[mythtv-users] SelectTV in Australia
joel at gimps-r-us.com
Mon Aug 13 08:28:10 UTC 2007
Bill Williamson wrote:
> Is anyone here using SelectTV? I've seen some references on other
> forums, and some older queries without any real answer, but nothing
> relaly concrete.
I am using SelecTV with MythTV, it works great. There are a couple of
annoyances with it though.
Firstly, a few channels (Discovery Science and Movie Greats mainly) have
a fixed aspect ratio of 4:3, and any widescreen content is either
letterboxed inside this, or pan-and-scanned outside this. This is
sub-optimal for me with a 16:9 screen, but they probably do it to save
bandwidth on the satellite. Luckily, National Geographic and Movie One
are broadcast properly ;-)
Secondly, I've just noticed that MythTV doesn't like the audio channel
that Cartoon Network uses. I run a transcode job that has
low-medium-high quality settings. High quality is simply mangling the
MPEG TS "appropriately" - the video and audio streams aren't re-encoded
at all. Low quality selects a lower bitrate for both video and audio,
and re-encodes the video and audio. If I choose high quality, Myth
doesn't play the audio track at all. If I choose low quality, Myth
plays the audio track in time, but the pitch seems to be twice as high
as it should be. VLC plays the audio track fine on high quality (I
haven't tested it with low quality yet, and I haven't tested mplayer
either). I guess it's a problem with ffmpeg - if anyone is interested
in seeing exactly what the problem is, I could arrange to privately send
a ~200MB (high quality transcoded, 15 minutes of video and audio) file
which has the problem.
> I know that DVB-S is a mainstay in Europe, but in Australia it's
> mostly foxtel which isn't compatible, so I haven't seen much info on
> it here.
> I guess my main questions are:
> -Do they transmit EIT guide data, or is there any other good source of it?
I don't think they transmit EIT guide data, but the Shepherd grabber now
supports SelecTV. I'm still running Shepherd with the Foxtel channels
list, which mostly works.
> -Have people had success with a CAM card and DVB-S card (with
> selectTV, or even in general)? Any suggested ones/places to buy?
For the DVB-S card, I use a Twinhan DST, not sure of the exact model,
but it looks similar to the picture of the Twinhan card available from
digitalnow.com.au. I bought mine 2nd hand, with a known working Irdeto
CAM, which was apparently flashed with a newer firmware.
> -Should it all "just work" since they're using a standard encryption?
Yes, it did for me. You just need to teach MythTV (and dvb-utils) about
the LNB. If your dish is already installed and pointed at Optus-C1 (for
Foxtel), the frequency is probably 10700. If you get a SelecTV STB, and
on-site installation, make a note of the value the installation bloke
puts into the STB for the LNB frequency, and use the same thing.
On the subject of LNB configuration, MythTV is pretty well behaved and
easy to set up, but dvb-utils (dvbscan, szap, etc) isn't. The magic
flags for dvb-utils is "-l 10700,10700,1" - this tells dvb-utils that
your LNB has a lower offset of 10700MHz, higher offset of 10700MHz, and
to switch to the higher offset at 1MHz (always use higher offset, which
has a side-effect of applying the 18V that the LNB needs).
> -How do you aim your dish correctly? Signal strength/etc meter in
> myth/software? Or do you need to have a standalone box as well?
I paid a bloke to come and point the dish for me - it's available as an
optional extra when signing up to SelecTV. I bought a set top box as
well, just so the bloke would feel comfortable setting up what he knows,
and could verify that it all works. Total, including the smart card and
first month subscription, dish pointing and set top box, was a bit under
In theory you could do it yourself, but it's a pain in the butt getting
the dish pointed in the right direction (compasses are generally
magnetic, and satellite dishes are generally steel), getting the
elevation right is annoying (if the dish has elevation marks, they're
probably 5 or 10 degrees apart), and the polarisation is hard to get
right (the Foxtel LNB doesn't seem to have any markings that make any
kind of sense). And it's really annoying running up and down the ladder
all the time to check the signal strength. The bloke that did the
installation just swept the dish across the sky until it locked on to
the satellite, adjusting it up and down a little bit each time.
Anyway, hope this helps!
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