Satellite TV is a highly advanced technology that allows television channels to be delivered through satellites placed high above the Earth. In order to receive these channels, the viewer must subscribe through service provider and install a receiving dish and a receiver.
How it works
The TV station sends the channel information through a transmitting tower at the uplink plant. This signal travels to the satellite above and is re-transmitted to parabolic receivers elsewhere. From there, it is strengthened (having weakened during its travels through the atmosphere) and converted to a lower frequency to be sent out to consumers.
Gone are the days of massive satellite receivers in the front yard or balanced precariously on a rooftop. The modern version is much simpler and doesn’t deface the front lawn. Tiny compact dishes now perch on the roof, barely even noticeable.
The satellite dish receives the signal and transfers it to the receiver, a small box that decodes the channels inside the house. This box is a vital component in the system. It unscrambles the channel code and sends it to the television set as well as keeping track of any pay-per-view programs that are watched so the view can be correctly billed.
The satellite TV signal is susceptible to many external factors, including rain and cloud cover or interference via terrain depending on whether it is of the C or L band persuasion.
What Satellite TV has to offer
Advantages of this technology are the sheer number of channels that can be made available to the consumer through use of the satellite. One of the most famous satellite TV providers is Direct TV, which boasts over 250 channels.
Since there are so many channels available, they can afford to be very specific. For example, you might subscribe to the race car channel if you are into that sport. Or perhaps, you prefer to watch only science fiction. Not a problem with hundreds of options to choose from.
With such a dizzying array of options, you would imagine that viewers never get bored, but there’s more. Satellite TV packages usually include satellite radio stations as well as several other options included.
For families, satellite TV service providers such as Direct TV offer parental controls, a way to block unsuitable channels from young eyes. This is a great way to prevent impressionable children from seeing violent or suggestive movies and television shows.
Satellite TV also allows the viewer to select the channels they wish to see, including a wide array of international feeds.
As with any such technology, there are those who have decided to take advantage of the opportunity. Hackers have developed ways to hijack satellite TV signals and get free views, particularly of pay-per-view channels. Descrambling devices became quite popular for some time, but companies have taken steps to protect themselves against these illegal devices.
Another disadvantage of satellite TV is that you cannot watch and record two separate channels at the same time since the decoder can only broadcast one channel at a time. In order to do this, you need to have a second receiver box.
These problems are small in the face of the advantages provided by satellite TV.