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How a Satellite Dish Works

A satellite dish is an antenna designed to focus on a specific broadcast source. The standard dish consists of a parabolic (bowl-shaped) surface and a central feed horn. A controller sends it through the horn, and the dish focuses the signal into a relatively narrow beam.

A narrow beam is generated as the dish reflects energy from the feed horn.

The dish on the receiving end can only receive information; it cannot transmit information.
The receiving dish works in the exact opposite way of the transmitter. When a
beam hits the curved dish, the parabola shape reflects the radio signal inward
onto a particular point, just like a concave mirror focuses light onto a particular point.

The curved dish focuses incoming radio waves onto the feed horn.

The feed horn then passes the signal onto
the receiving equipment. Ideally, there will be no obstructions, such as trees to interfere
with the signal from the satellite to the satellite dish. With no obstructions
you receive a much clearer signal.

Some systems are set up to receive signals from more than one satellite.
A new dish design uses two or more horns to pick up different satellite signals. As the beams
from different satellites hit the curved dish, they reflect at different angles so
that one beam hits one of the horns and another beam hits a different horn.

The central element in the feed horn is the LNB (low noise blockdown converter)
The LNB amplifies the radio signal bouncing off the dish and filters out the noise
(radio signals not carrying programming). The LNB passes the amplified, filtered
signal to the satellite receiver inside the viewer's house.

A cable is run from the satellite dish into the house and then connects to the
satellite TV receiver (black box) thus completing the connection. 

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Article Tags: Satellite Dish, Dish Works, Feed Horn, Beam Hits, Curved Dish

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Gary Davis is owner of Dish Network Satellite TV, has several years experience in the Satellite TV Industry and has written several articles on satellite TV.

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