Jul 09 2010

AlmaTV Analogue Frequencies

Category: KazakhstanChrisM @ 11:54 pm

I fully realise that this post will attract (if at all) somewhat of a niche audience, however if this information had been available previously, I would have saved a lot of time, and not got quite so bored and frustrated with various technical hitches.

Anyway, the following information will be of use if…
You subscribe to AlmaTV’s cable package
You are in Astana (I’m assuming other cities may have different frequencies in use?)
You want to watch their channels via a TV capture card on your PC (to pause live TV, record programs, timeshift etc.)
Your TV card’s program(s) autoscan feature either fails to pick up some channels, or simply refuses to work at all.

If you meet the conditions above, the frequencies and (approximate) channels names below should help you tune in. Don’t forget that if you are watching the analogue broadcasts of channels, you won’t be able to switch languages – there is only one audio stream, unless of course you have a Digital Cable TV card amd can therefore pick up the digital broadcasts (mine covers analogue aerial, DVB-S, DVB-S2 and DVB-T, but digital cable didn’t get included.)

If you are scanning for channels and find that less than 69 or so appear, you may want to tell your TV card software program that you are in Australia, and scan for cable channels. At least in a couple of applications, this made it check the frequencies with smaller gaps between each potential station location. You may then end up with problems hearing or locking onto the sound. Most likely this is a problem with variant of PAL used on cable channels with Alma TV and whatever they use in Australia. If you’re lucky, you can set Australia to pick up all the channels, and then maybe edit each channel afterwards with to use PAL I/G/M/whatever they are using here.

The frequencies are all in Hz, and I’ve written the channel names in Latin characters, rather than Cyrillic as this blog still won’t display non-Latin alphabets. Where feasible I have included what the channel name looks like on the screen by representing Cyrillic letters with Latin ones. Please don’t cringe too much Oleg, if you’re reading this 🙂

If you are entering these frequencies into your programs manually, you may find you need to fine tune them a little, and don’t forget if the TV program accepts frequencies in KHz to knock three zeros off the end of each figure, if MHz is required, just move the decimal places three steps further left. So 109250000 Hz is 109250 Khz or 109.25 MHz.

83250000 to 85250000 Asil Arna (somewhere between the two figures, different programs locked onto different areas)
109250000 Khabar
119250000 El Arna
151250000 Hit TV
165250000 Rahat (Paxat, though logo shows (CTB (STV)) bad quality signal
175250000 Channel 31 (Logo looks like 3U)
191250000 Astana
199250000 Channel 7
215250000 KTK
231250000 Muzzine (Can’t seem to find this one on digital cable)
238250000 1 Eurasia
247250000 NTV (HTB)
253250000 Ren TV (PEH TV)
271250000 RTR Planet (PTP – Russia is show in logo)
287250000 NTK (HTK)
295250000 RTR Planet (PTP – Russia is show in logo) – better quality maybe
303250000 RBK
319250000 TV-3 (TB3)
327250000 TV 1000
335250000 TV-1000 Russian Cinema (Pycckoe Kino)
343250000 Our Cinema (NTV Hawe Kino)
351250000 Home (?) Cinema (Dom Kino)
359250000 TV-ts (TVCI u)
367250000 Mnogo TV
399250000 India TV
503250000 Comedy (Komydiya)
511250000 Feniks+ Cinema (Kino)
527250000 TV-1000 Action
543250000 AXN Sci Fi Ru
559250000 Fox Life
567250000 National Geographic
583250000 Animal Planet
591250000 Discovery Channel
599250000 Discovery Science
607250000 Viasat Explorer
615250000 Viasat History
623250000 Eurosport-2
639250000 Eurosport-1
647250000 Sport 1
655250000 Sport 2
663250000 Alma TV Info
671250000 Drive
679250000 Boxing Channel
687250000 Jetix
695250000 Cartoon Network
703250000 Nickelodeon
711250000 Universal Channel Russia
719250000 TellyNana
727250000 Muzika Channel 1
735250000 Muz TV (My3 TB)
743250000 Mezzo
751250000 MTV Russia
759250000 TDK
767250000 Mir
775250000 Nostalgia
783250000 Hunting & Fishing
791250000 Summer House (Gardening etc.)
799250000 Health TV
807250000 Cooking TV
815250000 World Fashion
823250000 TNV (THB)
831250000 Spas
839250000 KZ. Sport1
847250000 Comedy TV
855250000 Euronews

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Jun 28 2010

Royal Betting – Customer Losing

Category: Eating Out,Friends,Kazakhstan,PersonalChrisM @ 10:54 pm

To elaborate on the previous tweet regarding the Royal Betting Sports Bar (part of the Kings Hotel complex) in Astana, we were originally heading there to take our place at a reserved table, to watch the England versus Germany World Cup match. A friend of Dan’s had kindly contacted Royal Betting the day before, to check if we could make sure we would have seats to watch the match, and get a feel for the place. He was told on the phone that a table of around 20-40 people would need to spend at least 15,000 Tenge. This equates to around $90, which even allowing for the designated drivers in our group just drinking coke or juice was absolutely fine.
However, upon our arrival, we discovered just why Royal Betting was a bar to avoid in Astana (see half way down the page for some info in Russian and pictures). The manager met us at the door, and told us there was a non-refundable deposit of $35 per person! If each person did not spend that much by the time they left, the bar kept the difference! Although my friends and I have come across other examples of rip off joints in Astana before, this tended to be in night clubs that were desperate to exude an exclusive rich night clubber clientele image. Certainly not in bars that were absolutely empty, and were aware that a few dozen ex-pats were about to watch a football match, spend a fair amount (when this was a voluntary option!) and most likely praise/condemn the venue to friends!
Anyway, the bar itself looked nice enough (the lobsters in the fish tank seemed to be mouldy/furry though!), and whilst the uncompromising/care free attitude of the manager was nothing unusual for customer service levels in Kazakhstan, the fact that when the original reservations were made, a completely different figure and set up was explained (by senior staff/the manager) compared to what we were confronted with on the day, meant I can’t recommend this place unless your company is footing the bill. Check the second link for some more shots from flickr of the venue to avoid in Astana, Kazakhstan.
We eventually went on to a German style pub/bar about a kilometre or two away, where the service was slow but friendly, there was no minimum spend, and the beers were cheaper. Obviously England lost (we were robbed of a goal, but not the match to be fair), and our German friends seemed more than happy with the result (“Justice – 44 years late” referring to yesterday’s vs. 1966’s infamous ball crossing/not crossing the goal line)!

[edit]
I just wanted to clarify one point – having to pay some sort of deposit for sitting at a table isn’t that uncommon over here. Being told one (reasonable) price only to find a more expensive charge being attempted at the very last minute (bait & switch) hasn’t happened to me before. Perhaps I’m just being naïve, or don’t sit down that often when drinking, but it just seemed like a con, or at the very least really short sighted business sense. The place was dead, a mere 30 minutes before kick off, and losing the good will of so many potential customers & positive word of mouth advertisers seemed ridiculous.

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May 26 2010

Late Spring Clean

Category: PersonalChrisM @ 11:44 pm

After repairing all my other websites (following the hacking of my server and insertion of malware links), I decided to standardize all the plugins across the sites, and only install themes and plugins that were available from the official WordPress repository. This makes keeping them up to date a lot easier (and semi-automatic) and should any new hacks take place, the clean up job will be quicker. In the last few days, I also finally re-instated the Amazon links; when these sites were not built around WordPress, I’d had Amazon.co.uk books related to each topic displayed, but didn’t see a single sale. I went through my AWStats information, and nineteen out of twenty sites had the most traffic from America. (Actually Russia figured quite heavily as well, but a) Russian visitors aren’t famous for click on adverts and buying products and b) Amazon don’t have a .RU specific site, oh and c) A lot of the Russian visitors were actually spam bots, once again not known for earning web masters money 🙂 ) So, discovering that I had already set up an affiliate account there, I went ahead and inserted Amazon.com adverts on each site. I’m hoping that the sites will start to earn a bit money than the last year’s income, though I know that with summer coming there will be the usual dip in visitor numbers and corresponding income. The grill (BBQ) tips site might just be the exception, I suppose 🙂

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May 26 2010

Grey Hat Hackers That Aren’t Active

Category: In The MediaChrisM @ 10:29 pm

Who can tell what has changed in the last 11 months, but officially (see this article), the British government has the means to carry out cyber-attacks, but does not use them for industrial espionage. Whilst giving this explanation, it was made pretty clear that the UK believes China and Russia (amongst many others, I’m sure) do illicitly obtain information to assist national or major companies in their respective territories. Whether government employees or private contractors do this in Britain is not really a argument for most I think, but it would be interesting to hear the excuses given if Lord West was caught out and somehow such commercial spying was ever traced back to officially sanctioned groups or individuals.

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May 06 2010

I Couldn’t Spell Kalmykia Either

Category: Aware Or Conspiracy Nut...,In The MediaChrisM @ 1:26 am

Just caught an interesting BBC article regarding claims from Kirsan Ilyumzhinov (the president of Kalmykia (or Kalymkia as the BBC have it currently spelt in the article?!)) that he was abducted by aliens, and spoke with them!

Kirsan Ilyumzhinov

If, like me, you hadn’t heard about this region of Russia before, check out the Wiki page on it here, or a similar BBC page on it here.

Now the question is whether this is connected to recent UFO sightings in Kazakhstan? Tongue in cheek level is around 99.7% here, on my part, but a really small part of my brain wants to hope this is some sort of alien contact involving two way communication. If I have a couple of beers, that stat might alter to 98% 🙂

Hoping KZBlog doesn’t totally hate this post 😉

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Apr 17 2010

These Boots Are(n’t) Made For Eating

Category: Anna's VideosChrisM @ 12:16 am

Alternative title might be “The introduction of Zimmer Framer to the Russian language”…

This clip was shot on the 18th of February 2010, when we had just got back to Britain. Anna was (and to a point, still is) at the stage where most items of interest need to be tasted at least once. When they are new food items, this isn’t a problem. When they are Anna’s own shoes, this can cause a little concern. Anyway check the video to see Anna tottering around in the kitchen, and the soon to be classic phrase (in Russian) of “Anna, where is your zimmer frame?”.

Just to explain quickly, although Anna quickly found herself happily walking and running around Mum and John’s house, she would sometimes find a large (just about) movable object to push or drag around with her on her travels. In this case, it was a stool that she liked to direct around the kitchen when she was walking. The noise wasn’t exactly the most pleasant to encounter, but the look of joy on her face when she found she could reorder the places of furniture was certainly something to behold…

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Mar 25 2010

Wrapped Up Furry Well

Category: Anna's PhotosChrisM @ 7:11 am

Just under a week before wel left for Britain, this photo was taken on the 7th of February, with Anna on her sleigh, wrapped up in some old fur coats, as we had not bought the fabric covering that we share between Anna’s sleighs in the in-laws’ house and ours. Irina did tell me a story that involved a small child being wrapped up similarly, but I’ve forgotten the details, and also the Russian term that could be applied to Anna.
Hopefully Irina will leave a comment here sometime, and everyone, as well as me, can be educated 🙂

Wrapped Up Furry Well

Wrapped Up Furry Well

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Jan 20 2010

Nayelsa, Nayelsa!

Category: Anna's Photos,FriendsChrisM @ 4:58 pm

As promised, this post marks the first 2010 photos of Anna. The 3rd of January saw us still at Irina’s parents’ house, with Igor, Losha and Katya popping round to continue the New Years celebrations.

Oh, and “nayelsa” is a Russian informal word for “I’m full”. (Please no more food. Yes it is delicious, yes I love it, but seriously, my belt doesn’t have any more holes to make it bigger). Or something like that 🙂

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Jan 20 2010

Over The Counter With A Script

Category: KazakhstanChrisM @ 1:09 pm

Anna is still a little bit poorly (is that term used by Americans/non-native English speakers as well? If not, substitute “ill”). We don’t know if it was just random timing or not, but she has just had her hepatitis immunization, and a few days after she started to get high temperatures and a sore throat. The doctor said it was a case of Angina (the Russian term). This wasn’t (logically, but given she is still very young, I still worried for a moment) anything to do with her heart, but translates as a sore throat, or strep throat, or something or other-itis. The doctor said not to worry, just ensure she has plenty of rest, liquids and to keep an eye on her over the coming days. Some medical treatments are the same the world over 🙂
One of the things that struck me about medicine in Kazakhstan is that most antibiotics are available over the counter here, which although convenient as you don’t need to take time off work for a doctor’s appointment, did worry me a little. The reason? If you take anti-biotics when your body doesn’t actually need them, then bacteria are a lot more likely to build up a resistance to the medication, and the whole country can end up with stronger strains of diseases simply because the normal course of medication recommended are no longer capable of destroying the bacteria.
On the other hand, strong pain medication does require a prescription over here – when I have had serious dental problems, I had sort of hoped that living in this part of the world would mean I could balance out the pain of my teeth with something other than ibuprofen or paracetamol with low doses of codeine. It is probably for the best that strong pain killers aren’t available over the counter, but when you are in pain, logic doesn’t always apply 😉

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Jan 20 2010

Missed The River Dunking!

Category: PersonalChrisM @ 2:23 am

Another year, another opportunity to jump into a frozen river missed! This year I had wanted to not just take a look, but actually strip off in the minus twenty something Celsius temperatures (well down to some shorts at least), and jump into the holes in the ice that are creted in the River Ishim this time of year. I’ll try and find the link later for 2007’s Most Baptised Muslim post I wrote a while back. Why do it? Well I don’t have a migraine (apparently cold water is supposed to constrict blood flow somewhere, and relieve the pain of serious headaches), nor am I suddenly converting to the Russian Orthodox Church (the 19th of January is apparently a celebration connected with baptisms), I just wanted to be able to say, YES, one year I did decide to freeze myself solid 🙂

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