Satellite TV

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Overview

With satellite television, you can purchase a television subscription that is delivered through communications satellites. Satellite dishes are installed on homes to receive signals from these satellites. Satellites can deliver signals to almost anywhere in the world, which is beneficial in areas without cable or land television services. Satellites deliver digital signals, and now, many satellite television providers offer packages with Internet. The first broadcast satellite launched in 1974.

Benefits

Satellite television is popular in many communities and is relatively affordable. In most areas, the price of a satellite television subscription is comparable to the price of a cable television subscription. Many satellite providers offer packages with high speed broadband Internet.

Satellite television offers many high definition channels. There are more than one hundred high definition channels available. There are also many local, broadcast, and international channels. It is possible to receive channels from all over the world. You may need a special satellite package or a second satellite dish, but there does exist an opportunity to watch channels from abroad.

In general, most cable subscribers need to pay rental fees to use equipment like cable and Internet boxes. Many satellite providers do not charge a rental fee for basic equipment. In general, fees will vary by area.

Satellite broadband Internet features a dedicated high speed connection. There is no waiting time to access the Internet since you are always connected. Satellite Internet services provide broadband access in areas where only dial-up is available. People who travel on ships and people who work in remote places could find satellite Internet access beneficial.

How It Works

To set up satellite television and satellite Internet, you need to set up a parabolic antenna that is contacts the satellite, a digital converter on the antenna, and a receiver card that is compatible with satellite Internet. For Internet, the necessary software includes a driver for the receiver card in your computer and an operating system that is compatible with the particular driver.

The antenna and small dish can be installed outside. This equipment is connected by a coaxial cable to the Indoor Receive Unit (IRU) and Indoor Transmit Unit (ITU). If you have satellite Internet, these units connect to your computer through a Universal Serial Bus (USB) port.

With satellite Internet, it is possible to watch television and be online at the same time. You will be able to access your high speed Internet the same way that you access your other broadband Internet subscriptions.

Companies/Brands

  • DirecTV is a broadcast satellite service that is located in California. The company has been offering satellite Internet services for 16 years and holds exclusive rights to the following sports packages: NFL Sunday Ticket, NCAA Mega March Madness, and NASCAR Hot Pass. DirecTV offers programming through ten satellites. Currently, DirecTV is planning to expand its high definition programming to include high definition television. DirecTV offers a high speed Internet package for home users. Rates vary based on your area, but in general, plans start at $49.99 per month, not including equipment and setup fees. DirecTV can sync with the Internet so that you can watch TV on your computer and share digital photos between your computer and TV. You can even record your television programming.
  • Dish Network is another satellite television provider that competes with DirecTV. Dish Network is two years younger than DirecTV and has fewer subscribers. Dish Network has ten fewer HD channels than DirecTV. Dish Network has three options for high speed Internet.
Last Updated: December 29, 2011
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