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Satellite TV Dishes

One of the most important components of the satellite TV system, satellite TV dishes are the instrument that is the most visible to satellite TV subscribers. In order for a viewer to obtain satellite TV programming, they must have a satellite TV dish. This is because satellite TV dishes are an essential part of what makes satellite TV's work.

Making it Work
Essentially, satellite TV dishes are a special type of parabolic reflector antenna that is designed to focus on a larger broadcasting satellite that is situated in geostationary orbit. Upon receiving the signals transmitted from the broadcasting satellite, the satellite dish funnels this signal into a receiver that processes this signal and converts it into the sound and picture that is broadcast on your television.

Satellite TV dishes are a particular type of microwave antenna that is available in various sizes and designs. A standard satellite TV dish is comprised of a parabolic (bowl-shaped) surface and a central feed horn. The receiving satellite TV dish uses its curved dish, which receives signals from a broadcasting satellite, to reflect the signal inward into the feed horn.

This is similar to a concave mirror that focuses light onto a particular point. The feed horn holds a low noise blockdown converter (LNB), which amplifies the signal transmitted from a broadcasting satellite that is bouncing off the dish and filters out the noise. As a result of the LNB, an amplified and filtered signal is sent to the satellite receiver that is inside the viewer's home. The viewer is then able to see the sound and visual content that is being broadcast from the broadcasting satellites.

Modern Inventions
When people think about a satellite dish, they invariably have visions of the satellite dishes of twenty years ago: huge, sprawling eyesores that take up valuable space. However, recent innovations have ensured that this is no longer the case.

There are two types of satellite TV systems. The older type of home satellite TV dishes is television receive-only or TVRO satellite TV systems. TVRO were the first satellite TV systems that were available to the home consumer and was popular in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

Characterized by satellite dishes that were usually between 6 and 12 feet in length, TVRO satellite dishes also contained motors that enabled the dish to change positions so it could receive signals from several different satellites. TVRO satellite TV systems have become supplanted by another type of satellite TV system.

This is direct broadcast satellite or DBS TV system. With a direct broadcast satellite TV system, a subscriber is required to own a satellite TV dish that is usually 18 inches or less in diameter. DBS has overtaken TVRO systems to become the standard satellite TV transmitter for the American satellite television watching public.

The satellite dish is positioned during installation so it is aimed at the broadcasting satellite. This is because there needs to be a straight path between the broadcasting satellite and the receiving satellite TV dish in order for the receiving satellite TV dish to receive the signal. Therefore, in the USA, your satellite dish will need to be directed to the south.

Smooth Operator
For those who are unaware of how DBS satellite TV works, this is what a DBS satellite TV system is comprised of:

1. DBS satellite TV originates in their programming sources, which are the channels that provide the programming that is obtainable in satellite TV. Companies such as HBO and ESPN create the television content. Satellite programming sources buy the rights to this programming and then broadcast the content through a satellite.

2. This programming content is sent to a broadcast center that receives the signals from programming sources. These signals are then transmitted to satellites that are situated in the geostationary orbit as a broadcast signal.

3. These satellites situated in the geostationary orbit are aligned so that they mirror the Earth's rotation. The satellites receive the broadcast signal from the broadcast center, which it then rebroadcasts to the ground.

4. At the ground, each satellite TV subscriber owns a satellite dish, which is used to receive the broadcast signals from the broadcasting satellites. The satellite dish then transmits these signals onto the receiver that is situated in the viewer's homes.

5. The receiver processes this broadcast signal and then displays the programming sent by the programming source on to the screen where it resides as the television content that we all love.

Part of the Deal
Considering how essential satellite TV dishes are to the overall satellite TV system, you should know that satellite TV dishes are usually part of the package when you subscribe for satellite TV service. Usually, you will be able to choose among different satellite TV dishes. But your choice of satellite TV dish will depend a great deal on the type of satellite TV package that you sign up to. However, some satellite TV dish options include satellite TV dishes that specialize in obtaining high definition programming or HDTV.

With the increase in popularity of satellite TV services, most satellite providers supply satellite TV dish installation as part of their introductory package. However, in rural parts of the country, satellite TV dish installation services are not available.

Although installing a satellite TV dish is relatively straightforward and there is a wealth of information available detailing how to do this, it is recommended that you hire a professional satellite TV dish installer. By hiring a professional, you will be able to enjoy the peace of mind knowing that the person installing your satellite TV dish has the necessary experience in this task. Additionally, many warranties on satellite TV dish systems become invalid if they have not been professionally installed.

For those individuals who are interested in satellite TV and who reside in an apartment building, it is recommended that they consult their Home Owners Association for advice. Your Home Owners Association will be able to provide the necessary information regarding whether or not you can install a satellite TV dish on your particular block. If you require more advice, you should consult either the Satellite Broadcasting Association or the Federal Communications Commission.

Hammer Having a problem with your satellite dish? Visit our satellite forum for some troubleshooting tips.