|RE:Old Primestar Receivers (modified 0 times) ||Eric|
|OK, I'm quite knowledgeable on satellite in general, so let me explain:|
PrimeStar (will be reffered to as P* hereforth) is a KU band service, or 11.7 GHz to 12.2 GHz, on the Ku side of a C (3.7-4.2 GHZ, the band of the large, backyard dishes) and Ku band satellite. It was started by General Instruments originally as a Analog service, but several years ago it was switched to a Digital service, using General Instruments (GI's) Digcipher 1 (DC1) Digital compression technology. While the name is Digicipher, that does NOT necessarily mean that it is encrypted, many things are, however, there are many Free to air, or unencrypted services.
Honestly, the receiver itself isn't much use. Besides P*, there are only a couple channels using DC1, most have moved over to using Digicipher 2 (DC2) a newer and more efficient form of compression. That is the intent of the connector on the side, as Primestar was supposed to migrate to DC2, so that connector is to add a "sidecar" that would decode DC2 signals.
These are not technically MPEG2 signals, so I think you are out of luck as to playing MP3's. I'm not that familliar with DC1, but DC2 uses its own transport stream, and uses Dolby Digital (AC3) for the audio, versus Musicam for the MPEG 1/2 audio. The video information in MPEG2 and DC2 is encoded the same way, I'm not sure about DC1, it may predate MPEG2.
There are a couple signals that are on the C-band and Ku band, I do not have the instrucations handy, but there is a method of tuning the signals with a P* receiver and I will post it later.
In other words, the receiver is near worthless, I picked up 3 of them for $5.
The dish on the other hand is a Standard Ku Band dish. The older ones used two seperate cables, one for vertically polarized signals, one for horizontally polarized signals. The newer ones used only one cable and switched polaritity by switching the power down the cable to the LNB from 13 to 18 volts, the way DBS dishes do.
The dish is a nice dish, but they are EXTREMELY plentiful, so don't think you will get more than $20 for the dish, and if someone offers you less or to just haul it away for free, let them have it, as at least it will go to a good home.
If you have a Big Dish (C-band) receiver, most can be setup to do Ku also, in which case you can scan the skys looking for signals. See www.lyngsat.com for lots of satellite signals.
If anyone has more questions, fell free to ask, sorry for the (very) long winded post.