Inexpensive Dolby AC-3 - Canada side

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colbec

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Pro
Feb 5, 2007
354
0
Eastern Ontario, Canada
I have appreciated the previous discussions on AC-3 from FTA however if a product is only available from the US side, after brokerage and international shipping a 30$ item can become a 60$ item pretty fast.

FWIW I just picked up a set of speakers with dolby decoder locally for 60$

(http://www.canadacomputers.com/index.php?do=ShowProduct&cmd=pd&pid=012161&cid=SP)

Initial testing seems to be good, I can now get the Bloomberg audio on AMC-3 but I can't speak for the PBS channels at this point, I am getting the other channels on that satellite really strongly but the PBS always pixellates and audio is there but very choppy. I seem to be getting audio on more channels than before, but some channels with the Coolsat rightmost indicator lit seeming to say Dolby audio there is no sound, which may just mean it is off air. For example all the AMC-3 'radio' channels I can see with my dish are apparently Dolby but there is no sound on any of them.

I won't speak for audio quality, I am not an expert. System comes with its own remote, just what I needed, another remote.

Cat friendliness report:
Cardboard box - yes
Test tones - yes
Subwoofer - NO (reduce audio output when changing channels, or reinforce basement walls).
 

colbec

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Pro
Feb 5, 2007
354
0
Eastern Ontario, Canada
That transponder too is at the limit of my dish. No activity at all on that tp for me. Anything else I can try to verify that it is indeed dolby that is coming in from other channels?
 

colbec

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Pro
Feb 5, 2007
354
0
Eastern Ontario, Canada
On AMC-1 I get two Pentagon channels. One is marked Pentagon - Dolby in the title downloaded from the satellite. On my old setup there was no sound on the dolby channel, but with the new setup there is. However there is nothing I can detect coming from the rear speakers. I am assuming this is not relevant since Dolby could be encoded in various ways, not necessarily involving the rear speakers.
 

colbec

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Pro
Feb 5, 2007
354
0
Eastern Ontario, Canada
Just started getting 12162 H 4.444 on AMC-3 in 5.1 surround which might be Montana PBS although the freq. is not in agreement with the Satellite Guys list which says 12145 H 4340 - can anyone confirm which transmission this is?
 

colbec

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Pro
Feb 5, 2007
354
0
Eastern Ontario, Canada
The speakers are a bit small but they are at least as good as the computer speakers I had before. And with 6 of them going at the same time in 5.1 they make up in numbers what they might have in size. I'm just watching a DVD video in 5.1 and it is quite acceptable at least for that. I just wish I could confirm 100% that the PBS channels are covered, but I can't do that until I have either a bigger dish or I get out there and tweak the hell out of the existing dish on the best day possible. I know I have seen the PBS channels before but the reception is sitting right on the 62/63 quality that does not quite give the Coolsat enough data to create picture and sound from.
 

Otter Lake

Well-Known SatelliteGuys Member
Nov 23, 2006
28
0
North of the 49th
Nice find. Being a fellow Canadian know what you mean, how prices can almost double sometimes with duty and entry fees. What audio cables come with the unit?
 

colbec

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Pro
Feb 5, 2007
354
0
Eastern Ontario, Canada
Cables: everything you need except the optical cable. Speaker wires are included, with two different lengths, long (2) for rear and shorter (3) for centre and front. Audio cable (RCA), video cable (RCA) and SPDIF (RCA). However the RCA spdif cable does a fine job, and as noted elsewhere the coax does equally as good job as the optical. Batteries for remote included.

The coverings over the speakers are a bit flimsy. I can see either myself putting a thumb through the material one day or the cat slashing at it in confusion. Must think of a way of reinforcing.

Optical cables are strange over here. Somebody must have a lock on the market since I can't find one under $25-$30 (CAD). Which is more expensive, glass or copper? I can wait. As one salesman said to me "Well, they are highly polished..." They would have to be.

Surround: while watching a movie last night I actually ducked to avoid a bullet.
 

colbec

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Pro
Feb 5, 2007
354
0
Eastern Ontario, Canada
PBS audio confirmed good. PBS - Create coming in just fine.

I managed to get an extra 2% signal by moving the lnbf slightly closer to the dish. Larger dish however is a must get. The signal could disappear anytime. 12175 V is healthy, but 12145 H is still non existent.
 

Tron

SatelliteGuys Master
May 6, 2005
6,599
33
Metro New Orleans, LA
As for optical cables, there is no need to have copper in the cable (shield or whatever) at all. There's no electrical connection! I never can figure out how some of these unscrupulous cable manufacturers get by with making something cost more money when it serves no function...
 

colbec

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Pro
Feb 5, 2007
354
0
Eastern Ontario, Canada
Agreed - I did not mean to imply that copper was necessarily used in optical cables.

I think the inflated price occurs at the local/retail level. I have found that optical cables can be had in Canada by mail order for reasonable prices, see for example

http://www.mycableshop.ca/itemdesc.asp?product=5'+Premium+Toslink+Optical+(Spdif)+Cable&ic=TOSLINK5

This site claims there are two grades, premium and pro. I guess the target market is defined in terms of technological insecurity. You just have to throttle the supply of premium to make the pro sell faster. No doubt somebody has done their demand elasticity calculations.
 

Anole

SatelliteGuys Master
Sep 22, 2005
11,819
9
L.A., Calif.
optical cable pricing

Unless they kill you on shipping, that's a decent price.
I usually won't buy optical unless I can find them for about $1/foot, US.
That has been about the very best I can do.
However, if you can find them for no more than $2/foot, US, you are doing fine.

My attitude? Just say "no". :rolleyes:

....and don't even get me started on the decently-built, but way over priced Monster brand cables! :eek:
 

Larry1

SatelliteGuys Pro
Aug 24, 2005
1,565
107
Port Hope, ON Canada
The Dollar store had some RCA optical cables for $5.00 (Canadian), but there are all gone. I didn't pick them up when I saw them, and the next time in they were gone.
 
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