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Fortec Star Lifetime Ultra "Blind Scan" Digital Receiver
I have had the Fortec Star Lifetime Ultra for around a week now and I am VERY impressed with the quality- the picture is crisp and clean and the menu is Very nice and easy to understand. This is my first receiver with USALS (Universal Satellites Automatic Location System) /DiSEqC 1.3 and it has been a joy to work with and set up. The receiver almost sets itself up when used inconjunction with a motorized dish. I simply entered my Latitude and longitude and using the USALS function, the dish moves exactly to the selected satellite/s. The receiver comes already loaded with a comprehensive curent list of all available satellites and I had every satellite I can see in the Clarke Belt found and stored in under an hour! The blind scan or as its called with this receiver "Power Scan" is fast and very efficient, and I really like the onscreen graph as it blind scans both linear polarities, you can see at a glance where you are in the scan process. When the Signal button is used, it displays on screen two colored bars for signal level and the all important Quality changing from red/yellow/ and green with the signal % shown in clear white numbers, another click and its gone. The REALLY nice thing with this receiver is AC3 Dolby Digital audio output. At last I can watch and hear the PBS channels on AMC-3- some of the best digital pictures on any satellite and another great reason to go FTA. I have also noticed that when my dish is moving an on screen message pops up "Positioner setting!" This really saves a lot of confusion and again a real plus for this system.
Its also a sharp looking receiver-silver with three chrome buttons in the front, the on/off switch is conveniently placed on the back of the receiver along with all the connections. On the downside the digital read out on the front of the receiver seems a bit low so even at eye level you cant see the all the numbers, and it would be nice to have a "Signal Lock" light on the front but over all it looks great (see below pictures) I will be adding more to this review, but could not contain myself any longer and I have been having a load of fun with it since it arrived. At this point, I must thank David from Fortec and the Sadoun crew for their wonderful service. The receiver arrived within days and as I said at the beginning, I am VERY impressed with what must be the Rolls Royce of DVB satellite receivers, its got the lot.
The FortecStar Lifetime ULTRA receiver is fully MPEG2/DVB compliant, supports multi-languages, and has an easy to use menu system. The On-Screen Display allows quick channel searching capabilities. With the ability to move, delete, and re-name channel or satellite information, it’s simple to reorganize your channels the way you want them.
In North America, the Lifetime receiver provides Dolby Digital audio (AC-3) for the PBS channels broadcast on the AMC 3 satellite.
Digital Free-to-Air Satellite Receiver with POWER SCAN
3,000 Channel Memory (TV & Radio)
Store up to 5 Favorite Channel Lists
Dolby Digital Audio Out and S-Video (North American model)
EPG (Electronic Program Guide) - 7 days of program information
Fully compliant with MPEG-2 Digital & DVB broadcasting
950~2150 MHz input Frequency (IF loop throughput)
Variable input Symbol Rate (1.5~45 Msps)
Multi-language OSD (On-screen Display)
Automatic PAL/NTSC Conversion
Fast Channel Change
Flexible reception of SCPC & MCPA from C/Ku band Satellites
Timer Function (Automatic On/Off Setting Function)
256-Colors (Graphic Use Interface)
P-I-G (Picture-in-Graphic) On-screen Display
Powerful Channel Editing Function
-Sorting: Alphabetic, Satellite, FTA/Scramble, Parental Lock, TP Order
-Move, Delete, Edit Favorites
-Parental Lock, Channel Rename, Channel Skip
Manual PID/Satellite & TP/Network Scan
Simultaneous Scan of 4 Satellites
Capable Of Setting the Frequency for SMATV Systems
Upgrade through RS-232C (STB to STB, PC to STB)
DIGITAL TUNER & DEMODULATOR
F-type, IEC169-24, Female
Input Frequency Range
950 MHz to 2150 MHz
950 MHz to 2150 MHz
-25 to -65dBm
13/18 V DC, 500mA Max.
22 KHz Tone
Frequency: 22 ± 2 KHz Amplitude: 0.6 ± 0.2 V
Version 1.0 & 1.2
Input Symbol Rate
2-45 Ms/s, SCPC/MCPC
Convolution Code Rate 1/2, 2/3, 3/4, 5/6, and 7/8
Sti 5518ST20 32 bit
Channel memory Digital channels: 3,000
Multi-Language Menu (Varies by Region)
English / Spanish / French / German / Portuguese / Russian / Arabic / Turkish
IR remote control (carrier Freq: 38 KHz)
MPEG TRANSPORT STREAM & A/V DECODING
MPEG-2 ISO/IEC 13818 Transport Stream Specification
25 Hz for PAL, 30 Hz for NTSC
720 x 576(PAL) 720 x 480(NTSC)
Through VBI / OSD
MPEG Layer I & II
Single channel / Dual channel / Joint stereo / Stereo
16, 22.05, 24, 32, 44.1, and 48 KHz
A/V & DATA IN/OUT
Video, Audio L/R, 0/12V or S/PDIF on N.A. model
RS-232, Connector: 9-pin D-sub type
75ohm IEC169-2, Male/Female
470MHz to 860MHz
CH 21-69 or Ch 3-4
PAL D/K/I/M, NTSC
Ch 3, or CH 38 Software changeable by Menu screen
AC 90 to 250 VAC (SMPS), 50Hz/60Hz
< 5 Watts
Separate internal fuse
Size (W x H x D)
290 x 200 x 65 mm
0 ~ 40 C
-10 C ~ + 80 C
Operating humidity range
10 ~ 85% RH, Non-condensing
Storage humidity range
5 ~ 90% RH, Non-condensing
This review is a work in progress and I will be adding much more in the days and weeks ahead, Thanks again to Fortec and Sadoun.
11-18-2004 12:40 PM
What is the differences in the power scans? FTA, FTA-D, All, All-D? Paticulary what does the -D mean?
I have noticed that when you do a FTA-D scan you get some encrypted content that is just listed not watchable.
FTA: FTA channels only
ALL: The receiver will store all channels found FTA and Encrypted channels. The Encrypted channels will not show on the screen and instead you will see (No signal).
ALL + D: ALL plus data channels (this is mostly used in Europe for Teletext messages, etc)
Come to think of it I think I saw some tele-text messages that I scanned in that looked like a tele-prompter, trouble is I can't remember what sat it was on.
Peter, does the Ultra have "dummy" extra channels that show up when you do scans of Dish Network transponders (Like Pansat receivers do) ? Thanks for a Great Review!!! Mike
I just did a scan of 110w and 119w but with a KU LNB (at L.O. 10750) and all it found with the FTA scan was Nasa and some radio channels, I will try it again tomorrow with a DBS LNB in place, Iceberg is popping by to give it a test drive, but no dummy channels have popped up!
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