All You Want To Know About Satellite TV

Published: 30th April 2009
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Satellite TV is the new wave of television. It refers to broadcasting via communications satellites - very different from traditional "terrestrial television" and even from "cable television". Satellite TV offers a wider range of services and channels, not to mention subscription-only channels.

History of Satellite TV

Telstar satellite was the first to successfully relay satellite television signal in 1962, from Europe over North America in 1962. Only one year later, Syncom 2 - a geosynchronous communication satellite - made its way to the world. In 1965, Early Bird was launched - it was the first commercial satellite to make it to synchronous orbit. Two years later, the Soviet Union formed Orbita which works by using the elliptical Molniya satellites to redeliver and rebroadcast television signals to downlink stations (ground-based).

In North America, Canada was first to carry geostationary Anik 1 (in 1972). Ekran - the first Russian "geostationary satellite" - carried Direct-To-Home TV in 1976.

Satellite TV standards

There are thee broadcast standards used to distribute analog TV via satellite: PAL, NTSC, and SECAM. How does it work? The frequency modulated analog signal is altered from FM to baseband, which comprises the audio subcarrier and video signal.

Digitized television signal is usually QPSK. As a gerenal trend, digital TV (which includes those which are transmitted via satellite) are based on MPEG and DVB-S (both open standards).

Scrambling and access encryption (conditional) methods include Conax, BISS, Digicipher, Nagravision, Irdeto, Viaccess, PowerVu, VideoGuard, and Videocipher.

Satellite TV usage categories

Satellite TV usage comes in three main types: direct reception by the viewer, reception via local TV affiliates, and headends reception (then locally distributed using terrestrial cables). The first type includes DBS (which stands for direct broadcast satellite) and TVRO (short for television receive only). TVRO and DBS are used in homes and hotels.

Advantages of satellite TV

Satellite TV has many advantages, the biggest being all-digital programming - great for people who are sick of analog television and want the best clarity and resolution. Satellite TV uses Ku band signals plus the best digital equipment - a huge leap from the C-band analog cables (already outdated).

Satellite TV also guarantees braod coverage and stronger reception. If you do not have access to cable or if you live in far, rural areas, then this kind of TV is for you. Satellite TV likewise offers more options in terms of subscription - you can actually choose from among many different retailer companies (never get stuck with the only cable provider in your area). If you want the most varied programming options, then this is for you.
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