How Does a Satellite Dish Work?
By Diane Dilov-Schultheis
A Satellite Dish is an Antenna
Satellite dishes are a type of parabolic and microwave antenna. The one pictured above is a high-gain reflector antenna. This means it picks up or sends out electromagnetic signals from a satellite. It can be used for data, radio or television. The size and design of a satellite dish vary depending on the use of it. The most common satellite dish used by individuals is the one for television programming. DirecTV and Dish Network are the major satellite broadcasting companies
How a Satellite Dish is Put Together
The parabolic shape of a dish reflects the satellite signal from the focal point to the LNB. An LNB is a low-noise block converter. It converts the high frequencies (electromagnetic waves) received from the satellite to lower ones (electrical signals) that can be sent through coaxial cable. This signal is sent from the satellite dish to a special receiver and then to a television set. This allows the picture and sound quality to be reproduced at a higher level than if it was not converted. The satellite dish consists of a metal reflector (antenna) and an LNB held in front of it by a support arm. These are placed on a pole (mast) and mount. The satellite dish can be set to pick up specific satellite signals. Changing the elevation of it does this. This is an adjustment of precise degrees needed for DirecTV or Dish Network satellites.
Requirements for a Satellite Dish to Work
There has to be a direct line of signal from the dish to the satellite in the sky to work. The DirecTV and Dish Network satellites are located in the southern hemisphere. This means there can be no obstructions of any kind between the satellite and dish. The dish must be located in an area clear of trees, bushes, buildings or any other objects. It has to be mounted securely and completely level to function correctly. It must be set to the precise elevation degree needed. A coaxial cable is connected to the LNB, grounded through a grounding block and then run into the house. This cable is attached to a satellite reciever and then to a television. You must have an account with a satellite provider to be able to pick up their satellite programming. The signal comes from the satellite in the sky to the dish and then is converted through the LNB. The cable carries it into the reciever, which will then broadcast it on the television
Diane Dilov-Schultheis has been writing professionally since 2000. She is a food and travel writer who also specializes in gaming, satellites, RV repair, gardening, finances and electronics. She is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists and has been published online at the Travel Channel and Intel.