Can I Connect The Satellite Dish Directly To The TV? | AerialForce
Man fixing satellite dish

Can I Connect The Satellite Dish Directly To The TV?

Satellite TV
Jun-2020 / 6 min read

Reading Time: 6 minutes

TV aerials and satellite dishes both receive signals and send them to your screen. From news coverage to your favourite soap, aerials and dishes offer the same experience.

Since they have the same task, there is a blurred line between the two. However, you can’t just replace one for the other.

Let’s tackle common satellite and TV aerial questions and create a distinct line between what can and cannot work on both devices.

What Is The Difference Between A Satellite And An Aerial? 

The main difference between a satellite dish and an aerial is how they go about their job. Think about how these machines receive signals, a satellite is thousands of meters away from the tallest transmission tower.

How can they be the same when the way they go about their job differs? The tech behind the machines supports its own format.

TV Aerials Satellite Dishes
TV aerials pick up radio waves from television stations Satellite dishes pick up signals from satellites located orbiting around the equator
Aerials can receive both UHF (ultra high frequency) and VHF (very high frequency) which allows you to watch content in HD Satellite dishes receive signals from satellites and have decoders used for decoding signals

What Is A Satellite Dish? 

Dishes have four parts: the feedhorn, the dish, the low-noise block downconverter (LNB), and the mount. Now, how do these parts work together? The dish reflects the signals from the satellite to a fixed point which creates a better signal for the feedhorn. From the feedhorn, the waves go to the LNB which converts it to a format that your TV satellite box can read.

One of the many pitfalls of dishes is that they receive so many signals. The wrong direction or azimuth angle could affect the number of channels you receive. It can also affect the quality of the channels you have. So it is important to have decent reception.

Satellite TV can be for everyone. However, people who live in the countryside, away from the main transmitters benefit the most.

Book Your Same-Day Satellite Installation Today

What Is An Aerial? 

There are two different types of aerials, indoor and outdoor. The parts may vary depending on the type and model, but TV antennas have four components: dipole, directors, reflector, and mount/mast.

The dipole receives the signal sent by nearby TV transmitters. The directors and reflectors in outdoor aerials help with reflecting and increasing the sensitivity of the signal. From the dipole, it runs through the coaxial cord that connects to your TV.

TV aerials are popular in urban areas. As long as there is a TV tower within less than 50 miles, aerials should do the trick. The maximum range for a TV aerial is around 80 miles, but even then it’s a bit of a stretch.

The ideas behind the two ways of getting TV are the same, but they get their signals from different sources. Your TV dishes need to decode their signals, but your aerials do not. The types of signals they receive are different, so they cannot do each other’s jobs. Choose one and work around that. All you need for Freeview is a TV aerial. For Freesat, you need a TV dish and a Freesat box.

A close-up image of a tv satellite

Can I Connect The Satellite Dish Directly To The TV?

This question is a tricky one! Typically, the answer would be no. You cannot connect your satellite dish to your TV. The signals from satellites are in a different format since they come from such a far place. You need a satellite TV receiver to demodulate the signals from your dish. So, it is a coaxial cord to the set-top box and a set-top box HDMI cable to your TV.

Now, what if you are not a part of the majority? Can I connect the satellite dish directly to the TV? If your TV has satellite support built-in for demodulating, then you can link to your TV. 

However, this has its pitfalls. No set-top box limits what you can do with your satellite dish. You can only get the Freesat channels in your area, with no free international content.

New TV models are more likely to have satellite support, but it is best to ask if your satellite TV ticks off all the boxes. Remember to confirm what the set-up would be if you brought the TV home. You can also try the TV brand’s customer service to make sure.

Can You Connect A Freeview TV To A Satellite Dish?

Your TV can be used for Freeview or Freesat channels as long as you have the right equipment. So yes, your previous Freeview TV can connect to a satellite dish. However, the set-up will not be the same.

Aerials use terrestrial digital signals, while dishes don’t. If your TV does not have dual tuners or you don’t have a set-top box then, no you cannot connect your TV to a satellite dish. When you shift between the two, you need to get all the other equipment necessary to make it work.

Can I Watch Freeview Channels With A Satellite Dish?

Sadly, you cannot watch Freeview with a satellite dish. If you love Freeview’s selection, it may be hard to consider using anything else. However, dishes come with their own set of free channels in Freesat. Freeview and Freesat are not the same, but they have similar selections.

Your TV can get over 200 radio and TV channels. BBC One, BBC Two, ITV, Channel 4, Channel 5, CBS Drama, Horror Channel, Pick, and Dave are some examples of what you can get with Freesat. Doesn’t that list look familiar?

You can also catch up on shows with BBC iPlayer, ITV Hub, Pop Fun, Ketchup TV, and CBS Catchup. These websites also have app versions for watching on the go. Other on-demand players like Netflix are not for free, though.

A close-up image of a tv remote

Get Fast-Service Aerial Repairs and CCTV Installations

What Should I Do If I Want To Watch Freeview?

When the Freesat experience is not for you, find a TV aerial, even a TV aerial from ye-olde-analogue days should work just fine. As long as you live near a TV transmitter, you should be able to enjoy Freeview channels.

When there are no TV transmitters near you, try to give Freesat another try. The direction and the azimuth angle are critical. Nowadays, you can even pick up on HD channels with Freesat. Try to give it a proper test run before getting a TV aerial.

Can You Use A Sky Dish As An Aerial?

If you think about it, a satellite dish is an antenna in its way, a parabolic one. However, that does not mean it can do the same thing. You cannot use a dish as an aerial, though people have ways of repurposing an old Sky dish.

Their version of repurposing is to make the satellite dish the mount. You can take out the LNB and attach your clip-on aerial there. Your coaxial cord will run from the TV aerial and not the dish itself.

Now some people claim that you can modify it. Add parts for radio frequencies, and then you are good to go. However, there is no guarantee that this will work the way it should.

You will end up purchasing parts anyway to make this modified version, might as well upgrade your dish. Pair your new dish with an old Sky box to watch your shows. Or do the quick fix for dishes with weak reception by switching out the LNB. You can also look for a TV aerial. There are many affordable models on the market. These methods are more effective and affordable than modifying anything.

Can You Connect Satellite To A TV Without The Box?

As we mentioned earlier, you cannot connect your satellite to a TV without a box. The satellite receiver for TV is what decodes and demodulates the signal so you can view your shows. Only TVs that have satellite support for demodulation can connect to a satellite without a TV receiver box.

All these questions focus on making use of what you have without compromising your entertainment experience. If you have an old dish and a Freesat box, why bother with Freeview? An old aerial can still get you Freeview. When these things don’t work, you can call us at AerialForce to install a new dish or aerial.

Contact us today at 0330 173 0805 or book us online!

Before You Go...

Sign up to our newsletter and enter our prize draw for a chance to win a home security CCTV system up to the value of £500!