many of us, the satellite TV channels we want to watch are broadcast
from more than one satellite. Currently, deciding on which option for
tv and radio reception from multiple satellites can be a tricky choice
to make. The options vary greatly in price, practicality and
Here are some descriptions of the possible options available.
is possible just to use one receiver and one dish. This will simply
mean physically re-aligning your satellite dish every time you want to
change to a TV channel that is on a different satellite than the one
your satellite dish is currently aligned to. For most of us, this is a
highly impractical option and not recommended.
will need some technical know how in aligning your dish to the
satellites that you want to receive signals from. A compass will be
useful to find the correct azimuth (horizontal alignment). A satellite
signal meter is also highly recommended. Most Receivers will have a
built-in signal indicator but using this may mean a lot to-ing and
good option if you are using just one satellite receiver to receive
channels from up to four separate satellites for each satellite
receiver you have. This requires you to install a separate satellite
dish to receive signals from each satellite you require reception from.
Known as DiSEqC switches, popular models are the Global
DiSEqC 2 way and the Global DiSEqC 4 way switches. The 2 way model has
inputs for two dishes and one output to your receiver. The 4 way model
has inputs for four dishes and one output to your receiver.
is a fairly low cost and reliable option and is fairly easy to setup.
It offers the convenience of not having to re-align your dish every
time you need to switch to a different satellite. You only need to
change the input on your switch and then change channels on your
Satellite TV viewers in the United Kingdom and Europe have the option of installing a monoblock LNB on their dish.
monoblock LNB is simply 2 LNBs built into 1 block. In the UK they are
generally used to allow satellite TV and radio reception from both the
Eutelsat and Astra satellites using just 1 satellite dish.
Monoblock LNBs require you to have a DiSEqC capable satellite receiver to switch between the required LNBs on the monoblock.
is a reliable, fairly low-cost option but its use in the UK is mainly
limited to multiple-satellite systems for use with Astra and Eutelsat
involves installing a motorised satellite dish rotation unit (known
simply as a "motor” or "actuator”) between your dish and its mounting.
The dish can then be electrically rotated to receive signals from the
satellite you require.
In addition to the
motor unit you will need the appropriate equipment to control the motor
or actuator. This may be a dedicated controller unit or you may have a
satellite receiver that has built in positioner features using the
For satellite TV viewers who
want to receive signals from more than 4 satellites per receiver, this
is a very convenient and versatile system to have. But it is relatively
costly. Satellite receivers with built-in positioner features are more
expensive than standard satellite TV receivers. If your receiver is not
able to control a dish motor, you will have the cost of a dedicated
positioner control box. Once setup, positioner capable receivers make
can make life extremely easy, the system does all the work for you when
changing channel from your current one to another channel that is on a
Installing a motorised
dish is not as straight forward as installing a fixed dish. When
changing satellites, the dish does not rotate along a perfect
horizontal path but on a slight arc. Expert installation is recommended
to ensure that you can receive signals from all satellites that beam to
your location. In addition, to realistically receive signals from most
or all available satellites, you will require quite a large satellite
dish, at least 80cm.
stands for the "Digital Satellite Equipment Control” system, which is a
communication bus between satellite receivers and peripheral equipment
using only the existing coaxial cable.
DiSEqC™ can be
integrated into consumer satellite installations to replace all
conventional analogue switching, providing a standardised digital
system with non-proprietary commands and enabling switching in