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HUMAX PR-HD1000 Satellite receiver for DVB-S and DVB-S2.. 14
PANSAT 6000HXC Digital Receiver with Twin Tuners, PVR, CI Slots, Smart Search. 18
VANTAGE VT-X121SCI Digital satellite receiver with 2 CI slots and 2 x embedded Conax. 20
antenna installed and connected it to a receiver with two tuners, a feature you will nd with most high-end units, you have the ability to surf between eight different satellites. Align this dish with the right combination of satellites in Europe and you should have no trouble accessing as many as 2000 TV channels. A channel surng paradise! I look at all the current hype with terms such as Triple Play (TV, telephone and Internet on one cable) with some amusement. These technologies are theoretically doable but dont take into account what the user will actually experience. In my opinion, the future for TV and radio reception is and will stay with satellite technology! Sincerely, Alexander Wiese
BEETEL SD98 Digital FTA Satellite Receiver. 22
STAR SAT SR-X1400D Digital FTA Satellite Receiver. 30
TECHNISAT DIGIT MF4-S CC Satellite receiver for DVB-S with 1 CI and 1 smartcard. 32
P.S.: My favorite radio this month: Radio Nova, a station from Bulgaria transmitting what is called Lounge music, most of the day, except for weekends, when they air a great show from US with DJ Roger Sanchez. To be found on THOR 1 west, 12.169 H 28000
SatcoDX New Satellite Channels..24 Satellite Reception: Toroidal Dual Reector Versus Motorized Dish Great Competition..38 C-band reception with a 1.8m dish in Europe whats possible?...42
MAX COMMUNICATIONS DiSEqC 2.0 switch. 36 ADVERTISERS
ARION... 7 DOEBIS.. 8,9 DVB SHOP.. 41 EDON..25 EEBC...34 EMP..13 EYCOS... 4 FORTECSTAR...46 GOLDEN INTERSTAR.. 5 HORIZON...47
TSI Team: Your questions, our answers..44 Satellite Reception: The Ups and Downs of Satellite Reception in Iran..48
IBC 2006..31 IFA 2006..21 JAEGER/WEISS.. 19 KATHREIN..49 MAX COMMUNICATION..15 MOTECK..29 OPENTECH..52 PANSAT..35 PROMAX..23 SADOUN..33
SATKRAK 2006..37 SMARTWI...27 SPAUN...45 STAB...51 STARSAT.. 11 TECHNISAT.. 17 TELE-satellite CITY.40 TOPFIELD... 2 VANTAGE..13 VANTAGE..37
Multiroom PVR with Twin Tuner
In last edition TELE-satellite International we published a test report on ARIONs latest model, the AF 9400 PV2R. Shortly after going to press, an improved version of this box appeared and arrived at our test labs for examination. This box not only has a built-in the parcel. First of all, the receiver itself of course, which is a full sized silver coloured box (37 x 27 x 6 cm) and three remote controls, two identical looking and a smaller unit with basic functions including the commands of the PVR. The list goes on with a complete set of connecting cables (Scart, RCA-AV, a loop-through for the second tuner, USB) and a fancy looking little device with a small whip antenna reminding us of Sputnik. Arions Sputnik is not meant to y around but acts as a RF receiver for the second full sized remote control that operates on radio frequency signals, since it is designed to be used in a different room, out of sight of the receiver. The ARION AF9400 PV2R has a very pleasant front panel, aesthetically separated into two parts by a horizontal silver coloured band. The upper half hides the vacuum uorescent display (VFD) that comes alive when the receiver is powered on and displays, depending on the activated mode, the actual time in standby, the channels name in full text while watching, or the menu item while in programming mode. The entire lower half of the front HDD and two tuners but a separate and independent output for a second TV set! Quite an amazing feature: thanks to the two tuners, two monitors can be fed independently with two different signals. Several surprises are waiting for you as you open The two large remote controls look identical except for a small marking at the bottom: 1 or 2. Number 1 is the remote to be used in the room where the receiver is from one single LNB (with a loop to the second tuner), or a motorized dish (DiSEqC 1.2 or USALS), up to the conguration offering the most simultaneous recording/ watching options using two separate LNBs. This of course requires two cables running into your TV room. Once you have decided which antenna option you will use for this receiver, you can move on
is silver and black ap protects the perfectly readable VF display and ve buttons for operating the box without the remote control. In addition, there are two CI slots as well as one card reader for the smartcard of a pay TV provider. It should be noted that a smartcard is required for the Humax box to receive signals, which is about as unusual as the fact that smartcards have to inserted downside up with the contact area facing upwards, whereas virtually all other receivers require it the other way round. On the perfectly equipped rear panel youll nd an HDMI interface, three RCA sockets for YUV as well as three additional RCA sockets for stereo audio and video, two scart euroconnectors, an optical audio output, a USB and an RS232 interface and last but not least the IF input with a corresponding looped through output. The penny pinchers amongst our readers will certainly also appreciate the main power switch which helps
The remote control that is included in the package has a good feel when held in hand, features a convenient key layout and has German lettering, because we tested the model for that is sold in the German speaking market. We also loved the fact that Humax throws in an HDMI cable, which is a very wise move given that this is denitely not a standard utensil in most homes.
being. Before we can start enjoying HDTV channels the automatic channel search is activated and if you use the German model starts with scanning the signals of German pay TV provider Premiere, followed by all other transponders and satellites depending on the conguration. No gold medal can be hoped for with regard to the scanning speed: ve minutes and 10 seconds were needed to scan all channels of a 65 transponder satellite. We strongly urge Humax to improve that performance as dozens of other receivers give an example of how fast a channel search should be these days. At the end of the setup procedure the receiver checks whether new software is available, which can be downloaded right via satellite. Tune into one of the new HDTV channels and youll soon forget all about the rather slow channel search. The Humax receiver delivered pin sharp pictures on our test monitor, a Pioneer
Once the desired language is chosen from German, English or Turkish the setup menu leads you to the channel search. There is a list of 25 pre-programmed current European satellites, to which ve additional birds can be added manually. DiSEqC 1.0 is available for switching between different receivable satellites and users of a motor-controlled antenna will nd DiSEqC 1.2 and 1.3 (USALS) very handy. Unfortunately DiSEqC 1.1 for addressing up to 16 LNBs is missing, so that owners of a multifeed
the envy of all your neighbors. But did Pansat sit back and relax? No, not at all. In fact, they went right back to work to see how they could improve. The result is the new 6000HXC. ing, and then scan the upper band (11.7 to 12.75 GHz) where all the active transponders for this satellite happen to be. If this is the situation youre faced with, we suggest you start the Smart Search and then use the time during the scan for something else such as mowing the lawn. And you will have plenty of time to do this: a Smart Search of Hispasat (our dish was tted with a universal LNBF) needed about 45 minutes to be completed. The 6000HXC comes with a removable hard drive that lets you record programming. The receiver that we tested came with a 60GB hard drive although optional hard drives as large as 120GB can be installed. Roughly 40 hours of programming can be stored on the included hard drive. Removing the hard drive is a piece of cake: simply fold down the front panel ap and pull on the provided handle to remove it from the receiver. ust make sure the receiver is completely powered down with the main power switch turned off before taking out the hard drive. The USB port on the front of the hard drive can be used to easily transfer les between the receiver and a PC.
Turning on the receiver for the rst time might require a little patience. The 6000HXC goes through a rather lengthy start-up procedure that needed over 50 seconds to get from turn-on to the rst menu screen. Fortunately, as long as the receiver remains
plugged in and the main power switch is not turned off, you wont have to go through this again. Only two seconds was needed to get a picture on the screen from standby mode. The receiver comes preprogrammed with 83 C and Ku-band satellites, most of which are for North and South America. Once all the settings have been taken care of, a channel scan would come next. The most straight-forward scan would be a satellite scan. This would be ne if you knew the stored transponder data to be completely up-to-date and that this data would never change. But we all know that this is not true. New transponders appear all the time, symbolrates change from time to time; you know the drill. With that in mind, it would probably be a much better idea to perform a Smart Search rst. The absolute beauty of Smart Search is simply that it has the capability of nding signals that no one would otherwise know about and without knowing in advance any of the signals parameters. The Smart Search feature itself comes with some settings that let you rene the scan. For example, you can limit the scan to symbolrates above or below 5.6 Ms/sec. Smart Search scans in 8 MHz steps. This is not adjustable. Unfortunately, you also cannot specify a frequency range to scan. So, if youre using a universal Ku-band LNBF on a US Ku-band satellite such as Intelsat Americas 5, the 6000HXC will scan the entire lower Ku-band rst (10.7 to 11.7 GHz), nd noth-
digit segment display completes the front panel layout. On the right hand side of the front panel two card readers with embedded Conax as well as two CI slots are hidden behind a ap. The remote control sits very well in hand and all buttons are arranged ergonomically and clearly labelled. The user manual comes in English and German and features all necessary information for setting up and operating the VT-X 121 SCI.
have to look this up in the user manual. We were also really impressed with the pre-stored satellite memory which includes no less than 105 current European and Asian satellite positions. If required, new satellites can easily be added manually. In some cases the transponder parameters were not completely up to date, otherwise this Vantage receiver would have received top marks from us. The box can be used with a C band or a Ku band antenna and even less common LOF values for example for S band signals are processed faultlessly. Our rst signal scan on an 80-trans-
The Vantage shows its global breed with the range of available languages for the on-screen menu: English, German, French, Ital-
view of upcoming programs on the selected channel. The EPG layout is very easy to use and we believe Vantage did a very good job with the overall EPG menu. The channel switching time of the VT-X 121SCI is approximately one second on average until both video and audio of the chosen channel are provided. The generally perfect impression of the VTX 121 SCI is complemented by an integrated and very fast Teletext decoder. You probably ask yourself why there are two card readers on the front panel. The answer is quite simple: while up until very recently channels with Conax encryption have only been available in Scandinavia, these days
20 TELE-satellite International www.TELE-satellite.com
The Vantage VT-X121SCI is a perfect receiver for demanding users who expect good quality at a competitive price. The user interface is very easy to use and logically designed; the range of features leaves nothing to be desired.
The only real downside is the missing DiSEqC 1.1 protocol and the somewhat limited 4000 channel memory.
Vantage Digital Amalienbadstr. Karlsruhe
Telephone Fax E-mail Model Function
+49-721-96-14-17-0 +49-721-96-14-17-9 firstname.lastname@example.org VT-X121S CI Digital satellite receiver with 2 CI slots and 2 x embedded Conax 1-45 Ms/sec. (from ca. 1.327 Ms/s in our test) 1.0 / 1.2 / 1.3 x RCA 90-250 VAC, 50/60 Hz
Channel memory Satellites Symbol rates SCPC compatible USALS DiSEqC Scart connectors A/V outputs UHF modulator 0/12 Volt output Digital audio output EPG C/Ku band compatible
Who says that the days of the good old MPEG-2/DVB/FTA are gone? In a lot of countries there are enough channels still broadcasting to make the FTA-only reception attractive. An affordable FTA receiver can also be a good starting point for a beginner in an amazing world of satellites. Are you looking for your rst satellite receiver ever ? Or maybe youre just not really happy making the greedy PayTV providers even richer on your expense? If so, weve got an interesting box for you to check out: StarSat SR-X1400D.
Its really amazing how the zapping speed is progressing in the modern receivers! Each new model that arrives to our test labs can get the picture of the channel to the TV screen notably faster then the previous one. During out tests with SR-X1400D, it never took longer
Picture in Picture
There is a really interesting option: the Multi Pic Loop will automatically zap between the channels in the entire channel list, giving you an option to see if there is something interesting being shown on one of them. The screen can be split to 4, 9, 10, 12, 13 or even 16 parts.
It might look a bit old-fashioned from the outside, but dont let the rst impression fool you. The front panel has everything you need to control the receiver. A four-digit display in the right part of it shows number of channel currently selected, and when the receiver is in standby mode, it might help you replace that old analogue clock you have on the wall. Although digital audio and S-Video outputs are missing, your TV, VCR and HiFi system can be easily connected via two scarts and three RCAs on the rear panel.
Fast and Super Fast. The fastest result on Astra 1 was 2 minutes 56 seconds, the slowest 6 minutes 27 seconds, both bringing 657 TV and 558 radio channels. The Search screen is so nice that even DXers might enjoy it. In the upper part of the screen you will see a position of the satellite scanned for channels displayed on the World map. The center of the screen is used to display the TV and Radio channels found. The satellite name, frequency, polarization, symbol rate and FEC are displayed a line below. And during our tests on the SRX1400D we didnt even have to use a stopwatch: there is a clock in the bottom line showing how much time it took to perform the search! The pre-programmed transponder list is quite up-to-date, on Eutelsat W4 and Eutelsat Sesat at 36 East the receiver detected 78 TV and 35 Radio channels, which is a pretty good result.
When we got the new Chess 4x1 DiSEqC Switch we were a bit disappointed by its design - it looked rather old fashioned. But when we tested it, we forgot about its looks!
Quick look at the specications revealed that the Chess 4x1 DiSEqC-Switch should have only a through loss of 2.0-2.5 dB. So how would it perform in real life? The attenuation was almost exactly as specied (2-2.5 dB at the ends of L-band). We observed however that it was slightly greater in the center of the L-band (ca. 4 dB). But what was more important, its noise performance was superb! Perhaps some explanation is necessary here. The signal to noise ratio had actually improved after signal passed the switch (and was attenuated by a few decibels).
This happens when we have a lot of strong signals (from strong transponders) spread over the band. In such situation small attenuation at the receiver input may actually reduce the so-called cross modulation and improve signal quality. Of course, this does not work for weak signals. Anyway, the 4x1 switch performed really well. Our only real complain about the Chess 4x1 DiSEqC-Switch are the connectors, which are placed at opposite ends of the box. This makes it hard to protect connectors against moisture, when mounted outside.
Chess DiSEqC-Switch 4x1 wouldn't win the beauty contest, but it performs really well. Installing it outdoors might be tricky
L-Band Frequency: 1139 MHz Signal Level [dBV] Channel Power [dBV] MER [dB] Channel BER L-Band Frequency: 1607 MHz Signal Level [dBV] Channel Power [dBV] MER [dB] Channel BER L-Band Frequency: 1990 MHz Signal Level [dBV] Channel Power [dBV] MER [dB] Channel BER
Direct 64.5 72.5 7.7 6.50E-03 Direct 61 66.5 8.1 4.00E-03 Direct 60.5 67.5 6.9 1.10E-02
LNB A 8.3 3.50E-03 LNB A 57.8.3 3.00E-03 LNB A 57.7.5 8.00E-03
LNB B 62.5 69.5 8.5 3.20E-03 LNB B 56.8.3 3.00E-03 LNB B 7.5 8.00E-03
LNB C 62.8.7 2.70E-03 LNB C 8.5 3.00E-03 LNB C 7.7 5.50E-03
LNB D 63 69.5 8.7 2.60E-03 LNB D 57.8.5 3.00E-03 LNB D 57.5 63.5 7.9 5.50E-03
Signal level and signal to noise parameters for Chess DiSEqC-Switch 4x1.
Max Communication GmbH Siemensstr. 53-Rellingen Germany
email@example.com +6060-0 +6060-999 Chess DiSEqC-Switch 4x1 DiSEqC 2.0 switch 900~2400MHz 950 MHz: - 2 dB 0,5 dB 2300 MHz: - 2,5 dB 0,5 dB
Chess 4x1 DiSEqC-Switch has good electrical characteristics and even improves signal to noise ratio
Peter Miller TELE-satellite Test Center Poland
Telephone Fax Model Description Frequency Range Through Loss
Chess DiSEqC-Switch 4x1 may be hard to install outdoors it has connectors on the opposite sides and has no extra cover.
Isolation Operating Temperature
> 35 dB - 20.+ 60 C
36 TELE-satellite International www.TELE-satellite.com
Motorized dish & Multifocus antenna
Toroidal Dual Reector Versus Motorized Dish Great Competition
When you decide that it is time for you to start watching channels from more than one satellite, you usually do not think about buying and installing additional satellite dishes. After all, how many people would like to convert their gardens into antenna farms? And those living in big cities have even less freedom. So, instead of adding extra dishes, you usually consider either adding a motor to your existing dish or replacing it with a multifocus antenna with several LNBs. But can a multifocus antenna match the performance of a motorized dish (which, when well aligned has the performance of a xed dish of the same size)?
We decided to use a size of 90 cm, what was a reasonable trade-off between dish diameter and reception performance. Both competitors were the products of well known companies. Competitor number 1 was a 90 cm dish equipped with a USALS (DiSEqC 1.3) compatible motor. It had a quad LNB with a noise gure 0.4 dB. Competitor number 2 was a toroidal dual reector antenna with a main reector of 90 cm. We mounted 5 LNBs on its rail: universal single and dual models of different brands. They were specied as 0.2 and 0.3 dB devices. Of course noise gures of all LNBs were dened as typical values (read: not guaranteed).
Even though it may look very complex for a newbie, adding a USALS motor to a 90 cm dish is not actually a big problem. Should your supporting pole be perfectly vertical, it is just a matter of dismounting the existing dish, mount the motor in its place and x the dish to the motor. The motor itself is small and light, so there are no special requirements for the supporting pole. The adjustments you make are quite similar to those you do with a xed dish (elevation and azimuth). Once you precisely align your system to the rst satellite, all others are found automatically by the system (motor + USALS compatible receiver). The installation procedure was described in more detail in one of the previous TELEsatellite issues. If you were ever aligning a xed dish, you should also succeed with a USALS motor if only you do everything step by step as described in the user manual. Life is not that easy with the toroidal antenna. First of all, it has a lot of hardware to take care of, secondly it is rather heavy (23 kg). It also requires a perfectly vertical supporting pole but this time it can not be a typical pole of about 40 mm diameter that most of us use with our 90 cm dishes. It requires a pole of diameter 60 mm. It is understandable if we take into account the weight of the antenna but such supports are not that typical. You better wait until a weekend before starting the antenna assembly. You will need more time than you think. Antenna components not necessarily perfectly match one another and a few small inaccuracies in the assembly instruction can be irritating for the less patient installers. Also the alignment is more complex. For the dish itself, you not only need to set azimuth and elevation but also skew. The LNB holders must be positioned in the correct place on the rail, properly skewed and tilted.
What do you prefer? A dish mounted to a motor on the top of roof, where it gets the full viewing range, or a xed dish in some corner of your balcony to catch a smaller but sufcient range of satellites? smaller (~40) so in practice, the number of satellites you can receive is around 10. What is a main drawback for a motorized dish, is a main advantage of a multifocus antenna. Channel zapping is instantaneous even if they are from very distant satellites. Moreover it is easy to distribute the signal to several receivers and use them independently. Of course, you have to use Quattro LNBs and multiswitches for this purpose. So, if you use only one receiver and you do not like to kill time by endless channel zapping opt for the motor. But if your children in the other room always like to watch something absolutely different than you do, think about dual reector. And do not worry about the signal quality: the toroidal dual reector antenna is really good.
Fig. 5. Astra 1, 19.2E, Pol.=H (after LNB swap)
Fig. 6. Astra 1, 19.2E, Pol.=V (after LNB swap)
Our measurements proved that a dual reector toroidal dish performs as good as a motorized dish with respect to signal quality. Today, much more depends on LNB selection. So what are the advantages and disadvantages of both solutions?
Fig. 7. Hotbird, 13E, Pol.=H
Fig. 8. Hotbird, 13E, Pol.=V
Tel.: +36. 30. Fax: +36. 1. 788 1043
Monika Balzsn-Szab Advertising Manager
C-Band in Europe
C-band reception with a 1.8m dish in Europe - whats possible?
In one of the last issues of TELE-satellite magazine we reported about C-band reception in the U.S. with a 1.2m offset dish. In this issue we wanted to give you an impression of whats possible to receive in mainland Europe with a 1.8m antenna. First of all you have to know that C-band is not very common in Europe, nearly all programs are transmitted in Ku-band. For Ku-band reception you can use much smaller dishes, which is a huge advantage in highly populated areas of Europe. Because of the higher frequencies used in Ku-band, its possible to reduce the satellites coverage areas, which can be an advantage for TV operators in means of licence issues. Rain seasons, well know from other areas of the world, are not common in Europe and so its not necessary to use C-band reception, which is far more resistant to bad weather than Ku-band. Summarizing we can say, that the advantages of C-band are its less sensitivity on rain and the possibility to cover large areas with satellite signals. However, there are a lot channels in C-band available all over Europe and in one of the next issues of TELE-satellite magazine well even try to get them with a 1.2m dish, but rst we want to take a look on whats possible with a 1.8m antenna. If you want to buy a dish like this, youll nd it as parabolic and offset models. However, the offset dishes are meant for Ku-band reception only and are therefore not the ideal choice. For our test, we used a 6 segment dish, which is delivered very handy in a box and can be mounted by a trained installer within 90 minutes. The distance between the LNBF and the dish itself is very important and has to be setup very accurately. Its called the f/d ratio and can be found in the manual of your dish. If you choose a wrong distance, the dish will not work on its full resources.
Sylvain Oscul adjusting the 1.80m prime focus dish. He can double check reception with his other 2.40m and 3.10m dishes. to get more. Now we turned the dish to 38.5 west (AMC 12), 31.5 west (INTELSAT 801), 22 west (NSS7), 11 west (EXPRESS 3A), 8 west (TELECOM 2D) und nally 5 west (ATLANTIC BIRD 3). For the rst time in our test we experienced reception problems on this satellite on weak SCPC transponders (RFO Feed, KTN and TELE-Sahel). On 1 west (INTELSAT 10-02) we could just receive DW-TV because of its very high FEC (1/2). After removing our dielectricum from the LNBF we could receive ARABSAT 26 east without any problems (the channels there are not transmitted with circular but with linear polarisation). On our way from the west to the east, we furthermore tried to receive 40 east (EXPRESS AM1), 49 east (YAMAL 202), 57 east (NSS703) and 60 east (INTELSAT 904), all of them without any problems. On 64 east (INTELSAT 906) and on 68 east (PAS 7/10) we didnt have that much luck. The two SCPC channels on 64 east (3630 and 3778) could not be locked and also some SCPC carriers and feeds from 68 east where too weak to be received with our dish, except the 3837 R 7/8 feed. In the next step we tried to replace our 17K LNBF with a 15K LNBF and noticed a small reception improvement, e.g. transponder 4.181
After installing the dish and mounting the LNBF, we connected it to our spectrum analyzer and within a few moments we could nd the rst carriers on NSS806 40.5 west. Now we used the good old Nokia Mediamaster receiver with DVB2000 software. After quickly entering the correct transponder The map shows you the actually availinformation from SatcoDX we had the rst able reception possibilities of digital satellock within a few seclite FTA (Free To Air) channels in C-band. onds on our TV screen. Clearly you can see the main target areas With a little ne adjustin North America, Russia, India and China. ment of the dish, we The legend shows the actual number of could receive the SCPC available FTA programs (at the time of creand MCPC transponders ating this map). The highest signal strength on this satellite withand therefore the smallest dishes can be out any problems and found in central Russia and India. so we enjoyed TV from
Ethiopian Channels in Europe?
I live in Lyon, on which satellite can I receive Ethiopian channels?
Gettings some channels
I use a Super MAX receiver. When I search de HOTBIRD and INTELSAT 902 satellites, the receiver can not nd some channels like DIDAR, MITV, HOMA, IRIB and INN on HOTBIRD, and IRIB TV1,2,3,4 and 5 on INTELSAT 902. How can I solve this problem? Your desired channels on HOTBIRD dont use a strong beam, so to receive them you have to align your dish very carefully. About the IRIB channels on INTELSAT 902 (TV1 to 5 and other provincial channels) unfortunately their used transponders are not dened in your receiver (in fact, in most of receivers). So you can not nd those channels after an autoscan procedure. First of all, you need to update the transponder data of your receiver and scan again. And if your receiver still could not nd them, you have to add their transponders and other technical data manually one by one. You can nd all necessary data in the SatcoDX World of Satellites software.
ETV via the NSS 703 at 57East
The national channel ETV is available in France via the NSS 703 at 57East. The EIRP of this satellite is approximately 35dB, which means a diameter of 2.50m (8) is needed. We do receive the channel without problems here at our SatcoDX station in France.
A maximum of Arabic channels in France
I am interested in Arab countries, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, etc, how do I have to proceed? You have the choice between two orbital positions, NILESAT at 7West or ARABSAT at 26East. The easiest to receive with an antenna of 1m and a LNB with 0.2 dB is ARABSAT. But it offers less FTA programs than the other option, which is NILESAT. To receive it you need a dish of 1.20m diameter made by a good manufacturer.
Al-Ankabut (Spider) System
I heard from one Syrian satellite dealer that there is a new sysstem called Al-Ankabut (Spieder) which has a very small dish and can receive all of the satellite and link them together. Besides it is useful to get high speed Internet. According to that dealer, this sysstem is Lebanon has a price of around USD 1100. But when I asked others about this system, nobody has heard about it. Does it exist? You can be sure that such system does not exist! According to the nature of satellite communications and the spherical form of Earth, its completely impossible to receive all of the satellites in a single point, even by using a very huge dish. And about Internet via satellite, you will need to subscribe to a service provider, which offers service on a receivable satellite for your location.
A look into one of the housing areas in Tehran: nearly every home is connected to a dish either on balcony or on roof.
and Baluchs are present in the Southern East regions of the country. Besides, some other ethnic minorities live in other parts of Iran (for example Turkmen in the North East). Hence, after Farsi and English (as the main foreign language of Iran which is taught in the Iranian schools and universities), Turkish, Kurdish, Arabic, Turkmen, Urdu and even Hindi languages are welcome in different parts of Iran. Besides, there are many Iranians who understand some other European languages (mainly French, German, Spanish and Russian). Accordingly, the most favorite satellite in Iran is Eutelsats Hotbird (at 13.0 degrees East). The next favorite satellites are Turksat (at 42.0 E), Arabsat (26.0 E), Nilesat (7.0 W), Express AM 1 (40.0 E) and Express AM 22 (53.1 E). As IRIB broadcasts the provincial channels on Intelsat 902 (62.0 E), some people may like to receive this satellite too. And for the people who are interested in Farsi
48 TELE-satellite International www.TELE-satellite.com
political and entertainment channels - which are mostly broadcasted from Los Angeles, U.S.A. by the Iranian oppositions - there is Telstar 12 (345 E). The rst satellite receivers which appeared in Iran were simple C-band receivers from Korean, Chinese and Israeli brands like Kyte, Winersat and Benjamin. After beginning of the digital era, everything completely changed. Normally, Ku-band reception needs smaller dishes (in Iran, mostly 90 cm or even smaller in diameter). Naturally such small dishes were more useable and practical for Iranian citizens. The high quality of video and audio of digital MPEG-2 channels, the grown number of receivable channels, the variety of receivers and other equipments in the market (well, black market of course!), and the competitively low prices of such systems were the other reasons to urge Iranians to use satellite reception systems. Besides, according to the increasing number of users, the sensitivity of the ofcials to this subject too lowered and it seems that they - unofcially - decided to be more tolerant and patient against it. But there has been no change in the approved law of 12 years ago. Satellite reception is still ofcially illegal and forbidden. This means that there are still risks for your equipments to be banned and suppressed. The higher the cost, the higher the risk. This is why most of people prefer not to spend too much for their illegal satellite systems. More than 80% of receivers in Iran are simple FTA models of some low price Asian brands. Recently many no name FTA receivers have appeared in Iranian market. Their mainboards are exactly the same, but use different unknown names. Most of such receivers (which can easily open the scrambled channels of different encryption systems), are assembled in Jabal Ali free zone of U.A.E. There are also rumors that some of them are assembled inside the Iranian territories, reportedly in Qeshm Island! These small but powerful receivers generally cost not more than 70-80 U.S. Dollars.
The same is true for the dishes. Over 99% of dishes in Iran are very simple and cheap metallic (less than 10 U.S. Dollars) models, which are made in small industrial workshops. They are simple x dishes without any scales or other peripherals. Simple DiSEqC switches are very popular, but motorized antennas could rarely be seen. Multiswitches too are recently becoming popular, especially in towers and skyscrapers. According to the relatively high prices and also lack of ofcial dealers, access cards of encrypted channels and packages are not popular in Iran. Besides, most low cost FTA receivers in Iran are capable to open many channels and packages which are originally encrypted in different encryption systems, including Viaccess, Irdeto, etc. And the updated software of such receivers can be easily found and downloaded from the Internet. Despite of all of the legal problems, its not difcult to reach an installer, who can prepare any needed equipments, and install the complete satellite system. Generally they cost their customers around 10 U.S. Dollars for setting up each satellite dish. They are also ready to offer after-sale services! Most of them are ready to update the software version of their customers receivers, or repair their systems if needed. The price of updating the receivers software (to open the encrypted channels) may vary from 5 to 15 U.S. Dollars. But because of the young and educated population of Iran, most of users dont even have to pay such low costs too. In most of Iranian families, the younger members have learned to setup their own satellite systems, to get the new versions of the software and to update their receivers, using their laptop and a RS-232 cable. Despite of the restrictions for reception of satellite TV channels, other applications of satellite communication systems are rapidly developing in Iran. For people who would like to use a mobile phone system, more reliable than traditional GSM systems, there is Thuraya satellite mobile phone. Geotechnical technicians and engineers, mountain climbers, truck drivers, etc. can use GPS systems. National banking system has developed a satellite-based integrated system (SHETAB). Internet via Satellite is rapidly developing. Most of Iranians are connected to the Internet, using dial-up or ADSL systems. But according to presence of satellite dishes in (almost) every Iranian house, many of internet users would like to use their satellite systems to access to the high speed Internet.
A at roof has its advantages: plenty of space for the dishes. The dish in front even sports a homemade multifeed installation
And recently, Iran has launched its rst satellite to the orbit and has plans to launch two other satellites very soon.
30 May - 1 June 2006: ANGA Cable 2006 Trade Fair For Cable, Satellite and Multimedia CongressCentrum East, Koelnmesse, Cologne, Germany www.angacable.de 28 - 30 September 2006: SatExpo 2006 Space and Advanced Telecommunications Vicenza Trade Fair, Vicenza, Italy www.satexpo.it
20 - 23 June 2006: CommunicAsia 2006 17th International Communications and Information Technology Exhibition & Converence Singapore Expo, Halls 2B 6, Singapore www.communicasia.com
9 - 13 October 2006: Taitronics Autumn Taipei International Electronic Autmun Show Taipei World Trade Center (TWTC), TaiWan www.taipeitradeshows.com.tw/taitronics/ 18 - 20 October 2006: EEBC 2006 Eastern Europe Broadband Convention Exhibition Centre KievExpoPlaza, Kiew, Ukraine www.eebc.com.ua
5 - 10 September 2006: CeBIT Eurasia 2006 International Trade Fair for Information Technology, Telecommunications, Software and Services TUYAP Congress Center, Beylikduzu, Istanbul, Turkey www.cebitbilisim.com 8 - 12 September 2006: IBC 2006 The World of Content RAI, Amsterdam, Netherlands www.ibc.org
26 - 28 October 2006: SAT KRAK 2006 International Satellite Exhibition Centrum Targowe, ul. Klimeckiego 14, 30-706 Krakow, Poland www.satkrak.com
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