Satellite TV Systems

Submitted: Saturday, Sep 27, 2008 at 08:08
ThreadID: 125081 Views:5860 Replies:12 FollowUps:3
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We are currently considering adding a Satellite system to our 22ft 3 yr old BT and have been in touch with SIM who are recommending the Intellisat system.
Despite much web searching I can find little information from users (the Intellisat web-site is a nonsense!) on this system. Brian tells me that he has installed 'lots'.
Would any of those 'lots' care to comment or anyone else with thoughts, experience of BTs with satellite dishes.
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Reply By: The Hob - Saturday, Sep 27, 2008 at 16:51

Saturday, Sep 27, 2008 at 16:51
We have ordered the Vansat system through SIM with our van under construction.
Lot cheaper but haven't used it yet. Need to set up dish each time.

The Hob

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AnswerID: 576016

Reply By: Flipp'n Lorry - Saturday, Sep 27, 2008 at 18:13

Saturday, Sep 27, 2008 at 18:13
We have the Oyster and have been generally happy with it, though it is not working at the moment after 2 1/2 years and will require service.

Having said that, unless you have either a SelecTV or Austar subscription (the latter only being available if your primary residence does not qualify for Foxtel !), it is a mute point as to whether it is all worth the trouble given the need to keep renewing your authorisation for the free-to-air channels every 6 months or so.

We have Austar, and apart from our current Oyster service problem, that has certainly been very handy.

There are pirate cards which purport to remove the need for free-to-air authorisation - our experience and that of many others is that they do not live up to their promises and usually fail after a few months.

The Australian Govt rules which restrict satellite broadcast areas, coupled with the regulative "authorisation" process to view are a disgrace. The argument is that this protects terrestial broadcasters who paid for their licences. Maybe, but with the development of internet TV, it won't be long before it will be easier to watch TV from overseas rather than watch Aust TV in Australia!
AnswerID: 576017

Reply By: Dundee - Sunday, Sep 28, 2008 at 01:52

Sunday, Sep 28, 2008 at 01:52
Check the archives - post ID 4580 - we made a comment on Intellisat - we're still very impressed with it - there is also some other comments on Sat dishes on the same post.

AnswerID: 576018

Reply By: Grumblebum & Dragon - Sunday, Sep 28, 2008 at 13:32

Sunday, Sep 28, 2008 at 13:32
I would be interested in the smallest dishes that may be available these days?
AnswerID: 576019

Reply By: Flipp'n Lorry - Sunday, Sep 28, 2008 at 16:55

Sunday, Sep 28, 2008 at 16:55
Campersat offer an interesting new high-tech satellite called the Speed Ray which has no dish at all. Has a low profile which is not likely to snag on anything.

See " target="EOF" class="lbg">

Apparently this is continuously self-correcting, so you can use it whilst in motion, which is ideal for a boat for example, or even a moving vehicle.
AnswerID: 576020

Follow Up By: Mobi Condo - Tuesday, Sep 30, 2008 at 05:51

Tuesday, Sep 30, 2008 at 05:51
Wow! We had a look at the site link. Sure looks good, but way out of our league for price! The stars look even better at night now!
We have been quite fortunate in that we obtained a nice little UHF/VHF antenna when living in Woomera and they did a "town wide" "free to air" transmission from a local satellite receiver. We figured that when travelling we may get some reception from similar set ups around various country centres and have been quite delighted from time to time with news and weather etc. We even got Imparja near Apollo Bay once! But then not being avid TV watchers we are well served by our "Poverty Pack" set up. Reckon we would think different if we were full time "On the Road" though!
Cheers - Ian & Sally
FollowupID: 850183

Reply By: Silver and Tinks - Monday, Sep 29, 2008 at 17:20

Monday, Sep 29, 2008 at 17:20

We have a fully automatic oyster sat on our 2006 van.

With all the current problems with free to air TV I wish we did not waste the money.


AnswerID: 576021

Reply By: Motley - Monday, Sep 29, 2008 at 17:30

Monday, Sep 29, 2008 at 17:30
Hi Scott,

Haven't used our free to air Sat TV for some time. We have a legitimate Optus card. Can you provide some more detail on current problems?

Thanks in advance

Life's too short to drink bad wine.

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AnswerID: 576022

Reply By: Flipp'n Lorry - Tuesday, Sep 30, 2008 at 04:18

Tuesday, Sep 30, 2008 at 04:18
You are only authorised to view the commercial sat' stations (eg Imparja, Central 7) for typically 9-12 months, they will then be blocked, and you have to re-apply all over again with your itinerary details to get them re-activated. This nonsense is because the politicians and bureaucrats have decided it would be 'wrong' for widely distributed sat stations to 'unfairly' compete with regional land operators. That is also why you can't get satellite installed in your home unless you are in a black spot area, and why you can't get access to commercial TV stations through Austar or SelecTV either.

Hence my comment that in a few years we'll all be watching international TV on the internet, whilst the Federal Govt prevents us viewing aussie stations in Australia.
AnswerID: 576023

Reply By: Flipp'n Lorry - Friday, Oct 03, 2008 at 06:15

Friday, Oct 03, 2008 at 06:15
We visited an Oyster Smartsat service agent in Sydney who was most helpful with our inability to receive either free-to-air or Austar.

There appear to be two issues, and one possible new one:

1) We have been advised that apparently Austar have made changes to their frequency (I don't pretend to understand the technical aspects of this stuff), and we need to get an LNB/software update to restore access via our Oyster. Cost about $500. We had not used the Oyster for 9 months or more, and were unaware of this till it failed to operate on our last trip. Boggers with recent Oyster installations would not have this problem.

2) Optus Aurora are de-activating cards when the system detects non-usage of a period of some weeks. Great customer service that! But the good news is that there is a computerised system now available where you can phone a special number (1300 301 680 Option #3) , key in your Aurora card number, and be re-authorised within a few minutes (this will restore the ABC/SBS service, but there is still that other nonsense to go through periodically to rollover Central7, etc).

3) Now the potential looming issue is a strong but unconfirmed rumour that Imparja may walk-away from activating travellers, as they do not want to incur the expense at their end to support the activation process. Various parties will be having words with the Australian Communications Commission about this.

I am still of the opinion that without Austar, satellite is probably not worth the trouble.
AnswerID: 576024

Follow Up By: MEL and TOBY - Thursday, Oct 09, 2008 at 10:22

Thursday, Oct 09, 2008 at 10:22
Hi Phil and Lorraine,
Like you our Oyster stopped working! I rang Daniel (? SIM at BT).
After discussion I rang Austar - they have disabled cards in third party receivers to stop piracy. I argued that I wasn't pirating etc but got no where - registered strong protest but the effective answer was that you need to install one of their boxes to get reception now.
I bought a card from Nationwide for $120 and activated it to at least get ABC/SBS - but not really what we installed the dish for!

BTW calling in to see our mutual friends at Berry next month - they should be grandparents before then!

Ian and Cheryl
FollowupID: 850184

Reply By: Oznative - Monday, Oct 06, 2008 at 10:25

Monday, Oct 06, 2008 at 10:25
Please excuse my ignorance.... we do not pick up our BT until January. What is to stop you taking your Foxtel box from home and plugging it in to a satelite connection such as Vansat? If that is doable will that enable access to both local and satelite channels?
Appreciate your advice.
AnswerID: 576025

Follow Up By: Andy1 - Monday, Oct 06, 2008 at 17:20

Monday, Oct 06, 2008 at 17:20
This is a pretty common practice among caravaners & works well. For some reason Austar actively discourage the practice probably costing themselves hundreds if not thousands of potential subscribers.

Currently Austar transmit on two frequencies but will eventually use only one, 10700 from memory. This is the same (LNB) frequency as used by most satellite boxes.

Having had a few problems with our first dish we purchased an Austar dish from the guy in Alice Springs who has the Austar installation contract. Since then never had a problem obtaining a signal.

When we purchased our van the only roof mounted system available was Campersat which at the time was terrible value for money, having cluttered the roof with an additional two 1/2 sized solar panels the roof mount is no longer an option.

Personally I am very unimpressed with most of the package systems that are available. Dishes are too small & the setups hard to manage. Our "hybrid" consists of a Jaycar speaker stand, an Austar dish & LNB, decoder box & an analogue satellite finder. Some of the package systems come with digital satellite finders which are pretty well impossible to use in the sunlight.


FollowupID: 850185

Reply By: Dundee - Tuesday, Oct 07, 2008 at 11:09

Tuesday, Oct 07, 2008 at 11:09
Having not used our Intellisat system for a while - I decided to fire it up the other night after reading this thread - guess what no reception - "no decoding" - I tried many times over about an hour and suddenly it came on - didn't understand it.

A bit later I as reading an article on the Campersat site - they talk about issues with non useage and how Optus alter codes etc - all to do with cleansing for piracy - anyway they stated that on occasions if you haven't had the system on for a while you may have to leave your system on overnight for the download of re-authorised codes etc - the moral I think is don't give up and try and use it on a regular basis.

AnswerID: 576026

Reply By: Andy1 - Tuesday, Oct 21, 2008 at 16:00

Tuesday, Oct 21, 2008 at 16:00
The item below is copied from the Imparja Website


Imparja Television is one of the two licensed commercial TV services covering remote Central and Eastern Australia TV1. Under the Broadcast Services Act Imparja is not permitted to provide a broadcast service outside its licence area, except with certain limited exceptions.

This includes both the ACMA managed “out of area” schemes and travellers who are normally resident outside our licence area but who may be visiting the remote areas for a time.

Under the Broadcast Services Act there is no compulsion on Imparja to provide such out of area access to our signal. Increasingly we are finding that applications for direct satellite access are coming from viewers outside our licence area and are placing an un-sustainable commercial and operational burden on us. It is also becoming increasingly obvious that the out of area schemes are being used as a means to circumvent the legal restrictions on our broadcast reception area.

Following an internal review therefore Imparja Television has decided to withdraw from the processes by which viewers whose place of residence is located outside our licence area have been able to gain access to our broadcast services. This includes travellers and those who do not receive adequate reception from their local TV channels.

We will only be activating smartcards from applicants whose residence is located within our licence area.

If your main residence or the location of the satellite receiver (eg a fixed holiday home) is outside our licence area, regretfully we will decline to provide you with access to Imparja. This includes new applications in black spots.

If you believe your residence is within Remote Central and Eastern TV1 you may apply by letter, fax or email, providing supporting evidence (eg a map location or address details).

Further information on broadcast legislation and the restrictions and processes by which broadcasters are allowed to provide out of area reception are available on the Australian Communications and Media Authority ( or 1800 226 667). The website also provides access to detailed maps of our licence area.

We are sure you will understand that Imparja will not be providing any telephone or email responses to this situation and that any comments or questions you may have should be directed to the relevant broadcasting authorities, or your local commercial TV broadcaster.

AnswerID: 576027

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