Satellite Q&A: Things To Know Before You Buy A Satellite Dish

By: Sybill Taite

* What is a satellite dish?

A satellite dish is a piece of equipment that transmits data signals from the ground to the satellite that orbits the planet. It is basically an antenna that is designed to receive signals from a satellite.

* How does a satellite dish work?

A satellite dish works by pointing it toward the sky at a specific azimuth or coordinates. It works as a receiver of a signal from the satellite and those signals are sent to the feed horn, then transmitted to your satellite receiver.

* Is the placement of the dish important?

Yes. For maximum quality, you should place your satellite dish in an unobstructed area. It should have no trees, buildings or other things that can restrict or obstruct the signals that the satellite is transmitting to your satellite dish.

* Can I place the satellite dish anywhere on my property?

Yes. As long as there is no obstruction to where your satellite dish is pointing, you can place it anywhere in your property. A very good example is installing the satellite dish in your roof.

* Do you need to ground a satellite dish?

Yes. There are local laws that require you to ground your satellite dish. In some places, there are no laws regarding grounding a satellite dish. However, grounding is still a must because of the build-up of static electricity. Static electricity can mean disruption of the signals or, in some cases, damage to your receiver.

* What is entailed in installing a satellite dish?

When installing a satellite dish, you will need a lot of things. First, you have to determine the location where you want to install your satellite dish. It should be in an area where there are no obstructions between the signal and the dish.

Satellite dish providers usually include all the equipment necessary to install the dish. They will also include a manual on how you should install the dish and where should you point it.

* Who is responsible for maintenance and upkeep on the satellite dish and connections?

It depends on your agreement with the provider. Usually, if you buy the satellite dish you will be responsible for the upkeep and maintenance of the satellite dish. If you rent it, the service provider is usually responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of the satellite dish. However, the connection or signal is usually the sole responsibility of the satellite signal provider.

* What do I do if I lose a signal and can’t get it back?

If you lose your signal from your satellite dish, it is best that you call your provider's customer care service. They will instruct you on what to do. You can also check your satellite dish owner's manual.

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