Satellite television or Satellite TV refers to television programs, which are delivered by way of communications satellites and received by satellite dishes or set-top boxes. In several areas across the globe, it provides a large number of channels as well as services, usually to areas which are not covered by terrestrial as well as cable providers.
In 1962, the first ever satellite TV signal was relayed to Telstar satellite over Northern America from Europe. In 1963, the first ever geosynchronous communication satellite, was launched. It was known as Syncom 2. Then the first commercial communication satellite was launched in the synchronous orbit in 1965. It was named Intelsat I. In 1967; satellite communication entered a new phase, when the first ever national network of satellite TV, called Orbita, was set up in the Soviet Union. In 1972, the first ever domestic North American satellite was launched. It was Canada's Anik 1.
Satellites used for relaying television signals are usually in naturally highly elliptical orbit or geostationary orbit above the equator. Satellite TV, like other communications, which are relayed by satellites, begins with the transmitting antenna situated at an uplink facility. The uplink satellite dishes are quite large, and may be as large as 9 to 12 meters in diameter. This large diameter helps in more accurate aiming as well as improved signal strength. The dish is pointed towards a particular satellite and signals are transmitted in a particular frequency range, in order to be received by the transponders, which are tuned to that particular frequency range on that satellite. Thereafter, the transponder retransmits these signals back, although at another frequency band, usually in the C-band or the Ku-band or both.
In recent times, a new concept has evolved, i.e. of Direct broadcast via satellite, or direct broadcast satellite. It is generally addressed as "Direct-To-Home," and refers to satellite television broadcasts, that are intended for home reception. The term DBS may either refer to the communication satellites themselves which provide DBS services or the actual television service.
In the recent times, a large number of firms have entered the field of satellite TV. A major reason for this may be the ever increasing popularity of such services. Some of the most popular satellite service providers include DirecTV, DISH Network, GlobeCast WorldTV and VOOM. Stiff competition has forced most of these service providers to come up with attractive and consumer-friendly services, for luring more customers. This way, the customer emerges as the winner.
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