MPEG 2 & 4 (1 Viewer)

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gentech

Thread Starter
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Mar 23, 2009
12
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SW MN
I have been looking at what is listed as being available as FTA programming on Lyngsat. More of the HD stations seem to be coming available all of the time. I do not have an HD box and have been planning to get one to use in place of my standard box. I would like to first ask a few questions about it that I cannot find definite answers for before I invest more money in FTA.

I have been considering the Sathawk PVR800 HD box at Sadoun. It appears that it has all of the audio converters and everything needed built into it for everything available that is FTA. Sadoun refers to it as being “Open Box”. Can someone tell me what “Open Box” is supposed to mean? I would think that to be an indication that the satellite box had been returned as defective equipment.

I run all of my TV equipment through an old Winegard power splitter with the 75 ohm cable. With this amplified splitter I can run it to different TV sets in different rooms without any insertion loss that is normally a result of combining or splitting the signal. Now that I have a newer DVD/VCR and a DVD player I run them through an RF Modulator to get them on the wire to other sets. All of this including my FTA box works very well in multiple rooms.

The new PVR800 HD box does not appear to have an RF output on it. Can I hookup to the RF modulator from the DVBS video connection and function as I have been with my old standard FTA box. I know that I would be degrading the HD quality picture.

I notice an abundance of HD stations on 87 W. I understand that I will not pickup most of them with my 6 foot dish and would probably need an 8 or 10 foot dish for that from SW Minnesota. With my standard box I did pickup This network on 87 but could not get any sound. Correct me if I am wrong. I understand that the PVR800 would take care of that no sound problem for me.

I notice some HD programming on 91 W. Am I likely to get some of it with my 6 foot dish on the PVR800? I cannot get the CW network on this satellite. I would suppose that I would also need a bigger dish for it. After looking at the CW program schedule I can see that I am not missing very much. I do like the Nat Geo channel.

I have been reading specs and information about various HD FTA boxes. The information listed is very lacking in most cases. That is probably why the Sathawk from Sadoun looks good since they usually furnish an abundance of information. I would also be curious as to how others are doing with this box and how it stacks up against other brands. If that is listed somewhere I would appreciate information on where to find it.

I have asked questions on this forum before I invested money in the past. Your answers have been very helpful in making a decision. I would like to thank all of you for your help and advice both now and for your help in the past.
 

dotbatman

SatelliteGuys Guru
I have been considering the Sathawk PVR800 HD box at Sadoun. It appears that it has all of the audio converters and everything needed built into it for everything available that is FTA. Sadoun refers to it as being “Open Box”. Can someone tell me what “Open Box” is supposed to mean? I would think that to be an indication that the satellite box had been returned as defective equipment.

"Open Box" refers to a specific firmware stack referring to the fact that some of the software running on the machine is open source (Linux). Basically, several of the different FTA set top boxes can run the same or similar firmwares, and the "Open Box" firmwares are thought to be pretty good.


I run all of my TV equipment through an old Winegard power splitter with the 75 ohm cable. With this amplified splitter I can run it to different TV sets in different rooms without any insertion loss that is normally a result of combining or splitting the signal. Now that I have a newer DVD/VCR and a DVD player I run them through an RF Modulator to get them on the wire to other sets. All of this including my FTA box works very well in multiple rooms.

The new PVR800 HD box does not appear to have an RF output on it. Can I hookup to the RF modulator from the DVBS video connection and function as I have been with my old standard FTA box. I know that I would be degrading the HD quality picture.

This should work fine.


As for your other questions, I'll leave them to some experts to answer.
 

Iceberg

The No Pain Train
Supporting Founder
Nov 17, 2003
282
35
None Your Business
I have been considering the Sathawk PVR800 HD box at Sadoun. It appears that it has all of the audio converters and everything needed built into it for everything available that is FTA. Sadoun refers to it as being “Open Box”. Can someone tell me what “Open Box” is supposed to mean? I would think that to be an indication that the satellite box had been returned as defective equipment.
the SSO as we have called it goes under a few names
Sathawk
Solomend
Openbox

Also the Manhattan (different software than the SSO)

All kinda do the same thing

The new PVR800 HD box does not appear to have an RF output on it. Can I hookup to the RF modulator from the DVBS video connection and function as I have been with my old standard FTA box. I know that I would be degrading the HD quality picture.
no HD receivers have a RF output but yes you can use a RF modulator. That is what I do with my Manhattan when peaking the dish (use a RF converter)

I notice an abundance of HD stations on 87 W. I understand that I will not pickup most of them with my 6 foot dish and would probably need an 8 or 10 foot dish for that from SW Minnesota.
actually one of the transponders (4080) will work fine on the 6 footer. I'm just up the road from ya (near Mystic Lake Casino) and I can get that one just fine now
With my standard box I did pickup This network on 87 but could not get any sound. Correct me if I am wrong. I understand that the PVR800 would take care of that no sound problem for me.
correct. AC-3 (dolby digital) audio the HD receivers can output the audio via HDMI or the a/v cables

I notice some HD programming on 91 W. Am I likely to get some of it with my 6 foot dish on the PVR800? I cannot get the CW network on this satellite. I would suppose that I would also need a bigger dish for it. After looking at the CW program schedule I can see that I am not missing very much. I do like the Nat Geo channel.
yes the 91W stuff you can get
CW channels require a different entry. They can not be scanned in. What receiver do you currently have?
Note the SSO's cannot do entry on those channels unless you use the channel editor. The transponder is one of the strongest out there and the 6 footer I have no issues getting. If you check thelist at the top of the page everything on the C-Band side I can get here in Minneapolis with my 6 footer.

I have been reading specs and information about various HD FTA boxes. The information listed is very lacking in most cases. That is probably why the Sathawk from Sadoun looks good since they usually furnish an abundance of information. I would also be curious as to how others are doing with this box and how it stacks up against other brands. If that is listed somewhere I would appreciate information on where to find it.

Lots of folks have one of the 5 models out there
Sathawk (the original)
Solomend (newer)
Openbox S9 (the original Openbox)
Openbox S10 (smaller size....no component output..does have A/V)
Manhattan (the newest and has options the SSO's dont)
 

gentech

Thread Starter
Member
Mar 23, 2009
12
0
SW MN
You asked what box I am using. I have an nfusion Pheonix box. I learned after I got it that it is a very popular box for hacking and that was never my intention. I use it for FTA only and it does a fine job for me other than it could stand a few more features. A blind scan would be a big plus for it. I cannot scan and find something new with it. As far as I can tell I must have a transponder and frequency listed on it to find a new station or any programming from a scan. It does pull in the signal much stronger than did my old Mercury II that I use to have. I do not have rain-fade problems with this equipment. A lost signal was very common with the Mercury II with everything else being the same.

I would be surprised to learn that this Pheonix box has a way that I could set it that would get the CW for me. It does not allow for much flexibility. I have been wanting to get something in its place but decided to wait a bit and then go with an HD box.

I am using a 6 foot dish with the DMX741 C/KU LNBF from Sadoun. I have some ku dishs so I pointed them at various satellites. I have a 1 meter Winegard pointed at 83 W, a 30" Winegard aimed for ABC News and I also have a 35" Fortec that I sometimes watch History on when they really do history. I have an actuator for the 6' but have not installed it yet. The wires are ran out to the dish. Just have not taken the time to get the motor hooked up and working. I am getting ION with that dish right now. Not much else that I want to see on c-band right now without the MPEG 2 & 4 capability. With this new information from you guys I am going to get a HD box ordered and then take the time to get the motor on the six footer.

Thanks again for all of the good information.
 

KE4EST

SatelliteGuys Is My Second Home
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Welcome to the site!!! Hang around, we are all here to help.
 

Iceberg

The No Pain Train
Supporting Founder
Nov 17, 2003
282
35
None Your Business
since you have a motor on the dish (just not set up) I would suggest getting it added. While there may not be some stuff on C-Band that interests you with the current dish adding the HD receiver will open up a whole new set of programs out there. Heck even on the sat you have it set for right now there are a few Ion HD feeds on it

Lemme mull around and see if there is a way to manually add the CW stations to that receiver. Basically its 3 feeds of the CW100+ Network (used in smaller markets)
East/Central
West
Mountain
 

Iceberg

The No Pain Train
Supporting Founder
Nov 17, 2003
282
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None Your Business

gentech

Thread Starter
Member
Mar 23, 2009
12
0
SW MN
Thanks for the additional information about CW. When I have the dish pointed that way I will give it a try. I will probably be using a Sathawk by then. The people at Sadoun are fast. I ordered the Sathawk HD box at 9:30 AM and I had the tracking number for it back from Sadoun at 10:34 AM. UPS will pick it up from them this afternoon and I will probably have it tomorrow or Monday.

I ordered the PVR800 and a spare DiSEqC switch. I also ordered a spare remote as I always do with a new box. Otherwise the thing might be obsolete and not available by the time that I need a different remote.

When I added the c-band 6 foot polar mount dish to my collection over one year ago. I buried some conduit down to the dishes that are about 90 feet from my house. I had to go that far to get out from under the trees. I did not know what I would need or want at the dishes in the future so I put in more wire and coax cable that what I probably need. I was already using a buried RG6 coax. I had some RG11 on hand so I put it in the conduit for backup, it is not in use yet. I buried a 4 pair underground cable such as what a phone company would use. It is shielded cable with the sticky paste stuff in it so it is suitable for direct burial. With 8 wires in it I can double them if they are a little small for controlling the motor. I also put three 12 gauge stranded THHN wires in the conduit. I had determined at the time that all of this would be sufficient to wire to the motor and to control it. When I start on the motor today or tomorrow I should have everything to connect it back to the Powertech Gbox V3000 that I have on hand. I do not recall which actuator I bought from Sadoun over a year ago. I do know it is one of the correct voltage that I decided at the time would be long enough. I also recall that it was one of the heavy duty models. If I were buying the wire to install the motor I would have used a little different stuff to do this. I had all of the wires and the conduit that I mentioned on hand. It was all new stuff left over from other jobs and it should all work fine. The actuator is still in the box that it came in. I have a turnbuckle installed on the dish where the actuator will go. I ran the conduit and wires into a weather proof box at the dish to connect too as needed. The other end goes into another junction box in the basement below the location of the equipment that is on the main floor. I put screw type terminal blocks in the box at each end for the connecting to as needed. The RG11 will adapt to RG6 at each end if it is ever needed. In the mean time all of it is sealed up and dry in the PVC conduit.

Getting the dish to follow the arc is going to be the biggest challenge for me. I do not have a motor on a KU dish but I have set them up. KU is easy, information to do with setting up a c-band motor is not as plentiful. Last time I went to Sadoun for instructions on setting up the motor. All that they had information on was for the KU band motors. I have in the mean time collected some information on it from this forum. I need to do some reading and get my thinking straight on the subject.
 

gentech

Thread Starter
Member
Mar 23, 2009
12
0
SW MN
I got the new SatHawk HD from Sadoun today. That was a fast order turnaround that took UPS two days plus the weekend.

As I unpacked the receiver I could hear something loose in it. I can see a loose screw through the ventilation holes of the box. Probably just a simple thing to remove the cover and install or remove the screw if everything else looks OK. Since there is a seal on the cover that I would have to break. I sent an email to Sadoun to learn what they want me to do.

I do not want to find myself with a new receiver that will not work that I had voided the warranty on by breaking the seal. Now I will find out if the people at Sadoun reads and responds to their email messages.
 

gentech

Thread Starter
Member
Mar 23, 2009
12
0
SW MN
As I previously mentioned, the new SatHawk PVR800 HD box arrived with loose screws bouncing around inside it. I emailed Sadoun and I got a reply stating that I should go ahead and open it up and remove the loose screws. When I got into it I found the screws and put them into the holes that attach the boards that they had not been installed in. The power board had the corner broken off of it. It looked to me like the person assembling the box over tightened a screw and broke the board. I would guess it was to have a different board put in it and someone else picked it up and packaged it before it was repaired.

The box will work and it has some nice features even if it is very slow to boot up and to change channels. It does not function well with the remote controls or with the front panel buttons for editing or changing channels. I do not know if it is a software problem or what. It is very difficult to change channels or to turn the box on or off. I had also purchased a second remote control and one works no better than the other.

I am of the opinion that I should get a new undamaged receiver that functions properly since that is what I paid for. I sent an additional email to Sadoun explaining the problems in even more detail that what I am listing here. I expected a fix or a new box. I got a short reply back asking me which model receiver is it that I purchased. That seemed strange to me since I listed the order number on my original message. I responded to that and have heard nothing since for about twenty days now.

Now the people with Sadoun will no longer address my problem or respond to my messages. According to the return policy that they have listed on their website I can return it within 30 days that is almost up. I guess that is the only thing left to do.

I bought the HD receiver for the additional programming that is now available. It has opened up a whole new world of available FTA programming. It seems rather ironic to me that all of those stations are broadcasting old programming via HD. Probably 99% of the shows available were made long before digital or HD television. It is not that I object to using the latest technology to watch the old black and white TV shows.

A couple of features that I really like about the SatHawk HD are the blind scan and the ability to easily record programming to an external disk drive. I hooked it up to an RF modulator since some of the TV sets in my house are not HD and I wanted to run it to all of them.

Since I will be returning the SatHawk that will not function correctly I would like to know what some of the other brands of HD receivers are that are a little more reliable that have at least the same features. I see many other brand names but I know little about them. I am looking at the Pansat 9500 and the 9200. The difference of the two is not obvious as information about them seems rather incomplete to me. None of the companies selling this equipment online have very complete lists about the particulars of the products that they sell. Any information to do with these things would be appreciated.
 

macgod79

SatelliteGuys Pro
Feb 3, 2011
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Nc
The 9500 is a hd box. It uses the same Ali chipset as the sathawk you mentioned. It does do skew control and manual pid entry that the sathawk does not. I havnt used it as I have a s9, but have been thinking of getting one. The 9200 is a good box but I know little on that one. I think the 9500 is a good choice IMO.
 

Sadoun

SatelliteGuys Pro
Feb 27, 2005
2,320
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Columbus, OHIO
Hi Gentech, I just happened to visit here and saw you post about your new receiver. From what you have described it seems to be acting slow for some reason. Please send it back to us with a note to replace it. Put attention Judy. Include a copy of your receipt please.
 

gentech

Thread Starter
Member
Mar 23, 2009
12
0
SW MN
Thanks Sadoun (Judy). I am out of town this week. I will get the receiver in the mail to you next week.
 

chaskuchar

SatelliteGuys Pro
Pub Member / Supporter
Apr 16, 2010
807
14
saint charles, missouri
i am waiting for the new geopro receiver supposed to be released early next year. i do have the solomend from sadoun that i like. there are two openbox models that sadoun sells. the s9 has component video outputs, the s10 does not. if you have received the s10, there may be qualifications as to which firmware upgrade you install. i ordered the s9 for my sil several months ago and it came with a good firmware that i am still using on my solomend. my solomend has been running 24/7 for over a year. had a problem with electrolytic capacitors in it's power supply but i was able to fix it by experience working 50 yrs in electronics repair. some folks have had issues with their power supply in the openbox. still, i highly recommend it as an fta receiver. think though that the new geopro will be better. charlie
 

user of fta

Member
Sep 6, 2010
11
0
MN
I have a SatHawk PVR800 that I had the exact same problems with of being slow and not responding to entries from the remote or the buttons on the box.

I have some of what we use to call "pyramids" that was made under the RCA name. They was DirecTV remote control extenders. When I setup my SatHawk the pyramid was still plugged in down behind my equipment. What it was apparently doing was transmitting to the boxes monitor of the remote control all of the time. That seemed to partially lock the box causing the problems that you and I both had that are described above.

So the bottom line is that my SatHawk will not function properly with the DirecTV remote extenders plugged in. It will work very well with the Sadoun SR40 Remote Control Extender that I already had hand. It will also now work very well without any remote control extenders plugged in.

You might check to make sure that you do not have a similar problem.
 
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