Satellite TV

I'm planning to install a satellite TV system, as currently I have a terrestrial TV antenna on a high mast that can only receive one channel, ABC1, and that with (sometimes) considerable snow.

Here in Australia, Optus has two satellites with free channels, C1 (has ABC1 and some commercial channels) and D1 (has ABC2) -- there is more, such as SBS and some foreign channels. They are on the ku-band.

The cheapest supplier I can find in Western Australia is these guys (AU$295):

To receive from both satellites, I need two dishes (90cm dishes cost $55 each) and a cable-coupler thingy called a "DiSeqc/tone burst switch".

Although these channels are "free", I do have to purchase a smartcard, included in the above package, but AU$85 separately (actually, I priced all the items in the above package, and it adds up to less than the package price!).

I think that I understand basically what all the parts are for -- anyway, they provide an installation guide.

I'll also buy a few extras, like roof bracket mounts, cable, compass ($10), signal-finder ($15).

My little house with 3 dishes on top is going to look very hi-tech!

Anyone reading this who has done an installation? Any tricky things to watch out for? -- yeah, well I suppose, getting the dish pointed right at the satellite is the hardest part!

Optus D1:

Posted on 4 Oct 2009, 17:09


Posted on 4 Oct 2009, 10:16 by dogone
Cable installation
Advice? Clean, tight, dry connections with new, quality cable. Short cable runs. Avoid long, close, parallel runs along other cable or mains. Expect ground loops (8-).

Most important! View selectively (Cable TV does not givith energy, but takith away). Eat right. Exercise. Give 4.3.1 all the time it needs and deserves. Relax. Enjoy each morning. Green tea is a godsend.

Posted on 4 Oct 2009, 11:09 by Sage
Satellite installations
What you need is a steerable dish with multiplexed LNBs. More expensive for the initial outlay but utterly flexible. If you get the programmable motorised version you can preset your satellite positions. All parts are available mail order and mostly come with some basic instructions: what you don't want is some hyper-expensive installer guy, esp. of dubious savvy - we suffer loads of them.I think the BBC has a S. hemisphere operation now? You might find this worthwhile as we are noted for providing outstanding worldwide news coverage. I often find myself providing US friends with news about their own country. The coverage of the recent quakes and tsunami was/is comprehensive. Together with one OzZ channel you might find that meets your needs?

Posted on 4 Oct 2009, 11:27 by dogone
cable installation II

Minimize connections. Avoid "tees" and couplers. Include drip loops before penetrations (before and after inline connections). Minimum 6 inch bend radius. Staples/clips should not deform the cable jacket. RTV (silicone adhesive) is handy stuff.

Posted on 4 Oct 2009, 14:45 by mysticmarks
dish wish
How ironic. Here in the US, We have rediculous contracts for service. Most of which include the hardware. I have a few dish network dishes in my garage. Actually, i can't think of many people here who don't have them in the garage, the shed, still mounted on their houses. Shoot, the darn things are everywhere! I use broadband cable exclusively, so couldn't relate beyond having them. I wonder if you could use them there. I'm no sat pro, but a dish is a dish, right? Anyone want to pipe in here as a dish guru? So how many do you want Barry? ;)

Posted on 4 Oct 2009, 14:57 by ttuuxxx
satellite tv
Back in Canada I installed a few, because basically you buy them in Canada not rent them like in Australia-foxtel, The Canadian dishes have a nice meter strength that displays on the tv, so you move it up/down/left/right and the signal will increase/decrease great for onetime installs, saves buying extra equipment:)
The main issue that I've found with satellites is the base you mount it on. satellites tend to trap the wind and if not securely attached they will flex with the wind and the station will be lost. My house is a steel frame house and the cable company wouldn't attach to the roof because the metal is too flexible, So when your looking for a mounting location just make sure its solid :)

Posted on 4 Oct 2009, 16:11 by ferikenagy2
if you have ony 2 satellite there is much better the statical solution (with 2 separate dishes or 2 ultiplexe LNB)
than with a moving actuated dish because yo can instanty comute between satelites, it cost less and it is easier to cath the satellite positon.
If the angle between these 2 satelites is to big (greater than 20 grade), the only solution is 2 separate dishes as you planned.
Pay attention to the LNB to match the receiver it means mainy 2 things the oscillator frequency ( for thereceiver to copute the rigt frequenc for eac channel)
and the way it commute betwen vertical and horizontal polarization. I prezume this will e OK because you buy it both from same provider.
When mounting LNB pay attenion not to reverse the polarizatio of lnb , some lnb permit to be mounted in any way!
cathing the satelite:
Digital receviers have an special function to help to catch satellite, instead of displaying one tv channel will display the signal strenght of any received satelite.
The dish should be oriented both horizontally and vertically (elevation) thats why it is sometimes difficult to catch he satelite. Some dishes have marked on them
the elevation grades so ou can fix th satellite elevation apriori, in this case pay atention that that the dish support to be mounted perfect vertically, this will guarantee that elevation angle
will be correct so you will have only to rotate horizontly the dish to catch the satellite.
After you catch the sateliteyou can proceed to make some tweak to maximze signal strenght, by slightly correct elevation
I hope you will have somebody to help, it is much easyer in two, one to move the dish and second to see signal strength on receiver

Posted on 4 Oct 2009, 16:24 by drongo
Keep out the rain
Don't know what the weather is like in Western Australia (isn't it mostly desert?) but I guess you get heavier rain than here in the UK when it does rain.

Self-amalgamating tape to cover all of your joints and connectors is a must. It's what all the professionals use. also drip-loops are always good. Once you get water inside the cables signal strength just disappears.

Dual LNBs on one dish used to be popular here in the UK but the satellites can't be too far apart in the orbit.

Posted on 4 Oct 2009, 17:07 by BarryK
The two Optus satellites
Optus C1:
Azimuth = 59.39 degrees
Elevation = 34.94 degrees

Optus D2:
Azimuth = 55.65 degrees
Elevation = 38.18 degrees

Optus D1:
Azimuth = 62.80 degrees
Elevation = 31.62 degrees

...what do you reckon, could I mount two LNBFs on the one dish? I want the Optus C1 and D1.

The FAQ at SciTeq site states need two dishes:

Online calculator:

Here are the Optus satellites:
...they even cover Hawaii.

Posted on 4 Oct 2009, 17:52 by Sage
Satellite installations
Seems that all you need is available down there. A steerable dish with twin LNB should cover all your eventualities now and for future launches (LNBs are swappable if new wavebands are introduced). Might get away with a 60cm dish - check with Oz-based satellite geeks on the Web. Once set up, better to spend your dosh on quality, high spec set-top electronics.

Posted on 4 Oct 2009, 21:59 by technosaurus
Trickiest/Hardest thing?
NOT falling. Be safe Barry.

Posted on 5 Oct 2009, 2:41 by janeee
Lyngsat Maps
Free TV from Australia

Optus D1 at 160.0E

Optus C1 at 156.0E

Posted on 5 Oct 2009, 4:27 by Hubi
One dish in the garden should do
I installed my 1m sat-dish in the garden. Convenient hight to access all components. Two LNBs for 2 satellites, 13E and 19.2E. Since I'm located geographically 16E, the elevation for both LNBs is equal. With 4 difference of 2 sats, 1 dish should suffice, depending on the focalpoint distance of the dish. When finetuning the LNB, consider in turning the LNB. The more the sat is not positioned exactly to north. Cable length from the LNBs to my receivers is about 50m (150 feet), so the dish is hidden in the garden.
This also meets "technosaurus'" tip to be safe.
I learned by asking neighbours, friends, reading specialized magazines, and doing. Wish you success! Hubi

Posted on 5 Oct 2009, 14:52 by ted dog
DVB broadband
Check the satellite broadband for video feeds. Mine had them, some satellite broadband used DVB channels for burst download. My used a device sky star II (linux supported) that with additional software, made viewable some channels, the audio channels sound great.

Posted on 5 Oct 2009, 17:29 by drongo
Az-Al info
Here's a technical explanation

It's something I signed up for, I think the link will work for anyone.

For South read North, it has a hemispheric bias!

Main point is, if you want a steerable as opposed to fixed, you need to tip the axis away from the polar axis to account for the geostationary arc being closer than infinity. If you go for a fixed dish you can ignore this.

Posted on 6 Oct 2009, 16:28 by drongo
For Az-Al read Az-El (Azimuth-Elevation)