A transponder can be defined as a device that is located within the satellite to pick up and respond to an incoming signal. In communication satellites, sophisticated active transponders are used. These sophisticated transponders receive incoming signals over a range or band of frequencies and retransmits the signals on a different band simultaneously. In other words a transponder can be said to be a receiver-transmitter of satellite signals.

Transponders of communication satellites are used for receiving and sending signals of various TV programming. The signal that is sent to the communication satellite transponder from the earth surface by various TV networks is called “Uplink” signal. The signal sent by the transponder to a point (receiver dish) on the earth surface is called “Downlink” signal.

In case of communication satellite’s transponders, several video and audio channels may travel through a single transponder on a single band of frequencies.

In Dish Network satellites, one transponder is used to transmit several channels. Each Dish network satellite carries 32 transponders. The satellite transponder sends downlink signals directly to the earth where they are received by the receiver dish. The dish antenna further delivers the signals to the satellite receiver. There is a home transponder for every satellite in Dish Network. A Home transponder transmits system information like Electronic Program Guide data, system software etc.

In case a transponder fails to receive and transmit TV signals, then subscribers may lose programming for one or more TV channels. When signal is lost for a single transponder then the channels transmitted by the transponder cannot be viewed till the issue is sorted.

In Dish Network, subscribers can view the status of signals of satellites or transponders. Subscribers can check signals from transponders by checking the signal meter on the POINT DISH screen of the television. If subscribers want to check the signals of transponders or satellites, then they must follow the given button sequence with the help of their remote control:

  • Press MENU
  • Press 6 for System Setup
  • Press 1 for Installation
  • Press 1 for POINT DISH

On POINT DISH screen, subscribers can see the signal meter wherein they can view the signal from individual satellite. These signals bring home TV programming for subscribers. Uninterrupted reception of these signals depends upon many factors like weather, equipment or cable type or condition. When subscribers experience signal loss or an error message while watching TV programming, then they must check that the line of sight to the dish antenna is clear and unobstructed by tree or foliage etc. Also subscribers must check all cable connections to ensure they are tight and secured. If subscribers still cannot receive satellite signals, they can contact Dish Network’s customer care or a licensed retailer of Dish Network for further help.

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