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Useful Glossary of Terms


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Glossary page


Alphabetical Index
K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R

Kilobits per second. Refers to transmission speed of 1,000 bits per second.
Signal frequency range (10.70-18.00ghz) used for most European TV satellites.

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The frequency range from 0.5 to 1.5 GHz. All satellite TV systems use this frequency (950 to 1450 MHz) to carry the satellite signal in from the dish to the receiver.
LNB (Low Noise Blocker)
The LNB is the component located at the end of the arm projecting from the satellite dish. It converts the Ku-band signal beamed from the satellite to a 3.7 - 4.2GHz signal, then filters out low-end frequencies.
LNBF (LowNoise Block Converter with Integrated Feed)
Amplifies received signals and converts them from microwaves to lower frequency signals which are then sent along a cable to the satellite receiver.
Locks &Limits (ParentalControls)
Allows you to restrict viewing of rated movies (based on the motion picture rating system) or to lock out entire channels.

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Specific data transmission protocol (format) developed by the Moving Pictures Experts Group (MPEG). MPEG-1 protocol is not as advanced as MPEG-2 protocol.
Memory Backup
In the event of a power outage, backup memory will preserve the time, date and all programming information for one minute up to an hour. The feature duration varies by model.
Movie Advance
This feature gives users the option of skipping previews on rented and store bought movies.
Provides a choice of instructions in at least two languages when operating the on screen menu.
Magnetic Polarizer
Polarizer controlled by an electrical current from a satellite receiver.
Mechanical Polarizer
A polarizer that is controlled by electrical pulses from the receiver.
Moving Pictures Experts Group(MPEG)
The organization which defined the standards for moving pictures, like movies.
Multi-satellite reception
Satellite program providers maintain broadcast satellites in multiple orbit locations to provide wider signal coverage and greater programming variety. In order to receive programming that extends beyond the satellite provider's "core" programming examples include HDTV programs, and local channels in some areas it's often necessary for consumers to use a multi-satellite-capable dish, along with a compatible DIRECTV®Plus® receiver.
Multi-Satellite System(Motorized System)
System in which a specialized receiver, in conjunction with a motorized dish antenna, receives signals from the series of satellites in the Clarke Belt.
MPEG I/II Compression
Method to compress digital signals. Thanks to compression it is possible to combine several programs into one satellite transponder.
Matrix Switch
A dual LNB can accommodate up to two satellite receivers or one Tivo / Ultimate TV receiver. By using a Matrix switch you can add more then two receivers to a dual LNB. If you are using a Multi-Satellite dish you will need to use a Multi-satellite switch capable of handling the number of receivers you wish to use.
Multiple Dwelling Unit.
Multi-satellite dish
Satellite program providers maintain broadcast satellites in multiple orbit locations to provide wider signal coverage and greater programming variety. In order to receive programming that extends beyond the satellite provider's "core" programming examples include HDTV programs, and local channels in many areas it's often necessary for consumers to use a multi-satellite system, such as the DirecTV Oval Dish or Dish Networks Dish 500.
Multi-satellite switch
A satellite receiver only has one input connection. To accommodate the Multi-Sat dishes offered by DirecTV and Dish Network, you must use a Multi-sat switch. Each systems uses a different type of switch. You can not intermix DirecTV and Dish Network switches. DirecTV controls a multi-sat switch with a 22kHz signal and Dish Network use a digital signal to communicate with their switches. Cable length is critical when using Dish Network switches. Most newer Dish Network systems come with a Twin 500 or a Quad for larger jobs. These are LNBF's with built in switches. Some oval dish systems for DirecTV come with a switch built in to the dish it self.
Must Carry
The FCC has established a condition that if a satellite service provider is going to carry one local network in a specific market place or DMA then they must carry all local networks in that market place. Must carry became effective at the beginning of 2002. Near Video-On-Demand

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Multichannel system broadcasting many copies of a film with staggered start times so a complete film is always available to a viewer with a short waiting period.
National RuralTelecommunications Cooperative (NRTC)
The organization that provides telecommunications services to rural electric and rural telephone cooperatives. If you live in a NRTC district you cannot use DirecTV services unless you go through your local NRTC office. Most of the DirecTV exclusive rights were sold to Pegasus and therefore you must go to Pegasus to receiver DirecTV programming. Even thought it is called Pegasus, it is DirecTV programming resold by Pegasus.
National Standards andTesting Program(NSTP)
The NSTP is a program created to provide basic installation training to satellite TV install technicians. The program started in late 2001 and is a requirement now by most major companies. The NSTP has two levels for residential work. Level 1 is for basic single receiver applications and level 2 is for multi-receiver applications. The NSTP has undergone severe criticism by the satellite industry for being to easy, to expensive to get and in general a meaningless certification. While all serious installers should be certified by the end of 2002, being certified does not mean a install technician knows more then the most basic concepts of how to install.
Noise Figure
A measure of the performance (noise contribution) of an LNBF in decibels. The lower this figure, the better.
National Television Standards Committee A video standard established by the United States (RCA/NBC} and adopted by numerous other countries.

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On-screen Program Guide
This interactive feature allows the user to access and scroll through complete satellite program listings right on his/her television screen, in most cases up to a week in advance.
Type of dish with the focus and feedhorn below the center of the dish.
On Screen Menu System
A graphic menu system on the screen which allows you to easily program your VCR.
One-Touch Recording
Wigh the touch of one button on the remote, the user can create multiple time recordings of future programs in the on-screen guide. The satellite receiver will control the VCR, starting and stopping the recording at the proper times.
Open TV
Makes a receiver compatible for all kinds of future multimedia applications.
The path a satellite takes around the Earth.

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Parental Lockout Control
Allows you to set a password to control access to programming based on channel, rating or content.
PAL Compatible
Provides the ability to view a foreign cassette recorded with Phase Alternation by Line (PAL) which is commonly used in Europe and elsewhere. Also called a Multi-system VCR.
Pay TV
With Pay TV, the consumer has to pay for the available programs or services, when used.
Pay-Per- Channel
With this form of pay TV, the viewer has to pay a certain price per month (or other period) to receive all programs of a certain channel.
Pay-Per- View (PPV)
Conditional access service where the user is able to buy one particular program.
Occurs due to errors in decoding the MPEG bit stream Areas or patches of blocks of color appear instead of the higher resolution image. It appears as though parts of the image have been "censored" or "disguised" in such a way to make the underlying video unidentifiable. It might be described as the picture "breaking up". The condition is usually more discernible in fast action or motion images. The patches of blocks appear and disappear, and can happen anywhere on the screen but usually are "part" of the image "in motion". Pixelization most often occurs during rain fade or if the satellite system has to low of a signal strength to operate properly.
Multi-satellite dish antenna mount which enables a satellite dish antenna to track the whole of the Clarke Belt.
Unit which either accompanies a multi-satellite receiver or is built-in and controls the movement of motorized dish antennas.
Program Browsing
Allows you to scroll through program guide while still watching current channel.
Program Guide
The on-screen guide grid that can be displayed to show the programming schedule, including the Master Program Guide or any subset of programs selected by using a channel list or theme categories (movies, sports, music, cartoons, religious, etc.) defined via the feature menu.
Personnel Video Recorder. A PVR satellite receiver has a built in hard drive for digitally recording satellite television programs. Tivo and Ultimate TV are two systems offered for DirecTV receivers. Both systems come with 35 hour recording capability and have two internal satellite receivers. Dual tuners allow the user to record one program while watching another or record two programs at the same time. Dish network has several PVR equipped receivers. Some units do not have dual tuners. The latest Dish Network models do have dual tuners. Contact your local retailer for the latest information about PVR systems.

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A combination LNBF and multi-sat switch component for Dish 500 systems. Can accommodate up to 4 Dish Network receivers.

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RF/UHF Universal Remote Control
Controls satellite receiver from distances up to 100 feet, through walls and other obstructions. Also offers infrared control of other A/V components.
R/F connectors
Output for coaxial cable (the stuff cable companies use). R/F connectors will not provide stereo from the satellite receiver.
Rain fade
The loss of signal from the satellite during a heavy rain. This happens more or less to all DBS systems.
Rating Level
Standard rating levels applied to movies and other programs to help customers determine the amount of sex and violence contained in that event. Ratings include NR (Not Rated), NR-M (Not Rated-Mature), G (General), PG (Parental Guidance), PG-13 (Parents strongly cautioned), R (Restricted), or NC-17 (No Children under 17).
Rating Limit
Set by the customer using the main menu. When a system lock is active, this limit controls the viewing of programs that have been assigned a rating level. See also Rating Level.
The IRD Unit which takes signals from a satellite dish and converts them so that they can appear on TV.
Remote Extender
After market devices that allows you to use a Infrared (IR) remote to control a satellite receiver from another room.
Remote Locator
Lets you page the remote from the main unit. An audible beep from the remote lets you find it where it is hidden in the couch.
The coaxial cable that is commonly used for cable TV. If a home already has coaxial cable, it probably is RG59. It is a smaller gauge than RG6.
The type of coaxial cable recommended for digital satellite TV installations. RG-6 is a larger-size cable than the lower-grade RG-59 cable found in most homes. RG-59 has a small center conductor, a small insulating dielectric, and typically, a single outer shield. By comparison, RG-6 has a larger center conductor, a dual or quad shield, and a much larger insulating dielectric, ensuring greater bandwidth, and lower frequency loss per foot.

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