Genesis Communications Network Starguide III Information

Satellite Coordinates: GE-8, Transponder 23
Star Guide-Provider: ABC NY
Service: GCN 1/2
Channel ID: 49

Orbital Location  139 degrees West Longitude

Please Note:Culture Shocks Channel ID = Sat services 15 (right channel)

ABC Starguide III Netcue and Relay Closure
GCN 1 (Left)
NetQue Client SG Relay Method
U88 Local Break 0 25HZ Tone
U89 Liner Rejoin 2 35HZ Tone
U90 Legal ID 4 25/35HZ Combo Tone
GCN 2 (Right)
NetQue Client SG Relay Method
T69 Local Break 1 25HZ Tone
T70 Liner Rejoin 3 35HZ Tone
T71 Legal ID 5 25/35HZ Combo Tone

Required Hardware - 12 foot stationary dish, Starguide III receiver

One of the distinguishing characteristics of digital receivers is that they do not exhibit the "scratchiness" common to analog receivers when the signal degrades.  While able to provide a cleaner signal under more adverse conditions that would normally make analog unusable, the digital receivers will totally mute when the signal falls below the threshold.  This effect is known as the "cliff effect."

Another characteristic of a digital signal is the ability to encode the signal.  Only the Starguide III will be able to properly decode the audio and relay commands.


Antenna Requirements
Item Minimum required Recommended
Dish Size 2.8 meter (9 feet) 3.1 m (10 ft) or 3.8 m (12 ft)
Antenna Gain At least 40 dB Dependent on your location
Antenna Beamwidth At most 1.8 degrees  
Antenna First Sidelobe Level At least 20 dB down from main beam  
Antenna Cross-pol Interference Level At least 30 dB down on main beam  
Dish Type Mesh Reflector Solid fiberglass or Aluminum reflector
LNB Type Any Good Phase-Stable LNB PLL Phase-Stable Unit 
LNB Temperature 40 degrees celsius 20 degrees celsius-35 degrees celsius
LNB Gain 55dB 65dB or greater
Cable Type RG-6  RG-11
Cable Length   Less than 500 ft.
Number of Receivers per Dish   3 or fewer (unless amplified)
Dish Mount Azimuth/Elevation Polar Mount (for ease of pointing)


STARGUIDE III USER MANUAL pdf    Quick Start Guide pdf  
Netcue setup info
pdf    Service Listing pdf  

Question: Why did ABC and other networks and syndicators convert to Starguide?


1. Support: The older Ariel and Scientific Atlanta products were no longer supported or repaired by their manufacturers.

2. New Receivers Unavailable: Stations could no longer purchase new Scientific Atlanta or equivalent receivers. They stopped being manufactured several years ago, and the number available on the used equipment market shrunk considerably. This prevented some stations from affiliating with a network that uses Scientific Atlanta technology unless they had -- or could find -- a used receiver.

3. Fixed Channel Sizes: The Scientific Atlanta DATS system had either 19 or 57 audio channels of fixed sizes and could not accommodate any wide-band data channels (wider than the 32 kbits / sec available today).

4. More Efficient Audio Coding: Audio coding has advanced since 1992. A 15 kHz mono channel for a news or talk show can now be transmitted in 96 kbits / sec instead of 128. A slightly lower grade channel, about 8.3 kHz in bandwidth, can now be transmitted at 64 kbits per sec. The advantage is the ability for syndicators to make their own choice between price and quality. Syndicators can choose a stet, near-CD-quality stereo channel. Or they can choose a 64 kbit / sec mono channel that occupies one fourth the space segment and is slightly more than one fourth the price. Or the syndicator can choose anything in between. For its own programming, ABC will use 192 kbits / sec in "joint stereo" mode or 96 kbits / sec in mono. The 96 kb channels will actually be half of a 192 kb channel operating in "dual mono" mode.

Q: Why can't my affiliates use their existing receivers for another 5 or 10 years and then replace them?

A: Audio satellite receivers are not standard and must be compatible with the uplink. Receivers must be replaced when the rest of the network or syndication world replaces their receivers or the corresponding uplink equipment.

Q: I've heard of stations that got free or cheap receivers from their networks? How do I get one?

A: All networks, when selling receivers to their own affiliates, can make negotiated deals or can sign barter transactions so that station expenditures for receivers are minimized. Individual stations should contact the affiliate relations representative at their network or syndicator.

Q: What's the difference between the Starguide III models that were distributed by ABC and Premiere today and the Starguide II models that were distributed by CBS and Westwood a few years ago?

A: The Starguide III has 6 card slots in the back compared to 5 in a Starguide II. The II model is also limited to receiving a signal with a data bandwidth of 6.144 Mbits / sec. The Starguide III can go up to 25 Mbits / sec. When ABC and Clear Channel / Premiere convert to their permanent transponder relocations, their signals will be wider than 6.144 Mbits / sec and therefore will not be receivable on older Starguide II receivers. Starguide IIIs are the "universal receptors" that can receive any Starguide signal, new or old, wide or narrow.

Q: On what satellite are the new Starguide signals transmitted?

A: ABC and its customers will be on AMC-8, transponder 23
Clear Channel / Premiere will be on AMC-8, transponder 21
CBS / Westwood / CNN will be on AMC-8, transponder 15

Q: Did I need to re-point my dish to see AMC-8?

A: No. AMC-8 replaced Satcom C-5 at the same orbital position, 139 degrees West Longitude. This meant that the commercial radio neighborhood did not move from its current location. There was a brief outage as GE Americom turned off Satcom C-5 and turned on AMC-8, otherwise no adjustments were required to station dishes or other equipment. GE Americom switched over from Satcom C-5 to AMC-8 on March, 2001. This date was completely independent of the conversions of ground equipment from DATS to Starguide.

Q: I notice that the ABC Starguide signal is on transponder 23. That's the same place where the Scientific Atlanta SEDAT signal was located. Does that mean that the SEDAT signal was turned off?

A: Yes. The venerable SEDAT signal that served both ABC affiliates and syndicators for nearly 20 years was turned off on July 31, 2001. It was necessary to turn the SEDAT signal off so that the full power and bandwidth of transponder 23 could be cleared for the permanent Starguide signal.

Q: I would like to find out how to start my service with ABC on the Starguide system. How do I go about that?

A: Call ABC Satellite Services at 212-456-5801. We can put together a deal that handles your requirements.

GCN is Sponsored By

This material may not be redistributed in any way.
© 2008 Genesis Communications Network, Inc.