For the reception of
Direct Broadcast Satellite (DBS) home service, you
need a small satellite TV dish antenna. Here,
as "small" is considered anything bellow 40" in diameter. Dish antenna
mounted at the subscriber's residence receives the signal emitted by
a TV satellite. From the dish, the signal is transferred to
satellite TV receiver and, finally, to the TV set.
DBS dish antenna is of so called "center
feed" type, with a paraboloidal dish surface focusing radio waves from
TV satellite onto the actual small antenna ( or feed) centered in
front it. The assembly containing the feed is called
Signal generated by the antenna is fed to the LNB unit.
LNB stands for "low-noise
block down-converter". It converts very high satellite signal frequency
from the GHz (Giga-Hertz, billions cycles per second) range, or block,
into MHz (Mega-Hertz, millions cycles per second) range. Sometimes the
LNBF designation is used, which is merely a feedhorn with integrated LNB
unit. The LNB also amplifies very weak satellite signal before it makes
it to the satellite TV receiver. It is very important that the LNB unit
contributes as little as possible of its own "noise" to the signal it
The noise produced by LNB is due
to its operational temperature, creating thermal radiation effectively
lowering the strength of received signal. LNB units have gone long way
since the early days: today's LNB noise level standard is around 1dB
(decibel), or less. The lower LNB noise level, the lower signal loss due
to thermal waves interference, and the better signal quality.
Originally, DBS satellite
dishes had a single LNB unit, thus limited to handling a single
satellite input. Nowadays, they come with up to 5 LNB units mounted on
so called "multi-satellite" dishes. A
dual-feed LNB unit has its potential channel capacity doubled,
due to being handling both polarization modes (polarization is
splitting one same frequency in two modes, so that each mode can be
independently used for transmission). It is not to be confused with "dual
band" LNB, capable of transmitting two different frequency ranges.
In general, the more LNB
units, the more satellites covered, and the more receiver outputs. It
all translates into more programming per single or multiple TV sets
available. Satellite mini-dish properties vary somewhat between the two
Dish Network in
both, standard and specialized dish forms. Free installation normally
covers the standard mini-dish type.
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