3 Types of Satellite Dish and How to Choose One

If you fancy having lots of different TV channels to choose from, you may want to consider installing a satellite dish. There are a range of free to air channels that you can access using a satellite dish, called Freesat TV, but to view most of them you’ll need to subscribe to a TV package for a monthly fee.

There are a couple of different types of satellite dish to choose from depending on your circumstances. Take a look at our guide to see which one is right for you.

Stationary satellite dish

Stationary satellite dishes are static dishes. The installer will need to physically align it with a geosynchronous satellite so that it can receive the signal. They come in lots of different sizes.

Pros

Can pick up a good number of signals

As there are lots of different sizes of stationary satellite dishes available, you can choose one that picks up the right amount of signal for you. The larger the dish, the greater number of signals it can pick up, so speak to an installer to find out what size dish you need.

Cons

Can only pick up satellites that are close together

Stationary dishes can only pick up satellites that are close together without being manually adjusted, so you will need to check with your installer to see if this will be a problem.

Motorised satellite dish

Motorised dishes, like the name suggests, have a motor inside that allows them to move and pick up different satellite signals. Most receivers can use motorised dishes, so they are a potential option for most homes.

Pros

Can pick up thousands of channels

Since the dish can rotate to pick up different signals, you can access thousands of channels. About one thousand of those channels are free from Freesat!

Cons

Larger than other dishes

The minimum diameter for a motorised dish is 80cm, and you’ll probably need one with a diameter of 90cm to 1 metre for the best results. This makes it difficult for people with smaller homes to have them installed.

So which satellite dish is right for you? Or perhaps you’ve decided a normal aerial would suit you better? Take a look at our guides on outdoor aerials to see if you would benefit from using one for your digital TV.

Our Reader Score

Price

Approx. £95

For 2 satellite feeds

Price

Approx. £75

For a single satellite feed

Installation time

Less than 1 day


Advantages and disadvantages

Stationary satellite dish

  • Picks up a good number of signals

Motorised satellite dish

  • Picks up thousands of channels

Stationary satellite dish

  • Only picks up satellites that are close together

Motorised satellite dish

  • Larger than other dishes, so need lots of space