The Satellite Dish
& Your Home

In this section of the Build Your Own Home site we are going to talk about the Satellite Dish, and Your Home. How can this servant of the masses help you, and what can you expect?

In the old days people used the big monster dishes to capture free signals. Well those days are long gone. No more free stuff, you have to pay, like all the rest of the world. You still see them in the backyards of homes with weeds growing around them. What made this setup almost obsolete?

The mini-dish did, measuring 18 inches, is easier to install, and has a much smaller footprint. This makes it cheaper, and it looks better. If you don't own one, you probably have thought about it.

I want to look at the Satellite Dish from the perspective of the Owner Builder or the person having their home built. Having built my own home I learned some tips that may save you some heartburn.

I covered many of these tips about Satellite Dish wiring on the Structured Wiring Page.

But some of them are so important I want to share them again.

If you are in a rural area you may have no choice for your tv and internet other than a satellite dish. You can always put up an antenna or use the dialup for Internet, but that is no fun. With all the choices on satellite programming today it has become very popular.

First and foremost, you need to setup your house during construction, for multiple media supplies. HUH! What I mean is wire the house so if you want cable, satellite, DSL or an antenna you have a way to do it.

Again most of this is covered in Structured Wiring.

But I am going to tell you again anyway. Yes, it is that important! Nothing is worse than having to run cable after the fact when you want a new service. A Satellite Dish requires a dedicated run or runs of cable (RG6). Of course if you do not have it the installers will put it in. How they do it may not be cosmetically pleasing but they will get it done.

If you a planning your home, or in construction make the decision to run the cabling you need to get the services you want, and/or need. How do you do this? Thought you would never ask!

The first thing you do is plan.

What do we need to get the service that we want, or may need in the future? Since this page is dedicated to the Satellite Dish let us proceed in that direction. (You can find more on planning on the Structured Wiring page.

As I said earlier, if you are in a rural location plan for a Satellite dish or dishes even if you are not going to use them now. Why? Because the cost of cable is cheap, and it looks so much better in the walls than on the outside!

Where are you going to put your Satellite Dish (remember prepare for two if you ever want a broadband internet Satellite Dish)? Both of mine are on the roof. As shown here:

Satellite Dish on my roof for satellite internet and my satellite system

Why? Because I have large trees to the back of my house, and the dishes need to face south. Why didn't I put them in the front yard you ask? Good question! Because my house was too tall, for the dishes to get a clear signal.

How in the world, did I know all this prior to building my house? The answer is, I didn't. I had to plan for every eventuality that may come up.

I knew that I might have to put them in the front, or on the roof. So, I had the electrical contractor cable to the outside of the house, and to the roof. Each cable run went to my structures wiring cabinet, where I could change the connection to any cable in the house.

The cable runs from the outside of the house can also be used in the future if I want to hook up to any cable company. This may never happen, but it is there if I need it. Remember, cable is cheap to put in during home construction.

Now we need to spend a little time on cable runs. How many do we need for what?

A standard Satellite Dish will require one per LNB. LNB stands for Low Noise Block-down converter (so called because it converts a whole band or "block" of frequencies to a lower band).

In plain English the LNB is what collects the signal the dish collects and sends it to the satellite de-scrambler box. The thing that is unique about Satellite Dish Systems, is you can not split the signal like cable, to several sources (at least without special equipment we can not afford).

Each independent Satellite de-scrambler box must have it own LNB. You can split the signal after the box but both TV's are going to watch the same programming at the same time.

With this in mind you need to prepare for multiple LNB's on your satellite dish coming into your house. My suggestion is running a minimum of six. You also need to make plans for Satellite Dish Internet Service. You may not want it now but, who knows what the future holds!

For more information visit the following satellite provider. They will have more information about the Satellite Dish. Have a look, and come back we need to discuss Satellite Internet Service.

Free Install, Equipment, And DVR/HD On Up To 4 TV's- Limited Time!

Satellite Internet Service is a must if you are rural, and have no access to broadband. Where we are located there is no other way to receive Internet other than dialup. Believe me I turned over every rock looking for some Internet speed. Each area has different options so do your Research and find out the best route for you. You will find good books on the subject in the Satellite Knowledge Center.

If you decide to go with Satellite Internet like I did you need to plan up front just like you did for the Satellite Dish for TV. The only difference here is you need to run two (RG59) cables dedicated to the Satellite Internet Dish.

Satellite Dish
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The reason you run two cables is, one is for downlink, and one, is for uplink to the satellite. The only exception to this is the Satellite Internet Systems that use a dialup, for the uplink portion, and the Satellite dish for the Downlink portion.

English Please! OK, sorry. A good example of this is when you enter a search term on a search engine, and hit GO. Your computer sends a request to the server at the search engine, via an Uplink. When the search engine responds by giving you search engine results, it comes over the Downlink from the Satellite in orbit.

One consideration when you purchase a Satellite Internet System is a licensed installer must install it. Why? Because the Satellite Dish on your roof is a transmitter, and under FCC law you must be licensed to install one. No problem, the Service provider listed here offers great service and free installation.

Free Install, Equipment, And DVR/HD On Up To 4 TV's- Limited Time!

Let me wrap it up by saying Plan Ahead if you are building and save headaches. Do some research on systems and structured wiring to help you make good choices. Read the Structured Wiring Page.

Also visit the Satellite Knowledge Center for more imformation.

Satellite DishSatellite Dish Satellite DishSatellite Dish

For more Information on Building Your Own Home Go to Our Building Knowledge Center.

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