My analogue rambling

Captain Jack

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Had quite an interesting read on World TV Standards page http://www.pembers.freeserve.co.uk/World-TV-Standards/Colour-Standards.html]here[/url]. As a satellite TV enthusiast born in Soviet Russia and living in the UK, I have seen all standards with exception of NTSC.

In Russia, we (still) use SECAM D/K system, though most TVs are now multi-standard. Back in the 80's when we started getting an influx of imported VCRs outputting a PAL signal, most of the videos watched were in black and white displayed on a colour TV. This is, of course, because all TVs were SECAM. However, very quickly most TVs could be adapted to be multi-stand by fitting PAL boards. It was all very exciting!

Having moved to the UK in 1993, I was introduced to the world of satellite where I found a similar issue on French broadcasts but the other way around! SECAM transmissions being displayed in black and white on UK PAL TVs. There were SECAM to PAL converters available but I never watched enough French TV to justify the cost. The last French analogue transmission ceased last year and, to my surprise, my 2008 Panasonic plasma TV also displayed them in black and white - no SECAM decoder in that one then!

Saw plenty of MAC transmissions as well. There was the usual D-MAC from NRK in Norway and D2-MAC from, again, the French and the Scandinavians as well as a very rare B-MAC. I can't remember where the transmission came from but I seem to recall it might have been SIS horse racing from 27.5W. My D/D2MAC decoder did not decode that - it seemed to be rather different and had some diamond shaped "sync pulses" (for want of a better technical explanation!). I still have the same decoder in the loft - only there's nothing left to decode. Shame...

It would be interesting to see what happened to all those old MAC and video encoders, such as VideoCrypt, EuroCrypt and Syster/Nagravision, that broadcasters disposed of...
 
Lazarus

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re: SECAM and French Analogue, I got around the lack of multi-standard capability of my TV by looping it by SCART through my DVD Recorder!
 
Captain Jack

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Yeah, I know about that trick - except that I don't have a DVD Recorder. Not that it's an issue these days anyway!
 
Lazarus

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Still got mine ............................. despite having a PVR plus two USB Recording capable F3s.

It's become a Bedroom DVD Player and is overkill in a big (literally!) way.
 
timo_w2s

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I remember SECAM from France. I saved up all my pocket money to get a "Telecom" band LNB back in 1991 and was excited to get those extra black and white channels. Back then I was operating on a budget so had to manually swap LNBs to change bands and even rotate the LNB to change polarity! Not to mention move the dish by hand as I searched for new satellites.

I used to pick up a few feeds too from the Intelsat satellites occasionally that were in NTSC and the TV would display it in black and white with black bars top and bottom (rather like widescreen today on a 4:3 TV) due to the resolution difference.

I also remember seeing an SIS B-MAC encrypted channel. I'm pretty sure you are right about it being on 27.5W.

We moved to Finland in 1992 and I remember seeing the last few terrestrial SECAM transmissions from Estonia but now I had a multistandard TV so it was in colour. It wasn't too long after the breakup of the Soviet Union and Estonia switched to PAL. I also used to listen to Estonian FM stations using a scanner at around 50MHz I think. In the summer months we used to often get Russian analogue TV during high pressure.

We also got a Nokia D2-MAC receiver while in Finland to get (legitimate!) FilmNet and BBC TV Europe/Prime. That was pretty exciting too. ;)

I still think French TV looks wrong in colour whenever I see it these days...
 
Llew

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timo_w2s said:
I also remember seeing an SIS B-MAC encrypted channel. I'm pretty sure you are right about it being on 27.5W.
Dusting off one of my notebooks of the time, Yes SIS bookie feeds in B-MAC were on Intelsat VI F1 27.5W, 11.591H. I used to use that powerful carrier as a marker for catching CMT Europe, Discovery, The Learning Channel etc.

Raw SIS racing feeds were ones I used to catch on the inclined Eutelsat 1F5 21.5E in the early 90's. Always a challenge in that I was regularly going outside to change the dish elevation up or down in the afternoon to catch that last race at Yarmouth...
 
timo_w2s

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Llew said:
Dusting off one of my notebooks of the time, Yes SIS bookie feeds in B-MAC were on Intelsat VI F1 27.5W, 11.591H. I used to use that powerful carrier as a marker for catching CMT Europe, Discovery, The Learning Channel etc.Raw SIS racing feeds were ones I used to catch on the inclined Eutelsat 1F5 21.5E in the early 90's. Always a challenge in that I was regularly going outside to change the dish elevation up or down in the afternoon to catch that last race at Yarmouth...
Ah yes, the days when we had to make our own channel lists or wait for a monthly and slightly inaccurate listing in a magazine... Unfortunately most of mine are on floppy disks in the Amiga format.
 
smoggy07

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Captain Jack said:
It would be interesting to see what happened to all those old MAC and video encoders, such as VideoCrypt, EuroCrypt and Syster/Nagravision, that broadcasters disposed of...
Apparently some of the UK police helicopters use Syster as the encryption on their "heli-telly" camera downlinks (in the 5Ghz band) so I've heard
 
Captain Jack

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timo_w2s said:
I remember SECAM from France. I saved up all my pocket money to get a "Telecom" band LNB back in 1991 and was excited to get those extra black and white channels. Back then I was operating on a budget so had to manually swap LNBs to change bands and even rotate the LNB to change polarity! Not to mention move the dish by hand as I searched for new satellites.
Ha! Yes, I also had a Telecom LNB - £40 I think it cost me in 1994, which was a LOT of money for someone who was 13. Also remember having a frequency shifter for Astra 1D for my 10GHz LO LNB and Amstrad SRD510. Only ever went down to FilmNet Central Europe and RTL5 encrypted in horrible Luxcrypt. And to decode Luxcrypt, I used to mistune the TV a little to stabilise the image!
 
timo_w2s

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I used the TV's built in teletext to stabilise the image by first tuning to a channel with subtitles and then tuning to a scrambled channel. The image would still scroll slowly horizontally but it was watchable. It worked on Sony TVs but not some others. My method of "decoding" the scrambled channels was broadcast on Radio Nova's Satellite Surgery much to the amusement of the presenters which was run by the same guys who ran HiTech Xtravision (Chris Cary's company that made dodgy decoders and upset the BBC).
 
2cvbloke

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When I was playing with analogue befoe it got switched off, I always thought that the french SECAM channels seemed over-saturated with colour compared to a PAL transmission, that is when my Ferguson TV at the time would actually convert the picture to colour (sometimes did, sometimes didn't, depending on how fast I changed channels on my Pace MSS boxes (I still have my 2nd MSS-300 actually!!))... :lol:

Never got into the decryption side of things though, by then it was only one of the french channels using part-time encryption, and most of the time I wasn't even watching that channel... :lol:
 
Captain Jack

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In my experience of a built up area in Russia trying to catch a weak UHF signal on an indoor aerial results in a lot of "colour noise". It almost looks like white sparklies but instead of white they are red and blue. Never seen this phenomenon on PAL transmissions.
 
Adam792

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Captain Jack said:
In my experience of a built up area in Russia trying to catch a weak UHF signal on an indoor aerial results in a lot of "colour noise". It almost looks like white sparklies but instead of white they are red and blue. Never seen this phenomenon on PAL transmissions.
Yes, that's how weak signal presents itself on SECAM. It's called SECAM fire. :)
 
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Ha! Yes, I also had a Telecom LNB - £40 I think it cost me in 1994, which was a LOT of money for someone who was 13. Also remember having a frequency shifter for Astra 1D for my 10GHz LO LNB and Amstrad SRD510. Only ever went down to FilmNet Central Europe and RTL5 encrypted in horrible Luxcrypt. And to decode Luxcrypt, I used to mistune the TV a little to stabilise the image!
I had one of those LNB switches which worked with 13 east and 19.2 east. It switched when you put the receiver into standby. Talking pre-hotbird days here. I think 13 east was Eutelsat 1L-F1 wasn't it? May have that the wrong way round. Watched Euronews and The Landscape channel which broadcasted during Turk-Int down time on Wednesday mornings between 1am and 4am. I think there was also BBC World, a business channel which I forget the name of. This would have been late 1993/early 1994. Loved watching VH1 Germany, they played classics at 7pm every evening for an hour.
 
timo_w2s

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Yes, it was Eutelsat II F1 at 13E in the early 90s. I think the business channel could have been EBN?
 
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daro2096

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Yes, EBN. I knew it ended in BN.
 
Channel Hopper

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Talking of analogue, I still have a SCART lead and belling lee connector between the TV and the VCR, since I use the PVR via HDMI cable for the terrestrial DVB content, it still looks just as sharp.

One thing that may have passed people by, the final demise of Betamax tapes was announced last week, which is where a large amount of my *ahem* late night content from the D2MAC days of TV1000/FilmNet and FilmMax still lies. RIP.

Betamax is dead, and you didn't even know it was alive
 
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Ghostleader

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Didn't Philips have a format? Video 2000 I think it was called, you could flip the tape over like you can with audio tapes, I loved Beta Max, Sanyo we had, lovely big Silver machine

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smoggy07

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Is the heli-tele encrypted?
"way back when....." You used to be able to get them unencrypted using 2.4Ghz video sender receiver units (altho they needed to be able to go upto 2.5Ghz at the top end on receive)
Now they're using downlinks in the 5Ghz range and some, if not all are encrypted, I had heard/read that their encryption was Syster but I don't have a 5Ghz TV RX or any knowledge on Syster so can't check it out
 
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