How many cables can you run from a Sky satellite dish?
Nowdays it is not uncommon to have TV’s in every room of the house. Lounge, bedrooms, kitchen, living rooms and even bathrooms – Yes, we do that too! So assuming that you live in an area where a good aerial signal cannot be achieved or if you already have a functioning satellite dish and would like extra TV points fed from this, how many cables can you run from it to feed TV’s.
Firstly, before I go on any further, it is possible one way of another to have hundreds of TV points fed from the same satellite dish. The largest system we have worked on was for a block of flats that had 17 floors, with 4 flats per floor and 2 connections per flat. So that’s 17x4 = 68 and 2 x 68 = 136 satellite points all fed from a single satellite dish! Obviously, there was some equipment in between but this was all from one satellite dish and there are far bigger satellite systems out there.
So let’s tackle this question from a different angle. How many cables can I run from my existing satellite dish and what would I have to do to run more?
The answer to this question lies with the LNB that has been installed on the satellite dish, this is the part of the satellite dish where the coaxial cables connect. So, let’s crack through them. Please also be mindful that for each PVR satellite recorder that you have such as Sky+, Freesat+ and Freetime you will need two satellite connections at the dish.
Single LNB – One output
If you LNB only has a single cable output then that’s all the TV’s that you will get, if you require more TV’s or a recordable satellite receiver then you will need to change the LNB for a version with more outputs.
Dual LNB – Two outputs
Not very common but they are out there. With a dual LNB you will be able to either connect two separate satellite receivers in two different rooms or one recordable PVR version in one room.
Quad LNB – 4 Outputs (Most common)
The Quad LNB is now the most common LNB out there and the type we fit as standard even when our customer only requires one cable as it allows further cables to be added at a later date. With a Quad LNB you can run four cables from it, this could be for four separate satellite receivers, two separate PVR recordable versions, or alternatively one recordable PVR in one room and two separate satellite receivers in two more rooms.
Octo LNB – Eight outputs
If you require more than four satellite cable outputs, you will need to install an Octo LNB onto the satellite dish. This will allow eight separate satellite receivers in eight rooms, four PVR’s or a combination of each.
If you require more than eight cables which is only normally the case in communal environments or particularly large houses, then you we need to change the mentality behind the installation slightly. We will need to install a Quattro LNB and a multi-switch amplifier. Although the Quattro LNB has four outputs like a Quad LNB it works completely differently as there is no switching between the four vertical, horizontal, high and low bands, instead it supplies each of these independently and the switching takes place at the multi-switch amplifier instead of the LNB itself – hence the name “multi-switch”. It is recommended that when using a multi-switch amplifier, you install a slightly larger dish than you would normally as the amplifier itself will introduce noise into signal which can degrade the signal. For Sky and Freesat viewers people in the south of the UK it would make sense to install a 60-65cm instead of a 45cm satellite dish and for viewers in the north of England and Scotland a 70-80cm satellite dish instead of a 60cm satellite dish. For all communal systems I would recommend just installing an 80cm satellite dish to be on the safe size.
If you would like to know more about the switching of LNB’s and why this means you can’t simple split a satellite signal, please visit our previous blog.
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