Dish 300 with 2800 IRD
When Dish Network first launched their satellite television service, they used an 18" dish similar to DirecTV round dish. In fact, the dishes and LNB's where interchangeable. This 18" dish was pointed at a satellite referred to as 119. It is called the 119 satellite, because it is located in the 119 longitude orbital slot. Dish Network also had the rights to use frequencies at the 110 orbital location and they quickly launched a satellite to operate at that location. They also have rights for satellites at 148, 129, 127 and 61.5 (more on that later). For more information about what dish receive which satellites, go here.
To make use of the channel capacity at 110, Dish Network developed the real first DBS satellite dish for receiving more then 1 satellite from a single dish. This Dish was called the Dish 500. It was called this because it was calculated Dish Network could broadcast as many as 500 channels using both the 119 and 110 satellites. Technically, they might be able to broadcast 500 channels, but since many of those channels are territory restricted, no one system could be authorized to receive all 500 channels. However, Dish 500 it was called.
Dish 500 w/2-Dual LNBS
The first Dish 500 Dishes used two-single LNBS for a one receiver system, but Dish Network quickly moved to using all dual LNB's. A single LNB only has one coax connection. A dual has two coax connections. To allow a receiver to get signal from both the 119 LNB and the 110 LNB. Dish network developed the SW-21 Switch. The SW-21 Switch is a digitally controlled A/B switch. When the receiver want to tune to a channel on the 110 satellite, a digital signal using the DisEqC format was sent down the coax to the switch. Another signal was sent to switch back to 119.
Dish Network also came out with several additional switches for various applications. All the switches used the same DisEqC method. The SW-64 required an external power supply. The SW-64 was used to distribute signal from three satellites (usually 119, 110 and either 61.5 or 148) to as many as four receives. The 61.5 and 148 satellites are used for additional local channel channels, international programming and other niche market market programming.
SW-64 with power supply
and power inserter
The next evolution in Dish Network LNB's and Switches were combo units. The Dish 500 Twin and Dish 500 Quad combined the LNB and Switch into one self contained unit. Seen below, these combo units increased system reliability by removing exposed coax connections from exposure to weather. It is important to point out that these are Legacy parts. More on that on the next page.
Dish 500 Twin
Dish 500 with
Dish 500 Quad