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rangergord

SatelliteGuys Family
Jun 3, 2013
47
0
Canada
Hi Folks, I am an ex bell expressvu subscriber. Got tired of the ever increasing bills for more of the same. Looking to get a FTA system because anything must be better than the six channels of OTA broadcasts I have right now and the limited video and audio streaming online.

I am thinking about a 36" dish with a motor and receiver. Most unsure about the receiver, I like the looks of the microHD Geosat but what are some other good options in the same price range? I don't know enough about what the specs mean in terms of my real world use. Also need any suggestions for sources that don't use courier shipping to canada. Shipping makes or breaks a deal here.

Thanks
 
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KE4EST

SatelliteGuys Is My Second Home
Staff member
HERE TO HELP YOU!
Lifetime Supporter
Aug 9, 2004
26,105
6,344
EM75xb
Welcome to the site ranger!!
Yes the microHD is an excellent choice. Several people like the Manhattan and other ALi based receivers as well. Just make sure you order from an reputable dealer!
 

Anole

SatelliteGuys Master
Sep 22, 2005
11,819
12
L.A., Calif.
I've had a few receivers shipped from Canada TO the USA, but the reverse seems to cause nightmares.:)

If you are interested in the GeoSat microHD from SatelliteAV, I know they ship to a Canadian distributor.
He in turn, supplies several dealers.
I don't have the info at my fingertips, but that's how I would proceed.

PS: see if you can get their Ku PLL LNBF while you are at it.
 

rangergord

SatelliteGuys Family
Jun 3, 2013
47
0
Canada
Thanks ke4est, maybe someone can give more detail about why the microHD Geosat is a good choice? I am definitely leaning towards the geosat dish and LNBF as well.

Anole, thats good to know about the canadian distribution. RPS Sat is one canadian dealer that I found already. Prices seem to be competitive.

Please continue if anyone has anything to add to thread.
 

KE4EST

SatelliteGuys Is My Second Home
Staff member
HERE TO HELP YOU!
Lifetime Supporter
Aug 9, 2004
26,105
6,344
EM75xb
Thanks ke4est, maybe someone can give more detail about why the microHD Geosat is a good choice? I am definitely leaning towards the geosat dish and LNBF as well.

Anole, thats good to know about the canadian distribution. RPS Sat is one canadian dealer that I found already. Prices seem to be competitive.

Please continue if anyone has anything to add to thread.

The receiver has an excellent tuner and is very sensitive. It also has VERY GOOD North American Support. The guy that that makes it posts here on a daily basis. :)
 

northgeorgia

SatelliteGuys Pro
Nov 14, 2011
1,538
195
North GA
I'll just give my quick opinion.

I first had an Openbox s10. The first one arrived with a loose or broken tuner. Not good news for a newbie who didn't know what he was doing in the first place. When I finally realized the problem, I returned it and received a replacement. It worked great for a while, until I tried to do a necessary firmware update. Then, after a few months of use, the box flashed, "This box is a clone." So, I returned it again. My 3rd Openbox seems to be the real deal with the latest firmware. So that shows you the best case scenario of a poorly supported receiver! I used it last weekend and it's still a pretty nice box. I don't like how some of the menus and remote interactions are set up, but that's a minor bother. You'll find irritation of that sort with any receiver. The biggest thing for me is that my Openbox s10, after a few hours of use gets VERY hot! I wish they had designed some sort of cooling fan for the chipset.

During the switch-a-roos between my first and second Openbox, I found a cheap Traxis 3500 on eBay. It's great for 97W and any DVB-S stuff out there, but there is a huge amount of DVB-S2 and HD material that the Traxis 3500 can't decode. Since then, Traxis has released a newer version of its receiver that can receive those signals, but I don't have any experience with it.

Now the microHD is the last receiver I purchased. There have been some disappointments: there was the looping/constant rebooting issue, which seems mostly fixed now if you use the latest firmware and software editors. A few things in the menus I still don't like, but as I say, that's with any box. Some rare feeds or recording playbacks somehow start a freeze frame effect that requires you to shut it off and reboot. And my final irritation was when I discovered the voltage is so precise that when I switched out my DRO lnbf with a PLL lnbf, it wouldn't cooperate (I know this last bit is too technical to understand, but again, not a big deal. This is mostly a coaxial problem anyway, as you should use RG-6 and not RG-59 (which I have coming into the house), not truly related to the receiver). Yet, those issues I have found to be very insignificant in comparison to the very real fear I have of somehow bricking my Openbox by using the wrong channel editor, or having it overheat on me, etc. I prefer it so much, that even though I had a great new PLL lnbf I put on my dish over the weekend, I couldn't stand the thoughts of having a overheating Openbox on me, so I hooked the microHD back up and put on the DRO lnbf until I can get around to the rewiring of the coax. It's not perfect, but it's my affordable receiver of choice at the moment.

Some prefer the AZ Boxes, and I'm looking into the possibility of a PC Tuner Card next, but again...no experience here with any of those yet.
 
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Conky

SatelliteGuys Pro
Aug 22, 2008
430
54
SW Ontario
first do a site survey to make sure there aren't trees/buildings blocking the view of the satellites arc. Then look on kijiji for a cheap used receiver(fortec, coolsat, viewsat etc) and dish.you could even use an old starchoice dish60e(only for strong satellites),75e(a bit better) or 1m(rare but best for Ku satellites). learn to point the dish manually to different satellites. see what's up there. It might not be for you. If it is THEN add a motor/new receiver. If it isn't then you're out about 50 bucks
 

schlever

SatelliteGuys Pro
Oct 1, 2007
491
1
Regina, SK
Rangergord where are you located in Canada?

There is a local place in Winnipeg that sells some stuff. I can't remember the name off the top of my head. Certain Home Hardwares carry larger dishes, if you want to save on shipping. As well, they do have a limited selection of recievers, and motors for KU, but usually no name stuff. Like Conky said kijji and used(insert your town name) usually has cheaper older recievers and every once in a while a larger dish to at least get your feet wet in the hobby. I personally use ebay for my LNBs, switches and motors and generally never have any problems. No local places here in Saskatchewan.
 

rangergord

SatelliteGuys Family
Jun 3, 2013
47
0
Canada
Shlever, I am in NE BC in the boonies so online purchases are in order. I do have a local home hardware though and I can place orders for anything in the system. I am taking Conky's advice about classified ads. I am running an ad locally to find a C band BUD because I like the channel lineup I saw on the list and because I anticipate a few issues of trees and mountains, combined with lots of snowfall. When my Bell dish was running my reception was gone when the leaves came on the trees. Which was fine with me because I don't watch much tv in the summer. Then Bell decided to start charging for every month I did not subscribe even though I owned my own dish. Not to mention they think they deserve to be paid up front for services not yet rendered. Bell sucks. I am pretty sure I will like FTA satellite, and can justify spending several hundred dollars on my system. I do love to save money though, so some second hand equipment would suit me fine as an introduction.
 

ftageekyyc

SatelliteGuys Pro
Pub Member / Supporter
rangergord,

I know NE BC covers a lot of ground. If you're not too far from the border, keep your eye on the Alberta Kijiji ads.

There were a couple of Cband dishes available near Grande Prairie just a couple of days ago.

I posted the link in the "more Craigslist dishes..." thread.
 

Anole

SatelliteGuys Master
Sep 22, 2005
11,819
12
L.A., Calif.
rangergord,

I know NE BC covers a lot of ground. If you're not too far from the border, keep your eye on the Alberta Kijiji ads.

There were a couple of Cband dishes available near Grande Prairie just a couple of days ago.

I posted the link in the "more Craigslist dishes..." thread.
That's a really good idea! :up
http://www.satelliteguys.us/threads/304781-more-Craigslist-dishes-for-your-perusal

Jump to the end of the thread, and read the daily additions
Go back a few pages, and get familiar with the sort of dishes & prices to expect.

Some of us comment on special items:
- highly desirable dishes
- highly desirable motorized mounts, regardless of dish
- overpriced, reasonably priced, free dishes
- etc
You could get quite an education. ;)
 

rangergord

SatelliteGuys Family
Jun 3, 2013
47
0
Canada
Sent an email inquiry as to the size and make. This is about 4 hours away but I am considering a weekend salvage trip with my travel trailer if it seems worthwhile.
 

rangergord

SatelliteGuys Family
Jun 3, 2013
47
0
Canada
Just got word that the black mesh dish is 8-10 ft in size but she's not sure because she is not home atm. She will get back to me with the make.
 

ftageekyyc

SatelliteGuys Pro
Pub Member / Supporter
I'd be surprised if that mesh dish isn't at least a 10 foot. Can't see someone putting up an 8 foot at Grande Prairie's latitude even back in the analog days.

The dish looks a lot like the one I picked up in Sherwood Park.

If the owner is willing to send you more pics compare them to the ones in my "North of 53" thread.

If so, it would likely be worth the road trip.
 

rangergord

SatelliteGuys Family
Jun 3, 2013
47
0
Canada
Thanks FTAgeek, I really hope it is a 10 footer. It is actually a couple hours north of Grande Prairie in Dixonville near Manning. I just bought a secondhand longbox deisel pickup in Dixonville a few months ago. It was a great deal.
 

vdogeek

New Member
Jun 2, 2007
3
0
Can someone please point me to the proper thread to read up on what receivers are working and what kinds of programming to expect? I have a viewsat extreme and an old Starchoice dish in which I transformed to be able to catch dishnet a few years back. Thanks
 

phlatwound

SatelliteGuys Pro
Lifetime Supporter
Dec 25, 2007
3,261
212
Goosapeak Junction
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