those happy days with no
satellite TV? Only a single analog TV
service available, and everything about getting and using it was
as simple as: get it, click, go. No need to waste time on
anything else but watching your favored programming.
days are gone. Today, you have to decide
between competing cable TV companies and satellite TV providers,
each coming at you with a juicy red carrot swinging from the end
of a long, wobbly stick. Television, phone, Internet, radio... You need to filter out
what matters, and
compare. In other words, in order to make the right decision,
you need to get informed.
Looking for that best TV deal?
You probably can chose between cable TV and satellite
television. Then between the two
Network. And, possibly, between two or even more cable TV
If you are interested in cable TV
offers, you'll probably find info on
cable TV equipment and installation, as well as specific
cable TV providers helpful.
satellite TV? After
Why satellite TV?
Free digital satellite TV system
you should know better why it is - or isn't - a good idea for
you. If curious about the way satellite TV works, you'll find
Direct Broadcast Satellite
and related articles interesting.
Is cable TV better than
satellite? In the end, it is only you whose judgment will
Cable or Satellite TV? can help you make that decision.
Then there are
high-speed Internet deals. Which one is best for you? Also,
high-definition television; do you need it, or not? And is
satellite radio really so much better?
For the latest in cable/satellite
industry that matter to the consumer, check out
You may find
glancing over the
helpful in surfing this site. And, take your time. Before
deciding for a particular service, make sure you know what the
whole package is, including terms and conditions. That can save
you unwanted surprises, and make sure that you are getting what
those happy days with no cable
television, no satellite TV? Only a single analog TV
service available, and everything about getting and using it was
as simple as: get it, click, go...
or satellite TV? Which
one is better: satellite TV or cable? In most any comparison, the answer seems to
depend on whom you ask...
Cable TV Cable TV is how the
television entered American homes. In its early stages, cable TV
service was quite different from the modern cable TV we know
Direct Broadcast Satellite Direct
(DBS) TV service is a high-powered broadcast service to homes using
satellites as the primary form of signal transmission. Its high transmission power makes possible use of relatively
small dish antennas for efficient signal reception and utilization.
Commercial satellite TV, as we know it, is a DBS service...
Network is the second largest direct broadcast satellite (DBS) service
provider in the US. Together with
DirecTV, it shares the US home satellite TV market. Dish Network started
commercial DBS broadcasting in 1996, after its first TV
satellite - EchoStar I - has been launched in 1995...
DirecTV is a direct broadcast
satellite (DBS) service provider, based in Las Vegas, Nevada. Launched
in 1994 by Hughes Electronics Corporation, it was the very first
high-powered (mini-dish) DBS service in the world...
High-speed INTERNET Whether you spend many hours browsing the
Internet on daily basis, or use it less frequently,
high-speed Internet connection appears to be irresistibly
convenient. While it comes at added cost, most people find its
benefits worth added expense, which can be quite low...
Are you too mystified and intrigued by this new kid
on the TV block: high-definition television. Expectations
run high, but so is the uncertainty - what is really different
about it, when compared with standard-definition television (SDTV)?...
Satellite Radio If you like listening to radio programming,
satellite radio has some goodies to offer. Great variety of
channels, most of them commercial-free, high quality sound when
it is needed, possibility to listen to your favored programming
wherever you are...
latest in the satellite/cable industry...
Glancing over these few basic terms may be
helpful in using this site.
ANALOG SIGNAL -
continuous electromagnetic signal based on amplitude; compared
to digital signal, of less reliable quality and significantly
lower channel capacity
DCT - Digital
Cable Terminal, usually set-top box with cable converter and
descrambler needed for reception of digital cable TV channels
DIGITAL SIGNAL -
electromagnetic signal based on binary code; much less affected
by loss in amplitude than analog signal; also, due to better
compression, with much higher channel capacity
- Digital Cable Television
The original microwave (radio) frequency range (4GHz-8GHz) set
aside for communication satellites in the United States. Its
transmission power is limited, so that satellites wouldn't
interfere with terrestrial radio services, using similar
frequency range. As a consequence, the minimum dish size antenna
required for efficient reception is around 3 feet in diameter,
with the average dish size being around 6 feet. While its use by
individuals is now relatively infrequent, it is still widely
used on the global level. C-band emissions typically cover
larger to much larger areas than more recent satellite
frequencies; being of a longer wavelength, they are less
affected by adverse weather.
BROADCAST SATELLITE (DBS):
Commercial television service at high-powered
frequencies, allowing the use of a small dish
antenna receptor. The original frequency range for
DBS transmission was Ku-band ("u" stands for
"under", or lower frequency range of the K-band),
but recently it expanded to include the lower
frequency FSS range, as well as higher frequency
Ka-band ("a" stands for the portion of K-band
"above" the Ku-band frequency).
FOOTPRINT: Area on the ground over which the signal
from a particular TV satellite can be effectively utilized.
"Fixed service satellite", a term used to describe satellites
operating in portions of the C-band and low Ku-band
(11.7GHz-12.2GHz) frequencies. Since the minimum allowed orbital
separation between these satellites is only 2°, transmission
power is limited to lower powers in order to avoid emission
Broad range of radio frequencies from 12GHz to 90Ghz
Ka-BAND: 18GHz-40GHz transmission frequency range,
mainly for radar and general communications. Recently,
frequencies used for satellite TV transmission have expanded to
the lower portion of this range.
Ku-BAND: The original
radio frequency range (12GHz-18GHz) set aside for
DBS television service. Since it doesn't interfere
with terrestrial radio services, its transmission
power can be significantly higher than that for the
C-band. As a result, it requires a smaller minimum
dish antenna size for efficient reception. The limit
to transmission power comes from the need to avoid
emission interference between Ku-band satellites
themselves. For that reason, the minimum orbital
separation between two independently operated
Ku-band satellites is set by regulations at ample
Video data transmission (compression/decompression) format,
developed by the MPEG (Moving Pictures Experts Group).
MPEG-4: More advanced
video data transmission protocol, that also uses
only about half as much bandwidth for a given
quality level as MPEG-2. This makes it better suited
for bandwidth demanding programming, such as HDTV.
Splitting radio frequency into two modes, in order
to double transmission capacity
Brand of satellite TV receiver that uses hard-disc technology to
record and manipulate programming.