What Is Satellite TV?
Satellite TV is a wireless system for delivering television programming directly to a viewer’s house or business. A small dish, about 18 to 24 inches in diameter, is installed outside your house or business. Television and satellite stations transmit programming via a radio signal. Two providers of satellite TV are Direct TV and Dish Network.
How Does Satellite TV Work?
Broadcast stations use a powerful antenna to transmit radio waves to the surrounding area. Viewers can receive the signal with a smaller antenna. The radio signals used to broadcast television emit signals from the broadcast antenna in a straight line. To receive these signals, the satellite dish has to be in the direct line of sight of the antenna. Obstacles like trees or buildings are not a problem, but a big obstacle, such as the Earth, will reflect radio waves.
What Are The Types of Satellite TV Distribution?
There are two primary types of satellite television distribution: Direct Broadcast Satellite (DBS) and Television Receive-Only (TVRO)
Direct broadcast satellite (DBS) also known as “direct to home,” is a relatively recent development in the world of television distribution. Direct broadcast satellite can either refer to the communications satellites themselves that deliver DBS service or the actual television service. DBS systems are commonly referred to as “minidish” systems. DBS uses the upper portion of the KU-band.
DBS systems rely upon proprietary reception equipment, most often in the form of a television set-top signal descrambling box. This measure assures satellite television providers that only authorized, paying subscribers have access to the content.
The first commercial DBS service, Sky Television, was launched in 1989 and served customers in the United Kingdom. Hughes’ Direct TV, the first high-powered DBS system, went online in 1994 and was the first North American DBS service. In 1996, Echostar’s Dish Network went online in the United States and has gone on to similar success as Direct TV’s primary competitor. Commercial DBS services are the primary competition to cable television service.
Television receive-only, or TVRO, refers to satellite television reception equipment that is based primarily on open standards equipment. This contrasts sharply with direct broadcast satellite, which is a completely closed system that uses proprietary reception equipment. TVRO is often referred to as “big dish” satellite television.
TVRO systems are designed to receive analog satellite signals from both C-band and KU-band satellite television or audio signals. TVRO systems tend to use larger rather than smaller satellite dish antennas, since it is more likely that the owner of a TVRO system would have a C-band-only setup rather than a KU-band-only setup. Additional receiver boxes allow for different types of digital satellite signal reception, such as DVB/MPEG-2 and 4DTV.