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Thread: Your Satellite Tv Hobby -When & how did it start?

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    V.I.P catseye's Avatar
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    Your Satellite Tv Hobby -When & how did it start?



    For me it started back in 1990

    A relation of mine had been installing Amstrad sat boxes (SRX200) & those lovely white dishes for a company called Star Trax (I think)

    Customers had them fitted on a free trial so overnight they appeared everywhere

    Then when the customers were advised that had to start paying -The company was inundated with requests to 'take it back'

    I was given a box & dish & thought it was amazing I could watch tv channels from space

    Remember at the time we only had 4 TV channels

    I soon got inquisitive as to what else there was out there

    When I began moving the dish slightly I was amazed to pick up the Super Channel
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    V.I.P JOE.MADDISON's Avatar
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    I started in early 80s with a 1.5 prime focus dish,witch had to be hand cranked the treaded handle had paint lines to give approx dish sat positions.receiver had a rotary tuning knob and a skew knob which turned a mechanical probe on the polorator from vertical to horizontal and all positions in between.sky cable was clear and on hot bird,afew other news feeds as well ,on 27w. then superchannel started ,then lifestyle,premier the.movie channel,some were on 27w,all were in the clear.

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    Super Moderator nml's Avatar
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    For me it all started in the early 90s with a churchill D2mac decoder for mainly TV 2000, moved on to a motorised dish and cam in about the late 90s opening almost everything. then various cards and cams. Satellite tv is hobby is for life but is changing every year, glad to have done it though.

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    V.I.P heyho's Avatar
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    It started sometime in the mid 80's when Sky launched before the days of subscription. Got a dish and receiver and proceeded, on a very very cold winters night, to set it up. Bad mistake to involve my dad though. I'm there up on an icy flat roof shouting can you see a signal and my old man has buggered off for a cup of tea. Got there in the end.

    Then for the next 30 years or so I had a Sky subscription until the bill went to nearly 120 and I though 'enoughs enough, exactly what do we watch on Sky'. So, after ringing Sky and receiving appalling customer service, I transferred the broadband to BT and now pay half.

    Fancied the challenge of a motorised dish though so got Santa to send my one. (And the rest is history and documented on here).

    I actually like reimaging my Vu+ box and tweaking it. Would I get another motorised dish, probably not. I'd hook it up to my existing Sky dish. But it's fun.

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    V.I.P traveller's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by catseye View Post

    For me it started back in 1990

    A relation of mine had been installing Amstrad sat boxes (SRX200) & those lovely white dishes for a company called Star Trax (I think)

    Customers had them fitted on a free trial so overnight they appeared everywhere

    Then when the customers were advised that had to start paying -The company was inundated with requests to 'take it back'

    I was given a box & dish & thought it was amazing I could watch tv channels from space

    Remember at the time we only had 4 TV channels

    I soon got inquisitive as to what else there was out there

    When I began moving the dish slightly I was amazed to pick up the Super Channel
    Snap thats almost how I started with sat receivers. It all really started back when I was 5 or 6 when for Christmas I got a crystal set. Unwound a transformer to use the copper wire for a 30yd aerial using Mums cloths post at the end of the garden. Often she would get me to tighten it as it would droop on her washing and put lines of blue on the washing. Listening to BBC Home and Light, with a Double length I could get some others.
    That was sixty years ago. How time flies.

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    I bought one of the first satellite receivers imported into the uk about 1980 it was called a Zeta and had a rotary tuner and skew for the lnb (probably the same one as JOE.MADDISON above) It came with a fairly large dish which I motorised using an old aerial rotator. I could scan the arc by tilting the mast back until I got the correct angle. Most channels were broadcast on 27 west and 13 east back then and no digital. I must have owned at least ten different receivers between now and then. One of my favourite was the nokia dbox which I think was the first digital receiver available, it was all a bit of a black art in those days. Its amazing how things have progressed and how much has changed since then.

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    V.I.P Detlef's Avatar
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    For me it started in 1990. A bachelor m8 who had more money than sense had an original sky setup SR100 with the external decoder.

    He was going off to Le Mans for the 24 hour and wanted me to keep feeding his VCR with tapes. As he lived in Cologne and I was in Bonn (about 30km away) I wasn't too keen. Next thing I know is he is bolting on the complete setup to my balcony. I kept it for the rest of his stay in France and was sad to see it go. The following Xmas he phoned to say he had bought an newer dish and receiver and was I interested in the old one. A mental picture of DM300 (about 100 then) flashed before my eyes. When he said DM50 I think I was in the car before the phone got to its cradle.

    For the 1992 Olympics, I found that manually moving the dish gave me 13E which is what the BBC were using to feed their coverage back to the UK studio.

    A year or so after that I bought a SR200 and a twin LNB so I could watch one and record another from the SR100.

    Then an SR400 followed by a SR600.

    Much later I had a WinTV Sat card in the PC with a season interface and programmer. It was great for testing keys prior to blowing a new goldwafercard.

    When digital got underway I put a SS1 Haupauge card in the PC and was most impressed. I then discovered Dudez and a constant stream of new keys - initially for Seca Mediaguard channels but later many other encryptions followed.

    The weird thing is I don't watch much TV (motor racing being my forte) but, I suppose, the challenge is I don't like locked doors.

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    Hi guys,
    Fun thread this. It must be about 15-18 years ago - cant track too far back, in the early days of dialing in codes d2mac. Simple satellite and basic reciever, I well remember rushing to the phone a couple of minutes before an important film or sports event to get the new code; type it in and just make it as it started!! LOL
    Since then echostar,Digiquest and technomate have all featured as receivers; dish has been upgraded to the present 1m auto satbox ljnked one, with twin lnb's. I stayed with the wired left/right control for years!!
    Present setup is a DB8000 and 7820 with a variety of cam usage. Much help and learning has also come from a member of this site, for which I am very grateful. I will shutup now. Every success to all. Cheers - Brian

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    For me, it was around 1993-1994, I wanted Sky but my parents kept saying no it was too expensive.

    A friend of mine bought a "complete sky kit" in a box, from Curry's (think it was a cambridge/BT receiver, which was a rebranded alba that wicks sold), anyway we got the kit back to his house, and his mum (we were only 13 or 14) refused to let him put an ugly dish on the wall of her house. So we looked around the garden for somewhere to ground mount it, but nowhere was suitable as a tree was in the way.

    So we overcame the problem, with a thick piece of wood, which we nailed into the tree, and then mounted the dish to the board in the tree (problem solved)

    The thing that amazed us, as we were sat in the tree, with a 12" portable tv, an extension lead and a satellite receiver was the various channels we found, before picking up Sky on 19.2e

    I think it was that, that got use hooked.

    Soon after I sold my Super Nintendo, and bought myself an 80cm Mesh dish, and 2 16 channel sat receivers, 1 was an Alba sat-300 and the other was a Bush (same receiver just a different badge on it).

    I fitted the dish, and then my journey began, I would constantly be moving the dish about by hand to see what channels I could find.

    Not long after my friend upgraded to a 1m Lenson heath and then he moved house, and was allowed to put a dish on the flat roof, so he sold me the 1m Lenson Heath dish, and got himself a 1.2m Channel Master and Jaeger 1224EL, D2Mac decoder and a Pace Mss1000 (needless to say, I was pretty jealous lol).

    I couldn't afford any of that, so I stuck with my 1m Lenson Heath dish, and moving it manually, I did get given a Thompson videocrypt decoder at some point, and a "white wafer" card which worked nicely for the ***** Channel and Eurotica on 13e.

    I upgraded to an Amstrad SRD510 at xmas in 1994, which opened up the possibility to view VH-1 germany which was broadcast in soft videocrypt2, the fun I had shorting out pins 8 and 24 of the scart connector of the decoder port, to view that channel

    I stopped messing with the sat stuff around 1998/99 and didn't get back into it, until around 2005, as I couldn't afford a digital box.

    In 2005 I managed to buy a Dreambox 7000 off a friend cheap as he was fedup with having to reboot it several times a day and putting keys in, but this bought back my interest in sat tv, and i've been hooked again since then.

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    Cool Dude
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    I got a maspro receiver and 60cm dish in 1989 in anticipation of sty and BSB launching the same year, sty turned up and was free for quite a while but Basket case Broadcasting turned up so late all the early adopters had already taken up sty.

    Within a month i had turned the 60cm dish around the Clarke belt and picked up loads of free channels, I sold the 60cm setup and bought an Echostar 4500 motorised reciever and 1.25cm dish and motor.

    The main free plum was ITV's clear feed of the 3pm 1st division footy match transmitted fta in the clear on 13E, my mates like to come round to watch these games most weeks.

    What a lot of chganges have happened in those 25 years !

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    V.I.P Detlef's Avatar
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    I forgot to add that in the dying days of ana1ogue I had a Pace MS1000 driving a 1.2m offset dish.

    First digibox was an Amstrad SD which even the GF could operate (I hate to say that it is well thought out and easy to use). I still have a modded Pace in my French ski pad which works OK with a Zone 2 dish but, yes, some weaker channels drop out in very heavy snow.

    I seem to have inherited a Zgemma 2S Star from a m8 who is non-techy and thinks it is too much hassle. That is used with a 4 way DiSEqC switch (28E, 19E, 13E and the steerable). Also just ventured into CS as the M8 had a min sub. Have also found some test C-lines but they freeze badly if footy is showing on the same provider; most need changing daily.

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    V.I.P catseye's Avatar
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    Fo me Ive had the following sat boxes over last 20+ years

    Amstrad SRX200 + videocrypt decoder
    Amstrad SRD400
    Pace MSS200
    Pace MSS508ip
    Pace D150
    Humax 5400z
    Visionnet
    Technomate 9100
    Cuberevo 9000HD
    Vu duo 1
    Vu duo 2
    Vu duo Zero

    Cant think of anymore at the minute
    Last edited by catseye; 08-11-2015 at 08:39 PM. Reason: Corrected post

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    Don't post many threads but this is a memory-jolter!!
    Started a Video/audio business '86 and was soon installing Sat for BSB (Squariels) was doing some motorised stuff ---kinda winging it--we were supplying Amstrad, Grundig, pace, ferguson etc. boxes with separate v/crypt decoders. and doing distribution systems--- eventually was installing SMATV on blocks--- remember recording from sat to multi- vhs and betamax setups--- Filmnet stuff for the local worthies-- late night ****-- all was new to uk-- also had a tie-in with company called Funke-- did sat and lnb stuff---- Amstrad and sky started to direct market and killed off independents very quickly--- still resent that as they used VERY sharp business practices and cost us a lot--- I moved onto other things but have always had Sat systems and NEVER paid sky a penny(****s!!)

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    I got into this some years back. I was on a business trip to Hong Kong and found a Saturday 3.0 epl (10.00 in the morning) game which made think whats going on here, no body is allowed to watch 3.0 kick offs are they?
    So following this discovery I started to look into it all, invested in the kit chucked my sly card in the bin and happy days.
    Started with a Diablo cam then progressed to a Linux based box currently investigating IPTV.
    But going back to to the old days of analogue (70s & 80s) I had the hobby of tuning into foreign TV via the E, F layers and trops. Now this was fun, you had to modify the old CRT TV to the continental standard have a motorized VHF aerial, various pre-amps to improve sensitivity of your converted telly but best of all you never knew just what was going to come in it was all down to conditions in the upper atmosphere. Mostly it was Europe east and west inc Russia but best of all when we were at a sun spot max cycle I did get China and Vietnam bloody awesome! Half the fun was identifying the test cards (remember those).
    Current hobby is fun but some how does not have the same impact on me as playing the airwaves and seeing what came in.
    Did any body else do this in an earlier life?
    Last edited by geoffh; 15-12-2015 at 04:29 PM.

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    I think it was the late 90's ! A Pace 800 i think and a chuchill d2mac decoder for TV1000 and a few other channels on 19e. I seem to remember we were forever paying 15 to have a green looking card updated. Twas a long time ago. Then a bit of a break and I got back into the Sat scene about 2000 ish ,then a Humax 2000 and matrix reloaded and Dragon cam. Was brilliant back then, before the dark times before the... I miss hunting out bits of information to get things working.

    P.S couldn’t resist trying to get a Star wars quote in.

  29. #16
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    this is actually my second spell in sat game...first was many yrs ago...i knew nothing
    was with a friend at one of his workmates house,he turned tv over...i could hear a wirring sound...it was his motor on dish moving...lol
    so he was showing my mate...im thinking thats cool...but whats it for...he told me to watch tv from other countrys...
    he said watch this...now i remember channel..tv1000...they had english films...
    and he said at 11pm every night...bonus...***** educational film...well that hooked me
    so this guy arranged for another guy put me a dish up...sold me a box..i know was pace..and gave me a green piece of board...said ok...
    now you need stuff to put on it...program it...went way over my head...so each time card needed doing...i paid him a fiver
    i already had a amstrad double decker recorder...copy tape to tape...so each night at 11pm...***** educational got recorded...
    and then tape sold up pub for 3 i could not keep up withj orders...lol
    after couple yrs..box packed up...guy who did my card thing...moved to cornwall...so that was me done untill about 8 yrs ago...

  30. #17
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    This lot brings back some memories. Like a lot of you mine started with sty in 1992 but within a few months I'd discovered d2mac, Pace with 80cm lenson heath initially soon to be replaced by 1m lenson and jaeger, the Pace being paired with a Pace positioner and after a couple of years upgraded to a Pace 508. Happy days setting up the motorised on a pole mounted behind the garage and annoying the hell out of my other half trying to peak the signal without a meter so relying on shouting up and down the garden. Not so happy memories reinstalling the lenson at the next house, I tried to be clever by leaving the dish on the motor so as not to mess up the settings, that's all well and good at ground level but when the top of your pole is above the roofline, and you need to hoik the lot 25' up a ladder and lift it above you onto the pole at which point the ladder starts to move....suffice to say I've never tried that again. More recently I've had Echostar, Darkbox, Azbox and currently Vu Ultimo.

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    V.I.P dog-man's Avatar
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    I started in 1986 with a Zeta receiver and a 90 cm fibreglass dish.
    No motor and only two satellites visible from the UK.
    If I wanted to view anything on the other sat, I had to go up a ladder and move it by hand.

    The receiver had an inbuilt decoder of sorts in that it partially descrambled the Premier film channel (I think that is what it was called).
    I say partially, because the picture was always a bit wobbly but always watchable.

    I purchased it on credit, but for some unknown reason, they never took any payments off me so I had it for free.
    I once had the dish struck by lightning and it blew the LNB polorator. I went to the shop where I purchased it and was given a replacement.

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    Super Moderator cosworth4x4's Avatar
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    almost 30 years back , but i remember premier , wasn't it fta or part of early sky package , someone with a better memory may help.

    i know it changed or went off fast after showing the better type of films,

    found this

    (Premiere was the original pioneer in broadcasting subscription premium movies via satellite. In 1986 it merged with rival film channel Mirrorvision, but kept the brand Premiere.

    To view Premiere via satellite you would have needed expensive equipment and a dish around 1.5metre in size. It's largest audience was via cable tv.

    The channel shut down in July 1989. Running up losses of around �10 million, could not survive with the high costs of new films and competition from the launch of Sky Movies.)
    Last edited by cosworth4x4; 24-12-2015 at 12:37 AM.

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    I was able to view Premiere with my 90 cm dish in SE UK.

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