NEWS AND VIEWS
          November 15, 2012 

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



November 15, 2012               
Visit us on Wednesday, November 21st for BLACK FRIDAY Specials

Over two months since our last get-together, and we are light years away from what was happening then.  An election has come and gone, the U.S. East Coast was hammered with the worst hurricane in their history, with countless wealth shifted around from both events.  Let's hope that we might possibly have learned a few things during the process, and all political sides have enough moral fiber to work together to create solutions before the abyss consumes us all.  Serious compromises need to be made to save the future, and the time for games and selfish denial has never been more inappropriate.  Can't we please all get along??  Any member of Congress that cannot provide useful suggestions, or continues to say "no" on some ridiculous principle does not deserve their job, and should leave their position.  A shining example of putting the people ahead of politics was Republican governor Chris Christie embracing President Obama to get things done.  Despite political backlash from selfish interests, both men have shown some great things that can be done in the face of disaster, by simply buckling down and getting to work.  The people have spoken, and their elected representatives need to actually do the job that they were sent to Washington for.

The Global Communications listening post is coming back to life, with more satellite antennas put in place since we lost the summer's heat.  We now have a 10-foot Orbitron SST-10 antenna on top of the tower to access the westernmost satellites (127 to 139 West) otherwise blocked by trees down below, and are planning a series of several 1.8 meter solid offset dishes with multifeeds to simplify our Ku-band reception while also giving it greater reliability from the sheer size of those antennas.  On the ground, I am also playing we one or more additional C-band antennas to access parts of the Atlantic satellite arc east of 45.  This is going to be tricky, with a few trees coming out, and I still need to either find a hole that will provide a solid signal from Hispasat at 30 West, or hang a four foot offset off the east side of the top of the tower.  Would like to avoid any more hardware that far up in the air, but sometimes necessity dictates otherwise.

Confused snowbirds continue to haunt our telephones and Email almost daily.  It is hard to believe that this many people do not know in November about a loss of coverage from Bell ExpressVu/Bell TV that took place in early July.  Bell is in complete denial mode if called in Canada, and nobody seems to think that there may be a problem with thousands of their paying customers having access pulled from vacation locations that have had high powered DBS service since the summer of 1999.  An official corporate answer is that reception outside of Canada is not allowed.  They bring their equipment back down to the sun belt expecting signals and there is nothing to be had from Bell.  Satellite dealers unaccustomed to dealing with Canadian systems spin their wheels trying their best to find signals from the former ExpressVu system, and end up calling me for advice.  The only solution is to replace the equipment with the Shaw Direct system, and get them set up to do so.  This can be simple or it can be quite complicated.  Shaw will be more than happy to have the gift of new customers that have been unceremoniously dumped by Bell.  

Those contemplating the switch to Shaw Direct need to know some basics about what is needed, starting with a Canadian address in order to be able to qualify as a customer.  This should be easy for those that still have properties or a permanent home back in Canada, otherwise we recommend a reliable broker or company that specializes in providing the needed Canadian address in combination with maintaining the subscription programming account.  You pay a yearly fee for the service to a third party, but at least it's all set up so that it can be as simple as paying your bill with a monthly auto-pay transaction on a credit card.  Now we get down to mechanical details.  No, none of the Bell equipment is at all useful for Shaw Direct reception, and antennas as well as receivers must be replaced.  The new Anik G1 satellite will be greatly limited in geographical coverage once it gets on the air next spring, but its job is to provide HD content on a supplementary basis to Canada proper---not to replace anything else.  Anik F1R at 107 and Anik F2 at 111 will continue to cover greater parts of U.S., Canada, Mexico, and Central America.

Shaw Direct will supply a subsidized 75-E elliptical antenna with Xtended Ku-band LNBF with the purchase of an entire system that includes at least one satellite receiver.  All receivers are now HD capable, and so is the standard system that is shipped.  The Xtended Ku-band LNBF goes with new Shaw systems regardless of whether or not Anik G1 will work it the receive location.  You just won't get a usable signal on that satellite if you are outside of its coverage area.  Another fact is that it will cost you a significant amount of shipping expense and customs clearance fees to ship antennas from Canada into the U.S.  But if you don't wish to use Shaw's antenna, we do have U.S. sourced options.  Existing customers with legacy equipment such as last year's "normal" Quad LNBF will find that their receivers can be mapped to use a conventional Ku-band LNBF with the standard 10750 MHz local oscillator conversion frequency, so U.S. sourced LNBFs connected to a 22 KHz switch should have no problem picking up both Anik F1R and Anik F2 (107, 111 W).  Where it might be complicated is if you are a new subscriber trying to use an old dish or last year's Quad LNBF.  You won't get any service on the 107 satellite, because the Xtended Quad LNBF is the conversion setup that customer service representatives expect to use.  We will be coming out with a new independent sourced special Ku LNBF that duplicates the frequency arrangement of Shaw's Xtended device, but only for 107 West.  This will allow those with separate antennas, or those using separate LNBFs on a larger offset dish to be configured the same as the new Xtended Quad setup.  Hopefully we will have these sometime in December.  In the meantime, the stock 75E system can be special ordered for shipment to U.S. destinations.

We continue to offer the Manhattan RS-1933 receiver, with a preloaded satellite and channel memory as an option, with or without a satellite antenna.  Consider that if you would normally pay 99.00 for a high quality offset elliptical Ku-band antenna, another 100 dollars will get you this receiver in a package, along with a high quality single output Pansat Ku LNBF.  This offer is limited to our supply of Patriot 85-E antennas, and newer antennas may raise the cost of a Ku-band system once we start making them in Michigan in a few weeks.  Grab this bargain for Christmas!  

Speaking of making antennas, we are getting closer to it being a reality.  Jeff Schumann and I have just returned from Albion, Michigan, and can say that all of the mesh antenna production equipment has been moved to more or less permanent indoor locations, and will be set up and tested during the next few days.  Once testing has been completed, we will soon be able to manufacture mesh C-band satellite antennas.  We already have 1.2 meter (4 foot), 1.8 meter (6 foot) and 2.3 meter (7-1/2 foot) Paraclipse Prime Focus one piece solid antennas getting their final preparation for sale.  These will preceed the introduction of the mesh antenna line, and should be considered if you want a one dish C and Ku-band solution.  I have had several of the 7.5 foot HYDRO antennas since 1991, and consider them a very efficient antenna.  Unless you want a 10 or 12 foot mesh antenna to capture extremely weak C-band MPEG-4 digital signals, the smaller Paraclipse may be just the answer, especially from an aesthetic viewpoint.  Pricing will be announced in a special News & Views bulletin once information is confirmed.  We continue to take names and contact info to call anyone wanting to be notified when antennas are ready to ship.  Please call or Email Mike to be added to this list.  

Until our next edition---keep the faith!  Satellite reception continues to get more prevalent and interesting.