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Receive-Only Home TV Systems

Planned broadcasting directly to home TV receivers takes place in the Ku (12-GHz) band. This service is known as direct broadcast satellite (DBS) service.

Receive-Only Home TV Systems:


Planned broadcasting directly to home TV receivers takes place in the Ku (12-GHz) band. This service is known as direct broadcast satellite (DBS) service.


There is some variation in the frequency bands assigned to different geographic regions. In the Americas, for example, the down- link band is 12.2 to 12.7 GHz.


The comparatively large satellite receiving dishes [ranging in diame- ter from about 1.83 m (6 ft) to about 3-m (10 ft) in some locations], which may be seen in some “backyards” are used to receive downlink TV signals at C band (4 GHz).


Originally such downlink signals were never intended for home reception but for network relay to commercial TV outlets (VHF and UHF TV broadcast stations and cable TV “head-end” studios).


1. The Indoor unit:


Equipment is now marketed for home reception of C-band signals, and some manufacturers provide dual C-band/Ku-band equipment. A single mesh type reflector may be used which focuses the signals into a dual feed- horn, which has two separate outputs, one for the C-band signals and onefor the Ku-band signals.


Much of television programming originates as first generation signals, also known as master broadcast quality signals.


These are transmitted via satellite in the C band to the network head- end stations, where they are retransmitted as compressed digital signals to cable and direct broadcast satellite providers.


 Another of the advantages, claimed for home C-band systems, is the larger number of satellites available for reception compared to what is available for direct broadcast satellite sys- terms.


 Although many of the C-band transmissions are scrambled, there are free channels that can be received, and what are termed “wild feeds.”


 These are also free, but unannounced programs, of which details can be found in advance from various publications and Internet sources.


 C-band users can also subscribe to pay TV channels, and another advantage claimed is that subscription services are cheaper than DBS or cable because of the multiple-source programming available.


 The most widely advertised receiving system for C-band system appears to be 4DTV manufactured by Motorola.


This enables reception of:

 Free, analog signals and “wild feeds”

 VideoCipher ll plus subscription services

 Free DigiCipher 2 services

 Subscription DigiCipher 2 services



2. The outdoor unit:


This consists of a receiving antenna feeding directly into a low-noise amplifier/converter combination. A parabolic reflector is generally used, with the receiving horn mounted at the focus. A common design is to have the focus directly in front of the reflector, but for better interference rejection, an offset feed may be used as shown.


Comparing the gain of a 3-m dish at 4 GHz with a 1-m dish at 12 GHz, the ratio D/l equals 40 in each case, so the gains will be about equal. Although the free-space losses are much higher at 12 GHz compared with 4 GHz.


The downlink frequency band of 12.2 to 12.7 GHz spans a range of 500 MHz, which accommodates 32 TV/FM channels, each of which is 24-MHz wide. Obviously, some overlap occurs between channels, but these are alternately polarized left-hand circular (LHC) and right-hand circular (RHC) or vertical/horizontal, to reduce interference to accept- able levels. This is referred to as polarization interleaving. A polarizer that may be switched to the desired polarization from the indoor con- trol unit is required at the receiving horn.


The receiving horn feeds into a low-noise converter (LNC) or possibly a combination unit consisting of a low-noise amplifier (LNA) followed by a converter.


The combination is referred to as an LNB, for low-noise block. The LNB provides gain for the broadband 12-GHz signal and then converts the signal to a lower frequency range so that a low-cost coaxial cable can be used as feeder to the indoor unit.


The signal fed to the indoor unit is normally a wideband signal cov- ering the range 950 to 1450 MHz. This is amplified and passed to a tracking filter which selects the desired channel, as shown in Fig.


As previously mentioned, polarization interleaving is used, and only half the 32 channels will be present at the input of the indoor unit for any one setting of the antenna polarizer. This eases the job of the tracking filter, since alternate channels are well separated in frequency.


The selected channel is again down converted, this time from the 950- to 1450-MHz range to a fixed intermediate frequency, usually 70 MHz although other values in the very high frequency (VHF) range are also used. The 70-MHz amplifier amplifies the signal up to the levels required for


The 70-MHz amplifier amplifies the signal up to the levels required for demodulation. A major difference between DBS TV and conventional TV is that with DBS, frequency modulation is used, whereas with conventional TV, amplitude modulation in the form of vestigial single side- band (VSSB) is used.


The 70-MHz, FM intermediate frequency (IF) carrier therefore must be demodulated, and the baseband information used to generate a VSSB signal which is fed into one of the VHF/UHF channels of a standard TV set.

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