Page 1

Rigger's Digest News for the TV & Satellite Industry

Summer 2001

Inside: SMATV installation guide New professional headend LNBs under review Latest product reports from Sky New handheld meters New range of GII products Triple feed solutions Industry show updates Technical Solutions

The future of MATV looks brighter! Low cost Fibre Optic cable is launched for MATV and IRS distribution! See page 6


No unnecessary engineer call-outs.

simple. flexible. secure. A SMATV Digibox Rack that makes installation easier.

System will automatically reboot and reset any or all digiboxes as required.

Fast to install, tamperproof in use. Fully integrated system in one secure lockable cabinet.

A name you can trust. Global Communications are world famous for quality and reliability.

Encryption updates very simple. Cards are easily changed or updated once front cover is unlocked.

Program changes very simple. Channel changes can be made to suit the customer or broadcasters requirements Quality assured at all times. Special control unit monitors video and audio output of each BSkyB digibox.

Easy to maintain. Up to 5 BSkyB digiboxes may be installed. BSkyB units are not modified in any way.

Support you can trust. Solutions Group will assist installers with advice, system design and product supply.

Expansion very simple. Units are pre-wired for all 5 BSkyB digiboxes, even if you only start with a few.

Included within each Rack: Built-in SMC (SMATV Master Controller) IF Multiswich Equaliser Combiner with variable pre-amp Cooling Fans Full mains distribution

Flexibility for any installation.* Integration with other services is possible such as CCTV, digital terrestrial tv, etc.

Available from your local trade supplier: Northampton [HQ] 01604 787888 Fax. 01604 787999 Dorset 01202 624441 Fax. 01202 632453 Berkshire 01344 621531 Fax. 01344 624526 Woolwich 0208 316 0123 Fax. 0208 316 0126

Wembley 0208 451 1777 Fax. 0208 451 1223 Hertfordshire 01992 789650 Fax. 01992 789651 Birmingham 0121 544 0220 Fax. 0121 544 0440 Nottingham 0115 982 6400 Fax. 0115 982 6020

Cheshire 01260 299658 Fax. 01260 299674 Sheffield 0114 2880111 Fax. 0114 2880333 Manchester 0161 746 8595 Fax. 0161 746 8596 East Yorkshire 01482 222295 Fax. 01482 222213

Leeds 0113 236 1111 Fax. 0113 236 1122 Tyne & Wear 0191 487 7676 Fax. 0191 487 6699 Glasgow 0141 849 7440 Fax. 0141 849 7445 Edinburgh 0131 448 2900 Fax. 0131 448 2626

*Subject to circumstances. Š 2000 Solutions Group (UK) Plc. Reproduction Prohibited. All offers subject to availability and may be changed without prior notice. All prices exclude VAT, CP&I, E&OE.


News for the TV & Satellite Industry

Although Summer is traditionally a quiet time for the TV and Satellite industry, this year appears to be an exception. With thousands of SMATV systems to be upgraded before Sky switches off its analogue transmissions at the end of June, a new wave of SMATV installers have emerged from the DTH generation. In this edition, we feature helpful technical tips and the latest products designed to make your SMATV installations run as smoothly as possible.

Contents

Rigger's Digest We take a closer look at some new, improved and well known products, as well as reveal revolutionary technology introduced to the industry to enhance your systems’ reliability and performance. We also give you an exclusive preview of some new and exciting products due for release on to the UK market later this year. Fay Bliss Editor

Product News 5x16 Multiswitch for IF distribution Advanced VSAT LNB SMATV Pro 4 launched for SMATV New handheld satellite meter Affordable Fibre Optic technology Top quality JS masthead amplifiers CAMS and packages Quality cable LNBs reviewed New Multiswitch from Global Improved TIM3 modulator Lockable headend cabinet Latest Switchline GII products PC card under review

4 4 5 5 6 8 9 12 15 15 16 17 18 21

In General Digital upgrades create huge demand for installers Triple feed know how SMATV installation guide Perfect connections Industry show news

3 9 10 14 22

Regulars 21 24

Riggers Digest Solutions Group (UK) Plc National Headquarters, 1 Hartburn Close, Crow Lane Industrial Park, Northampton NN3 9UE Tel: 01604 787888 Fax: 01604 787999 e-mail: marketing@solutionsgroup-plc.com www.solutionsgroup-plc.com Š 2001 Solutions Group (UK) Plc. Reproduction Prohibited. E&OE.

Summer 2001

Satellite news Technical Solutions

1


News

new staff Russell Brinskey has been appointed Depot Supervisor at Solutions Group, Tyne & Wear. Russell has over twelve years experience working in the TV a and Satellite trade, so his knowledge of the industry is extensive. “Although the Tyne & Wear trade counter only opened last year, we have become an established depot within the trade. We are conveniently located to offer retailers and installers from the region a wide product range along with technical expertise and assistance.” Garry Nelson joins Russell Brinskey as a Sales Engineer in Solutions Group’s Tyne & Wear depot. Garry, who joins the company from the Fire Brigade, is keen to get to know Solutions Group’s new and existing customers from the region. “I am looking forward to working alongside Russell and increasing my knowledge of the industry. Here in the northern part of the country, systems have problems which are unique to the area. We can offer the right solutions at the right price which is why riggers visit our trade counter time and time again.”

New Unaohm Handheld Meter Riggers Digest offers you a sneak preview of the latest handheld meter from leading test equipment specialist Unaohm. The compact meter is still undergoing

Spot

A small number of reports have been received from customers with Grundig STBs that are unable to launch the Playjam service.

A message n o r m a l l y appears on screen stating that the service is unavailable. This is a specific problem related to the Grundig STBs with version ID's 4E01, 02 and 03. This problem

some final tests but is due for release in the UK later this summer. Technical specification will be available from Solutions Group soon. has been identified as a software issue within the box and will be resolved in the next software download. It’s important to note that if a customer can not receive Low Band for any other reason, they will also not be able to launch Playjam as it is also broadcasts in the Low Band. Engineers should ensure the customer can receive other Low Band channels and is ONLY unable to launch Playjam b e f o r e diagnosis is complete.

Digital Ready Service Centre Efficient in-house repair facility for analogue and digital systems Highly trained repair engineers Out of warranty products also serviced Average repair cost of a Digital Satellite receiver is only £42! Contact Customer Services Tel: 01604 788212 e-mail: customer service@solutionsgroup-plc.com

solutionsgroup

(UK)Plc


Thousands of hotels have been successfully upgraded since Sky announced its plans to transfer all hotels from analogue to digital by the end of June . Sky Business, the division of BSkyB dedicated to providing satellite television to commercial organisations, launched this latest project at the beginning of March to help hotels make the move to digital television before BSkyB finally ends its analogue service this summer. In an unprecedented move, BSkyB gave all independent TV and satellite installers the opportunity to perform SMATV upgrades, including non Authorised Sky Agents (ASAs), in order to ensure hotels continueto provide their guests with Sky programming.

particularly for many installers who have not performed SMATV work before. “To assist these installers, we organised a o n e - d a y SMATV training course. Representatives from industry leaders such as Global, Pace, Webro and FR came along to discuss a wide range of topics, from technical issues, such as IF signal distribution, to more practical issues, such as installation of the equipment. “The main aim of the training day was to take a digital DTH installer on to be able to install a digital SMATV system. By showing installers what to look for, before, during and after the installation, we enabled them to complete digital satellite installations with confidence.”

A number of leading manufacturers have been working in conjunction with Solutions Group to enable installers to perform these installations with speed and simplicity.

One installer who attended the course said: “My work is predominantly DTH so the whole day was very interesting and informative. The speakers made the subjects understandable and I now feel confident with SMATV installations”.

Solutions Group’s Managing Director, Grant Lester, said: “It has been a huge task for all of us involved in this major transition,

If a hotel has registered with Sky Business, analogue services will still be available until the system is upgraded.

If you would like to know more about this project or if you are a Sky Business customer and would like help and advice with your SMATV installations, contact Solutions Group on 01604 787888. Low Band interference can be caused by point to point microwave l i n k s . T h e s e transmissions are used by companies, such as banks and high street stores, to relay data around the country. Operating in the frequency range between 10.7 & 11.7GHz they can effect the Low Band services. Spot

For the problem to occur, the dish needs to be in direct line of sight between the transmit and receive antennas but, as there tends to be a very narrow "corridor" between the two sites, the problem is quite rare. The solution is to resite the dish so that it is no longer within the interfering microwave signal, preferably somewhere that the house can act as screen to the interfering signal.

Upgrading A Hotel To Sky Digital? This Super Saver Pack Gives You Everything You Need For A Successful Installation

Contains:

3 Sky approved SMC & Global 5x6 switch 3 4 output SMATV LNB 3 100m Sky approved coax 3 200 Unifix cable clips 3 Equaliser/combiner 3 F connectors (not pictured)

For more information contact Solutions Group Headquarters Tel: 01604 787888 Fax: 01604 787999

ProductNews

Digital upgrades create huge installer demand


The latest product to be added to FR’s range of reliable IF distribution equipment is a 5x16 Multiswitch.

-2400MHz with a maximum output of 94dBµV, ensuring high quality digital and analogue transmissions.

This fully screened unit allows for the connection of up to 16 satellite receivers without the need for additional splitters, making multipoint installations considerably easier.

The unit’s isolation between the horizontal and vertical is >20dB with an insertion loss of 6 dB at IF and 0 +/- 2dB at UHF.

Suitable for dual and quattro LNB connection, the multiswitch is ideal for most multipoint applications, including domestic and more complex commercial systems.

At IF, it covers a frequency range of 950

This multiswitch is also available from FR

13V/22KHz

TERRESTRIAL INPUT 40-860MHZ

3

2

5

4

6

7

8

15

16

SAT/TV OUTPUTS 950-2300MHZ AND 40-860MHZ

230V A/C

with 4, 8 and 12 outputs. Please call your nearest Solutions Group depot for further details.

47 - 2400MHz

950 - 2400 MHz

18V/0KHz

1

SAT/TV OUTPUTS 950-2300MHZ AND 40-860MHZ

It also has a built in power supply with ventilation slots to enhance its reliability.

The unit also has a terrestrial input for the reception of digital and analogue TV, FM and DAB (band III) signals. At UHF, it has a maximum output of 90dBµV, covering the bandwidth of 47-862MHz.

18V/22KHz

ProductNews

Multiswitch simplifies IF Distribution

MULTISWITCH 5 IN 16 OUT Art. SV516A

cod. 289321 47 - 862 0 +/-2 94

Frequency range Attenuation Max. output level Isolation H / V Max. Supply current

(60/35 dB IMR3)

950 - 2400 MHz 6 dB 90 dBuV >20 dB 600 mA

220-230 Vac 50 Hz - 30 VA

13V/0KHz

ATTENZIONE! scollegare dalla rata prima di aprire

Spot

47 - 2400MHz

9

10

11

A compatibility problem has been identified with Panasonic STBs installed with Cambridge LNBs that results in the LNB sometimes not switching to Low Band.

The problem is related to production spreads of components and can also be affected by the length of IF cable between the two products.

Summer 2001 4

12

13

14

The advanced VSAT LNB The Invacom integrated VSAT LNB is the world’s first product to integrate OMT, TX reject filter and LNB in one compact unit. Technical engineers have redefined the standard wave guide filtering system currently used on VSAT installations. The performance achieved by the filtering and integration system have enabled 2dB system carrier to noise figure improvements and a true noise figure of 0.7dB at the C120 flange, including OMT and filter.

Both manufacturers are making changes to their products to resolve the problem. These will be implemented as a running change.

These remarkable gains have captured the attention of Satellite operators worldwide, who quickly identified the increased footprint the unit allows.

In the interim, should you experience this in the field, it is possible that changing the LNB for another of the same type will solve the problem because production spreads do vary. Alternatively, fitting a different LNB type will also provide a solution.

The benefits of integration are well known within the DBS LNB market and h a v e e n a b l e d p e r f o r m a n c e improvements, installation

simplification and cost reduction since the launch of the first unit. This market is set to grow Worldwide over the next 5 years as more people demand faster and cheaper means of transmitting and receiving data, and of course surfing the web. For more information call Solutions Group on 01604 787888.


ProductNews

SMATV Pro4 launched for digital satellite distribution The new SMATV Pro 4 has just been launched onto the UK market to enhance SMATV distribution networks. The professional 4 channel headend unit houses four modified BSkyB receivers in a modern, silver case. It is ideal for systems which need upgrading to digital and replaces up to four analogue satellite receivers. It works just like any other Sky digibox, using the same STB software and incorporating a front panel from which each receiver can be easily controlled. It has an Audio Watchdog, which monitors audio content to prevent long term lockup, as well as a Video Watchdog which monitors QPSK in order to prevent long term data lock up and provide an enhanced resetting facility.

Because the unit replaces up to four analogue receivers, it should not require any UHF retuning of the external modulators. The SMATV Pro 4 has a built in virtual dish switch with 4 inputs which provides simple connection to a 4 output LNB. A mains filter, which cleans the mains to prevent damaging spikes that may cause the picture to freeze and a cooling fan, for

long term reliability, are additional features of the unit. The unit has been designed to be conveniently mounted on any internal wall and can be supplied with an optional 19inch rack mounting kit. The flexibility of the rack mount means you can install as many units as you need without limitations. For more information contact your local Solutions Group depot.

Handheld Meter for digital satellite installations The new AD70 has been designed to meet the needs of digital satellite installers. The robust housing and user friendly functions make this TRUE BER meter the best in its class.

The SMATV Pro 4 wall mounted

As well as stereo audio outputs, it also offers video outputs for connection to external DSB or VSB modulators. The unit must be used with external modulators of which most are compatible.

Spot

A problem has been identified with a batch of Grundig Universal LNBs that sometimes fail to switch to Low Band services when the box drops the 22kHz tone.

All new Grundig LNBs have been screened and marked with a green spot to ensure the problem does not reoccur before being delivered to the field. If an LNB shows the fault, the solution is to exchange the unit.

The QPSK performance, with programmable 1 to 30 Mbaud range, is 'TRUE' Bit Error Ratio measurement. Unlike its competitors, where BER is calculated from Carrier to Noise, the AD70 is a fully functioning BER meter and will not give a 'good' reading when there isn't one. Today's installer will increasingly find that the requirement to measure and evaluate digital performance in a single household will extend to more than one satellite receiving device. The AD70 has been designed to allow testing at the outlet socket even after IF amplification and distribution through a multiswitch. The programmable LNB voltage supply with 22KHz tone switching and DiSEqC 1 make this versatile test instrument suitable as a dish alignment aid as well as for analogue and digital multi-satellite installations.

The additional facility of a variable symbol range from 1-30 Mbaud, with TRUE BER and SNR measurement means that the unit covers all the digital signal test parameters ensures to ensure accuracy . The meter is also available with a soft carry case or a hard security case. All specification is subject to change without prior notice. For more details, contact Solutions Group on 01604 787888.

Summer 2001

Grundig have now located the problem within the LNB and have eliminated it from new production.

Weighing only 600g, the AD70 has a large LCD panel with bold characters for all information read out, along with a single rotate-and-push operation control. This means the instrument can easily be used with a single hand.

5


ProductNews

ProductNews

Affordable Fibre Optic Cable maximises signal distribution Italian manufacturer FR has used Fibre Optic technology to develop a new range of equipment for digital and analogue MATV and IRS distribution systems. Fibre Optic technology is not new, but in the past, it has mainly been used for telecommunications and more recently data transmissions. Although its reliability and performance is unquestionable, cost has always been the main reason installers have avoided it. Now, FR has found a way to reduce the cost of the electronics so that in a side by side comparison, fibre optics clearly has many benefits over copper coaxial cable.

Fibre optic is “transparent” to the signal so that little or no attenuation is seen over several kilometres. It also has the added benefit of no slope across the frequency spectrum.

Each transmitter ideally needs an input of 92dBuV. Receivers and optical splitters are also available to complement the K series range.

Fibre optic cable is also made from inert glass, which means it's not sensitive to interference from other electrical sources. As a result, it can be run in the same duct as mains electricity and other services without disrupting the signal.

Each service is fed from a normal h e a d - e n d (preferably channelised) into an “RF to Optic” transmitter. It is then sent down the optical cable and re-converted back to RF with a receiver at the repeater site. Signal distribution continues in the short coaxial runs to each dwelling or outlet.

In areas of very high ambient signal levels, fibre optic cable does not suffer from signal “pickup” thus avoiding interference, impulse noise or pre-imaging.

Signal losses are less than 0.5dB per kilometre, plus the loss of any connector, so fibre optic is an ideal solution for a system incorporating remote aerials or amplifiers.

Due to the inert dielectric nature of the cable, the chances of corrosion are nonexistent, so maintenance is minimal. It also means the cable is resilient to sudden changes in humidity or temperature.

Although the cost of the “Electronic to Optical” transmitter and “Optical to

Signal distribution using fibre optic has virtually no limit of expansion. Installers can cover vast geographical areas without compromising performance.

For more details and a complete planning and 19” rack mounted Optical Transmitter application service, contact Electronic” receiver are higher than Solutions Group on 01604 788252. traditional amplifiers, a side by side cost Designs for distributing terrestrial digital comparison favours the optical solution. It and analogue as well as Satellite IF signals reduces the number of amplifiers needed, are available. lowers the cable installation cost and significantly reduces the hidden costs of Solutions Group (UK) Plc can also assist in the design of projects and arrange system repeater sites and security cabinets. commissioning where needed. The FR fibre optic range consists of K Series transmitter and receiver modules for Solutions Group will be running training courses for those installers wishing to find 40-860MHz and 100-2150MHz. out more about this new and exiting Each module is rated a +3dBm and can handle up to 40 digital or analogue channels. A combination of 19” rack mounted Optical Receiver these modules can easily build a five wire IRS driven by a development in MATV and IRS distribution technology. traditional head-end.

Because of these factors, trunk repeaters are no longer needed, and distribution of signal can be dictated by the installer not by the strength of the signal.

Fibre optic cable is considerably more compact than coax cable, which makes it easier to install and conceal, and f l e x i b l e enough to fit into conduits. Therefore, it’s ideal for historic or conservation buildings where the visual impact of modern technology is perhaps too obvious.

K Series Module

The two diagrams below demonstrate the advantages of using Fibre Optic cable over the more traditional Coax cable for the same housing estate.

Distribution system using Coax Cable requires: 1.8Km of coax trunk cable 7 line amplifiers - 14 distribution amplifiers 1.5 Km of coax distribution cable 33 connectors - 10 trunk splitters

19” rack mounted Optical Splitters - Combiner

The fibre optic range also includes 19” rack mounted versions. Two terrestrial transmitters, one with an output of 3dBm and one with an output of 8dBm, and two similar products capable of transmitting satellite IF are available in this version. Two way and four way splitters are incuded in this range as well. FR is also launching fibre optic cables, SC/APC connectors and tools to ensure installations are performed with ease.

COAX Distribution system using Fibre Optic Cable only requires: 1.8 Km of fibre optic trunk 1.45Km of coax distribution cable 8 distribution amplifiers

FIBRE OPTIC

Summer 2001

Summer 2001 6

The fibre optic modules from FR have been designed to compliment the K series channelised head-ends launched for DTT and IRS last year.

7


ProductNews

ProductNews

Affordable Fibre Optic Cable maximises signal distribution Italian manufacturer FR has used Fibre Optic technology to develop a new range of equipment for digital and analogue MATV and IRS distribution systems. Fibre Optic technology is not new, but in the past, it has mainly been used for telecommunications and more recently data transmissions. Although its reliability and performance is unquestionable, cost has always been the main reason installers have avoided it. Now, FR has found a way to reduce the cost of the electronics so that in a side by side comparison, fibre optics clearly has many benefits over copper coaxial cable.

Fibre optic is “transparent” to the signal so that little or no attenuation is seen over several kilometres. It also has the added benefit of no slope across the frequency spectrum.

Each transmitter ideally needs an input of 92dBuV. Receivers and optical splitters are also available to complement the K series range.

Fibre optic cable is also made from inert glass, which means it's not sensitive to interference from other electrical sources. As a result, it can be run in the same duct as mains electricity and other services without disrupting the signal.

Each service is fed from a normal h e a d - e n d (preferably channelised) into an “RF to Optic” transmitter. It is then sent down the optical cable and re-converted back to RF with a receiver at the repeater site. Signal distribution continues in the short coaxial runs to each dwelling or outlet.

In areas of very high ambient signal levels, fibre optic cable does not suffer from signal “pickup” thus avoiding interference, impulse noise or pre-imaging.

Signal losses are less than 0.5dB per kilometre, plus the loss of any connector, so fibre optic is an ideal solution for a system incorporating remote aerials or amplifiers.

Due to the inert dielectric nature of the cable, the chances of corrosion are nonexistent, so maintenance is minimal. It also means the cable is resilient to sudden changes in humidity or temperature.

Although the cost of the “Electronic to Optical” transmitter and “Optical to

Signal distribution using fibre optic has virtually no limit of expansion. Installers can cover vast geographical areas without compromising performance.

For more details and a complete planning and 19” rack mounted Optical Transmitter application service, contact Electronic” receiver are higher than Solutions Group on 01604 788252. traditional amplifiers, a side by side cost Designs for distributing terrestrial digital comparison favours the optical solution. It and analogue as well as Satellite IF signals reduces the number of amplifiers needed, are available. lowers the cable installation cost and significantly reduces the hidden costs of Solutions Group (UK) Plc can also assist in the design of projects and arrange system repeater sites and security cabinets. commissioning where needed. The FR fibre optic range consists of K Series transmitter and receiver modules for Solutions Group will be running training courses for those installers wishing to find 40-860MHz and 100-2150MHz. out more about this new and exiting Each module is rated a +3dBm and can handle up to 40 digital or analogue channels. A combination of 19” rack mounted Optical Receiver these modules can easily build a five wire IRS driven by a development in MATV and IRS distribution technology. traditional head-end.

Because of these factors, trunk repeaters are no longer needed, and distribution of signal can be dictated by the installer not by the strength of the signal.

Fibre optic cable is considerably more compact than coax cable, which makes it easier to install and conceal, and f l e x i b l e enough to fit into conduits. Therefore, it’s ideal for historic or conservation buildings where the visual impact of modern technology is perhaps too obvious.

K Series Module

The two diagrams below demonstrate the advantages of using Fibre Optic cable over the more traditional Coax cable for the same housing estate.

Distribution system using Coax Cable requires: 1.8Km of coax trunk cable 7 line amplifiers - 14 distribution amplifiers 1.5 Km of coax distribution cable 33 connectors - 10 trunk splitters

19” rack mounted Optical Splitters - Combiner

The fibre optic range also includes 19” rack mounted versions. Two terrestrial transmitters, one with an output of 3dBm and one with an output of 8dBm, and two similar products capable of transmitting satellite IF are available in this version. Two way and four way splitters are incuded in this range as well. FR is also launching fibre optic cables, SC/APC connectors and tools to ensure installations are performed with ease.

COAX Distribution system using Fibre Optic Cable only requires: 1.8 Km of fibre optic trunk 1.45Km of coax distribution cable 8 distribution amplifiers

FIBRE OPTIC

Summer 2001

Summer 2001 6

The fibre optic modules from FR have been designed to compliment the K series channelised head-ends launched for DTT and IRS last year.

7


ProductNews

Three ways to amplify your profits When TV signals are weak, we automatically look at masthead amplifiers to try and find a suitable solution. Most masthead amplifiers used in the trade today are poorly screened devices housed in a simple plastic case. With exposed cable connections and circuit board, the installer has unwittingly introduced the ideal place for additional noise and interference to enter the aerial system. This is especially true where digital signals are being used as they are much more susceptible to impulse noise. Now FR has launched a range of fully screened masthead amplifiers which have been designed with high output and low noise figures for improved performance and reliability . The range includes the JS1/Q which has a 12dB gain and covers 174-862MHz, the JS2/Q which also covers 174-862MHz but has a 22dB gain and the JS2/RU which has

a variable gain of 9 -24dB and covers 470862MHz. These high quality mastheads all have a very high maximum output of 112dBuV and low noise. 路 Each model has "F" connectors and is housed in a die-cast inner case to ensure rejection of unwanted interference. The outer housing is removable for easy cable access and the whole unit is fixed to masts of up to 2录" in diameter with a simple nylon cable tie. They also have ventilated cable entry to ensure their performance is not affected by condensation. The JS series has been constructed using the latest high quality SMD technology for extra stability and reliability and can be fixed to a wall or bulkhead depending on your installation requirements. For more information contact Solutions Group on 01604 787888.

Essential Accessories In order to stay ahead of the rest, every professional installer should have a supply of accessories to give consumers the opportunity to access the world of Sky Digital Television instantly. The range of accessories are compatible with all BSkyB digiboxes and includes the interactive Keypad from Open..., the functional remote control and the TV Link eyes from Global.

Distributed by Solutions Group (UK) Plc. Contact Tel: 01604 787888 Fax: 01604 787999


e llit knO te

W -HO

Triple feed extends channel choice

Sa

With the advent of digital satellite television, the demand for a greater channel choice is increasing as people want alternative programming to that offered by Sky. Here, we take a look at the option of adding extra satellites to a DTH system without the expense of installing motorised equipment. With the launch of new satellites by Astra and Eutelsat expected over the next few years, the use of triple feed systems to pick up transmissions from 28.5ยบeast to 13ยบ will become more common place. As we all know, a dish is capable of picking up signals from many different satellites. By positioning three LNBs on an 80cm dish and using an extra LNB bracket, a DTH system can be easily adapted to receive transmissions from three satellite, as long as the satellites are each 6ยบ apart (see fig 1). The reflected signals will be weaker than the primary feed, but will still maintain significant signal strength for reliable pictures as long as they are being transmitted from a high power satellite, such as Hotbird at 13ยบeast, onto an appropriately sized dish. In order to control LNBโ€™s, a DiSEqC switch is required along with a compatible receiver with DiSEqC software version 1.0, such as the Humax Fox Receiver. Once the triple feed system is installed along with a DiSEqC switch, switching between the satellites will be automatic so your customer will not need to enter the installation menus again.

range should be used in the installation, so that it can handle MCPC (Multiple Channel per Carrier) and SCPC (Single Channel per Carrier).

fig.1

Existing dish

Astra 1 at 19.2 ยบ east, Astra 2 at 28.2ยบ east and Hotbird at 13 ยบ east are the most popular satellites which transmit a variety of free-to-air television and radio channels covering the majority of European languages as well as a selection of channels from around the world. To maximise the systemโ€™s potential, digital receivers with a common interface should ideally be used so that customers have the option of watching free-to-air channels or subscribing to encrypted services.

SatelliteKnowHow

W

DiSEqC Switch Digital Satellite Receiver

fig. 2 Existing dish

Encrypted services can be received via the use of CAMS (Conditional Access Modules) and suitable cards with the digital receiver (see below). The reception of Sky digital can also be included in a triple feed system, but only if a Sky digibox is installed and provided with its own feed from the Astra satellite at 28.2ยบeast (see fig 2).

DiSEqC Switch

For advice on multi feed installations, contact the Technical Team at Solutions Group on 01604 787888 or at: technical@solutionsgroup.com

Sky Digibox Digital Satellite Receiver

A digital receiver with a wide symbol rate

CAMS and Packages When free-to-air channels do not provide adequate programming, there are a range of CAMS on the market offering a variety of services to consumers wanting specialised programmes. Some of the most popular

CAMS include Viaccess, SECA, Irdeto and Cryptoworks which, when used in conjunction with an appropriate card and receiver, provide a whole host of programme packages. Please also remember that it is a

legal requirement that a subscription is paid to a service provider before viewing cards are used. Here, we take a look at the encrypted services broadcasting over Europe, the satellites they are transmitting from and the CAMS required to view each package.

Satellite

CAM

Package

Satellite

CAM

D+ (Italian)

Hotbird 13ยบ east

SECA

Digiturk (Turkish)

Eutelsat W3 7ยบ east

Cryptoworks

TPS (French)

Hotbird 13ยบ east

Viaccess

Viasat (Nordic)

Sirus 2/3 5ยบ east

Viaccess

AB-SAT (French)

Hotbird 13ยบ east

Viaccess/ SECA

Showtime (Arabic)

NILESAT 7ยบ west

Irdeto

Canal (French)

Astra 19.2ยบ east

SECA

ART (Arabic)

NILESAT 7ยบ east

Irdeto

Premiere (German)

Astra 19.2ยบ east

Irdeto

Arabesque (Arabic)

Hotbird 13ยบ east

Viaccess

Canal (Spanish)

Astra 19.2ยบ east

SECA

Cyfra Plus (Polish)

Hotbird 13ยบ east

SECA

Canall (Dutch)

Astra 19.2ยบ east

SECA

Nova (Greek)

Hotbird 13ยบ east

Irdeto

Czechlink (Czech)

Eurobird 28.5ยบ east

Cryptoworks

NTV (Russia)

Hotbird 13ยบ east

Viaccess

Summer 2001

Package

9


! Before you go on site

The demand for digital SMATV systems has never been greater, but for those Digital DTH installers out there, installing a Digital SMATV system may be a whole new ball game. Here, we give you a step by step guide to installing the integrated SMATV rack from Global which is designed to enable you to perform digital upgrades with speed and simplicity.

1 Remove the front door and disconnect the earth strap. Then remove the side panels.

2 Remove the top cover allowing access to the racks integrated functions.

3 Remove the front panel allowing access to the inside of the cabinet.

4 Use the template provided with the rack to mark its position on the wall. Secure the rack to the wall and identify the cables which are numbered 1 to 5 for the relevant digibox.

- Check who owns the existing system. If it’s rented you can’t touch it. - Check who maintains the system. If there is a maintenance contract in place you must have permission to adapt it. - Establish who will be maintaining the system after you have fitted it. Maintenance contracts can be profitable if you install the system well in the first place.

ProductNews

ProductNews

The Digital SMATV Installation Guide

Do’s and Don’ts of digital SMATV!

5 Connect each of the receivers to the cables in the normal way.

! Before you start - Make your quote as clear and as detailed as possible. - Make it clear in writing that the broadcaster, not the installer, is responsible for programming. - Make sure your customer understands the warranty terms.

! Before you start the installation

6 Once the digiboxes have been installed between the dividers, replace the front cover ensuring the separators slide between them.

7 Connect the IF feeds and UHF output.

8 Now the system is ready for commissioning and the SMC can be setup. Await card authorisation before proceeding.

9 The digiboxes can now be set up. Press the Sky button on the remote control to access the main menu. DirToRx controls one or all of the digiboxes just like it’s controlled by a TV remote eye. SetChan# enables the individual setting of default channels that will appear on start-up. Restart restarts the digiboxes. more[1] provides more options explained later. Use the arow keys and “select”on the remote to choose your options.

10 DirToRx Use the arrow key to select to control one or all of the digiboxes. If “All” is selected then the same commands will be given to every digibox. Press “select” to save the changes. Press “backup” to return to the main menu.

Don’t assume the system is O.K. - Carry out a simple quality check, accompanied by the manager or owner if possible. - Go to the nearest and the farthest TV from the headend - Check all TV channels for patterning, ghosting etc.

! Safety and Reliability - Be aware that the regulations regarding isolated outlet plates and earth bonding have changed in recent years. - Watch out for lightening conductors and safety earthing points and earthing rods. - You are responsible for making sure the system is compliant. If you think it is unsafe, you must inform the owner. - Check with your local library or a trade association, such as the CAI, for the latest installation standards.

! Performing the installation 12

13

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SetChan# Use the arow keys to select a receiver. Use the arrow keys to select a channel number and press “select” to save. Changes will not be initiated until the digibox has been restarted. Press “backup” to return to the main menu and then Restart to reset the digiboxes.

more[1] provides more options. These include Delays which allows you to change the time it takes to each function to initiate, Backlite which controls the backlite, and Set PIN which allows you to select the required PIN. Factory setting is 0000 and if you forget your chosen PIN, contact Global Communications on 01621 745620.

more[2] leads you to TestUnt which allows the digiboxes to be tested for video and audio input. If the number of the receiver does not appear then there is a problem with that connection. Advanced is for future requirements, ©2000 returns to the start-up screen and main[0] returns to the main menu.

Once the digiboxes have been configured, the outputs should now be equalised.

In order to level the output of the channels, a spectrum analyser should be used to ensure accuracy and efficiency.

- Make sure your customer understands how long the TV system will be off for. - You need to determine what access you require to the outlets and TVs and for how long. - Make arrangements to close off the area where you are working, if possible, and ensure you clean up after you.

! Completion of the installation - When you have completed the installation, make sure a person of authority signs a satisfaction note. - Agree with you customer what you both consider to be a realistic measure of a working system. - Record the output levels from the wall plates, then print them out, keeping a copy for yourself and a copy for your customer. - If possible, arrange to take over the maintenance contract.

Summer 2001

Summer 2001 10

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! Before you go on site

The demand for digital SMATV systems has never been greater, but for those Digital DTH installers out there, installing a Digital SMATV system may be a whole new ball game. Here, we give you a step by step guide to installing the integrated SMATV rack from Global which is designed to enable you to perform digital upgrades with speed and simplicity.

1 Remove the front door and disconnect the earth strap. Then remove the side panels.

2 Remove the top cover allowing access to the racks integrated functions.

3 Remove the front panel allowing access to the inside of the cabinet.

4 Use the template provided with the rack to mark its position on the wall. Secure the rack to the wall and identify the cables which are numbered 1 to 5 for the relevant digibox.

- Check who owns the existing system. If it’s rented you can’t touch it. - Check who maintains the system. If there is a maintenance contract in place you must have permission to adapt it. - Establish who will be maintaining the system after you have fitted it. Maintenance contracts can be profitable if you install the system well in the first place.

ProductNews

ProductNews

The Digital SMATV Installation Guide

Do’s and Don’ts of digital SMATV!

5 Connect each of the receivers to the cables in the normal way.

! Before you start - Make your quote as clear and as detailed as possible. - Make it clear in writing that the broadcaster, not the installer, is responsible for programming. - Make sure your customer understands the warranty terms.

! Before you start the installation

6 Once the digiboxes have been installed between the dividers, replace the front cover ensuring the separators slide between them.

7 Connect the IF feeds and UHF output.

8 Now the system is ready for commissioning and the SMC can be setup. Await card authorisation before proceeding.

9 The digiboxes can now be set up. Press the Sky button on the remote control to access the main menu. DirToRx controls one or all of the digiboxes just like it’s controlled by a TV remote eye. SetChan# enables the individual setting of default channels that will appear on start-up. Restart restarts the digiboxes. more[1] provides more options explained later. Use the arow keys and “select”on the remote to choose your options.

10 DirToRx Use the arrow key to select to control one or all of the digiboxes. If “All” is selected then the same commands will be given to every digibox. Press “select” to save the changes. Press “backup” to return to the main menu.

Don’t assume the system is O.K. - Carry out a simple quality check, accompanied by the manager or owner if possible. - Go to the nearest and the farthest TV from the headend - Check all TV channels for patterning, ghosting etc.

! Safety and Reliability - Be aware that the regulations regarding isolated outlet plates and earth bonding have changed in recent years. - Watch out for lightening conductors and safety earthing points and earthing rods. - You are responsible for making sure the system is compliant. If you think it is unsafe, you must inform the owner. - Check with your local library or a trade association, such as the CAI, for the latest installation standards.

! Performing the installation 12

13

14

15

SetChan# Use the arow keys to select a receiver. Use the arrow keys to select a channel number and press “select” to save. Changes will not be initiated until the digibox has been restarted. Press “backup” to return to the main menu and then Restart to reset the digiboxes.

more[1] provides more options. These include Delays which allows you to change the time it takes to each function to initiate, Backlite which controls the backlite, and Set PIN which allows you to select the required PIN. Factory setting is 0000 and if you forget your chosen PIN, contact Global Communications on 01621 745620.

more[2] leads you to TestUnt which allows the digiboxes to be tested for video and audio input. If the number of the receiver does not appear then there is a problem with that connection. Advanced is for future requirements, ©2000 returns to the start-up screen and main[0] returns to the main menu.

Once the digiboxes have been configured, the outputs should now be equalised.

In order to level the output of the channels, a spectrum analyser should be used to ensure accuracy and efficiency.

- Make sure your customer understands how long the TV system will be off for. - You need to determine what access you require to the outlets and TVs and for how long. - Make arrangements to close off the area where you are working, if possible, and ensure you clean up after you.

! Completion of the installation - When you have completed the installation, make sure a person of authority signs a satisfaction note. - Agree with you customer what you both consider to be a realistic measure of a working system. - Record the output levels from the wall plates, then print them out, keeping a copy for yourself and a copy for your customer. - If possible, arrange to take over the maintenance contract.

Summer 2001

Summer 2001 10

11

11


ProductNews

Quality cable gives optimum results Cable is a vital link in every television distribution system. Installers must be assured that the cable they are using will be as good in the years to come as it is today which is why Webro, a leading force in cable production, never compromise on quality. Andy Watts from Webro takes a closer look at the products on offer. Webro manufacture state of the art "physical foam" cable that is benchmarked right across the range. If you are installing large television distribution systems for locations such as Hotels or Conference centres then Webro have the complete range of cables required for most systems. Many considerations need to be taken into account when choosing the right cable for a system. Specific products should be used in particular situations and they must always meet any local authority or architectural requirements. For internal installations local authorities and Architects are becoming more aware of LSF (Low Smoke & Fume) and LSNH (Low Smoke No Halogen) and are specifying these types of cables more and more. LSNH is a very high level of sheathing compound and is generally used where there maybe a large amount of people in one place at the same time. This type of sheath gives off little smoke and non toxic fumes and is able to withstand fire for /////////// longer than PVC or PE. It is generally used in shopping centres, airports, underground and train stations and hospitals

Summer 2001 12

It’s extremely robust and gives the cable a firm feel. Digital ready Physical Foam cables are ideal for use underground as they are longitudinally watertight and are less susceptible to crushing or kinking because of the solid foam dielectric. They have a stable attenuation of up to 3GHz and their flexibility means they are easier to install. Physical Foam Dialectric cable is manufactured using the most advanced production techniques available today. During the extrusion process, Polythylene is injected with inert Nitrogen gas. This results in a physically foamed dielectric that meets the most stringent international quality standards. This physically foamed dielectric ensures

that the cable’s reliability and high performance is guaranteed for many years. Webro Physical foam cable has a twentyfive year written warranty. Another important advantage of the "physical foam" cable is that the outside diameter stays the same regardless of sheathing material. Therefore one type of crimp "F" connector can be used on each size of cable, even the underground "UG" version. This is due to the dielectric giving more support to the cable and not requiring a thicker HDPE or "UG" sheath to give that support. The WF range covers all possibilities from the large trunk cables WF340 and WF233 to the distribution cables WF165 and WF125 (available in four and five core versions) then drop cables WF100 or if preferred, market leader H109F, semi air spaced.

PVC (Poly Vinyl Chloride) can be used both internally and externally, as this sheathing compound is the standard covering on drop cables WF100 and H 1 0 9 F . P E (Polyethylene) is the standard sheathing compound on WF125 and WF165. This type of sheath should not be used internally. HDPE (High Density Polyethylene) gives greater protection to the cable and therefore can be used underground.

The following graphs show a damp heat test defined in the IEC-standard 68-2 part 3. The attenuation of cables with chemically foamed dielectric increases by more than 80% at higher frequencies; the physically foamed cables comply completely with the specification.


Big benefits over previous models include:

UNAOHM

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NOW WITH COFDM & QPSK AT NO EXTRA COST!

Frequency Range covering 45-2150MHz, suitable for digital and analogue signals including satellite, radio and television displays information on a high-contrast 4.5" CRT display Strong digital channel power measurement Measurement of BER, COFDM and QPSK DisEqC 1.1 control Can store frequency, polarity, 22KHz tone, audio sub-carriers and TV standard 150mA power supply for mastheads and LNBs Supplied with a 6.5Ah rechargeable battery

Would you be interested in learning more about Unaohm test equipment? If the answer is yes, simply tick the box below and return this coupon to your nearest depot. I would be interested in attending a course about Unaohm meters NB This is not a registration form and will only be used to estimate level of interest in the course.

for more information, contact your local trade distributor: Northampton [HQ] Wembley 0208 451 1777 01604 787888

Birmingham 0121 544 0220

Cheshire 01260 299658

Edinburgh 0131 448 2900

Glasgow 0141 849 7440

Dorset 01202 624441

0191 487 7676

Tyne & Wear

Fax. 01604 787999

Fax. 0208 451 1223

Fax. 0121 544 0440

Fax. 01260 299674

Fax. 0131 448 2626

Fax. 0141 849 7445

Fax. 01202 632 453

Fax. 0191 487 6699

Manchester 0161 746 8595

Woolwich 0208 316 0123

Nottingham 0115 982 6400

Leeds 0113 236 1111

Hertfordshire 01992 789650

Berkshire 01344 621531

Sheffield 0114 288 0111

Fax. 0161 746 8596

Fax. 0208 316 0126

Fax. 0115 982 6020

Fax. 0113 236 1122

East Yorkshire 01482 222295

Fax. 01992 789651

Fax. 01344 624526

Fax. 01482 222213

Fax. 0114 288 0333

NEW!

Š 2001 Solutions Group (UK) Plc. Reproduction Prohibited. All prices exclude VAT, CP&I, E&OE.

www.unaohm.com

solutionsgroup

(UK)Plc


ProductNews

Spot

As many installers are aware, there have been some minor issues in the field regarding access to channels in the Low Band that initially proved difficult to pin down.

In conjunction with installers and manufacturers, Sky's development teams have been involved in a short investigation into Integrated Reception Systems and the circumstances that will result in a customer having a low band reception problem. An IRS is a communal aerial distribution system adapted to pass satellite signals. Whilst there are hundreds of newer systems that carry both High and Low Band digital services from 28.2° east, many were installed before low band digital broadcasts commenced from the ASTRA satellites at 28.2°. These networks were either two-cable backbone systems that carried only analogue Low Band from 19.2° east, or four-cable systems which carried Low Band analogue from 19.2° on two of the cables and High Band digital from 28.2° east on the other two. Although some of the two-cable networks have since been adapted by dropping the analogue services, and carrying the High Band digital from 28.2° instead, none of these older systems carry digital Low Band services. Any customer connected to an old twocable system, or four-cable with analogue in the Low Band, will not be able to receive any Low Band digital services. Only fourcable IRS systems carrying both the High and Low Bands from 28.2° east can deliver the full digital package. Engineers may be called to an individual home in a multiple dwelling that has an IRS distribution network. This can often be identified by the presence of a wall mounted outlet plate with three co-axial connectors, one of which is an F type connection. Some older systems were installed as stand-alone satellite distribution networks and have outlet plates that contain just a single F type connector. Where a customer cannot view the Low Band channels, it may be that the IRS is at fault because it is not carrying the Low Band services.

Summer 2001 14

Where an engineer does not have the experience or the test equipment to check an IRS it may be worth asking the customer if any of their neighbours have Sky Digital and enquiring if they have the same problems. This may indicate that there is no Low Band on the distribution system. The customer should be advised to contact their building management to adapt or repair the system.

Get the right connection Well over half of all system problems are caused by bad connectorisation. Poor connection between connector and outer conductor, the use of a wrong or no crimp tool or the installation of a connector with insufficient holding power are all factors which can contribute towards a system’s failure. Andy Watts from Webro takes you through the seven golden rules of perfect connectorisation!

1

Cut the cable end squarely. Use a strip tool that prepares the cable to the right dimensions for the connector that you are using. Once stripped it should look similar to this with the braid still in tact.

2

Fold the braid back. This gives better contact onto the outer-conductor and helps with the holding power of the connector.

3

Smooth the foil. It is important to make sure that the foil is in place right through to the equipment that it is being attached to. A tip for a smooth foil is to reverse the connector and twist and push over the foil to flatten down. This ensures a good connection with the outer conductor when crimped.

4

The inner post or mandrel should slide over the top of the foil. This ensures the characteristics of the cable are maintained right through to the equipment.

5

Insert the connector onto the cable until the dielectric is level with or just below the chamfered edge of the inner face as shown. It should not protrude past this face as the connection will not be metal inside the F nut if it does.

6

Use the correct crimp tool. It sounds incredibly obvious but you would be amazed at the different tools used for this job. Using the correct tool ensured maximum holding power. When crimping use one smooth action until the jaws butt together.

7

Pull Test. Once crimped a connector should not pull off the cable. If it does, then either the wrong connector has been used or it is badly fitted. A good quality connector should tear the sheath off the cable and still have the remains inside the crimp part.

Webro produce a wide range of connectors which are ‘made to measure’ and produced to match each size of cable perfectly, ensuring the best possible insertion loss, holding power, shielding and return loss can be achieved. For more information contact Solutions Group on 01604 787888.


With many commercial satellite systems being upgraded from analogue to digital, professional installers need to think long and hard about the equipment they are installing to assure years of trouble fee performance. For all installations you need to be sure that you are getting the best possible quality of signal from the dish. This is particularly important before the signal enters a distribution system. The SMW Quattro Digital LNB is a professional four output LNB that allows reception of high and low band, vertical and horizontal transmissions simultaneously. The unit is available with a choice of Local

Oscillator frequencies either 10.0 & 10.75GHz (B Version) or 9.75 & 10.6GHz (E Version) making the E version an ideal choice for Astra digital upgrades.

Here, we take a closer look at three popular universal LNBs, the ALPS BSTE8-601A, the Philips SX1019 and the Strong SRTL L915, to see what you actually get for your money.

Available with LO stability options as low as 1MHz, the unit has an isolation of 31.5dB minimum with a very low phase noise.

The BSTE8-601A from ALPS is housed in a new, futuristic style case and has been designed with digital reception in mind.

They are also available with F or N connector versions.

It has a low noise figure of 0.7dB and a conversion g a i n o f 55dB(typ.), with a p o w e r consumption of 115mA. As with all universal LNBs it has a local osscilator of 9,75GHz and 10,6GHz to allow for low band reception of 10,7-11,7GHz(9501950MHz) and11,7-12,75GHz(1102150MHz).

The unit comprises of two professional WDL Digital LNBs and an OMT, all individually tested and adjusted and protected under a plastic weatherproof housing. For full specification sheet and pricing please contact Solutions Group on 01604 788209.

New 5x6 Multiswitch for SMATV The new 5x6M multiswitch has been launched as part of the "SWITCH2000" range from Global Communications and continues to demonstrate its commitment to high quality, value for money products.

Again, the through loss is kept to a minimum of -4 to -7dB and the isolation between the satellite input and the terrestrial input is >30dB.

The switch has four inputs for a Quattro LNB, horizontal high and low and vertical high and low, with a frequency range of 950 - 2250MHz.

The Maximum input level for terrestrial is 90dBmV making it suitable for use when terrestrial signals need to be delivered over long distances.

The 5x6 is an active switch so through loss at IF is kept to a minimum, only losing -2 to 5dB. It has an isolation between satellite inputs of 35dB, ensuring that cross polarization is not a concern, and 30dB isolation on the outputs.

The 5x6M has its own power supply with vents to allow for heat to escape and air to circulate ensuring lasting durability. The switch itself is also short circuit protected.

The terrestrial input has a frequency range of 40 -860MHz allowing for FM, DAB and

LNB Reviews

UHF analogue and digital to pass through.

It is recommended that any unused outputs are fitted with a terminator to minimise the possibility of interference entering the system through these unused ports.

ProductNews

Quattro LNB increases signal quality

Weighing 130g, its strong, sturdy case provides a water tight seal around the LNB. It also has a standard 40mm feedhorn. The Philips SX1019 has a unique design, which distinguishes from the rest. It has a noise figure of 0.7dB and a conversion gain of 55dB(typ.), with a power consumption of 90mA. This means it places less stress on the PSU of the receiver. The LNB has the same local oscillators as any other universal LNB which is 9,75GHz and 10.6GHz covering 950MHz 2150MHz. The LNB is secured in a strong case making it water tight. It has been tested for water protection according to IP68 (total submersion). Weighing 195g, the Philips LNB is fitted with a 75ohm F type output connector and has a standard 40mm feedhorn.

The casing of the LNB is a light grey colour with a yellow LNB cap. It has a weather proof O-ring and gasket for maintenance free, all year round operation. The LNB has a 75ohm F type output connector and a standard 40mm feedhorn.

Summer 2001

The Strong SRT L915 is housed in a more traditionally designed case, but maintains its own unique look. The local ossilators are the same as any other universal LNB covering 950-2150MHz.

15


ProductNews

Flexible solution for UHF and IFdistribution Since the launch of Switchline GII 18 months ago, Philips has continued to build on its success with the launch of a 9 input range and a low cost headend amplifier, designed to be used on smaller line powered systems. Here, Sean McCartney of Philips takes a closer look at the new products now available in the ‘cascadable range’. The range of GII equipment was designed with the specific requirements of the UK market in mind. MATV systems in the UK are typically fed from a single amplifier with one power supply. When the system is upgraded to IRS, adding additional power can be expensive, but by using a line powered system, the overall cost of the installation can be considerably reduced. Digital terrestrial transmission (DTT) also played a major part in the development of Switchline GII. Up until now, most of the systems available had been designed to give an analogue terrestrial signal at the w a l l o u t l e t o f 60dBµV. H o w e v e r , because DTT signals are typically 20dB lower than analogue, the level required at the wall outlet for analogue is now closer to 70dBµV to give a digital level of around 50dBµV. Through the development of the GII range, Philips have been able to deliver good quality signals with a high output level. This is achieved by using active switches which have between 0 and +4 db gain as well as high output level capabilities. The terrestrial signal is kept separate from the satellite IF signal and is diplexed with the satellite signal in the switch, allowing better control of the UHF signal through the system.

Spring 2001 16

All the input levels to the switches can be individually adjusted with built in variable attenuaters, giving maximum control over the output signal. Each switch then only requires to be fed from one tap value and the adjustment is done on the switch and not by graded taps. The 5 input range has the ability to supply large collective housing. 120 points off a single headend amplifier (AMP94444) is easily achievable with 2 line amplifiers (AMP9853 ), 2 power supplies (AMP8331)

and 10x12 output switches (SWI6512) with a 50-60 metre subscriber drop cable. For the smaller and medium sized systems, Philips has launched the AMP9244U. This is a 4 input satellite IF amplifier that will also deliver u p t o 2 amperes of power to supply the switches in the system. This equates to a maximum of 5 x12 output switches (SWI6512), or 60 points, offering a low cost line powered cascadable solution. The 9-input range shares some of the products used in the 5-wire systems, such as the headend amp (AMP9444) and line power supply (AMP8331). The switches have similar characteristics to the 5-wire versions and are equipped with DiSEqC version 2.0, but obviously they do require more power. The Switchline GII range offers high quality 5 and 9 input systems with a range of switch output option. It enables installers to choose the right product for each application and position the switches anywhere in the building not just where power is available. Long drop lengths can also be achieved due to the high output levels.

Spot

Genuine digibox, LNB or cable faults may cause a lowband problem.

Substitution of the su sp e ct p ro d u ct o r rectification of the fault can identify these instances. It is always a good idea to try a test box prior to exchanging a customer's digibox. Additionally, if the installed cable is not of an approved type it must be replaced. The use of the correct quality of cable for satellite installations, or indeed any system containing digital transmissions, is vital if the best quality of signal is to be received. Poor quality cable is very destructive of digital signals. It allows a lot of the energy of the wanted signal to leak out as well as allowing the ingress of extraneous interference. It can also create reflections and mismatches that interrupt the flow of data. To reassure installers and their customers the CAI now maintains a list of approved cables from different manufacturers that have been tested against a quality benchmark. A digital system will work correctly as long as the signal quality remains even, marginally above a particular threshold. Dedicated test equipment should be used to assess how far the system is above that threshold. The further a digital system is over its threshold the fewer problems it will cause for both the customer and the engineer over time. Apart from careful alignment and fixing of the dish one of the most effective ways of maintaining high threshold is to use the correct grade of cable between the antenna and the receiver with suitable termination.

BBC Launch Digital Teletext BBC has now launched its digital teletext service on Sky Digital. The interactive service offers similar items to those available via analogue teletext. However, this enhanced version has been designed in the style characteristic of the digital age. To access the service simply go to a BBC channel and press the text button on your Sky remote.

All these system benefits help to ease the installation and commissioning process and can also provide savings in time and money. For further details contact Solutions Group on 01604 787888.


ProductNews

The New and Improved TIM-3 Modulator As the number of set-top boxes in the living room steadily increases, the problems with their inter-connections becomes a greater issue for today’s installer. The typical approach is to use AV (SCART) leads, but this is not always practical. SCART sockets may not be suitable for the type of equipment used or they may already be in use. The system might also require the signal to be sent over a long distance or there may be an RF distribution system in use, in which case, S C A RT l e a d s m a y n o t b e appropriate. The improved TIM (tune inmodule), re-launched as the MKIV, provides an excellent solution for a distribution system where RF connection is necessary.

interference from broadcasts, including audio/video distribution. Where patterning and interference is present, the MKIV replaces the satellite receiver's or VCR'S modulator with its wide tuning range, providing a UHF output of Channels 21-69. This is well clear of the Channel 5 transmissions and the RF output of the satellite receiver or VCR. The unit has a mini-bank of eight small two-

TIM3 MK IV

The MKIV is designed to overcome a number of problems, which include patterning and

way switches, six of which enable any channel between 21-69 to be selected for the output channel, one switches between PAL-I or PAL-G system and one selects the test page. The modulator is powered from a plug top mains adaptor. It also has Phono stereo audio and composite video input sockets along with an RF-through path with boost (typically 3dB). It is supplied with a Phono-to-Phono AV lead and an easy to follow user guide. The unit's signal-boosting and splitting capabilities can be used to enable Multi-set TV viewing around the home. It is also ideal for audio/video distribution. If a DVD player is not provided with its own RF modulator, the TIM3 can be used to play the movie on an a number of TVs . For more information contact Solutions Group.

BOSCH GBH 24VRE Drill now with 1.7AH Batteries HE E AT T BLE ER PRIC A L I AVAIAL OFF LY N SPEC OF O

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ceive rs re ts! e d r ay o ill bi Pre-p of free dr 5 £2

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For more information please call Solutions Group Headquarters: Tel: 01604 787888 Fax: 01604 787999


®

2500s Sky Digital Receiver

DTR735-IM ONdigital Receiver

solutionsgroup

(UK)Plc

the best place for Pace Northampton [HQ] Wembley 01604 787888 0208 451 1777

Birmingham 0121 544 0220

Cheshire 01260 299658

Edinburgh 0131 448 2900

Glasgow 0141 849 7440

Dorset 01202 624441

0191 487 7676

Fax. 01604 787999

Fax. 0208 451 1223

Fax. 0121 544 0440

Fax. 01260 299674

Fax. 0131 448 2626

Fax. 0141 849 7445

Fax. 01202 632 453

Fax. 0191 487 6699

Manchester 0161 746 8595

Woolwich 0208 316 0123

Nottingham 0115 982 6400

Leeds 0113 236 1111

Hertfordshire 01992 789650

Berkshire 01344 621531

East Yorkshire 01482 222295

Sheffield 0114 288 0111

Fax. 0161 746 8596

Fax. 0208 316 0126

Fax. 0115 982 6020

Fax. 0113 236 1122

Fax. 01992 789651

Fax. 01344 624526

Fax. 01482 222213

Fax. 0114 288 0333

®

Tyne & Wear

NEW!

© 2001 Solutions Group (UK) Plc. Reproduction Prohibited. All offers subject to availability and may be changed without prior notice. All prices exclude VAT, CP&I, E&OE.

www.solutionsgroup-plc.com

Pace and

are trademarks of Pace Micro Technology plc.

®

®


The recently introduced WinTV DVB-s is a digital satellite reception card for the PC which allows consumers to view free to air satellite channels on their home computer. With the optional common interface board, two CAMS can also be fitted. The symbol rate is a solid 2000-45000 and because it’s SCPC compatible, there are not many digitally transmitted signals this card cannot receive. To use the WinTV DVDB-s card you will need the following: 1. PC with Pentium processor (P166 or higher) 2. Free PCI slot (2 with optional CI interface) 3. 32Mb RAM 4. PCI or AGP graphics card 800x600 pixel minimum in either 'High Colour' (16 bit) or 'True Colour' (24 or 32 bit) 5. CD-ROM drive (for software installation) 6. Microsoft Windows 95/98/2000 7. DirectX 5 or higher 8. Internet Explorer4.01 or higher 9. Digital satellite feed 10. Modem (for internet access) The card is plug & play so installation is straightforward. Just install the card in a spare PCI slot, connect it to your sound card or external speakers and start up your computer. Running the setup programs provided, installs the two main programs you need to turn your computer into a second TV and high speed internet download interface. The first program is called DVB Data Services which is used to download data from the internet at speeds of up to 2Mb/s. The second program is DVB TV & Radio which is used for digital TV/Radio reception. Although the software comes with Astra and Hotbird LNB settings already preloaded, adding other satellites is just a matter of typing in a new name. You can search by individual transponder or by whole satellites while the display gives you signal level and quality. The amount of channels you can store is virtually unlimited but does depend on the size on your hard disk. The WinTV DVB-s card will run all manner of C and Ku LNB's and even supports DiSEqC. Once you have loaded up your desired channels, you can now use the excellent user interface of the digital TV and radio receiver. The picture size is fully adjustable right the

way up to full screen, although this does depend on what resolution your computer is running. You can choose channels by simply selecting them with the mouse from the alphabetical list to the left of the picture. Above this is the name of the current channel and the audio language so, when available, you can choose what language to listen to. Above the picture is the now and next EPG along with controls you would expect from a television such as contrast, brightness & colour. In addition to this, there is a teletext reader which allows you to print, save or copy pages into other applications. There is also a video capture feature that allows you to record anything of interest whether it be in vision or in radio.

On the internet side you will have to sign on with an ISP (Internet Service Provider) that supports satellite downloads such as EuropeOnLine. This supplier allows you to receive downloads at a tremendous speed (up to 2Mb/s) when not on line, it is possible to download a whole CD-ROM in minutes. EuropeOnLine also provides a unique service called ELERT which automatically informs you when you have e-mails, again without having to connect to the internet as well as multicast-streaming services and file transfer services. The WinTV DVB-s makes a viable alternative to a digital set top box. How many set top boxes can boast of adownload speed of up to 2Mb/s as well as informing you when you've been sent an e-mail without having to go on line? For more information contact product manager Tony Ritson at Solutions Group.

Another Satellite at 28 Degrees East Eurobird is the latest satellite to join up with the Astra satellites at the 28º east slot. Owned by Eutelsat, it was successfully launched on March 8th. Eurobird has 24 transponders with operational lifetime of 12 years.

Eurobird will take over the services of the old DFS2-Kopernikus satellite and broadcast Sky Television programming as well as other European services. Although it is located at a different position t the Astra satellites, they will all appear in the same position from the earth.

Dish of the Day The new SG90 pole mount satellite dish is the latest product to be added to the SG range. The high performance, low cost SG90 has been designed to optimise reception of signals broadcasting in the 10,7 to 12,75GHz frequency range and has a gain on 38.8dBi at 11.7GHz with a beam width of 2.0°. The dish is made of aluminium and a polyester powder coat for a smooth finish. Measuring 85x95cm, the dish has a plastic LNB holder which is suitable for use with LNBs that have a 40mm or 25mm feedhorn.

SatelliteNews

Satellite card is an alternative to set-top box


ShowNews

How will the availability of ITV on satellite affect the aerial industry? Will we see a new 19-21 June 2001 generation of freeto-view satellite and terrestrial set-top boxes? Is television converging with internet technology? Can we achieve digital transition within the government timescale? Do you really know how this is going to affect you? Have you thought about the implications? Is there money to be made? The answers can be found at CAI Trade Fair - the largest industry gathering of manufacturers, broadcasters, distributors, installers, industry experts, decision makers and specialists under one roof, from the

signal distribution industry. It provides a showcase for new products and services as well as a platform for discussing issues relating to broadcast reception. Over the three days there will be an unabridged seminar programme running alongside the main exhibition. Training workshops, the infamous CAI Aerial Rigging Competition, prize draws, a charity raffle, Gala Dinner, Industry Achievement Awards are just some of the many other attractions. The CAI Trade Fair is the ONLY exhibition solely dedicated to both the antenna industry and the UK market. It is of primary importance to aerial and satellite installers but there really is something for everyone involved in signal reception.

Farewell to Analogue Tour As we welcome digital reception with open arms and say goodbye to analogue transmissions, the industry is clearly dominated by the eventful transition of thousands of systems to the most effective form of signal distribution. The ‘Fairwell to Analogue’ Tour organised by the CAI, continued this theme by offering technical workshops and seminars to riggers who are keen to keep up-to-date with this everchanging industry. The tour also gave leading manufacturers and distributors the opportunity to exhibit their high performance digital products and efficient services.

The roadshows received strong support from Solutions Group (UK) Plc with Northern Area Manager, Tom Carnie, conducting an interesting workshop on signal measurement. Armed with a top of the range spectrum analyser, Tom clearly explained the main parameters used to measure high quality digital signals and analogue comparisons. Visitors to the show also had the chance to win some great prizes in a Raffle draw including Vouchers of up to £50 to spend at their nearest Solutions Group trade counter. The raffle proceeds were donated to the Variety Club Childrens Charity

New Scart Lock Cable Introduced to the UK

Summer 2001 22

TV, video and satellite boxes are usually connected by SCART cables for improved sound and video quality.

This product, like most good ideas, is remarkably simple and requires no modifications to the units it connects to.

Unfortunately, a considerable number of retailer and installer callbacks can often be traced to a SCART plug that has come slightly loose or fully detached from the connection.

Once inserted, SCART plugs tightly grip the connectors making the likelihood of a loose plug a thing of the past.

Solutions Group are now pleased to introduce the new SCART Lock Cable.

The exciting new product should be available this summer and trade prices are expected to be under £2.

Mediacast 2001 Mediacast, the exhibition dedicated to the Cable & Satellite Communications industry, proved to be another success this year. The three day event held at Excel in the heart of London’s business centre, is one of the largest broadband communications events in Europe. With an extensive conference, seminar and workshop programme, the exhibition catered for all professionals involved in the cable and satellite industry. Service providers, distributors and leading manufacturers, including Fracarro and Philips, displayed the latest technological advances to hit the industry.

Astra Roadshows A series of Astra Roadshows have taken place around the country to demonstrate the technical implications of upgrading IRS distribution systems to digital. The roadshows were aimed at informing professionals involved in the maintenance and installation of TV and satellite distribution systems about the effective distribution of digital signals. Experienced speakers from a number of industry leaders, including Astra Marketing, Webro and Solutions Group, gave product demonstrations and helpful technical instructions to over 1000 attendees throughout the 12 shows. The roadshows also highlighted the advantages and business opportunities available to professionals as a result of the digital transition.


Satellite TV through a PC

Advertise your business on the Internet

and with no fuss

tv-installers.com

Advertising on the Internet can be a complex and lengthy process but now you can place an advert for YOUR company without even owning a computer! At tv-installers.com we have worked to create a simple, efficient way for customers to locate local installers and retailers, which could help YOU to increase your business. Each advertiser will be represented by a clear, well laid out web page of their own - no sharing with competitors! Each page has room for a large, clear photograph of your choice, 80 words of text about your company and full contact information. We'll also display the main types of services you provide. Placing an advert couldn't be easier - and its FREE!* HOW TO APPLY: For those who have internet access, simply follow the application procedure online at www.tv-installers.com Alternatively we can send you an application form, just enter your details in the box below and return to: Marketing Department, Solutions Group (UK) Plc (HQ) 1 Hartburn Close, Crow Lane Industrial Park, Northampton NN3 9UE

Please send me an application form to advertise on tv-installers.com : Company Name:

Contact Name:

Tel: Address: Fax:

Email

Š 2001 Solutions Group (UK) Plc. Reproduction Prohibited. "Microsoft", "Internet Explorer" and "Flash" are all trademarks of their respected owners. E&OE. * Advertising free to all Solutions Group customers, otherwise free for 90 days only. After this period a small monthly administration cost may apply - contact Solutions Group for details.


TechnicalSolutions

techNICAL SOLUTIONS

If you have an installation problem or just need advice on product suitability then look no further than our TECHNICAL SOLUTIONS page! Our Technical Support Team have the experience and knowledge to provide you with a total solution for all your technical requirements. If you have a technical problem you want solving contact our Technical Team at Tech Talk, Solutions Group, 1 Hartburn Close, Crow Lane Industrial Park, Northampton, NN3 9UE or e-mail them at: technical@solutionsgroup-plc.com

Q I have just purchased a K series channelised headend and I’m not sure which way round the KPN42 links go? Bill Matthews, Cardiff

A

fig.1

The inputs of the channel amplifiers require the front F connector to be connected to the rear F connector of the second module. This means they are fitted front to back (see fig. 1). The output of the channel amplifiers require the rear F connector to be connected to the front F of the second module. This means they are fitted back to front (see fig. 2).

Horizon to Horizon mount with four core cable as well as the LNB feed. By using a digital satellite receiver with DiSEqC 1.2 software, such as the F1 Fox from Humax, it is possible to motorise a system using just the single LNB feed cable. A Pole mount dish and a universal LNB will also be required. Please also remember that a Sky digibox needs its own feed.

fig.2

Q

Q

I have recently purchased an Unaohm EP314 Spectrum Analyser. When I perform installations, I store the local transmitter channels, together with a number of more common satellite frequencies, within the instrument’s program memories. Although the unit sets all the parametres correctly when recalling the programs, it does not reinstate the LNB voltage, even though this was correctly set when the program was stored. Can you explain why? S Andrews, Northampton

I have just installed a SMATV system in a block of flats using 9x12 switches because Sky digital and Hotbird transmissions were required. However, when switching between the two different satellites using DiSEqC, I sometimes get error messages on my Sky box. Why is this? D Cooper, Halifax

A The way in which the meter works is in accordance with the manufacturers specification.

A The multiswitches must firstly be wired so that when DiSEqC (Digital Satellite Equipment Control) is not present, the primary satellite available must be the Astra Satellites (28.2deg east). Secondly, the Sky digibox must have a permanent feed from the Astra satellite to function correctly. By disturbing this feed the Sky digibox may produce errors. The only way to alleviate this problem is to provide the digibox with its own feed.

Q

Summer 2001 24

Although the LNB voltage settings may appear to have been stored, along with the other parametres, they are not reinstated when recalling the program. This is for safety reasons and ensures that the LNB voltage is not applied when there is a fault condition i.e. a short-circuit on the item being tested. LNB voltage has to be applied manually when recalling programs. Full details can be found on page 22 of the EP314 operating manual.

My customer wishes to receive more channels than those available through Sky digital, but does not want the limitations of a dual or triple feed system. He also does not want to pay for a traditional motorised system so how can I get him more channels? Ian Hames, Glasgow

A It is possible to expand your customer’s channel choice without installing expensive equipment or having to use a dual or triple feed system. Your customer’s system can be motorised without using the traditional method of a polar mount and actuator or a

Q I have just installed an ONdigital Prepaid set top box, but I can’t seem to receive all the channels I expected to. The box has been installed as per the installation instructions and the original TV pictures are still working OK. The aerial and cable are new, so do you think the box could be faulty? Collin Jarvis, Sunderland

A The box could be faulty but it’s more likely to be a problem in the aerial system. Although the aerial is relatively new, it may not be suitable for the reception of Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT). This could be the result of one or more of the following reasons: 1. The aerial is a ‘grouped aerial’ and although it covers the group in which your existing analogue channels are situated, it will not cover DTT channels. 2.The transmitter from which you receive your DTT channels is not the same as that which transmits your existing analogue channels. 3. The aerial does not have sufficient ‘gain’ to receive all of the DTT channels. 4. You are located within an area where it is not currently possible to receive all of the DTT channels being broadcast.


Flexibility takes you further

Available from your nearest

solutionsgroup

(UK)Plc

Northampton [HQ] Wembley 01604 787888 0208 451 1777

Birmingham 0121 544 0220

Cheshire 01260 299658

Edinburgh 0131 448 2900

Glasgow 0141 849 7440

Dorset 01202 624441

0191 487 7676

Fax. 01604 787999

Fax. 0208 451 1223

Fax. 0121 544 0440

Fax. 01260 299674

Fax. 0131 448 2626

Fax. 0141 849 7445

Fax. 01202 632 453

Fax. 0191 487 6699

Manchester 0161 746 8595

Woolwich 0208 316 0123

Nottingham 0115 982 6400

Leeds 0113 236 1111

Hertfordshire 01992 789650

Berkshire 01344 621531

East Yorkshire 01482 222295

Sheffield 0114 288 0111

Fax. 0161 746 8596

Fax. 0208 316 0126

Fax. 0115 982 6020

Fax. 0113 236 1122

Fax. 01992 789651

Fax. 01344 624526

Fax. 01482 222213

Fax. 0114 288 0333

Tyne & Wear

NEW!

Š 2001 Solutions Group (UK) Plc. Reproduction Prohibited. All offers subject to availability and may be changed without prior notice. All prices exclude VAT, CP&I, E&OE.

Archive Rigger's Digest Issue3 July 2001  

This an archived copy of a previous edition of Rigger's Digest. Prices quoted will no longer be valid and some products featured or adverti...

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