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Tips for choosing a satellite receiver

National channels and additional packages, satellite TV subscriptions are on the rise. To get the signals from your home and receive European, national and even foreign TV channels, you will need a satellite demodulator. Provided by an operator with a correctly oriented satellite dish, this small box allows you to receive HD DTT in the best conditions. With so many products on the market, however, it can be difficult to choose the right demodulator for your needs without knowing what the equipment is and how it operates. For a purchase that matches your expectations, find in the following, the key points to bear in mind.

Satellite demodulator: definition

In order to enjoy the various television channels, you need a satellite dish and a small device containing both a satellite receiver and a decoder. The latter, also called a satellite demodulator, is used for DTT reception. It feeds the LSB of the dish, which picks up the signals from a satellite and amplifies them to transmit them to the decoder via a coaxial cable. This system therefore reconstitutes the signal used to modulate the carrier signal in amplitude, phase or frequency. This will result in sound and image being sent to your TV. Beyond the simple decoding of TV broadcast signals, this device can make a considerable difference in terms of image and sound quality, depending on the features chosen and the intended use. Note that some satellite demodulator models have a signal indicator to help you orient your antenna correctly. It is therefore strongly recommended that you opt for a high-quality set-top box so that you are not disappointed when watching your favourite channel. 

Demodulator: the main characteristics

An HD satellite receiver will allow you to benefit from the advantages of an HD TV. In particular, it will allow you to access numerous channels while viewing high-definition videos with high audio quality. It is therefore recommended that you buy a satellite decoder that is compatible with HD DTT. To do this, you should opt for a device released after 5 April 2016, the date on which the new standards were introduced to replace traditional DTT with the HD version. In the same light, you should select a TV equipped with HDMI connectivity to optimise your experience. Furthermore, it is always beneficial to be able to record programmes that are different from the one you are watching on your TV. This is possible with a box that has a dual tuner feature. Some equipment also allows you to record broadcasts on an external device. This is the PVR option for Personal Video Recorder. To make sure you don’t miss anything, you can still use the Time Shift function to pause programmes broadcast by DTT channels. In addition, recent set-top boxes are equipped with a USB port allowing you to read the contents of an external hard drive.

Demodulator: should you go for a digital or analogue one?

The digital satellite receiver is the most widely used type of receiver nowadays. Offering better picture and sound quality, this model allows you to access both national channels and international ones. Depending on your means and needs, you can also add additional channels such as those dedicated to sports, discoveries or films via a subscription system specific to the operator you have chosen. With a digital demodulator, you can also opt for a dish with several reception heads to receive signals from different satellites simultaneously. For this purpose, choose a motorised dish, depending on where you live, and one made of durable material. Despite the rise of digital TV, it is still possible to acquire a good quality analogue receiver. Once equipped with a DTT modulator and a digital or rake antenna, you will be able to access not only foreign channels, but also national ones by pointing your antenna towards the EutelSat and Astra satellites. For an optimal purchase of an analogue demodulator, opt for dishes of at least 60 cm.

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