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Customer Review

51 of 51 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Humax Foxsat HDR PVR and the DIY installation, 18 Aug. 2009
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This review is from: GoFreesat 20m HD Self installation kit, Incl. Satellite Dish, FoxSat HD PVR STB, Quad LNB, 20 metres twin coax downlead and full instructions. Clips, connectors and our dish allignment software. All you need to setup Freesat digital TV in your home. (Electronics)
Overall, a good value package, delivered promptly. But, was `DIY' and `self install' a good idea...

Apart from the Humax receiver that had all of the manufacturer's instruction books, no other information, product or help sheets were provided by the supplier to assist with the installation. Considering that there were no identifiable manufacturer's markings on the other parts, this seemed a bit mean even if the package is described as "DIY" and "self install".

Sourced from the Internet, the following points were the most useful and, hopefully, will save you some time too if, like me, you decide to have a go.

The Astra 2-D & Eurobird 1 satellites that broadcast "Freesat" (both located at 28.2°E longitude, above the Equator) were on a bearing of 145°T for me. Usefully, this package included a compass. But, the general directions of this and other satellites marked on the compass are not good enough for the initial setting-up of the sat-dish (read on).
Decide where it is possible to site the sat-dish on your property i.e. which walls point in the right general direction. The 20 metres of cable provided should be long enough to connect the sat-dish to the Receiver! (But, the shorter the cable, the less signal loss).
The elevation of the satellites above the horizontal was about 25 degrees for me (at 51°N). Where it is intend to site the sat-dish it is essential that there is a clear line of sight with the satellites - no obstructions such as tall trees, high walls, etc.?
Assembling the sat-dish and mounting the Quad LNB was straight forward. But, the LNB may also need to be aligned in its mount. On the one supplied to me, there were alignment markings on the neck of the LNB horn - apparently, the correct `azimuth' or `skew' of the LNB in its mount for Freesat reception is minus 13.8 degrees to the vertical!!
You will need to buy suitable fixings to attach the sat-dish bracketry, in my case, to brickwork - these were not included in the package. The sat-dish itself should be vertical for the initial alignment - if you haven't got a large spirit level, line up the top and bottom edges of the sat-dish with the brickwork joints; the final position was not far off the vertical.
Although the Humax receiver does have signal Strength and signal Quality meters to assist in the alignment of the sat-dish, there is a Catch 22 situation. To get to this point in the set-up of the Receiver requires you to input your post-code and for the receiver to verify/accept it, via the satellite link - no link, no verification, no access to the signal meters, no means of aligning the sat-dish with sufficient accuracy to achieve a link... enough said!
Buy a separate Satfinder signal strength meter for the initial setting-up of the sat-dish; for the sake of about £4, the investment will save a lot of time and frustration. It may also mean that further fine tuning/positioning of the sat-dish direction (vertically as well as horizontally) using the Humax receiver's signal meters is minimal or even unnecessary!

The installation took me an afternoon to complete but, if I had had a Satfinder it would have taken no more than 3 hours. If you are comfortable doing DIY then you should be able to do this `self install'. Apart from the satisfaction, I have saved about £125 against professional quotes.

So, was a DIY `self install' a good idea - what do you think! Why did I do it? Because we are in a poor reception area and despite a good quality high gain amplified `terrestrial' digital aerial, over the last year we have suffered from intermittent interference and more recently with occasional complete loss of signal on some standard channels and Freeview channels; which seems to have gotten progressively worse. But not any more; we now have interference free quality viewing, typically with 100% signal strength and signal quality. The Receiver itself is brilliant (see other review).

Our installation has also resulted in receiving some new channels - in total, the receiver says we now have 144 TV and Radio channels tuned in. But we also lost Virgin1, Sky (Freeview) and, Dave channels. However, I have left the conventional aerial system connected and, with the press of a button on the TV's remote control, terrestrial reception can be restored.
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