Multi-Dwelling Units

Echostar Knowledge Base
The Dish Network User's Resource

Shared dish

Perhaps the simplest method for small buildings is to have 1 dish (2 in some areas) shared by those who tie into it. A chain of 3 trunked DP34 switches will provide up to 12 tuner outputs.  Using the more expensive DPP44 instead allows up to 12 dual-tuner receivers. Each unit will have its own subscription as if it had its own dish. Ownership of the dish and switch(es) will need to be agreed upon between the users and/or landlord.


This is not to be confused with QAM used by many cable systems.  It is used in large buildings with existing cabling, allowing the whole satellite signal to be mixed with off air and travel through splitters, through RG-59, etc. without problem. The catch is the QAM headend modulator is expensive, and only certain receivers (3750, 351, 811) have a QAM-compatible tuner.


The Q-Box remodulates a QAM-modulated signal as QPSK so other satellite receivers can decode it. The Q-Box can be used with models 211, 411, 522, 622, 625, 722.

See the Tech Portal : Equipment : Q-Box for more information and How ViP211 is working with Q-BOX (SatelliteGuys) for screen shots.

DISH Optical Network

Press release:

In April 2008 DISH announced the launch of the nation’s first fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) satellite TV programming solution for multiple dwelling units (MDUs). Called the DISH Optical Network, the system has the capacity to deliver up to 400 high-definition programming channels to each DISH Network subscriber over a single strand of fiber optic cable.

“This is truly a breakthrough in programming delivery in the MDU space,” said Brian Yohn, vice president of Commercial Services. “Not only does the system require minimal wiring, but also it’s more affordable and offers residents access to DISH Network’s complete programming lineup.”

The DISH Optical Network base system supports up to 128 subscribers within an MDU and is scalable to support thousands of subscribers as required. Each DISH Network subscriber within a DISH Optical Network MDU can have up to six standard DISH Network receivers, including the award winning HD DVR.

“This DISH Optical Network system is ideal for low- to mid-range sized properties or properties that wish to have multiple video providers and require an equipment investment model that is based on guaranteed subscribers,” said Yohn.

The addition of DISH Optical Network, which will be available in production quantities later in 2008, expands DISH Network’s already robust distribution offerings for MDU customers. DISH Network’s L-band solution works well in a garden-style community while its SMATV and QAM systems can be utilized for high-rise buildings and universities. EchoStar’s ViP-TV model is able to support rural communities.

For more information about the DISH Optical Network or other MDU services, visit

The fiber stacker (gold box inside the white case) can feed up to 64 optical ODPP43 switches. Add the case with the amplifier to go up to 512.

Single-Wire Solution

The Single-Wire Solution will output to 2 dual-tuner receivers, each with its own Separator. Residential installers aren't expected to have it in stock, but hopefully it will be available for the occasional difficult installation.


EchoStar FSS Corporation (EFSSC) offers ViP-TV™ service, through which EFFSC has the ability to transport over 300 channels of secure broadcast quality popular television programming via satellite to Telco, private and rural cable operators, municipalities and master planned community video providers that have obtained rights for distribution of programming over their wire-line networks. ViP-TV is EFSSC's turn-key solution for wholesale multi-channel content transport and distribution, and offers customers affordable, scalable and aggregated MPEG-4 Internet protocol encapsulated radio and television programming channels from a high-powered Ku-band satellite at 85°.


The Dish Smartbox, shown at CES 2014, is Dish's first integrated head-end for commercial systems, replacing racks of home receivers.  It takes signals from up to 4 satellite slots (DP LNBs required) sending up to 96 channels to a separate distribution amp which determines how many TVs are supported. It can be fed by a Dish 1000 or 1000+ but many operators will want the robustness of separate larger dishes.

Updated 1-8-14.  Have a correction or addition? E-mail the Editor