Multi-Satellite TV Reception
If you wanted to be able to receive satellite TV from more than one satellite, or orbital position read this blog for all the information you need and suggestions on how to be able to do this. With more and more people deciding to immigrate/ emigrate in today's world it is very often desired to be able to receive TV from more than one county. This may be a native homeland or that of your heritage, or maybe you just want some more programmes or to learn a new language either way we have some suggestions here for you.
I’m assuming that as you have landed on this article that you’re already aware that multiple different countries satellite TV can all be received from different countries but if you’re new to this. Here in the UK it is relatively easy to be able to receive TV from all over Europe, like French TV and Polish satellite TV which you may want to accompany your English TV and this is all possible with a satellite dish. Depending what signals you want to pick up and your location depends on the size of the satellite dish you need.This blog is not about that, if you require information on that I recommend that you read our previous blog on recommended satellite dish sizes.
Anyway if you want more info on how to receive TV from other parts of the world and how to be able to receive thousands of free TV services,let’s begin.
Ways Of Receiving Satellite TV From More Than One Country
There are several ways that your satellite dish can be installed to receive from more than one satellite or country. The option you choose will typically depend on:
1- How many satellites you want to receive
2- How far apart the satellite orbital positions are
As I progress in this blog this will become clearer why the above are relevant but for example if you wanted to to receive transmissions more than one satellite that are close together in the Sky, like only a few degrees apart this could be done with a single fixed satellite dish, but if you wanted to receive from satellites that are more than 10 degrees apart you may want to instead consider a motorised set up or even two separate satellite dishes.
Extra Satellite Dishes – 2 or More
Perhaps the most obvious and probably the best way of receiving satellite signals from more than one satellite or orbital position would be just to install extra satellite dishes. You could install one for the country that you are in, for instance in the UK this could be for Sky/ Freesat and a second for the other countries TV that you want to receive for example Italian Tivusat TV from Hotbird at 13E. Doing it this way would be the least likely to fail as there are no moving parts and you can put up the exact size dish for the satellite in your location. Using the above example again here in the south of the UK a 45cm satellite dish is fine for Sky & Freesat and a 70-80cm would be ideal for Hotbird reception.
The downside of doing it this way obviously if you wanted to then receive from a third satellite you would need to install a third satellite dish or make alterations to one of your existing satellite dishes. Plonking loads of satellite dishes on your property also may not make you popular with the wife/ your spouse or even be allowed under local planning rules. Believe it or not to install more than two satellite dishes on one property in the UK requires planning permission. I’m not saying that this is always adhered to or even enforced but you may find that you receive an order in the post to remove one.For you reference you’re allowed to install without planning permission in the UK two separate dishes, one up to 60cm and one up to 1m without planning permission.
Multiblock LNB Holder – Two Or More LNB’s On A Single Sat Dish
You may or may not be aware that it is actually possible to point one fixed satellite dish to two or more orbital locations by installing extra “offset” LNB’s on this one dish. To understand how this is possible a quick description of how a satellite dish works helps. A satellite dish is pointed to receive signals that are broadcast from satellites in space. The signal bounces off the big back reflector towards the LNB where it is transferred onto the coaxial cable. The big back reflector is usually round or elliptical part of the dish although some manufacturers have other designs. As the signals bounce of the back part of the dish it is possible to install the satellite dish so that the signal bounces off at a different angle than the normal central LNB position to a LNB that has been installed offset to the right or left of the central LNB position.
Installing multiple LNB’s onto a single satellite dish is perfect for receiving satellites that are relatively close together. 10 degrees or less like for Astra 1 and Hotbird reception with are only six degrees apart.It is possible to install a fixed satellite dish with LNB’s that are further apart and many dishes offer 15 degrees separation between satellites but I wouldn’t recommend it. This is because the further you deviate off the central dish pointing location the weaker the received signal will be. This can be overcome with a larger satellite dish but you may need to go much larger than is necessary and installation can become difficult if you’re attempting to do this yourself.
To do this I would recommend purchasing a multiblock LNB holder. I use Triax satellite dishes and a two or up to four LNB holder for this task. A description of an installation to receive satellite signals from Astra 2 at 28.2E and Astra 1 at 19.2E for English & German satellite. The central dish position would actually be in between the two satellites at around 23 degrees with both LNB’s offset so that neither is deviating too far off the natural pointing angle of the satellite dish. I would use a 80cm satellite dish for this task but you may need a 1m in the north of England and Scotland. The LNB’s will then be altered individually to maximise the signal from each satellite. It can take a bit of playing around but if you're patient you could remove the need for a second satellite dish altogether. Extra LNB’s can then be added for extra satellites if they are also close to the natural dish pointing angle.
A Monoblock LNB may be just what you’re looking for to make the alignment of the satellite dish easier. A Monoblock LNB is sort of two LNB’s in one with a single cable output and this can be seen as there are two feed-horns joined on the LNB. As the LNB only has one cable output this means that the satellite receiver that you install has to be DiSEQC compatible so that the receiver knows which LNB to switch to when switching from one satellite to another. This makes installation of the receiver a little bit trickier but most satellite receivers are compatible with such technology.
Most Monoblock LNB’s come with either a 3 degree separation or a 6 degree separation but I’m sure if you looked online you will find some others. The 6 degree separation is the most common here in the UK as it can be used for Astra 1 and Hotbird installations at 19.2E & 13E respectively.
There are a few downsides to using a Monoblock LNB. For instance with separate offset LNB’s there is greater flexibility with the LNB position so it can be altered to where you need it. This is not possible with the Monoblock LNB. Also as you will need to set up the satellite receiver to perform DiSEQC functions it’s not very good for your main TV where you wish to utilise a Logical Channel Number. This is where the satellite receiver automatically puts the channels on the right numbers like BBC1 on 1, BBC2 on 2 etc. When setup with a generic satellite set up box providing DiSECQ functions you may not be able to do this. In this instance you may be better off with a single fixed satellite dish aligned to Astra 2 for Sky or Freesat and second satellite dish with the Monoblock LNB or offset LNB for two or more further satellites.
Please read our previous blog for more information on LNB types.
Motorised Satellite Dishes
If you wanted to receive as many satellites as possible to maximise the amount of services that you’re able to receive from as many countries and possible or are trying to obtain satellite signals that are from satellites far apart in the satellite arc. I recommend a motorised satellite dish installation. For a motorised satellite dish installation, a normal satellite dish is installed, usually a large one to help receive some of the weaker satellites onto a dish motor. The motor is then controlled via DiSEQC on the satellite receiver commands to switch between satellites and drive the motor to the correct position. The receiver must be either DiSEQC 1.2 or USALS (often called DiSECQ 1.3) to be able to drive the motor to the correct position. The difference between the two is that with DiSEQC 1.2 you need to manually go through the satellite arc and enter in the satellites that you wish to receive from. This is done inside the satellite STB installation menu’s where you drive the satellite dish East or West and then store the position when you have received the strongest signal. You will need to do this for every satellite that you want to be able to receive from. USALS on the other hand uses your geographic location, longitude and latitude to drive the dish to the position.This is done by first fixing the dish to due south, this can be difficult as magnetic and due south often not the same and then setting your co-ordinates in the satellite receiver. It may require a small alteration to get things right but typically this type of installation takes less time.
Again like the Monoblock LNB it’s not advised to use a motorised dish for your main services where you wish to utilise a Logical Channel Number (LCN) like with Sky & Freesat. In this type of set up you may want a single small dish aligned to 28.2E for English TV and a second larger dish on the motor getting all the rest.
Picking the right position for your motorised dish is imperative and to be honest it depends on the how your house lies. You want to install the dish ideally on a south facing wall with as clear a view East and West as possible. You may find that this points you into a trees for neighbouring building for certain signals so you need to need to think long and hard before picking your position. Ideally you also want the dish somewhere where it’s easier to work on as it get be a bit tricky getting the dish alignment correct. That being said the further East or West you deviate the lower on the horizon the satellites will be in the Sky so you may need to install the dish higher up for the satellites you receive. If you’re lucky you have a clear view of the Sky south and be able to receive lots of different countries satellite services.
Multi Satellite Questions? Post Them In Comments Section
If you have any questions about receiving satellite signals form more than one satellite and or motorised satellite dish questions. Please do post them in the blog comments section below. Please note that although we do multiple LNB’s onto a fixed dish installation we do not work on motorised dish installations. To be honest the demand isn’t really there anymore as more and more countries are choosing encryption for their TV services and we don’t stock the parts required so if you’re looking for this service I’m afraid that you will need to go elsewhere. I kindly also ask you NOT TO CALL OUR TELEPHONE LINES if you are after technical advise. I’m afraid that we do not provide this service and these are reserved for customers in the South East of the UK only.The same is true for e-mails and the contact forms on the website. If you contact us this way and are only after technical support you will either not receive a reply or will receive a reply asking you to post your question on the blog comment section of the blog you have read. By doing this provides me with a central location to answer all the enquiries we receive, stops me answering the same questions over and over again and also gives everyone reading the blog the benefit of the question asked and the answer given. All that being said I will try to help where I can.
Until next time,
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