What channels can I get on satellite?
This is a very broad question, as reception varies depending on the equipment you have. There are two main (frequency) bands in which satellite TV is transmitted:
- C band which is in the 3.4 to 4.2 GHz frequency band
- KU band which covers 11 to 12.75 GHz
- At these frequencies, the signals are microwave.
Differences between the bands
- Generally C-Band requires a larger dish and KU band a smaller dish.
- A C-Band dish is usually 2M or larger in diameter, and KU band dishes vary from 65cm to 2M.
- C band dishes are usually mesh as the surface accuracy does not to be as accurate as it needs to be for KU band. Therefore KU band dishes are usually solid with a smooth surface as they need to be accurately made to focus the small KU band waves into the feed horn on the LNB.
- The LNBs (Low noise block down-converter) sits in the front or centre of the dish, and collects all the reflected micro-waves from the dish. The micro-waves are very very weak, and are not harmful.
- The LNBF has an integrated feed horn, and the waves travel along the feed horn, and enter the LNB where they are converted and transferred to the satellite receiver via the coax cable.
- Contains many free channels, most of which are foreign language.
- There are 6 or 7 satellites accessible from the East and West Coast of Australia.
- Your C band dish can be a fixed type system, with 2M mesh dish, C band LNBF, coax cable and digital satellite receiver, or it can be motorized to point to all of the C band satellites in your region.
- A fixed C band dish system is usually installed on the ground, and points to one of the 7 satellites in your region. Free to air channels from this one satellite can be viewed. A Satellite channel list is available on our Satellites page, courtesy of Lyngsat.
- The average cost of a 2.3M fixed C band system is under $1500 installed.
- Motorizing your system can allow it to point to all (providing you have no obstructions such as trees etc) satellites in your region and you can move the dish remotely as you require.
- To motorize your dish you firstly need a special type of pivoting mount on the dish. This is called a polar mount and comes standard on most larger dishes. Other additional items required are an actuator and positioner, and connecting cable. The actuator is the ‘ram’ like unit which fits on your dish and does the moving, and the positioner is the inside unit that controls the actuator and ‘remembers’ the satellite positions. The positioner usually comes with a remote control for the user. There are also a type of positioner that interface with most modern digital satellite receivers using a protocol called DisEQc 1.2. These are called V-BOX, and use the existing Digital receiver remote control to control the satellite dish position.
- The average cost of a 2.3M motorized C band system is under $2200 installed.
- Contains some (maybe 360) free to air channels. Most of the Channels are on Optus D2.
- These free channels are mainly Foreign language channels, and Christian Channels on Optus D2. To receive these FTA channel, you would need an 80cm dish and KU band LNB, and a Free to Air digital satellite receiver such as the Healing HHS-242.
- Other channels on KU band are PAY TV channels and VAST remote area channels and require a Digital satellite receiver with card slot, and an authorized smart card and subscription (for Pay TV) to view them. The Pay TV receiver and card are supplied by the PAY TV provider when you take up a subscription. Other digital satellite receivers such as the ClearView HD1009IR with embedded Irdeto card slot will not work with Foxtel PAY TV as their system is unique, however they may work with the Other Pay providers such as Mysat and Sun TV. You would need to contact the pay TV provider to check if their smart card will work in a 3rd part receiver.
- Pay TV channels presently have 2 types of encryption, Irdeto and NDS. The receiver mentioned above should work only with the Irdeto system, and only with an original smart card with subscription.
- VAST is platform on Optus C1/D# satellite that has a group of channels that contain free to air Television similar the the digital channel from terrestrial transmitters.
- SBS and ABC are available to anyone within Australia. The Commercial channels are available only to anyone in Australia that outside the footprint of terrestrial transmitters. These channels are 7 9 and 10 nework commercial channels such as 7 mate, 7 Two, GO, GEM, ONE HD, Eleven, and the same lineup as the terrestrial versions, both in SD and HD.
- Special permission is availale from VAST for viewers within the terrestrial transmission area to receive VAST channels if their terrestial signal is hindered my mountains or buildings.
- A certified VAST receiver with matching smart card is required and these can be purchased from us as we are an VAST dealer. Dish sizes required are a minimum of 75cm Australia wide, and Northern areas such as the NT and Cape York need larger sizes up to 1.2M.
- Smaller dishes as small as 65cm will work, however the signal on these dishes will drop out quickly in overcast or rainy conditions. Once the equipment is obtained and installed, VAST needs to be contacted to have the card ‘turned on’. Once turned on, there are no further on-going fees. The VAST service is only for use within Australia.
- Other Countries such as Papua New Guinea and New Zealand may receive the signal, but are not entitled to view the programming.
Can C and KU band be integrated into the one system?
- Theoretically yes, however this requires a dual band feed horn, a C band LNB and a KU band LNB, plus some sort of switching to select between feed horns, and servo motor control to change polarity on both bands. The performance is compromised when a dual band feed horn is used, and using a mesh dish for KU band is about 30% less efficient than using a solid dish.
- The preferred method to receiver C and KU band is to have 2 separate dishes.
- Say a 2.3M mesh motorized dish for C band, and a fixed 90cm to 1.2M solid dish for KU band, with some electronic switching to select between the 2 dishes.
- So you can receive about 140 free to air channels with a motorized C band dish, 125 of which are foreign language, German, French, Italian, Portuguese, Hindi, Tamil,
- Cantonese, Mandarin, Thai, Vietnamese, Indonesian, Japanese, and about 15 English.
- On the KU band system you can receive some free channels, and if you have a PAY TV card, you can receive the channels you pay for. If you have an VAST system, you
- can receive ABC and SBS for your region, and If you live in a NON Terrestrial reception area, channels similar to the digital terrestrial Commercial channels.