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#1 Smacca

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Posted 03 July 2010 - 12:58 AM

This thread is about VAST, the new remote direct-to-home satellite service now available.

VAST is similar to the Optus Aurora service, but with more channels. It is designed to to offer the same number of channels a TV viewer in the city would get. Also, like Aurora, it is encrypted and requires specific equipment to decrypt the services.

Information about VAST can be found on their official website MySatTV. It has an updated FAQ section, and also the registration form required to activate eligible subscribers.

VAST equipment can be purchased from a number of satellite shops, which you can find by Googling "UEC VAST".

Edited by Smacca, 03 July 2010 - 12:59 AM.


#2 alanh

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Posted 03 July 2010 - 03:30 AM

Smacca,
A good idea to start a new strand.
AlanH

VAST is a free to air satellite service which is split into the following services;
North for all Standard Definition signals for NT (Excluding Darwin) and Inland Queensland, and black spots in regional Qld. (Eastern Standard Time)
South for all Standard Definition signals for Remote NSW (excluding Broken Hill), Inland SA, and black spots in SA, Victoria and Tasmania.(Eastern Summer Time/EST)
High Definition for both Remote areas and black spots.

VAST is run by Southern Cross Television (Owned by Macquarie Media) and Imparja TV. They have formed a Joint Venture so that they can transmit the programs from all 3 commercial networks and include their own content where they wish.

ABC & SBS are not part of VAST, however their signals are available on the same satellite receivers.

VAST is an encrypted service, and will only become available a little before the analog switch off in each regional area. The remote areas it will become available in the last half of 2013. If you think you are in a black spot area, go to the Geographic Viewers' Forum for your area. Open the first post in "Get the best reception", then open the transmitter list. Any community funded retransmitter site which will be converted to digital by the broadcasters is shown in a blue background. If your town contains less than 500 people and you are currently watching analog TV using a standard TV then you will have to go to VAST, unless your community wishes to pay for 5 DTV transmitters. The above transmitter lists show in black background these analog TV sites in towns of under 500 people.

The equipment required is the same KU band dish and LNA, cabling but an HD Satellite receiver is required (These receivers are capable of DVB-S2/DVB-S reception and MPEG-4/MPEG-2 decompression.) The receiver needs a authorising card do enable the decryption of the signal.

Transponder number: 4
Frequency: 12.448 GHz, Vertically polarised
Channel Name: ABC Victoria
Modulation: DVB-S2 Symbol Rate: 30000 Foreward Error Correction: 3/5 Constellation: 8PSK

Program Streams

ABC 24 MPEG-4/HD Encryption Irdeto 2 231 516 654 E

ABC 1 Victoria MPEG-2 Encryption: Irdeto 2 232 512 650 E

ABC 2 MPEG-2 Encryption: Irdeto 2 233 513 651 E

ABC 3 MPEG-2 Encryption: Irdeto 2 235 514 652 E

Transponder number: 5
Frequency: 12.487 GHz, Vertically polarised
Channel Name: VAST
Modulation: DVB-S2 Symbol Rate: 30000 Foreward Error Correction: 3/5 Constellation: 8PSK

Transponder number: 7
Frequency: 12.567 GHz, Vertically polarised
Channel Name: SBS South East
Modulation: DVB-S2 Symbol Rate: 30000 Foreward Error Correction: 3/5 Constellation: 8PSK

Program Streams

SBS One South East MPEG-4/HD Encryption Irdeto 2 331 3350 3351

SBS One South East MPEG-2 Encryption: Irdeto 2 332 3310 3311

SBS Two MPEG-2 Encryption: Irdeto 2 332 3120 3121

SBS Radio South East AM Irdeto 2 334 3371
SBS Radio South East FM Irdeto 2 335 3381

Transponder number: 8
Frequency: 12.607 GHZ, Vertically polarised
Channel Name: VAST
Modulation: DVB-S2 Symbol Rate: 30000 Foreward Error Correction: 3/5 Constellation: 8PSK

Transponder number: 9
Frequency: 12.647 GHZ, Vertically polarised
Channel Name: VAST
Modulation: DVB-S2 Symbol Rate: 30000 Foreward Error Correction: 3/5 Constellation: 8PSK


http://www.lyngsat.com/optus156.html

Note:
VAST does not cover WA. Its remote area free to air satellite service will be run by GWN (Prime WA) and WIN WA who also have a joint venture to transmit TENWest. Following the rules used for VAST, it will not be on air until the last half of 2013.

For more information
Free to Air Satellite Service News

AlanH

#3 M'bozo

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Posted 03 July 2010 - 08:16 PM

Post deleted

Edited by M'bozo, 04 July 2010 - 06:20 PM.


#4 newtaste

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Posted 03 July 2010 - 10:08 PM

Alan, your list for Regional Victoria still shows Underbool getting Imparja and SC Central instead of the Mildura stations.

#5 alanh

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Posted 04 July 2010 - 01:51 AM

Newtaste,
I have had to edit the whole country and was doing this while you posted the above post.

AlanH

#6 Will Plumridge

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Posted 04 July 2010 - 10:25 AM

That is not a given.

Source.*

*Yes, I know. A government document.


While that list, from the commercial broadcasters, via the DBCDE, is much better than nothing, it is lacking in some areas. For example, it only lists two of the four sites that could be left without services by the December 15th analogue switch-off in SA.

It lists Quorn and Burra as sites that will not be upgraded by the commercial broadcasters. That is fair enough, because at these sites only SBS is self-help and the commercials would expect SBS to pay. In fact, SBS has already made a submission to federal government for funding to pay for transmitters at these sites (and many others that only lack SBS).

However, the list omits Melrose/Wilmington (one transmitter, two towns) and Orroroo. These are the "new Underbools" for December 2010. They are self-help, all-channel, council funded sites - by small population, rural councils that would not have the revenue base of large councils like Mildura. Was the criteria for upgrade 500 people or 500 homes? If it is 500 people, then both of these sites should qualify. If it is 500 homes, then Melrose/Wilmington should still qualify, but Orroroo could struggle.

What happens in Melrose and Orroroo in December could be a much better predictor of what will happen across rural Victoria, Queensland and NSW in 2011 and 2012 than the switch-off of one main transmitter and (originally) one translator in Sunraysia the other day, under intense media scrutiny. A quick look at the minutes of recent meetings of both councils reveals that both have requested a quote to upgrade their transmitters to digital, but no decision has been made in either case.

Regards,
Will

#7 wahroonga farm

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Posted 04 July 2010 - 12:39 PM

Here are a couple of excerpts from the UEC 4121 VAST decoder owners manual.

Note: Viewer has posted the 'legal matters' info elsewhere. :)

It is a very great shame that the only choice for VAST customers ATM is a severely crippled and crude UEC tin box.

What UEC call Legal Matters.

And here is the 'generous' UEC Warranty.

Whilst UEC may be an obvious choice to some ;), it certainly isn't for me.

We are about to replace 1,000's of Aurora decoders in remote locations.

I'd like a customer responsive company supplying decoders.

I for one will be hanging off and will NOT be an early adopter ... this time. :)

Edited by wahroonga farm, 04 July 2010 - 01:00 PM.


#8 mtv

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Posted 04 July 2010 - 03:12 PM

We are about to replace 1,000's of Aurora decoders in remote locations.

I'd like a customer responsive company supplying decoders.

I for one will be hanging off and will NOT be an early adopter ... this time. :)


Same here.

As mentioned, VAST have stated that UEC is the 'initial' supplier of decoders.

This is exactly the same as what happened when Aurora started, then card-only became available so people had a choice of decoder. I hope VAST goes the same way in the near future.

In this day & age, it could be considered unfair trading if the public are forced to purchase only one brand for a service that is FTA.

After all, this service is meant to provide equality of choice to those viewers who will rely on satellite for FTA TV...... compared with those who have terrestrial reception....... and therefore a huge choice of equipment they can receive and record programs with!

#9 alanh

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Posted 04 July 2010 - 05:37 PM

Will,
The criteria is a population of 500 people.
Get the best reception and open the transmitter list link.
None of the sites you mention are under 500 people.

In your examples the council will have to convince Macquarie Media to install 3 DTV transmitters per site and the ABC & SBS to install one transmitter each.
If this is not successful, the DBCDE will subsidise the purchase and installation of receivers for VAST.

Note: that Underbool has a population of 200 people and Ouyen around 1,000.

Now that Mildura/Robinvale/Ouyen/Underbool are digital and some VAST receivers are operating the Switchover team will move on to Regional SA.

We will have to wait until to see how the DBCDE reacts in this situation.

Antennas are another difference between Mildura and Regional SA. Mildura uses for both analog and digital band 3 & 4 antennae. In South East and Spencer Gulf North both the main transmitters use band 1, 3 & band 5 for analog and band 5 only for digital. The use of channel 1 for analog antennas are good at picking up impulse interference.
It will be interesting to see what the switchover taskforce recommends about antennas.

AlanH

#10 wahroonga farm

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Posted 04 July 2010 - 05:56 PM

Can anyone think of any sound reason why the VAST Technical Specifications calls for an STB 'pairing feature'.

pairing of smartcard and set top box so that a set top box will only work with a
unique smartcard and vice versa;


Is it an attempt make the service ... somehow more secure?

Or just to get right up my nose! B)

Edited by wahroonga farm, 04 July 2010 - 05:57 PM.


#11 wahroonga farm

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Posted 04 July 2010 - 06:08 PM

... Antennas are another difference between Mildura and Regional SA. Mildura uses for both analog and digital band 3 & 4 antennae. In South East and Spencer Gulf North both the main transmitters use band 1, 3 & band 5 for analog and band 5 only for digital.

The use of channel 1 for analog antennas are good at picking up impulse interference.

It will be interesting to see what the switchover taskforce recommends about antennas.

AlanH

Yes I'm sure it will interest someone :rolleyes: and if you'd like to drivel on about it ... yet again ... please open a new thread or add to the many others where you have 'discussed' it.

It would be really most excellent to only delve into the satellite VAST service in this thread ... without any pollution. ;)

#12 M'bozo

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Posted 04 July 2010 - 06:17 PM

Post deleted

Edited by M'bozo, 04 July 2010 - 06:20 PM.


#13 ChaosMaster

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Posted 05 July 2010 - 12:20 AM

Can anyone think of any sound reason why the VAST Technical Specifications calls for an STB 'pairing feature'.

I for one certainly can't. There is no reason why one couldn't have 'a friend' activate a VAST STB for them in the same way as one might an Aurora card...
There is no need to 'swap cards' to cheat the system...

Cheers,
ChaosMaster.

Edited by ChaosMaster, 05 July 2010 - 12:51 AM.


#14 DrP

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Posted 05 July 2010 - 04:17 AM

Especially when its considered that a separate VAST receiver will be required for each set that is to be able to watch a different channel. IMO it will not be at all unusual for a single residence to have 3 or 4 receivers.

Ultimately the reason that I can see for the pairing etc is to do everything possible to prevent the 'free for all' that is the current Aurora system.

Edited by DrP, 05 July 2010 - 04:39 AM.


#15 wahroonga farm

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Posted 05 July 2010 - 08:09 AM

Being somewhat cynical ... I suspect the Digital Taskforce was 'assisted' in 'specing' the 'product' by none other than ... UEC.

As the initial sole supplier it makes sound economic sense. You must buy a card AND a UEC decoder for each TV point. It is simply designed (I fear), to prevent the use of alternative STB's. It's clearly a market restrictive move, handing UEC a huge market on a silver platter, no doubt dragged across the line by a fear campaign; 'look at the mess Aurora is in'.

There can be no VAST 'free for all', as the 'Aurora mess' is a legacy of the Irdeto 1 encryption system. Irdeto 1 encryption is still broadcast on Aurora for legacy cards. Irdeto 1 was 'cracked' many years back and with the use of a relatively cheap smartcard, a cheap card burner, valid Irdeto 1 card details and a bit of nouse, PAYTV (and Aurora) cards could be emulated. The PayTV sector responded and in due course upgraded their card systems to later Irdeto versions or in the case of Foxtel NDS. Aurora with a limited budget, did not. This is the reason 'Gold' (Irdeto 1) cards still work on Aurora. A gold card with valid Irdeto 1 card details, opens all Aurora channels. As the owner of a valid Aurora Irdeto 1 card ... ^_^

It will of course vanish vanish with the turn down of Aurora in 2013.

VAST uses Irdeto card version 5, and while I'm not saying that 'systems' may not exist to circumvent the encryption, it will never be commonplace, easy or cheap.

If PayTV provider SelecTV can offer a boutique 'Irdeto 5 'card only service' for a bunch of satellite enthusiasts ... why not VAST!

#16 viewer

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Posted 05 July 2010 - 03:16 PM

Especially when its considered that a separate VAST receiver will be required for each set that is to be able to watch a different channel. IMO it will not be at all unusual for a single residence to have 3 or 4 receivers.

Ultimately the reason that I can see for the pairing etc is to do everything possible to prevent the 'free for all' that is the current Aurora system.



I'm in that position with Aurora, and have 2 x UEC's in different rooms so we can watch other channels, so VAST will be the same.

I would have thought we could at least buy a digital tv, with inbuild sat receiver and card slot, and do it as an all in one unit, rather than having to have both an stb and a telly working at the same time. Yes, lot's would argue if something goes wrong with one, you lose the lot, however, electricity prices what they are, having one unit working only would save some dosh. I guess this is all to "left field" in this tech savvy society to contemplate? I'm certain the end user would find it easier to set up though. Terrestrial and satellite incorporated into the one digital panel...hmmm..."tell 'em your dreamin' son"!

#17 wahroonga farm

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Posted 05 July 2010 - 06:02 PM

... Ultimately the reason that I can see for the pairing etc is to do everything possible to prevent the 'free for all' that is the current Aurora system.

I'm no encryption expert, however I can't see that pairing improves encryption security as Selectv sells unpaired Irdeto 5 cards (see above).

It simply makes it a bit more painful to 'move' a subscription service around a house or the country.

However I may well be wrong. :)

Pairing is generally a product of the STB ie the box is paired to the card not the other way around, so it is still possible that VAST Irdeto cards, could work in suitable other HD DVB-S2 decoders.

However the STB specification has this special 'feature' :

• support a unique identity so that only authorised set top boxes can work in the operator’s network;

So. Game, set and match to UEC!

The one thing going for the the 'special edition VAST UEC box' is that they will look after themselves; as did the several editions of UEC Aurora boxes.

From a consumers point of view, when first firing up the DSD 1421, once the lnb frequency is chosen ie 11300 or 10700 for 99%, (almost all Aurora only jobs will be 11300), the thing will just boot up and start showing pictures.

It should automatically update TP's and channels in the bouquet as they are added.

----------------

Note that this useful consumer feature IS NOT part of the specification.

Remember the early imported and very clunky SD DVB-T boxes at start up.

And compare that to a new tele or stb now. :)

#18 beeblebrox

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Posted 05 July 2010 - 09:13 PM

I think the UEC thing is purely for this misguided and IMHO unmanageable pairing hairbrain ideal that some bureaucrat has come up with...

What happens if you get a faulty box?

There really isn't any technical reason other manufacturers couldn't be available straight away... but the UEC rubbish is all thats available... but why aren't Strong or a bunch of other SAT STB providers complaining to the ACCC? have they been told to lay off until after the election...

Funnily enough the UEC 4121 doesn't appear in the Freeview approved products list...

#19 DrP

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Posted 05 July 2010 - 09:32 PM

I'm no encryption expert, however I can't see that pairing improves encryption security as Selectv sells unpaired Irdeto 5 cards (see above).

Its one of the tools that can be used to defeat card sharing - and yes, card sharing VAST is a stretch - but considering the paranoia that the commercial operators appear to have its probably a valid consideration.

#20 theslydog

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Posted 06 July 2010 - 07:36 AM

I'm in that position with Aurora, and have 2 x UEC's in different rooms so we can watch other channels, so VAST will be the same.

I would have thought we could at least buy a digital tv, with inbuild sat receiver and card slot, and do it as an all in one unit, rather than having to have both an stb and a telly working at the same time. Yes, lot's would argue if something goes wrong with one, you lose the lot, however, electricity prices what they are, having one unit working only would save some dosh. I guess this is all to "left field" in this tech savvy society to contemplate? I'm certain the end user would find it easier to set up though. Terrestrial and satellite incorporated into the one digital panel...hmmm..."tell 'em your dreamin' son"!

This is a very valid point and the direction local TVs should be heading. In Japan TVs have been sold with built in satellite tuners and smartcard slots for years (you even need the smart card for the local terrestrial digital tv). Most TVs have 3 tuners, analogue, digital HD terrestrial and digital HD satellite. However, all channels are available to everyone.

#21 wahroonga farm

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Posted 09 July 2010 - 08:28 AM

This Sunraysia Daily reports that VAST is working.

I think. :)

Black spot issues in Ouyen and Robinvale were resolved with new transmitters and more than 100 VAST satellite set-top boxes have been installed in remote areas.



#22 viewer

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Posted 09 July 2010 - 06:26 PM

This is a very valid point and the direction local TVs should be heading. In Japan TVs have been sold with built in satellite tuners and smartcard slots for years (you even need the smart card for the local terrestrial digital tv). Most TVs have 3 tuners, analogue, digital HD terrestrial and digital HD satellite. However, all channels are available to everyone.



I pinched this from http://www.apsattv.com/ ....thanks Craig. Not exactly what I ask for but a step in the right direction..

Secret Samsung TV With 1TB Of Storage To Be Launched In OZ




From http://www.channelne...dustry/B4W9U8V8


A brand new HD TV is set to be launched in Australia that includes a 1 terabyte hard drive, IP connectivity, built-in Foxtel, Telstra BigPond movies as well as 3D TV technology.


The TV, which will be manufactured by Samsung, has already been shown to Australian content companies during a recent visit to Korea.


Samsung believes that the future for TVs in Australia is a combination of content which can be easily accessed from the screen, Internet connectivity, 3D technology and the integration of storage that allows consumers to record content. The TV will also allow external storage devices to be attached.


Samsung sources have told SmartHouse that the project has been in development for some time.


Tipped to be launched early in 2011 the new Samsung TV will give consumers the choice of having access to Telstra BigPond movies and Foxtel content as well as content from a multitude of other sources. To access the Foxtel and BigPond movie service Samsung customers will also have to buy a BigPond broadband package.


If released in 2011 the Samsung TV could also incorporate the new HDBaseT, cable connector which transfers audio and video signals over Ethernet cables as opposed to the traditional HDMI Cable.


The HDBaseT, cable connector which has been developed by a consortium of companies including LG, Samsung, Sony and Valens Semiconductor is set to set to appear in products later this year.


A key benefit of the new TV is that it eliminates the need for an external personal video recorder, set top box or Foxtel PVR. Everything will be built into the TV, say Samsung executives who have been working on the project.


Earlier this week Telstra announced that they are to offer Foxtel as part of their T Box offering. This will give consumers access to over 1400 movies as well as daily Foxtel content.


Shortly, Samsung Australia will launch a new 9 Series LED TV. The device, which is due to go on sale in the last quarter of 2010, has been described as a "sensational" TV by people who have seen it.


#23 ChaosMaster

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Posted 10 July 2010 - 08:07 PM

Samsung sources have told SmartHouse that the project has been in development for some time.

If Outhouse has anything to do with this, I would be viewing it with a sceptical eye for the moment...
If this is true however, it is an interesting move by the industry, especially building Foxtel into it (presumably it would be cable given that bigpond gets a mention :unsure: ).
I wonder if it will be 'FreeSpew' infected/crippled too (and/or some other form of DRM as requested by Telstra/News Ltd.)... :unsure: ?

Cheers,
ChaosMaster.

Edited by ChaosMaster, 10 July 2010 - 08:12 PM.


#24 alanh

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Posted 10 July 2010 - 11:07 PM

With respect to Smarthouse I suggest you watch

AlanH

#25 Will Plumridge

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Posted 11 July 2010 - 10:53 PM

Will,
The criteria is a population of 500 people...

None of the sites you mention are under 500 people...

We will have to wait until to see how the DBCDE reacts in this situation...


We did not need to wait for very long. The DBCDE has decided that Melrose/Wilmington and Orroroo are going to have VAST inflicted upon them.

http://www.digitalre...dy/Default.aspx

This will not go down well in any of the towns affected. The picture used to illustrate "Regional South Australia" looks like it was taken somewhere like Oodnadatta. This is a Canberra public servant's attempt to depict these places as "remote" to suit their treatment by the DBCDE/ACMA. I was only in Wilmington on the June long weekend and I drove through Melrose. They do not look like Oodnadatta; they look civilised and rural and green, especially after some good recent rain.

Once the people decode the letters that they will receive next week and realise that they are not just getting "normal" digital telelvision like they have over the hills in Port Pirie or up the road in Quorn, but are going to need a satellite dish per house and a decoder per TV set and some pay-TV-style access card to be able to use them, most of them are going to be really, really pissed off.

Unless this is some pre-planned political stunt, so that Julia Gillard can ride into Melrose on a white horse and save TV for everyone, this is going to get very ugly. For starters, I think the local councils (who paid for and own the local translators) may have something to say about the DBCDE or whoever making this announcement before the councils have announced what they have decided to do.

Regards,
Will