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Transponder Maps: Domestic ~ Data 9/21/2016


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#1901 OFFLINE   slice1900

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Posted 15 September 2016 - 10:34 AM

Yeah I know....

He's a great source of information, while trying to hide some things of which we well know from the FCC and other sources as you say.

For instance like the baud (or symbol) rates of the satellite transport streams. Details of the modulation or tuning parameters in the system tables. Claiming DLA1 and 2 the technical specifications readilly found in the FCC filings were proprietary, etc.

But this aside, a great source.

 

Perhaps this information was considered proprietary by Directv until later being made public in FCC filings, possibly years after it became known to him, and since he was originally presented with the information as proprietary, he filed it away in his brain that way.

 

That's really the best of both worlds if he is able to tell us stuff that isn't publicly known, and the things he withholds as proprietary we can get from FCC filings :)

 

Given Directv's propensity to keep technical details to themselves, we're lucky they are forced to divulge as much as they do in FCC filings. If they were able to keep those filings from public view, like they are some of the details in filings regarding receivers (like the internal photos and block diagrams) they probably would and we'd know a heck of a lot less about how Directv's satellite fleet operates!


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#1902 OFFLINE   James Long

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Posted 15 September 2016 - 10:42 AM

TID and NID are listed in the standards for DBS. How they are implemented between carriers varies. For example, DISH has a different NID (Network Identifier) for each orbital location and a unique TID (Transponder Identifier) for each transponder and spotbeam across their entire system. Based on the spreadsheets, it appears DIRECTV keeps the TID unique within the NID but not across the entire system.

It is just a number ... it does not have to be the same as the physical transponder or even related to the physical transponder number, but it does make it easier to manage when the TIDs relate to physical transmitters.
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#1903 OFFLINE   KyL416

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Posted 15 September 2016 - 01:47 PM

What are the spot beam audio channels? Are those not sonictap?

They're the SonicTap channels for DirecTV Puerto Rico, which uses Spotbeams on D14 and SW1

#1904 OFFLINE   HoTat2

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Posted 17 September 2016 - 09:38 AM

Another exchange with corrections to what Stuart was originally told about the attached photos during his tour of the LABC back in 2016;

1m-dishes.jpg International-Feeds.jpg

On Friday, September 16, 2016 12:24 PM> wrote:

Hey [Anonymous];

Hope your email account will allow file attachments.

In the included attached images taken during a tour of the LABC back in 2012. First regarding photo of the 1 meter dishes the tour guide explained to the dbstalk.comcorrespondent ...

<< While you're walking around, it's easy to miss these 1-meter dishes (still twice the size of the ones on your home.) They're almost visible at the center left of the aerial shot. They pick up the satellite signals that the big dishes transmit, so that engineers inside the building can analyze and monitor it for quality control, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. >>

Is this because the small dishes are so close to the big uplink ones they actually receive stray RF from them which the engineers can then use to monitor the uplink signals?

And in second photo, it was explained to our correspondent ...

<< There was one last surprise in my tour of the sports center. You would think DIRECTV engineers would have their hands full with US Sports. This part of the facility also handles sports for a lot of the other countries where DIRECTV operates as well. Take a look at the closeup of the rack and you'll see the rare LHR22 Sky+ HD DVR. It may not look all that different from our HR22, but it's only for Latin America. >>

Now while I'm sure there's a way to have the actual signals fed back to the US. Still just curious to your knowledge as to how these subscriber equipment receivers are actually receiving the foreign downlink signals for SKY Mex., DLA, and Puerto Rico while in Los Angeles? :)


Thanks ...

[Anonymous] response on 9/16/2016 at 4:19 PM PST:

Aah, now we're talking something I can really comment on, [Final part of sentence here edited out at source's request].

The group of six dishes to the right of the picture ... [edit here at request of source] ... that was built and installed by a local company for US downlink monitoring. They were the 1.2m Alaska/Hawaii dishes of the time ... [edit at request of source] ... chose them for the extra 5dB or so margin they have over the Slimline. They are set up as redundant pairs.

One dish (on the right of each group) has an LNB for 99, 101 and 103 then the center one is 110 and the left is 119. There are two complete sets of Alaska/Hawaii dishes that run to two separate power supplies and sets of amplifiers with failure detection and auto switch to backup. RF levels out of the first amps are around -5dBm per transponder, which is a very hot level then its split to a bunch of fiber transmitters and other junk.

I had one of the big L-band amplifier companies take their green is good, red is bad amplifier status light for RF level and run it out at TTL level for backup switching. The amplifiers are AGC type so the distribution system always has about the same level at all locations at all times and during rain only the SNR changes. Only the primary side alarm signal feeds the switch so if there is actually a satellite failure the system won't sit there and toggle back and forth.This system feeds most of the confidence monitoring at LABC and there is an identical system at CBC. I have pictures of the system somewhere plus all engineering drawings.

For actual uplink monitoring before the satellite each transmit antenna has 50 to 60dB couplers in each polarity just before the feed horn in the dish and on some dishes its brought back into the building for monitoring and other antennas its got uplink to L-band converters in the antenna and the monitoring signals are brought into the building at L-band. There are no direct pick up antennas for the transmit dishes.

On the DTVLA sports thing, very little was done at LABC and for most of the CBC history it was all done at the CBC. I designed three sets of dual talent voice over booths that were used extensively during the last several FIFA soccer seasons plus lots of baseball games. Interpreters or talent or in many cases, so called talent, would have live ESPN or other sports channels fed into the booth plus live internet for stats. They would then translate the games into either Spanish or Portuguese.

Usually we had separate audio feeds for the ESPN English announcers and separate crowd sounds (nat sound). The nat sound would be mixed with the translators commentaries and you would never know they were not at the live show. In some cases where they couldn't separate the crowd sounds (mostly baseball) they would use canned crowd sounds at different levels and that would get mixed with the translators. The person running the audio board had to know the teams and players and their popularity so he or she could ride the appropriate amount and type of crowd noise.

Many years ago much of the DTVLA sports production transferred to one of the Latin American countries and much less is done at CBC or LABC except for maybe FIFA and Olympics.

Much of the original DTVLA system is easily received along the southern border of the US except for the very southern beams. There is also a hot spot from G3C into the DC and NYC area for monitoring at DTVLA corporate headquarters in NYC. I also designed most of the downlink distribution for that.

When Puerto Rico was still on G3C the only US site that could receive the single spot beam was CBC and they tapped the uplink and converted to L-band. Otherwise the other transponders were simply CONUS transponders that could be received anywhere in the US by doing some tricks. You had to use a separate linear pol dish to receive them, then filter out everything but those specific transponders, then combine that with a downlink from a DTVLA dish that has the same frequency range for the linear transponders filtered out. The end result is a combination of two different dishes but worked fine and the receiver didn't know any different.

For Sky reception, IS-9 then IS-21 has a fine signal into much of the southern US and it works fine. I still have a DTVLA and Sky consumer dish on my house. Not sure about the newer 70 deg Sky stuff. My office had a stack of receivers running all the time although I had little time to watch TV. I had separate receivers for US HD, DTVLA, Sky and Puerto Rico as they were switching to the US system. We had direct but weak reception of the US Puerto Rico feeds in California, not sure if that was by design or ?? All that was fed to a couple of large monitors and very good stereo with Tannoy pro monitors and sub woofer. ... [a final sentence edited out here at source's request]








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Edited by HoTat2, 17 September 2016 - 09:58 AM.

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#1905 OFFLINE   James Long

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Posted 17 September 2016 - 10:25 AM

Usually we had separate audio feeds for the ESPN English announcers and separate crowd sounds (nat sound). The nat sound would be mixed with the translators commentaries and you would never know they were not at the live show. In some cases where they couldn't separate the crowd sounds (mostly baseball) they would use canned crowd sounds at different levels and that would get mixed with the translators. The person running the audio board had to know the teams and players and their popularity so he or she could ride the appropriate amount and type of crowd noise.


A theater production. :)
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#1906 OFFLINE   HoTat2

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Posted 17 September 2016 - 12:23 PM

Another;

On Saturday, September 17, 2016 3:05 AM PST>

I wrote:

All very interesting [Anonymous]

... tell us, why use such a system when as all the FCC licenses for the DIRECTV uplink stations seem to specify both transmit and receive capabilty over the full uplink and downlink bands. Why not use the receive capabilities of the uplink dishes themselves for such confidence monitoring of the satellite downlinks?

Thanks ...


[Anonymous] on 9/17/2016 at 8:31 AM PST:

Some systems like DTVLA and Sky use the large uplink antenna for confidence monitoring but Ka gets complicated because of different frequency translations between A and B band and there are several different 101 Ku and Ka antennas at any given uplink center.You would have to pick and choose signals from several antennas, filter, then combine them all to get a complete downlink spectrum. 

Using a large robust consumer dish simplifies things because all the hardware already exists and you don't want to be crawling around an active uplink antenna to troubleshoot a separate downlink. A confidence downlink for a major facility like LABC should be self contained in my opinion and preferably redundant so there is little or no down time. Besides people looking at monitors there is a lot of automated equipment analyzing the signals these days and any down time on the downlink is a real problem. 

Even on the DTVLA and Sky systems we have consumer dishes for an occasional sanity check in case something was slightly degraded and you needed to simulate what the customer sees.Plus there is a lot of remote downlink quality monitoring stations for all systems, the US has their flavor, DTVLA probably has the best and Sky has their own type. 







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#1907 OFFLINE   HoTat2

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Posted 19 September 2016 - 05:24 AM

Another exchange;
 

 Saturday, September 17, 2016 1:18 PM PST>

I wrote:

Ok [Anonymous], makes sense ....

Though I guess the 110W dishes don't have too much to really monitor these days what with D5 at 110W having been reoriented to place it's CONUS beam peak  directly over Puerto Rico to serve what we on the forum assume is what 101W does for the US subscribers. As we understand it, the main drawback of PR joining DIRECTV USA is that none of the Ku satellites at 101W and 119W can serve the CONUS and reach PR at the same time. Nor can the Ka birds D10, D11, or D12.

Only the Ka Spaceways, and the newer D14, and D15 which have CONUS mirror PR spotbeams. Thus the need to reorient D5 to act as a Ku 101W for them.

IOW, PR subs. only use 99, 103, amd 110W on their SL-5s

Also, in the attached photo <name removed> of a close up of one of the Ka band uplink dishes at the LABC. Are those large hoses (two white on top, and two yellow on bottom) air ducts for the air conditioning to bring cooling air into the dish hub where the TWT high power amps are located?

Dish-Amplifiers.jpg

And is it true what the LABC tour guide asserts here that DIRECTV really pioneered the placement of the TWT PAs in the hubs of the dishes themselves?

<< Now, that's just the "down" part of the dish farm. Dishes are also used to send signals up, of course. The four dishes you see here are just a few of the broadcast dishes used to get that programming up to the satellite, where it bounces down to you. DIRECTV pioneered the use of amplifiers on the dish with some super-secret "traveling wave-tube" technology. Amps right on the dish are a lot more efficient, but they run hot. That's why every dish has an air-conditioner right on it, as you see in the picture on the right. >>

Again, can't thank you more for all the answers to by (or "our" on the forum actually) tiresome inquiries. .. :)

.

[Anonymous] response on 9/17/2016 at 2:12 PM PST:

The Ka antenna in the picture is an older 9m General Dynamics Ka dish and there is nothing super secret about the TWT technology. The air conditioner on that version is on the upper deck and feeds into the hub, which is sealed. Newer versions have the air conditioner/heat exchanger on the ground for easier maintenance. 

The large hoses are for chilled and return air.There would also be a much smaller hose for pressurized air that blows across the feed horn and comes on when rain is detected. All pretty standard stuff for an antenna of this class and versions used at CRBC or other areas that snow would have the entire back closed up with heaters inside for de-icing.

I don't know if DTV pioneered the use of TWTs in the antenna hub but they sure had a big hand in getting the technology to where it is today. From what I have seen, the more recent Dish Network antennas are very similar and for sure a copy of what DTV has done. The DTV RF group is very good and has requested very innovative upgrades to the various antennas purchased over the years. 

The TWTs or the final transmit amplifiers are in the antenna hub close to the feed because of excessive loss in waveguide at Ka band if the amplifiers were in the building behind the dish. This has worked out so well that its been used in newer Ku systems as well. 

Even the original Klystron amplifiers and waveguide combiners used since the inception of DTV are being replaced by TWTs inside the building where practical. The only problem is making sure there is adequate uplink power for maximum rain fade because a single Klystron amplifier was used for each transponder uplinked where a broad band TWT may be uplink several transponders and amplifier power is being shared between those transponders. Plus TWTs don''t put out anywhere near the power of the older and narrower band Klystron amplifiers. 

The older Klystron systems also wasted a lot of power in combining many transponders onto one waveguide where a single TWT can amplify multiple transponders combined at the input and the external lossy waveguide combining is not required and lessens the peak power requirements. 









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Edited by Gary Toma, 19 September 2016 - 02:38 PM.
removed name reference as requested

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#1908 OFFLINE   tomspeer46

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Posted 21 September 2016 - 10:48 AM

Comparison of Transponder Data for 09/21/2016 vs 09/14/2016:
 
No changes in system tables for any transponder tuning parameters. 
 
Changes to the use of defined transponders:
 
National 4K Live Channels = 2 (0)
Spot Beam 4K Live Channels =0 (0)
National HD Live Channels = 238 (-1)
Spot Beam HD Live Channels =1406 (-7)
National SD MPEG4 Live Channels = 10 (0)
Spot Beam SD MPEG4 Live Channels =152 (9)
National SD MPEG2 Live Channels = 421 (1)
Spot Beam SD MPEG2 Live Channels =998 (0)
National 3D  Channels = 1 (0)
Spot Beam 3D  Channels =0 (0)
National Audio Channels = 84 (0)
Spot Beam Audio Channels =30 (0)
 
 
A formatted version of this post with more detail is available HERE.
 
Much more detail is available in the PID count Excel workbook that I have posted in post #94
  in the Satellite Transponder Tables thread.
 
More details of changes in individual channels will follow in Doctor J's analysis.
 

The curious otter is around, but hasn't been seen for a while.  

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#1909 OFFLINE   Gary Toma

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Posted 21 September 2016 - 09:40 PM

Doctor J Analysis of the 9/21/2016 Domestic Data

 

 

See the Formatted Report Here




#1910 OFFLINE   HoTat2

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Posted 21 September 2016 - 09:51 PM

Doctor J Analysis of the 9/21/2016 Domestic Data

 

To note Gary;

Link just redirects to the vBulletin iamanedgecutter login page.

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#1911 OFFLINE   HoTat2

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Posted 21 September 2016 - 09:55 PM

To note Gary;

Link just redirects to the vBulletin iamanedgecutter login page.

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Oh, now it's working... strange...

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#1912 OFFLINE   HoTat2

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Posted 22 September 2016 - 03:23 AM

<< *** NOTE SPSNHD Shown is in MPEG2/SD at this time, despite ‘HD’ naming, perhaps still in work >>

Gary I'm receiving (the newly titled) SPSNHD in 1080i HD as with the former TWCSNHD.

So what's up with this note?

Is it that strange "0AB8" Hex code for the VPID which is causing this understanding?

The SHEF response Hex string for HD ch. 691 is showing a VPID of "1030."


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#1913 OFFLINE   tomspeer46

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Posted 22 September 2016 - 06:51 AM

<< *** NOTE SPSNHD Shown is in MPEG2/SD at this time, despite ‘HD’ naming, perhaps still in work >>

Gary I'm receiving (the newly titled) SPSNHD in 1080i HD as with the former TWCSNHD.

So what's up with this note?

Is it that strange "0AB8" Hex code for the VPID which is causing this understanding?

The SHEF response Hex string for HD ch. 691 is showing a VPID of "1030."


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It appears that at the moment the data was captured, the VPID field in the guide was incorrect, probably a data entry error by someone at DirecTV.   0AB8 is a very strange PID.  Your SHEF response indicates that it has been corrected by DTV, after our data capture.

 

 Gary and I use different methods for determining HD or SD status, but based on the same input data.   I have been meaning to compare our results to see if we come up with the same numbers.  In my pidcount program, this channel fell into the category of "implied SD",  because the PID was not more than 0x1000.  In all of the data, the only other PIDs on a Ka transponder that had a PID below 0x1000, were Puerto Rican channels on D14 with a PID of 0x00FA, which is a flag to the receiver to display a SD static "slate" of the AT&T logo, and that annoying, loud, repeating music.


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#1914 OFFLINE   Gary Toma

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Posted 24 September 2016 - 12:41 PM

Updated DMA Data

 

An updated version of the DIRECTV Market Data has been uploaded in the 'DMA and Market Resources' Thread HERE.

 

In addition to the fresh 2016/2017 DMA rankings, the chart now includes a "5 Year Trend" column so you can easily visualize the DMA winners and losers.







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