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How Does DISH Get Your Favorite Channels to You?

June 1st, 2012

Ever wondered how you get your favorite shows and movies from DISH satellite service?

First programmers send their content to DISH. Content is often transmitted via the programmer’s satellite to a DISH uplink center. Content can also be sent via over-the-air (OTA) signals to the local DISH receive facility, which then transfers it to the uplink center. All programming, except your local OTA stations, are processed through the an uplink center. There are uplink centers in Orange, NJ; Spokane, WA; Mt. Jackson, VA; Monee, IL; Gilbert, AZ; and Cheyenne, WY. The uplink center in Cheyenne, Wyoming is one of the more popular centers and even offers tours for those curious about the workings of satellite receptions and transmissions.

Once the content reaches the uplink center it is then transmitted to one of DISH’s 15 satellites that stretch from 61.5° to 129° and cover all of the continental United States, as well as Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.

From the satellite the content is sent to the dish that is installed on or near your home, and travels via coaxial cable (and a complex and impressive set of switches, splitters and other devices depending on the number of televisions and set up in your home) to your receiver. Your receiver is connected to your television with cabling that varies based on your television. For standard definition coaxial cable is sufficient, but composite (red, white and yellow cables) are often used as well. For high definition there’s the option of component (red, blue and green, or YPbPR), but since this requires additional cabling for sound, the all-in-one HDMI option is often preferrable.

You can learn more about how your satellite signal travels through the cabling in your home and into your receivers and television on DISH’s site about satellite to home transmission.

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