Advice on a new system please



Hi, I am a total novice when it comes to motorised satellite systems. My dad has just cancelled his SKY Package and has in the region of £1000.00 (maybe slightly more) to spend on a motorised satellite system.

Could you guys please give me/us advice on which system to go for. Basically we want, if it is possible, the following:

As many channels as possible
Both digital and analogue reception
Access to top sports events like Premier League and World Championship Heavyweight Boxing
24 Hour mature content Channels
A card system to decrypt encrypted channels. Do we need lots of cards for different systems or is there one card/programmer that can do it all? Also can it decrypt SKY Channels?
How much extra are the systems with Hard Drives and are they worth the extra money if you already have a recorder? Or is a DVD Recorder a better investment for the extra money?
What would we be able to pick up extra if we went for a 1.2m dish over an 80cm Dish? Or even a slighty bigger dish? And what is the biggest size you could mount on the side of your house (after planning permission) and what size can you go up to without planning permission?
What is the best dish to go for?
What is the best digital/analogue reciever out there?
Can we program cards from our USB port on the computer?
How big a dish would we need to pick up news and sports feeds and what kind of receiver?

Sorry for so many questions but like I say we are complete newbies and are really looking forward to having a motorised system for the first time. It's going to be for my dad's 60th Birthday.

If I haven't asked any questions that are important please fill in the gaps. Thanks a lot in advance,

Ian & Dad Terry


Believe it when I see it Admin.
Staff member
My Satellite Setup
Technomate 5402 HD M2 Ci, DM7000s, Transparent 80cm Dish, Moteck SG2100 DiseqC motor, lots of legacy gear. Meters: Satlook Digital NIT, Promax HD Ranger+ spectrum analyser.
My Location
Welcome to the forum, maybe a few too many questions to answer in one post and most of the information is here already, available by using keywords and the forum search function.

To go to the basics first though.

If you are looking to replace Sky, you will often be disappointed, as hobbyists are inflicted with periodic black screens, with providers changing keys or even encryptions.

The normal permitted dish size is 90cm, anything bigger requires planning consent, although in real terms many people get away without, providing the neighbours do not complain, or it cannot be seen. I wouldn't fit anything bigger than 1.2m to a wall normally and theis is a nice size for good all round reception.

There are not many Digital/Analogue receivers around, the Strong 4375 is one and the /technomate 5500DACIP is another, these are not necessarily the best available for your overall requirements though.

Have a look in the cards and programmers and CAMs and Decoders section for information on decryption.

Sky UK cannot be decrypted with other than a Sky digibox and official card.