Filmnet on astra

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steeviebops

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Can anyone confirm if FilmNet on Astra transponder 11 used D2-MAC or PAL?

The reason why I ask is that I remember being able to pick up the encrypted video on the Philips satellite receiver we had at home for the analogue Sky service. It had no sound but I remember green lines in the scrambled video which would be Eurocrypt if I recall? So I’m curious if my receiver was able to at least partially decode MAC.
 
Adam792

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According to a European satellite listing from June 1993 from Newsgroups (archived via Google), it was at least planned to be D2-MAC on 10.921H -

Code:
 19.2x Ost / ASTRA 1A & 1B & 1C

|A|FREQ  |PO|PROGRAMM                     |VIDEONORM    |V|AUDIONORM |TONFREQ
|-|------|--|-----------------------------|-------------|-|----------|---------
|T|10.921|H |geplant: FilmNet The Movie Ch|D2-MAC ......|-|digital ..|TON1   HQ
 
Captain Jack

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Initially, FilmNet used sync suppression type scrambling but later converted to D2MAC/Eurocrypt. I remember it very well - one of the best channels that existed (for various reasons but I really liked their continuities/jingles).

It later moved to Thor 1W... from 1st April 1997 and I was unable to receive it. It was then moved to Thor 2 which I received for a short period until it was all converted to Canal+.

It probably looked something like this.

 
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steeviebops

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That's exactly how it looked. I remembered the green lines at the edges. It definitely wasn't the unstable mess that you'd normally see if you fed MAC into a PAL receiver. So it looks like my receiver was at least able to receive the video part of a D2-MAC signal? It was a Philips STU-3301 receiver from 1997 - I must see if my brother still has it but I assume not.
 
Captain Jack

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MAC is a format, like PAL (but better), while Eurocrypt (the cut and rotate green lines) is the encryption system.

The reason for the green lines is because the chrominance part was the only one cut (in this case), while luminance was left alone. When it was decrypted with the wrong cut points (I.e. without card using a default seed) the chroma part was incorrect overlaid over the luminance/visible area of the picture.
 
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steeviebops

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Yes, you're absolutely right. But what I was referring to is that my receiver could obviously assemble a MAC video signal because normally if you feed MAC video into a PAL receiver, you'll see the component parts of it and the picture would roll badly. It would have still needed an external decoder for Eurocrypt of course, and probably the audio too. I could never pick up the audio but I didn't know back then what I do now, so it may have been possible.
 
Captain Jack

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You should have been able to get the audio - it was not encrypted on FilmNet. I am not familiar with that receiver, though. Some older MAC decoders/receivers (notably converted BSB ones) either didn't handle Eurocrypt at all or only handled soft-encrypted versions that didn't require a card.
 
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steeviebops

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I found an answer to my question thanks to archive.org. Lyngsat only goes back to 1998 but Satcodx goes back to late 1996 (were they the same thing - I know Christian Lyngemark was involved in both?). For a couple of months around May 1997, FilmNet converted back to PAL before closing altogether in July. Bloomberg UK took its place. The time would add up as we would have bought the receiver around May or June.


The snapshot from January 1997 shows it as D2-MAC/Eurocrypt M but the one above from June 1997 shows PAL encrypted (but doesn't state the type). It definitely looked like Eurocrypt though.

It's really interesting to look back on these old charts. I always remembered transponder 56 having nothing in those days - I now know it was used for digital!
 
scopus

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In the latter days of Filmnet on transponder 11 they did encrypt the audio digitally, and only one company managed to produce and release a working digital sound decoder by reverse engingeering the decoder chip the name of which alludes me though..I got around that by using two receivers one using the the unencrypted audio on the the D2Mac transponer on I think transponder 23 and the second receiver for the picture off transponder 11 using the old PAL signal. As was said they shut down transponder 11 and hard encrypted on 23 using D2Mac before moving the Thor.
 
Captain Jack

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In 1997, up until April there were two FilmNets. One is Nordic broadcasting in D2MAC/Eurocrypt and the other is Central Europe broadcasting in PAL/Videocrypt2 on Astra 1D. There was never a FilmNet Nordic in Videocrypt, only in Satpac thing up until 1992.
 
solly

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i remember was sky one 1990 setember encrypted videocrypt
 
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sector_d

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What nice memories you guys bring back to me while reading this :)
I got my Marrafa 180cm Prime Focus in 1992 and witnessed so many of what you have been talking about....
For many reasons, I still miss the analogue transmissions. I have tapes and tapes of "The Landscape Channel", what a beautiful channel.

Sorry for the off-topic, couldn't resist.
I wonder if this hobby will provide good memories in 20 years from now...
 
4wd

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Dave5118

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In 1997, up until April there were two FilmNets. One is Nordic broadcasting in D2MAC/Eurocrypt and the other is Central Europe broadcasting in PAL/Videocrypt2 on Astra 1D. There was never a FilmNet Nordic in Videocrypt, only in Satpac thing up until 1992.
Yep, absolutely spot on. My memory is not the best, but seem to remember Multichoice bought Filmnet and expanded into the nordic region(later Greece and their native South Africa), but faced with stiff opposition, sold their European operations to Canal Plus, but continued in Greece for years later. Multichoice is still going strong it seems in SA, now known as DSTV. Their main sports channels being Supersport...... a name synonymous with the Greek sport channels in the early digital era.

Multichoice, sold the Scandi/Benelux versions of Filmnet to Canal Plus.... and if I'm mistaken, not heard anybody mention the cable feeds of C+ on 27.5w in the early days of digital, which were broadcast in the clear, albeit with no PMT info available, so no picture on satellite receivers without editing the channel info. Dr Overflow suddenly became very popular shortly after though :D

Also, getting back to Filmnet, anybody else use teletext page 777? Possibly the worlds first EPG? Probably not though.
 
Captain Jack

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That all sounds about right. I remember C+ on 27.5w though I didn't have a receiver to view them. Nordic versions were also broadcast in the clear on 1W after starting for a good few months.

Supersport was also broadcast on 1W, though I can't remember whether it was broadcast on the same transponder as FilmNet. Nice to see the familiar Supersport logo though still! Shame FilmNet didn't remain.
 
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orizatriznyak

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I found an answer to my question thanks to archive.org. Lyngsat only goes back to 1998 but Satcodx goes back to late 1996 (were they the same thing - I know Christian Lyngemark was involved in both?). For a couple of months around May 1997, FilmNet converted back to PAL before closing altogether in July. Bloomberg UK took its place. The time would add up as we would have bought the receiver around May or June.


The snapshot from January 1997 shows it as D2-MAC/Eurocrypt M but the one above from June 1997 shows PAL encrypted (but doesn't state the type). It definitely looked like Eurocrypt though.
I am late, but I exactly remember what you are talking about. That was the last day(s) of Filmnet Nordic on Astra TP11. It looked like a D2MAC/Eurocrypt signal downconverted to PAL. I didn't really understand what was going on, and how D2MAC decoders could lock to this PAL signal.
 
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