Product Guides > Satellite TV - How it Works

Mon, Feb 11th 2013

While you are arranging your trips away, there is one more thing to plan for; your favourite television programmes. Are you going to be able to watch that crucial game when you’re not sure where exactly you are going to be? Do you want to make sure you watch all of the World Cup next time around? Is your resident ‘Coronation Street’ fan desperate to see the latest episode?

If you are staying in the UK using an aerial on your TV can do the job quite nicely, however as you may have discovered, that is not always the case. It’s even worse if you are trying to use a Freeview box and watch digital channels; the coverage is rather patchy when you are out in the sticks.

With a very limited amount of extra equipment you could avoid these problems and, if you want, you could be watching the football or any of your favourite programmes on the BBC or ITV, from just about anywhere in Western Europe.

To the layman satellite TV seems to be a bit of a mine field, this brochure is designed to dispel that myth and impart a little knowledge to make it more available without paying more than you need.

To watch satellite TV you will need a satellite dish, with an LNB, some way of mounting the dish (tripod, pole or self seeking mechanism), a digibox and of course a television. You can use any modern TV as long as you have the correct cables to connect it to the digibox.

Sky digibox: enables you to watch Sky television including any subscription channels (as long as you pay for a subscription). Interactive services and HD broadcasting are available. A Sky digibox can be used without a viewing card to watch the free channels however Channel 4, Film 4, more 4, E4 and Channel 5 are not available. You can only watch channels from the Astra 2 satellite.

Freesat digibox: enables watching of the Free-To-Air satellite channels, BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Film 4, more 4, E4 (not including the +1 channels) and many others. HD broadcasting is available using the Freesat HD digibox and interactive services can be used e.g. ITV-HD, BBC ans ITV-HD (Channel 4 HD not available on Freesat)

Universal digibox: Enables watching of Free-To-Air and subscription satellite channels (card interface slot required) from many satellites in Europe (reception subject to suitable dish size), Including UK channels from Astra 2, BBC World News on Hotbird 13E and Astra 19.2E.

I have a manual-search satellite dish, how do I find the satellite?
These instructions are specific to Maxview units, but are similar to other manufacturers.
1. Connect the TV and Digibox and put it on the signal strength screen.
2. Using a satellite finder makes this much quicker; attach it inline with the LNB.
3. Turn the gain dial on the sat finder until it bleeps, then twist back slowly so that the bleep just stops.
4. Using the scale on the dish mount, set the elevation according to your latitude (our Maxview dish kits are supplied with a guide sheet).
5. Use a compass to find the direction of the satellite (Astra 2 – 28.2E for UK Channels, these values are degrees East of South)
6. Turn the dish to approximately point at the satellite, the sat finder should bleep and light up.
7. Slowly adjust the direction of the dish until the sat finder bleeps at a highest pitch and the most lights
are on (the higher the pitch and the more lights the stronger the signal)
8. Turn the gain down on the sat finder until the bleep stops and fine-tune the direction until the finder bleeps again.
9. Adjust the elevation for the strongest signal.
10. Check on the TV screen that the signal strength and quality is showing in the status bar. If it shows strength but no quality, this usually means you are pointing at the wrong satellite.

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