10 Best Satellite Receivers: Reviews and Buying Guide

If you want a huge variety of TV channels and prefer to watch high-resolution content, with a satellite receiver and satellite dish will be more than satisfied. But which receiver should it be that is responsible for the great variety of channels and the excellent picture and sound quality?

There is a huge selection of receivers of all kinds and it can be hard to choose one of the models. We want to make the selection easier and carry out a comprehensive Sat-Receiver comparison. In addition, you will find in our guide all sorts of interesting facts about the purchase and handling of satellite receivers. With our help, you will find a satellite receiver that you can be satisfied with for a long time!

Top 10 Satellite Receivers

History and development of satellite receivers

When it comes to the history of satellite receivers, of course, it is also about illuminating the history of satellite reception. In the 1990s, everything started with the introduction of the first digital television. The satellite reception was at this time still in the beginning and experimental stage so was far from mature. As the first stations were in 1997 premiere and DF1 permission to feed their digital signals into the network. Several months later, there were four pay-TV channels and three other channels that could be received via digital television.

At the beginning of 1999, viewers were able to receive free digital channels for the first time via an Astra satellite. The associated digital receivers were very expensive and cost around 1,000 D-marks at the time. Since initially, only a few transmitters were able to transmit digital signals and because the equipment for digital reception was simply very expensive, it took until the year 2001, until this kind of television could prevail and was found in more and more households,

After digital TV reception got off to a good start, it was not long before more and more channels were receivable in this way and until the end of analog television was sealed. In 2012 it was time for the analog signals to be abolished. Those who had previously analog television now had to convert to digital television. Gradually, the prices for the satellite receiver declined, so that the purchase was basically feasible for everyone.

What exactly are satellite receivers and how do they work?

Satellite receivers or satellite TV are there to receive TV and radio programs. This is done via a satellite dish, which receives the video and audio signals via a receiver head (LNB – Low Noise Block) and forwards them to the receiver or to a satellite multi-switch. How the forwarding takes place depends on the design of the LNB. The forwarding can be done for example via a coaxial cable or an optical fiber cable.

The signals received by the satellite receiver via the receiving head convert the device to the frequency range between 950-2150 MHz and then convert it into a video or audio signal, which is finally emitted by the television or another output device.

Prerequisite for satellite reception

Before it can be a question of enjoying the variety of programs offered by the satellite receivers, suitable prerequisites must first be created. In the first step, it is necessary to find a good location for the satellite dish. Make sure the bowl faces south and the view is unobstructed. The antenna should be easily accessible after mounting if maintenance or repairs are necessary. Keep in mind that for rented accommodation, it is necessary to get permission from the landlord before attaching a satellite dish to the building.

Satellite reception – components and their functions

To be able to receive signals via antenna and receiver, these must first be broadcast. The transmitters send the audio and video signals directly into space – via a so-called uplink, a large parabolic mirror with a size of 3-5 meters. Let’s take a closer look at what building blocks are needed to receive the signals and watch satellite TV. We also explain what features each component has:

  1. Transponder or amplifier: The signals that are sent via the uplink into space, the transponder receives and amplifies them. Afterward, the data is sent back to Earth – as a downlink.
  2. Parabolic mirror or receiver: The signals from space hit the mirror and are bundled due to the design of the device. In this way, signals can be transmitted over long distances without loss.
  3. LNB: This device is located on the arm of the parabolic mirror. The bundled signals are picked up by the amplifier (Low Noise Block) and forwarded to the satellite receiver via the corresponding cable.
  4. Receiver /Converter: The satellite receiver is designed to pick up the incoming signals and convert them so that they can be read and output by the output device.

How to set your satellite receiver

If all cables are connected and the antenna is well aligned, it is about making the satellite receiver ready to go. To do this, turn it on and set the programs. This is possible either manually or automatically. The automatic station search is less complicated than the manual, but you can not immediately, but later determine the order of the channels. During station search, the receiver retrieves the various frequencies and automatically stores the stations found in the available memory locations.

What types of receivers are there?

There are the most diverse versions of receivers, which vary in their design and functionality. Among the best known among them are, for example, the following devices:

  • Most satellite receivers are external devices that are box-shaped ( set-top boxes ) and can usually be found next to the television. They are usually cheap to buy and come with separate remote control.
  • Many modern TV sets have a built-in tuner that can receive and relay certain types of signals. With such televisions, the purchase of an external receiver is not necessary.
  • A so-called twin-satellite receiver makes it possible to watch two broadcasts simultaneously. However, two cables are needed to connect the receiver to the output device.
  • There are also satellite receivers with a hard disk so that the viewed content can also be recorded directly. Such satellite receivers with recording function are usually more expensive than those without a hard disk.
  • In the past, there were still analog receivers in addition to today’s digital receivers, but since the shutdown of the analog satellite signal in 2012, these are only interesting for hobbyists and tinkerers.
  • 3D receivers make it possible to receive and transmit signals that provide three-dimensional movie and television enjoyment. Of course, you still need the 3D glasses and a TV that can handle such signals at all.
  • In AV receivers is practical and indispensable elements for the home theater equipment. Such a satellite receiver connects HDMI devices such as music system, TV and Blu-ray player with each other.
  • There are still Bluetooth-enabled satellite receivers, so even with this method video and audio content can be transferred.

Buy satellite receivers: You should pay attention to this

Although satellite receivers work the same in principle, there are quite a few differences between the different models and it is definitely worth making a satellite receiver comparison if you want to make sure you choose a device that is ideal for you Fits your requirements. So if you want to buy a satellite receiver, you should pay attention to the following features:

  • With or without a hard disk: A satellite receiver with a hard disk is very convenient. You do not have to be home to watch your favorite shows and record your favorite movies while you watch them, so you can watch them again and again. However, the receiver with recording function is significantly more expensive than is the case with devices without this feature.
  • Equipment inside the receiver: The components inside a satellite receiver say something about which functions and possibilities are associated with the user. Thus, the characteristics show whether it is an HD satellite receiver or how many programs you can see at once. It is also worthwhile to check whether it is a satellite receiver with Wi-Fi reception and whether there are ways to use the device for channels such as Sky and whether CI + slots are available to even more HD content see.
  • Connections or external equipment: Basically, the more expensive a satellite receiver, the more connections are available. It is an individual decision which connections you need and which inputs you can do without. HDMI interfaces are always an advantage, and there should be at least two of them at best. A USB connection is also not wrong if you want to connect external storage media. Furthermore, a SCART connection should not be missing as well as an audio interface.
  • Picture quality: Most modern receivers can play HD content, but in terms of playback quality, there are differences. The quality can not necessarily be assessed on the basis of the product features, and so only test samples will help.
  • Internet: Some receivers are internet enabled and this opens up numerous additional possibilities. If a connection to the local network can be made, the user can, for example, browse libraries or download updates. There are some high priced models that have a browser installed so they have the same features as smart TVs.

All in all, it depends on your personal taste what features and options you want to get to your satellite receiver. Thus, it is worthwhile to pay attention to the product comparison and also to decide what you want with the receiver and what you can do without.

The best-known manufacturers of satellite receivers in the overview

Of course, it is not all-inclusive to say which brand stands for the best satellite receiver. However, there are certain manufacturers who stand out with their products from the crowd. Be it by the high quality or the variety of features of their products. We would like to briefly introduce some of them here.

  • Humax: Humax is a South Korean company specializing in antenna technology. The Humax receivers belong in comparison to the cheaper models, but despite the low price, the devices are characterized by their flawless functionality.
  • Octagon: The manufacturer Octagon offers a wide range of different receivers. The offer includes both low priced models as well as those that are equipped with all sorts of features and functions and are correspondingly more expensive.
  • Panasonic: The Japanese electronics company develops and sells products from the most diverse areas of daily life. In addition to satellite receivers also include refrigerators, motors, relays, photovoltaic modules and computer peripherals and lighting of all kinds. As for the price ranges of satellite receivers, there is something for every budget.
  • Strong: Strong is also one of the companies that offer affordable yet high-quality satellite receivers. The portfolio includes a wide variety of designs and the right model will be found for every requirement.

How much can and should a satellite receiver cost?

The range of possible prices for satellite receivers is large and the price of such a device depends on various factors. The cheapest models are available for less than 30 euros. This will give you only the basic equipment. In addition, the most affordable devices are not necessarily the best when it comes to video and audio playback. If you want very good playback results and want extra features, you need to dig a little deeper.

For example, a digital satellite receiver that has a hard drive and/or can display multiple broadcasts at once will, in most cases, be more expensive than a very simple receiver that does not have these features. As far as the expensive receivers are concerned, the prices are more than a hundred euros and can even cost several hundred euros. All in all, it is not the price or the equipment that matters, but a balance between these two characteristics.

Which alternatives to the satellite receiver are there?

There is much that speaks for a satellite receiver, but it is not always possible to watch TV that way. The reason for this can be, for example, that it is not possible from a structural point of view to attach a satellite dish to the house. Luckily, there are alternatives for satellite receivers. One of them is, for example, the technique DVB-T2.

This is a successor technology for the classic antenna television. Also, there is a receiver, but this is not dependent on a satellite dish but requires an antenna that you set up at home and is not very large. Another possibility is streaming, which is becoming more and more the most popular way of watching TV. The content of all kinds can be received while streaming over the Internet and displayed on the television or on laptops and mobile devices.

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