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DirecTV satellite dish receiver

Satellite mini-dish - or simply dish - is a popular name for round or oval receivers used to collect signals emitted by TV satellites (according to the FCC fact sheet, satellite dish in the continental US is considered "small" if bellow 40" in diameter). Depending on the purpose, satellite dish antennas vary somewhat in size, as well as in the number and arrangement of LNB (low-noise block down-converter) units, which process and intensify received signals. An LNB unit is needed for each satellite feed (actual antenna in the focus of the dish surface) receiving signals from a particular TV satellite location, so that more LNBs means more satellite coverage - and more programming.

At present, DirecTV has several dish models. The simplest is Phase I dish, 18" in diameter with dual LNB (low-noise block converter). This allows up to two single tuner receivers connected, or a single dual tuner receiver, such as TiVo. It is intended to work with the 101, DirecTV's core satellite, in their own words, "the premier destination of new exclusive programming...". The "101" comes from satellites orbital latitude, which is in this case 101 degree west.

Phase II DirecTV dish features two dual LNBs with four outputs. It is slightly larger, at 20"x18" oval, working with 101 and 109 DirecTV satellites.

Phase III DirecTV dish is also 20"x18", also four outputs, but comes with three LNBs, working with 101, 110 and 119 DirecTV satellites. It is the most popular DirecTV dish. 

The newest DirecTV model is the 5-LNB 4-outputs MPEG-4 Ku/Ka dish. It is specifically intended to work with new 99 and 103 satellites, with advanced MPEG-4 compression technology in Ka-band (30 GHz), for delivering high-definition programming. It is a part of DirecTV's move to deliver local HD channels to a number of largest US cities. The dish also covers "conventional" Ku-band satellites, 101, 110 and 119, working with less efficient - but appropriate to the standard digital requirements - MPEG-2 compression. At 26"x30" the MPEG-4 Ku/Ka dish is larger in size than previous models. Also, it requires DirecTV's MPEG-4/Ku receiver, H20.

There are also a "specialty" dishes, like Gain Master, International Dish and Hot Shot. The former is a large 35"x26" dish antenna with a dual+single LNB and four outputs. It also covers 101, 110 and 119 satellites, but with 65% gain in signal strength over the Phase III dish. This makes it less prone to rain fade effects, as well as better choice for regions at the periphery of satellite "footprint".

The 36"x24" International Dish has two linear, or a single dual LNB and  two outputs, for international programming from 95 and 101 satellites. The 18" Hot Shot, intended for cold regions - has built in heating element with automatic thermal control, preventing ice formation.

There are other dish brands that can be bought and used for reception of DirecTV programming. If buying on your own, keep in mind that dish and receiver need to be compatible. Best approach is to figure out the entire system, including connectors, wiring and TV set(s) beforehand, making sure it will all work well when put together.

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Home  Remember those happy days with no cable television, no satellite TV? Only a single analog TV service available, and everything about getting and using it was as simple as: get it, click, go...

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Cable TV  Cable TV is how the television entered American homes. In its early stages, cable TV service was quite different from the modern cable TV we know now...

Direct Broadcast Satellite  Direct Broadcast Satellite (DBS) TV service is a high-powered broadcast service to homes using satellites as the primary form of signal transmission. Its high transmission power makes possible use of relatively small dish antennas for efficient signal reception and utilization. Commercial satellite TV, as we know it, is a DBS service...

Dish Network  Dish Network is the second largest direct broadcast satellite (DBS) service provider in the US. Together with DirecTV, it shares the US home satellite TV market. Dish Network started commercial DBS broadcasting  in 1996, after its first TV satellite - EchoStar I - has been launched in 1995...

DirecTV  DirecTV is a direct broadcast satellite (DBS) service provider, based in Las Vegas, Nevada. Launched in 1994 by Hughes Electronics Corporation, it was the very first high-powered (mini-dish) DBS service in the world...

High-speed INTERNET  Whether you spend many hours browsing the Internet on daily basis, or use it less frequently, high-speed Internet connection appears to be irresistibly convenient. While it comes at added cost, most people find its benefits worth added expense, which can be quite low...

High-definition TV  Are you too mystified and intrigued by this new kid on the TV block: high-definition television. Expectations run high, but so is the uncertainty - what is really different about it, when compared with standard-definition television (SDTV)?...

Satellite Radio  If you like listening to radio programming, satellite radio has some goodies to offer. Great variety of channels, most of them commercial-free, high quality sound when it is needed, possibility to listen to your favored programming wherever you are...

 News Wire  The latest in the satellite/cable industry...

 

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