Separate me from my trusty pocketmail?
> To: email@example.com
> Sent: September 25, 2000 3:18:25 PM GMT
> Over breakfast this morning I read in the local rag an article on a company
> by the name of Starband that plans to introduce 2way satelite connection
> this fall for 80% of the country. at a price competitive with high speed
> broadband. Should put direct PC off the map with their download only
> connection. They use a 24X36" dish so it should be a feasible answer to
> those of us who need to keep our wheels turning.
> Address www.starband.com
> I don't know if it'll seperate me from my trusty pocketmail but I'll look at
Same thing -- new name!
Always great to hear from you. "Starband" is the new brand name of the company formerly known as "Gilat-to-Home". Gilat-to-Home was the product name for a two-way satellite service that was produced by a joint venture team comprised of Gilat Satellite, Microsoft, EchoStar and ING Furman Setz Investments.
This newer company is leasing some transponders on an existing GEO (geostationary) satellite known as Telestar 7.
Their primary market will be homes and stationary businesses. The major problem with a GEO system is that the satellite birds are too far away -- this particular satellite is over 22,300 miles above the earth and requires a clear view of the southern sky. The size of the receiver dish sounds good for use by Dashboarders, but there are technical problems with positioning the dish and I doubt it will work very well for folks working on-a-roll.
I could not find out the pricing information -- do you have any news about that?
StarBand costs $59.95 per month plus $299 for the dish setup. They're partnered with Microsoft and EchoStar leasing 14 ku-band transponders on Telstar 7 (http://www.ssloral.com/satexp/onorbitpic.html) (129W) satellite from Loral's Skynet http://www.spacedaily.com/news/sealaunch-00m.html.
AOL Plus Via DirecPC should also be available soon. http://www.directv.com/ using a Hughes Bird http://www.hns.com/news/pressrel/csp_pres/p042700.htm with AOL Plus. Consumers get between 128Kbps and 256kbps upstream and over 40Mbps downstream. The two-way version of DirecPC uses PanAmSat http://www.panamsat.com/media/press.asp Galaxy IVR at 99W http://www.hsc.com/factsheets/601/galaxy_ivr/galaxy_iv_r.html) which is 81% owned by Hughes.
I have more links and wireless resources at my Community LAN page at: http://www.teleport.com/~samc/bike/index4a.html
Love your site!
- Sam Churchill
PSU Wireless Community LAN
StarBand costs $59.95 per month plus $299 for the dish setup. They're partnered with Microsoft and EchoStar leasing 14 ku-band transponders on Telstar 7 http://www.ssloral.com/satexp/onorbitpic.html (129W) from Loral's http://www.spacedaily.com/news/sealaunch-00m.html
AOL Plus Via DirecPC:
The competition is from Hughes/AOL/DirecPC http://www.hns.com/news/pressrel/csp_pres/p042700.htm with AOL Plus Via DirecPC http://www.hns.com/news/pressrel/csp_pres/p042700 which will also available this year. Consumers get between 128Kbps and 256kbps upstream and over 40Mbps downstream.
It uses the two-way version of DirecPC and PanAmSat's Galaxy IVR http://www.panamsat.com/media/press.asp at 99W http://www.hsc.com/factsheets/601/galaxy_ivr/galaxy_iv_r.html), which is 81% owned by Hughes.
More information is available at my BikeCam Cookbook (http://www.teleport.com/~samc/bike/index4a.html) and Community Wireless LAN page: http://www.teleport.com/~samc/psuwireless.
Love your work!
PSU Community Wireless LAN
Headed to Santa Clara
Road Greetings Sam,
Thanks for the updated links, I have been too pre-occupied of late to keep up. Have you tried any of the offerings yourself?
I am head to Santa Clara for the Fall CTIA show -- hope to have some forward-looking news about services and tools soon.
Comdex News & update
StarBand has officially launched but are requiring purchase of computer at Radio Shack -- more information will be forthcoming.
DirecPC is still in Beta-testing and is hoping to be able to launch to public in the USA by 12/31/00. However, a conversation with a technician suggests that the system will not be fully activated until the end of February 2001.
I have been using the Starband system for a few months now and have some mixed feelings. The system has some kinks to work out but all in all if you just want to stay in touch with family and friends in the middle of no where then you'll be happy :) I hope to use Dialpad.com's service to call friends and family to save some money. Right now the uplink part of Starband leaves much to be desired.
Anyway, next summer I plan on taking the dish on the road. Although Starband says it will never offer a self installation kit the installers where willing to work with me to have it setup were I could easily take it down and move it to my 5th Wheel.
I'm not sure how park owners will appreciate the HUGE dish. I plan on putting the dish on my roof some how? If any has some ideas I would greatly appreciate hearing from you.
Details! We want details!
Road Greetings Doug,
You have had two-way StarBand service for several months? Were you a beta-tester? It was only released to the public about three weeks ago. What size is the antenna dish? How do you calibrate it? What is the pricing plan you are using? Have you been able to access the internet in canyons or cities?
As far as the size goes -- we are looking at using a phased-array set-up that could reduce the 1 meter size some.
Details -- details!!!
More Starband info
I'm not sure what the exact size is but it's about two times the size of a standard directv dish. As for calibrating the thing, It just takes more time. You have a signal strength and also a signal to noise ratio that must be to a certain point. You also have a delay setting but I'm not sure if this will change if you move the dish.
I'm not sure what pricing plan I will be using. Right Now there are two plans:<br>
Radio Shack: $69.00 per month and you must buy a compaq computer.
The Dish Network: $59.00 per month and you can purchase a USB box instead of buying the whole computer. I think they have a deal if add dish network programing they will charge $99.00 per month for both.
I havn't moved the dish yet so I'm hoping that I'll be able to. Although Starband says you can't mount it on an RV because it requires an installer to set it up, I don't think that will be a problem because I helped install it and all it required was a little more time.
Starband could be a great system but I'm waiting for Direcpc to come out with there service. I might drop Starband and go with them. They should be out by next summer. I would like to know more about the phased-array set-up that you mentioned.
If you have anymore questions on starband there site has been updated so it's a bit more informative. http://www.starband.com
Deeper and Deeper
Road Greetings Doug,
Thanks for latest posting. Couple of more thoughts, please.
1. The dish that I am familar with is 24" by 36" and has a 12" radio transceiver mounted about 15" from the dish. Is this the one you have been using? Is it shaped like the 18" TV dish or is it more or less oblong?
2. The Azimuth-Elevation positoning device on your StarBand receiver -- how long did it take you to position it? Is it entirely internal or did you have to use an external device to properly align it?
3. How does the delay setting work?
4. How much of the Southern arc did you find that you needed to obtain a good lock on the data stream?
5. Do you know of a good URL for the EchoStar version of the StarBand Service?
6. My calcuations of the costs using the MSN version available at RadioShack is about $2100 for the first year. Is it your understanding that access to the satellite service is limited to 5 hours per month?
7. PC-Direct "Swears" they will launch service by 12/31/00, but knowledgeable engineers think the gateways will require a few more weeks of tweaking.
8. The phased-array is being tested by a couple of companies -- I am under a "do not disclose agreement" until at least January, but I will share what I know as soon as I can.
I am really interested in your own success and time required to calibrate the StarBand set-up. Are you using the MSN or EchoStar connection?