As free as the air
I bought myself a little toy about five years ago.
We signed up for satellite television over twenty years ago. Since then the standard of programming has seen a steep decline. Herself likes films so we had added them to the package but it became increasingly rare to watch any. A few years ago we cancelled the film bit and have never looked back. It did occur to me that there were very few features on our subscription that weren’t free to air, so hence my new toy – a satellite receiver.
I played with it for a while but it was sitting on top of the Sky box and I spent my time having to switch aerial plugs from one to the other which was a pain. Also Herself found it very difficult to get used to the remote control. My new box got little use.
Last year [I think it was – I have no idea of time these days] the main living area was repainted and this meant shifting as much as possible out of the room. The television, the Sky box and my satellite box were amongst the casualties of the clearout.
A couple of weeks ago I wanted to test a media server so I brought the television back in. It had been sitting there with its blank screen staring at be ever since.
Then I remembered. My satellite box! I brought it in yesterday and hooked it up to the mains, the television, an old aerial on the roof, the satellite dish and the Interwebs. I fired it up and it still works. Even the batteries in the remote control are fine.
Damn but it’s complicated! There are menus within menus within menus. I selected Astra from a long list of satellites and told it to see if it could find any stations. It found 983 of them! I started flicking around. For a start I lost count of the BBC channels – regional channels, children’s channels, political channels and the like. The list was broken into “bouquets” which helped. There was even an “Adult Bouquet” with two channels – two incredibly bored looking slappers lying on a bed in their underwear waiting for some poor twat to phone them.
I could do with a manual but I can only find one that’s an on-line thing [that I can’t download] which is a pain. On the other hand I can operate most things from the laptop which is easier than messing with the very complex remote control. If I remember correctly there is a way of editing “bouquets” to drop unwanted channels but I can;t remember how!
To confuse me even more, the front of the box says its an “SAB Unix HD Triple Tuner“, but according to the laptop based control panel it’s an “Amico Alien 2”. Weird.
If only I can somehow get used to the damned thing we could finally get rid of the satellite subscription
I used to help out on a satellite forum (until I said something they didn’t like, and promptly demoted me). I still have an ageing receiver, and remember that I stopped letting it do automatic scans for just the reasons you discovered. Instead I went to one of the sites which list all geostationary satellites (and the transponders they operate), and picked only the ones with programmes I was interested in. It did mean having to manually input frequencies and other data, but stopped the channel list becoming full, which then caused all sorts of problems. I have a motorised dish which can “look” at more than a dozen satellites, so it was very easy to run out of channel memory.
As far as having multiple receivers connected – do either of your boxes have a “Loop Through” socket (LNB “Out” as well as LNB “In”)? If so, you can make this the master unit, with the other becoming the slave by connecting that “Out” terminal to the “In” of the slave. When the master is in standby mode the slave should have full control of the LNB on your dish.
It does have a “Loop Through” but don’t have the connections to experiment.
I’m using the Auto Update just to get the damned thing working. For some reason it has suddenly failed to detect DBS signals from the local transmitter. he whole thing is just an exercise anyway as we’re not dependant on it.