Satellite TV Star Choice

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Star Choice Canada Satellite TV offers over 430 channels, up to 21 HD channels at no extra cost. A full range of programming packages for English, Bilingual and French Programming. zoom in 9500 satellite phone

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Star Choice is currently Canada's second largest direct to home satellite service. It was incorporated in 1996 as Star Choice Television Network, a subsidiary of Direct Choice, a small distributor of satellite components in Eastern Canada. Two competing companies, Expressvu Inc. and Power Directv Inc. had been licensed a year previous by the CRTC, but had not been successful in actually bringing an operational service to the Canadian market. Star Choice had recognized the immediate need for a Canadian service, as tens of thousands of Canadians were opting to purchase a grey market satellite system for the U.S. Directv and Dish Network services.

Other TV Satellite Technologies:

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  • The company was based in New Brunswick, Canada and had ambitious plans for the Canadian market. What they lacked in size and corporate strength, they made up in spades with spirit as they would be competing head to head with Expressvu Inc., which was wholly owned by BCE, Canada's largest Telecommunication Company, a company with hundreds of millions in cash reserves.

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    Clearly Canada was in desperate need of a digital satellite service as most Canadians were tired of unfulfilled promises, as Expressvu had committed over half a dozen launch milestones which they had missed for a number of reasons from equipment problems to satellite capacity. For many Canadians, the grey market had become the only alternative, especially to those in rural areas which were not services by cable vision.

    A Canadian DTH satellite license had been applied for in early 1996, which was finally granted by the CRTC at the end of August 1996. It had an initial projected launch milestone of last quarter of 1996. In March of 1996, the troubled Canadian Anik E1 satellite suffered a near total loss of its satellite capacity as one of its primary power systems had failed, leaving it crippled. This loss meant that there was no longer sufficient satellite capacity to allow 2 fully operational satellite services. One of the CRTC's primary conditions of license was that Canadian satellites must be used to deliver Canadian signals. It would allow US signals to be delivered via US satellites however.

    Star Choice's initial platform was to utilize the Canadian Anik E1 satellite to deliver 112 channels, which would include 52 Canadian and US video channels as well as 35 digital audio channels. They had also planned to offer an additional 25 U.S. CRTC approved channels from the Dish Network satellites, which at the time was seen as ambitious as no DBS provider had provided equipment that would receive feeds from 2 seperate satellites on one small dish. They had entered into an agreement with Echostar, the parent company of the U.S. Dish Network satellite service to provide equipment for the Canadian DBS venture.

    The loss in capacity meant Starchoice would have to modify its initial programming offerings and push back its launch date. In early 1997, Star Choice and HomeStar, a wholly owned subsidiary of Shaw Communications began negotiations for a possible merger. HomeStar had recently received authorization from the CRTC to begin a DTH service in Canada, but had not yet put the infrastructure in place. A merger with meant they would be set for a much earlier entrance in the Canadian market. It also meant for a much needed source of financial backing from Shaw, which was one of Canada's largest cable vision companies. The merger was put before the CRTC and approved in May of 1997. It gave Shaw controlling interest in Star Choice. Show also had controlling interest in Cancom, which owned much need satellite capacity aboard the Anik E2 satellite. This gave Star Choice the capacity it needs to launch a full featured DTH service to the Canadian market. Shaw also made some equipment changes, abandoning the Echostar platform in favor of the Motorola Digicipher II platform, in use in the US by Primestar. Motorola is a recognized leader in consumer electronics.

    In late May, 1997, the Star Choice service went on the air and was officially launched. Ironically, it was one of the last companies in Canada to be awarded a license by the CRTC to commence a Canadian satellite broadcasting operation , yet it became the first company to actually fully launch a successful service, beat only by the Alphastar Canada service, which would fail some months later. Expressvu would also launch their service to Canadian in late summer of 1997, more than 2 1/2 years after they had been licensed. Initially, both Canadian services shared satellite capacity on the Anik E2 satellite. Expressvu would however move to a new DBS satellite, Nimiq 1 launched by Telesat in 1999. This would free up a large capacity for Star Choice to expand their service to better compete with Expressvu, which controlled nearly all of of the capacity on Nimiq 1. Star Choice was also able to aquire some capacity aboard the crippled Anik E1 satellite, which was scheduled for replacement in 2004 by a new Anik F2 satellite. Anik E2 was replaced by the successful launch of Anik F1 in 2000 at the Telesat 107.3° WL orbital location. This offered more broadcasting power at 115 watts per channel, more capacity with 48 active and 10 space Ku channels as well as 44 C band channels as well as a larger satellite footprint, covering virtually all of North America. The crippled Anik E1 satellite was also replaced by the new Anik F2 satellite at Telesat's 111.1° W.L. orbital location, launched in July 2004. Two new Canadian satellites are also scheduled for launch in 2005/2006. Anik F1-R is scheduled to be launched in late 2005, replacing the Anik F1 satellite and allowing for an in-orbit spare. Anik F3 is also scheduled for launch in second quarter 2006 at a new Telesat 118.7° orbital location, offering an additional 32 Ku, 2 Ka and 24 C-Band transponders. It is expected that the launch of this new satellite will free up some additional capacity on Anik F1 and F2, which could be used to expand their high definition lineups

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    Anik F1 satellite Footprint 107.3° W.L. zoom in 9500 satellite phone

    Today, Star Choice offers up to 350 Canadian and U.S. video and audio channels to its more than 850 000 subscribers from two of Canada's most powerful commercial satellites, Anik F1 and F2 located in geo-synchronous orbit 22 300 miles above the Earth. The broadcast satellites are Anik F1 located at the 107.3 degree W.L. orbital location and Anik F2 located at 111.1 degrees W.L. The satellites are owned and controlled by Telesat Canada.

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    Anik F2 satellite Footprint 111.1° W.L. zoom in 9500 satellite phone

    Receiving Starchoice Satellite TV in the USA

    You can watch Starchoice programming in most northern USA states by using Starchoice satellite dishes and receivers. CRTC regulations do not allow either of these Canadian companies to sell you their signals, but you can join the hundreds of other Canadians living in the northern parts of the USA and watch Canadian TV.

    Satellite Dish Size

    STAR CHOICE offers a 24 inch dish across Canada for reception of Anik F-1. Recommended antenna size for same satellite in U.S. border areas is 75 cm (30 inches), increasing to 90 cm (36 inches) for the rest of the Lower 48. Same 90 cm recommendation applies throughout Mexico, with slightly larger sizing in Guatemala and Honduras (1.2 meter). A 90 cm antenna is advised for Hawaii. Signal levels drop off rapidly east of the middle of Cuba, resulting in little or no reception in the Caribbean without considering monstrous antennas. Alaskan locations should check by location; populated areas connected to the main highway system can generally use a 90 cm to 1.2 meter antennas. Areas to the West and Southwest may find reception requiring 1.2 meter and larger antennas. Reports from users all over the continental USA show more than adequate reception using the standard 24 inch dish. The 1-800 number for activation and customer service works from Canada and USA.

    Starchoice uses the brand new Anik F1 satellite, with a footprint that enables signal reception as far south now as Mexico. ExpressVu uses the Nimiq satellite to provide signals for Canada. As you can see, both companies now cover virtually all of North America. The days of marginal US reception are gone.

    If you are interested in French or bilingual programming from Starchoice, be aware that they will be broadcasting the French channels on the older Anik E2 satellite as of late August 2001- which has a marginal footprint for the most area in US. Starchoice will be using the newer elliptical dish to receive signals from both the Anik F1 and Anik E2 satellites concurrently with their dual LNB system. If your interests are to simply receive English programming, the Anik F1 footprint will provide a strong enough signal for reception as far south as Mexico and you will not need to upgrade your existing regular dish platter. All new satellite TV systems are shipped with the newer elliptical dish platter.

    How do you do this?

    Go to Canada, and purchase the hardware - starchoice dish and receiver combination. Also be sure to buy the $90 "do it yourself" installation kit. This kit has all the required special cable-like wire, bolts, and grounding hardware needed. Or, you can contact us and purchase the required hardware. Provide a canadian address (such as your parent's or close friend's) for the Programming Activation Form. This form gets filled out right in the retail store. You do NOT have to activate it at the time of purchase though!

    On your way back, may sure to pick up a GST rebate form at the Canadian Duty Free. In fact, they will rebate your GST right away.

    Physically install your dish. Send me an e-mail if you want some help.

    Aim it the Anik F1 Satellite - settings are Azimuth 199.6 and Elevation 36.3. Also chack our satellite look calculator. You won't get these numbers from the booklet that comes with the dish, nor will StarChoice tell you these numbers. StarChoice currently uses both the Anik F1 satellite (English programming), and as of August 2001, the older Anik E2 satellite for French Programming. Both satellites will be at virtually the same Azimuth and Elevations.

    Phone StarChoice and activate your dish. They supply 1-800 numbers that work from the USA! Remember, you must supply a Canadian mailing address for activation. For billing, you just provide them with your credit card number.

    Star Choice satellite television There are two legal satellite television companies in Canada. "Star Choice" is operated by Shaw Communications Inc. out of Calgary, which claims to have over 800,000 subscribers (I seriously doubt that), covering all of Canada & then there is Bell Canada's "Express Vu". I hate Bell Canada for a variety of reasons & won't do business with them unless there is no choice, so I decided to go with Star Choice (big mistake). Everyone should seriously consider the ramifications of switching from cable TV to either satellite company, because satellite TV's investment costs can be higher than you think & sometimes much more problematic. Consider the following things that I have learned. THE PACKAGE: Often you can purchase a package that includes a satellite dish, one receiver (3 different priced models to choose from) & usually even installation of same with all the hardware, for a very reasonable "come on" price. Sometimes these packages even throw in a couple pay per view movies & or the whole "works" with most of the channels (hundreds) included for no extra charge for a few months. Such packages are hard to refuse because it appears to be such a good deal, but the catch is that you usually have to commit to a subscription contract for a year, so the satellite company can get some return on their hardware investment (they sell this stuff below cost) & you have bought into a proprietary system that may cost you plenty more if you have more than one television. The price for canceling before the year is up is $100. (It's in the fine print.) Each television requires it's own separate satellite receiver (usually $99. each or more) & a separate RG6 cable feed from the satellite dish (usually $60. or more extra installation for each additional line)(maximum 4 receivers to a satellite dish). If you have 4 TVs in your house, the hardware investment alone can easily be $576. or more, not to mention having holes drilled for wiring. If you switch to a different satellite company, the equipment is not compatible & you have to start all over again (except for the RG6 wiring). INSTALLATION: I didn't install the dish myself, but it looked like quite a time-consuming chore, though you can do it yourself. Most dish installations look sloppy because they have ugly wires wrapping over the eaves trough & running down the wall, etc. For aesthetic purposes, try to minimize how far the wire has to run before entering the home & use appropriate coloured wire to try & blend in with the decor. In the northern hemisphere, dishes need a direct line of site to the southern sky near the horizon. A few branches of distant trees in the way might not cause problems, but a big tree obscuring the view or a building, will cause problems. In my case this meant mounting the dish up high on my roof at the chimney (big mistake). I had my dish installed in February 2004 & within days it was covered with snow & ice which was adversely affecting reception (huge pixelized blocks in the picture). The dish is not covered with Teflon or other coating that would minimize ice & snow sticking to it, so I had to climb on the roof (very dangerous in winter) & try to scrape it all off so I could get acceptable signal strength again. If you chose satellite & you live in a climate with lots of snow & ice, make sure you mount the dish in a location where you can safely clean it off (maximum run of 150 feet to receiver). If you can't do that, it may be possible to purchase a cloth cover to go over the dish which keeps snow & ice off, but doesn't affect reception strength much. Try to get a completely clear line of site to the satellite & aim the dish accurately, which will give you a stronger signal which helps during severe weather. The RG6 cable running from the satellite dish is supposed to be grounded to help minimize fires & equipment damage, should there be a lightning strike. Professional installers sometimes skip this step if there is no nearby convenient place to ground the cable such as a main power panel box (which has a very thick grounding wire). Do not allow the installer to ground to an ordinary inside receptacle box as these are only wired with 14 gauge grounding wire & could be a source of fire throughout your house if hit by lightning. If there is not an appropriate grounding spot near where the satellite cable enters the building, then purchasing a 4 foot copper grounding rod & drive it into the ground, which is better than not grounding it at all. Radio Shack sells these grounding rods for about $14. & your satellite installer might also be able to supply one. I found that Star Choice was willing to credit me with the cost of this grounding rod. For insurance & safety purposes make sure your dish cable is grounded. Each oval Star Choice dish will only handle 4 receivers & each must have a separate cable coming from the dish to the receiver (splitters won't work). THE MONTHLY COST: The essentials basic line-up (Bronze choice) of supposedly 170 television & radio channels (I counted 68 usable TV channels in English) cost $26.99 per month plus taxes. The "Ultimate Choice Plus" package is $80.99 a month which includes the essentials, all 13 specialty choice bundles & movies (not PPV) (supposedly 307 channels in all). You can mix & match 8 other packages priced between these two packages or chose a single specialty choice package. Shortly after I purchased my dish (Christmas 2003), Star Choice raised the monthly fees by $3., so I was stung because I had committed for a year, but Star Choice hadn't committed a firm price to me for that same year. If you have 2 - 6 receivers, Star Choice wants another $4.99 each month (multi-receiver fee) if you don't have a premium package. It is legal & permissible to have those extra receivers at a different location (like your cottage), as long as it's for the same family, but of course you will need to pay for another satellite dish, wiring, a receiver & installation at that other location. According to Star Choice, you can have up to 6 receivers in your home (needs a $50. special splitter if you have 5 or 6 receivers on the same dish), or spilt between two different locations of the same owner. Sharing a satellite plan between locations, is one advantage that satellite has over cable TV. Monthly prices range from $26.99 to $80.99 plus any pay per view choices, plus $4.99 if you have 2 or more receivers on a cheaper plan, plus taxes. It can add up to quite a lot of money just to watch the garbage that's on TV. CHANNEL LINE UP: You might initially be impressed with the sheer number of channels you get on satellite TV & you might think that you are getting better value (i.e. more channels for your money) than cable TV. Unfortunately many of the basic essential line-up has multiple channels carrying the very same thing (from 5 different time zones), or paid advertising, PPV previews & boring provincial legislature channels. Sometimes time shifting can be an advantage if you want to see a program that aired earlier & now is repeating in a different time zone & sometimes it's interesting to be able to watch local news from a different part of the country, but mostly it is just a lot of channels airing the same thing. Beyond basic "essentials" channels, packages are set up in theme groups & bundled (called specialty choice bundles) so you can choose what you like & Star Choice has made certain that all the really good channels are not in the basic line up (i.e. you've got to pay extra). Frankly you end up paying just about as much as if you were on cable, by the time you pick a few extra theme groups. MOTOROLA EQUIPMENT: Star Choice uses Motorola designed receiver equipment & a dish with the oval (elliptical) shape, that tunes into 2 satellites at a time (Anik E2 & Anik F1). While that may seem to be an advantage for having more channels than a satellite dish that only tunes to one satellite at a time (like Bell's Express Vu smaller dishes), what they don't tell you is that this significantly slows down the channel flipping process as well as the menuing process, because it has to coordinate these two satellites, each of which uses every other channel. Bell's Express Vu flips through channels much faster than Star Choice (just over 2 seconds to flip to the next channel). THE NAVIGO DSR405 RECEIVER: I upgraded ($30. extra) from the basic Navigo DSR305 receiver to the DSR405 receiver (value $149. for a second receiver) so I could have Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound (has optical & digital outputs), the ability to use the optional UHF (Ultra High Frequency) radio remote control, the on screen call display capability, the extra set of AV output jacks & the fact that the 405 includes front panel buttons (in case you misplace your remote). The Navigo DSR405 unfortunately does not come equipped with component video jacks which would have given me more hook-up options & enabled me to use the only Y/C (S-video) jack (it should have had two S-video jacks) for my S-VHS VCR instead of the television. Customer support at Star Choice strongly suggests that you turn off the receiver when not using it (or at least once a week), which I think is a nuisance. Their reasons are that it can get hot (mine doesn't even feel warm) & because software updates apparently can only download into the receiver when it is turned off & the channel guide eventually doesn't download properly if left on constantly (longer than a month). Power consumption of the Navigo DSR405 receiver uses 14 Watts whether it's turned on or off. If your television has Y/C (S-video) or composite video jacks, use them to hook to the receiver instead of the RF (channel 3 or 4) connection, as you may get better picture quality. THE NAVIGO DSR305 RECEIVER: This is the basic entry-level 305 receiver ($99. for a second receiver) & should be fine if you don't want any of the extra features mentioned for the 405 receiver. However, Star Choice advertises that the 305 is Dolby surround sound capable (AC3), but it is not. It is Dolby "Pro Logic" capable which is a simulated surround sound, not a true derived surround sound. I think it's worth the extra $30 - $50 to upgrade to the 405. CHANNEL GUIDE MENU: Satellite TV systems have the channel guide menu built in & apparently it updates automatically at least once a day, usually in the wee hours of the morning. I have found that sometimes my Navigo DSR405 receiver did not update & sometimes even in the early evening it will say "no info" for most or all of the channels. A Star Choice technician has admitted to me that they have been having some problem with this. It apparently takes 20 - 45 minutes to completely download enough data to update the menu for the next 7 days. I have also frequently noticed that the information in the channel menu is completely wrong. I'm not talking about last minute changes in the program line-up because a program was preempted, I'm talking about wrong information (not the correct program) typed in the menu by Star Choice, or completely wrong start/stop times for a program. Star Choice will tell you that they just print what the networks tell them they will be airing, but even basic stuff like standard news is often wrongly labeled. TUNING OUT CHANNELS: One of the really annoying things about Star Choice is that the receiver doesn't automatically tune out channels you didn't subscribe to, or remove them from the channel guide menu. If you look at the channel guide menu & see a program you want to watch, you press the button & wait for several seconds only to find that it says "a subscription is required to view this program". The only way to tune out the channels you didn't subscribe to is to go into "parent control" mode & manually unlist all the channels you don't subscribe to. If you just receive the basic package of services, this can take you about 10 minutes after you determine which channels to tune out (probably about another 30 - 60 minutes). If Star Choice has to reset your receiver for any reason, you've got to do this all over again. I think this is a major oversight in the design of the Star Choice system. They should be able to send a signal to tell your receiver which channels to tune into & which ones to not tune into. Any TV or VCR receiver can do this during initial set up & the satellite receiver should be able to do this too. CAN'T RECORD ONE CHANNEL WHILE WATCHING ANOTHER: Unlike cable TV where the tuner in your VCR can record one channel while the tuner in your TV let's you view a different channel, satellite receivers 305, 405 & 500 only let you tune in one channel at a time. If you program to record a show while you're not there, not only do you have to program your VCR, but also the satellite receiver. DOLBY DIGITAL 5.1 SURROUND SOUND: Star Choice advertises that one of the reasons you might want to switch from cable to satellite is so you can get Dolby 5.1 surround sound on your home entertainment system. Unfortunately, virtually NONE of the standard programming carries the Dolby 5.1 surround sound signal with it, even though I know as a broadcaster that some of it originated at the source television network with Dolby 5.1 surround. A small selection of the Pay Per View movies (PPV) have Dolby 5.1 surround but most do not. Nearly all Hollywood DVD movies in recent years are encoded with Dolby 5.1 surround, but somewhere along the way Star Choice has lost the ability to deliver this. I feel this is deceptive advertising when Star Choice so heavily advertises Dolby 5.1 surround sound & even charges extra for the Navigo DSR405 receiver which can handle it, but they don't actually transmit the signal most of the time. QUALITY OF SIGNAL: Satellite companies love to advertise & imply that the quality of their "digital" satellite signal is way better than you can get over standard "analogue" cable TV. In theory that should be true, because the MPEG2 signal used for satellite TV supposedly has the capability of delivering up to 500 lines of horizontal resolution, whereas standard analogue via TV tuners has a limit of 332 lines of horizontal resolution. That sounds like a potential advantage of 50% higher resolution over satellite, but in practice there seldom is much if any noticeable improvement over cable unless your cable was malfunctioning. To be able to see "horizontal resolution" of 332 lines, you actually need a TV monitor that can do 442 "total lines of resolution" & most consumers don't have TVs much better than this. To be able to see "horizontal resolution" of 500 lines (the maximum an MPEG2 signal can deliver), you actually need a TV monitor of 667 "total lines of resolution" & hardly any consumers have monitors with resolution this high (best on the market is usually 600 "total" lines). Additionally most TV producers use tape formats like Betacam SP that don't go much higher that 400 - 450 lines of "horizontal resolution" & subsequent copies for distribution lower the resolution. Additionally digital satellite uses a very highly compressed MPEG2 signal which is lossy (looses quality because of it's 20:1 compression compared with uncompressed video). Because satellite companies have hundreds of channels to compress into MPEG2 streams in real-time, they use cheap less than top of the line quality MPEG2 compressors, because really good ones cost so much. The MPEG2 compressors used on Hollywood movies give a far better quality picture than the cheap compressors the satellite company uses. Unfortunately, even on pay per view movies, the satellite company doesn't use the high quality MPEG2 stream from a DVD, they recompress the movie with their poorer quality compressors which adds artifacts to the picture. The average consumer might not know the difference, but an astute viewer with a keen eye can easily see the lower resolution of a Hollywood movie over satellite, compared to the same movie from a DVD. Both may have the same specifications in theory, but the DVD is actually FAR better quality. In some regards digital satellite is actually worse because it introduces pixelized artifacts that aren't there on analogue cable TV. Here's one more thing to consider, the PDF brochures for Motorola receivers used on the Star Choice web site indicate that the bandwidth (resolution) from the composite or Y/C (S-Video) jacks is only 4.2 MHz. They measure it this way because the average consumer has no way of translating that to resolution, but as a video producer I know that each MHz of bandwidth translates into about 80 lines of "horizontal resolution". So 4.2 MHz X 80 = 336 lines of horizontal resolution is all the Motorola receivers deliver, NOT the 500 lines of "horizontal resolution" that the MPEG2 signal is capable of. This was confirmed early one morning when a television station put up a resolution test patternSee photo. as they were signing off the air, which indicated the exact same "horizontal resolution" as analogue cable. So much for the supposed higher quality of DIGITAL satellite compared to ANALOGUE cable TV. You may notice a subtle improvement in picture quality with satellite over cable, but don't count on much of an improvement. 2 TELEVISIONS TO A RECEIVER: Sometimes you may want to hook two televisions up to the same satellite receiver if you don't care that they both have to watch the same channel. This can save you the cost of a receiver & installation of an RG6 cable from the dish (about $159. total or more), but the supplied infrared remote will only work in a direct line of site with the receiver, so the TV in the other room won't be able to flip to another channel without walking between rooms to change channels. There is a solution. If you purchased the Navigo 405 receiver, it can be fitted with an optional UHF remote control that will work from anywhere in your home. It works like a radio transmitter so it can beam through walls & floors. The price is usually $99. from most Star Choice satellite dealers & they will not give you a trade-in value for your infrared remote control, even if it is brand new. You can also get the UHF remote for $78.96. The high definition receiver DSR500 comes with a UHF remote. PAY PER VIEW (PPV): As previously mentioned, the pay per view movie quality is not nearly as good as a DVD, but Star Choice charges just as much (typically $4.99 per movie) for the convenience of not having to leave your home to drive to the video store. I prefer renting a DVD because my DVD player has component video out jacks (better quality), because the MPEG2 video quality is substantially higher on a DVD (about 50% higher), I can pause the DVD, I can rewind to re-watch a piece or watch the whole movie again, the DVD has Dolby 5.1 surround sound (most PPV movies don't) & because the DVD has extras to watch (outtakes, extra scenes, the making of & commentaries). PPV requires that you activate it once by phoning Star Choice & that the receiver be hooked to your telephone line so you can select via the on screen menu, unless you want to pay for manually having Star Choice turn on the PPV channel ($1. per movie). If you aren't using PPV, you don't need to have your receiver connected to the telephone line, unless you want to use the call display feature (models 405 & 500). HIGH DEFINITION (HDTV): Currently Star Choice only has 6 HDTV channels & if you have a new style television capable of high definition, you may want to purchase the model DSR500 receiver for $549. Unlike Rogers cable that offers up to 19 channels of HDTV & a $599. receiver that you can rent for $14.95 a month, or Bell's "Express Vu" which has 8 HDTV channels & an HDTV receiver that you can rent for $10. a month (1 year contract), Star Choice does not offer rentals, so you have a hefty up front capital cost if you want high definition. BTW, Star Choice advertises that "high definition" is up to 9 times higher resolution than "standard definition" which has no basis in fact. It's actually up to 6 times higher resolution & in fact isn't currently even that much because of the high compression rates they use over satellite & the fact that no current consumer high definition television can deliver more than about 2/3rds the theoretical resolution of high definition. So, in fact, "high definition" via satellite currently only has the potential of delivering about 4 times the resolution of "standard definition" TV not 9 times. I consider that a gross exaggeration of the facts. I have repeatedly pointed this advertising flaw out to several people at Star Choice, but they refuse to change their false advertising. As proof to the engineers at Star Choice, I point them to the web site of MotorolaExternal link that makes their high definition receivers, where it clearly says "HDTV pictures have twice the color resolution and roughly six times the sharpness of SD images.". I also pointed Star Choice to their own web siteExternal link which says that standard definition is 480 X 700 pixels (total 336,000 pixels) & high definition is 1080 X 1920 pixels (2,073,600 pixels), so if you do the math you'll see that at best, high definition will only be 6 times higher resolution, not 9 times. As another point of comparison, Bell's "Express Vu" web site more accurately says "HDTV contains 5 times the picture information of conventional TV." & Rogers digital cable web site says "5–times the resolution of ordinary TV". Still Star Choice doesn't care to change their wrong advertising. Shows you the kind of company Star Choice is & makes me wonder what else they are being deceptive about.

    Where can I find a list of channels offered by StarChoice? A list of channels is available on the StarChoice website. What is available in HD (High Definition) from StarChoice? Information about StarChoice's HD linup is available on their website. What channel packages are available from StarChoice? Details about StarChoice Programming packages are available on their website.

    What is the difference between the types of dishes StarChoice uses? Round Dish: Some of the older StarChoice systems shipped with a round dish. These dish are only capable of receiving signals from one satellite. Elliptical Dish: Most of StarChoice customers are using the newer elliptical dish that are able to receive signals from both of StarChoice's satellites. An elliptical dish is necessary if you want to receive billingual or High Definition Programming. What is the difference between a stacked and unstacked LNBF? The signals sent from StarChoice's satellites are polarized either vertically or horizontally. An unstacked LNBF can only receive signals from one polarity at a time. This restricts its ability to support multiple receivers. A stacked LNBF overcomes this limitation by sending both sets of signals down the same cable in different frequency ranges. What are the different types of LNBF used by StarChoice? Single-unstacked LNBF: Typically fould on older StarChoice systems (on round dishes), and can only accomodate a single receiver and receive signals from a single satellite. Single-stacked LNBF: Also found on older StarChoice systems (on round dishes), are capable of supporting multiple receivers and receive signals form a single satellite. Some receivers do not support this LNBF because of limitations in frequency range. Dual-stacked LNBF: Found on the earlier elliptical dishes, and are v-shaped. They are capable of receiving both Vertical and Horizontal signals simultaneously from two satellites. When equipped with a multiswitch, can support multiple receivers. Quand-LNBF: All new systems are shipped with the quad-LNBF, allowing up to four receivers to receive signals from either satellite with either polarity. More than four receivers can be supported if a Multiswitch is used. Where can I find a user's manual for my receiver? User Manuals for most receivers are available in PDF format on the StarChoice website. Some of the older receivers aren't listed, but the manual for the 405 will likely provide the information you need.

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