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RV Satellite Basics

RV Satellite Basics

All of the Satellite TV Systems include 3 Basic Components:

  • A Satellite System - Dish or Dome Antenna System
  • A Satellite Receiver and Programming Subscription
  • A Television.

These components are sold separately.

All Televisions work with any of the satellite systems and you probably already have a suitable television.

The Satellite Receiver and Programming Subscription come together and are usually fairly inexpensive. In fact, many of the manufacturers of the  in-motion tracking satellites and automatic satellites offer special deals where the the receiver and/or a period of free programming is offered with the purchase of the Satellite system. Please ask about receivers and programming subscriptions when calling to order a Satellite System. Please note that a given receiver will not necessarily work with all satellite antenna systems. The receivers will generally work with only one programming source (i.e.  DISH network or DIRECTV in the US)  but not both. Make sure that the satellite receiver works with the programming source you want and the receiver will be compatible with the Satellite antenna system that your are interested in. 

The Satellite System - Dish or Dome Antenna

Dual Versus Single LNB

The small device at the end of the arm on your satellite antenna is called an LNB (Low noise block converter). This is what processes the satellite signal and sends it to your satellite receiver. You can purchase a single or a dual LNB for your antenna. Using a single LNB, you can run the signal to 2 TV's from one receiver, but then both viewers must watch the same program. To watch different programs at the same time on two different TV's, you must have two receivers and the dish must have a dual LNB. A dual LNB looks just like a single LNB, but has two cables coming from it instead of one.

Manual versus Stationary Automatic versus In-Motion Automatic

Manual systems can only be used when you are stationary and they require adjusting the dish to the satellite position each time you stop and are ready to watch television. A Satellite finder can be useful if you have a manual satellite system.

Stationary Automatic Systems  will find the satellite automatically when you have parked and are getting ready to watch TV.

The In-Motion Automatic systems are capable of using GPS and or special gyros to lock into the desired satellite while you are traveling. With the high end in-motion satellite systems you can watch your favorite programs while traveling or parked. For in-motion RV systems,  a DirectTV receiver will generally be more better since  it is easily to track with in-motion systems.  

This article was published on Tuesday 14 December, 2004.
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