Potentially silly question about Dish TV

I don’t know anything about satellite TV systems. Have always had cable and been happy with it.

I may be moving into a condo that has Dish TV. How is it (or is it) possible to watch 2 programs on 2 different TVs off of the same dish? The other person living there watches sports 24/7 until his eyes bleed, and I want to be able to watch The Mentalist and CSI and American Idol.

Please tell me if this is possible, and speak to me as if I was a 5 year old since none of this makes sense to me. Thanks.

Yes it’s possible. You’ll need a dual LNB for that.

edit; Also a second receiver

I think it is common for a dish receiver to have two tuners.

We have two, one in my daughter’s room. Not a problem.

I don’t think Dish even installs single-LNB systems any more. Our system has one dish, two receivers and four TVs. Each receiver has two tuners and can record two different programs at the same time. You can either run the two tuners’ outputs into the same TV for picture-in-picture viewing, or to two separate TVs.

No problem on the remote controls either - they’re UHF radio-based, rather than infrared, so they can control the receiver from a couple rooms away.

One “gotcha” - the second tuner’s output is not HD. If you have two HD TVs, you’ll need two separate receivers.

I’ve had to research this recently for DirectTV but I suspect Dish is much the same.

To get a bit more geeky in case anyone is interested and as gotpasswords’ description suggests, you never need more than two LNBs no matter how many different channels you want to watch or record at the same time or how many TVs you have.

The transmitters on the satellite are divided into two groups (polarizations). At any one time, an LNB is switched so that it’s receiving all the channels simultaneously in one group or the other but not both. As a kind of silly thought experiment, I think you and your roommate could get along with one LNB provided that the sports channel and CSI are in the same group on the satellite.

If you or the other person has a dual-tuner DVR / Tivo type machine then you’ll probably need a splitter type device. It’s not a splitter like regular cable TV but a more sophisticated device that gives the tuners the illusion that they have exclusive access to their own two LNBs which they can switch to either group without affecting the other receivers.

One problem you might face if you want a dual-tuner machine is that the house may be wired for regular cable which means only one cable going to your room where you really need two. There are devices called “stackers” that fix that although they seem to be somewhat expensive ($199).

If you’re referring to what I think you are, that’s now done at the dish and is part of the dish. (By “dish” I’m referring to the dish itself, the LNBs and so forth.) There’s a single cable run from the dish to each of my 2-tuner receivers, and with some minor re-arranging to get rid of signal splitters, we were able to use the existing cable TV lines that were in the walls, so there’s a bare minimum of cables running around the outside of the house. Older systems did run two cables from the dish to each receiver - my current system is a little over a year old. AFAIK, the VIP722 receivers I have are still their “flagship” model.

ETA: In order to use my existing CATV wiring, I did a lot of poking around to confirm where things went, so when the installer was here, I was able to say “This cable goes to the other room and this cable goes to the entrance terminal on the side of the house” and “This cable goes to the roof, so if you run a cable up to the roof from the bedroom alongside the rain gutter, we can hook up the second TV without needing a whole new run.” Once the installer got the mental image of it all, he made it work and was happy not to be running miles of wire.

That’s interesting. I did read something about some receivers being able to handle a stacked signal directly and obviously modern dish installations now stack it at the dish.

My interest in all this is because we’re about to rent out a house that we used to live in and had DirectTV. I’ve told the incoming tenant that with some luck, he should be able to plug his DirectTV equipment into our old cables which are connected to our old dish and it should work. But … I guess it depends exactly what he has. Our receiver was an older two cable, UltimateTV DVR. The house only has single cable wiring so we fed one LNB to where the TV was and the other to an adjacent room and had a cable between the rooms under a mat to get both to the receiver. The dish is quite a distance away on the other side of some trees with the two cables buried in the ground with a inline booster amplifier on each cable under the chicken coop :). It’s all kind of messy and it violates the maximum distance rules but it worked pretty well. If his receiver is a dual tuner but one cable then it might get complicated. I guess if he has a two LNB, one cable dish like yours then we could probably put that on the pole and ignore one cable. I’m not sure what the inline amplifier will do then with a stacked signal. Since everything is buried in snow right now, digging it up would not be easy or fun.