4DTV is a proprietary broadcasting standard and technology for digital cable broadcasting and C-band/Ku-band satellite dishes from Motorola, using General Instrument's DigiCipher II for encryption. It can tune in both analog VideoCipher 2 and digital DCII satellite channels.



4DTV technology was originally developed in 1997 (the same year that DigiCipher was developed) by General Instrument/NextLevel and Motorola, now a division of ARRIS. The 4DTV format is contemporary to the DVB-based digital television broadcast standard but its completion came before that of DVB and thus it is similar but incompatible with the DVB standard. The DigiCipher 2 encryption system is used in digital channels much like the VideoCipher and VideoCipher II systems were used for analog encrypted transmissions. By the time when analogue VideoCipher II channels are switched to digital, all of the remaining VCII-encrypted channels (excluding in the clear) are transitioned to DigiCipher II on all satellites that carries either in the clear or VideoCipher II/II+/RS-encrypted channels. On December 31, 2010, Motorola abandoned support for 4DTV after 13 years when it was developed. This made all of the receivers to redirect to AMC-18 (also known as W5/X4 on the 4DTV system) instead of its of other satellites that carries analog/VCII channels.

On August 24, 2016, at 9:18 AM EST, Headend In The Sky (the provider for 4DTV/DigiCipher II programming) transitioned to DVB-S2 (MPEG-2/256 QAM), meaning that support for 4DTV ended on that date.[1]


4DTV is designed for C-band/Ku-band based satellite dishes (both TVRO/direct-broadcast) in conjunction with the DigiCipher II system (for digital standard definition/high definition signals) and the VideoCipher II system (for analog signals). It is also used on Canada's Shaw Direct (previously known as Star Choice).


4DTV receivers were designed to receive analog NTSC (except the DSR-905) in the clear or VideoCipherII channels and feeds, as well as digital Digicipher 2 channels as a TVRO satellite system on both C and Ku band-powered satellite dishes.

Four models are available, either new or refurbished:

  • DSR-920 (discontinued as of 2003)
  • DSR-921 (discontinued as of 2003)
  • DSR-922 (made available in Fall 2000, discontinued)[1][2][3]
  • DSR-905 (designed to work with analog 4DTV receivers and it can only receives DigiCipher II channels) (discontinued)

High definition access

The HDD-200 is a peripheral for 4DTV, it is used to access high definition channels via the Mult-Media Access Port. This peripheral is no longer in production.

Programming providers

In the United States, National Programming Service, LLC (NPS) was the primary provider of subscription programming to 4DTV and C band/Ku band users. They ceased operations as of December 26, 2010 after making a controversial attempt of converting all of their customers over to Dish Network which failed. The largest providers are now Satellite Receivers, Ltd. (SRL) and Skyvision who sell programming from the Headend In The Sky (HITS) service by Comcast and will continue to do so in 2011 and beyond. The HITS services use the Comcast Subscription Authorization Center (SAC) for the channels being broadcast on the AMC 18 satellite located at 105 degrees West (W5 or X4 tile on 4DTV). In Canada, Dr. Sat is now the primary provider for HITS subscription services offered on C-Band after Satellite Communications Source ceased operations.

Due to the removal of 4DTV/DigiCipher II channels on August 24, 2016, there are no more programming providers for the 4DTV in the United States and Canada. However, Shaw Direct still offers DigiCipher II programming in Canada, but not HITS programming.


The 4DTV makes use of first-generation digital master feeds on several satellites and hundreds of channels. Therefore, a high quality signal is received, compared to other programming options that are typically compressed and re-uplinked. Being a C-band system, the 4DTV has the advantage of signal stability, great satellite footprint and no rainfade. This is a problem with services such as Dish Network and DirecTV satellite providers since they re-uplink on Ku and Ka bands.


The master feeds for the many channels available can be scattered amongst multiple satellites. The actuator must slowly rotate the large dish into the desired satellite's signal path, and then a further short delay for signal acquisition and lock. This procedure makes rapid "channel surfing" impossible outside the HITS provided channels.


  1. ^ "DSR922 4DTV now available [sic]". Google Groups - rec.video.satellite.tvro. Retrieved 2009-08-28.
  2. ^ "2000 Satellite News". BUD & 4DTV Info (bigdish.info). Retrieved 2009-08-28.
  3. ^ "DSR 922 Operator's Guide". General Instrument: Publication #468478-001, Rev B. General Instrument Corp. 2000.
American Heroes Channel

American Heroes Channel (formerly Military Channel and originally Discovery Wings Channel) is an American pay television channel that is owned by Discovery, Inc. The network carries programs related to the military, warfare, and military history and science.

As of February 2015, the channel is available to approximately 59,917,000 pay television households (51.5% of households with at least one television set) in the United States.

BET Soul

BET Soul is an American pay television network that is controlled by the BET Networks division of Viacom, which owns the network. The channel showcases R&B, funk, soul, neo soul, hip hop, jazz and Motown music from various decades.

Originating as VH1 Soul, a spinoff of VH1, the channel moved under the editorial control of BET on December 28, 2015 as part of Viacom's ongoing restructuring of their pay-TV operations.

Bognor or Bust

Bognor or Bust was a 2004 UK television panel game, on the subject of news and current affairs. Produced by 4DTV for ITV, the show conventionally gave contestants the opportunity to win prizes, yet was comedic in style. It combined members of the public and celebrities on the same panel.

The show was hosted by comic actor and presenter Angus Deayton. His hosting of this show was largely viewed as his next step after being ousted from Have I Got News for You. Designing the style of the show to be similar to that of HIGNFY may have been deliberate.

Before the game began, the two contestants picked two out of a group of four celebrities to play on their team. In Round 1, Deayton asked a series of questions on the week's news, to be answered on the buzzer. At the end of the round, there was a quick recap of the scores. For the End of Part 1, the viewers were shown a picture with something missing, and were asked to guess what it is during the commercial break. In Part 2, the missing object was revealed (to general amusement) and Round 2 commenced. The player in the lead chose one of two pictures that served as (not very good) cryptic clues to a certain category. The team then had to answer a succession of quick-fire questions within that category in a time limit. Afterwards, the process repeated with the other team and the other category. At the end of Round 2, the player with the most points proceeded to the final round.

The final round consisted of a single multiple choice question with two possible answers, on which the contestant can confer with all four celebrities. When answered correctly, the contestant was awarded a paid-for exotic holiday. (The question was based on a story taken from a newspaper from the country from the holiday's destination.) However, if the final question was answered incorrectly, the contestant was instead 'awarded' a trip to the seaside resort Bognor Regis in West Sussex, from which the name of the show was derived, and a randomly selected member of the audience won the exotic holiday. In the context of this show, Bognor was not seen as an upmarket resort and was therefore a satirical booby prize.

Despite steady ratings of three to four million viewers, the series was not recommissioned following its original run.

Bravo (U.S. TV network)

Bravo is an American pay television network, launched on December 1, 1980. It is owned by NBCUniversal, a subsidiary of Comcast. The channel originally focused on programming related to fine arts and film; it currently broadcasts several reality television series targeted at 25-54-year-old women as well as the gay community, along with acquired and original dramas, and mainstream theatrically released feature films.

As of January 2016, approximately 89,824,000 American households (77.169 percent of households with TV) receive Bravo.

CMT Music

CMT Music (formerly CMT Pure Country) is an American pay television channel and a sister network to CMT. It is part of the Viacom Global Entertainment Group, a unit of the Viacom Media Networks division of Viacom. It showcases country music videos for its full broadcast day, using the same 8-hour programming wheel schedule repeated three times daily as sister networks NickMusic and BET Jams.

Conditional access

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DigiCipher 2

DigiCipher 2, or simply DCII, is a proprietary standard format of digital signal transmission and it doubles as an encryption standard with MPEG-2/MPEG-4 signal video compression used on many communications satellite television and audio signals. The DCII standard was originally developed in 1997 by General Instrument, which then became the Home and Network Mobility division of Motorola, then bought by Google in Aug 2011, and lastly became the Home portion of the division to Arris.The original attempt for a North American digital signal encryption and compression standard was DigiCipher 1, which was used most notably in the now-defunct PrimeStar medium-power direct broadcast satellite (DBS) system during the early 1990s. The DCII standard predates wide acceptance of DVB-based digital terrestrial television compression (although not cable or satellite DVB) and therefore is incompatible with the DVB standard.

Approximately 70% of newer first-generation digital cable networks in North America use the 4DTV/DigiCipher 2 format. The use of DCII is most prevalent in North American digital cable television set-top boxes. DCII is also used on Motorola's 4DTV digital satellite television tuner and Shaw Direct's DBS receiver.

The DigiCipher 2 encryption standard was reverse engineered in 2016.

Digital Satellite Service

Digital Satellite System is the initialism expansion of the DSS digital satellite television transmission system used by DirecTV. Only when digital transmission was introduced did direct broadcast satellite (DBS) television become popular in North America, which has led to both DBS and DSS being used interchangeably to refer to all three commonplace digital transmission formats - DSS, DVB-S and 4DTV. Analog DBS services, however, existed prior to DirecTV and were still operational in continental Europe until April 2012.At the time of DirecTV's launch in 1994, the DVB-S digital satellite system in use in the majority of the world had not yet been standardised, the Thomson developed DSS system was used instead.

While functionally similar in DVB-S - MPEG 2 video, MPEG-1 Layer II or AC3 audio, QPSK modulation, and identical error correction (Reed-Solomon coding and Viterbi forward error correction), the transport stream and information tables are entirely different from those of DVB. Also unlike DVB, all DSS receivers are proprietary DirecTV reception units.

DirecTV is now using a modified version of DVB-S2, the latest version of the DVB-S protocol, for HDTV services off the SPACEWAY-1, SPACEWAY-2, DirecTV-10 and DirecTV-11 satellites; however, huge numbers of DSS encoded channels still remain. The ACM modulation scheme used by DirecTV prevents regular DVB-S2 demodulators from receiving the signal although the data carried are regular MPEG-4 transport streams.

Disney Junior

Disney Junior is an American pay television network that is owned by The Walt Disney Company through Disney Channels Worldwide. Aimed mainly at children 8 years and under, its programming consists of original first-run television series, theatrically-released and home media-exclusive movies and select other third-party programming.

Until January 2017, Disney Junior also lent its name to a morning and early afternoon program block seen on sister network Disney Channel, branded as "Disney Junior on Disney Channel", airing weekdays from 6:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. (6:00 to 10:00 a.m. during the summer months and designated school break periods) and weekends from 6:00 to 9:00 a.m. Eastern and Pacific Time.As of January 2016, the channel is available to 74.0 million households in the U.S.

Disney XD

Disney XD is an American pay television channel that is owned by The Walt Disney Company through Disney Channels Worldwide. Aimed primarily at children ages 6–15, its programming consists of original first-run television series, current and former original series and made-for-TV films from sister network Disney Channel, theatrically-released films, and acquired programs from other distributors, including Pokémon the Series: Sun & Moon and Beyblade Burst

The channel offers an alternate Spanish-language audio feed, either via a separate channel with the English track removed as part of a package of Spanish-language television networks sold by subscription providers or a separate audio track accessible through the SAP option, depending on the provider.

As of January 2016, Disney XD is available to 77.5 million households in the United States.

General Instrument

General Instrument (GI) was an American electronics manufacturer based in Horsham, Pennsylvania, specializing in semiconductors and cable television equipment. The company was active until 1997, when it split into General Semiconductor (power semiconductors, which was later acquired by Vishay Intertechnology in November 2001), CommScope and NextLevel Systems.

NextLevel Systems, the former GI cable and satellite TV division, took over the General Instrument name in February 1998. The new (post-split) GI Corporation was acquired by Motorola in January 2000 for $17 billion and became the new Broadband Communication Sector (BCS) along with an acquisition of Zenith Network Systems a few months later. After being called Connected Home Solutions, it was renamed Home and Networks Mobility in 2007. When Motorola split on January 4, 2011, this division became part of Motorola Mobility. On December 19, 2012, ARRIS announced that it would acquire Motorola Mobility's Home unit (the former General Instrument company) from Google for $2.35 billion in cash and stock. The acquisition was completed on April 17, 2013. On November 8, 2018, CommScope announced that it would acquire ARRIS in a cash deal valued at $7.4 billion including the repayment of debt. This acquisition brings back together two of the former General Instrument companies from the 1997 split.Moses Shapiro, father of former Monsanto head Robert B. Shapiro, was Chairman from 1969 to 1975. Frank G. Hickey served as chief executive officer from 1975 to 1990, as did Donald Rumsfeld from 1990 to 1993.

Investigation Discovery

Investigation Discovery (often abbreviated ID) is an American television network owned by Discovery, Inc. that features documentary-style programming dealing with true crime subjects, mostly those of a violent nature (primarily homicides and attempted homicides, but also kidnappings, stalkings, sexual assaults, domestic violence, disappearances, and arsons). As of February 2015, approximately 86,062,000 American households (73.9% of households with television) receive Investigation Discovery.

Lifetime Movies

Lifetime Movies (formerly known as Lifetime Movie Network and by its abbreviation, LMN) is an American pay television network that is owned by A&E Networks, a joint venture between the Walt Disney Television subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company and the Hearst Communications. Lifetime Movies carries movies and exclusive shows aimed at women, especially made for television movies. Many, though not all, of the movies that air on the network are Lifetime originals that were first shown on the flagship Lifetime channel; in turn, the network also premieres original films that are later broadcast on Lifetime. Other made-for-TV movies shown on Lifetime Movies originally aired on broadcast networks.

As of February 2015, Lifetime Movies is available to approximately 82,031,000 pay television households (70.5% of households with television) in the United States.

Movie Mania

Movie Mania was a 24-hour movie network that catered to fans of the B movie genre and was targeted at a male audience. Carriage was limited to a small number of cable companies, as well as being available via the C-Band 4DTV system (Galaxy 23, VCN 800). The channel was organized into smooth eight-hour blocks, so the same movie was generally shown three times per day.

Genres shown on the channel were Premier Theatre, Action Theatre, Comedy Corner, Horror Feature, Classic Cinema and M2 Movie as well as M2 Specials. Movies ranged from the well-known, (ex. Night of the Living Dead), to cult films (ex. Santa Claus Conquers the Martians) to new movies.

Science Channel

Science Channel (often referred to as simply Science) is an American pay television channel that is owned by Discovery, Inc. The channel features programming focusing on the fields of wilderness survival, ufology, manufacturing, construction, technology, space, prehistory and animal science.

As of February 2015, Science is available to approximately 75.5 million pay television households (64.8% of households with at least one television set) in the United States.


TVG2 (formerly HRTV) is an American sports-oriented digital cable and satellite television network. It is part of the TVG Network and is owned by Paddy Power Betfair. Dedicated to horse racing, it broadcasts events from U.S. and international racetracks, as well as a range of English and Western horse competitions, news, original programming and documentaries

The network was previously known as HRTV, and owned by the Stronach Group. In February 2015, HRTV was acquired by Betfair, owner of the competing TVG Network. HRTV was consolidated into TVG Network's Los Angeles facilities, and re-branded as TVG2 on October 28, 2015. The move to TVG's facilities also allowed the network to begin broadcasting in high definition.

Television encryption

Television encryption, often referred to as "scrambling", is encryption used to control access to pay television services, usually cable or satellite television services.

Television receive-only

Television receive-only (TVRO) is a term used chiefly in North America to refer to the reception of satellite television from FSS-type satellites, generally on C-band analog; free-to-air and unconnected to a commercial DBS provider. TVRO was the main means of consumer satellite reception in the United States and Canada until the mid-1990s with the arrival of direct-broadcast satellite television services such as PrimeStar, USSB, Bell TV, DirecTV, Dish Network, Sky TV that transmit Ku signals. While these services are at least theoretically based on open standards (DVB-S, MPEG-2, MPEG-4), the majority of services are encrypted and require proprietary decoder hardware. TVRO systems relied on feeds being transmitted unencrypted and using open standards, which heavily contrasts to DBS systems in the region.

The term is also used to refer to receiving digital television "backhaul" feeds from FSS-type satellites. Reception of free-to-air satellite signals, generally Ku band Digital Video Broadcasting, for home viewing is still common in Europe, India and Australia, although the TVRO nomenclature was never used there. Free-to-air satellite signals are also very common in the People's Republic of China, as many rural locations cannot receive cable television and solely rely on satellites to deliver television signals to individual homes.

Universal Kids

Universal Kids (originally PBS Kids Sprout and later simply Sprout) is an American pay television channel owned by the NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment Group, a subsidiary of Comcast's NBCUniversal. The channel was launched on September 26, 2005.

The network was first launched as a joint venture between PBS, Comcast, Sesame Workshop, Big Idea Entertainment and HiT Entertainment devoted to children's television programming aimed at a preschool audience. Following Comcast's purchase of NBCUniversal, the company gradually bought out the remaining owners' shares in the channel, reaching full ownership in 2013. The network's operations were subsequently relocated from Philadelphia to New York City and the "PBS Kids" name was dropped from its branding. The network rebranded under its current name on September 9, 2017 to take the branding of sister company Universal Pictures, expanding its primetime programming to focus on a wider youth audience aimed at older children, while continuing to broadcast preschool-oriented programming under the "Universal Kids Preschool" branding during daytime hours.

Universal Kids is available to approximately 56 million American pay television households (48.2% of households with television) in the United States as of January 2016 (when it was still primarily known as Sprout).

Digital television in North America
Satellite TV
Technical issues
Pay television providers in the Americas

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