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johanson / Moderator


Aug 18, 2004, 10:20 AM

Post #1 of 10 (2031 views)

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HDTV

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Hey, maybe I'm crazy, but I just picked up an HDTV decoder for C band and for Star Choice for my home in Ajijic. So far only 9% of the folks in the US have HDTV, but as the prices come down, HDTV is catching on just like Color TV did in the sixties.

Do any of you have HDTV in Mexico?



Cynthia7

Aug 18, 2004, 5:55 PM

Post #2 of 10 (2011 views)

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Re: [johanson] HDTV

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We have a Motorola DSR922. What do you want to know? I wanted it for the food channel and DIY. My husband wanted it for sports.We have the original one which still works well. Probably will sell it.


johanson / Moderator


Aug 18, 2004, 6:53 PM

Post #3 of 10 (2007 views)

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Re: [Cynthia7] HDTV

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Cynthia. I think you have a Motorola 4DTV 922. I have one of those two. It allows you to pick up both digital and analog signals on C and sometimes Ku band. It gives you for example about 12 HBO channels. But what it can not give you is the new High definition signals that are displayed on HD TV's (not with an aspect ratio of 4 by 3 but) with the new 16 by 9 aspect ratio (there are 2 HDTV HBO channels)


Your 922 gives you standard digital signals. However should you hook up an HD200 HDTV decoder to your 4DTV 922 you can get an additional 10 or 15 High definition TV channels that give you a much sharper pictures. Sadly these HDTV channels are only viewable on these new, very expensive HDTVs, many of which cost between $2,000 and $6,000 US.

So far only 9% of the householdsin the US have HDTV, but just like with color TVs in the 60s, the prices are coming down and soon the vast majority of the households will have at least one HDTV


elprofe

Aug 27, 2004, 6:04 PM

Post #4 of 10 (1955 views)

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Re: [johanson] HDTV

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What about flat panel screens - liquid or plasma? Any advantage in bringing one down next trip. They sure look great NOB.


johanson / Moderator


Aug 27, 2004, 8:57 PM

Post #5 of 10 (1943 views)

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Re: [elprofe] HDTV

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Before you bring an HDTV unit down, make sure you compare prices at the Guadalajara Shopping centers. I'm probably going to buy mine at Liverpool in Guad they offered a Cash price that was lower than Sams or Costco. And Liverpool will deliver and install.


MikeDRiley

Jul 7, 2005, 2:35 PM

Post #6 of 10 (1880 views)

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Re: [johanson] HDTV

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Thought I would start this thread up again, as I am in the process of trying to get HDTV set up here in Riberas. Peter may recall me hanging around the wireless offices lately and asking him about his particular dish for getting the HD signals at his place. I have been getting the help of a local specialist, who initially hooked up both my C-Band dish and my StarChoice standard elliptical dish, and pointed each one at the two different Anik satellites. The HiDef Star Choice channels come in from A2, but most of the standard channels come in on A1.

While we were successful at getting the 10 or so StarChoice channels to appear on my Sony Wega HD set, they are not coming in as HiDef images. So now we are trying to round up experts on this. If anyone here knows more, I sure would like to find out. The fellow that sold me my gear in Canada (my home country) could not help me, as he doesn't really know much about it beyond installation in Canada, where one standard small dish works fine at bringing in both birds and displaying HiDef.

I had a subscription to HiDef back in Ottawa for several years, and am pretty thoroughly familiar with the inner workings and ins/outs of my Sony TV, so I know it is not a question of selecting the right composite inputs or hitting a switch somewhere to flick over to HD (although the StarChoice DSR500 box does actually have a selector switch on the front behind a little door that cycles between 480i, 480p, 720p, and 1080i). My uneducated guess is that the signal is not strong enough down here to provide the bandwidth necessary, but the mechanical side of my brain wonders how this can be... .

Tomorrow my guy is coming over with a newly-communicated technique to enable using only one dish, the CBand, to get the signal in... but that doesn't necessarily mean we have the answer to the missing HiDef quality.

And lest anyone reading be curious, do not listen to naysayers suggesting that HiDef isn't that much better than Standard Def; there is absolutely no comparison, and anyone who has seen HiDef will testifiy to that. It is simply far and away light years better than Standard. So good, in fact, that new users of HiDef tend to watch anything at all as long as it is in HiDef. They don't care if it's sports and they hate sports; they don't care if it is opera and they hate opera. The picture is so stunning that they will plunk themselves down day and night just to soak in the stunningly clear images and count the moustache hairs on the second bassoon in the back row.

... Mike


johanson / Moderator


Jul 7, 2005, 6:12 PM

Post #7 of 10 (1866 views)

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Re: [MikeDRiley] HDTV

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You wrote that your Canadian expert , "doesn't really know much about" STARCHOICE "beyond installation in Canada, where one standard small dish works fine at bringing in both birds and displaying HiDef."

That's all you need at Lake Chapala. The Star Choice 75E LNB and the associated satellite dish works great throughout most of North America and northern Central America. It works very well here. And yes you get HD signals. I used to use two dishes, but that's too inefficient especially if roof space on your RV is at a premium.

I now use only one satellite dish which is provided by Star Choice that provides me with HD programming on my HD ready TV from 10 of the 11 available channels, I guess I don't get the 11th because I don't subscribe to that channel. It doesn't matter whether I am in BC, the US, Mexico, or Guatemala, that single dish is big enough to get programming from both satellites to include HD programming. It works for me and it works for others.

We use the bigger of the two dishes offered by Star Choice in BC because we have a lot of rain out there. I bet the smaller one, the 60E, is all that is needed during the dry season anywhere in North America.

The dish size recommended for central Mexico, as I said above, is the *choice 75E which is 93 cm by 65 cm or about 36+ inches by 25+ inches. With the proper LNB it brings in strong signals from both Anik F-1 & F-2, be they in standard or HD format. A well tuned 75E dish can get signal strength readings in the high 70s to the low 80s. And that's more than you need


Sadly most "EXPERTS" in this part of the world still recommend two dishes when all you need is one Dish and the standard double LNB to get signals from two satellites. Maybe they just want more money. The same thing goes for DISH network in Mexico, where folks want signals from both the satellite at 110 and 119 West. Most of the "EXPERT" installers here want you to buy two dishes and two LNB's. That's not necessary. It's possible with one slightly bigger dish to get signals from both birds by using two slightly offset LNBs.



(This post was edited by johanson on Jul 7, 2005, 6:47 PM)


MikeDRiley

Jul 7, 2005, 10:16 PM

Post #8 of 10 (1843 views)

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Re: [johanson] HDTV

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Yes, stories differ on dish requirements. As you point out, you have the wider StarChoice dish, and seem to have no troubles. I have had no trouble in the rainy season at all with the smaller dish last year, and none so far this year, although we can barely begin to call it a rainy season, even at this late date....

Here, we had hooked up two dishes with two dual/quad LNBs. (For the uninitiated, all that means is that there are two "transceivers" on a single unit, and four outlets for cable connections to your boxes. Each single LNB points at a different satellite; the two Anik satellites are only about 3 degrees apart.) This should have allowed for each dish to favour a different satellite, thereby bringing in the strongest signal from each. But the DSR500 box firmware is a little different than the standard boxes, and I am not sure how the dual LNBs actually work with it. On a standard box, there is a software switch to select between the two dishes (at least, that is how it appears), but no such switch on the DSR500 HiDef box.

The HiDef channels all come automatically with the Basic StarChoice subscription, but of course one can only receive them with the HiDef boxes (the other model has the hard disk recorder). The 11th channel is part of the Movie package... on this channel they seem to randomly choose which movie you will get to watch tonight in HiDef. The Cable company I was with offered many more HiDef movie channel choices.

The smaller dish seems to pull in at around 60%; when the big C dish was hooked up, it pulled in a whopping 93%. And that's a circular dish. That should be way more than enough to actually get a HiDef delivery... so now the big question is "why is it not".


johanson / Moderator


Jul 8, 2005, 6:13 AM

Post #9 of 10 (1823 views)

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Re: [MikeDRiley] HDTV

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The DSR 500 is a fine unit, I have one. I'm puzzled by two things you wrote. First wouldn't it be better to get one 75E dish and only use one quad LNB? Dealers sell them down here. And if you choose to use two dishes instead of one, why do you use a dual quad LNB on each? I've never heard of doing that before. Everyone I know who use two dishes use a single LNB on each dish. They too are available down here. I seem to remember that they are called a stacked or flashlight LNB.

This is only hearsay, but I heard that not all dealers have access to all of the Star Choice products down here and that because they do not have access to the single or stacked LNBs that they are forced to use the quad LNB and that the quad when used on a dish built to pick up signals from only one satellite, doesn't get as good a signal as an LNB specifically built for a one satellite dish.

I have no experience using a Guad LNB on a single sat dish, but the smaller dishes I used (SKY) got a much stronger signal than the 60s when properly tuned in. I got the high seventies to mid 80s, as I recollect, when I used a stacked or flashlight LNB

I'm pretty sure your poor signal strength would still bring in HD. Could it be that the issue is the combining of two quad LNBs and/or the switch or combiner is the issue? Just a guess.


MikeDRiley

Jul 8, 2005, 9:04 AM

Post #10 of 10 (1813 views)

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Re: [johanson] HDTV

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Good questions all. I don't know the exact answers; that is one of the reasons actually that I wanted to get involved in this thread... perhaps in time someone will be able to help us with this. Because we are in Mexico, I cannot phrase my questions directly to StarChoice without having to worry about our location issues. There are some excellent satellite discussion websites, but very few "geeks" are actually experienced with the issue.

Let me answer what I can: as for using the larger Star Choice dish, at this point with one standard dish and one larger C Band dish, I am not prepared to spend any more than I already have... unless I absolutely have to. I just came back from Canada and could have purchased the gear at a much more reasonable price; as it is, I brought back three boxes and a dish. As a purchaser, Star Choice only "allows" you to buy one dish for your home, although my dealer certainly would have sold me more had I needed more at the time.

The reason for the Dual LNBs (the "quad" nomer simply indicates four outlets) is multi-fold, and shows where more knowledge is needed: I already owned one dual LNB and one single (flashlight) LNB, but was told by the local installer that duals were needed on both dishes because the Dual LNB is specifically designed to get both satellites. From my research, it appears that a Dual LNB is simply to allow more than one receiver to look at different stations using different transponders. I have not verified this conflicting info yet, and it comes from DirectTV, so *Choice may be completely different.

Apparently, an oval dish is only different from a round dish in that it can focus on more than one location in the sky. And the bigger the dish, the stronger the signal collection. However, various websites espouse using two larger round dishes to get a better signal.

LNB stands for Low Noise Block Converter, and as far as I know the "flashlight" designation is just a generally used term, due to it's shape. Once you check around you discover people calling the Dual LNBs "dual flashlights", so that may show you how misunderstood the whole system is.

I was also told two dishes were needed; one for each satellite... this of course is confusing in itself, since a Dual LNB and one dish is sufficient to get both sats. The reason seemed to suggest that we needed the strength of each dish to pull in the birds individually. This no longer seems to be the case, and tonight I will find out why and how.

In terms of hooking them up together, I found this on the Web: What about multiswitches with Elliptical dishes? If you have the oval dish with two "dual LNBs" (4 cables), each of the Dual LNB's look at different satellites (101 degree and 119 degree satellites). A multiswitch is needed to see the second satellite. A multiswitch comes with the dish and is usually have 4 outputs. Multiswitches for elliptical dishes need to have 4 inputs so it can switch between the 4 LNBs rather than 2.

What is a multiswitch? A multiswitch takes the input from both of the LNB's (both cables from a dual LNB dish HAVE to be connected to the multiswitch)...it then locks one of the LNB's to always look at the even transponders and the other LNB to always look at the odd transponders. This is why a multiswitch only works with Dual LNBs and not single LNB's. The switch then has multiple outputs to receivers (4,8,etc). When you connect the receiver to the multiswitch, the switch determines which of the two LNB's the receiver needs to look at depending if it needs to view odd or even transponders. When you change the channel, the switch then swaps your connection to the other LNB when needed. With a multiswitch, the LNB's never change which side they are looking at.


I would not be surprised if your rumours about "not all dealers have access to all Star Choice products" is indeed correct. The prices that are charged by individuals down here for reselling Star Choice gear can be outrageous. Supply and demand: cheap in Canada, but to get them to Mexico is another story. Many components are simply brought in by those visiting Canada and returning to Mexico, so there is both the problem of transportation and border checks.

As for the signal strength, *Choice getting a 60% signal vs. SKY getting much stronger may simply be a question of how the signal is relayed. I have seen maps showing the dispensation of the Anik signals, and here in Mexico we are on the edge of the sweep. On the other hand, I'm pretty sure that all the N.A. sat broadcasters use the same Anik signals. And, as I pointed out before, the round C dish actually got a 93% signal when we hooked it up. That signal dropped significantly when we coupled the two dishes together using (what is apparently the wrong) multiswitch.

I have seen your HD signal on your big screen, and it would quickly put to rest rumours that HD is not that much better than Standard def. Most important to me is answering the question of why I am not getting that quality. With any luck... although I don't have much faith at this point... I will know by tonight.
 
 
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