How a Satellite Dish Functions

February 14, 2019

Satellite technology has created leaps and bounds throughout the last decade, introducing the world to a brand new era of television entertainment. Yet have you ever wondered exactly how a satellite dish works? So did we.

Satellite Dish- A Parabolic Antenna

A satellite dish is actually just an antenna that is built to receive signals from a precise broadcast source. The dish in itself has a bowl-shaped( parabolic) surface to "catch" the signal and deliver it to the central feed horn as a narrow beam of energy.

To supply you with that quality satellite programming you like so much, your satellite dish have to receive a signal from the proper source. Man-made satellites orbit around the Earth at almost 20,000 miles into the sky. These satellites receive digital indicators from your programming provider, encrypt them and then send them back out to viewers.


How does your satellite dish see which satellite to receive?

Satellite Dish- Azimuth, Altitude and Skew

Every satellite is put into the sky at certain coordinates, similar to a longitude and latitude for direction on land. These coordinates, the azimuth, the altitude and the skew, show your dish exactly where to look. The azimuth is the East/West location while the altitude or degree of lift tells you how far North of the horizon( ground level) it is advisable go. The skew is a calculation to compensate for the natural curvature of the Earth itself. With these three matches, you can accurately point your satellite dish to receive signal from the right satellite.

There are some models that can receive networks from more than one satellite, having numerous horns to pick up multiple signals. To reduce any mix-up, each signal must be precisely reflected to separate feed horns so that there is no interruption.

Whenever your satellite dish catches the signal, it directs it through the feed horn where it is transferred to your satellite receiver. To be sure to receive a strong satellite transmission, your satellite dish needs to be mounted in an open area without problems such as trees and buildings.

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