Archive for viewsat 8psk
On August 7th Dish Network will be officially rolling out a major channel expansion in Puerto Rico, including a new HD package that contains 33 high definition channels.
The news of this major expansion into Puerto Rico was announced to Dish Network retailers earlier in the week.
The new High Definition channels coming to Puerto Rican Dish Network customers include: A&E, Animal Planet HD, Bravo HD, Cartoon Network HD, CNBC HD+, CNN HD, Comedy Central HD, Discovery Channel HD, Disney HD, Disney XD HD, Espn2HD, Food Network HD, FX HD, HDTV HD, History HD, Lifetime HD, MTV HD, Nick HD, Spike HD, TBS HD, TLC HD and The Weather Channel HD.
Also coming soon is a 6 channel Spanish HD package and will feature channels like Discovery HD and National Geographic HD with their audio in Spanish.
Dish is also planning on introducing a new 30-inch satellite dish for use in Puerto Rico that will come complete with a printed with the flag of Puerto Rico printed on the Dish.
Dish Network claims that no one else will provide more HD to the island then they will, in addition Dish told retailers that more HD for Puerto Rico is to come.
Getting Ready For CES
The 2010 Consumer Electronics Show is still 6 months away but already I find myself getting ready for it. Last week I submitted my Alumni credentials and got myself fully registered and now I am already planning out my plan of attack when I land in Las Vegas in January.
My mind wonders of what exciting new satellite news I will hear and what new technologies I will see.
I am sure Dish Network will be there with the amazing Slingloaded ViP 922 HD DVR which they announced last year. I have been following the progress of this amazing receiver closely over the past 6 months and from what I have seen this is going to be an amazing receiver when it’s released. While Dish is hoping to have it released in time for a holiday release, I don’t believe we will see it available until after the CES show. A device this jam packed with features needs to be polished so that it really shines.
I may pick on Dish’s advertising, but honestly the Dish DVR’s are the best DVR’s on the market, it is the Dish DVR’s that keep me tied to Dish Network as no other DVR comes close.
And speaking of DVR’s I am hoping that this year we will see the long awaited DirecTV MPEG4 HD DVR with TIVO technology finally shown off. As much as I love my Dish DVR’s I know there are a lot of people who prefer the TIVO software on their DVR’s.
Back in September of 2008 DirecTV and TIVO announced this new DVR and TIVO fans everywhere have been waiting for this DVR with baited breath. I am hoping at CES we will finally get our first look at the new unit. Since being announced in 2008 there has been nothing more announced about the unit, there have been no mock up photos, no initial screen shots… nothing. Let’s hope we see this DVR at CES.
I also hope that DirecTV themselves is at CES this year. The nations #1 satellite provider has been absent from the CES show floor the past 2 years. I really hope they are there this year. I am a person who enjoys putting a face with a name and events like CES are one of the few events where I can meet face to face with the folks who make this whole industry work.
Popularity: 10% [?]
Dish Service Takedown Schedule
Programming services that are supported on the Aladin (old) Smart Cards will be taken down based on the staggered schedule below.
The dates in parentheses are when reminder pop-up messages will begin appearing on an affected customer’s TV screen.
4/1/09 = Adult programming (pop-up reminder messages begin 3/18).
4/8/09 = HD programming, Starz, and Encore (pop-up reminder messages begin 3/25).
4/15/09 = Latino programming, Showtime, HBO, and Cinemax (pop-up messages for Latino begin 3/25 and for Showtime, HBO, and Cinemax begin 4/1).
4/22/09 = Classic Gold 250 (pop-up reminder messages begin 4/8).
4/29/09 = Classic Silver 200 (pop-up reminder messages begin 4/15).
5/27/09 = Last round of on-screen messaging begins on 5/6 for any remaining services.
All remaining services (including local network programming) will be shut off to Aladin Smart Cards by 5/27.
Popularity: 2% [?]
The modern-day pirate doesn’t sport a patch or walk with a limp.
His weapon of choice is an unassuming, pizza-sized satellite dish that can literally harpoon signals from space – and provide lucrative and illicit profit.
And it’s happening across the country. The Canadian Motion Pictures Distribution Association estimates that the total loss to the industry from satellite piracy in 2001 alone was about $1 billion – and that number is likely far higher today.
But lately, satellite companies, including Bell ExpressVu and U.S.-based DISH Network have been fighting back. The companies are switching to a tough new encryption system while using the threat of court action to target end users.
“We take this very seriously and we have taken a number of actions to counter signal theft,” Bell spokesperson Julie Smithers said. Satellite companies like to remind users that theft of signal not only means less subscription revenue for providers, but a fall in ratings for stations which translates into lost advertising revenue, and for artists who are given a portion of profits from subscriptions through the Canadian Television Fund.
Los Angeles-based media analysts The Carmel Group estimates there are at least two million illegal television households in the U.S. and Canada, out of a universe of about 15 million legal households. And the number is growing exponentially.
In the digital age, pirates are likely to look a lot like James, a middle- aged Toronto engineer with two children who happens to enjoy watching the Tennis Channel.
“I can’t believe I was actually paying for cable before,” he enthuses. James has access to a universe of more than 200 channels, including current pay-per-view movies that are only available at the video store for a cost. Last summer he put up a second satellite at his cottage, with a dish and receiver from a computer store in downtown Toronto that he purchased for less than $200.
James is currently watching a live tennis match in his living room which is decorated with trophies from his local club. Flipping through channels on a black set-top box reveals that he has fully unscrambled access to dozens of Hollywood movies (currently playing are The Dark Knight and Milk) for which legitimate subscribers have to pay up to $5.99 each.
At the heart of the problem are “Free To Air” satellite receivers that are widely available throughout Canada. While the possession of the equipment is not a crime, modifying it to access subscription signals is.
Free to Air is a system widely available in Europe, where television and radio broadcasts are typically sent unencrypted. There are some 250 Free to Air channels in North America, typically for ethnic programming.
“The way piracy works in North America is when consumers turn their Free to Air receivers into Free to Air units that steal,” says a Carmel Group report.
A USB port on the system allows consumers to change the internal programming of the module after downloading software from the Internet.
“What the manufacturers and retailers are doing may not be illegal, but it is wilful blindness,” argues Luc Perrault, co-chair of the Coalition Against Satellite Signal Theft and a vice-president of the Weather Network. “These things are being imported by the container load into Canada and it’s a serious issue.”
The coalition, which represents Canadian cable and satellite providers is lobbying government to toughen laws against piracy, including harsher sentences for pirates.
There have been some charges, but they aren’t coming quickly enough for the industry. Chris Frank, vice-president of programming for Bell ExpressVu, says the company has “done everything to ensure the integrity of our platform. Secret services around the world spend billions of dollars upgrading encryption systems to make sure their data is secure,” he told the Star’s Chris Sorensen last year. “We are a commercial company, we can’t spend billions, but we spend what it takes within reasonable bounds.”
Frank would not say how many people steal from Bell only that it was “speculative to try and figure it out. But the illegal reception is well within industry bounds.”
So far, Bell’s electronic countermeasures with a new encryption route introduced last November, seem to be working, blocking access to many channels. DISH Network is also in the process of migrating to the new system.
But hackers have been here before. Hacker groups are currently working on the new system, and some feel it is only a matter of time before the code is broken.
Meanwhile, one final route that would have a powerful deterrent effect is to go after consumers who steal signal.
In a get-tough policy, Bell has targeted end users by threatening legal action against customers who have been sold FTA receivers and are registered members of websites that promote piracy.
“We are contacting you because the operation or possession of illegal signal theft equipment to access Bell ExpressVu’s programming constitutes a violation,” says a letter sent to customers of a distributor selling satellite equipment.
The letter states that Bell is willing to drop legal proceedings if the user pays a $1,000 fine and hands over the equipment to Bell.
But the new tactics aren’t scaring some pirates.
“They’ll have to pry the remote control out of my hands before I give it up,” says James.
Popularity: 2% [?]
Researchers at the University of Miami and at the Universities of Tokyo and Tohoku, Japan, have been able to prove the existence of a “spin battery,” a battery that is “charged” by applying a large magnetic field to nano-magnets in a device called a magnetic tunnel junction (MTJ).
The new technology is a step towards the creation of computer hard drives with no moving parts, which would be much faster, less expensive and use less energy than current ones. In the future, the new battery could be developed to power cars.
The study is published in the journal Nature.
The device created by University of Miami Physicist Stewart E. Barnes, of the College of Arts and Sciences and his collaborators can store energy in magnets rather than through chemical reactions. Like a winding up toy car, the spin battery is “wound up” by applying a large magnetic field — no chemistry involved. The device is potentially better than anything found so far, said Barnes.
“We had anticipated the effect, but the device produced a voltage over a hundred times too big and for tens of minutes, rather than for milliseconds as we had expected,” Barnes said. “That this was counterintuitive is what lead to our theoretical understanding of what was really going on.”
The secret behind this technology is the use of nano-magnets to induce an electromotive force. It uses the same principles as those in a conventional battery, except in a more direct fashion. The energy stored in a battery, be it in an iPod or an electric car, is in the form of chemical energy. When something is turned “on” there is a chemical reaction which occurs and produces an electric current. The new technology converts the magnetic energy directly into electrical energy, without a chemical reaction. The electrical current made in this process is called a spin polarized current and finds use in a new technology called “spintronics.”
The new discovery advances our understanding of the way magnets work and its immediate application is to use the MTJs as electronic elements which work in different ways to conventional transistors. Although the actual device has a diameter about that of a human hair and cannot even light up an LED (light-emitting diode–a light source used as electronic component), the energy that might be stored in this way could potentially run a car for miles. The possibilities are endless, Barnes said.
“There are magnets hidden away in many things, for example there are several in a mobile telephone, many in a car, and they are what keeps your refrigerator closed,” he said. “There are so many that even a small change in the way we understand of how they work, and which might lead to only a very small improvement in future machines, has a significant financial and energetic impact.”
Popularity: 1% [?]
Here is a brief, layman’s explanation of 8PSK.
We are speaking of digital modulation of signals today, rather than the analog signals of the past, but the concept is equally applied.
There are many means to modulate a signal to transmit data today. Amplitude Modulation and Frequency Modulation are the most familiar to us all (i.e. AM radio and FM radio).
In AM radio (amplitude modulation) you understand that there is a carrier wave that is transmitted with a constant frequency. But, that carrier wave’s amplitude is increased or decreased by an external signal, the data signal. The receiver detects these variations in the carrier’s amplitude.
The receiver does not care about the carrier signal itself, only the changes in its amplitude. So, it basically only identifies the amplitude changes and strips that information away from the carrier wave and tosses the carrier aside. Only the signal that created the variations in the carrier’s amplitude remains and that is the data information. If there is no change in the amplitude of the carrier, we get a digital “zero” if it does change, we detect a digital “one”.
If we strip all this information from the carrier wave, we will end up with a stream of data which can be processed and converted back into the original information (audio or video).
In FM radio, the carrier wave has a fixed amplitude, but the data information readjusts or modulates the frequency of the wave. If the frequency doesn’t change, the receiver reads this as a digital “zero” and if it changes, it reads it as a digital “one”. So the receiver strips the information or data signal from the carrier wave by analyzing the changes in the carrier’s frequency.
Now we can discuss PSK, or Phase Shift Keying. This is a little harder to visualize, but the overall principle (theory) is the same.
In PSK, you have a constant amplitude and constant frequency carrier wave, but the data information modulates the “phase” of the signal. If the phase of the signal is suddenly altered (modulated) by the data signal, the receiver will detect this as a digital “one”. If it does not change, it detects it as a digital “zero”. So you get an idea that the same process is occurring here as with AM and FM modulation.
Here is where the advantage begins to come into play. If you have one carrier, of a set frequency and set amplitude (a sine wave), you can modulate its phase to produce 1′s and 0′s (BPSK or Binary Phase Shift Keying).
If you add a second carrier with the same frequency and same amplitude, but transmit it so many degrees offset from the first carrier (now as a cosine wave), then you can put more data on the same radio frequency band. One wave carries some information and the second wave carries additional information.
Now your receiver can extract “00″, “01″, “10″ or “11″ from the data in the same instant, as opposed to just a “0″ or a “1″. This would be QPSK (Quadrature Phase Shift Keying). Quadrature PSK is also referred to as 4PSK, which seems more logical and makes it easier to compare to the next step up, 8PSK.
Now, if we add a third carrier wave, with the same frequency and amplitude as the first two, but so many degrees out from the first two, we can transmit and receive three bits of data or 000, 001, 010, 011, 100, 101, 110, 111 during the same instant! This would be 8PSK modulation.
I am sure you are seeing the advantage here. The data is being transmitted at the same time, within the same bandwidth, but you are transmitting more data simultaneously. Therefore, there is more data (more information) to work with immediately, which means more accuracy and a better quality picture (and sound).
There is also 16PSK signals! HOTDOG!
Just to add a summary:
BPSK or binary PSK is 1 and 0 (binary = two packets)
QPSK or 4PSK is 00, 01, 10, 11 (quadrature = four packets)
8PSK is 000, 001, 010, 011, 100, 101, 110, 111 (eight packets)
16PSK is 0000, 0001, 0010, 0011, 0100, 0101, 0110, 0111, 1000, 1001, 1010, 1011, 1100, 1101, 1110, 1111 (16 packets)
Many people ask if they can use a Coolsat 5K to view the 8PSK signals. The answer is no, of course. The reason should be obvious. Even though QPSK and 8PSK are similar in theory, they are still just as different as AM and FM radio. The receiver’s tuner (or tuner MODULE) has to be designed specifically to detect, decode and process these signals.
This is why the NFusion Nuvenios have a separate 8PSK module.
Popularity: 2% [?]