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How to connect Bell satellite dish LNBs to the receiver?

Posted by Home Tech Experts on

In this blog post, we will explain how the LNBs should be connected to the receiver. To help you understand this, let's talk a little bit about Bell satellites (i.e. Nimiq-91° and Nimiq-82°). 91° and 82° are the positions of the Bell satellites in the sky and does NOT mean that you are pointing your dish at 91° and 82° degrees. Originally, Bell only had one satellite which was Nimiq-91°. But then they had to add another one (Nimiq-82°) to broadcast HD channels and some international channels.

What are LNBs? LNBs are devices used to capture signal from these satellites. So, in case of Bell, they used to require only one LNB originally to capture signal from satellite Nimiq-91° because Nimiq-82° didn't exist back then. For this purpose, they would use a dual LNB which is now called legacy LNB. After the launch of satellite 82°, they re-designed the dish and upgraded it from 18" to 20" and added a Y-shaped adapter to stack two dual LNBs on the same dish. One LNB to capture the 91 signal and the other one to capture 82 signal. To combine the signal from these two LNBs, they use/used switches SW21 and SW44. SW21 is simple to use while SW44 is more complicated. So, we will only talk about SW21 in this article. With SW21, all you need to do is input one cable from the LNB that captures 91° satellite and input another cable from the LNB that captures 82°(see image below). The output of the SW21 switch will connect to the receiver and you will be ready to receive signal from both satellites using this setup. Since each LNB has 2 output ports, therefore you can hook-up up to 2 SW21 switches to one dish that has 2 dual LNBs (one for Nimiq-91 and one for Nimiq-82). And consequently hook up 2 single tuner receivers because each SW21 has only one output.

SW21 setup with dual LNB

img credit: Electorica


Switch SW44 was used for people who needed to hook up more than 2 receivers as it allows you to hook-up up to 4 receivers. We will write an article about SW44 in future.

All this setup was good until the advent of dual tuner receivers (HD - PVRs). Dual tuner receivers are the ones which take 2 cables as input to work. This meant that you needed to have 2 connections for just one receiver. And with the current setup of dual LNBs and SW switches, you wouldn't be able to connect more than 1 receiver if you were using SW21 switches or more than 2 receivers if you were using SW44.

To tackle this, they introduced a new kind of setup called DPP (Dish Pro Plus). Just to clarify for the people who may try to correct us, Bell buys their dish equipment from DishNetwork and therefore all this hardware was introduced by DishNetwork and not by Bell. The DPP hardware includes DPP Twin LNB, DPP Quad LNB, DPP Separator, DPP44 switch (this is all the DPP hardware used by Bell essentially). DPP hardware is NOT INTERCHANGEABLE with legacy hardware (dual LNB, SW switches etc.). You can only use one or the other. DPP Twin and DPP Quad LNBs are double the size of dual legacy LNBs, therefore you only need to use one of these per dish. It is really simple to use this hardware as DPP Twin LNB or DPP Quad LNB outputs the signal which is already combined for satellite 91 and 82 (see image below). You may ask why do we need DPP44 switch then. It is needed only if you are looking to hook-up more than 4 receivers. Therefore, we won't even discuss DPP44 in this article and you can just ignore DPP44 for now. DPP Twin LNB allows you to hook-up up to 2 receivers (only use 2 outputs on the left side) and DPP Quad LNB allows you to hook-up up to 4 receivers without the need of any additional switch. And they can be any kind of receiver (single tuner or dual tuner). Now you may ask, but the dual tuner receiver takes 2 cables to work properly. So, to tackle this, we use DPP separator to split the signal to 2 outputs from one cable. But remember, DPP separator can only be used with DPP Twin or DPP Quad LNB and cannot be used with legacy dual LNB or SW switches.

DPP Quad LNB setup

img credit: Electorica

Bell equipment available for purchase from our website:

We hope that this blog post can help answer some questions some people may have. If you have any further questions/comments, please comment in the comments section below and we will try to answer them as quickly as possible.

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