Looking for a new digital receiver

D

DCFC

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#1
I currently have a pace digibox just solely for Sky, but I'm looking to upgrade to a new digital receiver so that I can view other satellites etc.

I also have an old (i.e. not been used for two years but still works :)) IRTE Omnisat with an 80cm Lenson Heath dish & Cambridge universal LNB (AE31) In addition to this I have a Philips CTU 900 D2Mac decoder & PCB card with chip. My old analogue receiver still works (Pace MSS200).

What I can do to start things off is mount the 80cm & IRTE up & use the Sky digibox to view FTA channels (until I buy a suitable digital receiver to view the remaining channels)

First question is what digital receiver would you recommend for getting the most use out of my existing equipment (I want to take down the sky dish & LN:cool:. I have read many reports on this board & the Humax 5400 springs to mind. As i understand it the Disecq feature of this receiver would not be used with my current IRTE ? is this correct ?

I did a search on the whole forum for IRTE or Omnisat & was surprised to find that very few posts were found. Am I still going to use the poor mans motorised set up ? Tell you the truth & find it so easy to use & want to keep on using it. I don't mind that when I click on a particular channel that the dish does not move automatically (I assume the latest receivers do this?)

As an alternative I have an old 60cm dish as I have a huge doubt in my mind that when I stick my 80cm on the front of the house(the only possible location unfortunately) that it will be an eyesore but you never know.

As I understand it from reading the Humax 5400 manual that I can connect my MSS200 & loop through but that in itself might be another eyesore with one box sitting on top of the other. Would it then be an option to consider a combined analogue / digital receiver ? (more expensive I will try to avoid as I was quite happy with my first Pace receiver)

I have looked at getting the embedded Irdeto cam within the Humax but is there any real difference between that & Viaccess ? or is it just a preference ? Ideally I would want to get the most common one so to view as many channels as is possible without forking out more money.

As for the D2Mac decoder, I found that such a buzz to key in the codes to get the channels back, however I couldn't crack Canal when they did the Triple DES system...I don't think my card was capable of dealing with that although TV1000 was still satisfying me ;o)

As I understand it Tv1000 & even Canal still broadcast in D2Mac but does anyone know for how long ? I am thinking of obtaining another card if mine is of no use but would this be a worthwhile purchase ?

Card programmers might be beyond me but if I get the right advice & know how to use it then that be another purchase.

Well guys (& gals) thanks in advance for any advice you may be able to offer me in getting back on to the right tracks for many hours of channel hopping.
 
2old4this

2old4this

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#2
Phew, that's a lot of questions!

Here are some quick answers, but of course this whole subject could fill a book and I recommend a lot of research to bring you up to date.

First, unless you face planning restrictions, don't get rid of your Sky dish. It's extremely useful to have multiple dishes - watch one thing while recording another, etc. And the Sky box is happier left pointing at 28.2 as uncle Murdoch likes to surprise us with the odd unannounced pressie (EPG updates, new digibox firmware, card activation pulses...)

There are a number of good digital receivers, and the choice depends on what you want. For the ultimate hobbyist, who wants to externalise bit streams, encryption idents and so on, a Nokia 9600 CI receiver is hard to beat as it can be loaded with Dr.Overflow (dvb2000) firmware.
The newer 9800 series can not. And the older 9200/9500 series is not a CI model.

If you want an all-singing, all-dancing box, there are a number of alternatives, the most obvious being the Strong 4375 and the Echostar ad3000 series. There are also some Manhattan boxes but I forget the spec.
If you want to really splash out and get the very latest, wait a week or two and plump for the Echostar 7000. It has everything the ad3000 has (analogue, digital, real positioner, magnetic&polarotor polarisor drives, twin CI...) but also a built-in Harddrive and MP3 player (plus advanced software). But it'll be picey - about GBP 800+

If you want a box that you can use "hobby" cards with, then there are again a number of alternatives. The Humax 5400 internal Irdeto CAM can be patched so it passes control to a card for Irdeto/Betacrypt, Mediaguard ("Seca") AND Irdeto. The card of course needs to be of the right type, and suitably loaded with the right files & keys.

Similarly the CA CAMs of a Nokia 9200/9500 can be patched (but only by specialists) and the early series of CI Irdeto CAM can be reflashed by laptop - all then behaving essentially like the patched Humax CAM. But expect to pay GBP100+ for a suitable flashable Irdeto CI CAM.

Most modern digital receivers that do not have proper integrated positioners do at least support DiSEqC v1.2 - which can drive a special DiSEqC motor by passing control pulses up the coax used for the LNB. And if you really want to use that in combination with your "old fashioned" motor, there are conversion boxes that convert DiSEqC control signals to traditional motor pulses. Talk to a knowledgable dealer. In fact, there are more and more possibilities arriving almost weekly. A new form of toroidal dish now allows lossless reception of half a dozen different satellites from a single dish (a line of LNBs) and any digital receiver supporting DiSEqC 1.1 will switch between them (you need some DiSEqC switches too).

And yes, we are lazy these days. DiSEqC- & integrated-positioner-receivers indeed mean that the dish moves automatically to the right satellite as you zap through your channels.

Most or even all premium D2MAC channels have disappeared. Canal+ & TV1000 no longer broadcast under d2mac as far as I know. But don't worry. They now use Mediaguard and/or Viaccess under digital. And those systems are cracked too...

Card programmers are childsplay these days. Check out the forum "smartcards" on this board and look for an old post "How to/FAQ" - that takes you through the basics.

Good luck
2old
 
D

DCFC

Guest
#3
Thanks for your response 2old.

You suggest I keep my Sky dish up rather than replace it, but am I right in thinking that the current dish is nothing "special" but is only that size as Sky digital only needs it to be that size ? so if I wish I could swap it for the 80cm dish & universal LNB like I mentioned ?

As for receivers I was not really looking for an all singing all dancing one, just one capable of storing as many digital channels & analogue ones (if I get a combined receiver), without having too many other features what I wouldn't use. i.e. diseq etc.

Perhaps I will start in putting up my IRTE & see how user friendly it still is. Sometimes may way of thinking is that the money has already been spent on stuff that it seems a waste not to use it, but buy something else which is perhaps more up to date.

I will do some research now on receivers as well as more on the programmers / wafer cards. I was puzzled to start with when I couldn't find the forum titled "smartcards" but managed to find a thread amongst the "cards & programmers" that explained you renamed it :)

I sense that the programming of cards will be a challenge, but hopefully one I look forward to. ;)


Regards,

DCFC.
 
2old4this

2old4this

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#4
The Sky dish is nothing special. IE it has no unique properties that Sky reception requires. All offset dishes are essentially the same in function. The only thing noteworthy is that the LNB is matched to the peculiar elliptical geomnetry of the minidish, so that were you to reuse the Sky LNB on a dish with a different shape, it's performance would be sub-optimal. But ANY dish >=60cm and universal LNB will pick up Sky digital across the UK.

Check this link for a handy round-up of most of the DIGITAL receivers currently on the market.
http://www.ilgradio.com/satworld/ilg-digsat.htm

2old
 
D

DCFC

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#5
I've been looking at the Manhattan DSR 5500 with embedded Aston/Seca cam. I have noticed looking around various sites that no patches appear to be available for this receiver (unlike several for the Humax) Is this a disadvantage with this receiver & any others that may not appear to be patchable.

Am I right in thinking that if a hobby card was programmed with the correct files & be used in the 5500 STB that channels could be viewed if desired albeit the ones using the Seca encryption ?

Regards,

DCFC.

(Still gathering every bit of info)
 
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