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Questions about satellite/DVB-S systems and receivers

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#1
Firstly let me apologise for my ignorance about satellite systems from both a user a technical perspective. I know quite a bit about terrestrial/DVB-T systems but not very much about satellite systems/DVB-S.

I've had a look around a few forums on the internet and I think this website might be the best place to get an answer to my questions. Apologies for the amount of questions I am asking, not for the faint of heart or the satellite novice I'm sure! :)

Q1) How many services, at a guess, would you say it is possible to pick up in Europe (or UK) via satellite if you had a motorized dish? Are we talking 2000/3000/4000 ?

Below I'm particularly interested in Freesat type boxes, not Sky boxes, as I know they have their own closed system and do things differently....

Q2) Do sat receivers have a maximum amount of services they will store?
Q2a) If "yes", in your experience, what has been the maximum number of services you receiver(s) will store?
Q2b) What happens when the maximum is reached e.g. during the initial scan or trying to scan a new satellite?

Q3) How do sat receivers track changes to services? E.g. if a service is removed from/added to a transponder or moved to a different one? If a service moves and you select it from the channel list is it sometimes just not there and you have to rescan?

Q4) Does your receiver(s) do an automatic channel scan at night to detect changes to services/transponders?

Q5) Does your receiver(s) have a software update (over satellite) facility that you know works?

Again any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks
 

rolfw

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#2
If you use a Linux based receiver such as a Dreambox, then there is no limit on how many channels you can store, most newer receivers have at least 4000 memory spaces and if you have a motorised system, you could quite easily fill 400o up. :)

Most receivers do not automatically scan for new channels, but although there are ongoing changes, that is not normally a problem.

Most receivers can be updated by serial connection to a computer, some having unofficial software patches available providing added viewable channels.
 
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#3
Thanks for the info rolfw. About the following:

Most receivers do not automatically scan for new channels, but although there are ongoing changes, that is not normally a problem.
So what happens when a service/transponder moves, from the perspective of a user and the receiver? Does everything "just work" after a change or does the user have to perform some manual operation like a manual re-scan of a satellite?

If it all just works "by magic" then I'm going to have to get practising my wizardry skills ! :)
 

Topper

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#4
digdomdon said:
So what happens when a service/transponder moves, from the perspective of a user and the receiver? Does everything "just work" after a change or does the user have to perform some manual operation like a manual re-scan of a satellite?
Most users post on here and someone helps them out (we are helpful on here if we can be) then anyone else wanting info reads the thread or adds to it.
Initially the info comes from either lyngsat here or flysat here then the parameters FEC, SR and frequency H or V are input to your receiver and a single frequency scan is performed
 

rolfw

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#5
As Topper says, most of the changes are posted here and often a single transponder scan is all that is required, normally taking only a couple of minutes.
 

Park Royal

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#6
Not forgetting the daily transponder updates posted by "Satdude" on this board.
PR
 
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#7
Topper said:
Most users post on here and someone helps them out (we are helpful on here if we can be) then anyone else wanting info reads the thread or adds to it.
Initially the info comes from either lyngsat here or flysat here then the parameters FEC, SR and frequency H or V are input to your receiver and a single frequency scan is performed
Thanks Topper/everyone, that's is very useful to know.
 
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#8
One last thing, the reason I ask these questions is that I'm a software engineer for a CE manufacturer that makes TVs. We want to introduce a tv with (among lots of other nifty things) both a DVB-T and DVB-S integrated tuner. We need to write a lot of DVB-S (and T) related software but I want to get a good idea first of the user experience of DVB-S receivers before getting into the nitty-gritty of streams, bits and bytes....

So, I wonder if anyone here would be interested in taking part in a wish/grumble list type activity? If I created a thread on this would there be any interest?

From my perspective it would be nice to know what (DVB-S) users want to see in an integrated receiver. That would make the user happier and we'd sell more tellys, everyone's a winner! :)

Would such a thread be of interest to you guys?
 

rolfw

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#9
Technisat produce a TV with an integrated DVB-s and DVB-T tuner, but I don't believe that the uptake has been great and that is aimed at the German market, where there is a lot of free to air satellite programming.

The bulk of the non-Sky satellite market in the UK is hobby orientated and the market leading receivers are those which can be patched with unofficial software, or at the least have a CI slot for a CAM, DiseqC 1.2 is pretty much a pre-requisite. If I were in the market for an integrated solution, I would be looking for a twin tuner unit with PVR and ethernet connectivity.
 
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#10
Technisat produce a TV with an integrated DVB-s and DVB-T tuner, but I don't believe that the uptake has been great and that is aimed at the German market, where there is a lot of free to air satellite programming.
I must have a look for that product. Our products are aimed at/sold in the whole of Europe but we do take regional user requirements into account (e.g. has an MHEG5 engine for UK terrestrial viewers).

The bulk of the non-Sky satellite market in the UK is hobby orientated and the market leading receivers are those which can be patched with unofficial software, or at the least have a CI slot for a CAM, DiseqC 1.2 is pretty much a pre-requisite. If I were in the market for an integrated solution, I would be looking for a twin tuner unit with PVR and ethernet connectivity.
It will have a CI slot, software update facility and support DiseqC 1.2. As for PVR, TV's with built-in hard-disks haven't sold too well. People seem to prefer having a telly for watching telly and a seperate product (HDD/DVD recorder) for recording. Also when buying a telly if you cost in a HDD and PVR functionality (takes many man hours to develop this software and that costs a lot of money) everyone has to pay for it. In an ever decreasing margin on TVs (particularly big ones) "cost down" is a common expression and HDD's/PVR software isn't cheap. That has to be held up against potential sales figures and it doesn't really add up. But yes some do like the idea of a built in HDD, just not too many according to the figures.

As for ethernet, funny you should mention that! ;)



One more question about sat receivers, do they allow you to delete services from the service list? I presume they do because if a service on transponder A moves to transponder B you want to be able to delete it and then re-scan it on B right?
 

rolfw

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#11
Yes, there are facilities on most receivers to delete channels, some more user friendly than others. :)

Not so sure about the PVR issue, I have had Sky+ pretty much since it came out and couldn't see myself going to a less convenient product, the Dreambox I have is a single tuner PVR, but nowhere near as easy, capable and convenient as the Sky+ for instant and planned recording.

I guess that I look at this type of product from a UK consumer's view, whereas perhaps the pan-European view will be of more relevance. :)