Satellite frequencies in Ghana have made it possible for our TV stations to reach viewers not only in hinterlands but across the continent. Ghanaians do not have to worry about missing their favorite channels or news just because they are outside the country. Such advancement in technology is what characterizes this modern world and Ghana is definitely not left behind. To understand this subject better, below are some of the satellite frequencies and their dish you need to watch out.
Satellite television is a service that provides television programming to the viewers. It does this by transmitting programme signals from a communication satellite- which orbits the earth-directly to viewers’ location. Since the satellite orbits in the same direction as the rotation of the earth, satellite dishes are therefore mounted on a fixed position in the direction of the satellite to receive the signals.
The satellite dishes are basically parabolic in shape fixed with a low-noise block downconverter commonly known as LNB. It ‘traps’ signals and then sends them to the receivers. The receivers also commonly referred to as decoders can be external set-top boxes or built-in television tuners. Their main function is to decode the intended television programme for viewing on a television set.
Why are satellite televisions popular?
Other than being easily accessed even in geographically remote areas, these satellite televisions are liked by the public because of the many channels they transmit. They are most popular in areas where cable television, as well as terrestrial television service, are scarce.
Common satellite frequency type
There are mainly two types of satellite frequencies under which the signals are transmitted by. The Ku- band and the C-band. Modern systems use Ku-band to relay signals from a communications satellite with a frequency ranging from twelve to eighteen Gigahertz (12-18Ghz). They, therefore, require just a small dish that is less than one meter in diameter.
The C-band, on the other hand, transmits in the frequency of about to two to eight (2-8Ghz) Gigahertz. They require big dishes of about two to three meters (2-3meters) in diameters and hence more expensive and consequently not really popular.
Digital signals have currently replaced their analog counterparts in these modern systems. Their spectral efficiency is greatly enhanced as high-definition television takes over the screens. Typically, they have substantially higher resolution than that of the standard-definition television.
Satellite frequency and symbol rate
For television lovers, knowing the satellite frequency, position, polarization and symbol rates will generally give you a smooth ride in your viewership experience. The names of the satellites are also displayed amongst the features but they are not really that essential.
Keep in mind that, in the descriptive features, E means East, W is West, V is vertical and H is horizontal. That means that if you spot letter E as in polarization, basically indicates that your dish must face East, the same applies to the west. If you spot, letter H, consequently you are required to put your low-noise block downconverter or rather LNB in a horizontal direction which also correspondingly applies to letter V.
Multitv Africa, which is actually located in Ghana, is one of the most reliable and reputable companies with satellite frequency codes of 12525(H) and 2700 being the symbol rate. Its satellite name is atrab and located in 28.0E degrees. The size of the dish is also relatively small with sixty centimeters as its diameter.
Eutelsat W3A 7.0E offers several channels in Ku-band such as mbc1, mbc2, and mbc3 among others. It has frequencies 11192 (V) 3210 and 10986(V)30000. With the channels broadcasted sports lovers get a chance to watch all FA cup and English National Team Matches. Hopefully, world cup matches will also be broadcasted. It comes with a dish size of ninety centimeters.
NSS7 22 degrees west.
It is a satellite that is found in the frequency 10986 (V) 30000 with a dish size of sixty centimeters. Even though there are no crucial sports channels, there are several free-to-air channels that viewers may find interesting.
Eutelsat 4/7 36 degrees East.
This is the position of the popular DSTV multichoice. Even though it's most popular in South Africa, Nigeria and Ghana it still serves subscribers in so many African states. It also has a massive number of channels ranging from sport, movie channels, music as well as news channels. However, many of its channels have to be paid for activation. Anyway, its frequency, polarization and symbol rate are usually; 12245 (H)27500 respectively. Its dish size is also less than one meter in diameter, particularly about sixty to ninety centimeters.
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Intelsat 7/10 68.6 degrees East.
This is also a satellite position for yet another popular brand in the world of television; Mytv Africa. It also comes with a number of channels save for sports programmes. With a dish size of sixty centimeters, it lies in the frequency of 12722 (H) 26657.
Nilesat 101/102/007 degrees West
If you are looking for so many free-to-air channels, then this is the satellite to go for. Other than just free channels, sports lovers also get a glimpse of a number of channels, particularly ‘bien-sports’ which are a preferable alternative to DSTV’s ‘super-sports’ channels. Its satellite dish frequencies are 122265 (H)27500 and 12476 (H) 27500.
Nonetheless, with such a frequency and position, you may need a bigger dish of more than one meter to capture its signals. In Northern Nigeria, for instance, it has been established that you may need a dish that ranges from one to three meters in diameter. As for southern parts of the country, a dish less than four meters in diameter is considered useless.
Hotbird /13 degrees East
This is yet another satellite known for showing live matches. Ideal for sports lovers, it lies in the frequency; 11541 (V)22000. But then again, live matches are not the only fascinating aspects about this satellite, as you also get a chance to access quite a number of channels for absolutely free. It requires a dish with a minimum diameter of 3.5 meters.
Amos 16.0 degrees East.
This is a satellite that runs under Ku-band and known for its two channels that show live soccer. With a frequency of 10804 (H)30000, RDV and STV2 sports channels will, with no doubt, be showing on your television set. Its dish is usually sixty centimeters in diameter.
Satellite frequency list free to air channels
There are quite a number of satellite frequency tv channels that are free to air in various parts of the continent including Ghana. They are equally entertaining, and since they are absolutely free of charge, they tend to get massive viewership. The following is a list of some of the popular free stations in Ghana.
GTV (Ghana Television)
This a national public broadcaster managed by the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation. It is compelled by law to reach each and every member of the public. That is why it's no surprise that it covers 98% of Ghana's airwaves.
It is available in three satellites; Eutelsat W4 (popularly known as DSTV), Astra 2B at 28.2˚E and Intelsat 903 at 34.5˚W which is mainly beamed on to Northern African parts, Europe as well as Asia.
This station is also among satellite frequency channels that are not only free but regarded as pioneers in satellite television. It is formed as a partnership between the government of Ghana and a private corporation.
It is available in two satellites; Eutelsat W4 as the second Ghanaian free-to-air channel in DSTV, and NSS at 37.5˚W which is a satellite with a large footprint not only in Africa but the Middle East and Europe as well.
This is a private free-to-air television broadcaster in Ghana that came into existence in 1997. Its owned by Malaysian media bigwig Media Prima and its available on NSS 7 as well as Multi TV.
This is a popular station that was officially launched by the President of Ghana on 17th May 2003. It is owned by a renowned Ghanaian filmmaker Kwaw Paintsil Ansah and started operating as early as 2002 before its official launch. It is available in NSS 7.
This is yet another well-known television station in Ghana’s airwaves. It is owned by the Modern Times Group which is s Swedish Media company and always available in NSS 7. When it was launched it became the fifth terrestrial television channel in Ghana after GTV, Metro TV, TV3 and TV Africa.
The Difference Between C-Band and Ku-Band LNBs
Despite having similar functions, it has always been a daunting task establishing which of this two types of satellite frequencies is better than the other. Therefore, the following are the primary differences between them;
C band satellite frequencies are known to offer a wider range of channels compared to Ku-band. However, they tend to be costly not only for their equipment but installation as well.
Ku-band, on the other hand, is known to allow installation of smaller antennas that are manageable and appealing. Their dishes are normally not more than one meter in diameter. Whereas C-band satellite dishes tend to range from about two to four meters. It is perhaps because Ku-band requires less radio power, and hence performs efficiently even with a small antenna.
All in all, there are some satellites that transmit both Ku and C-bands such as Intelsat 7/10. In such instances, one needs a bigger dish that can accommodate and work effectively with the two frequency types.
Therefore, one may decide to have two LNBs for the two signals or better still, purchase a universal LNB that works concurrently with the two frequencies. Even though it’s not that common, but it is still possible.
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In conclusion, satellite frequencies in Ghana have really helped in spreading our local channels to various countries in various continents. Ghanaians who may be leaving abroad or remote areas of our country, as well as friends of Ghana who are neighboring our regions, can now be kept on the loop over the day to day activities in our country.