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Can DISH/DIRECT TV receivers be used for FTA?

Discussion in 'FTA / Non Small Dish Satellite Area' started by gubdu, Mar 28, 2005.

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  1. gubdu

    gubdu New Member

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    Mar 25, 2005
    Hi,

    I just got hold of a dish/lnb/receiver that was used for dish/direct tv. I want to use these for receiving FTA channels. I couldn't find any info on the websites and I was wondering if anyone on this forum could offer some advice.

    Thanks,
    - gubdu
     
  2. FTA Michael

    FTA Michael Hall Of Fame

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    Jul 21, 2002
    Receiver? No, the Dish/DirecTV (uh, one or the other, right?) receiver cannot be used to receive FTA channels.

    Dish/LNB? Yes, a little. Go to www.ftalist.com, click the "DBS only" button on the left side, then click "Display Channels", and you'll see what FTA stations you can get with that equipment, plus a FTA receiver.
     
  3. gubdu

    gubdu New Member

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    Mar 25, 2005
    Is there any technical reason why these receivers can't be used for FTA? On the face of it, these receivers must at least be doing the same decoding etc as the FTA receivers and possibly some more due to scambling of data by networks.

    - gubdu
     
  4. TonyM

    TonyM Banned User

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    Aug 14, 2003
    logical reasoning
    -you cant change the frequency or symbol rate on these receivers
    -the DBS frequencies are higher than KU band
    -The symbol rate would be 20000 (for Dish) because all Dish DBS slots use 20000 for symbol rate...KU uses multiple symbol rates
    -you cant change any programming in the box (unles its hacked and I dont think that would work either) :)
     
  5. Apr 1, 2005 #5 of 25
    GutBomb

    GutBomb Godfather

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    Jun 17, 2004
    actually, this is not entirely true. some hackers out there (the good kind, the kind that play with stuff, not the kind that steal signals) came up with a way to get fortec software running on an old directv reciever. it would only use the factory fortec software and was able to view FTA channels with both linear and circular birds. The model number is DRD431RG

    you should be able to find information by googling.
     
  6. Apr 6, 2005 #6 of 25
    gubdu

    gubdu New Member

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    Mar 25, 2005

    That is encouraging. However, I couldn't find the relevant information after a google on model number and/or fortec. Could you please point me to the right place?

    Thanks.
    - gubdu
     
  7. Apr 6, 2005 #7 of 25
    RJS1111111

    RJS1111111 Icon/Supporter DBSTalk Gold Club

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    Mar 23, 2002
    Sorry, I don't know anything about Fortec software on DirecTV receivers...

    However, my belief is that DISH receivers might be at least somewhat usable for Ku-band FTA DVB. Point a big dish with a linear Ku LNB at some bird with Ku FTA programming on it. Hook up an activated DISH receiver with DISH software. The Ku LNB uses the right local oscillator frequency to down-convert the downlink to the same range of frequencies as the (legacy) DBS LNBF does for DBS. It also uses compatible odd-even switching voltages.

    I think DISH software might even recognize a generic DVB program guide, although I'm not certain, since I've never tried it. If so, you should be able to select from the FTA channels, and the software should be fully capable of decoding the MPEG2 video and audio stream.

    Okay, it isn't any sure thing, especially if DISH has decided they don't want to provide access to non-DISH FTA broadcasts using their receivers, since they could lose a few subscribers that way.
     
  8. Apr 6, 2005 #8 of 25
    FTA Michael

    FTA Michael Hall Of Fame

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    This is just a suggestion, gubdu, but with the effort you'll need to expend to cobble together whatever it takes to get your (uh, you never did say exactly what you have) Dish/DirecTV receiver to receive FTA programming, you could collect aluminum cans or flip burgers and earn enough to buy a cheap FTA system on eBay. And if you sell your current receiver on eBay, that'll give you a head start on it.

    If you're really the kind of basement electrical engineering whiz who can turn a calculator into a PlayStation remote, more power to you -- figure it all out and then let us know the steps necessary to add FTA to our old Dish/DirecTV receivers. But if you're anything like me, who barely knows which end of the soldering iron I should pick up, then maybe you should divert your energy into getting something that'll work out of the box.
     
  9. videobruce

    videobruce Legend

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    Aug 12, 2004
    I doubt all of that is necessary to do what he wants to.
    I also believe, why bother with the nightmare 'e-bay' when you have something that could work.

    I too hate to toss something that was used for a short period of time for something else that might be used for another short period of time. :(
     
  10. FTA Michael

    FTA Michael Hall Of Fame

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    I will be happy to agree with you -- as soon as you can show exactly how to get an old Dish/Direct box to pick up FTA. (We could make a tidy profit converting such discarded receivers into useful FTA boxes.) Until then, your statement is as helpful as me saying there ought to be a way to wire my old remote into a calculator.

    eBay a nightmare? Not if you buy from reputable sellers with 99+% positive feedback from over 100 buyers.

    I also hate throwing useful hardware in the landfill; I suggested that he sell his old one to someone else on eBay. But it's not easy for the average Joe to transform something designed for one narrow use into something else.
     
  11. bsr2002

    bsr2002 New Member

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    Jul 21, 2005
    A little off topic, but couldn't you use the old receiver for OTA Digital reception? For the local UHF channels? Just a thought. :sure:
     
  12. Fifty Caliber

    Fifty Caliber Banned User

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    Jan 4, 2006
    Generally the power cord of the soldering iron is plugged into the bottom of the handle. Although if you have a butane powered iron, I guess this advice leaves you out of luck.
     
  13. FTA Michael

    FTA Michael Hall Of Fame

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    What, you mean I have to do something to turn on my soldering iron? No wonder I can never get it to work. :)
     
  14. bearsr392

    bearsr392 New Member

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    Jan 7, 2006
    I have a question. I have a dishpro quad 500 dish/lnb pointed at 110 and 119. Also I have a single dishpro lnb pointed at 61.5. My question is can I use the same dish/lnbs with a VIEWSAT FTA receiver?

    Thanks
     
  15. bearsr392

    bearsr392 New Member

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    Jan 7, 2006
    Also I forgot I have a dp switch for my 500 and my single dish. Just want to know if I can use the same equip with viewsat
     
  16. FTA Michael

    FTA Michael Hall Of Fame

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    There really aren't any FTA channels at 61.5, so that doesn't matter. If I recall correctly, the DishPro has an internal switch, so you might be able to get 110 or 119 but not both. So you can choose between Gol TV on 110 and the music channels and NASA on 119.

    Of course, if you want the non-FTA channels on the Echostar satellites, it's easy. Just get some Dish equipment, pay for a subscription, and enjoy dozens of channels instead of one or two.
     
  17. lkw

    lkw AllStar

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    Apr 24, 2002
    Dish Network receiver to pick up FTA? It's possible for 4-5 years, all the way until April 2005.

    Dish Network/BEV receivers are customized MPEG2/DVB receivers. It's customized in the sense that the transponder frequencies and SR are hard-coded, while in a true FTA receiver, you can program those parameters. So for a Dish receiver to pick up FTA on KU-band, you have to find a Ku-band (linear, base frequency = 10750) transponder that

    the frequencies match (the Ku-band linear frequency - 10750 = one of the Dish Network transponder frequency - 11250), &
    SR = 20000, &
    polarities match

    There had been one such transponder on IA5. It's an Arabic bouquet that has Dubai Sports, Dubai channel, Saudi 1, etc. I have a FTA/MPEG2 receiver, mainly to catch obscure soccer games from Europe. Dubai Sports had been one of my most watched channels. However, when there had been a conflict (soccer games on other FTA channels), then I would use the Dish receiver to tape the game on Dubai Sports. Just hook it up to a linear LNB, and the channel will come in after a scan.

    Is it a coincidence? not really. The Arabic bouquet that housed Dubai Sports used to belong to a service called Alphastar. This service used the same echostar equipment as Dish Network/BEV, but on Ku-band. This service was on Telstar 5 (IA5's former name) until April 2000, when it went belly up. But the same channels remained there as FTA for 5 years.

    Until April 2005, when Dubai Sports and the rest of the bouquet stopped transmission on IA5.
     
  18. Richard King

    Richard King Hall Of Fame

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    The Alphastar receiver was made by TeeComm of Canada (a former c-band equipment maker) and had no relation to Dish receivers other than both receivers being DVB systems. TeeComm was the parent company of AlphaStar. Both AlphaStar and it's parent company went bankrupt in 1997
     
  19. lkw

    lkw AllStar

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    Apr 24, 2002
    Oops. You are right. The services that used Echostar receiver is not Alphastar. It's called Sky Vista, which consisted of an English package and an Arabic package.

    I got confused by all these defunct satellite services.
     
  20. Richard King

    Richard King Hall Of Fame

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    There are many of them to pick from. :lol: The first "DBS" service that I saw was called SkyPix. They actually signed on Echostar as their national distributor in about 1991 or so. They never got the equipment to work properly and so never got off the ground. They developed their own compression system and in the demo that I saw, it was pretty bad. But, they were an early attempt defeated by product problems and financial "irregularities".
     
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