ASK-ME 98.07.10 * Q&A by SAT-MidEast
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A satellite question and answer service by SAT-MidEast, Cairo, Egypt
enabled by TELE-Satellite International, SATCO-DX and TBS Internet.
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MORE OR LESS THE SAME: MEDIAMASTER - MEDIAMASTER - MEDIAMASTER
Is that all there is, my friends...?
BLUE & RED MENU's
Q: What is the use of the blue menu & the red menu in my NOKIA 9200-S ?
A: Out of your question I see that you are still operating with the FTA
1.0 software, while in the newer version FTA 2.0 the so called "Red
Menu" is deleted.
The Red Menu is a debugger menu, used by people writing the software,
for test purposes. It is quite complicated to use, more like working as
a computer programmer, and none of the changes or selections you make
are stored for later use. I recommend just to forget about it, never
even try to work with it. I never do since more than a year...
You better up-load the FTA 2.0 software in your machine...
The Blue Menu is a so-called "Installer Menu" where you can test certain
items out, you can set the split frequencies of the LNB's, turn power to
LNB's off and on, Display testcards, set the Signal Quality indicator
on/off and much more of those small niceties.
You can reach it by selecting installation -> system settings (but NOT
push OK here) then you enter your PIN code (or the factory setting if
you never changed it: 0000 or 1234) and voila the "Service Menu"
appears, with several pages.
Q: I still not have any channel from Astra 1G which has SR 22000 ?
Just try these ones:
12,581 V 22000 5/6 CSD (Mediaguard encrypted, Promo channel clear)
12,515 H 22000 5/6 Canal+ (Irdeto Encrypted)
12,574 H 22000 5/6 Canal+ (Irdeto Encrypted, BVN TV clear)
12,692 H 22000 5/6 ORF (TW1 clear)
These are the only 22000, 5/6 channels receivable, whereby only three
channels are in clear. The ORF package brings also plenty of radio
channels which are in clear.
There is not that much to receive from Astra if you don't have the CAMs
and the valid smart cards.
COOLING FAN FOR MEDIAMASTER
Q: One of my friends has a Nokia 9500 d-box and he face a problem that
after watching for about 5 minutes the picture of (KU band) get freeze
and interruption of signal take place. If he turn a cooling fan on the
d-box every thing is back to normal. Some of the computer store start
installing the small cooler fan they use for computer CPU inside the
d-box and claim good results. What do you think of this issue ?
A: Correct, it is done everywhere in the Middle- and Far East. I myself
have two spare fans which I can strap on any equipment which overheats
during the summer period. Two things are important however:
1) Mount the fan so that air is sucked out of the equipment: blowing air
to the outside, otherwise you collect dust and particles inside your
equipmnet onto the platine and further inerts.
2) Take care where to draw the power from, not all equipment has much
overspill on its powersuplly. Take a fan with a low consumption and
connect it after the fusebox.
Q: Some people mention over the internet that Dr.Overflow software can
show the data of the channels which we do not see using Nokia software.
What do they mean by that ?
A: Which is true in principle, on the other hand does Dr Overflow DVB98
software not find some channels, it equals out I believe.
The Overflow DVB98 software is by no means supposed to be used by normal
TV consumer, it is an experimental software, without any comfort and
beauty, and it changes five times a week in its original. I would not
recommend it, maybe just once to check it out, and see its feautures,
but not for daily use.
SQ and CAM for MEDIAMASTER
Q: I was able to access the service pages, nothing special, it just
worked. I didn't find a menu or way to activate the front panel signal
A: The SQ switch is on Service Menu (5): Test Functions, it is called
"Signal Quality indicator" .......OFF/ON
Q: A friend of mine who has a satellite installation office, downloaded
Nokia FTA 1.0 and 2.0 and uploaded it to a MM 9200 and a MM 9500.
Q: I earlier read in your ASK-ME that you could not do install a CAM in
a 9200, although my friend has installed to several customers of his
9200 and 9500 boxes with CAM. What is your comment ?
A: I never mentioned such a thing in one of the ASK-ME mails. Your
interpretation must have misled you in this belief.
The truth is that I myself from the first day use an IRDETO CAM in my
Mediamaster 9200-S and it works good. I may have said that a VIACCESS,
CryptoWorks or CONAX CAM can not be installed as they are on a PCMCIA
Card with Common Interface slot, which only fits in the 9600 or later...
In concern to the software I can only report you what NOKIA publishes,
and recommends. The FTA 1.0 and FTA 2.0 are only to be used in the
various Mediamaster 9200 models, the CI 1.1 and CI 2.3 only in the 9600
series. For the 9500 model and the german d-Box, no software can be
up-loaded without special loaders (TRANS-BOX) or use of the satellite
update option. There are various experimental software versions
available on the internet for the first Nokia model.
NEW TO SATELLITE RECEPTION
Q: I was very glad to find your homepage, it is very enlighting, and
very required in this part of the world. I live in Cairo also, and was
thinking of buying a satellite dish 2.4m, and since I don't know much
about Satellite dishes and their requirements, Sat. Dish providers talk
a lot and I don't know which is which, so I came to you and hope you'll
be able to help me in my decision.
A: As you are coming new to the satellite reception, there are surely a
lot of things you can do right or wrong, but also there plenty of things
where you have to make decisions, in order to get the best possible
results. I can and will make some statements, suggestions and do's and
don'ts: just take it as a helping hand, guiding you through the desert.
Q: Now after launching the Nile Sat everybody is talking about digital
receivers.etc.., I would like to acquire that, but I would also want to
have access to the Analogue channels, in this case is there a Digital
AND Analogue receiver available in market. I heard that there was one
but would ONLY be for fixed dishes and not the moving ones that I'd like
to have, is this true??
A: Hmmmm, yes there are, but they are so new to the market that I'm not
very keen in recommending them, also they have not always the nescessary
set-up for the Middle East. They are made for Western Europe, using
simple set-ups and small dishes. The difficulty lies also in the way of
encrypting of the various channels. In Europe mostly the VIACCESS system
is used, here in the Middle East is the IRDETO system most common.
Unfortunately are both systems not compatible and need differen
receivers (at the moment, it will surely change in the next six month).
One promising receiver is the PRAXIS DigiMaster 9600, you can have the
full info with pictures from:
and there is an office in the Middle East:
Satmaster Electronics (PRAXIS)
P.O. Box 51636, Dubai, U.A.E.
Tel.:(9714) 26 75 74, FAX: (9714) 26 66 99
The only negative thing is the absence of a connection for a decoder
module, also a real FTA (Free-To-Air) receiver, incapable of receiving
the Pay-TV packages of Showtime (English Network) or 1stNET/ART (Arabic
Network). It also has to be expected that certain future transmissions
of the egyptian Nilesat will be using an IRDETO encryption.
A missing positioner could eventual be purchased as a separate unit,
however it is not very recommendable, while complicated in practical
Q: What else is needed to get something good out of a satellite dish??
A: You will have to decide if you will need C-Band reception (most of
the foreign Arabic Channels are in C-Band) or Ku-Band reception only
(most of the newer channels and digital channels from Europa are in
C-Band reception requires still a 240 cm dish, an additional C-Band LNB
with a noise level lower than 18 K(elvin), a feed-horn (Corotor II plus)
to mount two LNB's and some additional switching gear. For Ku-Band only
I would recommend a 180 cm dish (NOT bigger) and a wide band LNB
(10.700-12.750 GHz) with a noise level lower than 0.8 dB.
Q: If you would give me an idea also about price ranges, I would be very
A: Internationally a FTA digital/analogue receiver costs around as much
as a digital receiver alone: 350-400 USD. But take care: most of these
machines are illegal in Egypt, so don't try to get one trough customs on
your own or DHL. It will be confiscated and you will be fined.
You will have to find the more personal way through a friend on
The NOKIA Mediamaster 9200 FTA is another much favorized digital
receiver on the market (it' has the IRDETO decoder connector), but it's
time will run out the end of the year where it will be replaced by the
Mediamaster 9800 Model.
A most favourized option at the time is to buy a medium prized analogue
receiver/dish/lnb combination with installation by a professional and
lease the digital receiver combined with a monthly/yearly subscription
from one of the broadcaster, either 1stNET/ART or Showtime. both have
offices in Egypt and can be reached by phone or e-mail.
Check out: http://www.showtimearabia.com/
Be always aware that in this time of modern technologies and multimedia,
everything you buy (like computers) is old and out-of-date within the
next year...It's sad but true...but shouldn't stop you to get connected
to the world.
PACE DVR 500 IRD
Q: I own a Pace DVR-500 receiver. When I try to receive some channels I
am able to capture the signal but the channels never appear. An example
is the Telespazio group. I wrote the correct frequency, SR & FEC. The
screen turns black which means that the signal is captured but I get no
picture. I have some friends that have a NOKIA Mediamaster and they can
clearly watch this package.
Also when I input the frequency 12,654 H for the Arab channels I always
receive the message error no.65 saying that the channel is not available
for the moment.
A: I have in the SAT-MidEast reports and the ASK-ME Q&A mailing list
often written about this: The PACE DVR-500 and PANASAT 520 are not
capable of receiving SCPC (Single Channel Per Carrier) channels and most
of the MCPC (Multiple Channels Per Carrier) packages, due to a missing
code in the datastream. This code is available in the Showtime and
1stNet datastream from PAS-4, Arabsat 2A, and Nilesat 101.
All other datastreams are technically recognized (if their SR is above
15000) but blocked out due to the missing code. Now you know why the
Mediamaster & Co are still black listed in Egypt: restricted from
There is technically nothing what you can do, exept load new software,
which nobody unfortunately has ever written. I doubt if it will come.
Q: In your last update you mentioned something about the D+ (TELEPIU
OFFERS FREE IRDs). Is this offer useful in Egypt. I know that D+ is a
super beam group. Please explain noting that I bought my Pace DVR-500
from Italy and I have all the subscription papers and the smart card in
A: In Italy people have the same problem with these receivers, they are
imprinted for one package only. Now D+ likes to transmitt in another way
(for Italy only) so to satisfy it's customers, it has to take an
exchange action. The new receivers are not very usefull in Egypt
actually, while the receiver is a Seca/Mediaguard model, only useful if
you are in the possession of a Spanish Canal Satellite smartcard, and
like to watch CSD in digital from Astra 1G.
Q: The DiSEqC standard is very interesting. But I could not find much
info on the web. Can you recommend a company that sells Level-II DiSEqC
At the moment I'm not so sure anymore if the Mediamaster can cope with
Level II DiSEqC. I have however a load of technical info received on the
DiSEqC system in the English language, so anyone interested can mail me
and I will send it to him/her.
DiSEqC equipment is normally sold by any installer of SAT equipment, it
is not something very special, it belongs in the range of switches and
LNB's and they are around USD 30-50, depending on the amount of switches
in one unit.
Specify your system problems and wishes and write to firstname.lastname@example.org
They supply all over the world and have a website http://www.mascom.de
They are the official dealers of NOKIA in Germany, related to them is
http://www.satshop.com where you can find more info.
Otherwise go to http:/www.sat-city.com/ where you find plentyfull of
info material on the latest products available.
I recommend by the way to subscribe to the TELE-satellite International,
it is a German magazine but ALL articles and adverts are also in
English, even with references to the Middle Eastern Countries. It is
full of mosty interesting hardware tests, full of usefull addresses, the
complete SATCO-DX listings in print, and full of 4-colour hardware
pictures. It comes every two month to your home with airmail for USD 80
a year or USD 155 for two years. It is always between 200-280 pages, so
plenty to read and studie about. BTW. I don't get a penny for this
advert! Not even if you should subscribe...
Take a look on http://www.TELE-satellite/ you can even subscribe there,
using a credit card...
REQUIRED DISH SIZE
Q: I'm very grateful if you tell me were I can found a software in order
to calculate te size of a dish in an easy way according of a specific
A: There you really not need any software. You just look on a footprint
map of the satellite in question, check the EIRP (noted in dBW) for your
location, and compare the dishsize from a simple table, as found on:
After a short while you have these figures in your head, where you find
a human computer running the latest software available.
Btw. to be honest I do not have the slightest idea if such a programm
exists, and if, where to find it. I would try to find it in ShareWare
Q: How can I calculate the size of the dish if I want to receive signals
less than 35 dBW like 20 dBW or 15 dBW for example. Is there any
posibility to acumulate a few dishes of smaller size instead to install
one big dish.
In my experience acumulating a few yagi antenas in the same direction
improves the reception of weak signal in the range VHF/UHF
I don't now if by dishes is the same principle.
A: Theoretically yes, it's is done in the deep space technologie, where
several 15 meter dishes are computer controlled fixed on one target and
function as one big dish.
I have however no idea where to get details on this systems, and how the
formulas are to calculate the number of x-sized dishes to achieve the
same resulut as a single xx-sized dish.
I have read however something about this in older TELE-satellite issues,
and I believe that Christian Mass in Holland (Dr.Dish) knows how it
Sorry, I'm not technical enough to help you here.
The VAPS: VPIDs - APIDs - PCR PIDs - SIDs
Q: How useful is it of putting APIDS and VPIDS ?
Suppose I check for a channel just normally by putting freq, SR and FEC
will it be same as the ones that you put the above parameters ?
A: The result will be the same, exept that when you put the PIDs you
will loose the name of the channel, it get than a number.
It is however useful for channels who don't want to appear after a
search, but are reported to be receivable.
Q: There is also a third parameter to put after the above two and I do
not know what it stands for !
A: This is the PCR PID, a synchron PID, which is used to give a
parameter for the rate in which picture rates should be synchronized. It
is hardly used, and if you need to put a special figure here, it is
always specially mentioned.
I know only of a few channels who use it. It will be used more in the
future. If you don't have a figure, you always put the VPID number.
Q: Kindly give me the complete drill for tuning a channel by putting
A: In principal don't use them, only when told to do so in order to
receive a channel which is otherwise not receivable. The memory used to
store channels this way is almost double of that of a normal storage, so
the Mediamaster should be filled with less than 300 channels.
If you need to do it, just go the advanced search option, enter all
parameter as usual, and where the pids are mentioned enter the numbers
you have. Then you push OK, and the data is stored immediately as you
have entered it. There is no search, no checking, just storage. You see
the channel number of storage, just go there and see the results. If not
satisfactory, delete it. That's all.
More in Part II (ASK-ME 98.07.11) to follow.....
Henk C. Room / Cairo - Egypt
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