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PBS announces HD feed for backyard dish users

Discussion in 'FTA / Non Small Dish Satellite Area' started by Chris Blount, Sep 17, 2010.

  1. Chris Blount

    Chris Blount Creator of DBSTalk Staff Member Administrator DBSTalk Gold Club

    Jun 22, 2001
    Analog Service to End November 15, 2010

    A High Definition (HD) digital “clear feed” of PBS programming is now available to serve households that use satellite receiving antennas (backyard dishes) to directly access video programming. Since May 2010, backyard dish users have had access to both an HD and an SD (Standard Definition) feed of the PBS National Program Service from the AMC-1 satellite at 103 degrees West Longitude.

    Accordingly, PBS is announcing that the Analog C-Band transmissions of PBS programming, currently on Transponder 16 of the SES-1 satellite at 101 degrees W.L., will be discontinued as of November 15, 2010. Before November, in order to assure that all viewers in the backyard dish community are aware of the new enhanced service, PBS will also be vigorously promoting the new HD and SD services nationwide. To provide ample customer service to users, an 877 phone number (877.727.4144) and an email address (backyardfeeds@pbs.org) are available for anyone to obtain information from PBS about the new feeds. In addition, announcement of the digital service will also be made within the analog program service by a message superimposed on the video of the analog feed.

    Benefits of the Change to Digital Conversion of the PBS Clear Feed to digital transmission will:

    • Preserve an open PBS satellite program service in the most widely used transmission format available;

    • Allow PBS to offer both High Definition (HD) and Standard Definition (SD) services because of the higher efficiency of digital transmission;

    • Allow PBS to provide 5.1 surround sound to the backyard dish community on High Definition programs; and

    • Will be in line with the nationwide conversion to digital over-the-air television
    A Fact Sheet with details about how to access the digital clear feed, or obtain additional information, is attached.

    About PBS
    PBS, with its nearly 360 member stations, offers all Americans — from every walk of life — the opportunity to explore new ideas and new worlds through television and online content. Each month, PBS reaches more than 118 million people through television and nearly 21 million people online, inviting them to experience the worlds of science, history, nature and public affairs; to hear diverse viewpoints; and to take front row seats to world-class drama and performances. PBS’ broad array of programs has been consistently honored by the industry’s most coveted award competitions. Teachers of children from pre-K through 12th grade turn to PBS for digital content and services that help bring classroom lessons to life. PBS’ premier children’s TV programming and its website, pbskids.org, are parents’ and teachers’ most trusted partners in inspiring and nurturing curiosity and love of learning in children. More information about PBS is available at www.pbs.org, one of the leading dot-org websites on the Internet.

    August, 2010

    The PBS digital clear feed can be received by readily-available digital consumer receivers. The feed is on Transponder 20 of the AMC-1 satellite located at 103 degrees West Longitude.

    Technical parameters of the feed are:

    AMC-1, 103 degrees West Longitude
    C-Band Transponder 20 (Vertical polarization)
    DVB-S QPSK modulation
    Carrier Center Frequency: 4091 Mhz (1059 Mhz L-Band)
    Symbol rate: 14.028731 Msps

    The feed is MCPC with two services:

    1. High Definition Service: MPEG Service # 3
    Video PID: 49 (decimal) / 31 (hex) MPEG-2
    Audio1 PID: 52 (decimal) / 34 (hex) MPEG
    Audio2 PID: 53 (decimal) / 35 (hex) MPEG
    Audio3 PID: 54 (decimal) / 36 (hex) MPEG
    Audio4 PID: 55 (decimal) / 37 (hex) Dolby AC-3 2.0/5.1
    Closed Captions: 608 & 708

    2. Standard Definition Service: MPEG Service # 11
    Video PID: 177 (decimal) / B1 (hex) MPEG-2
    Audio1 PID: 180 (decimal) / B4 (hex) MPEG
    Audio2 PID: 181 (decimal) / B5 (hex) MPEG
    Audio3 PID: 182 (decimal) / B6 (hex) MPEG
    Closed Captions: 608 & 708
  2. HoTat2

    HoTat2 Hall Of Fame

    Nov 16, 2005
    Would this be "PBS NET" feed (at least the SD version) that DirecTV offers as part of their SD DNS package?

    If it is, ironic that it should be a free clear channel signal for BUDs, yet DirecTV both charges for it plus cannot provide it to most users without local PBS station waivers due to federally mandated restrictions on DNS service.
  3. phrelin

    phrelin Hall Of Fame DBSTalk Club

    Jan 18, 2007
    It is even more ironic that the Dish/PBS HD situation required special legislation and still I don't get PBS HD. Do I put my big dish back up?
  4. Davenlr

    Davenlr Geek til I die

    Sep 16, 2006
    And if you cant get this one, there is a KU band feed on AMC21 with PBSHD EAST, PBSHD WEST, PBS Create SD, and PBS World SD, as well as PBS Montana SD, PBS Oklahoma HD and SD, and Louisiana Public Broadcasting. All come in fine on a 30" dish here in the mid south.
  5. runner861

    runner861 Icon

    Mar 20, 2010
    I had thought that the c-band big dish was dying. My aunt, who was an early adopter in the late 1970s, recently disconnected hers in favor of DirectTV. She lives in a location where OTA is not possible without a massive antenna, and even then only one station would come in.
  6. HoTat2

    HoTat2 Hall Of Fame

    Nov 16, 2005
    Except for the diehards and some motels, Bars, nightclubs, etc., the C-band BUDs are virtually dead AIUI.

    I seriously considered a BUD for a while back in the 80s during the height of their popularity, but outside of the unsightliness of the dish, the real deal killer here was its inherent inability to effectively service more than a one television household.

    I mean obviously if you've got a family household as I did at the time of many members with their own bedroom TVs who might want to watch different things on different satellites at the same time, a BUD is totally unworkable.

    Thus analog cable won out for this very reason of multi-viewer capability. In addition to far lower up front equipment cost and complexity too of course. :)
  7. n3ntj

    n3ntj Hall Of Fame

    Dec 18, 2006
    Too bad D* doesn't offer a PBS Net HD feed on 379 instead of SD feed. My local PBS station (WITF) isn't carried on D* although WITF has been trying to get D* to carry their HD feed to no avail for several years. We only get our NBC, CBS, ABC, and Fox local stations in HD from D*.
  8. FogCutter

    FogCutter Godfather

    Nov 6, 2006
    Eventually all SD will fade away. But when that day does come, I bet Dish will still be sending PBS SD even if they have to downconvert the HD signal. Oh well.
  9. HarveyLA

    HarveyLA Legend

    Jun 8, 2006
    DISH has already been downconverting most PBS locals to SD. Since the start of the digital transition, stations no longer have separate HD and SD broadcasts, only the digital feed. So, when Dish gets that feed and there's an HD program, they have to downconvert it.

    Dish has agreed to carry all local HD broadcasts, all stations, by Feb. 2013.
  10. FogCutter

    FogCutter Godfather

    Nov 6, 2006
    Hah! I knew it! Swine!

    I will win in the end -- 2013 will be here soon enough.
  11. harsh

    harsh Beware the Attack Basset

    Jun 14, 2003
    Salem, OR
    Not if it is C-band.
  12. kenglish

    kenglish Icon

    Oct 2, 2004
    Salt Lake...
    I wonder if they even considered using Ku Band for this feed.
    If so, I wonder if the DBS providers balked at it, since it might take away from their service, or if the affiliates may have balked at it, fearing it would make their local channels less attractive.
  13. Davenlr

    Davenlr Geek til I die

    Sep 16, 2006
    It has been available on KU for a long time now. This C band feed was implemented back when BUDs were really popular, as an analog feed. They are just switching it over to digital. It typically used to air the PBS schedule one day delayed to protect affiliates, whereas the KU feeds are FOR the affiliates, or in several cases, the actual affiliates distribution to their remote transmitters. Seriously, I see no reason why they even want to keep the C band channel.
  14. harsh

    harsh Beware the Attack Basset

    Jun 14, 2003
    Salem, OR
    Probably because it is impossible for a majority of the population to install a BUD.
  15. huntting

    huntting New Member

    Nov 24, 2008
    You have been beating the drum for PBS on KU for some time and you have my attention!

    Where I live in the mountains of Colorado there is no OTA PBS and while DirecTV carries both of the Denver PBS affiliates, it is only in SD and with very poor PQ. Starting from scratch, what does it take to get a reliable, high-PQ, HD signal from FTA PBS on KU?

    What I would like to achieve is ...

    1) High-PQ, HD, FTA access to PBS
    2) PVR/DVR functionality, preferably using my PC for storage and playback

    I have DirecTV now and previously had Dish. I installed both of those myself. I have a wide, clear view of the southern sky.


  16. FTA Michael

    FTA Michael Hall Of Fame

    Jul 21, 2002

    The cheapest way to get that is to add a HD-capable FTA card to your computer. Then you'll need to run some RG6 cable to a 90cm (or so) dish with a decent LNB. Point the dish to AMC 21 at 125 degrees west, and you'll have lots of PBS feeds from Ku-band. I imagine that if you have more patience than I do, you'll be able to work out when the shows you like are sent over the national feeds.

    About the FTA card, I've never been able to get one going the way I want. I've always become impatient and switched back to standalone FTA receivers. For more advice about FTA receiver cards for computers, check Ricks Satellite Wildfeed Forum http://rickcaylor.websitetoolbox.com/. For other step-by-step instructions, check my site http://www.ftalist.com.
  17. Davenlr

    Davenlr Geek til I die

    Sep 16, 2006
    What he ^^^ said :)

    Another way might be with Playon (www.playon.tv) which lets you stream PBS shows from HULU and other sources to your computer.
  18. hughh

    hughh AllStar

    Sep 22, 2006
    Why not go straight to Hulu and get the programming free?

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