• Satellite TV

    Satellite TV

    Remember back in the day when, if you lived in a rural area, you could only get a couple of television stations and then only if you had an outdoor antenna attached to your television? Technology has come a long way since then. One of the biggest advancements in the television industry is satellite TV. Learn more about satellite TV, how it works and all the services it can provide.

    What is Satellite TV & How Does it Work?

    Simply put, satellite TV is the process of getting television channels through the use of satellites. If a person thinks about satellite TV, it sounds complicated, but the actual process is very simple. There are several components in play. There is the TV, the satellite receiver box on top of the TV, the satellite dish on top of the roof, a large satellite in space, the direct broadcast service (DBS) provider, an additional satellite and the provider that offers the actual stations.

    Let’s use the example of a customer who has satellite TV through Dish Network, which is one of many satellite TV providers. The customer orders a specific channel package from Dish. Dish gets these channels from one of many programming sources. The channel package comes from the programming source, goes to a small satellite in space, to Dish Network, to a larger satellite in space, to the satellite on the customer’s roof, to the receiver and finally into the TV as channels. As I said, it’s actually quite simple once one knows all the components.

    How Satellite TV Differs From Broadcast TV?

    Although satellite TV is very similar to broadcast TV in that they’re both wireless systems used to deliver television stations into customers’ homes. However, there are some differences. With broadcast TV, there is a large antenna that’s used to transmit radio waves to a specific area. Customers use a smaller antenna to pick up the stations.

    The downside of broadcast TV is that, because the earth is not flat, the signals may be difficult to pick up if the customer’s antenna is not directly in line with the broadcast antenna. The signal can also become distorted if the viewing area is not real close to the broadcasting area.

    Satellite TV, on the other hand, capitalizes on the fact that the not-so-flat earth actually rotates. Because the satellites are very high and way up in space, they can use satellite dishes to cover a wide range of customers. The satellite dishes maintain their position in space and move at the same speed that the earth is rotating. The advantage to this is that customers get a clear picture without having to move an antenna or manually rotate their satellite dish.

    Is Satellite TV Better Than Cable or Broadcast TV?

    This age-old question has been asked since the beginning of time or at least for as long as they’ve been around. All of these services provide customers with what they want – a variety of television channels. While some satellite TV customers may experience difficulty during storms, others claim their service is everything they could want in television viewing.

    The one thing most customers really enjoy about satellite TV is that the picture is usually crystal clear. Satellite TV is definitely the chosen television provider for customers who live miles away from their local cable company or their broadcast TV provider.

    When is Satellite TV the Best Option?

    Satellite TV is typically used in rural areas where cable TV is not available. Customers who live out in the country or in rural areas generally find that satellite TV is not only the best option but may be their only option. However, this is not to say availability is the only reason customers may choose satellite TV.

    Some local cable companies may only offer a certain number of channels whereas large satellite companies like Dish or DirecTV, to name just a couple, may offer a larger variety of channels at the same or similar prices.

    Additional Services

    With so many satellite TV providers competing for customers’ business, they’re all attempting to offer as many additional services as possible just to be competitive. Not only do they offer a large variety of channels but also offer incentive packages such as free movie channels, free sporting packages or low lock-in rates for a certain amount of time.

    In addition, satellite TV providers generally also offer DVR (digital video recorders) service, high-speed Internet and telephone services in certain areas. Making the satellite TV look even more attractive are the “bundle packages” offered by many of the satellite TV providers.