Forum > Decoders > PVR Decoders > Future Decoder Development?
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Old 2018-02-17 , 12:07
Geoff D Geoff D is offline
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Default Future Decoder Development?

Future Decoder Development?

MC originally stated on the launch of the 4 series HD decoders that these were basically an Explora without a HDD. (4136 series, from two manufacturers, 4U and 4S, and later, the 4U2 and the 4S2).

The existing Explora 1 and 2A both have RF modulators with RF IN and RF OUT ports, plus standard RCA outputs (Red, White, Yellow).

All the above support both standard Xtraview via RF and the new "Uniview" version via the LNB cabling. Explora 1 and the 4 series decoders require external diplexers to get "Uniview" to work.

All these decoders support tvLINK via RF for remote control of decoders.

Lastly, These decoders (as all previous decoders), use/used a built-in CAM module and a MC specific Smart Card for service access control.

The advent of the 5 series signals a new direction for MC

MC then recently launched a new series of HD decoder, the 5 series. (4137, 5U and 5S).

The major differences here are:

1. NO RF modulators. The RF IN and RF OUT ports have been dropped. This means these decoders no longer easily support traditional Xtraview connectivity and tvLINK support is now gone.

2. RCA connectivity has been replaced with 3.5 mm jack connection.

3. These decoders also have a second tuner. What is the purpose of this? The decoder does not have a HDD, nor does it have view 2 capability, so what is this for? Completely separate tuner used by MC for decoder control and management? Or just something that is inherent in its design because it is supposed to be an Explora without a HDD? If so then why not 3 tuners?

4. This series of decoders departed from the CAM module with a separate Smart card and now make use of smartcard technology integrated into the decoder, similar to that used by OVHD TV, meaning no need for a separate Smart Card, thus simplifying the service authentication process.

It is almost as if this series of decoder was released "out of sequence", and should have been preceded with a new version of the Explora decoder. Presumably, to keep with the strategy that the HD decoders are just Explora decoders without HDDs it makes sense that we should very soon see a new Explora on the market, with no RF modulators, no tvLINK support and 3.5 mm jacks.

This decoder will therefore no longer easily support traditional Xtraview connectivity. EVERYTHING will now go via the SLNB.

The 5 series decoder requires external diplexers to be able to support the traditional Xtraview connection method.

Remote control via tvLINKs may or may not work. This means we are back to making use of Remote extenders/blasters for remote control of decoders from viewing points not co-located at decoders.

Indeed until a user comes forward and states that remote control of decoders via the LNB cabling works, the above seems to be the way things are going.

The next step will probably see the dropping of RCA connectivity entirely!

Xtraview/Uniview for 3 decoders

The take up of this feature in the market has been pretty slow, mainly because those of us interested in multiview capability have been resisting the conversion away from the older multiview decoders with everything we have got, and the new generation of customers have no clue about the benefits of multiview.

It therefore seems we could even see the demise of Xtraview x 3!

So now we need a statement from MC to answer three questions:

"Will MC still be supporting and making available Explora 2A and the 4 series decoders for those that want to continue making use of RF as a distribution method?"

"When will we see the launch of a new Explora?"

"What about XV x 3?" Also on the way out????
Spare decoders: SD PVR(3) PSU's, DSD 660, 1110, 1131, Explora 1.
Spare switches and LNBs: 1 x 5-1(repaired); 1 x 5-2.Numerous so called faulty LNBs that were easily repaired.
2 unmentionable FTA decoders
1.2m antenna, 8-way universal LNB, 2 x (2x6) MS, FSM permanently connected.

Last edited by Geoff D; 2018-02-18 at 11:49. . Reason: Added Integrated Smart Technology
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Old 2018-02-17 , 14:45
Optimist Optimist is offline
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I've now managed to get a reliable response re the 2nd tuner mystery, well worked out Geoff

The 1st tuner is Audio and video playback [meaning live TV] and the 2nd tuner is for the guide and for the ECM codes downloads that confirm your status .eg active or suspended . The Explora does this with tuner 1 and tuner 3, tuner 2 is for recordings. The HD 5 decoders won't support external recordings [meaning an attached harddrive or similar].

Last edited by Optimist; 2018-02-17 at 15:04. . Reason: Clarity
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Old 2018-02-17 , 15:21
Optimist Optimist is offline
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(See edit above for further established clarity.)

Now that we know that the 2nd tuner is operational and essential, I'm now going to state that unlike on the 4 series, there logically cannot be the option for alternatively using a Universal legacy LNB port for the 5 series.

(Photo of the back of a 5 series (4137) confirming only one LNB input port can be seen here: Dstv 4137 5s (post #28) )
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Old 2018-02-17 , 15:50
Optimist Optimist is offline
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Lastly I'd like to examine how this has worked re the history of the decoders, would be nice to hear from MC why it's chopped and changed this much;

SD decoders - all of them combined EPG/ECM on the same tuner as for live TV, until the SD PVR which had a separate 3rd tuner partly and somewhat jointly devoted to that (based on previous knowledge some of us have).
The later 11xx SD models went back to combining the functionality.
EDIT: Not sure with the DualView, it could have just used tuner 1 for EPG/ECM or both tuners. Either way it was combining.

HD PVR decoders - they did have this separate.
Exploras - they separate it as well.

4 series - back to combining again.

5 series - back to separation again.

Last edited by Optimist; 2018-02-17 at 16:18. . Reason: Tidy up
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Old 2018-02-17 , 17:17
cdbjhb cdbjhb is offline
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Here is another angle.
Until the 5 series this so called separation through the years has all been on PVRs with CU and BO sharing the tuner instead, this is the first time those functions are really independent.
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Old 2018-02-18 , 10:24
Optimist Optimist is offline
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That was definitely a case of can't see the wood for the trees

Sorry to hog the thread, I think this now brings up a related interesting new development re the future - why would the latest decoders appear to be designed to save costs but then they splurge on a never before needed completely separate EPG/ECM tuner??

I think Geoff has eliminated the mass market shared design theory due to their being no third tuner.
Perhaps a new security factor, which of course wouldn't be any of our business, but it's not like they could then rid themselves of the older system for well over a decade so it appears to be something else... but what's left?
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