About Unicable

Unicable™ – the new satellite reception and distribution technology introducing new standard for single cable distribution of satellite programs

One of the most compelling features of satellite broadcast is the huge amount of available bandwidth. It allows for the simultaneous transmission of thousands of video- and audio programs into consumer homes. Transporting this bandwidth from the satellite dish to multiple receivers in a single family home or apartment dwelling has up to now required an often complex installation of multiple coaxial cables from the dish or the distribution unit (the so-called multi-switch) to the individual receivers.
The cabling scenario gets even more complex with new digital Personal Video Recorder (PVR) receivers that feature multiple tuner inputs, as two or even more coaxial cables need to be laid to each PVR receiver. In order to simplify in-home satellite installation, an industry consortium lead by SES ASTRA has developed a new standard for the distribution of satellite signals over a single coaxial cable.
The examples below illustrate the advantages of single cable distribution versus a traditional installation.
The new industry standard CENELEC prEN50494 facilitates the delivery of broadcast programming over a single coaxial cable to multiple users, and hence help to eliminate the numerous coaxial cables that were previously required to connect satellite PVRs and other high-end set top boxes to the satellite dish.
FTA Communication Technologies offers LNBs, multi-switches and digital satellite receivers that are compatible with the above industry standard.
These components will allow consumers to upgrade and extend existing installations, for example when adding a new receiver in a different room or replacing a standard receiver by a dual-tuner PVR receiver.
Choosing the single cable distribution configuration can significantly reduce complexity of the installation and save considerable labor and material costs.
How it works?
The desired satellite transponders are translated into “user bands” that are allocated to the specific satellite receivers in the installation. Such translation of transponders happens in the Low-Noise Block converter (LNB) or in the distribution unit (the multi-switch), and is facilitated by special semiconductor chips. The satellite receiver transmits specific commands to the LNB or multiswitch to allocate the wanted satellite transponder to its own user band. The current standard supports switching for one or two satellite feeds.
The benifits
  • Standardized “plug and play” technolog
  • Easier installation of new dual-tuner PVR receivers requiring only a single cable feed
  • Access of all polarizations and bands of one or two orbital positions via a single cable
  • Full coverage of entire satellite IF range (no channels are omitted)
  • Up to 8 different satellite receivers (tuners) per single cable drop
  • Fully transparent with regard to the transmitted signals (analogue,digital, HDTV, etc.)
  • Cost efficient connection of multiple receivers in a home via a single cable
  • Significant cost savings for new installations and upgrades
  • Allows usage of existing cables installations turning them into DTH installations.
  • Unicable™ Accessories – ensure trouble-free and effective installations
The power inserter
The power insert is a power supply unit provided with the cable and connectors required to connect it to the Unicable™ LNB or splitter. This accessory is used in installations where the LNB is powered by the STB or the PVR connected to it yet due to long distance cable the voltage drops below the required minimum level at the LNB's input (typically when the voltage supplied to the LNB drops below 9V).
The power insert can be connected anywhere on the RF cable yet the closer to the switch the better is the power supply.
The splitter
The Unicable™ splitters are two-way splitters, which means that they allow bi-directional distribution of DC and RF signals to enable commands from the receivers to the LNB as well as from the LNB to the receiver. These high-quality splitters feature insertion loss of less than 2dB and allows greater flexibility in installations at home – instead of looping through a single long cable from one receiver to the other, the splitter allows splitting the signal at a central location (i.e. roof's attic) and stretch separate cable inside the house to each receiver.
To learn more about Inverto's available Unicable product range:
To see which Set-top boxes in the market support the unicable technology please download the PDF available  in the following link:
Industry links:
Application scenarios: