How to tell if FTA product is legit

drg

Thread Starter
Well-Known SatelliteGuys Member
Jan 27, 2016
27
8
east coast
What do experienced FTA enthusiasts tell a newbie to look out for when searching for a new FTA STB, LNBF, DiSEqC switches, etc. with regards to legitimacy? IOW, could you pass on wisdom about what to look out for in listings that make you suspect that the product is a fake/copy of a real, patented, properly licensed item, or won't perform as claimed?(like on auction sites, Amazon, Alibaba?)
 
  • Like
Reactions: spongella

Titanium

AI6US
Lifetime Supporter
May 23, 2013
6,618
7,144
Meadow Vista, Northern California
Much of what is sold on AliExpress or Alibaba electronics and are individually retailed directly to the public are backdoored from customer orders or clones via brokers. Rarely do legit manufactures sell individual items direct to retail. To add to the $25 STB statement, licensing fees for the technology cost slighty less than that. No way that even a manufacturer could even offer a legit $25 STB.

Example: You may see C-band PLL LNBFs and accessories that look like the Titanium Satellite models sold on Alibaba, they are an unauthorized clones. Ti products are never sold on Alibaba or shipped from China/Taiwan. Ti products are branded, trademarked and sold through authorized resellers, Amazon and Ebay. If you are suckered into buying a Ti product clone, provide us with the purchase information and ship us the product for an exchange to a legit product. :)
 

danristheman

SatelliteGuys Pro
Jan 25, 2011
3,112
1,094
85w
Ku dish linear lnb standard or universal. Amiko or Edison good to start out with recievers. C band 10 foot dish c band lnbf or lnbs. Same recievers as above.
 
  • Like
Reactions: drg

iBoston

SatelliteGuys Pro
Jul 15, 2014
1,821
1,010
North Central
I have 5 receivers in this house, and i will admit to try and save money, years back, i bought a couple of those Chinese boxes. All of which are now sitting in a land fill somewhere. They ALL malfunctioned in some way. It wasn't worth the aggravation.

On the other side of the spectrum, i have had too luck with Chinese Diseqc switches. I used to buy more expensive diseqc different brand switches and i was blowing out around 1 a year. I have something like 10 diseqc switches in operation. I still blow out about 1 a year, but I buy them in bulk at 10 at a time, and pay quite a bit less. I have never seen these switches in the U.S. market and the packaging and writings on the hardware itself are in Chinese.
 
  • Like
Reactions: drg

drg

Thread Starter
Well-Known SatelliteGuys Member
Jan 27, 2016
27
8
east coast
If you aren't sure, post a thread here and ask. We'll tell you what we think, LOL.
OK, thanks! I'm trying to get an 8 foot(or 12') dish. I'd like to get C and Ku, so I looked up a Titanium product
Titanium Satellite - CK1S C and KU Combo LNBF
(it may be discontinued?)

and this one:

Hot sales High Gain Low noise Universal Dual Band C/Ku Combo LNB LNBF | eBay

Have you had any experience with these?

Or, maybe I am supposed to go with separate Ku and C-band LNBFs, like:
Titanium Satellite - C2-PLL C-band LNBF WiMAX 4G LTE Wide Area WiFi Interference Filter
and a separate Ku one
 

Titanium

AI6US
Lifetime Supporter
May 23, 2013
6,618
7,144
Meadow Vista, Northern California
The CK1s is discontinued.

The combo you referenced has some issues (also sold by two NA resellers). We rejected the design and a shipment from this company as there was no seal between the feed and the KU section. The KU section prematurely fails as moisture and water accumulates. Also, the C and KU probes were not aligned on most units.

Buy at your own risk...
OK, thanks! I'm trying to get an 8 foot(or 12') dish. I'd like to get C and Ku, so I looked up a Titanium product
Titanium Satellite - CK1S C and KU Combo LNBF
(it may be discontinued?)

and this one:

Hot sales High Gain Low noise Universal Dual Band C/Ku Combo LNB LNBF | eBay

Have you had any experience with these?

Or, maybe I am supposed to go with separate Ku and C-band LNBFs, like:
Titanium Satellite - C2-PLL C-band LNBF WiMAX 4G LTE Wide Area WiFi Interference Filter
and a separate Ku one
 
  • Like
Reactions: drg

Conway

SatelliteGuys Family
Sep 9, 2007
112
66
I have a prime focus 10ft mesh dish using the titanium C1.. What do I need to add a Ku band LNB to my dish? thanks
 

stecle

SatelliteGuys Pro
Feb 17, 2010
191
30
Between the North and South Pole
I have a Manhattan RS-1933 in the same junk pile as the Chinese STB's. I remember Mike Kohl telling us how Manhattan was here for the long run, unlike the Chinese manufactures. Titanium is one of the rare companies who conducts their business with integrity.
 
  • Like
Reactions: drg and Conway

Brct203

SatelliteGuys Pro
Dec 24, 2016
939
913
Connecticut
I have a prime focus 10ft mesh dish using the titanium C1.. What do I need to add a Ku band LNB to my dish? thanks
I simply attached a Ku LNBF to the side of the C-Band scalar. It means the dish aims a few degrees apart for Ku, compared to C-band, but it works reasonably well.
 

Conway

SatelliteGuys Family
Sep 9, 2007
112
66
So what kind of LNB holder would I need. I can buy it from titanium satellite?
 

Brct203

SatelliteGuys Pro
Dec 24, 2016
939
913
Connecticut
So what kind of LNB holder would I need. I can buy it from titanium satellite?
I used the plastic part of the typical Ku LNBF holder like this one:
Dish LNB Brackets
I removed the metal part and replaced it with a flat piece of PVC (it must be quite rigid), and bolted it to one of the unused holes in the C-Band scalar. This way it's far enough from the scalar and is a bit articulated so that I can adjust it for best reception. (It must be in the equatorial plane so that it tracks properly)

Of course you have to keep in mind that the aiming of the dish for Ku-Band will be different than for C-Band.

This setup gives me great reception of most Ku satellites that are visible from that dish, from 30W to 125W, the only one giving me trouble is the French-Canadian transponder on 115W.
 

mikekohl

Prehistoric Satellite Guru
Supporting Founder
Jun 4, 2004
727
119
Montfort, Wisconsin
I have a Manhattan RS-1933 in the same junk pile as the Chinese STB's. I remember Mike Kohl telling us how Manhattan was here for the long run, unlike the Chinese manufactures. Titanium is one of the rare companies who conducts their business with integrity.
I don't know who you are, or what your specific complaint with the RS-1933 is, but Jeff Schumann (owner of Manhattan Digital) still answers his phone, and his company is still in business. That receiver was the first consumer box in our market that actually did MPEG-4, and we were quite proud that Manhattan brought it to market in 2011, after extensive testing of prototypes from mid 2010. Jeff is unaware of your problems, so please identify yourself and contact him. Jeff has no idea about what your situation might be, but welcomes a phone call or an Email to clear the air.
 

Keith Brannen

SatelliteGuys Pro
Jun 2, 2006
1,596
245
Southwestern Ontario
That receiver was the first consumer box in our market that actually did MPEG-4, and we were quite proud that Manhattan brought it to market in 2011, after extensive testing of prototypes from mid 2010.
What??? I bought my AZBox in late 2010 (and it had been out for a while before then) and bought from "our market", and Coolsats out in 2008 did MPEG-4. Don't understand what you are trying to imply.
 
  • Like
Reactions: stecle

stecle

SatelliteGuys Pro
Feb 17, 2010
191
30
Between the North and South Pole
I don't know who you are, or what your specific complaint with the RS-1933 is, but Jeff Schumann (owner of Manhattan Digital) still answers his phone, and his company is still in business. That receiver was the first consumer box in our market that actually did MPEG-4, and we were quite proud that Manhattan brought it to market in 2011, after extensive testing of prototypes from mid 2010. Jeff is unaware of your problems, so please identify yourself and contact him. Jeff has no idea about what your situation might be, but welcomes a phone call or an Email to clear the air.
My 1933 had problems with locking up from the day I bought it. I was repeatedly told it was a software glitch and to be patient for a new version. I even called in and spoke to a Russian guy who apparently was your engineer. Of course that new version never came, and I simply lived with the problem, constantly having to power on/off the box. The HDMI stopped working one day so it went on the junk pile.

I remember listening to Sat-Talk and every week you telling us how Manhattan was different from the other manufactures. I vividly remember you telling us how Manhattan would keep releasing new software and not abandon its customers like the "other guys".

How many years has it been since you released a software upgrade for the 1933 or any Manhattan STB for that matter?
 

N6BY

Geek
Lifetime Supporter
Mar 1, 2006
1,877
1,302
Roseville, CA 121W
I have a Manhattan RS-1933 in the same junk pile as the Chinese STB's. I remember Mike Kohl telling us how Manhattan was here for the long run, unlike the Chinese manufactures. Titanium is one of the rare companies who conducts their business with integrity.
Almost all satellite STB's are made in China. It's a sad fact, but manufacturers in the US can't compete with Chinese cheap labor.

Even the relatively new Edision OS Mio is manufactured in China.
 

Magic Static

FTA Geek
Staff member
HERE TO HELP YOU!
Lifetime Supporter
Oct 12, 2010
6,921
4,060
Montana
Almost all satellite STB's are made in China. It's a sad fact, but manufacturers in the US can't compete with Chinese cheap labor.

Even the relatively new Edision OS Mio is manufactured in China.
Still, there is very often a difference between manufactured in China and designed or cloned in China. Edision is a company in Greece.
That said, I see that Dish and DTV have their share of issues with their STBs as well. ;) Remember when stuff just worked? ;)
 
Top