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Direct Broadcast Satellite ABC
Direct Broadcast Satellite (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.
Satellite TV works as a simple triangular scheme. The uplink station collects signals from various content providers (HBO, ESPN, Discovery, local providers, etc.), transforms it into high-frequency signal and emits to TV satellites orbiting the Earth. The satellites then send downlink signal back to Earth through electronic devices at the satellite called transponders. Single satellite can have up to four dozen transponders, each capable of transmitting up to a dozen TV channels. It adds up to a few hundreds of channels transmission capacity per single satellite possible.
Due to the very high altitude - 22.236 miles - TV satellite can cover much larger ground area - so called footprint -than a ground based antenna. Signal from the satellite is picked up by a small satellite dish antenna mounted at the subscriber's residence. Filtered and amplified, the signal is then sent to the satellite TV receiver, where it gets decoded, transformed radio-wave to a "usable" electrical form, and fed to the TV set, becoming a video/audio stream.
Originally, DBS frequency of choice was the high-powered Ku-band. However, the need for expanded programming resulted in use of other frequencies: the lower-power Ku-band's FSS frequencies, as well as lower-power C-band FSS frequency, and higher-frequency Ka-band. Use of lower-powered emissions resulted in the increase of the minimum dish size needed for efficient reception.
Good signal reception
requires no obstruction between the satellite and dish receptor: the
dish must have clear "view" of the satellite. Quality of reception also
depends on the receiver position within the "footprint" (the signal is
strongest in the center and weakens toward the periphery), position of
the satellite (the higher it is in the sky, the better) and
weather conditions (heavy rains or snow can
affect signal quality).
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