The satellite dish has to pull in a signal from a group or cluster of satellites orbiting our planet from thousands of miles away, and since the signal is coming from such a long distance away it requires a dish to help reflect that signal into a receiver. Many a person thinking its just a case of pointing the dish into the sky or inthe general direction of the satellites is going to fail miserably in picking up any kind of signal from any satellite orbiting the earth let alone pick up the one they are after.
Satellite engineers will use a meter to both help steer the dish into the right path of the signal but to also pick up the correct signal, since moving the dish a few degrees to either side many pick up a foriegn satellite TV station. The meter is a good indicator of signal strength and quality and is used to help the engineer to find out faults in a system by testing whether the dish is receiving a signal, if a cable is faulty or a digi box or satellite receiver is at fault and needs a repair.
So if you are thinking of setting up a satellite dish for the first time , then by all means give it a go, but first get yourself a simple meter to help. A cheap meter that can be used is a £15 meter that is often called a squeely meter because when you are lining up your dish using that kind of meter it lets out a high pitch squeel the nearer you get to it. Also, a compass is required so that you can begin with the dish in pretty much the right direction to where the satellite signal will be coming from, and the meter is used for the fine tuning. With just these two simple devices many a caravan enthusiast lines up their sky dish each weekend they are out camping.
There are a plethora of TV aerials on the market from many different sources such as electrical wholesalers through to eBay sellers. They seem to all give the impression that the aerial being provided will do all that you need or the system you are connecting to, but are all aerials as good as each other? Or are there certain types of design better than others. Well to look into this it really needs more of an overview to help steer the end consumer in the right direction.
For instance if the TV Antenna is only going to feed one television & if the house is located in an area of medium to strong signal strength, then a simple and even small aerial would be required. One of the best for this is a mini log periodic as shown in the image to the right. These inconspicuous TV Aerials can pull in a signal strength of up to 70db which is in the upper level of signal strength. You will notice that they don’t have a ballun or back reflector that is present on many of the other designs of antenna. This is good as it reduces both wind load & interference. As an aerial fitter I have come to fit many of these types of antenna in recent years and I must admit I am a convert to them. Although they do have some draw back in that you would struggle to get a strong signal if fitting it in a loft. Also, if it is being fitted in an area that doesn’t get a strong signal or suffers from interference then it can let you down, it would be preferable to fit a larger aerial.
If looking to fit an aerial either in a loft or in an area where the signal isn’t that strong then a larger aerial would be preferable. As the name would suggest the min log periodic also comes in a larger size, with 28 elements. One of the best digital aerials in the market and they don’t cost the earth either is the log periodic aerial 28 element. It acts like a high gain aerial and like the mini version has no back reflector and has the same benefits as the mini but pulls in more of the signal. If there are any other reasons for other aerials then I haven’t heard them, these logs are so versitile and once they go up they stay up.
Many people are still in confusion as to why the UK terrestrial broadcasters of television have moved from using analogue as a signal to digital. Analogue has been used in the UK to broadcast both TV and radio for decades and has proved to be a reliable platform over these years. In fact the majority of radio listeners still today listen to their favourite tunes through an analogue transmission. Yet since 2010 the UK has been broadcasting its TV transmissions in digital, so why have we changed to digital, is it any better and will radio soon follow in the footsteps of television by going digital.
So, why have we had to change to digital? the difference between analogue and digital is very techie and is pointless going into as it wont really help the average guy in the street to understand why its been changed. But, the one main difference is that analogue signal is very susceptible to interference from other signals such as wifi, mobile phone signals and the like. The airwaves which are becoming more and more crowded with a variety of mixed signals is bad news for analogue and had started to cause the picture quality in certain areas of the UK to get poorer and poorer over time. The digital signal is not as prone to interference and so it was introduced throughout the UK as the platform for television and radio transmissions, though the radio version has proved less successful as the TV.
Since broadcasts are now in digital each TV needs to have either access to or has built-in a digital tuner for the television to be able to tune into the television stations on offer. One handy add-on with the new signal is the introduction of a channel guide which can give the viewer the full list of whats on all of the many channels including whats on at different times of the day, plus a program synopsis.
One of the changes many UK households had to make was to have a digital aerial installation rather than using their old analogue aerial. There are in fact no digital aerials they are either wideband or full band aerials used for the digital signal, but in some areas they were necessary to get a good picture. http://www.digitec-aerials.co.uk/