It will be boring to start explaining what LNB is or how it works. You can get that from this post of mine. However, and before i proceed with the business of the day that is “tips to help you choose suitable lnb”, Let’s refresh our memory of what an LNBf is.
The acronym LNB stands for low-noise block downconverter. An LNB is a receiving device mounted on satellite dishes used for satellite TV reception. An LNB is usually placed at the focal point of a satellite dish where the signals received are concentrated. The reason why you call it a down-converter is because it amplifies the signals received and then downconverts them to IF (Intermediate Frequencies) which the satellite receiver or decoder can interpret easily.
Especially Relevant: [Full Guide]Within-the-Decoder LNBf settings for C-band and Ku Band Frequencies
Factors that determine the choice of LNBFs and Tips to help you Choose Suitable LNB for your Satellite Needs
There are certain factors that you need to consider before buying LNB for your satellite dish. If you don’t choose wisely, you may end up with an overpriced LNB or one that can’t get the job done.
Here some of the questions you need to ask yourself before buying an LNB.
- Type of Dish you want to install. This is the first and foremost question that you need to ask yourself. Is your dish a c band(prime focus) dish or a Ku band?. If you indeed to install a big dish of like 1.8 meters and larger, you may consider both c band and Ku band LNB combinations. Also, some LNBs(e.g inverto doesn’t work great on small dishes. You can differentiate between the two simply by reading the label on the LNB and its packaging.
- Secondly, What type of satellite TV package do you intend to watch? In order word, where will you broadcast signal be coming from?. Is it Pay TV or Free to Air TV? Obviously, if you will doing PayTV, the all you need to do is to walk into the office of your pay-tv provide to get the full kit which will include the LNB. In most cases, they will also ling you up with an installer if you can’t do it on your own. In a nutshell, PayTV has no issues with the choice of LNB as the providers will take care of that for you. This now brings us to Free to air TV channels.
- Thirdly, the number of Receivers/Decoders: Now, the next question has to do with how many receivers you will be using. In my FTA post here, I talked about the types of LNBfs that we have. These are categorised by the number of LNB input ports on the LNB. I have seen 8-ways LNB, quad-LNB, Dual LNB and single solution LNB. Also, with two decoders, you will require a twin LNB. For 3 or 4 decoders you will need a Quad LNB. One decoder can use a twin or Quad LNB, it does not matter the number of unused ports. Well if you have more than 4 decoders then you will need an LNB with 8 input ports.
There is a reason why some pay-TV decoders use multiport LNBfs. The reason is simple, it is for watching two different channels at the same time or watching one channel while recording the other. For example, the new DStv smart Lnb has four ports and you can use this to connect multiple decoders without a separate heartbeat cable. In order for this to happen the decoder itself must be a twin tuner decoder. Each tuner usually receives its own channel from two different Polarities. So if you have a twin decoder then you must have a twin LNB. We also have some FTA decoders that have dual tuners(tiger t3000, strong 4922a e.t.c.)
- Effect of the weather: This also plays a role in determining which type of dish, and by extension what type of LNB to use. If bad weather often disrupts your viewing, you may need a big ground mount dish with a high-performance LNB.
- Furthermore, you need to check is the strength of the signal/beam you want to receive. Why should you buy an expensive LNB to track a bird that a cheap LNB can receive? Examples of Ku band satellites that can be received in Sub-Saharan Africa using low-cost standard LNBs(like stong short neck, pauxis e.t.c) are Intelsat 20, NSS 22w, Eutelsat 7A, SES 5 and SES 4, Eutelsat 36B. The signals from these satellites are so strong that they are receivable using a 65cm offset dish and a standard LNB. More examples of standard LNBs are Eurostar Gold+, Eurostar P8 – II and Stargold SG 100 – I.
- However, for satellite footprints that are weaker, then it’s advisable to buy not only a bigger dish in, but also a high-gain premium LNB. The type of dish will also matter what type of LNB you need to buy. For good Ku Band reception, you can either buy a bigger offset dish (1.2 meters and above) or a prime focus dish (the smallest size being 1.8 meters). Especially relevant is the fact that with an offset dish an ordinary Ku band LNB is required but with a prime focus dish you might require a Ku band LNB specifically made for use on a prime focus satellite dish.
- Noteworthy, it is imperative to not use a high-gain LNB with a big dish when you want to receive satellite tv channels from weak beams.
Types of High-Performance LNB and their Importance
There a handful of high performance/low noise LNB that you can vouch for out there. However, i will mention just three that are very popular with their pictures.
- Tecnomate TM Series High gain LNBThis is a super high gain universal LNB with low noise. It is super stable even when the signal is bad.
- Black inverto premium HD LNB with noise reduction technology
- stargold SG-200 fuji Universal HD Ku LNB
- stargold SG-900 fuji extreme high gain HD Prime Focus LNB
Importance of Using a high gain/high-performance low noise LNBF Where Applicable
- There are Ku band LNBFs for use on offset dishes that are actually better because of the high gain and low noise. These are called high-performance LNBs and usually amplify and stabilize signals even in bad weather like heavy rain. Yes, with these premium LNBs, you can enjoy your viewing in a heavy downpour without any signal loss or even the slightest pixelation.
- Furthermore, you can get a high performance (high gain low noise figure) LNB by buying a single output LNB or a multiple output LNB. Examples of such type of LNBs are technomate, Lazer Gold V12 and Inverto Black.
- Multiple output LNBs offer more gain because they are meant to serve more than one receiver. It does not matter the number of unused ports, they can work well with only one decoder. An example of such an LNB is the Eurostar quad QP4 that has four outputs, technomate TM-4