Which is more difficult SAT or practice

SAT flat antennas: proven in tests, suitable for professionals?

In addition to the classic parabolic antennas, there are more and more satellite flat antennas on house facades - perhaps a good development.

Jump to the recommended flat antenna

Originally popular among campers due to their mobility and compactness, the panels have been able to catch up a lot in terms of reception and functionality compared to conventional bowls. In the meantime, one or the other technological limitation has even been overcome. Many devices have already been able to convince in relevant tests. But can they also convince the advanced satellite fan?

In this article you will find out what you can expect from such a flounder in contrast to the classic parabolic mirror, what they are particularly suitable for and whether they are a useful component for your satellite system.

Satellite dishes are not exactly the most ornamental that can adorn a home.

How do you find this sight:

Not exactly a feast for the eyes to fill your roofs with satellite antennas.

What do you make of it:

There is no doubt about it: satellite dishes are the icing on the cake of the desolation of gray prefabricated buildings. Quite apart from the fact that these houses could also be fully equipped with satellite reception with one dish per roof.

What about SAT flat antennas?

It's good that the last picture shows an idyllic single-family house with a garden, which makes the comparison a bit wrong.

But if we don't manage to set up community satellite systems, then maybe we could at least beautify the cityscape by everyone installing their own system a little more inconspicuously - such cute flat antennas are certainly better suited for this.

The technology behind it is somewhat different than the normal satellite dish. Nevertheless, satellite flat antennas have already been tried and tested in practice and have already achieved good places in well-known tests.

The classic among the satellite antennas are of course parabolic mirrors, commonly known as satellite dishes. Flat antennas are also called panel antennas. There is a different principle behind them, but the result - the movie that you get on the screen on Friday night - is the same.

Technological aspects

We only want to stop here for a short time because, as is so often the case, theory is of little importance to the layperson.

How the two antenna types receive signals is fundamentally different. Parabolic mirrors bundle the microwaves sent by the satellite into a focus point. This is where the LNB (ideally) stands and converts microwaves into a signal that the receiver can understand.

The planar antenna does not need to be curved and therefore does not have a focal point. You also don't have to let a feed holder (the arm on which the LNB is attached) go away from it. It receives and interprets the interference that occurs with the microwaves when they hit the panel. You may be familiar with interference from your physics class - it is one of those phenomena that are characteristic of any form of wave (including those in water!).

In practice

The theory may be of interest to one or the other enthusiast. For most of you, however, it will be more important how a flat antenna differs in practice from the familiar satellite dishes.

Installation - simple

From unpacking to attaching the antenna, there is little difference between parabolic mirrors and panel antennas.

The alignment to the satellite - in our latitudes towards the south - is not spared you with either antenna shape. Thanks to relevant smartphone apps and other resources, this works very easily these days.

A major difference is that you do not have to mount the LNB and align it correctly. In this respect, installing a flat antenna is even a bit easier.

Limitations - less scope for experimentation & flexibility

As is so often the case, the many comforts of a flat antenna are bought at the price of less flexibility.

If all that matters to you is that you get all German channels or even other satellites such as Hotbird, and that reliably, then you will not be affected by these restrictions anyway.

The planar antenna reaches its limits at the latest when you:

Multifeed - receiving two / more satellites at the same time

Multifeed reception is when you want to receive more than one satellite at a time. This is important, for example, for citizens who not only want to receive German TV (the Astra satellites at 19.2 ° East are sufficient for this), but also want British or Turkish channels on the screen.

For this you would have to operate several LNBs on one antenna. The LNBs in flat antennas are built-in and cannot be exchanged.

So if you want to zap through the channels on Hotbird for an afternoon, you would have to realign the flat antenna. And then turn back to Astra 19.2 ° if you want to see the Germans again.

For certain satellite combinations there are, however, flat antennas suitable for multifeed.

This model from SelfSat circumvents this limitation with its clever design. For this you have to pay a little more for them than you would have to with a parabolic mirror multifeed.

Provide more than 4 participants with a flat antenna

Most flat antennas have single, twin or quad LNBs installed.

What that means is that a maximum of 1, 2 or 4 participants can be connected per device.

In order to connect additional participants, you would need a Quattro LNB. However, there are again high-priced flat antennas that overcome this limitation and are equipped with exactly one - such as the SelfSat H21DQ +.

Not all flat antennas are such

Many apparently flat antennas are actually parabolic mirrors wrapped in plastic.

Mostly you can recognize them by an existing curvature or a slightly thicker housing. You don't have to suspect a dizziness behind it. On the contrary, such a camouflaged satellite dish can even have something good - such as a replaceable LNB.

Such models are primarily useful if you actually want a parabolic mirror, but a conventional one would be too conspicuous / unattractive.

There are only a handful of common manufacturers of satellite flat antennas. First of all, the good news: there don't seem to be any major differences in terms of quality. If you look at the different models on Amazon, you could even think, on the contrary, that a lot here comes from the same work - and just has a different brand name printed on it.

Selfsat - the classic

Probably the most popular satellite flat antenna

Selfsat H30 D2

  • From the flat antenna specialist
  • Easy installation because of the built-in LNB
  • Can be inconspicuously attached to balcony railings without drilling
  • Well documented - in case there are problems

Behind it is the I DO IT Co. Ltd, based in South Korea and a branch in France.

Selfsat seems to specialize mainly in flat antennas and to hoard a lot of know-how in this area. It is hardly surprising that their devices are among the most popular and the most bought.

That alone is of course not a purchase argument, because such trends often arise arbitrarily. However, there is a good side to its popularity: if there should be problems with the antenna, there are numerous instructions on the net that are precisely tailored to the Selfsat devices.

A Google search for “Aligning the Selfsat antenna” delivers twice as many search results as the same search if you use a different manufacturer.

Humax

Humax is not only the name of the antennas, but also the name of the manufacturer from South Korea who is behind them.

In addition to satellite flat antennas, Humax also produce receivers. Since they opened the shop in 1989, they have made a name for themselves that you can hear from time to time in the same sentence with satellite equipment.

Flat antennas per se may not be their hobbyhorse, and recently they are also leaning towards smart homes with their product line.

In spite of this, your H40 D2 was able to score 86% and a good in a satellite flat antenna test by Satvision. The H40D4 even achieved a very good rating in three tests. I would not have expected anything else from a, if not renovated, then at least well-known brand manufacturer.

Megasat

My research was a little fruitless here - Megasat seems to be a private label of netshop25. This sells on Amazon as well as in its own online store.

I cannot say with certainty whether my assessment that many of the products are only private label (i.e. mass-produced goods that are branded and sold on) will be fulfilled.

Telestar

Telestar is also known.

A German company that mainly sells satellite receivers, but also has radios in its portfolio - will be a term for one or the other reader. With the Digiflat line, you also have a wide variety of flat antennas up your sleeve.

The simpler models do not differ much from the rest of the range on the market. The advanced models, which can also transmit via SAT-IP, are particularly interesting.

Their high-end line cannot be left unmentioned at this point. This aligns itself to satellites such as Türksat and Hotbird, but is priced far above the entry-level range. But it is also geared towards mobile use - for example in a caravan.

esoSAT

Also one of the brands you stumble across when looking for flat antennas online.

Behind esoSAT - which manufacture one of the most compact antennas - is a well-known name: Pearl. Should also be known to many, but not from the satellite world, but as a distributor of ... almost everything, from office supplies to vibration plates.

Perhaps you already have a good idea of ​​whether a panel antenna is for you.

To summarize all strengths and weaknesses again:

Per

  • A little easier to install because the LNB is already installed
  • Less conspicuous and (a matter of taste) more aesthetic than parabolic mirrors
  • Also easy to install in tight installation situations
  • Meanwhile with a rich range of functions

Contra

  • So far a bit more expensive than conventional antennas
  • Multifeed suitability only with high-end models and also limited there
  • Models with Quattro LNB available, but also more expensive

Do you belong to the type of satellite TV receiver that unpacks the dish, mounts it, directs it to the Astra 19.2 ° and then doesn't want to mess with it for years? Then a flat antenna is not a mistake. You save yourself a little fiddling with the LNB and have an inconspicuous panel on the balcony. You do not have to accept restrictions in terms of picture quality or channel selection.

If, on the other hand, you are interested in gadgets such as multifeed reception or want to build a huge satellite system that supplies 10 participants, that's different. With a panel antenna you make life a little more difficult and your wallet easier at the same time.

Category: Satellite Dishes