Specifications to Look for in a Satellite Antenna

Posted By Tom Feltham on 08 May 2014

Posted in Used Equipment Buyers Guides

When determining which satellite antenna to buy, pay attention to the specifications. One of the main points to consider will be the size of the antenna. Keep in mind that size does not necessarily equate to quality. Small antennas can be just as powerful as those that are bigger. Size is very important when selecting a satellite antenna for a vehicle, but when selecting one for the home, it may not be particularly important.

Antenna Gain

This is an important specification and related to the performance of the antenna. The higher gain the antenna has, the better it will perform. The gain is often directly related to the size of the antenna.

Beam Width

This is a measurement of how wide of an angle the antenna will receive signals. When using the satellite antenna for television reception, a narrow beam width is the better choice. For reception in a broadcast van, a wider beam width is desirable. Generally, smaller antennas will have narrow widths and large antennas will have a narrow beam width.

Front-to-Back Ratios

This is one of the most important specifications of satellite antennas and it describes how the signal is received at the rear of the antenna compared to the front of the antenna. Undesired signals, which can often interfere with reception, can be reduced by choosing a satellite antenna that has a higher front-to-back ratio. Antennas that are being used in city settings will often pick up unwanted signals, so a higher ratio should be selected. More isolated settings would require a lower ratio because there is a lower chance of interference.