This post was most recently updated on August 20th, 2019
The fact that you can use 3 DStv decoders Xtraview settings on one DStv subscription is no longer news. What is new to some is how to do this. About 4 years ago, Dstv issued a press release informing his subscribers of the possibility of getting three independent DStv viewing environments under one subscription
There is a minor constraint, however. In the press release, they reiterated that:
the primary decoder has to be a DStv Explora, which can be combined with another Explora or a DStv HD decoder. Older decoder models are not capable of the technical changes required to run three decoders in XtraView.
Also relevant to this: How to connect the new DStv Zappa decoder for Xtraview
Warning Warning Warning!!
If you are not a DStv accredited installer or a professional one, please do not apply this setting. I will not accept the responsibility for any damage that occurs to you decoder as a result of your carelessness, Negligence or Ignorance. Be guided accordingly.
3 DStv decoders Xtraview settings: Extract from the press releases below
MultiChoice has now made it possible for customers to watch different live TV shows in three separate rooms at the same time. DStv customers can now connect three decoders, using MultiChoice’s XtraView service.
The good news is you only pay one subscription fee plus the specific amount you normally pay for Xtraview. In Nigeria it is #2,160 Access Fee for each XtraView connection (so 2 x #2,160 for Nigerians). In other words, only the primary decoder has a subscription. The other two have an Xtraview access fee each.
“We want to equip our customers to have a great entertainment experience in their homes. The ability to connect three decoders under one subscription gives our customers more flexibility to create a set up that suits their family,” commented Mark Rayner, CEO for MultiChoice South Africa.
DStv customers must use a DStv Explora decoder as their primary decoder, and then link any combination of Exploras or DStv HD decoders in this three decoder arrangement mix.
How to Combine 2 Explora 3As with One Eplora 2A fro Xtraview
According to the image above, the heartbeat communications for that 3 decoder setup will be through the SLNB. So the absence of RF ports on the 3A decoders is not a problem.
All you have to do is ensure that each decoder is set to use different user bands on the SLNB to avoid user bands conflicts. You can do this by using the Quick setup Wizard on the home network settings and selecting Decoder 2 and Decoder 3 for the 2A and second 3A respectively.
Leave the primary 3a on its default settings for decoder Do each decoder separately while the others are switched off.
How to setup Explora 2A and 2 Explora 1 for Xtraview
This 3-inone connection is pretty simple. Please follow the instructions below:
Note: The Explora 2A doesn’t like sharing any user bands and frequencies with any other decoder in the mix.
Change your user band and frequency settings as follows one decoder at a time starting with the Primary decoder.
Make sure you are using a DStv smart LNB(SLNB) or a 24-1Z MS.
NB Remember to make sure you use the associated frequencies with each user band. The values are available on the documents that came with the SLNB. You can also get them here
- Set the Primary decoder to use user bands 0,1,2. This is the safest especially considering that if anything goes wrong, at least the Primary decoder stands the best chance of recovering as it is set to use the defaults.
- Then set the first secondary decoder to use 3,4,5 and the last 6,7,8
- For Xtraview to work with three decoders, there must be a Heartbeat cable connecting the decoders together. The old more reliable way for this is from the RF OUT on the Primary to the RF INs on the secondary decoders via a T piece connector.
- Alternatively, you can send the heartbeat signal i via the SLNB cabling. For this method to work, there has to be a Diplexer behind each Explora 1 decoder.
Important Information on 3 DStv decoders Xtraview settings
• The decoders, which can be used when linking 3 together in XtraView, are a combination of the DStv Explora and the DStv HD Decoder. The primary decoder in this XtraView set-up MUST be a DStv Explora.
• The decoders, which can be used when linking 2 together in XtraView, are a combination of 11 series single view decoders, DStv HD Decoder, SD PVR, HD PVRs (all models) and the DStv Explora.
• We recommend the use of a DStv Accredited Installer for all XtraView installations.
• The recommended installation for XtraView set-ups is a DStv Smart LNB together with an 80cm or 90cm satellite dish.
• When linking decoders in XtraView, all decoders get all the channels a customer is subscribed to. Example: if a customer is subscribed to DStv Premium and DStv Indian, they’ll get all those channels on all decoders.
• Each decoder operates independently. Example: if a customer rents a movie on a PVR in their XtraView set-up, it will only be available for viewing on that one decoder. Similarly, recordings made on one decoder will only be accessible on that decoder.
About the Access Fee
The Access Fee gives our customers access to more than one viewing environment without having to pay additional subscriptions. It’s also flexible enough to cater for the unique needs of our customers’ households.
Two independent viewing environments:
If a customer wants to watch different live TV shows in two separate rooms at the same time, they can connect two decoders through XtraView and pay an Access Fee.
Three independent viewing environments:
If a customer wants to watch different live TV shows in three separate rooms at the same time, they can now connect three decoders through XtraView and pay an additional Access Fee for the second XtraView connection. This means they pay two Access Fees.
How to connect 3 DStv decoders for Xtraview settings
Diagram showing how to connect 3 Exploras for Xtraview services: Installers only
3 x Explora configuration with a single 501 SLNB – just fantastic -HB still traditional way via RF OUT – doesn’t work through new SLNB as some suggested – UB 012/342/567/Remotes programmed 1/2/3, UHF changed for 3 channels.
Image for User Band Indexes’ Frequencies for the newer Smart LNB
A table showing all the various User band settings that installers can use
You can either combine three Exploras, 2 Exploras and one HD, or 1 explora and two HD decoders. Whatever your mixes are, make sure an Explora is your primary.
Where are Dstv User band Settings Located?
User band settings need to be changed at times on the Explora decoders and also I presume on the HD single view decoder models 4U and 4S.
The settings are to be found under the menu option, Settings, Satellite Settings, Home Network. [OK] accesses these settings.
Change the User Band and Index Settings as required by the specific installation method chosen.
- Note that at the moment anyway, these settings cannot be changed on the legacy SatCR capable, HD PVRs ( 4 tuner, 2 tuner decoders). The SD PVR is NOT SatCR capable, so it can only be connected to the legacy ports on the SLNB and the NES.
- The sw on the PACE 4 tuner and 2 tuner decoders have been updated introducing a parameter called the “switching frequency”, but NO explanation of what this does or what the settings have to be has been made public by MC. Hence, at the moment, DIY’ers are still constrained by having to change the user band and frequency settings on an Explora when more than one decoder is connected to the Unicable ports on the SLNB.
The Legacy SatCR HD PVRs must be set as follows:
- LNB Power: Controlled LNB Mode: SatCR (Universal is best, but the standard also works.) LNB Lo-band Lo Frequency: Will default to 9750 MHz. LNB Hi-band Lo Frequency: Will default to 10700 MHz. Change this to 10600 MHz If you choose the SATCR Universal option.
- Leave the “switching frequency” alone if that parameter is available.
- The 2 tuners use User Bands 0 and 1; Frequencies 1210 and 1420 respectively. The 4 tuners use User bands 0,1,2,3; frequencies 1210, 1420, 1680, 2040 respectively. This means that more than one legacy HD PVR cannot be connected to the Unicable ports on an SLNB or NES, because there will be a clash. (It should not be like this IF the ports are truly independent but those that have tried, have found either one or the other decoder will work, not both.) IF you want to use the SLNB and the NES with 2 legacy decoders, one of them will have to be connected to the Legacy ports on the SLNB or NES. If a 4 tuner is connected to the legacy ports, a 2 x 4 MS will also be required. Any combination of an Explora and a legacy decoder both connected to the Unicable ports requires the Explora User Bands and Frequencies to be changed from the defaults to get both to work. The 4 U and 4S decoders can be connected to either a Unicable port or to the legacy ports. The other legacy decoders (SD PVR, 1110, 1131, 1132, etc) can only be connected to the legacy ports on the SLNB and NES.
- The Explora and presumably the 4U and 4S only allow for 0-7 user band settings so, there are limitations when combining these decoders at the moment. Some decoders must be set to “share” a user band, and it seems the best option is to Share tuner 3 user band as the settings are “never changed”. Sharing tuners 1 and 2 between Exploras or with the 4 U and 4S leads to conflicts.
How to connect Explora 2A and two 5S/5U for Xtraview
1. Explora 2 as primary
2. Model 5u as secondary(no smartcard)
3. Model 5u as secondary(no smartcard)
4. From the Smart LNB(Slnb) outside: Port A wire to Explora, Port B wire to secondary and Port C wire to the third decoder.
The Explora and third decoder is playing but the second is not working got an E16. There are no heartbeat cables cause there are no ports for it I expected that heartbeat with model 5u decoders is working thru Slnb ???
The Explora 2A has a build-in Diplexer so it will transmit the HB signal to the SLNB. The %U decoders do not have RF in or RF out ports so you cannot connect a Diplexer on their side.
Please check with DStv to ensure the third extra view has been activated and set up. Also, check the connections to the LNB to ensure that there is no cable fault causing the problem.
Finally, Herewith the frequencies for the various indexes for a cross-check:
- Explora 2A User Index: O Frq: 1210 User Index: 1 Frq: 1420 User Index: 2 Frq: 1680
- HD Decoder 5U User Index: 3 Frq: 2040 User Index: 4 Frq: 1006
- HD Decoder 5U User Index: 5Frq: 1057 User Index: 6 Frq: 1108