Can I damage my decoder by entering FTA frequencies?

Let us look into a few basics before I answer the question.

  1. What is a decoder?  The decoder is a dedicated computer designed to receive well structured signals from the LNB (satellite), do a lot of mathematics / calculations and sends the converted signal to the TV.
    1. If I ask you to give me the answer of 1+1=?

i.    You will use information stored in your brain (memory) to calculate and to give me the answer.

ii.    Some people will use a calculator and a lot of information from the memory on how to operate a calculator to get to the answer.

  1. Somewhere in the decoder is a memory map.  That memory is filled with very important information needed to do calculations.  Every time when you select a channel, the build in computer will use some of the information from the memory map to calculate “what to do”:

i.    The computer decrypts the signal by using a “KEY” and other information.

ii.    Sends a video signal to the TV.

iii.    Sends the left and right audio to the TV.

iv.    Displays the channel information on the TV.

v.    Blocks some of the channels.

  1. What are the “KEYS” that everybody is asking for?
    1. We are using keys to lock our vehicles, to start the engines…
    2. There are electronic locks build in into the channels.  The decoder needs the correct “electronic key” to open the electronic lock for the decryption of the signal.
    3. The electronic keys are stored somewhere in the memory map somewhere in the decoder.
    4. There are two ways to damage the Decoder:
      1. Physically by jumping on it out of frustration, power surge or hacking modifications.
      2. Corrupted memory map.  Keys and information might be lost or misplaced.

Let me answer the question “Can I damage my decoder by entering FTA frequencies?”

  1. On a well designed and reliable decoder you should not be able damage the decoder if:
    1. You stay in the user menus and use the standard options to add new frequencies.
    2. You stay away from manufacturers or provider menu options.
    3. Do not use any code to open hidden menu options.
    4. The decoder is standard and there are no patch/hacking software installed.
    5. You do not connect the decoder to a PC trying to hack the decoder.
    6. The second answer is yes you can damage the decoder by entering wrong values into the memory map. The decoder will use your garbage to process garbage.  It is also possible to lock your service provider permanently out and prevent him to assist you to fix your problems.

Can I undo my changes?  There are two answers as well:

  1. Yes.  With a well designed and reliable decoder you will find an option in the menu to replace your settings with the factory default settings.
  2. If you have corrupt the memory map the answer is no. You cannot “undo” your corrupted garbage settings. You need to know /remember what you have done and fix it manually if you are not locked out by your garbage.  Misplaced information in the memory map is lost for the decoder.  It does not know where to find it.

The conclusion is that it is possible that YOU can damage the decoder.

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Ockert J van Nieuwenhuizen
Based in South Africa, Ockert J van Nieuwenhuizen is a satellite broadcast techie and has written a number of articles on


  1. My name is ibrahim am instalar i wnt to install infinity bt i culd not hav d signat pls help me wit there new frequency

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