How Can I Get GBN from the Satellite?
Late in 2011, GBN was approached by our current satellite uplink provider with an opportunity to reduce the cost of our uplink fees by $15,000 per month. Along with these cost savings, we also gained the ability to expand the network into cable systems once again through the use of modern C-Band technology. We carefully weighed these tremendous cost savings and the ability to expand the network into more cable systems against losing the ability for viewers to receive GBN on a small, KU dish. While we value our Ku-dish viewers highly, there were only about 2,000 of the KU dishes installed, so the Ku-dish was no longer a cost-effective way to distribute our programming to individual homes. Additionally, we have already added several cable systems and several others have expressed interest in including GBN in their programming!
A significant part of the transition process has involved getting our current cable providers to convert from the old Ku-band to the new C-band signal. We have learned many things about this transition process and thought that some of our existing Ku-dish viewers may be interested in getting GBN via a C-Band dish in the future. With the generous and kind help of Ken Golson, an experienced volunteer Ku-dish installer for GBN, we sought to find the most inexpensive way to get the new signal into an individual home.
The Dish – The general rule with C-band reception is that the bigger the dish, the more signal that is received. We have found that a 10-foot dish works well. As a result, we are recommending a 10-foot dish as the recommended size for people watching in the continental US. While purchasing these dishes new can be quite expensive ($1,200+), there are many of these dishes available used from people who no longer use their old C-band equipment. As a result, some viewers have received C-band dishes for free! However, the installation of these dishes is quite a bit more involved than the former Ku-band dishes, so it would often be beneficial to hire an experienced installer for the project.
The Receiver – The new C-band signal that we are utilizing is a state-of-the-art DVB-S2 signal with an MPEG-4 compression. As a result of it being the newest standard, there are very few receivers that can handle the signal. Sadly, the old Ku-band receivers will not work with our new broadcast signal. For consumers who have a television with an HDMI port, we recommend the iSmart receivers that can be ordered from Amazon.com. They have proved easy to use and reliable for us over the last few years.
The LNB – Our satellite uplink provider strongly recommends the use of a “Phase Lock Loop” LNB to receive GBN – these are available starting around $250. The LNB is the item that sits in front of the dish and acts as the “receiver” for the satellite signal. We have used the Norsat 3220 LNB with great success. We have had some reports of inexpensive LNB’s (around $50) working for people with larger dishes, so that may work in some situations, as well.
In total, the cost of a C-band dish that can receive the GBN signal can be as low as $150 (with a free dish, self-installed, low-cost LNB) up to $2,500 (with a new dish, professionally-installed, PLL LNB). This should allow for some of our viewers who don’t have access to high-speed internet to receive GBN via satellite in their home.
------- Satellite Update (2015) -------
Communication satellites have a limited lifespan and the current satellite used to transmit GBN throughout North America is nearing the end of its useful life. It’s beginning to show signs of its age, and as a result we have to move our transmission to another satellite over the next several weeks.
This change brings a great opportunity for GBN. Our new satellite is “prime real estate” for cable operators and one that is universal in its coverage. While some cable systems in the past were not able to receive our signal, the move will allow them to get GBN from the same satellite that they receive most of their other programming.
We have now successfully moved over from AMC-10 to G-14. Those who receive GBN through a satellite dish will need to point their dish to a new satellite and change a few settings on their receiver by June 30th. If you (or someone you know) receive GBN via satellite, please call our office at 662-874-5508 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to receive all of the details that you need for the new satellite.
Technical Information Sheet -4-6-16
High Definition Feed:
Satellite: Galaxy 14
Location: 125 W
Downlink Frequency: 3900 MHz
L-Band Frequency: 1250 MHz
Net ID: 1410
Symbol Rate: 29.079
Modulation DVB-S2 8PSK
FEC Rate: 5/6
GBN Ch 111
Recommended Receiver: CISCO D9854, D9858