January 15, 2006

Free-to-air TV channels on PAS7/10 in South Africa

A while ago I posted a rite on how to receive Don't Panic TV, which was a channel broadcasting adult (XXX) programming to Southern Africa off PAS7/10. It was interesting, because when they weren't broadcasting shows, their encryption was off, and you could see their advertising card. Also, they came with 2 Italian music channels. Don't Panic TV are no more (for now).

However, there are a couple of free-to-air (FTA) Ku-band channels available off PAS7/10 in South Africa, as of this entry (check LyngSat for the latest details).

I've put all the settings I know about down here, with their appropriate tuning settings. Read below for directions. If the directions don't work for you, that's not my problem. Don't bother contacting me - I won't respond.

Channels available:

  • Sentech Vivid

    • SEN1-6, including Mindset Network channel 1 (education) and 2 (health), Jet TV.

    • PTV1-6 (some Nagravision-encrypted).

    • SABC1/2/3, e.tv (all Nagravision-encrypted).

    • LCN, Hope, Ps91, ITV, DTBC, God Channel, TCT, DayStar (free-to-air, religious).

    • Guide (interactive channel, probably won't work).

    • There are also some audio channels available (some free-to-air, some encrypted).

  • Botswana TV

    • BTV (free-to-air, general entertainment channel). There are multiple audio tracks on BTV, which sound like radio stations.

  • Fashion TV

    • FTV (free-to-air).

  • ManaSat

    • ManaSat 1 (religious, free-to-air, Portuguese, 2 audio tracks).

    • ManaSat 2 (religious, sometimes encrypted, Portuguese, 2 audio tracks).

  • Novacom

    • Novacom (test card).

    • DayStar, LoveWorld, God Channel (religious, free-to-air).

    • RTNC (free-to-air).

    • APNA (free-to-air).

    • BEStv (free-to-air).

    • Extreme Sports (free-to-air).


  1. Using your remote control, press MENU.

  2. Now select ADVANCED OPTIONS, and press OK.

  3. Now select LNB CONFIGURATION, and press OK.

  4. Select LNB 1 SETUP, and press OK.

  5. Verify that LNB HI FREQUENCY is 10700. If it isn't, change it to 10700, and select ACCEPT THESE SETTINGS.

  6. Press EXIT.

  7. Now select DISH INSTALLATION, and press OK.

  8. Enter the PIN number 9949.

  9. Now select NETWORK CONFIGURATION and press OK.

  10. Select each network setup from this screen, and enter the settings as below.

    • The first option is only there for reference. You should not change settings in the home network.

    • At each point, you may wish to select VIEW SIGNAL STRENGTH to check if that signal is valid for your installation.

    • Select ACCEPT THESE SETTINGS for each network setup when you are done.

  11. If your decoder does not give you any options and goes straight to the parameter input menu then you have a decoder with old software. You will only be able to have either DStv or another FTA bouquet, one at a time.

Network setup details:

  • Network 1 Setup (home) [DStv South Africa @ PAS 7/10]

    1. Signal Setup: Enabled

    2. Orbital Position: PAS7/10

    3. Use NIT: Yes

    4. Frequency: 10970

    5. Symbol Rate: 30000

    6. Polarisation: Vertical

    7. FEC: 5/6

  • Network 2 Setup [Sentech Vivid bouquet @ PAS 7/10]

    1. Signal Setup: Enabled

    2. Orbital Position: PAS7/10

    3. Use NIT: Yes

    4. Frequency: 11170

    5. Symbol Rate: 266652

    6. Polarisation: Vertical

    7. FEC: 5/6

  • Network 3 Setup [BTV @ PAS 7/10]

    1. Signal Setup: Enabled

    2. Orbital Position: PAS7/10

    3. Use NIT: Yes

    4. Frequency: 11625

    5. Symbol Rate: 15000

    6. Polarisation: Vertical

    7. FEC: 2/3

  • Network 4 Setup [FTV @ PAS 7/10]

    1. Signal Setup: Enabled

    2. Orbital Position: PAS7/10

    3. Use NIT: Yes

    4. Frequency: 12722

    5. Symbol Rate: 26657

    6. Polarisation: Horizontal

    7. FEC: 2/3

  • Network 5 Setup [ManaSat @ PAS 7/10]

    1. Signal Setup: Enabled

    2. Orbital Position: PAS7/10

    3. Use NIT: Yes

    4. Frequency: 12577

    5. Symbol Rate: 3378

    6. Polarisation: Vertical

    7. FEC: 3/4

  • Network 6 Setup [Novacom @ PAS 7/10]

    1. Signal Setup: Enabled

    2. Orbital Position: PAS7/10

    3. Use NIT: Yes

    4. Frequency: 12682

    5. Symbol Rate: 26657

    6. Polarisation: Horizontal

    7. FEC: 1/2


  1. Now press EXIT and go to the DISH INSTALLATION menu again.


  3. Your decoder will now attempt to scan and add all the channels.

  4. Once it has tuned and returned to normal viewing mode, press the TV button to display the bouquet list.

  5. Select the last option (Public PAS7/10).

  6. You are now in the public TV bouquet. Scroll through the available channels, which will appear in the order of network setup (DStv test channels, Sentech channels, BTV, FTV, ManaSat, Novacom).

  7. Pressing the AUDIO button will switch to the public audio bouquet. You may find many South African radio stations here.


  1. Some of these channels are encrypted.

  2. There's really nothing here for free worth more than you're paying for it. :) You'll see that if you want premium channels, your DStv subscription is the way to go.

  3. Your installation may not be capable of tuning into these settings.

  4. Do this while watching an decrypted channel on DStv (e.g. channel 4).

  5. You need to have your smart card inserted.

  6. To enter a 4-digit symbol rate, place the cursor on the line, press the 0 (zero) key on your remote control, then press OK, then enter the 4 digit number, then press OK.

  7. These settings work for me, on my Dual View decoder, as of this date.

  8. If they don't work on your decoder, that's your problem, not mine.

  9. If you mess up your decoder, that's your problem, not mine. Select RESET TO FACTORY DEFAULTS and reboot.

Posted by rory at 03:00 PM

More TV is never a bad thing

Africa's only pay-TV network, DStv could face competition for the first time this year if an application for a rival continent-wide station based in Botswana gets the go-ahead.

The venture, which would be called Black Entertainment Satellite Television or BEStv, would initially offer viewers between five and ten channels and cost less than R100 a month.

Andrew Jones, spokesperson for the venture, said once in place, the company planned to upgrade to a service that would offer viewers a sampling of between 100 and 300 new channels not available on DStv with no significant rate increase.

"How we will do it and what exactly we will offer remains of course a trade secret. However, we are 100 percent confident that what we want to do can be done," he said in statement.

It's that use of the word 'sampling', and the fact that I know what it takes to put one single channel on air, that makes me slightly suspicious of their claims of "between 100 and 300 new channels"...

Posted by rory at 12:35 PM

November 16, 2005

DStv PVR released

The DStv PVR has been released. RRP of R2999. Monthly subscription fee of R449.

Posted by rory at 09:43 AM

May 24, 2005

Read TV

M-Net introduces Subtitles for Hearing Impaired.

Posted by rory at 05:31 PM

April 15, 2005

Good epitaph

"When they found him, he still had the remote control in his hand."

Posted by rory at 09:58 AM | TrackBack

April 12, 2005

Interlaced TV, and Film-to-Video

Part of a review of progressive-scan DVD players, this is a great primer on interlaced TV and film-to-video conversion.

Posted by rory at 01:00 PM | TrackBack

April 07, 2005

Desperate for Jesse

Desperate Housewives starts tonight, on M-Net. I can't wait.

Mainly because it stars Jesse Metcalfe.

Posted by rory at 03:39 PM | TrackBack

As busy as an ant

Ant writes that he is "doing French classes twice a week, gym three times a week and having a games evening once a week. Trying to cram in yoga classes is proving somewhat challenging though. They don't have any post midnight sessions."

I still maintain that that is nothing compared to the professional TV-watchers hectic schedule.

Posted by rory at 10:02 AM | TrackBack

March 23, 2005

To the Universe we choose

One of the greatest adverts on SA TV these days, is Road Trip (13th from the bottom).

Of course, it helps that the boy who plays the son in the ad is totally hot.

Posted by rory at 01:04 PM | TrackBack

March 22, 2005

Additional channels

Many people ask me this, and an older entry gets a lot of hits because of this. So here are the step-by-step instructions for adding some public broadcast Ku-band satellite channels to your DStv decoder. Don't expect much - most of these are religious channels.

Try this at your own risk. It's your decoder, not mine. Etc, etc, etc.

Press Menu.

Select 'Advanced Options'.

Select 'Dish Installation'.

Enter PIN: 9949

Select 'Network Configuration'.

Select 'Network 2 Setup' (this is for Sentech's Vivid bouquet)

1. Signal Setup: Enabled
2. Orbital Position: PAS7/10
3. Use NIT: Yes
4. Frequency: 11170
5. Symbol Rate: 26652
6. Polarisation: Vertical
7: FEC: 5/6

Then select 'Accept these settings'

Select 'Network 3 Setup' (this is for Botswana TV)

1. Signal Setup: Enabled
2. Orbital Position: PAS7/10
3. Use NIT: Yes
4. Frequency: 11625
5. Symbol Rate: 15000
6. Polarisation: Vertical
7: FEC: 3/4

Select 'Accept these settings'.

Now do a 'Scan new networks' or 'Full rescan'.

The new channels will be at the very end of the channel list of the 'Public PAS7/10'. Switch to the audio on the bouquet to get the new audio channels as well.

Posted by rory at 11:32 AM | TrackBack

March 14, 2005

Hello tomorrow

Can you believe it's a commercial for shoes?

Posted by rory at 02:31 PM | TrackBack

March 09, 2005

TV logos

There seems to be an international trend towards monochromatic channel identification logos. What I mean by this is that no matter what the corporate colours of a TV station are, their channel logo (in the corner of the screen) is reproduced in white, at 50% opacity. So it doesn't detract noticeably from the viewer's enjoyment of the picture.

Except, it would seem, for every local South African TV station.

Posted by rory at 04:45 PM | TrackBack

September 17, 2004

Recurse, zipped

Diaan did this.

Posted by rory at 10:21 AM | TrackBack

September 08, 2004

Block Beginnings

On Sunday, 5 September 2004, the first episode of The Block went out. It's now on every weekday at 6:30pm, and on Sunday at 6pm. This is what I've been working on for the past 3 months.

Say what you think.

Posted by rory at 04:14 PM | TrackBack

August 20, 2004

Ryking it in

Sometimes, there are reasons to watch sport.

Posted by rory at 12:31 PM | TrackBack

August 14, 2004

Own a Samsung DVD player?

Have a look at this.

Posted by rory at 01:30 PM | TrackBack

Opening ceremony

Don't you just love it when Google does a special logo?

Watched the opening ceremony last night. Phenomenal.

Posted by rory at 06:26 AM | TrackBack

August 13, 2004

Soon, soon...

Only 23 days to go...

Posted by rory at 01:25 PM | TrackBack

August 05, 2004

TivoToGo gets The Go

The article TiVo Wins Nod for Users to Share Digital Shows, relates how it will "enable a user to record and send a digital broadcast television show to up to nine others who have been registered on that person's service and has been given a key to see it."

I'm not sure if this is good or bad. Good, you can share good quality digital media. Bad, you're limited to 9 people.

Some of us have more than 9 friends.

Posted by rory at 10:56 AM | TrackBack

July 29, 2004


Torrentocracy (pronounced like the word democracy) is the combination of RSS, bit torrent, your television and your remote control.

Posted by rory at 12:11 PM | TrackBack

Arrested Development

Watched a couple of episodes of Arrested Development last night, courtesy of Adrian. It's extremely good.

Posted by rory at 10:13 AM | TrackBack

July 21, 2004

Winnebago man

Ever have one of those days?

Posted by rory at 01:19 PM | TrackBack

July 12, 2004

Why some people shouldn't be allowed near the Internet

I have discovered, after trawling various forums related to TV and the discussion of TV shows, that there are 3 main camps into which attitudes to local television fall. I'll illustrate this by using an example of a genre of a show being shown on local television, and a typical response.

Situation: an overseas show, usually of the reality TV style is shown.
Response: "Why do we have to see overseas stuff? They suck. Why can't we make a local version?"

Situation: a reality TV style show, the formula for which is bought, is filmed and produced locally.
Response: "Why do we have to copy overseas shows? They suck. Why can't we come up with a local original idea?"

Situation: a locally-originated reality TV show is filmed and produced locally.
Response: "This sucks! It's done so much better by television stations overseas!"


I've concluded that it's not about the TV, it's about the fact that they like to complain.

Posted by rory at 02:05 PM | TrackBack

July 07, 2004

Sky+ Minus

Al writes: "Two crap things about Sky+. One, is when you watch live TV you keep trying to fast-forward through the adverts. Two, is when you watch recorded TV you see adverts for programmes that have already happened that you want to watch. Never happy..."

Posted by rory at 01:51 PM | TrackBack

June 29, 2004

Episode Guides

Have I mentioned www.epguides.com? Excellent resource for episode information for your favourite TV shows.

Posted by rory at 11:39 AM | TrackBack

June 24, 2004

Personal Video Blog

If you're interested in such devices as Tivo, ReplayTV and Sky+, then you definitely want to check out PVRBlog. I found this while searching for way for a friend of mine to upgrade his Sky+ hard drive.

Posted by rory at 10:41 AM | TrackBack

June 23, 2004


How can this happen?

Especially since ActionX shows no sign of Enterprise 3 starting.

Posted by rory at 03:40 PM | TrackBack

June 17, 2004

Home DivX

I've resisted the DivX format for a while now, for a number of reasons. One, it's not completely quality of the original DVD, and two, it's so, uh, ungainly to have a PC hooked up to your TV. I'm not even going to elaborate on how one cannot possibly watch entire movies on a monitor.

But DivX is now becoming more seductive. For example, Cirrus Logic is enabling low-end DVD players with DivX, and Kiss Technology has a stunning DivX/DVD/all format player that includes a hardrive, PVR-style.

And if that's not enough, you can capture your own TV, in real-time, to DivX.

Now, if we could start to see digital TV broadcasts (cable and satellite) in DivX, that would be great.

Posted by rory at 09:52 AM

B Back!

Guess what is coming to Go?

Posted by rory at 01:01 AM

June 15, 2004

Loving what you do

Yes, I am.

You know that feeling you get when you're involved with something great? I've got that feeling right now.

You'll be able to get that same feeling 5 September 2004.

Posted by rory at 06:48 PM | Comments (1)

March 27, 2004

B in (or on) demand

So: you're an avid follower of the Rites. And you're not in SA. But you do have lots of bandwidth available to you, and you're just dying to see what Rory is involved in. You're dead keen to see what kind of stuff this new-fangled B on M-Net thang produces. Of course you are. Who wouldn't B?

You're in luck! B on M-Net is available on M-Net On Demand. You gotta register, and it costs a couple of dollars, but there's a free preview.

Go on. It's more fun than a barrel of gay monkeys on nitrous.

And it doesn't get much more fun than that.

Posted by rory at 10:06 PM | Comments (1)

March 18, 2004

Bone in Pussy

If you watched L8NITE tonight, then you would have seen Sharon Bone, talking about a new film, Pussy, in the Gay and Lesbian Film Festival. Looks good.

Some of you may remember being served drinks by Sharon at Therapy.

Posted by rory at 09:28 PM | Comments (1)

February 25, 2004


I was chatting to my friend Graham the other day.

"So, you're a TV producer now?" he asked.

"Yeah," I replied. "And it's really not as glamourous as it sounds..." I replied.

"Well," he continued, "at least you're not sitting in front of a PC all day."

At this point, I paused before answering.


(a TV producer, at least in this case, does, in fact, sit in front of a computer all day)

Posted by rory at 07:44 AM

February 22, 2004

B on CNN

B on M-Net was featured in a segment on CNN last night, and again this morning. No article though on CNN.com.

Also, dreams do come true.

Posted by rory at 09:21 AM

February 21, 2004

More L8nite in TV

Kate: "I would support child labour if it meant I could get a night off."

Posted by rory at 12:15 AM

Vela, vela nice

Oooh, nice toys.

Posted by rory at 12:13 AM | Comments (1)

February 11, 2004

Red power

Earlier today we had a power-failure test, to check that the generators were working. All equipment on 'red' power is then immune from power loss.

And only 3 PCs for our channel happened to not be on red power.

They were the two playout servers, and the database server.


Posted by rory at 10:16 PM | TrackBack

Watching closely

"All right. The spaceship is under your control tonight," said Glenn, as he exited the control room.

So as I'm typing this I'm keeping one eye on the playout servers, one eye on the satellite feed for Earth TV, one eye on the home satellite signal our subscribers receive, one eye on the transmission log, and one eye on the time signal.

Aye, aye, aye, captain!

Posted by rory at 08:33 PM | TrackBack

February 08, 2004

B'ing naked

We just had our first dick on TV. Well, it was most of a dick. Give or take an inch.

There's nothing quite so funny as the combination of puberty and alcohol.

Now you know why you need to watch Channel 41 from 9pm to 10pm each night. Late night, uncut. And uncircumcised.

Posted by rory at 10:10 PM | TrackBack

January 15, 2004

Late night TV, and coffee percs

I wonder: is this a TV ritual? Or a work ritual?

Both, I think. Good.

It's interesting working at a TV station, especially late at night. For example, there are people here all the time (the techs in the satellite-feed room next to us, for example, whom we briefly meet on nicotine runs to the outside). And, consequently, the building is always open.

Even in the nocturnal world of IT, there were at least some nights where the building was locked and the only activity inside was from cron jobs.

In addition, coffee seems to be eternal. What sweet, caffeinated bliss. I've never gone to the machine and found it empty: there's always a backup carafe (I've given up on those dinky little styrofoam cups. I brought my own uber-cup. Cuts down on trips back to the machine.)

Eye candy experience count this evening: 2.

Posted by rory at 10:43 PM | TrackBack

January 05, 2004

Be here now.

Ah, a new year. A chance to just be yourself. To be known. To be outrageous. To be on TV.

Oh, and by the way, the new job started today.

Posted by rory at 02:01 PM | TrackBack

December 09, 2003


An extremely exhaustive listing of the transmissions on PAS7/10.

Posted by rory at 06:07 PM | Comments (1)

Video protection

Trying to lock the door on piracy: old, but interesting article on video encryption.

Posted by rory at 04:38 PM

November 25, 2003


SMS2TV, on DStv, channel 84 (go), Monday to Friday, 5pm to 6pm. Very cool concept.

Posted by rory at 02:32 PM | TrackBack

November 11, 2003


XMLTV for South African (DStv) listings. Available here. Nifty one, Flash.

Posted by rory at 04:12 PM | TrackBack

September 15, 2003

Urban Trauma

Alan Davies: Urban Trauma. Occasionally broadcast on BBC Prime.

Its presentation here belies the effort of recording it into a 1.1GB pre-down-sample file.

Posted by rory at 04:18 PM | TrackBack

September 11, 2003

Don't Panic - Don't Broadcast

From http://www.dontpanictv.co.za/:

"This is to confirmed that DPTV has temporary suspended their transmission (All other Satellite transmissions will remain as per normal). The reason for the suspension is the legal action that OtherChoice & decoder owners are taking against ICASA and MCSA, in order not to prejudice any rulings, DPTV has decided to suspend transmission until the outcome of the decision of the High Court of South Africa. When DPTV resumes transmission all viewers will have an extra 2 months added to their existing viewing cards.

Thank you for your understanding.

Posted by rory at 05:22 PM

September 05, 2003

Quick update on Don't Panic

It seems that either Don't Panic is no longer transmitting from PAS7/10 on the frequencies I mentioned earlier (and hasn't been for some time), or there's some other technical glitch. So for the the moment, the only extra free channel you seem to be able to get is BTV.

Posted by rory at 01:00 PM | Comments (100) | TrackBack

April 10, 2003

Don't Panic TV

There are a handful of channels available to you if you are a DStv subscriber and are willing to add a few settings to your Network Installation.

The most fun one is Don't Panic TV - a porn channel, which sometimes forgets to turn its encryption on.

Press Menu

Select 'Advanced Options'

Select 'Dish Installation'

Enter PIN: 9949

Select 'Network Configuration'

Select 'Network 2 Setup' (this is for Sentech's Vivid bouquet)

1. Signal Setup: Enabled
2. Orbital Position: PAS7/10
3. Use NIT: Yes
4. Frequency: 11170
5. Symbol Rate: 26652
6. Polarisation: Vertical
7: FEC: 5/6

Then select 'Accept these settings'

Select 'Network 3 Setup' (this is for Botswana TV)

1. Signal Setup: Enabled
2. Orbital Position: PAS7/10
3. Use NIT: No
4. Frequency: 11594
5. Symbol Rate: 27500
6. Polarisation: Vertical
7: FEC: 5/6

Select 'Accept these settings'

Select 'Network 4 Setup' (this is for Don't Panic TV)

1. Signal Setup: Enabled
2. Orbital Position: PAS7/10
3. Use NIT: No
4. Frequency: 12722
5. Symbol Rate: 26657
6. Polarisation: Vertical
7: FEC: 1/2

Select 'Accept these settings'

Now do a 'Scan new networks'

The BTV and Don't Panic TV channels will be at the very end of the channel list of the 'Public PAS7/10' list, probably from channel 29 onwards.

Please note that this information is for information purposes only. It works for me (on a 660 and a 720i). I do not know if it works for you, and I make no such warranties.

Don't Panic TV is sometimes unencrypted, sometimes not. You need to contact them, and purchase a different smart card for their services.

Useable channels:
23: EuroNews
25: God Channel
28: Botswana TV
29: Don't Panic TV promo channel
32: Don't Panic TV encrypted service

Posted by rory at 06:21 PM | Comments (326)