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What are C- Band dishes?

Discussion in 'FTA / Non Small Dish Satellite Area' started by coltonjared, Aug 8, 2005.

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  1. tdti1

    tdti1 Legend

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    Jul 5, 2005
    My buddy has a 24' at his bar, and another bar not far from me has a 26', I know a few guys up north from me who have 16' dishes, I myself have a 10' mesh and to be honest would like a 12' solid :) but I would not really go under 10' unless it was a must, I can hit the Greek mux on AMC-12 and I can also get AMC-8 I would get HispansatC but my house is in the way.
     
  2. Richard King

    Richard King Hall Of Fame

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    Keep in mind that the bigger the dish the more challenging the installation. A 10' dish has a narrower beam than a 7.5' dish meanning that it has to be aimed better than the smaller dish to get good results. The advantage to this though is that you generally have to aim it better which forces you to get a better end result.
     
  3. coltonjared

    coltonjared AllStar

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    Apr 25, 2005
    can I chose what channels I wount to pay for or is it like dish network were chose the package they make?
     
  4. tdti1

    tdti1 Legend

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    Jul 5, 2005
    There are still a few channels that are a la carte more than any other system, though these channels are analog, once all the analog goes digital they must be packaged, though you may see some that are not, of course the movie channels and all are a la carte always and you do not need any basic programming to be able to order them, also you can just watch the free stuff and subscribe to channels through more than one provider giving you freedom to get the best price, a 4dtv with a DVB slaved is the best you can ask for the two together will provide you with so many free channels that you will not need to buy to many again leading to savings.
     
  5. coltonjared

    coltonjared AllStar

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    Apr 25, 2005
    what is DVB?
     
  6. Tower Guy

    Tower Guy Godfather

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    Jul 27, 2005
    Digital Video Broadcasting. It is common in Europe.
     
  7. FTA Michael

    FTA Michael Hall Of Fame

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    DVB is a standard for compression/decompression of audio/video signals. Common FTA receivers use the standard to decompress the satellites' digital signals into TV shows.
     
  8. lee635

    lee635 Hall Of Fame

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    Apr 17, 2002
    First, I would strongly encourage you to pick up a used system. I paid a guy $100 for a dish, cable, analog receiver and a descrambler with about 3 months subscription remaining. Even with a couple of upgrades and a couple parts replacements, I have spent only about $400 in the 8 or so years I've had a BUD.

    If for no other reason, access to live coverage on 9-11 was just incredible. I spent a couple evenings just watching all these news feeds going to all over the world. The next time there is a major event in the northern hemisphere, you will be able to watch a bunch of live feeds that you can't see on cable or small dish.

    DVB is digital c-band or ku-band that is not scrambled, so you can receive it with a dvb (digital) receiver for free.

    The big dishes can be a lot of fun, but I don't live and breathe BUDs, so here's my reality check on the big dish. There are some big drawbacks: You can't get a second receiver and pay $5 a month to watch different stuff on 2 TVs. You would need to pay for a full subscription on the second box.

    No one ever mentions this: There is a fat wiring harness that has to be run from the receiver in your house out to the dish. It has about 10 or so wires, including a couple coax cables. You will need to drill a big hole in the wall or open a window or something and you can't easily hide the cables, so you better put the receiver near the place where the cables come into the house. You will have to bury the wires outside or string them up if your dish is away from the house. the dish is big and very heavy. You will need at least one helper to put it up and if you slept through geometry class in high school, it will be tough to to align all the polar axis and stuff.

    The dish has to physically move when you want to watch a channel on another satellite and it can take a minute or so to move back and forth. With the small dishes, you can look at 1, 2, 3, or 4 satellites and when you switch channels, it switches immediately. Also, those moving parts need to be checked and they wear out. You will need to tinker with your equipment and dish occasionally, so if you're not a hands-on person, this may not be your hobby. In 8 years, I've had to change out the arm and the lnb and have gone through 2 used receivers. Unless you are rich, you will be buying used equipment which will mostly be pretty cheap, but that stuff can break and so forth, so it would be good to have a spare lnb and an extra receiver and stuff in the garage.

    Even if your system is tuned up and getting a great signal strength, the digital channels can be hard to tune in, especially the ku stuff -- don't let anyone downplay this little annoyance. Every time your dish moves, you may find that you occasionally need to manually jog the dish a bit to get the digital channels to come in. And you will find certain digitals are just a bear to tune in.

    Locals are not widely available on c-band. You can subscribe to two packages of locals in analog that includes one major network from a couple of cities. Unless you live in Alaska (see below), you cannot get your area's locals on the big dish. Also, some channels on the small dish simply are not sold on the big dish in analog or digital. Of course, there are also some channels on the big dish that Dish or Direct currently don't offer, so that works both ways.

    The good stuff is that there are quite a few free channels especially in the digital area. You can watch the locals from Anchorage Alaska for free as well as a bunch of smaller locals and some individual networks from across the country. You can tune in a lot of free spanish language and some french language programming. You can get a couple free channels in english from canada. If you want foreign language programming from all over the world, there's lots, you can watch a bunch of middle eastern channels for free.

    There are lots of free feeds of news, college sports and syndicated programs. Quite a few weekly shows are available free on the big dish. The picture is often spectacular and can beat the small dish hands down. However, if your equipment is a little older or the dish isn't perfectly aligned to the satellite, you can see sparkly stuff all over the picture when viewing an analog channel. That's not a problem with the digital channels, which also look great compared to the small dish. Again most of the free stuff is in digital nowadays.

    If you just want to mutzfutz with a big dish, then get a cheap digital receiver. I picked up a used dvb receiver on ebay for under $70 with shipping included. There are more expensive models that tune in automatically and so forth for a higher price. If you are just looking for a simple package of the more popular cable channels, you could still get by with an analog subscription, CNN, MTV, all the pay channels and quite a few others still have some offerings on analog c-band. You'll get Showtime though, not showtime women and all that multiplex stuff. You can still pick a couple of individual analog channels and create a poor-man's cable for a cheap price. One caveat is that analog channels switch to digital without warning. When that happens, you just lose the analog feed. If you go digital, you need to buy a 4dtv receiver for a several hundred dollars. The digital packages are priced a little less than the small dishes. Gone are the days of a big price advantage for the big dish especially on the digital packages.
     
  9. coltonjared

    coltonjared AllStar

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    Apr 25, 2005
    I just found a TRACKER SYSTEM 4 receiver. would this work for fta channels?
     
  10. Richard King

    Richard King Hall Of Fame

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    Not for digital FTA. It would receive in the clear analog though.
     
  11. coltonjared

    coltonjared AllStar

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    Apr 25, 2005
    is there a box or something I can hook up to the receiver?
     
  12. jbach

    jbach Mentor

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    Jul 18, 2005
    Others have told you how to use C Band dishes to get C band analog and digital channels. And you get great SD pictures that way.

    But you seem to want to know if they can be used with the right LNBs to get DISH signals. I still have a C-Band dish etc and had the same question before I signed up for DISH. Theoretically they can. And you would have much less chance of rain fade with all that gain. But there's a problem. You have to move the dish to change satellites. So with DISH programming, there's a big problem. CBand receivers have built in software and signals to reposition the big dish as needed, but DISH receivers don't. And you wouldn't get the guide if you weren't on the right satellite, with no easy way to reposition without a strange kludge.

    DISH dishes use multiple LNBs to get more than one satellite and a different little dish shape to maximize the signal. The Cband dish shape can't deal with multiple LNBs.

    So I don't think your original idea - using a C-Band dish to get DISH - is really practical.
     
  13. tvdxer

    tvdxer Cool Member

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    Aug 11, 2004
    If you have an MPEG-2 DVB free-to-air receiver (e.g. Pansat 2700 or Fortec Star Lifetime Ultra), you can receive well over one hundred unencrypted channels on C-Band alone. This number might grow if you move the dish's positioning eastward to allow reception of the "atlantic ocean region" satellites (PAS 9, Intelsat 805) which contain a number of signals, or even better, add an orthomode LNB which will allow you to pick up even more.
     
  14. coltonjared

    coltonjared AllStar

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    Apr 25, 2005
    I already have the TRACKER SYSTEM 4 receiver and the lnb. I will take picture of the lnb later
     
  15. coltonjared

    coltonjared AllStar

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    Apr 25, 2005
    i found a prosat receiver in a resale shop does anybody know what it does? it say DVB on the front and on the back it has sat in and sat out and tv out. if i get this will this allow me to get digal fta channels?
     
  16. FTA Michael

    FTA Michael Hall Of Fame

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    Google is your friend. Here's the first link it turned up for "Prosat DVB": http://www.coolstf.com/mpeg/Prosat/

    It depends on the receiver, including such questions as whether that particular piece of metal and circuitry actually works, but it sounds very possible. That DVB does mean that it should get FTA channels, and there was an old receiver from Prosat. Good luck!
     
  17. TheRatPatrol

    TheRatPatrol Hall Of Fame

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    Oct 1, 2003
    Phoenix, AZ
    Ahhh.....I remember the good ole days of C-Band satellite growing up in Alaska as a kid. We had one to watch hockey, mostly the Canadian networks and CBC HNIC. VideoCypher, VideoCypher II, and VideoCyper II+. :)

    Aren't most of the satellites nowadays Ku-band, thus requiring a smaller dish? Or are most of them still C-Band? And how does this 4DTV work, is that multiple channels on one transponder? And what program suppliers are left out there? There were alot of them back in the day, can't think of the names of any them now though.

    Yup, those were the good ole days for sure, free HBO, Showtime, ESPN, CNN, everything free, well for a while at least. :D
     
  18. tdti1

    tdti1 Legend

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    Jul 5, 2005
    Most big name broadcasters still uplink there feeds via C-band, and big dish is still the best for price and picture quality:

    I will give you some info:

    Good link to understand why big dish is best:
    http://satellitetheater.com/C-Band World.htm

    Here is a 4dtv channel list:
    http://broadband.motorola.com/4DTV/4DTVChannelUpdates_100705.htm

    Main programming providers:
    http://www.callnps.com/ (great place)
    http://www.programming-center.net/ (great place)
    http://www.superstar.com/index.asp (these guys are owned by dish network and will try to convert you to that)
     
  19. texasclaw

    texasclaw Cool Member

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    Oct 20, 2005
    I still have a 10' BUD and I get excellent coverage with my analog alacarte subscriptions( Motorola 450i analog receiver) and my Free To Air digital(BEC DB 6600+ digital receiver). I plan on setting up a recently aquired Ku Band 76cm (31") with H to H mover for more FTA coverage.

    A good source for inexpensive Satellite products is Ricks Satellite.
    I get most of my gear from him for a lot less than most other suppliers.

    Good luck with your setup whatever you try.
     
  20. panoramix

    panoramix New Member

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    Oct 17, 2005
    I am very new at Satellite TV. Reading the thread I learned a lot. I still have questions:

    I am located in dallas TX. Any idea what I can get here? I am looking for channels in French, if possible from Europe. Thanks for any suggestions

    Marc
     
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