DSTV satellite settings

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This post is a copy of what @Geoff D previously posted elsewhere, for more easily finding this info.
Please don't post in this thread.

EDIT: For later developments see PRESS RELEASE: Get three independent DStv viewing environments under one subscription and 3 Exploras on XtraView

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The DStv Smart LNB ( SLNB) replaces the previously supplied Explora switches version 5-1 and 5-2, for use when installing one or more Explora decoders in a residential environment. Combinations of an Explora with one legacy HD PVR decoder connected to the Unicable ports on the SLNB is possible. This post provides the latest updated information available to DIY'ers who wish to install their own decoders.

Power Issues.
In December 2015, MC provided information on the power consumption of an SLNB. See the original thread here.

The power consumption of an SLNB is higher than any previous LNB used with DStv decoders. None of the legacy HD PVRs are able to provide sufficient power to an SLNB on their own when connected to the Unicable ports on the SLNB. Hence:

  • At least one Explora should always be used as the power source for a SLNB.
  • One additional legacy HD PVR can be connected to another of the Unicable ports, provided an Explora is available to provide power as well for the SLNB.
  • If for any reason whatsoever, the Explora is disconnected from the SLNB, the other decoders connected to that same SLNB should be switched off to prevent damage to the decoders.

User band Settings: Where are they?
User band settings need to be changed at times on the Explora decoders and also I presume on the HD single view decoder models 4U and 4S.

The settings are to be found under the menu option, Settings, Satellite Settings, Home Network. [OK] accesses these settings.

Change the User Band and Index Settings as required by the specific installation method chosen.

  • Note that at the moment anyway, these settings cannot be changed on the legacy SatCR capable, HD PVRs ( 4 tuner, 2 tuner decoders). The SD PVR is NOT SatCR capable, so it can only be connected to the legacy ports on the SLNB and the NES.
  • The sw on the PACE 4 tuner and 2 tuner decoders has been updated introducing a parameter called the "switching frequency", but NO explanation of what this does or what the settings have to be has been made public by MC. Hence, at the moment, DIY'ers are still constrained by having to change the user band and frequency settings on an Explora when more than one decoder is connected to the Unicable ports on the SLNB.

The Legacy SatCR HD PVRs must be set as follows:

  • LNB Power: Controlled LNB Mode: SatCR (Universal is best, but standard also works.) LNB Lo-band Lo Frequency: Will default to 9750 MHz. LNB Hi-band Lo Frequency: Will default to 10700 MHz. Change this to 10600 MHz If you choose the SATCR Universal option.
  • Leave the "switching frequency" alone if that parameter is available.

General Comments:

  • The 2 tuners use User Bands 0 and 1; Frequencies 1210 and 1420 respectively. The 4 tuners use User bands 0, 1, 2, 3; frequencies 1210, 1420, 1680, 2040 respectively. This means that more than one legacy HD PVR cannot be connected to the Unicable ports on a SLNB or NES, because there will be a clash. (It should not be like this IF the ports are truly independent but those that have tried, have found either one or the other decoder will work, not both.) IF you want to use the SLNB and the NES with 2 legacy decoders, one of them will have to be connected to the Legacy ports on the SLNB or NES. If a 4 tuner is connected to the legacy ports, a 2 x 4 MS will also be required. Any combination of an Explora and a legacy decoder both connected to the Unicable ports requires the Explora User Bands and Frequencies to be changed from the defaults to get both to work. The 4 U and 4S decoders can be connected to either a Unicable port or to the legacy ports. The other legacy decoders (SD PVR, 1110, 1131, 1132, etc) can only be connected to the legacy ports on the SLNB and NES.
  • The Explora and presumably the 4U and 4S only allow for 0-7 user band settings so, there are limitations when combining these decoders at the moment. Some decoders must be set to "share" a user band, and it seems the best option is to Share tuner 3 user band as the settings are "never changed". Sharing tuners 1 and 2 between Exploras or with the 4 U and 4S leads to conflicts.

The table below provides the settings that have been established by user trial and error and now confirmed to some extent by the Training Manual (not available in the public domain). The table shows various combinations of decoders connected to the Unicable ports only. The issues do not arise with decoders connected to the legacy ports.

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