Every year conventional television antennas lose their popularity. Giving way to more advanced methods of broadcasting — namely satellite and cable television. We will understand the nuances of choosing, installing and configuring a satellite dish.
Connection should begin with the choice of an operator, more precisely, the satellite from which your satellite dish will receive the signal. Its operation scheme is such that the signals of certain channels are sent to the satellite, and then reflected back to the ground. Here, a dish tuned to this satellite can pick up the signal of the TV channel, convert it through the receiver and from there transfer it to the TV in decrypted form.
In order for a satellite dish to receive a signal, it must be directed in the direction where the transmitting satellite is located. You can choose it by the number of free channels, or by the general range.
About three dozen channels in Russian, for which you do not have to pay, can be caught from YAMAL 201. If we talk about operators, then NTV-Plus, Tricolor-TV, and Raduga are the most popular. The cost of their services can be found on the pages of these operators on the Internet.
Thus, we can say that the first thing to do is to decide whether you are interested in assortment or savings. On the Internet, you can find special services to search for available satellites that broadcast channels for free. If you are looking for easier, albeit not free, ways, contact any satellite TV operator.
Also, when choosing a satellite, keep in mind that the dish will need to be directed directly at it, i.e. if your apartment overlooks the wrong side or your windows are obscured by tall buildings, trees, no amount of setting up a satellite dish with your own hands will help, you will have to install a dish on the roof.
How to choose an antenna
Antennas that receive satellite TV can be divided into three types:
- direct focus — This is the classic version. The converter in direct-focus dishes is attached with knitting needles right in the center. Dish elements cast shadows on its surface, worsening signal reception. This type of antenna is more affected by the weather — during rainfall and fog, the signal quality is much lower.
- At offset the focus is not in the center, as in direct focus, but at the bottom. Such an antenna is mounted at a slight angle, usually about 25 degrees. Thanks to this, snow or rainwater does not accumulate in the dish, so the reception quality does not drop even in bad weather.
- Not so long ago, a new type of antenna appeared — toroidal. Toroidal is perhaps the simplest antenna. With its help, you can easily receive a signal from several sources at once. This type of dish uses parabolic and toroidal reflectors and multiple feeds. This avoids reinstallation before setting the toroidal dish to another satellite.
Also, plates can have suspension different types. The azimuthal one is simpler, on it the dish can be tuned to only one single source. In order to switch to another, it needs to be completely reconfigured. Polar can receive signals from several different sources. Most often, polar pendants are mounted on direct focus, and azimuth ones on offset dishes.
It is also important that What material is the antenna made of?. The most popular aluminum cymbals are very light and will not rust over time. Plastic plates are also very light, but they are the least strong. Steel plates are heavier, but they are not subject to deformation, unlike aluminum ones. Therefore, the quality of reception on them does not deteriorate over time. Mesh antennas are quite stable, not affected by the wind, but they receive signals worse in a certain range.
Finally, one must take into account plate diameter. The larger it is, the better the reception quality will be. Setting up a satellite dish on your own is not much different for different types of antennas.
Before you start mounting a satellite dish yourself, determine which side of the world the windows of your apartment face. If you do not know this, a compass will help determine the exact direction.
Important: the compass may not show correctly if placed near a reinforced concrete wall.
If there is no compass, you can also determine with the help of the sun, although not so accurately. As you know, the sun rises in the east, in the middle of the day it is in the south, and it sets in the west. You need to choose the sunniest side for installation, since most satellites are usually located on the south side of the sky.
So that the antenna does not block anything, it is better to install it on the roof. However, in apartment buildings, it is not uncommon for satellite TV antennas to be simply stolen from the roof. If you are not sure about the safety of your roof, choose the south side of the wall or balcony.
Installing a satellite dish
To figure out how to properly install a satellite dish, the instructions for the antennas are not required. Pay attention to the picture:
Important: the mounting part of the rack (in the figure it is colored green) must run vertically. Otherwise, it will be much more difficult to align the antenna.
Also of great importance is the choice of location for mounting the antenna. The antenna should not be obscured by trees, power lines, neighboring buildings, it should be facing the direction from which the satellite is located. Only window glass can fall into the target of the antenna mirror.
If you live in your own home, mount the antenna as high as possible so you’re more likely to get the best signal. The higher, the less dusty the air, which means that the signal will pass without interference.
First of all, install the rack. The antenna mirror, bracket and converter can be pre-assembled at home — this way you can align the drain vertically much faster and easier. In no case do not attach the antenna to the wall with self-tapping screws and plastic dowels — over time, under its own weight, the antenna will begin to deviate and lose signal. It is better to use 20 cm or longer collet studs, 8 mm thick or more.
You can learn more about installing a satellite dish from the video:
To find out in which direction to point the antenna, you can use special services on the Internet. To do this, you just need to mark the place where you plan to install the antenna and select the one whose signal you are interested in from the list of satellites. In addition, to be sure, you can check the reception of the signal by connecting the antenna to the TV, but not attaching it to the wall.
Take the antenna in your hands near the window where you plan to mount it. Of course, in this position, the signal will be worse, but if it reaches at least 70% of the desired one, you can safely start the installation. The better you choose the installation side, the easier it will be to set up a satellite dish with your own hands.
When installing the antenna, do not rush to immediately tighten the nuts tightly — first adjust the position of the antenna.
After fixing the antenna on the bracket, connect it to the TV using a special cable. One end of it must be connected to the receiver, and the other to the antenna convector. If the convectors of the satellite dish have 3 or more satellites, first you need to connect all the convectors through a disk, and then connect it to the receiver or tuner.
When the antenna is firmly held on the bracket, the cable between the receiver and the converter is wired, you can proceed to the next stage and tune the satellite dish to the desired satellite. The general direction is best determined using a compass, and the satellite dish is fine-tuned independently according to the signal level.
Important: observe the required tilt angle for your model.
Only when the signal level is at its best can you fix the nuts that secure the antenna to the wall. You need to twist very well, because the antenna will be swayed by the wind, and it should last as long as possible. The cable also needs to be fixed — it is best to nail it to the wall at regular intervals. So the wire will not interfere with you and will be more protected from mechanical damage.
Correctly setting up a satellite dish yourself is even easier than mounting it. Before setting up a satellite dish, read the instructions that came with it so that you do not need to set up a satellite dish for dummies.
First, install the correct language and check if the latest firmware version is installed on it. If your version is very outdated or there are some important changes in the new one, tuning the tuner begins with flashing it. You can set up a satellite dish yourself without firmware, but it will give you more advantages of using the receiver.
After that, set the correct time and date on it, determine your time zone and configure other settings. In the channel search menu, select the desired satellite.
The final setup of the satellite dish with your own hands is to fine-tune the signal. Open the information on the signal level — based on it, carry out the final adjustment of the antenna. After reaching the maximum signal level, scan the satellite. To open channels, open the operator’s access card.
As you can see, there is nothing complicated in setting up a satellite dish.
When you have everything connected and configured, you can see that a number of channels in the list are marked with some kind of symbol. It could be an asterisk, an exclamation point, or some other eye-catching symbol. This is how paid channels are designated. To watch them, you need to buy a key card that opens access to them.
Do I need to arrange a satellite dish?
Many people who want to install a satellite dish are wondering if it is necessary to obtain any permissions for this, register the antenna in any instances, or engage in some other kind of bureaucratic red tape. The answer to all these questions is one — no.
If you live in an apartment building, i.e. you are not the legal owner of the building where you are installing the antenna, you may need permission from the owner of the building or the organization that operates the building. To avoid this, you can fix the antenna on the balcony — since you are the full owner of it, no permissions are required.
But in this case, the antenna will sway in strong winds, disrupting the reception quality. There is another way out of the situation. When ordering a satellite dish from a large company, you do not need to issue any permits — the operator will take care of this.