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Discussion Starter #1
It is my understanding that C-Band subscriptions are still legal in Canada. To this end, I would like to install a small(ish) C-band dish. My requirements are:
1. Major US networks, free if possible or at low cost. Some specialty channels such as USA, HGTV, BBC America and HDnet for a reasonable price.
2. Fixed dish if possible. A multiple LNB dish with DiSEqC switch is preferable to a rotor.
3. Dish not larger than 1.5m, if possible.
4. PVR cable receiver plus FTA card in HTPC.

I realize some of this may have been answered elsewhere but not much turned up in a search or a scan of current FTA threads. Can anyone provide me with details of what equipment they are using to do this and some of the details like satellites and subscription companies that deal with Canadians. I am in Southwestern Ontario.

Edit: Almost forgot that it needs to be in HD where possible.
 

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ScaryBob, your post was moved to this existing thread. Although you can receive network TV (OTA-type programming) via C-band, I don't believe (many) specialty channels are available, other than through the service providers (Bell, Rogers, etc) where you need to pay.

Piracy posts were removed from this thread.

Dish size and channels are discussed earlier in this thread in detail - page 12, etc.
 

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It is my understanding that C-Band subscriptions are still legal in Canada. To this end, I would like to install a small(ish) C-band dish. My requirements are:
1. Major US networks, free if possible or at low cost. Some specialty channels such as USA, HGTV, BBC America and HDnet for a reasonable price.
2. Fixed dish if possible. A multiple LNB dish with DiSEqC switch is preferable to a rotor.
3. Dish not larger than 1.5m, if possible.
4. PVR cable receiver plus FTA card in HTPC.

I realize some of this may have been answered elsewhere but not much turned up in a search or a scan of current FTA threads. Can anyone provide me with details of what equipment they are using to do this and some of the details like satellites and subscription companies that deal with Canadians. I am in Southwestern Ontario.

Edit: Almost forgot that it needs to be in HD where possible.
1. a) The major US networks from Puerto Rico are available on Galaxy 16 @ 99W (i.e. NBC, ABC, Fox, The CW and This TV). As this is a fairly powerful satellite, you could get it easily with a 1.5 meter dish. 2 CBS affiliates are available on Galaxy 25 @ 93W which should be receivable with a 1.5 meter as well. Studio feeds of the major US networks in HD are also available on other C band satellites as well but a 2.4 meter or larger dish would be required to receive these as they are broadcast in DVB-S2. If you don't mind installing a 36 inch Ku band dish as well, you can receive NBC's HD studio feeds (East, Central, Mountain & West) on AMC 1 @ 103W and the PBS networks in HD on AMC 21 @ 125W. These are all DVB-S2 so your HD FTA satellite receiver MUST support DVB-S2.

1. b) Out of the specialty networks you stated, only HGTV (East & West) and BBC America are currently available on subscription C band. These channels are all on AMC 18 @ 105W so a fixed dish can be used and they are available a la carte on the HITS TV Pick 10 Pak for $21.99 CDN + tax per month for 10 services. A 1.5 meter dish along with a Motorola receiver would be required in order to subscribe to these services.

2. It is a bit more difficult to use multiple LNBF's on C band due to their size. However, it is possible to put 2 C band LNBF's on a single dish with 4 to 6 degree spacing depending on how you adjust the LNBF's by using or building a siamese scalar ring. For the beginner, I would recommend starting off with a single LNBF first though until you have experience in aligning the dish properly or get an experienced installer to do it for you. A motorized dish is always best unless you only want specific channels as there are good channels spread throughout the arc.

3. You should be OK with a 1.5 meter dish for the above mentioned services as long as it is well tuned, you have a clear view of the sky and you keep the dish clear of snow. However if you want to receive most C band services, an 1.8 meter or larger dish is recommended. This is especially true for the DVB-S2 services which require a larger dish to receive properly.

4. You can install a DVB PCI expansion card inside your HTPC which would act as a FTA receiver. However, subscription C-band channels cannot be received using your HTPC as the Motorola receiver must be used.
 

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ScaryBob, your post was moved to this existing thread. Although you can receive network TV (OTA-type programming) via C-band, I don't believe specialty channels are available, other than through the service providers (Bell, Rogers, etc) where you need to pay.

Piracy posts were removed from this thread.

Dish size and channels are discussed earlier in this thread in detail - page 12, etc.
Specialty channels such as History, Bio and FX are in fact available for free on C & Ku band FTA. As well, it is also legal to subscribe to some specialty channels on C-band as per http://www.digitalhome.ca/forum/showpost.php?p=1231356&postcount=16
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks DrSat. That gave me the necessary basics. Now, off to get some equipment details and prices plus approval from the boss. She will be happy to get HGTV back. ;)

Edit: Just one more question. What is a good company to deal with for equipment and subscriptions?
 

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the PBS networks in HD on AMC 21 @ 125W. These are all DVB-S2 so your HD FTA satellite receiver MUST support DVB-S2.

DrSat, There are 2 HD PBS channels and 2 HD feeds on AMC 21 but you don't need a DVB-S2 receiver to get them. My Sonicview 8000HD picks them up nicely.
 

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the PBS networks in HD on AMC 21 @ 125W. These are all DVB-S2 so your HD FTA satellite receiver MUST support DVB-S2.

DrSat, There are 2 HD PBS channels and 2 HD feeds on AMC 21 but you don't need a DVB-S2 receiver to get them. My Sonicview 8000HD picks them up nicely.
Yes my bad, there are a few remaining DVB-S HD channels on Ku band such as the PBS feeds on AMC 21 and occasional wild feeds on other satellites. On this satellite, PBS Oklahoma HD, PBS Louisiana HD and PBS Montana and their related subchannels are in DVB-S2 however which is why anyone buying a new HD FTA satellite receiver should ensure that it supports DVB-S2.
 

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Dr. Sat

As far as I'm aware, the only legal encryption was 4DTV and that is, for all intents and purposes, dead for home use. There's a setup at Skyvision that utilizes outdated StarChoice-type recievers that don't deliver HD. Not sure about the legality of that in Canada, because it is a DTH system. Nothing there is even remotely cable headend quality.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I found one company selling the DSR-410 receiver and a sub. It does look like a used (refurb) receiver and SD only. Not sure if that's the way I want to go.

I am also having trouble finding the networks on Galaxy 16, at least in available FTA lists. Are these encrypted?

I am also having trouble finding a 1.5m dish, especially in Canada. It appears that they stop at 1.2m and then jump to 6'.

Is it possible to get a combined C-band and Ku LNB or is mounting side by side the best option?
 

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Dr. Sat

As far as I'm aware, the only legal encryption was 4DTV and that is, for all intents and purposes, dead for home use. There's a setup at Skyvision that utilizes outdated StarChoice-type recievers that don't deliver HD. Not sure about the legality of that in Canada, because it is a DTH system. Nothing there is even remotely cable headend quality.
4DTV is not an encryption type but rather a brand name that was started by General Instrument back in the day and subsequently acquired by Motorola when they bought out General Instrument. More in depth information on 4DTV is available from Wikipedia. 4DTV and HITS receivers are all using the same Digicipher II encryption. This is why you may now use any 4DTV receiver (i.e. DSR 905, DSR 920, DSR 921 and DSR 922) and subscribe to HITS TV in addition to the DSR 410 receivers. These receivers use the exact same hardware as Shaw Direct, only the software inside is different. Although HD channels are currently not available, the quality of SD channels on HITS TV is a lot better than SD from some other services such as Bell TV due to lower compression being used on each channel. As well, you may upgrade to 1080i upscaled output by adding an HDD-200 or HDD-201 unit to your 4DTV receiver which significantly improves picture quality.

In Canada, you may legally subscribe to HITS TV from us as it is not considered as a DTH service as per http://www.digitalhome.ca/forum/showpost.php?p=1231356&postcount=16
 

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Dr. Sat.

I know what 4DTV is. I've had a BUD since the 80's.

ScaryBob,

You can get a unified C/Ku feedhorn at any reputable online dealer. If you can, go 6 foot minimum. You'll have issues picking up the C-band stuff and really have problems with HD C-band reception. Most of the good stuff is on C-band
 

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4DTV is the branding for the home receiver system. The then Starchoice/HITS home receivers grew out of that.

DCII is more than just encrpytion, it is mostly the whole system, from the tuner to the media decoder/overlay. If you wanted to build a DCII receiver, you had to license the whole package from General Instruments.

As for what receiver can be used for the current state of subscription C-band, my understanding, is that and US 4DTV and the available DSR 410s, are the only receivers available. With that, anyhing is likey built in 2005 at the latest. To get what HD is available, you use the HDD200/201 decoder.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Here is what I have come up with so far. It looks like a single dish solution (without rotor) will be next to impossible. The reason for wanting this is that I would like to be able to watch/record more than one channel at a time. The DTH providers can do that without a dish farm. Not so with C band. :(

C-band/4DTV
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Service - Location - Sat - Dish - Notes
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PBS HD - 89.0 West - Galaxy 28 - 130cm - PBS-X
ABC HD - 95.0 West - Galaxy 3C - 130cm - Second ochoice for ABC
CBS HD - 97.0 West - Galaxy 19 - 130cm - + KTLA
ABC HD - 99.0 West - Galaxy 16 - 110cm - + This, CW, NBC, FOX in SD
FOX HD - N/A
FOX SD - 99.0 West - Galaxy 16 - 110cm -
PBS HD - 103.0 West - AMC-1 - 170cm - PBS HD + ION HD
NBC HD - 105.0 West - AMC-18 - 150cm - + Comedy, Recipe, Cars, Pets, Destination
Hits TV - 105.0 West - AMC 18 - 150cm -

Ku
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Service - Location - Sat - Dish - Notes
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PBS HD - 125.0 West - AMC-21 - 65cm


4DTV Receiver - DSR-922
HD HTPC Tuner - Hauupauge WinTV-NOVA-HD-S2 / Mystique SaTiX-S2 / KNC
HTPC Software - MediaPortal
 

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Yeah, that's always been the issue. The one thing that might work would be an OTA system in conjunction with FTA satellite, depending on where you live.

I'm sticking with ShawDirect precisely because of the problem of recording one thing and watching another that goes with FTA.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I would go with OTA for US Nets if I could. That way, it would be so much simpler. There's a good reason why London had the first cable system in Canada.
 

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Once you see the pic of the disrto feed you would not want a watered down feed.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
On second thought, I can use Canadian network OTA to supplement the recording aspect. Even though I dislike them, they can be useful at times. ;) The dish will need to be set up correctly to get a decent WAF though.
 

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Any Help near Ottawa?

As my name suggests, I'm a Newbie.....quite happy that I found this site as I'm so very tired of my increasing Shaw/SC bills and my dwindling "senior" income....So I've been researching FTA Sat TV.....I just don't know where to begin and was wondering if there are individuals/companies who provide this service as I doubt if I'd be able to do it myself. I might just try to set up the spare old (6+years) SC "oval" dish and receiver I have (family member a roofer who removed it for the customer) hook it up to a tv and voila....maybe! Could it really be that simple.....or is it much more complicated than that....
I'd really appreciate any time or info anyone could give this newbie.. Thanks
 

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I will simply say that FTA is not a replacement for a traditional pay service really, at least if you think you are going to get many of the pay and broadcast channels on traditionan pay services, for free. It just isn't that.

Sure, you can get some feeds (more if you invest in C-band and/or a DVB-S2 system), and a number of international and religious channels (mostly Christian and Muslim).

You likely can use the SC dish for some satellites, but the receiver is only for for the provider it was made for (although there are a handful of Free-To-View channels on the SC platform). Better would be a 90CM+ dish and motor.

To get into FTA, you need an actual DVB-FTA recever, which you can get a basic SD-DVB one reasonable cheap.
 
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