With TBS6984 DVB-S2 PCI-E Quad tuner card gaining more popularity, many users focus on how equip the appropriate LNA with it. Usually you’ve seen two different types of four output LNB device to fit on your satellite dish, one called a Quad LNB and the other called a Quattro LNB. Confused? This brief article aims to outline the difference between a quad LNB and a quattro LNB, plus give a few practical examples of why you may choose one over another. Then you can decide which one is the most suitable with TBS 6984.
What is an LNB?
First we need to cover a bit of background on what an LNB actually does. LNB stands for Low Noise Block Downconvertor and sometimes they are just called Downconvertors. The word downconvertor conveys what an LNB actually does – it converts high frequencies down to lower frequencies. This ‘downconversion’ is required to enable a satellite receiver to decode the signal into video and audio. The frequencies transmitted by a satellite are too high to be decoded by a set-top box.
Satellite receivers are capable of receiving a number of different signal bands and a ‘universal’ LNB has the ability to receive all of these. It is normal for a universal LNB to receive the following bands:
Low Band – Horizontal Polarization
High Band – Horizontal Polarization
Low Band – Vertical Polarization
High Band – Vertical Polarization
The LNB is not able to downconvert all of these simultaneously – it needs to be sent commands from the satellite receiver that switch the LNB output to the desired band/polarization. The satellite receiver switches the universal LNB to receive either High or Low Band with a 22Hz tone and either Horizontal or Vertical Polarization with a switching voltage between 12.5v – 18v. These tones and voltages are sent up the coaxial cable from the back of the receiver to the output of the LNB.
The quad LNB provides four outputs, each capable of providing each of the four frequency bands and polarizations. The LNB outputs are switched by the satellite receiver, as explained above, with a 22Hz tone and a switching voltage. This is like a universal LNB with four outputs.
In a simple residential satellite TV installation it is normal to install a quad LNB. In a Sky installation, often two of the outputs from a quad LNB will be used to feed a Sky+ receiver (it has two feeds so you can record while watching live TV), with either the other two feeding a second Sky+ receiver or just a single output feeding a regular Sky box.
A quad LNB is ideal where a maximum of four satellite feeds is required and there is not much possibility of expansion. Quad LNB is also ideal for TBS 6894 satellite quad tuner card building.
The quattro LNB provides four outputs, each with a single band/polarization specific to that output. The band/polarization available at each output is fixed at the time of manufacture. It is not possible to switch the band/polarization with a tone or switching voltage.
A quattro LNB is normally used to feed a large distribution system. A single dish with a quattro LNB fitted and a multiswitch (or IRS) is able to feed anything between 4 and 100 locations. The multiswitch (or IRS) is able to provide any of the input signals at each output, depending on a tone/voltage sent up the cable by the receiver at each location. It’s as though the receiver at each location has it’s own dedicated LNB.
The outputs on a multiswitch (or IRS) are able to be controlled with a 22Hz tone and switching voltages in the same way that the outputs from normal universal LNB can be, i.e. to change band and polarisation. The satellite receivers in each of the locations behave as though they are connected to their own dedicated dish and LNB, but in reality are just connected to a multiswitch (or IRS) output.Quattro LNBs are considered to have a better lifetime than quad LNBs as they are not being continually switched.
Although a quattro LNB typically looks similar to a quad LNB, it cannot (sensibly) be connected to receivers directly. Note again the difference between a quad and a quattro LNB: A quad LNB can drive four tuners directly, with each output providing signals from the entire Ku band. A quattro LNB is for connection to a multiswitch in a shared dish distribution system and each output provides only a quarter of the Ku band signals.
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