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Cascade
05-27-2005, 07:19 AM
I'll start off this review with a note about dish size.
As FTA in general has become more and more popular, people have been looking for ways to maximise signal strength.
Here in the USA FTA is still relatively new on Ku band, although we have a multitude of satellites to work we are unfortunately lagging behind those in Europe whose FTA line-up easily matches a regular DishNetwork/DirecTV package.
A 30" (76cm) dish for Ku is more than adequate to receive most of the programming across the pond and they have a fantastic range of powerful satellites to aim their dish toward.
Here, we're not so lucky (yet) a 76cm dish is considered the bare minimum to receive FTA signals with a 90cm dish being preferred.
Not everyone is lucky enough to be able to install a larger dish which is where the Invacom LNBs come in.

Over the last year I've used a Winegard 76cm dish along with a DMSI ASC321 LNB, by all accounts my setup worked well and was content with what I had.

I received the Invacom SNH-031 last week from Tim over at DMS International (http://www.dmsiusa.com/), everybody knows these are *the* LNB to own with their low .3dB noise figure so I decided to put this to the test.

What's in the box?
The Invacom arrived double-boxed from DMSI and was packed securely to prevent damage.
Upon opening the inner box I noticed a spec sheet along with a table of graphs with the noise figure and gain response from this actual LNB.
Invacom must be proud of their figures, nobody else I know of shows you exactly what the specs on the LNB you just bought are.
Invacom also included a gaiter to prevent water ingress through the F-connector.

The SNH-031 is a fair amount heavier than the usual Ku LNB which I found reassuring - you know it's constructed to a high standard by the look and feel but not anywhere near heavy enough to affect the mounting arm on your dish.

After taking numbers from a few of my favourite transponders with my Winegard I took down the ASC321 and bolted the SNH-031 to the arm.

This is where the important part begins, anyone can claim a certain amount of gain, or a low noise figure, but it means nothing on paper unless it delivers.

The Invacom delivers.

That's all there is to it.
Taking my favourite transponder on Galaxy10R - TheTube on 11720/V/27692 my usual strength was 32% Signal/100% Quality which fluctuated especially when wind was blowing and caused pixellation and macroblocks onscreen.
The Invacom raised my signal by 5 points to 37 but by far the best part was a ROCK SOLID 100% quality reading.

No pixellation.
No macroblocks.
All music, all the time.

After trying the Invacom on a few other weaker transponders it delivered the goods, a few Canadian feeds off Anik had always been very temperamental, and while it didn't give me a 500% raise in signal it did give a rock-steady picture without the usual squeaks and dropped frames I'd normally get.

Conclusion:
At the end of the day when it's all installed, for a lot of people it's whether the thing works as claimed and whether you can watch some good free TV without having to worry about the more technical aspects.
Sure, people can throw numbers around all day but when you find something that can actually prove how effective it is in real life, you know you've found something special.
It may cost a little more than the el-cheapo units found on eBay but the extra initial expense is well worth it especially for a novice installer who can quickly become frustrated with a dubious signal from equally dubious equipment.

The Invacom SNH-031 is a universal LNB aimed at those who wish to squeeze the best possible signal from their dish regardless of size.

And it does just that, extremely well.

Add on the fact that your Invacom is guaranteed to work for 5 years and you have a clear winner.

Many thanks to the extremely knowledgeable and helpful Tim Heinrichs from http://www.dmsiusa.com (http://www.dmsiusa.com) - to Pete (PSB) and to all who help out in the FTA section.

PSB
05-27-2005, 07:29 AM
Well done Cascade nice work. Remember you still have two chances to win one of these LNBF here.......


http://www.satelliteguys.us/showthread.php?t=66990 (http://www.satelliteguys.us/showthread.php?t=66990)

Iceberg
05-27-2005, 07:40 AM
so you replaced the 12db with the .3 then :)

Great review :)

mk279
05-27-2005, 08:22 AM
I received mine last week and what a difference. I haven't even put my dish on the roof yet, I'm still working with it on my deck and I am going right thru the heart of a ton of trees and I have signals and channels from Pas 9 to Galaxy 10R. I couldn't get a sniff from G10R with all the trees I am going thru and after changing to the SNH-031 I probably have about half the channels now. I figure once I get it installed on the roof I'll get everything out there with a blazing signal and quality as I will have no more tree issues. I'm actually thinking about moving up to the QPH-031 and really go high end.

:D :D :D

Iceberg
06-01-2005, 04:47 PM
cant wait to get mine :)

air88
06-09-2005, 12:13 AM
Hi, guys:

I haven't seen the long waiting LNB comparision. I know, I should not push them to do the extra work. The reason I want to know that is because I and several of my clients are going to buy it, but we don't know if it is good.

If I remember coreectly, the only feedback I see on this board is: "Hey, I got it today ..."

So can I reasonablely think that they did do the comparison, but they don't want to upset us by the results?

Shawn95GT
06-09-2005, 01:08 AM
Well... Cascade did a review:

http://www.satelliteguys.us/showthread.php?t=70533

Iceberg I'm pretty sure has a 0.3 vs 0.4 vs 0.5 review in the works.

Long story short - it's a great LNB.

I'd like to compare it to some other 0.3 rated LNBs

air88
06-09-2005, 02:16 AM
Thanks, Shawn. I did miss Cascade's review. Sorry.

But frankly, I feel it is pretty negative to the Invacom SNH-031.

In the review:
- I don't care about "What's in the box?", all I need is LNB.
- Packaging good? who cares. UPS pays for damage it!

Only one result there:

from DMSI ASC321 LNB (0.5dB) to Invacom SNH-031 (0.3dB):


Taking my favourite transponder on Galaxy10R - TheTube on 11720/V/27692 my usual strength was 32% Signal/100% Quality which fluctuated especially when wind was blowing and caused pixellation and macroblocks onscreen.
The Invacom raised my signal by 5 points to 37 but by far the best part was a ROCK SOLID 100% quality reading.

What? "Invacom raised my signal by 5 points to 37", ONLY?? I don't hope too much, but 5% increase only??? worth the double price?

I know it is not a good comparision, but Iceberg's .5dB and .4dB got better results. ( http://www.satelliteguys.us/showthread.php?t=70909&page=1 (http://www.satelliteguys.us/showthread.php?t=70909&page=1) )

Cascade
06-09-2005, 05:40 AM
air88, you have to remember, LNB tecnology can only go so far in boosting your signal.
There's no doubt the Invacom is great, but no LNB in the world is going to give you a 20-50% boost in signal strength at this stage.

It'll never take the place of a larger dish, however it's perfect for someone who wants to squeeze every last ounce of gain from their setup and could make the difference between a watchable station and a screen full of macroblocks/sparklies.

At the end of the day, you get what you pay for.

Iceberg
06-09-2005, 07:41 AM
**rant on**

air88

chill about the reviews....some of us have things going on in our lives that take time away from the board (and everything else for that matter).

Yes, I got my Invacom on Monday and I said a review would be coming...but Tuesday night it rained...HARD
Last night it was so muggy you could barely go outside and with the heavy cloud cover (again, because of rain coming) the numbers I would have gave would not be accurate. I don't feel that is right for a comparison. There is a .4/.5 comparison in the main area that I did. I will be putting my Invacom up soon when I do my changeover (I had the bolts on my motor bust so the motor isn't 100% tracking right. That will be done soon

Cascade did a nice review and it seems you ridicule it. Its a little hard for Cascade to give everyone a comparison of the whole arc because his LOS issue is from 95 east. (dont mean to rub it in Cascade)

I guess from now on I won't say "I'll do a review and have it up on this day" because it seems every time I do and god forbid I miss the deadline, we seem to get lynched for no reason.

OK...I'm done ranting now. :)

Reigster at SatelliteGuys