Forum > Decoders > Installation > New Installations using the Smart LNB
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Old 2015-05-19 , 11:31
Geoff D Geoff D is offline
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Default New Installations using the Smart LNB

This is going to be a multiple post thread from me. There is just too much info that MC is as usual not making easily available to the general user base out there.

  1. In July 2014, MC announced that IF new installs wanted be "future proof" Quad LNBs would be required. This was based on the imminent launch of a new satellite, that would be available early in 2015, then late 2015, then 2016, and now probably sometime in 2017. " Many of the older decoders are not "hi-band capable" hence why we now need the Explora switch and a quad LNB". The facts are that all the TWIN LNB installs are perfectly functional and will be until 2017, and the older decoders will continue to function until then as well. (Unless of course MC forces them into obsolescence).
  2. Now this year in March/April, MC launches its "Smart LNB" and now that is the latest flavour of the month to make your install "Future Proof".
  3. This month we started getting reports on the Forum that Exploras are now delivered without Explora Switches, and that a user must now get a Smart LNB at his own cost before a new installation is done.
  4. Visiting three different MC Agents in our area show once again plenty of confusing and distorted information about future installs and future XtraView upgrades, and what one should do IF you were conned into the Quad LNB scenario last year and now want to add another Decoder to the mix.
  5. The MC self service website has been updated very recently, now talks about the "Smart LNB" option but stops short of providing the information for the advanced customer who wants to help himself, or wants to be prepared before getting a quote from an installer.
  6. The prices I got from the three "Agencies" for a Smart LNB and a switch if one needs one vary as follows:
    • Smart LNB: R700 - R950, yet the MC website states that the recommended Smart LNB price is R449. Read the MC information available here.
    • Explora Switch: "no longer available" says one agent, another says "Sure but will cost you R750, why don't you gets us to come and install a new Smart LNB for you instead?" What about the Quad LNB you installed recently you respond?" "No says the agent, that will not work for much longer and the only way out is to change the LNB".
  7. So the outcome is once again, the customer base is open to abuse and exploitation out there.
  8. It would seem that even though MC has numerous "special deals" a new customer is faced with somewhere between R700-R1000 additional cost to get his new fangled Explora decoder installed and working.
So in the next thread, I will post the facts and the real situation I gleaned from my investigations into the Smart LNB.

I strongly recommend all to read everything MC has published on the matter before doing anything and DO NOT fall for the claims that your existing install is suddenly now no good anymore quite yet.

Who knows what will happened before 2017 arrives and the new satellite is launched. What guarantees are there that this latest "DStv Smart LNB" will still be the correct installation method by then?
The answer no guarantees whatsoever


So MC, Is the Explora switch still available for purchase and will it remain so or is it a "while stocks last" situation. And what is the price one should be expected to pay for it?

Lastly, what is the price one should be paying for the Smart LNB?
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2 unmentionable FTA decoders
Win 10 Pro (64-bit) version 1703, build 15063.138
1.2m antenna, 8-way universal LNB, 2x6 MS, FSM permanently connected.
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Last edited by Geoff D; 2015-05-19 at 12:44. .
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  #2  
Old 2015-05-19 , 13:05
MC Marietjie's Avatar
MC Marietjie MC Marietjie is offline
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All the information you are asking for, including information about the Smart LNB and the price of the Smart LNB is available here: http://selfservice.dstv.com/self-ser.../installation/
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Old 2015-05-19 , 13:26
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MC Brenda MC Brenda is offline
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Hi Geoff

Thanks for your post.

Constant is out travelling on road shows to the agencies and installers at the moment, but I will ask him to reply as soon as he can. Some quick points in the meantime :

We have a recommended retail price for all our equipment. For the DStv Smart LNB it's R449.

We are definitely not telling customers they have to change their installations. We are however recommending that new installations, upgrades to different decoders or to XtraView take our updated installation recommendations into account. Not all require a DStv Smart LNB. We also want to ensure our customers are aware of the changes coming in 2017 (and give sufficient time to make changes should there be a need). Well post an updated summary of those recommendations later this week. Below is the answer to the query :


Why are the recommended installations for decoders being changed?
We are continually researching and developing many new features and enhancements. In 2017, well also launch a brand new satellite, which will allow us to bring our customers even more content and exciting services. From that point, our customers will get their DStv service and channels from two satellites - our current and the new satellite.


As a result of these developments and to simplify installations, weve updated our installation recommendations for all decoders (including XtraView installations).

We recommend that all changes to existing installations, including the replacement of LNBs be done by our DStv Accredited Installers. You can find your nearest DStv Accredited Installer here.

Most of our customers who already have DStv dont need to worry about changing their installations at the moment. Its only when new features are released or when upgrading to newer decoders or getting XtraView that changes may be required.



Many customers with existing installations moving to a DStv Explora, do not have a compliant installation (by compliant we mean 80cm dish correctly positioned to get maximum signal quality and signal strength). So although they may have been able to connect to their DStv Explora using a DStv Switch, their user experience was less than great due to signal issues.

When it comes to misinformation, our teams are hard at work on road shows with installers and agencies. Im sure Constant would appreciate reports of any agencies purposefully misleading customers or providing incorrect info so that he can follow up with them and correct this.

The tech teams have put a lot of energy, testing and working with experts to ensure a quality product that meets the growing needs of our installations.

More info to follow, but am sure Constant will be happy to answer queries when he can.
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  #4  
Old 2015-05-19 , 13:37
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Optimist Optimist is offline
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PLEASE NOTE: More about Smart LNB info & settings posted by @Geoff D could be found in the last few pages of this thread, but everything in this thread is no longer up-to-date so please rather see the newer copy here


Further important installation etc. info is here


Thanks Mods. Just one question from me;

Quote:
Originally Posted by MC Brenda View Post
Many customers with existing installations moving to a DStv Explora, do not have a compliant installation (by compliant we mean 80cm dish correctly positioned to get maximum signal quality and signal strength). So although they may have been able to connect to their DStv Explora using a DStv Switch, their user experience was less than great due to signal issues.
Is the above related to the following? :

Quote:
Originally Posted by Geoff D View Post
3. This month we started getting reports on the Forum that Exploras are now delivered without Explora Switches, and that a user must now get a Smart LNB at his own cost before a new installation is done.
Although that problem is understood, it would hardly seem to begin to justify the large compulsory(?) extra expense now believed included with a new Explora installation.

Last edited by Optimist; 2017-02-16 at 10:38. . Reason: See NOTE at the top
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Old 2015-05-19 , 14:46
Geoff D Geoff D is offline
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Thank you for the response and the interest.

The point is there are many installers out there, most of which are not "accredited" and some who can't get accreditation, even though they have years of experience. Some of them are faced immediately with a problem. One day they are busy quoting on new installs with Quad LNBs, the next they are faced with a situation where Exploras are being delivered without Switches and when they query this with their suppliers, they get a "Smart LNB" shoved into their hands. What are they now supposed to do? Try and get switches? And then told the switch costs upwards from R750?

It does not matter how you look at it, MC has for the umpteenth time created a problem and has no answers of what needs to be done as an interim measure.

In both official MC responses we have no indication regarding the availability of Explora switches as an interim measure.
Until that new satellite is more than just a rumour No one needs to upgrade their current installations by changing perfectly good LNBs ( TWIN, Quads, Unicable LNBs and even the universal "Smart LNB").

BUT it requires that Explora switches remain available as replacements or for new installs.
What about the additional costs involved now for new installs? One day the Explora has switch in the box ( making the install pretty straight forward on any existing TWIN installation, and the next it involves an additional R700 - R 1000 installation expense!

If MC was that serious about it, why not include a Smart LNB in the box with the Explora as a replacement for the switch??



Quote:
Originally Posted by MC Brenda View Post
Hi Geoff

Thanks for your post.

Constant is out travelling on road shows to the agencies and installers at the moment, but I will ask him to reply as soon as he can. Some quick points in the meantime :

We have a recommended retail price for all our equipment. For the DStv Smart LNB it's R449.

We are definitely not telling customers they have to change their installations. We are however recommending that new installations, upgrades to different decoders or to XtraView take our updated installation recommendations into account. Not all require a DStv Smart LNB. We also want to ensure our customers are aware of the changes coming in 2017 (and give sufficient time to make changes should there be a need). Well post an updated summary of those recommendations later this week. Below is the answer to the query :


Why are the recommended installations for decoders being changed?
We are continually researching and developing many new features and enhancements. In 2017, well also launch a brand new satellite, which will allow us to bring our customers even more content and exciting services. From that point, our customers will get their DStv service and channels from two satellites - our current and the new satellite.


As a result of these developments and to simplify installations, weve updated our installation recommendations for all decoders (including XtraView installations).

We recommend that all changes to existing installations, including the replacement of LNBs be done by our DStv Accredited Installers. You can find your nearest DStv Accredited Installer here.

Most of our customers who already have DStv dont need to worry about changing their installations at the moment. Its only when new features are released or when upgrading to newer decoders or getting XtraView that changes may be required.



Many customers with existing installations moving to a DStv Explora, do not have a compliant installation (by compliant we mean 80cm dish correctly positioned to get maximum signal quality and signal strength). So although they may have been able to connect to their DStv Explora using a DStv Switch, their user experience was less than great due to signal issues.

When it comes to misinformation, our teams are hard at work on road shows with installers and agencies. Im sure Constant would appreciate reports of any agencies purposefully misleading customers or providing incorrect info so that he can follow up with them and correct this.

The tech teams have put a lot of energy, testing and working with experts to ensure a quality product that meets the growing needs of our installations.

More info to follow, but am sure Constant will be happy to answer queries when he can.
__________________
Easyview, UEC 4T HD PVR, SD PVR, XV
Spare decoders: SD PVR(2), PACE HD PVR 4T, DSD 660, 1110, 1131, Explora 1
2 unmentionable FTA decoders
Win 10 Pro (64-bit) version 1703, build 15063.138
1.2m antenna, 8-way universal LNB, 2x6 MS, FSM permanently connected.
MS Edge 40 with MSEdge HTML 15

Last edited by Geoff D; 2015-05-19 at 15:23. .
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Old 2015-05-19 , 15:09
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MC Brenda MC Brenda is offline
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Hi,

As mentioned Constant is travelling and not easily able to post right now. He's sent some info below. We'll keep on helping out with queries as and when.

Quad LNB and switch is still fine. It will just be more expensive than a DStv Smart LNB installation.

DStv Smart LNB via branches is R445.

Switches should still be available at around R500. A new switch at about the same price as the DStv Smart LNB will be available around end July. (Intended for MUD and replacement only).

Self install is not encouraged as it requires a meter otherwise (as proven with the switch ) we end up with after sales issues. Specifically using 60cm dishes and LNB skew that is out by a few degrees. Cables that have deteriorated and connectors that aren't fitted properly also slip by and cause a bad viewing experience that costs support, causes churn and makes for a bad viewing experience.
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Old 2015-05-19 , 15:14
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MC Brenda MC Brenda is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Geoff D View Post
Until that new satellite is more than just a rumour

If MC was that serious about it, why not include a Smart LNB in the box with the Explora as a replacement for the switch??
Two answer these two quick comments :

The new satellite is not a rumour and has been officially communicated by MultiChoice.

Not all customers will require a DStv Smart LNB when installing the DStv Explora. Also keep in mind, that the switch was something a customer could install, but that's not the case with an LNB.

As with the purchase of any new decoder, we recommend our customers contact a DStv Accredited Installer. There is no need to buy the components for the installation separately (although the technically inclined can do so - as in the past).
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Old 2015-05-19 , 15:26
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MC Brenda MC Brenda is offline
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Please see answers in thread above. Sorry, I missed your query before replying.

We've updated installation recommendations and also made new equipment available. Customers can still get a switch and connect however we are making it clear to customers with the DStv Explora that "If the DStv Explora is installed with any other type of LNB (than Smart LNB), the installation may require changes to receive future services."

Quote:
Originally Posted by Optimist View Post
Thanks Mods. Just one question from me;
.


Is the above related to the following? :



Although that problem is understood, it would hardly seem to begin to justify the large compulsory(?) extra expense now believed included with a new Explora installation.
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  #9  
Old 2015-05-19 , 15:35
Geoff D Geoff D is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MC Brenda View Post
Hi,

As mentioned Constant is travelling and not easily able to post right now. He's sent some info below. We'll keep on helping out with queries as and when.

Quad LNB and switch is still fine. It will just be more expensive than a DStv Smart LNB installation.

DStv Smart LNB via branches is R445.

Switches should still be available at around R500. A new switch at about the same price as the DStv Smart LNB will be available around end July. (Intended for MUD and replacement only).

Self install is not encouraged as it requires a meter otherwise (as proven with the switch ) we end up with after sales issues. Specifically using 60cm dishes and LNB skew that is out by a few degrees. Cables that have deteriorated and connectors that aren't fitted properly also slip by and cause a bad viewing experience that costs support, causes churn and makes for a bad viewing experience.
Thank you so you have indirectly confirmed what we now know.

The Installation cost now goes up for a new install using a Quad LNB and a switch to about R950, whereas in the past all it cost was the Quad LNB.

Secondly, South Africa is a DIY nation, we have always and will always be a DIY nation. There is no point in trying to make it go away. There are thousands out there that cannot get an installer to do it for them.

I do not know of any installers now who do not install at least a 80 cm antenna, so that campaign has worked, but probably because the suppliers out there finally got the message and do not supply the toy antennas anymore.
The issue about bad cabling and connectors, well that one exists everywhere, even with accredited installers, as I recently saw myself. And yes Skew angle adjustments are more critical these days but the age old techniques still work and it is well within the abilities of a careful DIY installer or an installer without a fancy FSM.
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Easyview, UEC 4T HD PVR, SD PVR, XV
Spare decoders: SD PVR(2), PACE HD PVR 4T, DSD 660, 1110, 1131, Explora 1
2 unmentionable FTA decoders
Win 10 Pro (64-bit) version 1703, build 15063.138
1.2m antenna, 8-way universal LNB, 2x6 MS, FSM permanently connected.
MS Edge 40 with MSEdge HTML 15
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Old 2015-05-19 , 15:37
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Krugie Krugie is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MC Brenda View Post
We've updated installation recommendations and also made new equipment available. Customers can still get a switch and connect however we are making it clear to customers with the DStv Explora that "If the DStv Explora is installed with any other type of LNB (than Smart LNB), the installation may require changes to receive future services."
But a month ago we were advised to get a Quad LNB to ensure we can receive future services - which I then did when I decided to have a new dish installed. So long before the launch of the new satellite the recommendation has already changed. What the guys are saying - what if it changes again and even the Smart LNB is not sufficient at time of launch of the new satellite when the Quad suggestion only lasted a few months?
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