NEWS AND VIEWS
          January 02, 2011

Mike and Laurel Kohl
S-9141 State Road 23
Plain, Wisconsin   53577-9612



January 02, 2011

We REALLY thought that we would be enjoying a rural paradise near Fergus Falls, Minnesota by now.  I could not have imagined on May 3, 2009, when I began my odyssey of commuting between Plain, Wisconsin and Fergus Falls, that nearly two years later I would still be burning up the miles up and down Interstate 94.  Personal situations and the economy have dictated that I am still trapped in this personal hell, getting ready to turn over 300K on my Dodge Dakota pickup.  

My latest estimate is that nearly 70% of our "stuff" (old and new inventory plus personal items) is in storage somewhere in Minnesota.  I actually had to discontinue an offer on a 9 acre farm property with plenty of storage at the end of November, because it was contingent on our property in Wisconsin selling first.  If you know of anyone that is contemplating the purchase of a rural home near Madison, Wisconsin, check out this link to our property listing:

45 minutes west-northwest of Madison.  Midway between Reedsburg and Spring Green, Wisconsin.
Over 21 scenic acres and a ranch style home with over 3000 square feet.
Must see to appreciate.  Asking price:  $269,900

The year 2010 was quite hellish, with a concerted effort by National Programming Service to destroy the bread and butter of the company that I work for in Minnesota (Skyvision).  It started in early February with a scripted bunch of lies and distortions that pictured the 4DTV system going out of business on December 31, 2010.  This was not the case at that time, but NPS did their best to scare thousands of their customers into believing that DISH Network was their only option to continue receiving subscription television.  The lies continued the message that C-band was gone.  Like sheep, thousands did believe this message, enough to the point that it became a self-fulfilling prophecy.  In late June, Motorola publicly announced that yes indeed, the 4DTV system would be discontinued at the end of 2010.  

All of this caused a shrinking of the remaining companies in the satellite reception industry.  I thought that my job was on the line (it definitely was), as I saw the majority of my co-workers leave for other jobs outside the satellite industry.  We gave NPS a good fight, and found a way to reuse 4DTV receivers for subscription programming on a different Digicipher 2 system that Skyvision and Satellite Receivers Ltd's Programming Center had been running for over 3 years on the W5 C-band satellite with DSR-410 receivers.  Once the 4DTV datastream vanishes on the morning of Jan 4, 4DTV receivers that have undergone a software update will then be able to subscribe to a group of over 100 audio and video channels on 105 West (W5, officially known as C-band satellite AMC-18).  Hopefully enough people that still have working systems and 4DTV receivers will join us in stemming the defection from C-band reception.  Check the Skyvision website at for details and bulletins.

Another area that we intend to pursue is an expansion of MPEG-2 and MPEG-4 reception, starting with the soon-to-be released Manhattan RS-1933 MPEG-4 receiver.  This will usher in an era of lower cost receivers that not only do MPEG-2, but also MPEG-4, including the DVB-S2 format, and automatically process Dolby and a number of other audio formats.  Need we also mention that it does high definition, has blind scan, and an available channel editor.  Barring any production and transportation/clearance delays, we hope to have this Manhattan product available in a few weeks (probably early to mid February, at this writing).  Drop me an Email to or my Skyvision address at if you are interested in this product, which will retail under $200.00 for the receiver.

The above receiver will be instrumental in reception of nearly 20 PBS signals on the Ku-band side of AMC-21 at 125 W.
State networks include Montana, Oklahoma and Louisiana.  Go to the C-band side of 87 West (W3 or AMC-3) and you will see the many channels of Retro TV in DVB-S2 format, process the AC-3 audio from THIS TV, and be introduced to the new ME-TV service from Chicago, which started in mid-December.  Classic television like we have never seen it before will become plentiful and available in multiple channels 24 hours a day.  Niche markets of foreign language broadcasts continue to multiply.  We will be at the center of trying to inform the world that C-band subscription programming is not dead, but that there are also not just hundreds, but well over a thousand audio and video selections available for free via C Band and Ku-band, to most North American locations.

Back in September, my schedule at Skyvision got longer (less time off every week), so we have moved our 2-hour radio show to Wednesday nights from 8 to 10 pm Central time.  Ralf Black from New Orleans continues to host the show and provide the satellite time so that we can all join together to preserve and grow this hobby known as satellite reception (and anything remotely connected to the communications industry).  This allows me to travel on the rare weekend that I am able to do so, and actually results in less missed shows (thank you BP and other newsmakers), which seemed to interrupt us a great deal earlier during 2010.

I sign off with the intentions of an update in early February...its timeliness will depend upon how busy that I get in coming weeks (a good thing or a bad thing, depending upon how you look at it).  Global Communications is still available to assist you via Email at  if you have questions or concerns.  Thank you for coming back to this News & Views's 11 months since our last one!

Until next month,