Homebound Satellite TV


You work your way into your office cubicle and see that high stack of papers you have to finish for the day. You say to yourself it’s alright because later in the day you can sit back and relax have a nice cold beverage and enjoy time with your family while watching a favorite game show. Technology has really taken a step forward in providing the information and entertainment needs as well as luxury. It is a marvel how signals can reach your favorite living room spot with your television set. Let’s take a look at how homebound satellite television or TV works its magic.

In satellite TV technology, there is a principle known as direct-to-home signals. These are the home receptions that make your everyday watching leisure possible. Direct broadcast satellite or simply DBS is the technological breakthrough that makes this process come through. The concept of direct-to-home or DTH was made in order to differentiate transmission that are simply for domestic purposes from transmissions that are relayed and distributed by commercial cable providers having the same satellite. These are commonly services that utilize low-powered satellites having dishes with 1.7 and above as diameter for receptions and signal distribution.

Let’s take a step back and view the pages of history regarding DBS. In 1988 in Europe in order to identify satellites that are commissioned on a national level which was rocketed to the skies for home TV broadcasts. This was before the launching of Astra 1A. Home television in Europe was quite limited before the arrival of DBS on the scene. Meaning there were only a roster having few channels to boot. Cable distribution initially required dishes that were 1.2 meters. At the onset of Astra 1A, dish sizes were reduced to just 60-80 centimeters which entirely relied on the use of PAL video format and frequencies within the FSS having linear polarization. DBS then became popular and adapted the name for Astra satellites and its services as well.

There used to be confusion between the terms DBS and DTH. In recent times it can be used interchangeably but DBS was also recognized as Broadcasting Satellite Services by the ITU or International Telecommunications Union. This indicates services that were widely distributed globally through different frequencies. Here each country was given a specific frequency working at certain orbital locations mainly for domestic purpose. Through the years, it has evolved to the utilization of digital technology providing wider coverage areas to a lot of countries. Nowadays, both DBS and DTH is identified with having both analog and digital coverage. DBS as utilized in Northern America denotes subscription satellite packages along with a roster of equipment involved in its usage.

There are two types of Direct Broadcast Satellite Service. These are Commercial DBS Service and Free DBS Service. Sky Television was the one which spearheaded the Commercial DBS Service. It catered the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland during a campaign having four channels in analog service. By the year 2001, it evolved into Sky Digital which boasts of services rooted on the principles of minidish and digibox. On the other hand, Germany is the recognized leader in Free DBS Service with network ranging from 40-100 digital channels. This paves the way for enjoyment in almost 12 million homes.

It is very amusing how technology can become homebound and allow families in all sizes to enjoy satellite television.