Newbie Questions - Sky Star 2 card with Sky Digital Dish

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My Satellite Setup
Skystar 2
Pentium 4 -3.0Ghz
80Gb Internal Drive
80Gb External USB2 Drive
1Gb Ram
Nvidia 128Mb Graphics Card
#1
Hi,

My main question is what can I expect to get free with a setup that combines my exisitng (standard size) Sky Digital satellite dish with a SkyStar 2 PCI card?

I'm wondering a few things - firstly, what satellites can a standard Sky Digital dish based in the North of England pick up? And of these what channels can be viewed? I'm aware that Sky have an encryption to their channels using 'Videocrypt' and it would appear noone can contract this off them to provide subscription without a Digibox. I'm wondering though if there are other channels broadcast from the satellite that Sky use (is it Astra?) that can be picked up with a DVB-S card? Also, what if any free data is available to pick up from the satellites my dish will be pointing at? I guess these are probably VERY dumb questions to those of you familiar to the whole deal but I'm fascinated by this whole thing and it seems very cheap to get into.

With regards audio, does a card like the skystar 2 have the ability to receive/decode multichannel signals (Dolby Digital/AC3 etc..)?

One final question - is there an upgrade (I'm inferring from posts I've read that I can add 'LNB's' to my exisitng dish?) that can take place to pick up other satellites - or is it particularly complicated/advantageous to add an additional dish or increase the size of my exisitng one?

If you would recommend another direction to point my dish from it's exisitng (pre-empting the people who'll say don't bother wih Sky's satellite as there's bugger all available) direction - please no rude answers, I'm new to this!

Very very grateful to anyone who takes the time to answer any part of my ramblings.....

Howard.
 

Analoguesat

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Location
Scottish Borders
My Satellite Setup
TM 5402HD
Skybox F3
Sky+ UK.
My Location
Scottish Borders
#2
Sky - Astra 2 at 28E. Pay channels only available with SKy box.

A standard Sky dish will give you most of the transponders on Astra 1 at 19E, a good selection of the Hotties at 13E, the new fta French channels on 5W, and you should get some of the high bit rate signals off 42E Turksat and 16E Eutelsat W2 as well.

I did some tests last summer:

http://www.selkirkshire.demon.co.uk/analoguesat/2004news.html

check out the entries fro May-June time. (im slightly further north then you.)
 
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#3
Hi,

I've got a SS2 PCI card and an old sky mini dish which is pointing at hotbird 13e, this is the best set-up (my opinion) with just this equipment.

The first thing is to make sure youve got all the software loaded that came with your SS2 card, then get a satellite engineer round your house and give him about 30 quid to align your dish (Don’t bother doing it yourself, as a beginner its a waste of time, believe me!) Get the engineer to run the cable from the dish into your P.C and make sure he checks you’ve got a signal on hotbird 13e.

Now download ProgDvb (This is my preferred viewer), you should be able to find this on the internet quite easily. Do a channel scan. Now you should have loads of FTA channels.

Now if you are interested in testing decryption software you may want to download plugins which allow you to view decrypted channels where a subscription is normally required. Of course if you do start to view decrypted channels you should really be paying for the subscriptions, I will leave this decision up to you.

The above instructions are very brief and it took me ages to figure out how everything works, but stick at it, theres loads of info on this forum and if you get really stuck just ask.

I am about to align another mini dish to Astra 19.2 in a couple of weeks, so I will have one pointing at Hotbird and one at Astra 19.2. You may want to consider this once you get your head round everything as it will give you an even larger selection of channels.
Please note this set-up is good for me and I am happy with it. Other people on this forum will probably say 'get a larger dish, put twin LNB's on it' - 'Get a 1m motorised dish, then you’ll be able to scan loads of Satellites'. Maybe its an option if you get bored and want even more channels and want to pay for decent equipment. (I've aquired my mini dishes from derilict houses by me for nothing, hee hee hee).

If I where you though just pay your 30 quid to an engineer, use your existing equipment and if you enjoy your new experience in the world of satellite T.V, upgrade to something better.


Hope this helps
 

TV_From_The_Sky

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#4
I have just bought a SkyStar2 as well.

I simply connected it to the download to one of my Sky boxes. I am waiting for a drum of cable to arrive so I can sort out wiring to my loft (where the PC will sit).

As for the channels etc, I recommend getting a copy of What Satellite and Digital TV or Digital Satellite Choice as they list the FTA channels. On Sky this is basically BBC and a load of "Special Interest" channels like the shopping and a couple of foreign language channels. Rest assured anything worth watching is encrypted.

Hot Bird is an excellent suggestion as you will have loads of channels.

Two words of warning.

I am using DVBViewer, but the version that Technisat give you free is pants. It is worth paying for the full version, as not only does it look nice, but it works.

A lot of problems seem to be with the filters, the full version seems to fix these as well as given access to a library of addins.

ProgDVB is free, so by definition this ticks a lot of boxes!

My next project after hooking up to my Minidish is to get a 85cm transparent dish and positioner.

Don't forget the SkyStar card from my recollection can't be used for DiSEqc 1.2 so can't move a dish by itself. [Opens it to the floor] but I assume could drive a Vbox?
 

rossy

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My Satellite Setup
Skybox f3 spiderbox died hd9000 technomate 1500ci+, skystar2,1.1m dish .3db bluline lnb,Sky,
Span 58W to 42e with trees bare! 42e gone and now 39e
My Location
southern england, Berkshire
#5
Don't forget the SkyStar card from my recollection can't be used for DiSEqc 1.2 so can't move a dish by itself. [Opens it to the floor] but I assume could drive a Vbox?

SS2 will drive Diseqc motor with addin no problem
 

TV_From_The_Sky

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#6
rossy said:
SS2 will drive Diseqc motor with addin no problem
Cool thanks Rossy, I am hoping to get a 36v motor, so this wouldn't work, but for others thats pretty good.

My cabling arrived today, so it's a trip onto the flat roof to wire up the SS2
 
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