Have you ever wondered about the “magic” behind the entertainment of TV? How does a DISH retailer in San Bernardino County, CA deliver the signal that brings myriad programming options into your living room each day? Here is a quick overview so you can learn the basics and impress your friends with your technical know-how.
Satellite: The final frontier
In short, satellite television is a wireless system that delivers programming directly to your home. It is transmitted via a radio signal. The tricky part is “line of sight.” To receive a radio signal, you have to be in direct line of sight of the antenna that is sending it out. Since we live on a big round ball, the curve of the Earth interrupts straight-flowing radio waves.
The solution is to send these waves into space, to a satellite, which has a direct line of sight to many TV viewers. The signal is sent from the satellite to satellite dishes (specialized antennas) which deliver your favorite shows. Because the satellites orbit the Earth at the same rate at which the Earth spins, the signal is not interrupted.
Parts to know
To accomplish this process just described, your satellite TV uses five main parts:
- Programming sources: These are the channels that provide programming for broadcast.
- Broadcast center: This is where the TV provider receives signals from the programming sources and shoots them up to the orbiting satellites.
- Satellites: These capture the broadcast signals and beam them back down to Earth.
- Satellite dish: Your dish receives the satellite’s signal and puts it through to the viewer in your home.
- Receiver: This processes the received signal and passes it to your TV.
- Voila! That’s entertainment.
The signal brought in by your receiver is typically encrypted. This is to ensure only those who pay for services can receive the programming. Your receiver unlocks the signal with the proper decoding device. It then takes the signal and converts it to the format needed by your TV. Next, it extracts individual channels from the entire signal so you can watch one program at a time and flip through channels to find what you like. Additionally, your receiver tracks pay-per-view programming, provides an onscreen programming guide and usually offers digital video recording (DVR) for your convenience.
We’ve come a long way
Back in the 1990s, when satellite television premiered, the concepts were the same but the convenience was not. You may remember huge dishes taking up entire small yards or blocking the view of an otherwise charming home. At the time, satellite TV was for die-hards determined to get extra channels. Now, compact satellite dishes are perched on tiny townhome roofs and are barely noticeable on some houses. They are popular options, especially for those in rural areas who don’t have access to other local providers.
Put your knowledge to the test
There you have it. A quick breakdown of satellite TV. Are you ready to start experiencing it yourself? Contact JDS Systems, your DISH retailer in San Bernardino County, CA, to put this technology to work entertaining you!