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Satellite TV systems for apartment blocks

Satellite TV systems for apartment blocks

Satellite TV systems for apartment blocks

I am a newcomer to this forum and MATV systems so bear with me, please.  A developer wants multiple access TV for his 18 apartment multistorey (12 floors/38 metres) block but doesn't want more than two dishes. I have heard that there are devices that enable one cable feed from each dish to serve multiple consumers, each capable of tuning to whatever channels are available.  Can someone give me a shopping list of components I need to put together a system?  It must of course be good quality but be relatively cheap as this developer likes a slim budget.

RE: Satellite TV systems for apartment blocks

Consumer Satellite TV systems use two polarities (Right or Left Circular for DSS) per satellite. The polarities are typically selected using two voltages 13 or 18 Vdc to the LNBF.

For normal houses it is common to use a dual output LNBFs and a switch so that each receiver (up to four, or even eight) can select its own polarity. This system gets a bit cumbersome for apartments.

A 'stacked' system converts the two polarities to two different frequency spectrums so that both polarities can be distributed all on one cable (2.2 GHz rated due to the increased bandwidth).

The next problem is that the systems now have multiple satellites and you still need switches (often selected by various 21 or 22 kHz tones on the power to the LNBF).

It's best to contact an installer with experience in apartments (Mutiple Dwelling Units MDU). They'll know exactly what to do. Ask them if they can install HD-compatible systems (thereby forcing a solution that address the multiple satellite issue).

You're still left to decide DirecTV or Dish (and choose to ignore the ethnic channels on Telstar 25?).

The gold-plated solution might be 2 cables (all RG-6 2.2+ GHz rated, quad shield) to each living room and perhaps even one or two cables to each bedroom all running to the basement cable closet (room). The dish farm (as much as you want) on the roof all running to basement.

Each resident could then request to be hooked into either system (DirecTV or Dish) or even Cable TV. They could even request jumpers to interconnect their rooms. I'm not sure if the installation or user agreements include exclusivity provisions (like Coke vs Pepsi).

PS: Good cable in large quantities is very cheap. So even the ultimate solution wouldn't cost all that much.

In summary - find a good local installer.

RE: Satellite TV systems for apartment blocks

Thanks, VE1BLL, that gives me something to work with.  I suppose the same principles apply to European sat. systems which is where I am located.  As you say, the local installers should know what to do.

RE: Satellite TV systems for apartment blocks

From what I've read about the European satellite scene, there are a lot more satellites, a lot more free signals, and (of course) many more languages.

European systems have many technical details in common with the 'Free To Air' (I mean the legal FTA, not the pirates) systems in North America.

You may run into DiSEqC switches:


Toroidal dishes allow one dish to cover many satellites over an arc of about 40 degrees.

Have a look at this heroic installation:

RE: Satellite TV systems for apartment blocks

Dunno about the States, but in the UK the DSB 10GHz lnbs here have 2 polarizations & two LO frequencies, so you buy a thing called a quattro LNB that gives a separate IF output for each polarization & each LO frequency.

This can then be fed via distribution amplifiers to something that responds to the signals from the sat box to select the correct IF output. This may or may not be called a magic switch... I'm not an expert on satellite installations.

RE: Satellite TV systems for apartment blocks

Another thing to mention: It is best to use an oversized dish on apartments. The reason is that there are many more people than in a normal household and signal outages caused by weather are less likely to be missed. Therefore, it justifies having a larger dish to minimize the number and duration of signal outages.

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