[mythtv-users] SelectTV in Australia

Joel Michael 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 
$200.

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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