Have you ever wondered how satellite TV works and what its most important functions are? We hope this article answers some of the basic questions on this topic.
First of all, let’s establish the basics: Satellite TV at its root is the transmission of video and audio signals, sent by satellites to dishes that are placed on the surface of the Earth. These satellites are in a geostationary orbit.
Yes, satellites can almost be considered a modern marvel and they are what make so many things possible, and not just in satellite TV. They have revolutionized communications. They orbit around our planet in the Clarke belt, which is a region of space that is 22,300 miles above the equator.
And now let’s talk about transponders. They are the ones that carry the signal to Earth, and each satellite has a number of them. The signals that are transmitted are of a different nature. They are usually broadcast on a few major bands, the C-Band, the Ku-Band, and the Ka-Band. The frequency of the signal is the most important element that is being defined by these various types of bands.
Now, these signals must travel more than 20,000 miles, 22,300 more precisely. They are then picked up on the Earth’s surface by satellite dishes. The main purpose of a satellite dish is to collect these signals and reflect them further away. Even though a dish can be as small as 18 inches wide, it will still be able to send the signal to the feed horn.
And now, on its journey, the satellite signal reaches the feedhorn. So what is a feedhorn? A feedhorn is part of the satellite dish. The purpose of the feedhorn is to receive the signal and bring it once more to the LNB. The LNB will then amplify the signal to convert it to a frequency more suitable for cable transmission.
And now we come to another unknown term, the LNB. LNB is an abbreviation for Low Noise Block, and its purpose is as mentioned above. The cable is known under the term IFL, an abbreviation for Intra Facility Link. The IFL is the means by which the LNB transmits the signal to its receiver. Then the last step in the process is done by the receiver, which transmits the signal to your TV.
And this is where the signal’s journey ends. It’s quite fascinating when you think about all the technology that’s involved in the process and all the steps and transformations the signal will have to go through. Now you know how satellite television works in its most basic form.