This post was most recently updated on September 19th, 2019
We will be explaining various FTA decoders channels scanning modes and methods you can use to apply them. In this article, I shall be giving brief but concise tutorials on how to search for channels on various standalone FTA decoders such as strong, t-link, Qsat, Gsky, Superesat, Alphabox, tigersat, nusky. and so on. In other words, this guide may not be entirely useful for those trying to scan for channels on custom/company-branded decoders like DStv, Mytv, startimes and so on. However, if you own a PayTV decoder, try and contact the customer care of the company for support.
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Various Decoders Channels Scanning Modes
Before I proceed, let me say that I strongly advise that you scan your decoder periodically. All the various modes have their advantages and disadvantages. Manual scan, for example, will only give you channels from a specific frequency/TP. Similarly, Autoscan gives you all genuinely valid channels of all the TPs/frequencies on a particular satellite. And Blindscan will give you everything including duplicates channels from a given satellite. We can deduce from the above that if you are interested in getting a particular channel and you do not know its frequency(in other for you to use the manual scan) then you must use the “blindscan”.
Note: all the various scanning modes can be found under the “installation” menu of every FTA satellite decoder.
Various Methods of Scanning/Searching Channels on FTA Decoders
In this section, I shall provide, in a comprehensive manner how you can search for or scan satellite tv channels on any standalone free to air satellite receiver. This method will work regardless of the brand of the decoder.
Method One: PID Scan/Search
Suffice to say this mode is uncommon with most standalone decoders. PID stands for “package identifier” (or PID). This tech tells the receiver what to do with the packet. As one would expect, PID is more complicated than manual scan and the rest, here you input the satellite, the frequency, the symbol rate, the polarization, the Video-PID, Audio-PID and Pcr-PID.
- Video-PID = PID for Video stream
- Audio-PID= PID for Audio Stream
- PCR-PID= PID for PCR Stream(Program clock reference) is used to synchronize the video and audio packets, however, most of the time, this data is embedded into the video stream.
Put simply, you need to input all the values appropriately and then scan. Note this will only bring the channel on that TP with the PID data.
Second Method: The Manual Scan/Search
The interpretation of this is that will need to do the search manually on your own. this in satellite term means you need to input the frequency, symbol rate and the polarization of the channel you want to scan. As opposed to PID scan, you don’t need the PCR, Audio and video data. A manual scan allows you search a particular frequency alone without affecting others and it’s faster.
Noteworthy, if have 10 frequencies with a signal on a particular satellite, you can not search for all at the same time(using the manual search). On the contrary, you can only search them one after the other.
Method 3: The BLINDSCAN scanning mode
Another name for this mode is “multiple-sat” scan. It is about the most productive scanning technique you can use on any decoder. You can call blindscan the combination of both manual and auto. This is the easiest of all in the sense that, you don’t need to input the frequency like that of PID and manual scan. In fact, a blind scan does a complete job for you. it searches both the frequencies and channels altogether.
Method 4: The Satellite Channels “AUTOSCAN” Mode
Auto-scan simply means that you will be able to do the search of different frequency at a time. Now, here is the difference when compared with the manual scan. Using the manual scan you can only search one TP each but with auto scan, you combine all frequency as one and search at the same time.
When you do an auto-scan, you are relieving yourself the job of navigating to one frequency at a time to search, you simply click on auto scan and it performs the task of searching and sourcing for channels on all the frequency on the satellite, provided that the frequency is already saved on the satellite. When you are done using any of the scannng modes above, please don’t forget to save your scan.