Satellite TV, one of the best technologies of our times.

Ever since the relaying of the first satellite TV signal in 1962, entertainment has been greatly revolutionized and it has greatly changed the world. Considering that this great technology has been around for merely half a century, we cannot underestimate the great and drastic influence it has had to our lives. Gone are the days when any live footage had to be recorded on tape and sent to various destination to later be aired giving big delays of hours and even days.

The transmission of satellite television is done by means of communications satellites that send signals which are received by antennae, usually satellite receiver at our households.The entire system has five major components namely; the programing source (this may be your cable TV provider), broadcast center, satellites for receiving signals, the viewer’s dish to pick signals from satellites and lastly the receiver which are TV sets that process the signals. Satellite compatible televisions then provide a wide range of services and channels for you to view. The satellite receivers come in various forms including external set box tuners and inbuilt TV satellite receivers that are incorporated into television sets. All the data is transmitted via satellites in either analogue or digital form thus two types of receivers are used, the analogue satellite receiver or digital satellite receiver. Currently analogue satellite television is being faced out worldwide with digital television as the latter provides better quality viewing also referred to as high definition television.

Prior to the invention of the satellite television, broadcast TVs were more commonly used. In broadcast TV, broadcast stations use powerful antennae to transmit signals to the surrounding area. One main limitation encountered is limited range of transmission. As the earth is spherical, signals line of sight often gets distorted and do not reach far. The distortion is further intensified by obstacles in the path of the transmission. Satellite TV on the other hand does not face this limitation. This is due to the fact that the transmission is done by satellites orbiting the earth giving a much greater reach and power of signals. The transmission of high quality data over thousands of miles cannot be easy since the signals carry high quality data. This is why the signals need to be compressed and all unnecessary and repetitive information removed before transmission. All video files are usually compressed by a standard referred to as the Moving Picture Experts Group (MPEG). There are other compression methods but MPEG is currently used as the standard form. This is because unlike other formats, it provides more bandwidth and can be encoded efficiently and effectively. MPEG currently has five other standards that are used for specific purposes but all these formats do provide high quality pictures.

Satellite TV comes with many advantages among them being that you can watch more than two channels at a time. Recording of TV shows is also possible and for parental control, one can attach passwords to desired channels. As we all know nothing lacks its downsides. One of the major disadvantage of satellite TV has to do with the weather. Poor and bad weather such as storms distort satellite signals leading to poor viewing or even no signals being received.