The LNB (Low Noise Block Converter) is an outdoor device which is installed at the focal point of a satellite dish antenna, picks up satellite TV signals reflected from the dish antenna and “converts” their frequency and amplitude so that the satellite receiver box (also known as Set-top box) situated at home can reproduce picture and sound of the TV programs from them cheaply enough for consumers. As each satellite is used to broadcast different TV channels one may wish to install a system allowing him to receive signals from several satellites, this is referred to as a “Multi-feed” installation.
Traditionally this requires the use of a more expensive, proprietary, designated dish antenna that is capable of holding more than one LNB and that its focal point is customized to support the additional LNBs. The alternative a low-budget improvised installation often results in a messy installation and pure reception performance.
Examples of the existing solutions available for a Universal satellite dish installation scenario:
The MultiConnect is an innovative system that was designed to give a multi-feed solution for new or existing installation scenarios that are using standard and common universal satellite dish antennas.
For existing installations, for the first time in this market the user can keep his existing satellite dish that used to hold a single LNB and convert it into a multi-feed installation. In the case of a new installation the MultiConnect allows the user to purchase a standard and common dish antenna instead of the more expensive proprietary designated ones. When upgrading an existing installation, MultiConnect prevents the need to replace the existing dish (available in approx. 90% of the relevant households today) leading apart from the obvious fiscal advantages also to environmental ones out of prevention of material loss.
The MultiConnect solution takes into account all the aspects and needs associated with such a technically complicated installation. The novelty in the system’s design lies in the incorporation of an embedded rail/hinge mechanism at the back of every LNB unit. This allows any of the system’s LNBs to act as a structural carrier for the rest of the system’s elements and at the same time to provide unique adjustment capabilities of each LNB in the system supporting 8 different movement directions (i.e. up/down, left/right along the metal arch, left/right of the LNB alone, to control its angle in relation to the dish, left/right around the LNBs feed axis and forward/backward for the center LNB resulting in the movement of the entire system).
The entire system is assembled using only 3 bolts and the same bolts are also used to adjust the LNB’s position and lock it in its optimal position for best signal reception performance. No tools are required throughout the entire installation process.
On the technological side, the LNBs of the system use a compact slim feed technology which incorporates the use of advanced dielectric materials. The slim feed (“narrow neck”) of the LNBs allows them to be positioned closely next to each – in fact as close as a 3 degrees angle thus supporting reception of satellites that are typically too close in their orbital position to be received when using standard neck LNBs.
The MultiConnect system is currently in the last stage of being granted patent rights in Germany and following grant will be patentable in the rest of the EU.