Satellite Dishes Big VS Small???

Is there an advantage to one of the big satellite dishes? How much do the big dishes cost?

AFAIK, the “big” dishes that were around before the “small” dishes became prevalent were purchaced by folks, like a firend of mine, who missed seeing their local college sports team games because they moved cross-country. My friend was able to pick up network “feeds” of his old college basketball team games, that, here on the west coast, no one was interested in. Additionally, he could subscribe to HBO and other channels. The cool thing about it, was that he could also pick up network news feeds. These would be field reports intended for later broadcast, and were therefore recorded and edited. But the feed was live, and sometimes these were quite funny, as the reporter would often make mistakes, crack-up laughing, swear, and otherwise make a fool of himself.

Basically, the big dishes, I believe, were the first generation satellite TV systems, before Dish Network and DirecTV came along.
And they were BIG. Hard to put up, and expen$ive.

No particular advantage. Just a different and older technology. The large dishes, aka BUDs or Big Ugly Dishes, pick up analog satellite signals.

They won’t work on the all-digital Dish Network or DirecTV systems unless you replace the electronics. Scratch that…Not sure about DirecTV, but Dish Net uses a specially-shaped dish to see two satellites at once, and you can’t duplicate that with an old single-focus big dish.

One thing you can do with a BUD is go hunting for “wild feeds” - the uplinks from remote news crews and such. but, more and more of that stuff is being sent digitally or otherwise encrypted.

The last time I was looking at wild feeds, it was pretty darn boring stuff. Long shots of reporters adjusting their tie, or empty chairs at a news desk. In other words, nothing’s going on.

I have a friend who is in process of updating his old big dish to digital. He talks aobut live news feeds etc.

He claims that his dish picks up a lot of stuff for “free.”

He also claims that with the big dish he doesn’t have the problem with reception you get with little dishes during rain.

I am going (I think) to buy a dish this fall and got curious - so I came to the “answer people” first.

The big dishes, usually C band, are analog as opposed to the digital minidishes. They get only 24 transponders (channels) per satellite. Surfing often involves waiting for the dish to reaim itself to another position so it can sometimes be a very tedious process. The dish my folks had often required tuning the feedhorn rotation through the remote but when things were locked the picture was usually excellent. Programming can be quite inexpensive as you can purchase annual packages from several vendors.

My folks now have Dish network and I’ve been severely dissapointed with the picture as there are lots of artifacts fro m too much digital compression. Large areas of color likes skies would often be jagged bands of discreet colors rather than continuous tones. I’ve seen the same on other systems so know it wasn’t just them. I was an early adopter of Direct TV and recall the picture being good but at the time I was comparing it to a very poor analog cable system. I’ve got digital cable now and find it far superior to mini-dish systems.

Visit for good information.

My 4 gig big dish recieves the same quality signal as my sons 12 gig (dish network) dish.
Also my dish is able to receive both 4 and 12 gig signals.
The time you have to wait for the dish to turn is minimal. Maybe 5 seconds if the sats are near each other.
Orbit ,the satellite viewing guide, is still being printed $5.95 a mo. newstand so surfing ,although sometimes interesting isn’t necessary.
BTW gotpasswords yes you can duplicate dual focus with a big dish.

Hey county where do you live???
I’ll give you a dish.
I bought a complete used working C band satellite system for $50.00.
Parts are available on ebay.But look locally for the best deals.

I had a big dish until I barely nudged it one day while mowing. So then I went to small dish (a Dish dish I guess you’d say). I wouldn’t go back, even though I did see the that mess out in Waco as it happened, rather than hours later. I just got their version of TiVo and that is great! and only costs a little more a month. Yes, the weather bothers it when a thunderstorm is approaching, but usually not for long.

I had a tree fall on mine and it still works just fine.
The dish is a MAcom Prodeline 8’.The very best.Its about 16 years old.A little more expensive than the
others I sold but I could see the quality even then.
I’ve been through several electronics packages but this Echostar SRD 3000 has lasted a long long time.
Its 4/12 compatable but only without a built in descrambler.I only use 4 gig.
Back in the old days I was the only one selling quality. The others didn’t even know what quality was.
I was buying from a little known company in Denver named Echostar.Its owner,a guy named Charlie Ergen,
is pretty well known now a days.OK so I’m a name dropper.
Wish I could have done even a tiny bit as well as he did.
I like my 4 gig system and won’t be changing to 12 gig soon.