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· Charter Gold Club Member
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Well said, Mark. Now we understand C-band completely. :rolleyes:
 

· Banned
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To explain Mr. Knowitall's answer a little better... :D

C Band is a type of transmission which is sent to satellite and bounced back to earth. To receive C Band a 8 foot or larger Dish is required. C Band is a certain frequency and power range.

KU Band is a higher power transmission and used different frequencies, because of this smaller Dishes can be used. In fact DBS is a KU band service (although the power on DBS satellites are much higher then what a normal KU satellite is)

C Band is where most satellite channels are broadcast to originally, from there cable systems and DBS companies use big Dishes to receive the signals and redistribute the signal to their customers. In DBS's case they take the signal, compress it digitally with other channels then up-link it on their high powered KU satellites so that home users with mini dishes can pick up the signal.

For broadcasters C Band is preferred over KU band as C Band does not experience Rain fade that KU does. A pure C Band signal will give you the best quality picture over any other broadcast medium. (Once your cable or DBS provider get this nice clean picture, after its done processing the pictures dosen't look quite as good anymore) :(

If you have room at your house for a big 10 foot C Band Dish and can see all the "arc" I highly recommend a C Band dish.

Also because you have purchased all the equipment subscriptions to the scrambled C band channels are a fraction of the cost they are on DBS or cable. For example when I had my dish I had 80+ channels of subscription stuff and my bill was $90 for a year of programming! (And that's not even counting all the FREE channels which are not scrambled up their, as well as other goodies such as Wild Feeds (Syndicated shows being sent to local TV stations for later rebroadcast (sometimes with no commercials!) and Unedited newscasts from around the world. Joy with a C Band dish is watching Dan Rather getting ready to do the news and picking his nose during commercial breaks. :D

I wish I could see the entire satellite arc from my house, I would have a C Band dish in a minute!
 

· Charter Gold Club Member
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Well said, Scott. Now we understand C-band completely. :lol:
 

· Legend
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Scott, thanks for the great explanation. BTW, are those home C-Band dishes stationary or do they have some sort of motorized control in order to receive programming from other satellites?
 

· Banned
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Yup scooper is correct they have motorized arms to move the dish to diffrent satellites throught the arc.

Maintaining a C Band dish is not really to hard. You just need to know what the parts are and what they do. :) If something goes wrong you know what part to fix. The only problem I ever had was my servo motor went so that the LNB could not switch polarities. With an $8 part and a screwdriver I was in business in 10 minutes. :D

You can find some good info on C Band systems at http://www.skyvision.com
 
G

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You also might be interested that "C" band has less than 700,000 subscribers. "C" band subscribers are turning off their subscription at about 15,000 per month. Equipment still costs between $1,000 & $1,500 to buy a complete system. Actuator arms and polarizor motors normally wear out in 3-5 years from usage. "FREE" programming is mostly shopping networks and religious broadcasters other than news feeds and syndicated feeds. Most manufacturers have left the "C" band market, Only General Instruments(Motorola) is still making receivers, videocypher modules are no longer being produced but there are plenty of used modules available. But yes because "C" band is the original source of a lot of programming it can be a slightly superior picture.
 

· Banned
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But yes because "C" band is the original source of a lot of programming it can be a slightly superior picture.
I would say VASTLY.

Yes the number of users has shrunk. This is due to a few factors.

1) A C Band dish can only be hooked up to one TV, if you want to watch another C Band channel in another room, forget about it, its not gonna happen.

2) A 18 to 24 inch dish look better in a yard then a big 10 to 12 foot monster. (More wife approval) :D

3) GI killed C Band by introducing their Digicypher II system, it made many channels that were available to the public unavailable as there were no consumer digicypher receivers available. It took them quite awhile to get a consumer Digicypher out to the public, and then it came out the price point was $799 which was more then the Free DBS systems cost. This ultimately is why C Band has lost acceptance amoung consumers.

Again if your looking for the best picture available anywhere and have the money, go C Band.

BTW anyone out there have a C Band dish?
 

· Hall Of Fame/Supporter
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People also hate having to wait for the dish to turn. People want to switch back and forth between two or more shows, unless you luck out and both are on the same sat, this is not going to be easy.

That combined with only one TV in the house has driven a lot of people away from C band. Face it people like to channel surf!

As far as picture quality, yes C band wins, but with old analog televisions (provided you stay below 50") most people do not see the difference. You have to have a higher res set that does not blur the picture to see the differences for the average consumer.
 

· Hall Of Fame
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JMHO: You can pick up a used system for under $100 if you'll go pick it up. Lots of moving parts. And the dish itself is very very heavy and clunky. I needed three people to put up my eight and half foot mesh dish. You can't call D* or E* if there is a problem. And there are only a few suppliers left, so you'll be getting parts through the mail. You'll end up spending more on parts with C-band. With DBS I haven't replaced any of my original system from 1997. Two years with a used c-band system and I've already had a couple of repairs and lost a descrambler unit to age.

If you get high winds, it can throw off your system. It takes mine a coulle of minutes to go from one end of the arc to the other and reset itself.

It's a great hands on science project to learn geometry and all the different "degrees of freedom" in adjusting the dish.

I have a problem for several months now where some channels come in great, but others come in staticey. It's not limited to specific channels or birds, and a couple of "old timers" have been stumped. I'm basically looking for another used system to start trading out parts. Also, some folks near airports and military bases are experiencing signal interference since 9/11 and must buy an expensive filter to get their signal back.

The analog c-band channels are slowly drying up. Most of the "digital cable-type netlets" are in digital, so you have to add a digital descrambler add on box from Motorola. Good news is the price has dropped to under $150, but the digital boxes are much more finickey about needing a clear signal. You need a perfectly tuned system or you'll get drop outs. Also, you'll have to wait as the analog unit moves the dish, then the digital unit tunes in. A lot of parts (READ: lots of flipping between remotes.)

Motorola makes an HDTV unit for c-band. Don't know much about it.

Also, the networks and some other channels are moving to proprietary digital systems so that consumers can't get the feeds of WB, UPN, NBC Fox and some others. You can still get a smattering of affiliate channels that are up here and there though.

For international programming, there's a lot of channels in digital-free-to-air so that you can see them in-the-clear once you buy a digital box. However, an outfit has moved in and begun signing up these broadcasters to a subscription service, so it will slowly go away over several years.

Remember too that C band analog and digital only have a handful of locals up, so you likely can't get your locals on satellite.

It only works on one tv. If you want a second tv, you must buy a full subscription and put up another dish. No switches and mirror fees here.

As for c-band being cheaper, I priced it out last winter and to match a package of D* or E*, you'll pay more on c-band. With c-band you can still pick analog ala carte, so you can lower your costs by only picking a few channels. But the trend here is that you're going to buy a package to get digital feeds. C-band still has a subscription price advantage on premiums if you also buy a digital descrambler because you get all the feeds of that service. Otherwise you're limited to like two analog channels of Showtime and so forth.

Lots of live feeds of COLLEGE, not pro, sports are up in the clear. Some news feeds are still in the clear and many weekly tv shows go up as "wild feeds" in the clear.

For a hobbyist, it's great. For someone who doesn't want to pay a lot for tv or doesn't want to support the big DBS companies, it's an alternative. If you have a wife, she'll likely hate it.
 

· Arcane Movie Trivia King
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1,806 Posts
C-Band consists of the cousins by marriage opf the members of O- Town
 

· Godfather
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334 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Okay thanks everyone! I *thought* that's what C-Band was, just wanted to make sure.

I forgot, that a friend of mine (who goes to the same church as I do no less) puts C-Band in. It's like a spare job that he does. I could put a C-Band dish in seeing how I have 3.5 acres of land. I just don't think I would want to look out any of my back windows and see a 10 foot dish in my yard. I am happy with Directv. So, I don't think I'll switch.
 

· Mentor
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45 Posts
Those that say C-band picture quality is VASTLY superior are deluded and guilty of misleading others IMO. The plain unvarnished truth of the matter is that C-band pictures are superior ONLY on some channels on some satellites - not every channel on every satellite unless you have a wide-open "window" to ALL satellites - have a 12' Paraclipse dish (or similar) - have the feedhorn positioned PERFECTLY - have a good quality LNB - and have the whole thing perfectly adjusted and "tracked". Then, you would see better pic quality on nearly every channel from every satellite. In the "real world", this scenario is not likely, since the achievement of perfect "tracking" takes a LOT of skill and experience, believe me. I was a C-band servicing dealer for about a dozen years until I "saw the handwriting on the wall" and bailed out of the whole business. I made the switch to Dish Network in 1997 and have never looked back. Dozens and doazens of C-band systems that I sold and installed are now collecting cobwebs in people's yards (plus many, many more that were carted off to the dump).

I don't believe that advising anyone to get a C-band system is good advice in any way, shape, or form. In fact, I think it's about the worst advice you could possible give to anyone contemplating a satellite service. Here are a bunch of the reasons:

1. Manufacturers and suppliers of C-band equipment have nearly all given up the business and turned to other products to make and sell! I don't think the day is very far off when getting replacement parts will be VERY difficult.

2. There's hardly anyone left with the knowledge, experience, and skill to repair C-band receivers! With no new receivers being built, the only replacement receivers available to buy will be used ones!

3. Broadcasters are abandoning C-band in droves (going to digital transmission which saves them money). Thus, signal compression will be used rendering the signals virtually the same as DBS signals today.

4. Consumers with C-band systems are also abandoning the format in droves! Before long, there won't be enough of a subscriber base to keep any programming providers in business!

'Nuff said?
 

· Icon
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HBO Signs Transponder Agreement with AMERICOM

July 22, 2002 - Princeton, NJ -- SES AMERICOM announced today that Home Box Office has signed a multi-transponder service agreement to begin using AMC-4 at 101º W.L. in January, 2003. HBO will use AMC-4 to continue its distribution of four analog multiplex feeds -- HBO2 East and West, HBO Signature East, and MoreMAX East -- to HBO's TVRO C-Band subscribers.

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I suppose if you are dealer then getting out of the c-band busines might be a good idea, but from a consumer point of view, I can't see it if you have the money and the room for the dish(es).

C/Ku band picture quality is so much sharper then the little dishes if the systems are tweaked right without sparklies. If you have a good picture such as the Arena Football game on AMC 2 -Ku, Tr 10 today then that will beat ESPN on the little dishes or if you are watching the LPGA on AMC 1 - Ku, Tr 15 or the Royals KCWE feed on T5 - C, Tr 24.

Sure more and more feeds are going digital (ESPN and MPEG, NASCAR and MPEG, Orioles and Red Sox feeds on 4DTV), but if you have the room then c/ku is the best for programming. Still lots of programming on c-band. Backhauls galore on c and ku. Especially Ku for college sports. (Let's hope that continues). It's just getting more expensive because you need receivers to get everything that can "see" analog and now digital.

Yes, Scott. I still have c-band and will until there is nothing left in the sky. Will be celebrating 14 years here in October and hopefully at least 14 more.
 

· Hall Of Fame
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7,802 Posts
In answer to your question, Scott, I have 2 C/Ku setups. Currently have the A's/Rangers and America One feeds on. Try gatting those on DBS everywhere. I can see the entire arc from 148w to somewhere east of 58w. The dishes are not in the yard. They are on the roof. I have small subscriptions on both receivers, each being slightly different for variety. Most have western feeds as well as eastern feeds. Also, have DVB/Mpeg2 FTA receover on one of them. Looks like NASCAR on NBC backhauls will be available this year.

This would be the time of year to get a C/Ku setup, as NFL Preseason and College Football are coming up, shortly. A choice of about 46 different College games on some saturdays is quite awsome. :)

And if you join the correct mailing list, Mike will tell you where most, if not all, are. Some others and I might throw in some Cband games as well.

BTW: The 10' mesh dish seems to be the optimum size. The 7.5' seems to have some problems with the 2 deg. spacing of the satellites.
 

· Hall Of Fame
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Well, just solved my c band interference problem. Seems a nest of wasps setup shop in the feedhorn throat. Darned blue plastic condom thingy came off. ;) In retrospect, I guess that when they flew in and out was when I was getting interrmitent problems, then the nest got so big that only the Outdoor channel could fry through the nest. I wonder if any of the baby wasps would have been sterile or had like 6 wings or something. Too late to check, I did a 12D on em.
 
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