Understanding Home Satellite TV Receivers
With the evolution of the technology, devices, such as televisions, have become a necessity as opposed to a luxury. However, owning a TV alone will not be enough as you will need a satellite cable to be able to watch numerous channels. TV channels now air entertainment shows, documentaries, news, and much more.
Satellite receivers are no longer just set-to-boxes that enable a user to receive satellite TV. Over the years, this device has become a highly technical piece of gear that is loaded with tons of features and options designed to heighten the television viewing experience.
What are the different types of satellite receivers?
Most satellite receivers come inclusive of a DVR support to record shows while other HD digital satellites allow for simultaneous recording of multiple shows. Receivers can be classified under four main classes:
- Standard receiver - This is the most common, cheapest, and the most straightforward model available. Its antenna receives the signal coming from the LNB (which is installed outside the house) and transforms this satellite signal to sound and audio and onto the TV screen.
- HD receivers - Similar to other satellite TV systems, this receiver receives the signal, converts it, and finally projects it onto the television screen. The main difference between an HD signal and other satellite TV providers is that HD projects all its images in high definition
- Scrambled channels receiver - Some entertainment channels that air through satellite signals sometimes tend to sell their channel (frequency). Standard satellite antenna cannot decrypt these signals, and as such, a user will need to buy a particular kind of satellite dish that can decode the signals.
- Digital recording receivers - In addition to receiving, decrypting, and projecting TV signals, a digital satellite dish also enables a user to pause, rewind, and record programs that are scheduled to air later during the day, week, or month.
What features should I look out for when purchasing an HD satellite dish?
With the increasing presence of high definition plasma and LCD/ LED HDTV sets in homes, HDTV antennas are providing more national and local channel programming. Some essential features included in all entry-level satellites are:
- A standard tuner to handle channels not being broadcasted in high definition
- A built-in ATSC tuner to receive local channel content already being aired in HD via a rooftop TV antenna
Additional basic features and conveniences
- Some models come equipped with a digital video recording (DVR) option like Direct TV, DISH Network, and HR24. These features allow you to capture sporting events and movies on a digital drive to view at your convenience.
- Keep an eye out for picture-in-picture (PIP) viewing option as it will come in handy when surfing different satellite TV channels.
- Parental control is another feature you should look for as it helps keep your kids from watching shows you do not want them to
- RF remote control is a convenient accessory that controls your satellite receiver without the need for a direct line-of-sight with the decoder. You will be able to control your decoder from another room.
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