Thursday, June 23, 2011

A TV viewing odyssey: From Cable to Local to FTA - Part 2

Garbled Instructions

After making a decision to buy a home satellite system I would like to make a few comments about the people you select to buy from. In my case this was Perhaps not the best choice of companies to do business with. There is at least one site that do not speak favorably of the business practices of the owner, a Mr. Jamal Sadoun. According to some of the complaints, this is a business best avoided and that’s putting it kindly. That said, I did get my merchandise and everything apparently worked, thank God. The dish setup, however, was not without some interesting challenges.  I would like to submit the instruction page into evidence exhibit A. These instructions were either written by a two year old or by an ape, I’m not sure. In either case, I got my dish assembled only by completely ignoring them. This was accomplished after first repairing damage that was done to the dish while it was still at their warehouse. (I can say this because the shipping box showed no signs of any sort of trauma).

Dish pointing for dummies

Next came some fun and games with the unit that powers the dish. Once again, you are better off to just ignore what the pamphlet says. I aligned the assembly by setting the latitude on the motor bracket and then by aiming it manually at a satellite that was closest to due south. In my case this was Galaxy 19. Time spent on this was about four hours. During that time, I tried calling Sadoun only to get a prerecorded message that they would return my call…which they did not. This task was accomplished when I went to Sadoun’s site where you can get a visual on the actual azimuth and elevation of the satellite you are trying to link up to. Once I was able to get some hits that way, I was able to ‘fine tune’ the dish by making some small adjustments until I got a good signal. A process that is a pain in the butt, I’ll tell you.

The Open Box Manual
The next bit of fun was in trying to figure out what the manual for the Open Box satellite receiver was trying explain. This was another case where you get the impression the booklet was written by someone with only a limited grasp of English. Also, the pictures (see example) left a lot to be desired. Hey guys, this is the 21st Century! Fuzzy photos are so nineteen hundreds! This was another case where you are better off throwing the manual into the BBQ while you figure everything out yourself. By running through the menu items numerous times, I was able to get most everything to work. Still, a lot of frustration could be avoided by a well written preamble with concise ‘how to’ dialog. Just another reason to possible look elsewhere for your sat purchase.

Right now I am still in the process of deciphering it all. I have had success with acquiring a couple of satellites, even though they were obscured by trees. The picture quality from the HD receiver is excellent and in part three, I hope to go into more detail as to the nature of the programming available in part three. For now, I would tell anyone who is considering a purchase like this to go for it, but to do their research prior to making the jump!

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