 in the future? 

A: Orbit has long term contracts with various satellite providers,
satellite uplinker, and a hardware provider with plenty of stock of
MPEG-1.5 receiver. 

Beside that there is a large customer base with current subscriptions
and privately owned hardware, which could only be satisfied if Orbit
makes a free-of-charge one-to-one swop for new IRD's.

Orbit failed to claim an option on a transponder on the Egyptian Nilesat
101 which eventually could be used for any MPEG-2 tests. They would be
good advised to reserve some space on the Nilesat 102, to be launched
early 1999.
But before a full fledged service will be established it could be years.
I wouldn't take it in account now, other services have stepped gladly
into there place.

Q: I am looking for people who sell the hacked smart cards. I have a
contact in the UK, but it does not always workout to be a good solution.
Please let me know how to get such contacts. I am also looking for good
dealers for the Nokia 9600 (the latest, I guess 9600s or so..).

A: Sorry, I can not and will not help you, as I don't approve of any
practices of receiving a service where not has been paid for to the
rightful owners.

Webmasters Comment: Actually I'm very glad to hear that the so-called UK
contacts are sometimes a rip-off. (Mis)-users don't deserve better than
to loose their money.

The latest Nokia Medimaster 9800 is a complete different type of IRD,
with a choice very fast processors, and a complete new software, based
on SIDs instead of PIDs. It has also more on-screen graphic capabilities
and 8-Bit colour.

It will be available in a Common Interface model (PCMCIA card) and
-possibly- in December '98 with an IRDETO model.

Q: I would like to watch PAS-4 satellite programs in Cyprus. How big
should be dish for Ku band.

A: There is hardly anything to receive in the Ku-band from this
satellite on Cyprus, with the exeption of the encrypted digital Pay-TV
services of the SHOWTIME Network, and a very seldom digital feed for the
ART directed to Europe.

You would need a dish between 150-180 cm to get acceptable results.

Take a look on http://www.satcodx.com/pas4.shtml for more information on
the receivable channels.

Q: I'm interested to receive TV channels from South America, especially
from Argentina, I discovered that Intelsat 806 at 40.5 West transmits to
Please advise if I can receive this signal in Jerusalem, Israel.

A: The latest Intelsat satellites have an enormous single C-Band beam,
which is covering almost half the globus, but mainly the Americas.

Unfortunately is only reception possible in middle Europe. Eastwards
-after Italy- it is getting already difficult, in our areas it is
complete impossible to get any signal with a consumer set-up.

There is hardly anything to receive from South America here, with the
exception of some irregular feeds from Panamsat's on 43 and 45 West, and
a PAL transmission of Galavision from Mexico on PAS-1.

Q: Thank you very much for your supply the information for the Chinese
programms on PAS-3R, 43. West. We want to know can we receive these
programms in Dubai, UAE ? On PAS-3R there are two package of Chinese
programms, which can we receive or both we all can receive.

A: Unfortunately is the PAS-3R located below the horizon when avised
from Dubai. There is no way that you can receive any signal.

Q: In Middle East, especially in UAE, on which satellite can we receive
a Chinese programme beside Asiasat II ? Can we get the Apstar 1A on 134
East ? How about the programms on Apstar 2R, can we get them free or can
we receive them in Dubai ?

A: You have got it all correct figured out: your best chances are on the
Apstar 1A, 134 East: http://www.satcodx.com/apstar1a.shtml .

This satellite is, with some fine tuning, available in Dubai, however it
depends a little on your location, while your dish will have to be
pointed right over the city, if you are living on the coastline. It
could be possible that you have some high rising buildings in the way.

The Apstar 2R is a very powerfull satellite with 28 C-band transponder
which are unfortunately almost all not used. Due to the current poor
financial situation in the Far East, there is not much movement.

Until recently there have been test transmissions from ZheJiang TV, a
channel which I personally like very much, but they have ceased. At the
present time there are ENCRYPTED digital transmissions from ANX (Taiwan)
on transponder 8A, 3,920 GHz, H, SR 28340, FEC 3/4.

Everybody has high expectations that in the future there will be more
use made of this satellite: http://www.satcodx.com/apstar2r.shtml 

Q: I have a problem to recieve some channels on Hot Bird 4 before ANN
Channel ("Duna TV" and "D+" promo channel). I can't search for any
channel that has a frequency less than 10,949 V, putting into mind I
have a system that consists of a Drake 800 receiver and C-Ku band LNB.

A: Two things you have to check: Your receiver must have the extended IF
frequency spectrum from 950-2050 MHz to be able to receive all possible
low and high band Ku channels. 

Furtheron I suspect that you are using an Ku-LNB from the older
generation, which is limited to 10.950 MHz on the low frequency side.
You should exchange it than for a newer model whith a wide band
frequency spectrum of 10.700 to 12.750 GHz to receive all possible
channels, now and in the future.

Best regards,

Henk C. Room / Cairo - Egypt
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