7:18 AMInternational Satellite
Reception from more than one satellite
For 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 convenience.
Here are some descriptions of the possible options available.
Using one receiver and one dish
It 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.
You 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 fro-ing.
Using multiple dishes and a switch
A 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.
This 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 receiver.
Using a Monoblock LNB
Satellite TV viewers in the United Kingdom and Europe have the option of installing a monoblock LNB on their dish.
A 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.
This 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 only
Using a motorised satellite dish
This 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 DiSEqC system.
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 different satellite.
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.
DiSEqC 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 multi-satellite installations.
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