How Dish Network Setup 4 Receivers in a House?

I would like to know how Dish Network installer may setup cabling and splitter to install four receivers in a house.
Currently, I am using DirecTV (with 2 receivers), and I plan to replace it with Dish Network (with 4 receivers) in the near future.
I have already setup a central panel where the video cables from all the rooms home run to it. Currently, DirecTV has two video cables coming from the satellite dish, and I extend them to reach the central panel, and directly hook up to the video connections of two rooms. I don't use any splitter because I only have 2 receivers and there are only two video cables coming from the satellite dish.
Now, I want to know how Dish Network installer will install cabling in my house, and whether they will need a splitter. Hopefully, I can do most of the work myself; then I can use better quality video cable than what the installer will use, and hopefully I can save the $50 additional installation fee for 4 receivers with foreign TV programs.
My questions are:
- How many video cables come from one satellite dish of Dish Network? One, two, or four? I am under the impression that if I need to receive foreign TV shows via Dish Network, I need two satellite dishes. And if each dish comes with 2 video cables, I will have totally 4 video cables coming from satellite dishes. If this is the case, I don't really need a splitter to split the video to 4 receivers; I can simply connect each incoming video cable to each receiver (via the central panel).
- If there is only a combined total of one or two video cables coming from the satellite dish(es). I assume we need a splitter to split the video signal to 4 receivers. Which splitter do they use?
I really prefer to do this cabling myself. The DirecTV installer ran cable all over the place including horizontal surface in outdoor where squirrels chewed it up. And the cable is thin video cable instead of thick shielded cable. Therefore, I prefer to limit the installer to mount the satellite dish, run video cables from the satellite dish to the basement, tune the satellite dish and receivers, and I will finish all the cabling indoor myself. Thanks for any info in advance.
Jay Chan
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Jay -
Recc. you post this over at: rec.video.satellite.dbs - looks like they have the knowledge you seek.
Matt
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Thanks for the link. I will go there and ask around.
Jay Chan
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snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote in

from the antennas I've examined,there's a separate coax from the LNB to each receiver.The 4 receiver Dish antenna has two LNBs,each with dual outputs. The LNB coax cable has to be wideband,low-loss and presumably well- shielded.(900-1400 Mhz,IIRC)
--
Jim Yanik
jyanik
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Thanks for the info.
This means I should expect to see 4 video cables coming from Dish Network dishes. And I don't need to use a video-splitter. Good. I will ask the installer to route those 4 cables to the central panel in my basement where I will connect those 4 cables to the video connector corresponding to the rooms that should get the receivers. OK, now I know what to talk to the installer.
Jay Chan
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4cables to home!
~kjpro~

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Obviously different installers do things differently. Our 3-receiver DirecTV system (including one DirecTivo box) has an elliptical triple-LNB dish. Two RG6 cables (complete with the "hanger" wire, as used by the cable TV companies) come straight down from the dish into the house, and all other connections are inside the house: one is split to feed all three receivers, and the second one goes to the second input on the DirecTivo (dual tuners).
My only complaints are:
1. They didn't ground the dish, other than through the shield of the cable.
2. They used a 4-way splitter and (I only just noticed when I went to check on something in order to write this message) did not use terminator caps on the two unused outputs.
Perce
On 01/26/05 11:41 am snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com tossed the following ingredients into the ever-growing pot of cybersoup:

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tossed the following

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Good to know that your DirecTV installer at least keep the cables indoor instead of running the cables indoor-and-then-outdoor-and-then-indoor-again.
The DirecTV installer grounded the dish to a metal rod that is also being used as a ground by the power company.
I don't quite understand why this is bad not to cap those two unused outputs. Are you afraid of dust getting into the connectors? How does the cap look like?
Jay Chan
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snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:

It's not just a cap; it is a metal connector with a 75 ohm resistor inside it to act as a load when a TV is not connected to the outlet. Splitters are designed for specific loads on the outputs. If a load is missing, all kinds of ugly things happen such as reflections, huge losses at some frequencies etc. etc. etc.
I learned this the hard way, inside a cable TV headend. "Thou shalt leave no connector unterminated!"
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Thanks for explaining why we may need a "cap" on unused TV connectors in a splitter. Currently, I only plan on replacing DirecTV with Dish Network, and Dish Network will have four cables coming in to connect to four receivers; this means there will not be any splitter involved, and there will not be any unused connector. Therefore, I don't need to worry about "cap" for now.
This info will become helpful if I later on decide to install a HDTV antenna for getting off-the-air HDTV signal; in that case, I will need to use a splitter to split video signal coming from the HDTV antenna, and I will likely have some connectors in the splitter unused.
Jay Chan
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^^^^^^^^^

Re the vocab used here: what is a "receiver"?
A plain tv or vcr -- or something specially related to satellite connections?
Thanks,
David
Another question: (as you can see I know *nothing* about satellite tv, not yet)
Say you've got four tv's in the house.
And two dishes -- per earlier post from someone, so that you can see foreign tv too (if that is true).
Now, how do you hook each tv to this system, in a way that each one can watch whatever channel it wants, plus whether foreign or not?
Is there some kind of a network-controller that distributes the desired signal to the tv that wants it?
Or just physical connection to each, with a rats-nest of cables hooked in behind each tv?
Or what?
Thanks
David (totally ignorant on this subject, eager to learn)
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I am really not an expert in this area. I "try" to answer your questions:

I was referring to a satellite receiver that not only decodes the encrypted signal from the satellite, but also converts the digital signal from the satellite into analog format that my old TV can handle. I have 3 TVs and 1 PC in my house and I want to watch TV in all 4 devices (each tunes to a different channel); therefore, I need 4 satellite receivers.

The foreign TV channels are also coming from the satellite company -- just like other channels. They are not free. I need to pay a monthly fee for them. This is not like those people who use a large satellite dish mounted on their yard to capture free signal. I am not certain whether you are thinking along that line or not; I just want to point this out. This DISH Network thing and DirecTV thing are different; they are more like cable TV.

Yes, that is as long as each TV has a satellite receiver.

Not sure whether there is such a device in the market.
Well, I have sort-of accomplished this by using computer-networking. I have a PC that runs Beyond-TV 3.5.2 and a hardware TV tuner card. That PC records TV shows that I want to watch. And then I have two MediaMVP devices ($90 each) that are connecting to the PC through a home computer network (100Mbps). I not only can use the MediaMVP to watch recorded shows, but also can use it to watch live-TV and change channel and such (with the help of something called "Beyond-TV Skin"). This means I can watch live-TV from a TV that doesn't have a dedicated satellite receiver. The catches are: (1) The PC only has one receiver and can only tune to one channel; if someone wants to use the PC to watch one channel, those two MediaMVP will have to show the same channel; likewise, if someone changes channel using one of the MediaMVP, the PC and the second MediaMVP will have to watch that channel. Personally, I find this to be inconvenient. This is the reason why I want to switch from DirecTV (that only gave me 2 receivers) to DISH Network (that will give me 4 receivers with a lower monthly fee). Then, I don't need this trick to watch live-TV from a TV that doesn't have a receiver.
Beyond-TV also comes with something called a Beyond-TV-Link that allows a second PC to change channels in the first PC if the first PC has multiple receivers and multiple TV tuners. But this requires the cost of the second PC.
Microsoft has something similar called Media-Center-Extender that works with their Media-Center-2005-Edition. But this requires the cost of the Media-Center-Extender (around $275 to $299).
Therefore, paying $5 extra per month for the additional receivers seems like a better deal. This is especially true that we may get a HDTV by the end of this year. This doesn't make sense to pay a lot upfront for devices that area not HDTV-ready. None of the options that I mentioned above are HDTV ready. Therefore, I choose the lowest cost option that is to pay $5 extra per month. When the HDTV situation becomes clear, we can re-visit this issue.

Let say I have switched to DISH Network (not yet, will be soon). I expect to see 4 video cables coming from the satellite dish(s). I will ask the installer to route those 4 cables to a closet. In the closet, I have already had a central panel available where I have already run individual cable to each area in my house. Let say I have 4 bed rooms, 1 living room, and 1 finished basement. I will have 6 individual video cables coming from each of those 6 areas and all home-run to the closet. I will connect those 4 cables (from satellite dish) to 4 of the 6 cables. The video cables for the other 2 areas are left unused. You can see an example of the central panel in www.lanshack.com that has a sample-home-network (the link is in the left hand side of the page).

You may be interested in a book called "HDTV for Dummies". I read it and I like it (never mind the title of the book). That book not only talks about HDTV and also the various way of connection. I find it useful even though I don't have a HDTV in my house yet.
Jay Chan
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I said too early. I investigate this a little bit further and I find that the better way of sending video to multiple locations using DISH Network in the house is different from what I originally thought. The low cost way is to use two DISH Network dual tuners receiver; then I only need to pay $5 extra per month for the second dual-tuner receiver instead of $15 extra per month if I use 4 separated receivers (the first one is covered, and the additional 3 are $5 each per month).
This is cheaper this way, and I can see different shows in each of the 4 location.
The catches are:
- One dual tuner receiver serves two TVs. I need to run an extra video cable from the dual tuner receiver to the second TV location. This is OK with me because running cable in those locations are quite easy.
- I can only have mono audio (not stereo) in the second TV location. And the video is RF quality, not S-video, and not even composite video quality. This means the second TV must be a low quality TV. This is something that I don't like; but this is something that I will live with in order to keep the monthly fee down; moreover, I probably cannot tell the difference anyway (given that the secondary TV is low quality TV anyway).
You can see the details by downloading the user guide of their DISH 322 dual tuner receiver from their web site.
Jay Chan
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Thank you for the education! (tutorial, actually)
David
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snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:

Two comments: the signal coming from the Dish is digital. Getting the high-quality cables you mentioned before is probably not going to give you better picture quality. Second, the "splitter" is not really a plain splitter as you would use for an analog cable signal. It's more like an NxM switch that allows each tuner to connect to any LNB on any of the dishes. This could mean that the "cap" (terminator) is not really needed, but more importantly: if you were to connect each of the 4 cables coming from the dishes directly to an input on a tuner, then each tuner would be limited as to what channels can be watched on it. You probably don't want that.
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I respectfully disagree. The signal between the sat. and the tuner may be digital... but the signal between the tuner and the tv is not. From personal experience... Svideo is much better than composite which is much better than RF.
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give
You may be right. But using the high quality cable is still a good idea. The reason is that I may use it to send decoded video in one room, and use it to send digital signal from the satellite in another room. Therefore, I am better off using the high quality one through out the house and not worry about which specific quality of video cable to use in any specific room.
I come to realize that I need to use it to transmit decoded analog video in some rooms when I read the spec of the DISH Network 322 dual-tuner receiver.

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Thanks for the information.

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I didn't know this. Seem like the cable configuration for DISH Network may not be the same as that's for DirecTV. The oval satellite dish that I have for DirecTV only has two cables coming down and each connects to one receiver. Seem like I should not pre-install anything until the DISH Network installer comes to install the dishes. He will come this Saturday. I will see how it goes.
Jay Chan
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The DISH Network installer finished installing the dishes in past weekend. He installed two round dishes on the roof. Each dish has one cable coming down and feed to one receiver (DISH 322 dual tuner receiver).
One strange thing is that when the cable reaches the receiver, the installer puts a device to split the cable into two. And those two cables get connected to the back of the dual tuner receiver. I have a feeling that each dish is supposed to have two cables coming down. The installer might decide to combine the signal of those two cables into one cable; then he only need to run one cable instead of two for each dish. This way, he could use the existing two cables of my old DirecTV oval dish without pulling new wire. This is just a guess. So far, I don't see any difference in video/audio quality. I guess this is OK. If what I think is correct, this means we may see a total of two or four cables coming down from two round dishes depending on how the installer decides to do at that day.
Just try to update this message thread and kind of closing it.
Jay Chan
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