I am seriously thinking about dumping cable for satellite but I would like to know a bit more about it. Is there a place to get some information about how you distribute the signal to several TVs and other stuff like DVRs and VCRs
Study Guides for VDV / Structured Cabling Installers
1. Use a receiver at each TV, with a home run to a switch or the LNB on the dish. Some LNB's have dual or quad outputs, each of which can feed a switch or a receiver. This allows each TV to watch a separate channel. receivers are available with built-in DVR's, and some are available as dual receiver units, allowing for the recording or viewing of multiple channels. Most remotes are IR, but there are some RF remotes as well, especially with the dual receiver units, to allow the remotes to be used from another room.
2. The receiver will normally have 1 or 2 A/V outputs, and a RF output. The A/V outputs can each drive a TV/video monitor/VCR/DVR. The RF output can also drive a TV/VCR/DVR via the tuner input, and can be extended via standard RG6 cabling and splitters to multiple TV's. All TV's will have the same program. The RF output is normally channel 3/4, but some have frequency agile modulators allowing the output to be on other channels.
Dish and DirectTV use different equipment, with the only common equipment being the coax cable. Each receiver requires a home run to the switch or LNB. There are distance limitations. The cable wants to be RG6 quad shield, rated for 2200Mhz or greater.
You can distribute signal throughout the house via several means. You can modulate the signal onto coax as RF, or you can send discrete A/V signals via cat5 extenders.
The other thing to remember is that frequently the national programming is on the east coast feed, which is 3 hours ahead of the west coast. It probably doesn't matter to you, but it sometimes gets frustrating when another ham mentions an interesting show that he's watching on cable, and it's 3 hours in the past on the dish.