MATV Headends – Foxtel TDT Systems

Foxtel Astro TDT

Foxtel signals can be integrated with Free To Air channels using a number of different technologies. One Foxtel Approved system that is popular at large Multi Dwelling Unit or other large multiple outlet facilities is called a Foxtel TDT System. This system allows for Foxtel Satellite signals and Free To Air TV signals to be combined onto the one cable (coaxial or fibre) and broadcast to many TV points within the one building or precinct. 

What is a Foxtel TDT System?

TDT stands for “Transparent Digital Transmodulator”. TDT systems are used extensively throughout various countries in Europe, and also used by Foxtel in Australia.

A Foxtel TDT Headend converts Foxtel Satellite (DVB-S or DVB-S2) signals to Cable (DVB-C), using QAM modulation. After this conversion takes place, Foxtel channels can be broadcast together with Free To Air TV channels over the same single cable. As a result, it gets described as a ‘single cable solution’.

A Foxtel TDT System will comprise the following main parts:

  • Foxtel Approved 1.2m Satellite Dish
  • Foxtel Approved Quad LNB
  • TDT Headend (Base Unit, Twin or Quad Cards, Power Supply)
  • Distribution Amplifiers
  • Splitters and Taps

Beware that all parts used in a Foxtel TDT System should be Foxtel approved, in accordance with their latest Foxtel Approved Product List.

In addition, given that there are sometimes software updates and setting changes required, Foxtel have made it compulsory that all TDT systems are to be part of a maintenance agreement under a Service Level Agreement (SLA) with a Foxtel Endorsed Installer in order to ensure these updates are made in a timely fashion.

Nu Life TV Antenna maintain many Foxtel TDT Systems under SLAs with building managers throughout Sydney, providing a cost effective solution to buildings and precincts.

Spaun BluBox

Spaun is a German manufacturer that produces a Foxtel Approved TDT Headend. The Spaun BluBox comes in a number of different models, including the following:

  • Spaun BluBox 8/16
  • Spaun BluBox 32
  • Spaun BluBox 32v1

See below for an image of a Spaun BluBox. Nu Life TV holds limited spare parts for Spaun BluBox systems.

Spaun BluBox 32 TDT Headend

Astro TDT Sat-Headend

Astro are another European manufacturer that make a Foxtel Approved TDT Headend. The Astro TDT Headend also comes in a number of variations, including:

  • Astro V16 SAT-HEADEND
  • Astro V16.3 SAT-HEADEND
  • Astro V16.4 SAT-HEADEND
See below for an image of an Astro TDT Headend. Nu Life TV holds limited spare parts for Astro TDT systems.
Astro TDT Headend

Terra S2C Box

Terra’s S2C Box is the third Foxtel Approved TDT Headend. S2C stands for “Satellite to Cable” of course. It can be found in the following two varieties:

  • TERRA 32 Channel TDT Headend (S2C box Terra)
  • TERRA 16 Channel TDT Headend (S2C box Terra)
See below for an image of a Terra TDT Headend. Nu Life TV holds limited spare parts for Terra TDT systems.
Terra S2C box TDT Headend

If you have a faulty TDT system, or are looking for a reliable maintenance service provider at a very affordable price, feel free to contact Nu Life TV Antenna to discuss options for your Foxtel TDT System.

International Satellite TV – 3m C-Band Dish Installation

3m satellite dish

In this case study, we will outline a recent project we completed in Sydney’s CBD for a long-time client to upgrade their C-band satellite dish. We also outline the options available for customers to receive free international TV channels by installing a C-band satellite dish.

3.0 Metre Satellite Dish Installation

The building manager at this 50 storey apartment building in the middle of Sydney’s CBD called Nu Life TV Antenna to provide a free quote to fix international Chinese TV channels at their building. With a large number of international occupants, the building had received over 10 Chinese TV channels for many years. 

Following recent bad weather (possibly including hail), it was clear that the existing mesh satellite dish was damaged beyond repair. There were a number of holes in the mesh and the arms supporting the LNB had been broken loose.

Nu Life TV Antenna provided a free quote to replace the damaged dish with a new 3.0m heavy duty mesh satellite and a new dual output LNB with an in-built 5G filter. Once given approval, Nu Life TV Antenna completed the physical installation within 1 week, which was an exceptional turnaround given the only 3.0m satellite dishes in the country had to be shipped from interstate.

A 3.0m satellite dish is a big dish! The 2 man team that completed the installation was able to make use of the existing dish mount (not damaged) and one existing cable run to the headend in the communications room on the level below. 

3m satellite dish LNB
3m satellite dish LNB
Chinese TV Signal Readings

Distribution To Apartment Building Occupants

Once the physical installation was completed, the QPSK to COFDM Terra transmodulators were required to be re-programmed. Given the previous installation used an ‘OCS LNB’ (ie a One Cable Solution used to stack Vertical polarity transponders on a higher Horizontal frequency), the new Dual Output LNB delivered Horizontal and Vertical polarity transponders on separate cables.

With a new cable run completed, the input frequency on the Terra tdx311c modules (part of a Terra MMH3000 headend) were adjusted to ensure all channels were restored and multiplexed into the building’s existing SMATV system.

Using the building’s existing RF distribution equipment (also used for a KU band and digital Free To Air TV), the Chinese TV channels were integrated and distributed to all TV points in the 50 storey building. 

In this case, the C-band dish was pointed to the AsiaSat 6B satellite, which is located at 115.5° East, with the satellite dish Azimuth & Elevation from site: 308° & 35°.

Channels received with the modulators provided included:

  • Fujian TV
  • Hunan TV (multiple channels on the single transponder mux)
  • Shanghai Media Group
  • CCTV (China Central Television) channels CCTV 2, CCTV 17, CCTV 10, CCTV 11, CCTV 12, CCTV 15, CCTV 4 Asia, CGTN, CGTN Français, CGTN Español, CGTN Russkij, CGTN Arabic, CGTN Documentary
  • Henan TV
Chinese TV Transmodulators
Chinese TV Transmodulators
Terra tdx311c Modules

Free International TV Channels

Whilst it has been more popular in years gone by, there are still a large number of unencrypted free TV channels available to receive via satellite. There are C-band satellite dish channels and KU-band satellite dish channels available to anyone based in Sydney (or Australia for that matter).

Without providing a full list, LyngSat provides a relatively up to date list of all channels that are able to be received. At the time of writing, this list includes channels from the following countries:

  • China
  • Korea
  • Indonesia
  • India
  • Portugal
  • Spain
  • France
  • Russia
  • Many other channels available
If you are interested in supplying some or all of these channels to the residents in your building, in the majority of circumstances Nu Life TV Antenna can make use of the building’s existing RF distribution infrastructure to ensure the channels can be delivered to all occupants at a very affordable cost.

If you would like to learn more, feel free to give us a call or send an email outlining your requirements and we will provide you with the various options available to suit your needs.