Quad LNBF for Multiple Cignal Satellite Receivers

DMSI Quad LNBF Installed

In the Philippines, we have 3 competing satellite TV services: Cignal, Dream, and GSAT. For Dream and GSAT (at least the last time I checked), if you want to have multiple receivers in your house, you have to pay for separate subscriptions for each receiver (at full price). For post-paid customers, Cignal will let you have up to 3 receivers on the same plan, with no extra monthly charges for the additional receivers (assuming you buy the receivers yourself).

Cignal provides a single-output LNBF with their dish, and multiple receiver installations typically use splitters to take the single output and connect to 2 or 3 receivers. When I subscribed to a 3 receiver post-paid plan I asked about the splitter, but was told they didn’t have any Cignal supplied splitters, but the installer could provide one on his own. For an exorbitant price. I don’t recall how much, but it was much more than the P575 ($14 USD) listed on Cignal’s website.

Splitting the output from a satellite LNBF isn’t ideal for several reasons. For one, the polarity of the LNBF changes depending on the transponder of the channel you’re tuned into. It works for Cignal because they use the same polarity for all of their transponders. Another issue is the power supply. The LNBF is powered by the receiver, and multiple receivers all trying to power the same LNBF can sometimes cause complications. This was seen during their recent firmware upgrade, with special (complicated) instructions for multiple receiver subscribers.

While Cignal doesn’t provide Quad LNBFs or support them, it’s the best way to do a multiple receiver installation in my opinion. With a Quad LNBF, there are 4 outputs instead of 1. So its kind of like having 4 separate satellite dishes, except it accomplishes the same thing with a single dish and 4 outputs on the LNBF. Why install multiple dishes all pointed to the same satellite?

With a Quad LNBF you run a separate RG-6 cable from the dish to each receiver.

I initially bought a Pauxis Quad Universal LNBF locally, but after a year it broke and I wasn’t able to receive all of the channels. So I just replaced it with a DMS International Quad Universal LNBF. Here you can see the old Pauxis LNBF on the left and the new DMSI LNBF on the right.

Quad LNBF Comparison

Since they’re difficult to find locally, I ordered the new LNBF online from The Satellite Shop and had it shipped via USPS (shipping from the US to the Philippines took 1 1/2 weeks which must be some kind of record). I ordered the JSC324-2 model though they actually sent me the newer KSC324-2 model instead (which was nice).

By the way, if you create an account there to make a purchase, check your email before completing your order. They sent me a $10 coupon, which I applied to my order which helped make up for the high shipping cost (which was more than the LNBF itself). Total cost was $67.14 USD shipped (PHP 2,750). Here’s the new “Avenger” model they sent me.

DMSI Avenger Quad LNBF

With the new LNBF installed, I’m able to receive all of the channels again. I just have the P390 SD plan ($9.50 USD) that has 25 channels which includes HBO Asia and CNN Asia. That’s a pretty good deal especially considering I get 3 receivers included in that price. Cignal’s most expensive plan is currently P1590 ($38.70 USD) which includes HD channels as well.

Here’s some snapshots of the signal test screen.

Cignal Test 40

Sometimes the signal strength is higher, depending on the transponder.

Cignal Test 50

The signal quality is better now since they started using the new SES 7 satellite vs. NSS 11. You can see the SES 7 footprint here provides for better coverage for Luzon, whereas NSS 11 had better coverage for the southern islands (footprint here).

Addendum (August 5, 2013)

My Cignal setup includes 3 of these Homecast standard definition receivers.

Cignal Homecast Receiver

Its just what Cignal was offering at the time. They work pretty well, for the most part.

On the positive side, the audio/video playback is smooth with no glitching or dropouts. I had a different model prepaid receiver before this that would experience audio or video dropouts off and on (usually once or twice an hour).

On the negative side, the new receivers don’t save the channel or volume settings when they’re unplugged or there’s a power outage that effects them (whereas the old model would start up on the channel you left it on). This is mainly an issue when I’ve got a recording scheduled and there’s a power outage.

Also, the new receivers display a small black bar on the bottom of the screen that’s a little annoying, though if you’ve got enough overscan on your TV you might not notice it.

On a side note, I’ve found that if you leave a receiver unplugged long enough, it loses its activation, and then you’ve got to leave it plugged in long enough for it to reactivate itself (several hours, or overnight) or you need to call customer service.

One of my receivers I leave on all the time, and a second one is usually on for a few hours in the evening — no problem with either of those. But one of the units in a bedroom rarely gets used and it lost its activation several times while plugged into an AVR and left off most of the time. I fixed that by just plugging it directly into the wall and leaving it powered up all the time.

Overall I’m pretty happy with Cignal. I’ve got 3 receivers and a decent selection of channels for P390 a month.

November 2016 Update

One of my 3 Cignal Homecast receivers died. It’s been over a year already, but I haven’t bothered to replace it, yet. Everything I watch these days is all streaming.

The KSC324-2 Universal Ku-Band Quad LNBF is still working fine, though. And the receiver my wife watches on gets used almost every evening.

I noticed that The Satellite Shop that I got my Quad LNBF from isn’t carrying it anymore. If you’re looking for one, try searching other places, like Amazon: Avenger Universal Ku Band Quad LNBF KSC324-2 ($25).

  • I just bought a Cignal TV while I am displaced from Typhoon Yolanda. I am in Northern Samar now but, when I return to my home in Tacloban I want to hook the dish up and run 3 TVs . your blog has been the most helpful, should I buy the dish head for 4 outputs in USA, or rely on Cignal to provide one. I have an LBC box shipping soon so I can throw it in there for cheaper shipping. I did have Phil product cable and it was good but there building doesn’t exist anymore and don’t know when they will ever be in business again Let me know Thanks Emmett

  • Hi Emmett. If you want to use a Quad LNBF, it would probably be better to buy your own, as I don’t think Cignal will provide them (last I checked).

    If it was me, I’d get it in the US and put it in the LBC box (to save on shipping). If you do, make sure to get the Universal LNBF and not the ones used for Dish Network or DirecTV.

  • is there a possibility to use own receivers? If you have Videoguard CAM and use your Cignal card I think it should be possible or are there some problems to be expected?
    Is there a solution for 4 receivers because Cignal is offering up to 3 receivers.

  • Johan — I’m not sure about other receivers.

    I think the only solution if you want 4 receivers, is to pay for a second subscription for the 4th.

  • Is this also applicable to prepaid subscriber?

  • cjlonar, as far as I know, prepaid subscribers have to pay for a separate subscription plan for each receiver (instead of getting 3 on one post-paid account).

    But technically, you can still use a Quad LNBF to hook up the multiple pre-paid receivers, as long as they all have subscriptions.

  • David – thanks sharing this! I have 2 Cignal dishes and 2 HD receivers (one for bedroom and one for living room) prepaid costing me 990 pesos for each but was trying to figure how to consolidate and also add another TV/receiver.The prepaid deal sounds great.
    Our local installer did not know anything about dual LNB’s let alone QUAD.
    Question:the Quad LNB you recommend, will it fit all Cignal dishes or do I need to order for a given dish size?
    Question: I had read on US sites about the need for a multi – switch in addition to the DUAL or QUAD LNB. Can you comment on that?
    Question: Have you had any experience/luckfinding NFL games on Philippine television?
    Thanks, Shawn

  • Shawn, while I’m not familiar with all of the dishes Cignal uses, as long as it’s a Universal Ku-Band LNBF, I’d be surprised if it didn’t fit. It’s pretty standard.

    You don’t need a multi-switch. Those are usually for when you’re picking up multiple satellites from different positions. Cignal is all on one satellite.

    I haven’t noticed any NFL games on Philippines television, but I haven’t really looked, either, since I’m not really into sports.

    I see that the place I linked to isn’t carrying the Quad LNBF anymore (they’ve got a dual-output one, though). I saw one on Amazon, here, though:

    https://www.amazon.com/Avenger-Universal-KSC324-2-0-2dB-Noise/dp/B00AWHNXK0

  • David – much appreciated, thank you.. got it ordered!

  • Hi David, very informative post here! Found it through a google search, and now I am inclined on getting a subscription.

    I hope you can clarify my queries here.

    I plan to acquire a multiple-out LNB from lazada:
    http://www.lazada.com.ph/high-gain-universal-dual-output-ku-band-twin-output-hd-lnb-lnbf-6110439.html
    http://www.lazada.com.ph/high-gain-universal-ku-band-quad-output-hd-lnb-lnbf-6110434.html

    (1). Will any of these work with Cignal? So, I will get package from them (single-out LNB) but will eventually change to one of these. Because just a splitter will not do well, right?

    Since I intend to use more than one TV, I will need a STB/receiver (set top box) for each TV. Cignal sells an extra STB for an exorbitant Php1800?

    (2). Where can I get extra STBs? (not from Cignal) What is the type that I look for? I am sure there are compatible and non-compatible ones…but how do I choose? where do I look? will old US/Canada receivers work?

    Thanks!
    -Paul

  • My conversation with CIGNAL’s CSR over the phone today revealed that if I wanted to run another TV, I needed to buy another receiver. If POSTPAID, I will be paying an extra Php230/month for this receiver on top of the Php390 subscription plan. AND the connection they will make is via a splitter. they do not have multiple LNBs.

    So, to circumvent this, is it plausible to say:
    I purchase a plan (pre or post)
    change the LNB to a multiple one
    get my own receivers, to hook up to each TV

    Then, I will be paying the subscription only?

    Your thoughts?

  • Paul, it looks like those Universe KU Band LNBFs you have listed from Lazada would work with Cignal. You could try the splitter that Cignal uses and see how it works for you, and then change it out yourself to the Dual or Quad LNBF if you prefer.

    You have to get the receivers from Cignal. Those are the only ones that will work with their service due to the encryption they use (this is normal for satellite services). Old receivers from US/Canada won’t work here.

    I’ve heard that Cignal wants to lease the receivers for postpaid accounts these days (it was different when I signed up). You could try to press them and ask if its possible to purchase the receivers from them instead of leasing them so you don’t have to pay the monthly lease fee. I’m not sure if they’ll do it or not.

  • Thanks a lot David!
    So that is settled. Only Cignal receivers.

    I just dropped by a dealer and the receiver is Php2800 🙁

    Can a used/old receiver (of a relative or someone) that has lost its subscription, be used? How does that work?

    Can I buy a splitter in Quiapo? The ones used to split cable signals?

  • 2800 PHP seems like a reasonable price for a new HD receiver.

    A used Cignal receiver should technically work, but check with Cignal to be sure (if they allow it). I can’t think of any reason why they wouldn’t. They may need to update the firmware and replace the smart card.

    The cheap cable splitters probably won’t work because they’re designed to split lower frequencies for TV antennas. The satellite LNBF works at much higher frequencies and require special splitters designed for that.

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