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DStv Decoder - Hardware & Software incompatibility

DStv Decoder Hardware & Software incompatibility.

22 November 2017

With the fast pace of changing technology, Multi-Choice is continuously writing new software for DStv decoders, allowing more HD channels and user features. This software is however not compatible with the older HDPVR, Dual view, SDPVR and Single View decoders.

If your decoder keeps rebooting, losing signal or missing channels, it is possible that your decoder is not compatible with the new software, which is automatically downloaded at +/- 4am every morning. However, it may also be a dish or cable issue. It is for this reason that you should let TV & Video Doctor send a qualified and experienced technician to your home to check your system.


Fazing out of old DSTV users equipment

Why use newer DStv equipment?

30 October 2017

Frustration arises when you hear that you need to upgrade your decoder or dish and LNB. This is a very misunderstood subject. Let’s try to make it a little easier for you to understand:

Decoders:

The decoder is manufactured with the correct spec of hardware that is needed to run the latest system at that time and that is available on the market. As time progresses, technology changes, the main line being HD and broadcast information.

More and more clients request more channels be broadcast in HD as they have purchased HD tv’s and with the pace that technology changes broadcast information also has to change, it needs to become faster to increase the amount of information needed in short space of time.

So for this to happen Multichoice needs to constantly create new software that enables the decoders to broadcast faster and more HD channels. Your decoder does an automatic software update ad around 3 AM every morning, this cannot be stopped as it is also used to repair system issues that may arise. Eventually, it will reach a point where the hardware (decoder) is too old to understand the new software so it shuts down as it cannot read what has been downloaded. At the moment this is the case with the HD PVR decoders.

Dish and LNB:

The dish that gets mounted on your roof or wall, cannot become outdated like the decoder however with the changes in the broadcast information, it is wise to ensure you have an 80cm or larger dish, this is so that it can receive a strong enough signal to allow uninterrupted viewing during bad weather. As for the LNB (the eye on in the front of the dish) this like the decoder can become outdated and needs to be changed, so it will be wise to ask your installer about the latest available LNBs. All the LNBs receive the same information from the broadcaster, however, the difference is the signal that the LNB sends to the connected device (decoder). The latest LNB is called a “smart” LNB which is used for the new 5 series single view decoder and Explora 2. The reason for the “smart” is due to it not only sending a signal to the decoder but can also be used to send and receive the heartbeat signal needed when setting up Extraview and 3rd view. This allows your system to run with fewer cables.


DStv HD Single-View Decoder (New 5-series)

DStv HD sinlge-view 5-series decoder

22 October 2017

From the 1st November 2017, MultiChoice offers a new version DStv HD single-view decoder. The new DStv is not only smaller in size, but also boasts an embedded Smart card. This saves the hassle of having to carry around an extra small item that could be lost easily.

The DStv HD Decoder 5-series decoder also comes with a brand new B6 remote controller. DStv has made its new B6 control have the ability to program up to five buttons that will enable you to control your Television set and your home theatre system.

This decoder lacks an RF out socket which is not a problem for new TVs with HDMI or RCA connections but will require an an additional RF converter in order to work with older TVs lacking these connections.

Multichoice DStv has recommended users to upgrade to the newer Smart LNB, this will enable users to make use of the new features that DStv has to offer. If you need to upgrade your LNB to the Smart LNB contact TV + Video Doctor!


DSTV XtraView now with 3rd View Capability

DStv XtraView - Now with 3rd View Capability & what you need to know

08 October 2017

Here’s what you need to be able to view DSTV XtraView in your home or business.

Is your existing decoder XtraView compatible?

To find out, let’s have a look at the compatible models below:

Although the above mentioned decoders are XtraView compatible & are working in many homes, Multi-Choice have no longer activated them since about June 2017. Current XtraView systems that use the above decoders will keep working but at some stage they will need to be replaced with modern decoders.

Multi-Choice will no longer activate the 1110, SD PVR, HD PVR, 2 or 4 tuner on XtraView. We have replaced a few due to XtraView issues.

In any XtraView installation, the use of a smart LNB (Low Noise Block) is recommended.

Currently, if you want to do an XtraView activation you will need any of the new HD decoders – they are the 4u, 4s & the Explora.

In the case of a 3rd XtraView, at least one of the decoders must be an Explora.


Box Office & Catch-up – What to know

DStv Box Office & Catch-up Tips

13 September 2017

The Box Office & Catch-up titles on your decoder may differ from the titles on another person’s decoder. This does not mean that there is a signal issue. It is decided by Multi-Choice who allocates titles selectively according to the cost and rules of the copyright act. If, however, your decoder shows no Box Office or Catch-Up titles whatsoever, then it is possible that there is a signal, decoder or account issue.

Steps to rectify the issue:

  1. Call Multi-Choice to check if your Box Office & Catch-up is active on your selected package.
  2. If it is active, then call TV & Video Doctor to come out & check your equipment on site.
  3. If you would like to have a lot more Box Office and Catch-up titles, including all the latest titles, then let us assist you by connecting your Explora to the internet via your ADSL or LTE WiFi router.

What new features does the new 4U decoder have?

New features of the 4U HD decoder from DStv

29 August 2017

Let’s take a look:

The Hardware:

The DSTV HD decoder is HD capable, this means better quality viewing for your enjoyment of channels broadcasting in High-Definition. The audio aspect also had a facelift, now offering Dolby Digital 5.1 - blending in perfectly with your surround sound in your entertainment area.

The DSTV 4U HD decoder is packaged with a B5 remote (batteries included). However, the 4U HD decoder is also compatible with the DSTV A5 & A6 remote controllers.

Usability:

The UI (User interface) is brand new and many would say much neater & more organized. The UI has changed for all the screens & menus that you use when watching Television.

There are some new search features, making viewing more accessible when looking for something to watch. Users can look forward to an updated TV Guide!

For XtraView use:

The DSTV 4U HD decoder is XtraView capable & can be linked to an Explora or 4S decoder.


DStv Aspect Ratio Changes

DStv aspect ratio - How to change on all the decoders

09 August 2017

When you view a TV channel, and there is either black on the sides, or on the top and bottom of the picture, or you notice that some of the picture is being cut off, then you probably have an Aspect Ratio issue.

The definition of Aspect Ratio is: "the ratio of the width to the height of a picture or TV screen."

To change the aspect ratio of your DStv Decoder follow one of the procedures below:

For Explora or single view HD decoder (remote control has blue DStv button), you can set the aspect ratio with your DStv remote control.

OR

While watching tv press the "ARC" button in the bottom left corner of the remote, however, this is not a permanent setting and will readjust when the decoder is switched off.

Older single view decoders (Remote control has a "shift" button)

OR

Repeat the above steps, to choose the aspect ratio to suit your viewing. However, this is not a permanent setting and will readjust when the decoder is switched off.

Older HD PVR decoders (Remote control has a "shift" button)

OR

Repeat the above steps, to choose the aspect ratio to suit your viewing. However, this is not a permanent setting and will readjust when the decoder is switched off.

Older dual view or SD PVR decoders (Remote control has a "shift" button)

OR

Repeat the above steps, to choose the aspect ratio to suit your viewing. However, this is not a permanent setting and will readjust when the decoder is switched off.


Rain Fade Explained

The penomenon called Rain Fade - Explained

02 August 2017

If you are a subscriber to satellite TV services, you will know that bad weather often causes signal loss. This phenomenon is called Rain Fade & at the moment there is very little that broadcasters are able to do about it.

High-frequency signals are affected by Rain Fade. DStv & StarSat typically broadcast high-frequency signals to viewers. Rain Fade refers to moisture in the atmosphere absorbing the signals, causing them to attenuate. But it's not just rain that can cause signal loss, if there is snow or ice in the atmosphere, it will also cause the Rain Fade phenomenon.

The DStv broadcasting satellites transmit frequencies ranging from 10.7 GHz to 12.75 GHz

Did you know that it is not only the bad local weather than can cause Rain Fade? If the signal has been sent from another location, and the weather was troublesome, the chances that you will experience Rain Fade is quite high even if there is no cloud in the sky near you. The weather needs to be ideal from the point where it is being broadcasted from, to the point where it is being received. So both places play a role in possible Rain Fade problems.

Typically a 90cm dish is recommended to reduce the effects of Rain Fade. Ensure that your dish is not rusted and cables not cracked by the heat of the sun, as these are also contributing factors.

Often the signal loss is also due to a problem with your installation, in this case, we are fully accredited and ready to assist.


How to Reset your decoder

Resetting of DStv decoders

19 April 2017

Resetting your DStv decoder is often a quick solution for viewing problems. Some of the symptoms you may experience are:

The remote control has stopped working or the picture is frozen or broken into blocks or channels can't change or audio is missing.

Resetting will clear the temporary data on the decoder RAM (Random-Access Memory) and restore standard settings.

If you've tried resetting multiple times without success, it could mean that your decoder is faulty. Before buying a new decoder you're welcome to bring it to our shop for a free test.

Besides the well known method of switching your decoder power off and on again there are also specific resetting instructions per decoder model below:

HD PVR 2 Tuner

SD PVR

1131/1132

Dual View 820

DSD 720, 720i

DSD 1110

DSD 910, 933, 990


OVHD Parental Settings

OVHD parental control settings - we are OVHD accredited installers

05 April 2017

Did you know that OVHD is Free to View? Here's a few tips if you already have OVHD installed:

Parents can now lock certain mature rated programmes from being shown to their children.

Follow these steps to activate the parental control function:

Reset Parental Control PIN:

If you've forgotten your parental control PIN, please use your mobile phone to dial


Detune Your TV set & Save

De-tune your Television set and save money off TV Licenses

28 March 2017

We all know that if you are in possession of a Television set, you need to have a valid TV license in South Africa. To define: This is any device (decoder & TV) designed or adapted to be capable of receiving a broadcast television signal.

But, did you know that you do not need to pay this license if none of your devices can receive broadcast television signal?

How does one accomplish this?

You need to remove the TV tuner from the device & rendering the device incapable of receiving broadcast TV signal. At TV & Video Doctor we offer this service, bring your device into our shop, we then remove the TV tuner & guarantee our work, or your money back.

Tip: Remember to make use of professionals for this service!

Once the TV tuner has been removed the device needs to be checked by an SABC inspector - who charge R300. To ensure that you comply with the Broadcasting Act, No 4 of 1999 - you need to send proof to the SABC yearly that your TV cannot receive broadcast TV signal.


Extend your HDMI cables!

HDMI over Cat6 extender

16 March 2017

Did you know that HDMI (High Definition Multimedia Interface) cables are seldom longer than 15 meters? This is because a HDMI cable distance of more than 20 meters from your Explora to TV looses too much signal strength and so your TV will not display a 1080 HD (High Definition) picture. To make sure that you are using your television set to it's full potential, you should run a HDMI cable to your TV and not the typical round coaxial cable which does not carry an HD signal.

That's the reason why the display televisions at shops seem of a better quality.

However if you run a HDMI cable longer than 20 meters, you may experience loss of quality and sometimes it will not work at all.

The solution to this dilemma is a HDMI Extender, which consists of a transmitter and receiver with Cat6 (Catagory 6 Ethernet) cable between them.

The Cat6 cable can potentially carry the HDMI signal as far as 50 meters (or even 120 meters), depending on the transmitter unit. So you can run long cables to your second or third Television and still see a crystal clear 1080 HD picture.

The HDMI to Cat6 extender is a sure winner if you want to get the most from your expensive HD TV.


Link your DStv Explora Wirelessly

DStv WiFi Connector installation from TV Video Doctor

09 March 2017

Did you know that is is possible to link your current DStv Explora to your Wireless router?

This device is called the DStv WiFi connector. To start the Automatic setup, follow the easy step-by-step instructions below.

For more information about the DStv WiFi connector, contact us today!


Explora Decoders - Old Vs. New

Explora decoder - Old Vs. New - Which is better?

01 March 2017

What are the differences between the two models? It's important to know that there are two versions of the DStv Explora decoder, each with their own respective remote controls.

Here are some of the major changes.


Is your DSTV system compatible for the 2017 changes?

New Multichoice Satellite brings chagnes in 2017

30 October 2016

Change can be an exciting thing if you are prepared for it, but how will you know if your current DStv system will be compatible for the changes from Multichoice in 2017?

If you have an unicable switch behind your decoder that has less than a 4 cable feed from the dish your decoder will not work. If you see only 2 cables coming from your dish into the unicable switch you will need to upgrade your current infrastructure. And a Multichoice approved dish of minimum 80cm and larger will be required to ensure good reception.

Services such as BoxOffice and Catch up along with all channels will be sent on 4 different frequencies in vertical high, vertical low, horizontal low and horizontal high, meaning that your DSTV system needs to accommodate double the signal that it currently does.

If you already have a Quad LNB with multi-switch, a Smart LNB, an IP system or a fiber optic system you will be good to go when the switch over comes in 2017.

If you still have one of the decoders listed below you will need to upgrade your system before then;

Should you require more information regarding the new changes to come or if you need an accredited installer to assist with upgrading your current system to accommodate this new changes to come, please do not hesitate to give us a call.


New Multichoice Satellite brings changes in 2017

New Multichoice Satellite brings chagnes in 2017

23 October 2016

On Wednesday, 24 August 2016 at 07:16 p.m. Multichoice launched a new satellite called the IS20B from the Guiana Space Center in Kourou, French Guiana.

The IS20B satellite is mainly a back up for the IS20 satellite should something go wrong with the current DSTV satellite.

The new IS20B satellite is located next to the current IS20 satellite to allow the dishes to face the same way. The new satellite will make way for more channels as it allows more band width space.

The new IS20B satellite will use different frequency’s and would require that your current DSTV system needs to be upgraded to be able to see these new frequency’s. If you current decoder is still one of the old SD PVR decoders your decoder will not work on the new satellite and you may need to upgrade to the new Explora decoder with the new Smart LNB.

So how will you know if your current DStv system will be compatible for the changes to come in 2017?

Keep your eye on this space for our next post on "Is your DSTV system compatible for the change in 2017?"


The new Explora 2 & A7 remote

The new Explora 2 and A7 remote announced

18 October 2016

Multichoice will be launching the new Explora 2 in mid-October 2016. The new Explora 2 has a much smaller hard-drive (1 TB) compared to the Explora 1 (2 TB) but will be almost 50% more efficient.

Multichoice said that they will be running 2 versions of catch-up services to support the older Explora as well as the new Explora 2 decoder and can record up to 80 hours of HD content.

The Explora 2 will have the same extensive Catch-up services and ability to rent up to 30 BoxOffice movies. It will also have internet connectivity for Catch-up Plus, remote recording and ShowMax.

The new Explora 2 will be launched with the new A7 remote that will have nifty features available. When you pick up the new A7 remote the buttons will illuminate, a feature that would be great for a person who likes to watch TV at night. It also has a function to notify you when the batteries are running low or needs to be replaced.

There is also a ShowMax button for one-touch access. The new remote can also be programmed to control TV sets produced by major brands such as LG and Samsung as well as any other electronics such as amplifiers. The A7 remote can also be paired with all the current DStv decoders.

This new Explora 2 decoder and A7 remote will land in stores mid-October 2016 and will retail at R1499.00. This price will be fixed until the end of 2017.


OVHD 3rd birthday + changes October 2016

OpenView HD 3rd birthday brings new changes in October 2016

8 October 2016

OpenView HD has seen a significant increase in the number of activations in the past months, with more than a thousand households activating OVHD per day. This month they will surpass half a million activations of its free digital satellite TV service.

Some changes can be expected on this digital satellite TV platform as a result of the number of growth and as part of its annual content review. Four of the current channels will go off air from end September 2016 to mid-October 2016 and move to different satellite platforms.

These channels are:

AStv will move to StarSat (The old Top TV)
Spirit Word - Still to be advised in OVHD press release.
Wild TV Africa - Still to be advised in OVHD press release.
Ekurhuleni TV - Still to be advised in OVHD press release.

To coincide with OpenView HD’s 3rd birthday in October 2016 they will be announcing a new channel launch.


DStv adds two new radio channels

New radio channels on DStv

28 August 2016

Good news for the music listeners out there, Multichoice has added two new radio stations to their audio channel list. The Namibian-based Christian community radio station Channel 7 FM will air on DStv channel 825 on 1 September 2016. Radio Islam also launches on 15 September 2016 on DStv channel 826. Radio Islam is an award-winning station focusing on Islamic culture.

These channels will be available to DStv Premium, DStv Extra, DStv Compact, DStv Family, DStv Access and DStv EasyView customers in South Africa.


Trace Africa - New Music Channel on DStv

Trace Africa music channel

21 August 2016

Multichoice has announced that it will be adding a new music channel dedicated to African music! TRACE Africa will premiere on 1 September (channel 326). Viewers can look forward to exclusive music videos & documentaries with the focus on Southern African artists. This fresh Southern African music channel will be offering fans a large variety from House, Afro-pop, Kwaito, Rumba & much more!

TRACE Africa will replace TRACE Sport Stars (channel 188) which will not air post 30 August 2016. Remember to catch this new DStv music channel on your DStv decoder!


DStv Compact adds FOX as Free channel!

17 July 2016

MultiChoice has recently added one free channel for DStv Compact subscribers.

DSTV channel 125 - FOX has been added to the DSTV Compact package, at no extra cost. Fox and MultiChoice promises premieres of the best shows on the channel within hours of the United States broadcast, in full-HD.

DSTV Compact now offers:


Link 3 decoders in XtraView!

Link three HD decoders on your XtraView Subscription

13 July 2016

Multichoice has recently announced that you can now add a third XtraView decoder to your DSTV subscription. This means that it is possible to view three different channels in three different rooms, all on one subscription. You only pay R85 x 2!

Mark Rayner, CEO for MultiChoice South Africa commented 'We want to equip our customers to have a great entertainment experience in their homes. The ability to connect three decoders under one subscription gives our customers more flexibility to create a set up that suits their family,'

Remember, the older decoders do not support this 3 decoder arrangement feature through XtraView. As a DSTV subscriber you must use a DSTV Explora decoder as your primary decoder, then link any combination of DSTV HD decoders or DSTV Explora in this three decoder arrangement finally making it possible to have three independant viewing environments!


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