What Can a Dreambox Decode?

by Adrian Grahams

Manufactured mainly for the European and United Kingdom market by Dreambox Multimedia, the Dreambox is a set-top receiver box that decodes free and premium satellite and cable digital-television signals in both standard and high-definition format. To decode TV signals and view digital-television channels, you’ll first need to connect the Dreambox receiver to your satellite dish or cable television feed.

Free and Premium Services

Satellite and cable television broadcasters in Europe transmit both free and premium channels. The Dreambox’s tuner automatically decodes all free digital TV channels. However, to watch premium channels on the Dreambox, you must have a valid subscription card from the broadcaster. The Dreambox has two card slots on the front of the device so that you can subscribe to channel packages from more than one broadcaster.

Satellite Broadcasts

The Dreambox uses the DVB-S2 decoder to decode signals from satellite television broadcasters. Numerous European satellites, including the Astra and Hotbird satellites, transmit television broadcasts that offer free and subscription channels. To decode signals from more than one satellite on the Dreambox, you must have a multi-satellite system installed. Multi-satellite systems consist of a single dish with multiple Low Noise Block devices locked onto different satellites, or a single motorized dish and LNB that moves to lock on to signals from different satellites.

Cable Broadcasts

Dreambox produces a cable-television version of the Dreambox that includes a DVB-C decoder to decode cable television broadcasts. Dreambox's range of cable receivers usually also ship with a DVB-T decoder for decoding over-the-air digital television through your antenna. Some cable operators provide their own equipment and forbid the installation of third-party decoders, so check with your cable service before installing the Dreambox.

Tuning

After connecting the Dreambox to the satellite signal or cable television feed, perform a channel scan to add all available channels to the Dreambox’s electronic program guide. The Dreambox offers unlimited channel lineup memory, so you can store all available channels on even the largest and most comprehensive multi-satellite systems. When you first set up the Dreambox, the installation wizard prompts you to select your tuner configuration mode; for example, single satellite or multi-satellite system. The wizard automatically scans the satellite or cable service and adds channels to the receiver’s memory. Access specific channels with the channel "up" and "down" keys on the remote control handset or from the device’s electronic program guide.

About the Author

Adrian Grahams began writing professionally in 1989 after training as a newspaper reporter. His work has been published online and in various newspapers, including "The Cornish Times" and "The Sunday Independent." Grahams specializes in technology and communications. He holds a Bachelor of Science, postgraduate diplomas in journalism and website design and is studying for an MBA.

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