How to Buy a New Satellite Dish on eBay

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How to Buy a New Satellite Dish on eBay

Before deciding on a satellite dish, a buyer should do some research on the different types of satellite dishes. A basic understanding of how each type of satellite dish works can help a buyer make an informed decision. It is also a good idea to know the basic parts of a satellite dish, including the bowl and the feed horn. Buyers may be surprised to learn that there are a number of different kinds of satellite dishes on the market, including motor-driven dishes and ad hoc dishes. Each type is better suited to different needs and certain types of signals.

A buyer also has to consider a number of other factors when setting up a satellite dish. For instance, it is important to ground satellite dishes in order to get a better signal. It is also important to check what kinds of satellite television a dish is compatible with to make sure the desired television signals are available with the dish. Taking these steps helps ensure that a buyer gets the best satellite dish for his or her needs. When it is time to actually make a purchase, eBay offers a diverse selection of satellite choices.

How a Satellite Dish Works

Before deciding on a type of satellite dish to purchase, the buyer should know what a satellite dish is and how it works. A satellite dish is actually a kind of antenna that receives microwave signals and converts them into electrical signals that can be used by various consumer devices, including computers and televisions. The television or other device turns these signals into images and information that a user can understand. The satellite dish is also composed of a number of different parts.

Parts of a Satellite Dish

A typical satellite dish has a number of different parts besides the bowl. Someone who wants to install satellite television or broadband should have a basic knowledge of the parts. The main parts that a consumer needs to know are the bowl, the feed horn (sometimes written as feedhorn), and the LNB.

Satellite Bowls

The main part of the dish is shaped like a shallow bowl and receives the signal that comes through the feed horn. Satellite bowls were originally very large at around 2 metres in diameter, but these days most models are only about 0.5 to 1 metre in diameter, which is a lot easier for a buyer to fit on his or her property. 

Feed Horns

The feed horn is another major part of the satellite dish. It is the part of the receiving equipment that actually receives the signal from satellites. If there is an obstruction, the signal cannot pass through to the receiving equipment. If two or more satellites are very close together, a feed horn may be able to pick up signals from more than one satellite at once. Some newer satellite dishes have additional LNBs for this purpose, as well.

Low Noise Blockdown Converters

Also known as the LNB, this is the main part of the feed horn that sits in the front of the bowl of the satellite dish. The LNB determines the number of satellite signals that a satellite dish can receive. Different satellite providers use various satellites to provide signals, so a user may need a number of LNBs in order to pick up a wide variety of television programming. Alternatively, some satellite television service providers convert numerous channels into a single LNB signal.

Types of Satellite Dishes

A number of different satellite dishes are available for a buyer to consider when making a purchase. Satellite dishes are needed to receive audio and video signals. Although most satellites are relatively small these days, it is important to note that smaller dishes are more likely to experience frequency and satellite drift, which generally means a poorer signal, but improvements have been made in the quality of smaller satellite dishes.

Type of Satellite Dish


Motor-Driven Dish

Very popular in a number of industries

Reception is improved by the timing motor that controls the position of the dish

Motor helps compensate for any signal drift

Very Small Aperture Terminal

Also known as VSAT

Generally used to relay information regarding identifying different audio frequencies

Often used to transfer short signals, such as those that verify credit card information and broadband Internet

Generally not used for consumer satellite technology


Able to receive audio and video signals from a few different satellites at the same time

Advanced satellites that are often used by the media much more so than individuals

Ad Hoc and Direct-to-Home Dishes

Ad hoc dishes are homemade versions of satellite dishes

Improved reception when ad hoc dishes and direct-to-home dishes are used together

Television Receive Only

Also known as TVRO

Helpful for those who have a problem receiving clear audio and video signals on their televisions

Detects frequencies from a fixed service satellite, but the dish has to be tuned to a specific frequency and focused in a particular direction

Original type used for satellite television

The chart is representative of a few of the different types of satellite dishes that are available. Not all types of satellite dishes are suitable for normal home use, so it is important for a buyer to understand the differences.

Considerations When Setting Up a Satellite Dish

The buyer should take a number of steps to ensure that he or she gets the best possible reception from a satellite dish. This includes where to put the dish and how to make sure that it is safe.

It is important to position a satellite dish correctly because this can affect the quality of the signal. In order to receive the best quality, the satellite dish should be placed in an unobstructed area with no trees, buildings, or other objects that can obstruct the signal. That is one reason why people choose to put satellite dishes on their roofs.

Satellite dishes generally need to be grounded, and there are often local statutes that specify that dishes must be grounded. Even if there is no law, it is important to ground a satellite dish because built up static electricity can cause problems, including disruption of the signal or damage to the receiver.

Installing a Satellite Dish

Depending on the buyer’s agreement with a satellite television provider, the buyer may have to install the satellite dish. This is not too difficult as long as the instructions are carefully followed. The installation method differs, depending on the type of dish and the service provider. Both the satellite dish and the satellite decoder definitely differ for the different service providers because those items decode the signals.

Finding Satellite Dishes on eBay

If you have decided to purchase a new satellite dish on eBay, you have many options at your fingertips. There are a variety of ways to search the eBay site for a new satellite dish. For instance, try the search box first. Type in a phrase like ‘satellite dish’ and then browse through the results. The more specific your search keywords, the more tailored your results should be. Sometimes it can take a few attempts to find the best keyword search combination.

You should also take the time to learn about the bidding process on eBay. First, find an item that you want to purchase and review all the information thoroughly. You can then enter a maximum bid, which has to be at least equal to the current minimum bid for the item. Other buyers may bid on the product, too, so you should keep an eye on the auction. If you do win the auction, you will receive an email that tells you how to pay for the item.

You should also look at the feedback of the seller. Feedback plays a great role on the site because it allows the buyer to see what other buyers have said about a particular seller, including how reliable the seller is. After you have completed your purchase, you can leave feedback to let other buyers know about your experience with the seller.


Many people use satellite television, and this requires them to own a satellite dish. If a buyer wants to enjoy satellite television, he or she should look into purchasing a satellite dish on eBay that can be used with one of the various service providers. Before purchasing, it is a good idea to learn a little about what a satellite dish actually does and the different kinds of dishes that are available. Not all satellite dishes are suited for consumer use.

Before setting up a satellite dish, the buyer should also take into consideration other important factors, such as where to put the dish on his or her property. Sometimes the buyer also has to install the satellite dish, but this is a relatively easy task as long as the instructions are followed properly. The buyer should check with the desired service provider before installing or purchasing a satellite dish to make sure that he or she gets the appropriate equipment.

With a little time spent on research in advance, buyers can browse the eBay site with confidence to find the exact satellite dishes they want and need.

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