Current state of satellite hobby?

Lazarus

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@SimonE

You don't need to detail it's hidden qualities - just a "For Sale: GT Media Combo" with a bland description and a suggested starting price will suffice.

We would prefer you advertise it in the Classified Section rather than in other Threads.
 

Captain Jack

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I still have my 1.8m CM but it's been pretty static on either 5E or 1W. The T90 does get used though.

I am hoping to get more time to play next year as the kids get slightly older and off to pre-school :-disco
 

Satspot

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The real game changer with the hobby for me occurred with the switch from analogue to digital. The challenge to improve on a grainy low signal picture all but disappeared once digital arrived. Of course the narrow tight focus beams killed off any chance of tuning those hard to get out of footprint broadcasts previously gotten with a larger dish.

I’ve never gotten into the “C Band” world so I’d never experienced those channels that were broadcast on that band. Now with a simple FTA m3u playlist I’m receiving 7000+ channels of very high quality on a home made Android box including C Band broadcasts.

The whole P&P (piracy and mature content) world made some real nasty individuals very wealthy. Personally I’d never any interest in lining their pockets. It got so crazy back in the wafer card days they were actually charging their customers £5 per week for key changes. Of course along came the wafer card with an onboard key pad and the proliferation of the internet and the software emulator killed that business off and all for the best.

Other than the “pros” here who rely on the industry for a living satellite tv reception as a hobby has become very niche. Most of the satellite forums have become repetitive and contributions seem to be from the same small group of individuals across all forums. That’s one sure way of turning off any potential new contributors. Of course you then have the mods who ban anyone with an alternative viewpoint. Thankfully this forum is not one of them.

It may well be that in time this hobby will go the way of the dinosaurs but in the meantime there’s still enough out there to whet the hobbies appetite.
 

Fisty McB

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I still have my "Winter 2020" setup in my backyard going, and in all honesty I rarely watch much linear TV in the last few years. I do still see multi-satellite reception as a hobby/challenge to get stuck into, I was hoping 2021 would have been the year to finally get my gear fully set up but a mixture of physical and mental health problems that also included a long-ish stay in hospital (not COVID related) back in the late spring/early summer eventually put paid to many of these plans.

As it is, I have most of the physical equipment ready to install a few dish farm set up, but if it were just that then there wouldn't be too much to worry about, as the back garden (the location of previous and future setups) requires poles to be set in concrete & bolted to a wooden shed, underground ducting to be laid, new holes to be drilled into a paving slab to accommodate a new 60mm patio mount etc. not to mention indoor work laying new coax & cat6 network cable to rooms etc. trying to figure out the best way to route them with minimal disturbance.

If I can get the backyard dish farm complete, it will likely take the following form...

* Dish A1 - a new Wavefrontier T90 that's been sitting in the spare bedroom at present for over two years, intended to be centred on 16E to likely span 39E or 36E to 8W, some prior measurements needing to be taken with a standard offset dish to check 5W signal levels with Eutelsat 5WB now in place, if results are unsatisfactory then it might be better to centre the dish at 19E, taking the western limit to 3/4W instead and use the 3 degree eastern shift to help slightly with reception from 36E.
*Dish A2 - one of the current 80cm Emme Esse aluminium or 1.2m SAB perforated dishs for multi-lnb setup at the far eastern end of the arc here, likely to be focused on 46E (which should also pick up 45E on the same LNB at least on the 80cm dish). The big advantage of the 1.2m dish would be the bigger space between satellite positions for multi-lnb brackets, which would help slot in 42E and maybe also 39E, while at the other end an LNB at 52E should at least cover 51.5/52E, I don't know if 53E is still possible - I last visited this position several years ago and the eastern arc was blocked beyond this by trees a few hundred metres away - since then the Express sat here has changed with different footprints, and the trees might have grown enough to now block this position as well. If all goes well, at least 3 LNBs should be possible on this dish.
* Dish A3 - an 80cm Emme Esse red steel dish to cover satellites west of those received from the T90, provisional multi-lnb positioning is to be 14/15W, 22W (centre) and 30W.
* Dish A4 - the 80cm aluminium dish (assuming Dish A2 is the 1.2m one) might be brought into play to cover certain "gaps" in what the T90 can eventually cover, especially among the rather "tight" positions between 10E and 5W e.g. Saorsat LNB at 9E. Will only know more once actual experience with the T90 takes place.
* Dish S1 - intended to be a motorised setup using either a 1m Emme Esse aluminium dish or a 1m Gilbertini aluminium dish. Unlike the previous motorised setup, this setup is intended to be elevated a bit between 1.5m to 2.0m off the ground. This is structurally the most difficult install to do (hard to describe it without images/pictures) so getting all the fixed dishes in place at first would be ideal.

Hopefully then the setup should be a final setup for a good few years to come.

But that's enough about myself - I still think at a hobbyist level, satellite reception/DX-ing has plenty of life in it. Temporary surges in interest (usually related to piracy or at least some sort of grey-market access to certain channels/feeds) have come & gone but the base level of enthusiast activity remains there, and I reckon that satellite TV & radio broadcasting, free-to-air included, will still be going (if at a reduced level) in ten years time even if broadcasting as we know it in general is broadly in terminal decline.
 

Captain Jack

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It's not too late to get into C band and there is still loads of niche stuff to be found there. I know IPTV killed it all off but that's not what the hobby is about. I much prefer receiving a "live" broadcast rather than a streamed one - be it on iPlayer or a dodgy Android box.
 

Analoguesat

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For a few birds you dont even need a particularly big dish to experiment with C-band. I had some success with 20W a few years ago with a 1m dish and a grossly misaligned lnb :)
 

mike1

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Its still worth it for the music channels with a small motorised dish. As the sky uk music content is poor and just pixelated mpeg blocks.
FTA - The Voice 39e / Magic 39e / City 45e / Power 42e / Music Box 13e / Music Channel & U 1w.

I suppose its all what your into. Its sometimes interesting to watch the russian / east europe channels to see a different world.
 

gap30

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Well I purchased the 2.4m channel master that was on here the other week, currently sat in the garage, need a polar mount/king post for it have not even bothered to look for one yet (I know sat superstore does them but too expensive for me)

Plus I have a c band lnb I purchased from this forum a few years ago that has never seen the light of day

The interest is still there for me, my 1.5 gibby/TBS6903/Viark Sat 4k will have to do for now - I am getting a bit lazy as I approach the big 50
 

Fisty McB

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Other than the “pros” here who rely on the industry for a living satellite tv reception as a hobby has become very niche. Most of the satellite forums have become repetitive and contributions seem to be from the same small group of individuals across all forums. That’s one sure way of turning off any potential new contributors. Of course you then have the mods who ban anyone with an alternative viewpoint. Thankfully this forum is not one of them.

I think this is a problem with most if not almost all internet forums in general these days. Back when I was a teenager & into my early 20's in the late 90's and much of the 00's, if you wanted to communicate with like-minded people on a certain topic or interest then aside from chatrooms, internet forums were the place to go to (whom by that time had largely replaced newsgroup participation that had its peak in the 90's). Since this was an era where internet access was opening up to more people on a constant basis (especially among children & young adults), it was also a time when most people suddenly had a voice to be able to speak to an audience in a topic that they wouldn't have had the opportunity to have had before, even if they couldn't see or even hear the "audience" in question, with a level of intimacy that wasn't previously available in many cases. Certainly in earlier years there was a general assumption that if you were on the internet and you wanted to talk or get info on a technical topic that you had at least a basic level of IT competence so that you weren't a complete idiot, and that mods, admins and other general forum members welcomed you into their community as any other offline group would - many good, some bad. The good ones dealt with trolls effectively while trying to keep as open a door as possible for newbies to join up, which became important to helping develop a thriving virtual community.

As time has gone on however, a lot of forum participation has dropped off in many places for several reasons. One is the rise of social media which, for good and bad, has made personally joining interest groups within a confined sub-level of the internet (i.e. the social website bubble itself) easier and more instant to do than most forums - even if actually signing up to join a forum even back in the 90's wasn't exactly hard to do. This had led to fewer internet users joining up what forums remain meaning that rightly or wrongly, admins on some forums now regard many new signups to their forums as potentially being troll accounts until proven otherwise. This has made it more difficult for genuine new forum members to not be treated with suspicion by the mods & long time regular posters especially when new posters post something that makes them suspiciously look like a troll/gimmick account, but they actually aren't e.g. posting a rather naive message or something with an incorrect assumption. Secondly, and sadly somewhat related, ever since broadband internet became mass market that almost any household to use/afford (and later extended on to mobile phones), any high functioning idiot can now type something out to sPakE TehIr BraNes which has flooded some once respectable online communities with a tsunami of sh*te & banality, and the presumptions that once existed among online communities that I mentioned above where most contributors had a modicum of intelligence in them soon went out the window, many website/forum owners soon giving up and shutting down as they became tired with such crap. Most of this has now diverted towards social media but it still exists in the wider WWW. This in turn has led to many forums that have existed for some time with many members having been there for years (if not at least two decades by today) becoming a little "paranoid" about those that now enter their "space" - it explains how some forums have became "repetitive" with a small group of regular contributors making up most of the posts. The problem with this is that in ignoring & turning off new contributors effectively seals the forums' death warrant as nobody is there to replace those "elders" whom eventually leave or die off, it's not a case of "if" but "when". In the "offline" world this can be seen with some DXing & amateur radio clubs folding because of the dearth of younger people taking up these hobbies.

I think I've spouted enough :-toilet for now. :ph34r:
 

Fisty McB

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It's not too late to get into C band and there is still loads of niche stuff to be found there. I know IPTV killed it all off but that's not what the hobby is about. I much prefer receiving a "live" broadcast rather than a streamed one - be it on iPlayer or a dodgy Android box.
I think the big problem now is the intrusion of 5G NR mobile networks into the spectrum used for C-Band satellite broadcasting, presently extending up to 3800 MHz in the UK and who knows what more in the near future. I do wonder if 3.8-4.2 GHz satellite signals are also affected at present due to interference from terrestrial signals in the lower part of the C-Band (e.g. causing problems with amplifiers in LNBs)?
 

Analoguesat

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Thed other thing of course it that satellite tv tends to be an older persons hobby nowadays. many of us took the hobby up in our 20s & 30s. Some of us have been around the forums two decades or more, & we are getting older.

Life priorities change, illness or infirmity comes along and some of the older members drop off the radar. Fortunately we have a few younger members here, and I hope they will carry on the baton into the future.
 

Channel Hopper

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Well I purchased the 2.4m channel master that was on here the other week, currently sat in the garage, need a polar mount/king post for it have not even bothered to look for one yet (I know sat superstore does them but too expensive for me)

Have you considered just converting what you have to dual axis ?
 

gap30

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Had a quick go at it a while back had no joy, going to try and find a polar mount for the 2.4m hopefully in 2022
 

T_G

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Man, I started with satellite dishes in 2000 when I moved to Germany and could not stand the German TV with it's dubbing of movies, and also I needed to continue watching Football... So it started with a simple Amstrad Digibox, and moved on to a computer card with disecq and a Motek SG1200 motor, and first attempts playing with keys. My appetite was growing so I bought a a Dreambox 5620 and started playing with it, so much so that I wrote a user guide, the infamous "Idiot Guide" (which was looked at by users more than 330000 times!!). This was around 2004, and the following years was the most exiting time in the sat sene, there was keys and card sharing, I got the first HD receiver in 2008 (QBOX HD). In 2012 I had a proper thick walled stainless steel pole welded at work and fitted on the roof, so now the motor and 120 cm dish worked really well. I got my current receiver, a Gigablue quad Plus HD receiver in 2015, and I still got it. I played with it a little at the beginning, but the thing is, it worked so well and without problems, I did not have to do much anymore. A couple of months ago I got a new image from somewhere, but to be honest I could have kept the one I had on for the last 3 years... that thing is so good, it just works. The thing is that since streaming of football games over the internet became so easy, especially with fast internet, I don't use it to hunt for games anymore. And movies and series too. I still got the motor to switch between German and UK sats, but I tend to watch less and less TV now. Fast internet is killing satellite TV, and so are the streaming services such as Netflix, Prime etc. I can envisage that classic TV over Satellite will disappear , they will all switch to internet as all TV's will be connected anyway. ANd as was said before, Forums are slowly being replaced by Facebook, Whatsup or telegram groups where you might get instant replies but all is forgotten the next day and it is unusual for people to search for previous answers. So you tend to get the same questions over and over again. Times are changing...
 

manikm909

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for me, the internet has nothing to do with the hobby - im fortunate to have a basic virmin cable sub, along with various on demand apps like disney, netflix, and fite.tv of course etc.

satellite tv for me isnt about films and shows - its about a live sports feeds and weird and wonderful feeds - along with foreign (can i still say that) tv and how it differs from the bland and ever increasing UK politically motivated and biased content.

the hobby will pretty much die for me, when they are are no more outside broadcasting trucks doing the rounds across the world!
 

rodscha

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Access to foreign culture is the main interest of this hobby.
The TV channel "bundles" we get over the "boxes" that come with Internet subscriptions are very "country-formatted" ,whereas with your own dish,you may want to watch Albania or Tadjikistan,even if no-one else in your province does;
Of course,more countries now do "online-only",like Viet-Nam or Cambodia...just too bad!
 

Topper

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Access to foreign culture is the main interest of this hobby.
The TV channel "bundles" we get over the "boxes" that come with Internet subscriptions are very "country-formatted" ,whereas with your own dish,you may want to watch Albania or Tadjikistan,even if no-one else in your province does;
Of course,more countries now do "online-only",like Viet-Nam or Cambodia...just too bad!
You are quite correct it is far easier for a government to control web traffic than the endless number of possible transmission permutations via satellite, for many like Iran it used to be no internet and even now it is closely monitored and content filtered
 

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If you were in France you would have even more the impression that it is already over ...

The thing had already started badly with a satellite reserved for French channels in clear.
Then with canal + the supply of decoders restricted to the only channels of their package on ASTRA.
Very quickly the offers of receivers disappeared from department stores and specialized stores died at the end of the 90s.

In England, Germany, many European countries and the Magreb were lucky and surely a culture of openness on the subject, not in France.

There was also the problem of who knows and who does not share knowledge and who prefer to look down on others even here on the forum.

If you need the same equipment as @Feedsat, professional decoders impossible to find, antennas too large and at the end to receive a nice thing per week the game is over ...

Now some are starting to talk about the end of terrestrial television and also of satellite for the benefit of the internet in France ...

The mayor of my city kindly asked me to hide my antennas to avoid scaring people but I will surely receive police complaints according to him ...

After 10 years in Mauritius where the reception was very limited. I was hoping to be able to play a little more with my antennas and learn a lot of technical stuff that I miss on the antennas but I can see that it will be over soon ...
 

ozumo

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The mayor of my city kindly asked me to hide my antennas to avoid scaring people but I will surely receive police complaints according to him ...
If you aren't breaking any rules I would ask the mayor to reassure the complainers rather than threaten you. He must have too much time on his hands.
 

zorrin

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If you aren't breaking any rules I would ask the mayor to reassure the complainers rather than threaten you. He must have too much time on his hands.
No, He thought it was funny and contacted me.
he also informed the police that my situation was ok for him and to let it go if possible.
 
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