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Last Updated 01/17/04
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The new 4DTV Sidecar is finally being released. Orbit is expected to start shipping its first units Mark 18 2001.

So you're ready to add Digital features and channels to you C-Band receiver but you can't bear to part with your current analog receiver. Or may be you are not just ready to make the financial commitment necessary for a full featured 4DTV Receiver.
Whatever your reason is the 4DTV Digital Sidecar  may be the solution for you.

The 4DTV Digital Sidecar uses a satellite receiver that you add to your current C-Band system allowing you access to all digital channels available on your C-Band system. and the most popular digital channels. your analog receiver continued to control your dish and allows your to continued receiving your favorite analog channels the same way you do now, while the "Sidecar" allows you to access over 200 digital channels  while giving you the digital features that make your satellite system easier to use. 

Sidecar Marketing Campaign Focused On C-Band
NFL & Other Programmers Support Product Rollout

The C-Band programmers segment of the SBCA (Disney, Encore, HBO, Motorola, National Football League, NPS, Primetime 24, Satellite Receivers, Showtime and Superstar) announced a marketing campaign compromised of $650,000 to support the rollout of the upcoming Motorola digital Sidecar unit for C-Band dish owners. 

In order to roll-out the plan, an infomercial will air on numerous transponders and a direct mail campaign will target C-Band dish owners. 

Peter Brickman, chairman of the committee and senior director of broadcast operations and technology at NFL Enterprises, said, "Our group is committed to supporting this digital sidecar unit. We feel allocating these funds will support the effort and drive consumer acceptance." 

To support the marketing effort, the NFL will offer the first four weeks of the 2001 NFL Sunday Ticket for free (exclusively to C-Band subscribers). In addition, the NFL will offer a discounted price for the remainder of the season in hopes to simulcast C-Band digital feeds of the package. 

New Generation 4DTV In Production; Units Ship Soon  11/16/00

The question of the day in the C-Band world is when are the new 4DTV units coming out; when will they enter the market? 

The new DSR 922 units are currently in production. The newest generation of the 4DTV satellite receivers began rolling off the production line the last couple of weeks and have been shipped. Distributors should see these new units in their branch offices by either late this week or by the following week, at the latest. Motorola has scheduled a little over 10,000 units to leave the factory by the end of this year.

Many of you have sked what are some of the major differences between the old 4DTV (Model DSR 920) and the new unit (model DSR 922). Here are some of the most impressive upgraded features:

Dual audio/video connections Customers now have an extra video jack and a fixed audio output to connect to a VCR while variable audio and a second video connection can be conveniently connected to their TV and speaker system.
SP/DIF output True Dolby Digital 5.1 channel Surround Sound can be passed directly from the DSR 922 to a customers 6 channel audio system.
NTSC comb filter Provides component video in all video programming modes (includes digital and analog programming). The previous model only provided component video on digital programming.
UHF Antenna connection - The UHF RX circuitry has been added on the main board instead of within a separate assembly right inside the unit. This will improve remote reception over the previous design and eliminate the need to replace UHF cans.
Browse feature Allows the customer to surf upcoming programs without interruption.
User Guide Display Has a whole new user-friendly look over the previous model.

Two New Satellites Launched  11/16/00

Satcom 1 (now located at 142 degrees W), has now become C1 and new satellite GE-7 (now located at 137 degrees W where C1 was originally located) were recently launched. Programming from old C1 is now shown on GE-7, and will show up in the Interactive Programming Guide as W7. The Interactive Programming Guide should pick up these new changes within the next two weeks. GE-7 will be shown as W7 and will contain the programming previously shown on C1. 

CBand customers will not have to make any manual changes to their Interactive Programming Guide. These changes will be automatically downloaded.

Seven More 4DTV Regional Sports Networks Launched 11/10/00

C-band satellite dish owners equipped with a 4DTV receiver can now receive seven more regional sports networks on W4 with a subscription to National Programming Service's (NPS) Absolute Digital programming package. Here's a list of the additional regional sports network 4DTV channels: 

Fox Sports West 2 is on W4, 407. 
Fox Sports Detroit is on W4, 408. 
Fox Sports Pittsburgh is on W4, 409. 
Fox Sports Rocky Mountain is on W4, 410. 
Midwest Sports Channel (MSC)-Wisconsin is on W4, 411. 
Midwest Sports Channel (MSC)-Minnesota is on W4, 412. 
Home Team Sports (HTS) is on W4, 413. 
(These seven channels join 4DTV feeds for the following regional sports networks on W4 and W1.) 

Fox Sports Midwest on W4, 400. 
Fox Sports Northwest on W4, 401. 
Fox Sports Arizona on W4, 402. 
Fox Sports South on W4, 403. 
Sunshine Network on W4, 404. 
Fox Sports West on W4, 405. 
Fox Sports Southwest on W4, 406. 
Fox Sports New York on W1, 400. 
Fox Sports Bay Area on W1, 401. 
Madison Square Garden Network (MSGN) on W1, 402. 
Fox Sports Ohio on W1, 403. 
Fox Sports Chicago on W1, 404. 
Fox Sports New England on W1, 405. 
Fox Sports Florida on W1, 406. 

NPS does not have out-of-market satellite TV broadcast rights to most professional sports telecasts including NHL hockey and NBA basketball games. Therefore, most professional sports on the 4DTV regional sports network feeds will be blacked out in areas outside a team's local region. 

A subscription to all 21 4DTV regional sports network feeds, not just the regional sports network for a dish owner's local area, is offered in the NPS Absolute Digital programming package. The package is priced at $19.95 per month, $59.95 for three months or $219.95 per year. In addition to 21 regional sports networks, the Absolute Digital package currently includes 4DTV subscriptions to the following 18 channels: 

BBC America on C3, 700. 
Court TV on C3, 580. 
Discovery Civilization on C3, 614. 
Discovery Health on C3, 613. 
Discovery Home and Leisure on C3, 615. 
Discovery Kids on C3, 610. 
Discovery Science on C3, 612. 
Discovery Wings on C3, 611. 
MTV 2 on C3, 800. 
MTV X on C3, 801. 
MTV S on C3, 802. 
Nickelodeon Game and Sports (GaS) on C3, 621. 
Nickelodeon Too-East on C3, 622. 
Nickelodeon Too-West on C3, 623. 
Noggin on C3, 620. 
VH1 Classic Rock on C3, 803. 
VH1 Country on C3, 805. 
VH1 Soul on C3, 804.


General Instruments/ Motorola is experiencing technical problems with the 4DTV data stream. This has started on Thursday night. The techs at GI are working on the problem. 

We are sorry for the inconvenience that this might cause. One of the symptoms that you will notice is that your clock is on eastern time zone, the IPG will not download and sometimes your hits will not go thru. Please be patient once the problem is corrected everything will go back to normal once the problem is fixed.

Fox Sports Back On C-Band

Fox Sports and National Programming Service (NPS) reached an agreement that will allow NPS to distribute Fox's regional sports channels to C-Band customers with a 4DTV receiver beginning June 1. 

"The availability of Fox Sports channels to C-Band customers with a 4DTV receiver symbolizes that C-Band TV is still a viable category within the satellite industry," said NPS President Mike Mountford. "Companies like National Programming Service and Fox are committed to ensuring C-Band consumers continue to have the greatest selection of programming available." 

The 4DTV receiver from Motorola provides C-Band customers with more than 500 video and audio choices in digital format, including 200 channels big dish subscribers can't get with analog systems. 


Owners of the Motorola/General Instrument 4DTV receiver will not even notice the changeover from Galaxy 9 to Galaxy 10, according to Abraham Issa at Motorola. While the move will likely have happened by the time you read this, Galaxy 10 will be placed in the same orbital slot as Galaxy 9 and the hot switch will be made in mid-March.

The significance of the change is important to 4DTV owners. The DigiCipher II data stream was sent on channel 10 of Galaxy 9 until the changeover. Issa says that just before the switchover, a new channel map will be sent out to all 4Dtv owners and "we hope it to be completely transparent."

Adding Satellite T7 03/10/00

I have a 4DTV receiver but am not sure how to add the new satellite, T7. I read in your site how to reboot when I miss a download at night. I tried this but it did not add the new satellite. 

Apparently theres a lack of basic understanding about how satellites are added and activated with a 4DTV. The first thing to understand is that all satellites available to home dish owners in the United States are added to and subtracted from the 4DTV receivers satellite memory by Motorola/GI staffers at the Access Control Center in San Diego, Calif.

As satellites die and new ones are launched, or as satellites move from place to place in the arc, the updated data is downloaded to all active 4DTV receivers by satellite, usually late at night (about 3 a.m. in each time zone). Thats how Telstar 7 was added to 4DTV receiver memories. (In some cases, however, T7 did not show up in the on-screen list of available satellites. That happened to us. Thats when we did a hard reboot of our 4DTV, which resulted in T7 being added.)

But being added doesnt mean the satellite is automatically available or that its listings have been added to the on-screen guide. Once a satellite has been added to a 4DTV receivers list of available satellites, it has to be activated by the dish owner. The process of activating a satellite is simple. With your remote control, enter Options-6-4-4. Scroll through the satellites and near the bottom of the list you should find T7 (C-band) and L7 (Ku-band) to the right of G5. Highlight the T7 box by moving the yellow box with the remotes arrows, then click enter to add the satellite. If you have Ku-band capability, do the same for L7. Press Go Back to save each satellite after youve maximized the picture reception and dish location.

One hint: dont use autopeak if you want the best digital pictures on any satellite; do the dish positioning and skew adjustments manually until youve maximized the signal (analog) and quality (digital) numbers. Generally, autopeaking works for analog signals. But it often does not work well when trying to maximize reception of digital signals.

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Some or our news stories are provided by:
Skyreport, Orbit Magazine DigiFax News and Satellite TV Weekly.

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