Is it really worth the premium for an S2 receiver? (1 Viewer)

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Thread Starter
New Member
Jan 6, 2010
Pittsburgh, PA, USA
Hey everyone,

I'm preparing to build my first FTA rig, and I'm trying to figure out what features I need in order to get the content that I want without breaking the bank.

The content that's most important to me - the main reason I'm setting this up - are the Armenian language offerings on Galaxy 19. (I'd say this is 80% of my interest) I'm also tempted by the PBS channels and feeds on AMC-21 (I'd say this is 15% of my interest). Finally, because I've always liked just seeing what I can pull out of the air (shortwave DXing, anyone?), my remaining 5% of interest is in just seeing what other feeds are out there in the clear.

According to lyngsat, LPB on AMC-21 is DVB-S2, but as far as I can tell I wouldn't need DVB-S2 for the galaxy 19 or even most of the AMC-21 PBS content, aside from LPB... but I'm not 100% sure on that. Do those PBS feeds use DVB-S2? Am I correct in understanding that PBS HDTV East uses HD/MPEG-2 over DVB-S?

How popular is DVB-S2 for just random network feeds in the clear and the like? I see a lot of people on the internet pushing 8PSK and/or DVB-S2 receivers, but I can't tell whether they're just people who are going after the piracy market or not. Are there channels that are DVB-S that will be switching to DVB-S2 in the coming years? Will I be missing out on interesting feeds, now or in the near future, if I don't have DVB-S2?

I guess I'm also looking for recommendations for equipment. I am a linux user and software developer and already have a linux-based HTPC that runs things, but to be honest for my first rig I'm looking to get something that isn't overly complicated and works without me having to worry about things like kernel drivers and software integration. PVR functionality is a must and *ideally* I could move recovered content over to the HTPC for archival, but that's not the most critical thing. So, I think I want a standalone unit with PVR support, preferably something that I can log into somehow to copy content off of it (or, I'd be content if I could have it record to some sort of network filesystem, but I doubt this exists?). Other than that, I'm not really sure, especially because the first question I need to answer seems to be DVB-S2 or no.

What would people recommend? I'm super excited about this - ever since I was 14 or so I've always wanted to get a giant C-band dish and see what I could pull from the skies... I'm 25 and living in a city now, and I think my neighbors would freak about a BUD, but they'll have to cope with a Ku-band dish, because this promises to be way too fun.



SatelliteGuys Pro
Feb 24, 2007
101w up north.
an honest estimate is 50 / 50 right now with s vs s2. if you want legit free tv in hd then spend on s2. it will be a must in no less than 2 years i guarantee ( in the cooking cajun guy accent). haha. longevity my friend. ill sell you dvb-s tuners for cheap if you want, pm me. but only so i can buy more s2 tuners. you dig ?

crackt out,.


SatelliteGuys Family
Jan 3, 2008
Central California
The ability to view the NBC East transmissions in 1080p from the West Coast on AMC-18 (105W) for the Winter Olympics (3 hours earlier) makes it worth while. The late night portion ends at about 10:30pm rather than 1:30am. If you miss something you can always revert to the Mountain, Central or West transmissions. Of course, a C-band dish is required.

The added quality of the H.264 compression final result is also significant, not to mention that, as inferred above, this may soon be the standard.
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