Size of dish query


Distinguished Member
Aug 28, 2000
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Hi Folks,

Pooch here - DVD Talk moderator. I have a query regarding my current Sky setup.

I will soon be moving to Birmingham. Once there, I want to install Sky+ and hence will need to buy a Sky+ set-top box. I have only been a subscriber to Sky for just over a year now, and not on their top tier package. As such, I doubt I will qualify for any Sky+ discount.

Regardless, I want to know that if I upgrade the size of the Sky+ dish from a normal 60cm one to a 1m one, will it make any difference in terms of:-

- picture quality
- audio quality
- ability to pick up other foreign channels, like "CT1", "CT2" and "CT3" the three Czech Republic TV stations?

Any help, would be very much appreciated.


I don't think the quality will improve ; you don't say where you are moving from. You can make a judgement as to whether you will get more or less (or about the same) signal by going to , find the relevant Astra satellite listings (at 28 degrees east) & click on the link in the "beam" column to get the footprint diagram.
Shortcut to the listing is

As CT1 & CT2 are encrypted , you wouldn't receive these.
Also the $ky digiboxes are restricted (crippled) so that they will only work with SR (symbol rates) of 27500 & 22000.

A digital TV signal is normally either there or it isn't - although with marginal signal strength it may drop out, stutter & return, complete with possible large pixellations due to noise mxing with datastreams & confusing the MPEG decoder or demux.
Once you get above this weak threshold, no extra amount of signal srength will improve things i.e. you don't get brighter colours etc. even with a 2-metre dish !

Chris Muriel, author of Digital Satellite FAQ).
A 60cm dish will be ample for Birmingham , a 45cm would probably work fine. as Chris says once the signal is strong enough no amount of extra signal will make any difference.

I will be moving from Manchester to Birmingham.
At the moment, my signal metre bars are at:

100 per cent for Signal Strength, and at about
85 per cent for Signal Quality.

I think I have just a standard 60cm dish, installed, though I may be wrong about this.


shows that you're pretty much in the strongest area for Astra 2d
in either location - centre of footprint.

For Eurobird satellite at same position you'll get a slightly stronger signal in Brum - but you won't notice the difference.
With the Sig strength & quality readings you already have, you'll make most people jealous anyway !

If you're still worried, phone me (local call, 0161 973 1572)

Chris Muriel, Sale.
A 1 metre dish will improve the signal in bad rain. You will loose the signal in a bad down pour with a 45 inch dish.
I have a 45 cm minidish in the west of Scotland which picks up everything there is - including the Czech stations when they are not encrypted - in all but the worst weather conditions.

The only signal interruption I have had of the Czech stations was during some recent torrential rain, which was so heavy, it affected DTT transmissions from 20 miles away!

What's important is the shape of the dish - ie elliptical - rather than the size as alignment is more critical with a non elliptical dish.

Thanks again, to everyone for their guidance. I might consider upgrading to a bigger dish, just so that when/if there is torrential rain in Brum, that my picture stays up. (In Manchester, I've lost the signal several times, during the worst rainy weather, which has been really annoying.)

Is upgrading to a larger dish, something that you can ask Sky to do, when I go to Brum and get them to install Sky+ or not?!

You could ask - but if I were you, I'd go to a proper independent contractor who is not too tied to Sky...

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