Commercial receivers

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SatelliteGuys Pro
Original poster
Jul 27, 2006
Pompano Beach, FL
I've been pondering the idea of looking into some commercial receivers for some more play. I saw an Ebay auction for a commercial DSR-4200 DCII receiver with remote. Apparently from reading up on previous forums, these can receive clear DCII signals without a problem.

Is this true?

Also, when it comes to things like commercial/headend receivers, is it considered stealing, since most of em pick up a lot of major channels? I just don't wanna fall into that category of theft with a commercial receiver. I'm not sure if they need authorization or not for operation.
I have a couple of DSR-4200s. One is a 4200C and the other is a 4200v. One word of warning, in order for a 4200 to receive any FP signals it must have been previously authorized and not had the authorization reset when it was removed from service. Most of the ones you see on ebay probably have been authorized but you probably want to make sure the receiver is not new and not still in it's original box. If it is, it may not have been authorized and as a home user you'll probably never be able to get it authorized. This is one case where "new" is not better or at least not for FTA purposes.

Also there are several different models. I know of at least 3 different 4200s. I know there is a 4200B, 4200C, and a 4200V and the last letter makes a difference in what signals these receivers can tune. I believe the 4200V can tune a wider variety of signal than the other 2. I know that my 4200v tunes signals the 4200c cannot. The 4200C doesn't seem to support any signals with a symbol rate of 29270 whereas the 4200v can tune some of those. Also none of the 4200s support combined mode or megapipe. Another thing to keep in mind is that all of the 4200 receivers are getting old and that might mean they are more prone to battery failure.

As for 4200s expect to see more of them on ebay in the future, as one of the providers of signals these receivers were most often used for seems to be moving away from DCII and toward DVB. Alot of educational institutions may be selling off their 4200s soon, if they haven't already or sending them to the dump. Bottom line if you can get one for $50 or less, it might be worth it just to play around with a bit, but I wouldn't recommend investing a great deal in one of these receivers at this point. Also don't expect to get a whole lot of new signals on one of these. Most of the signals you can get with these have the same content (or very similar) that you can get with a DVB receiver.
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I have a DSR-4001, a DSR-4200C, a DSR-4400, and a DSR-4800 (Digitrans branded). Only the 4800 comes pre-authorized for FP. FP (or fixed key) is what 99 percent of "FTA" Digicipher II is. Very little DCII is actually unencrypted (or "zero key").

Here is a thread from when I got started with DCII:

Receiving fixed key DCII programming with a capable receiver would not be considered theft of service.
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It should be noted that these are commercial receivers designed for the broadcast industry, and cost a good sum of money even used, unless you find a lucky deal.
In addition to what Tron said, the original poster mentioned a DSR-4200. As I said in my previous post those receivers only get certain signals and must be previously authorized to get fixed key signal. Now there are some receivers like the DSR-48xx/digitran DTE-71xx that can get alot more, but those are harder to find and cost quite a bit more. So if you go shopping for commercial DCII receivers on ebay, you best know the exact specifications of the particular receiver your bidding on or else you might wind up spending a great deal of money on something that's of very little use to you.

Also a great deal of the information posted on lyngsat, especially with regard to DCII, is way out of date and no longer valid.
I saw some powervu receivers on ebay too that were decent prices, but am wondering if there's anything you can get with those...
I saw some powervu receivers on ebay too that were decent prices, but am wondering if there's anything you can get with those...

PowerVu receivers are generally DVB receivers. So, you'll probably get the same things your current DVB receiver gets. Powervu is just the encryption system used. Just because the receiver supports powervu doesn't mean you'll be able to get encrypted channels that are encrypted with powervu. To do that you'll have to be authorized to receive the particular encrypted signal your looking to receive and that ain't gonna happen unless you run a cable company and pay the provider. With regard to the previous discuss here about DCII receivers we're talking about getting FP or "free preview" mode signals. Encrypted signals are a different story and to get those you'll have to subscribe and commercial receivers can only be subscribed if your running a cable company, TV station, a DBS service, or something along those line. A commercial receiver cannot be used by a home user to subscribe to programming, because the providers who provide programming to home users, like NPS, cannot authorize commercial receivers. Anyone reading this thread thinking they might be able to get encrypted signals by purchasing a commercial receivers needs to forget it and move on because that's not gonna be the case.

Also, when it comes to things like commercial/headend receivers, is it considered stealing, since most of em pick up a lot of major channels? I just don't wanna fall into that category of theft with a commercial receiver.

No, because your not gonna get encrypted channels. The discussion here is with regard to being able to get FP or "free preview" signals. A commercial receiver that's been previously authorized for anything can get FP signals. It's meant to be that way. There is one receiver (I don't know for sure if there are others) that comes preauthorzed for FP out of the box. That's the dsr-48xx/digitrans DTE-71xx line of receivers. Anyway, encrypted signals require a different level of authorization and must be authorized for specific signals. It's the same way with 4dtv and starchoice receivers. If they've been subscribed to anything you can get FP signals provided of course they are the type of signal those receivers can tune. For most folks reading this thread and interested in FP signals their best bet is to just buy a 4dtv receiver and maybe subscribe to either a few channels a la carte or get a small package. Then in addition to what you subscribe to you'll be able to get a few "free" signals. Also your not gonna get "a lot of major channels" like you seem to think. You may get some channels at certain times temporarily, like maybe for one weekend, when those channels go into free preview mode but that's done on purpose to try to get new subscribers. That's often times why the information on lyngsat with regard to DCII is either incorrect or misleading. Often times a channel may offer a free preview weekend and then someone lists it as FTA on lyngsat. Then whenever that's over the information may or may not be updated to indicate that the signal is once again encrypted.

To be honest buying a used commercial receiver on ebay is not really worth it unless your really into this hobby and just want to do it for the heck of it. I think that's probably the way it is with most of us here who own commercial DCII receivers. We're just mainly hardcore hobbyist.
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Another thing to consider is that there's no such thing as "blind scan" or even channel lists, for that matter, on a commercial box. Since they're meant to sit in a rack all of their lives tuned to one specific channel, all of the information must be manually entered every time you want to change to another channel. Some may be able to store a few pre-programmed transponders, but usually you've gotta go through the motions every time you want to watch something different.

They have other features, however, such as extraordinary picture quality and interface features that make them worth while if you're more into tinkering than watching TV :)
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