|The 4DTV Digital Satellite
Receiver has made available many additional capabilities, features, and programming to the
C-band consumer. Along with this new product and technology comes a variety of questions
related to the installation and operation of the receiver. The following are answers to
the most commonly asked questions.
Q - Why is my remote control not
controlling my 4DTV receiver ( the red LED blinks on the remote but no response)
A - The remote control is on the wrong channel. The 4DTV
receiver allows you to have multiple receivers in the same household. For that reason you
can address the remote control.
To fix the problem make sure you 4DTV is powered on. Then press " Up and Down
arrows" at the same time until a number display on the front panel i.e :000 or 002.
Then press and hold down the 4DTV button on your remote control until the LED start
flashing then press the three digit that displayed on you receiver. Then press the power
button on the remote. Your remote control should now control the 4DTV.
Q - I get
some of the digital channels but not all of them, why is that?
A - The ability to receive any satellite signal is
dependent on signal strength. Digital transmissions have many more variables such as
compression ratios and forward error correction that make using typical analog threshold
calculations inadequate. Each programmer chooses its transmission parameters based on
their business strategies. Different parameters relate to different requirements for dish
size and LNB specifications. Based on current programming transmissions, a standard 7 _'
dish and 30 degree LNB is adequate for all available digital programming and provides
about 3 dB of margin. However, other factors such as terrestrial interference, being on
the perimeter of a satellite footprint, heavy rain and how well your dish is
"arced" can have an impact on the signal quality. These factors may cause you
not get certain digital channels. To be certain you receive as many channels as your
system will enable, we recommend that a qualified 4DTVAuthorized Dealer adjust consumer
equipment for optimal performance.
To identify if you are likely to have problems with particular digital signals, look at
the signal quality level on the "Adjust Picture" menu ("Options", 2).
This number needs to be a minimum of 18 to get a digital picture, and we recommend at
least 25 to guarantee a consistent picture.
Q - I see a lot
of "digital" channels in the paper program guides that I can't get with my 4DTV
receiver. How can I view these?
A - There are several different formats for digital
signals. The 4DTV Digital Satellite Receiver receives DigiCipher II( signals that use
Multiple Channels Per Carrier (MCPC) format. While this format is used by almost all
programmers transmitting content to cable systems, some other users of satellite
transmission may be using other formats such as NextLevel's DigiCipher II Single Channel
Per Carrier or other digital formats. Other Direct Broadcast Services (DBS) such as
DirecTV, Echostar, and Primestar use formats that are not compatible with 4DTV or with
If a programmer is using DigiCipher II, NextLevel must
create Virtual Channel tables that allow the Integrated Receiver/Decoder (IRD) to tune to
these channels, the programmer (e.g., HBO, Encore, etc.) must provide NextLevel with the
parameters of the digital channels (such as the MPEG service number). If the programmer
doesn't wish to provide this data, then NextLevel cannot define the channel.
Q - You
advertise that the 4DTV uses "Dolby Digital", but there is no output for it.
A - While much of the current promotion of Dolby Digital
(also referred to as "AC-3 audio") in the consumer arena has been focused on 5.1
channel output for products such as laserdiscs and DVDs, 5.1 channel output is only a
single option which may or may not be included in products using Dolby Digital technology.
Many products which are just becoming available in the personal computer, Internet, and
digital television marketplaces will utilize the benefits of Dolby Digital without
outputting 5.1 discrete channels. The following table shows a Dolby Digital 5.1 channel
discrete surround input being output by the 4DTV receiver as left and right transports
decodable by Dolby Surround or Dolby Pro-LogicTM processors. A major advantage of using
Dolby Digital is that this is the standard chosen for transmission with High Definition
Television signals. When outputting a HD signal, the 4DTV receiver will include the full
5.1 channels of audio information along with the HD digital signal.
So, while the 4DTV receiver does take advantage of Dolby
Digital technology and NextLevel has full permission by Dolby Labs to use the Dolby
Digital logo, it does not have the digital output that most users expect to see.
|Dolby Digital Input
|1 channel mono
||Mono on RCA left/right
|2 channel stereo (left, right)
||Stereo on RCA left/right
|2 channel matrix surround (front
left, front right, center and rear are encoded in the left and right)
||Left/right transports for stereo or
external surround or Pro-Logic decoding on RCA left/right
|5.1 channel discrete surround (Front
left, front right, center front, rear left, rear right, and low effects channel)
||Left/right transports for stereo or
external surround or Pro-Logic decoding on RCA left/right
Q: Can the 4DTV provide Dolby Pro-Logic
surround sound to my stereo receiver?
A: Yes. The 4DTV provides Dolby Pro-Logic surround sound
output to your stereo receiver and/or your VCR. The 4DTV can, in addition to Dolby
Pro-Logic Surround Sound, provide audio in mono and stereo formats using the Dolby
Laboratories standards. Keep in mind that the 4DTV receiver will only output Dolby
Surround or Pro-Logic if the source is transmitting in that mode.
Q - Why can't I store channels that
aren't listed in the Interactive Program Guide (IPG) in the "favorite channel"
A - The 4DTV system allows you to tune to any analog
transponder and all accessible and defined digital DigiCipher II channels. All of these
channels are available to be put in the two "Favorites Lists". When you have
selected one of the favorites lists from the "Interests" screen, you will be
able to channel surf to any favorite channel you have selected. However, since the
Interactive Guide may not have all the channels included such as occasional video, these
may not show up in the Interactive Guide. If you know of channels that need to be included
in the Interactive Guide, please email us at email@example.com and we will include it.
Q - How and when will the 4DTV receiver
get HDTV signals?
A - HDTV is a high resolution signal that uses over 1000
lines of vertical resolution to create a crystal clear, movie theater quality television
picture. The first HDTV standard commercial transmission over satellite is expected in
1998. The 4DTV receiver uses a digital standard that is capable of receiving the HD signal
along with the associated Dolby Digital audio and delivering this signal to the
Multimedia Access Port (MMAP) output of the receiver (this makes sense since NextLevel
Systems Inc., when it was known as General Instrument, was a pioneer of HDTV). This signal
can then be decoded by a compatible television or intermediate translation device. The
4DTV system has an advantage delivering HD signals over DBS systems because the high
bandwidth requirements of the signal are typically 4-5 times greater than typical
compressed NTSC video.
Q - How does the Interactive Program
A - The Interactive Program Guide, or IPG, works as
- A programmer, such as HBO, sends seven days of IPG
information to a data collection service. This service receives information for all
channels that want their information in the IPG.
- NextLevel receives this information every day and transmits
all seven days of data using one of the C-band satellites. Currently, IPG data is
transmitted on G9.
- If the message "Information Not Available"
displays when pressing the Guide button, the receiver is not authorized. For the 4DTV
receiver to obtain IPG information, a consumer must be authorized and have provided their
time zone by calling a 4DTV ready program provider. To get authorization data, the
receiver must be tuned to any transponder that is carrying an authorization stream. This
is very similar to getting authorized for VideoCipher programming. Currently there are
digital transponders carrying authorization streams on G1 and G9.
- The 4DTV receiver can store over 24 hours worth of data. To
look out into the future, the receiver must return to the transponder delivering the full
7 days' worth of information. The receiver will do this automatically when being requested
to find information it does not have stored.
- The receive can also automatically update its memory each
night at 2AM for the latest 24 hours of IPG information by selecting the "Automatic
Update" feature in the installation menus. Note that the receiver must be turned off
(in Stand-by mode) each night to receive these updates.
- When using the "Interests" feature with the IPG,
the 4DTV receiver searches through all available programming to find and display the
interest you selected. This can often take several seconds.
Q: How can I get my 4DTV IRD to update
the Interactive Program Guide (IPG)?
A: There are two ways you can update the IPG: 1) Simply
turn the 4DTV off at night and the IPG will be updated automatically, as long as the
"Allow Dish Movement for Updates" setting has been set to "YES," 2)
Press the [GUIDE] button and the 4DTV IRD will display the IPG if the information has been
retrieved. If the IPG information has not been retrieved, the 4DTV IRD will display,
"Guide information is available on satellite G9 channel 7. Press ENTER to change
satellites and retrieve the guide information. To cancel, press GO BACK." Confirm by
pressing the [ENTER] button. The 4DTV will retrieve the Guide information. If that does
not work unplug the unit and plug it back in once it finishes its warm up hit the guide
button again and wait about 3 minutes. This should force your guide to download.
Q: Why doesn't my dish move
automatically every night to get the Interactive Program Guide (IPG) updated even though
at the Dish Setting screen, "Allow Dish Movement for Updates" has been set to
A: The satellite dish is only capable of moving
automatically, when the power is turned "Off" (Stand-by Mode). The 4DTV IRD can
not automatically move the dish to update the IPG when the unit is left "On."
Q - Why can't I get detailed
"information" for ALL the channels?
A - IPG information is provided by each individual
programmers and not all programmers provide this information. Some channels such as
occasional video channels do not have information available.
Q - How can I use the 4DTV remote
control to change the volume?
A - The 4DTV remote can control a VCR and TV as well as
your 4DTV receiver. Although the 4DTV receiver does not have internal volume control, you
can change the volume by using your TV or VCR and selecting the mode on the remote and
using the 4DTV Remote Control Unit (RCU) volume keys. You must first program the remote to
know your brand and model of TV or VCR. See the installation instructions for details.
Q - Why can't I manually adjust the
audio and video settings on digital channels?
A - The 4DTV receiver automatically tunes to the center of
the digital signal. At this point, the digital signal has specific coding requirements
which cannot be modified like analog channels. Terrestrial Interference filtering is not
available because it removes important information necessary to decode the digital signal.
However, skew and dish adjustment are available from the installation screens to fine-tune
Q - Why can't I save audio channels if
I change the settings?
A - The first release of software did not include this
capability. This function will be downloaded to the receiver this summer.
Q - Is there any information available
in the receiver that will tell me more what is going on in the receiver?
A - There are several diagnostics screens available that
are not described in the User Manuals. This information is not typically useful for
consumers. These screens and descriptions will be placed on the 4DTV Web site at
Q - How do I know when the receiver
has finished "downloading"?
A - There are several types of information the 4DTV
receiver downloads. These include:
- Interactive Program Guide (IPG) data - (See question 6
- Virtual Channel Information - This includes satellite and
channel information so the 4DTV receiver knows how to access all the latest available
digital and analog channels. The receiver leaves the factory with a set of default
information (tables) but the latest information must be downloaded to the IRD. This occurs
automatically as soon as the IRD is tuned to any transponder transmitting DigiCipher II
signals that include these tables (currently all TVN and HBO digital channels carry these
tables and most digital channels will in the near future). It is important to get this
information before finishing an installation to ensure all available satellites have been
programmed in. To determine when the receiver has completed this download, you can check
the system status by selecting "Options","6", "5" and look
for the channel count at the bottom right to stop counting (currently this number stops at
around 1300, but will increase as channels are added). After installation the 4DTV
receiver automatically updates this information when watching a DigiCipher II program.
- Software downloads - One of the advantages of the 4DTV
receiver is the ability to add features after the receiver has been installed. The first
software download will be fall 1997. Some new features you will notice are Instant Pay Per
View features, the ability to store audio changes, ability to install up to 80 satellites,
and increased channel change speed. This download will occur when the receiver is turned
off and will be relatively transparent to the consumer. There will be several ways to know
if the download was successful, including the display of "WM UP" on the front
panel when turning on the receiver and the addition of the new features. The consumer will
receive electronic personal messages to be notified of the download.
Q - Do I need a VCRS module to use the
A - You don't need a VCRS module to access the digital
DigiCipher II free or encrypted programming, but you do need one to descramble VideoCipher
II Plus scrambled programming the same as current analog receivers.
Q: Why does my 4DTV Integrated
Receiver/Decoder (IRD) seem slow at times displaying the video picture?
A - The IRD tunes to the correct transponder, determines
whether the signal is analog or digital, acquires the signal at its assigned data rate,
acquires the video and audio, and determines if the parental control ratings allow viewing
of the signal. This can cause slower channel changes at times.
Q: My 4DTV Integrated Receiver/Decoder
(IRD) takes a long time to display anything on the front panel after the unit is plugged
in or reset.
A - The IRD's front panel blanks the screen for a short
time to initialize its internal hardware and software, similar to a personal computer
boot-up. Due to the complexities of the 4DTV, this can take approximately 30 seconds.
Q: When I installed the satellites or
setting the limits for them, the IRD seemed to be jerky when performing left or right
satellite positioning, but went away when performing normal satellite calls. Why?
A - In some buildings with a lot of metal structure or
objects placed in the IRD area, the IRD may be receiving multiple UHF signals reflected
from these objects initiating from the remote control. Removing the UHF antenna during
setup and programming will reduce or eliminate these reflected signals. Re-install the
antenna after setup and programming is complete.
Q: Why doesn't my 4DTV IRD's front
panel display the accurate time of day?
A - The 4DTV IRD depends on you providing accurate zip
code information to your programming provider. The 4DTV sets the time automatically from
this information. If you are experiencing difficulties, we encourage you to contact your
provider to confirm this information.
Q: My 4DTV IRD menu screen flickers
and changes colors as a new channel is being displayed. Is this normal?
A - Yes, this is normal. The IRD uses the sync pulses from
channels to display the video picture and to display menus. When the IRD is searching for
a signal (channel), it loses this sync pulse and synchs on a pulse generated internally by
the unit. This is required to continue displaying the menus or banners, etc. Once the IRD
acquires an external signal from the satellite dish, it drops the internally generated
signal and, once again, synchs on the external signal.
Q: Is it normal for the 4DTV front
panel LED to travel in a "box" or a "racetrack?"
A - Yes. but only when the 4DTV IRD is in "Timer
Mode." The IRD has been programmed to lock on a channel at a specific time by the
user, e.g., if you wanted to tape a program while you were out. This alerts others that
the it has been programmed. To cancel out of the Timer Mode and return to normal operation
(losing the timer settings), simply press the [POWER] button.
Q - Is there a procedure available
that can make installing 4DTV receivers easier?
A - The 4DTV receiver requires several steps that are not
necessary for current analog only receivers. Below, at the end of this page, is a
procedure developed by our Technical Assistance Center that may help the installation
Note: It is highly recommended that 4DTV receivers be installed by a qualified 4DTV
Authorized Sales and Service dealer.
Q -Why does S-video only work on
A - 4DTV video is one of the highest quality video
pictures available in both analog and digital modes. To maintain this quality, the S-video
only works on the digital video broadcasts. The video that is displayed by
your TV is actually in two components, chroma and luma. Analog transmissions combine these
before they arrive at your satellite receiver. It takes extra hardware to split these,
which can actually reduce the quality of the video. S-video was developed to take
advantage of digital signals that can be stored by separate components. Laser disc players
were the first products to use S-video output to take advantage of this separation. The
4DTV receiver also takes advantage of the separate components, but only on digital
Q - What are the data ports on the
back used for?
A - There are several types of data that can be sent to
the 4DTV receiver using the DigiCipher II system. These include asynchronous data as low
as 9600 bps to the full 29.27 Mbps transport stream of the transponder. Although there are
no services using this capability at the moment, this port is capable of providing
Internet access, HDTV, and other data services in the future.
Q - Would I ever need to pull the
power cord from the 4DTV receiver?
A - Normally, you should never need to pull the power cord
from your 4DTV receiver. However, if you think the receiver is not responding to requests
for IPG data or is not responding to the remote control, sometimes powering the receiver
off by removing the power cord will fix it by requiring the receiver to refresh its
memory. This will not affect your satellite installations.
Receiver Installation Summary
1)Before disconnecting old unit, position the dish to
G9-7. Connect power and dish cables to the new unit.
2)Press <Options 6 4 2> Select actuator and LNB
type. Select "standard" feedhorn.
3) Press <go back>
4) Press<3> to get to the east/west limits screen.
Press <3> to get to the Program Satellites screen. You may begin programming
satellites w/o programming limits. You may then go back and put the limits in once you
know where the satellites are.
WARNING: Programming satellites without setting the limits may cause damage to the dish,
actuator, roof, etc. if your system does not have limit settings properly set at the dish.
6) By using the arrow keys position the yellow cursor over
the G9 tile. Press <enter>.
7) This is the Satellite Adjustment screen. Channel up to
"target" channel of the program you intend to find to identify the satellite you
are on. (Channel 23 is a analog clear, easily identifiable channel)
8) Press <2> for dish position control.
9) Use east or west arrows to move the dish until you
locate the desired signal. The dish should already be close to G9 if it was left at the
position before installation. If unable to locate G9 and only finding opposite format
satellites, you must switch the feedhorn setting to rotated 90' in step #2 and begin
10) Once you have found the correct "target"
channel on the selected satellite, adjust the dish position to maximize quality.
11) Press <4> for Skew Adjust. Adjust the skew to
maximize quality. You may choose to use the auto skew feature by pressing <5>.
12) Channel up/down to a channel of opposite polarity and
adjust skew again to optimize quality. Do not go back to the original polarity.
13) Press <go back>and <enter> to save
settings. This will put you back on the satellite chart to select the next bird to be
programmed in. Do NOT continue yet. Press <view>. Change channel to 7.
14) Press <option>. At the bottom of the screen you
should notice the number in the box marked "Channels" increasing. Once the unit
has stopped counting (currently there are about 1300 channels) it has completed
downloading the channel maps.
15) While you are on G9-7, take a moment to call a 4DTV
ready Program Provider to get the IPG authorized. They will need the Digital UA# in order
to authorize. This # can be found on the same system status screen on line # 1.
16) Resume programming satellites by pressing
<option> and <3>. Select the next satellite until you have programmed the
satellites that you desire. We recommend manually programming at least 3 satellites in the
middle of the arc and the furthest East and West satellite. After you have done this you
can begin using the auto dish positioner. Press<1> instead of <2> as listed in
Step 8. This forces the unit to automatically calculate the location of your selection and
move the dish for you to its "best guess".
17) When programming the "fringe" satellites or
the farthest East/West, make a note to yourself of the dish position. This will allow you
to set the limits effortlessly. After installing the satellites press <Go Back>
until you come back to the East/West Limit screen. Press <1> to select E limit.
Using E/W arrows change the numbers to those that you have noted for the E limit. Press
<2> for W limit and do the same thing. Simply set the limits to a few counts above
or below the satellite locations for C1 and G6. Press <view> to exit screen.
*Special Steps Pertaining to Acquisition of Digital
18)Some additional skew adjustments may be necessary to
receive digital signals as they are more sensitive to cross polarization. This can be
achieved by going to the satellite needing adjustment. Tune to either the 'home' channel
or the 'virtual' channel. Press <options 6 4 4> The highlight should be over the
current satellite location. Press <enter>.
19)You will notice at the bottom of the screen a box
unique to digital channels labeled "Quality".
This number must be at least 25 to receive digital video.
Play with <2> dish position and <4> skew in small increments to achieve the
highest quality. Channel to the opposite polarity if applicable and repeat. Press <go
back> and <enter> to save.
The installation is complete.
For more help and diagram go to Connecting your 4DTV for the first time
4DTV, DigiCipher, DigiCipher II, and DigiCipher II Plus are registered
trademarks of General Instruments Corporation. All other product and service names are
trademarks of their respective manufacturers or providers.