Depending on the particular communications discipline, there a number of low-noise block (LNB) converter types in operation worldwide. However, there are three primary converter arrangements that support typical commercial broadcast operations single LNB, Dual LNBs and Linear LNBs. These component types are integrated within a parabolic dish, in addition to the application of a wave guide (also known as a "feed horn"), to serve as the active receiving portion of a complete satellite antenna.
The single LNB's job is to filter, amplify and output required frequencies in order to manage and overcome certain line, or other induced, signal losses. There are two sub-components inside a unit: a low-noise input stage and a block converter. This two stage configuration manages and filters frequencies within a gross spectrum range to create a stable, and ultimate range of final frequencies, based on the needs of the particular communications system.
The dual LNB produces two discrete output signals, rather than a single output as described by the single LNB. In this case, the input stage for the unit is common, however, the converter stage joins with a signal splitter that produces multiple signals from the common input.
Linear LNBs are small-footprint units, size-optimized for small parabola, such as home satellite dishes in the 1 m (2.2 foot) diameter range. These units operate on the same engineering principles, components and frequencies as industrial single LNBs. The only difference in this case, is the physical size of the unit.
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