You don’t really give it much thought as a satellite TV subscriber, but the game or movie you are watching comes to your home from a signal transmitted from space. Information surrounding this may or may not come in handy, but it is a smart preference to understand the science behind what you are paying for. In a nutshell, satellite TV is a system that allows watching television using a signal sent from an orbiting broadcast center. Your satellite dish picks this up and converts it to the video that you see on TV.
The TV Satellite
This is a giant electronic unit hovering 22,300 miles from the surface, and in stationary orbit, so it is almost always above the same spot on the ground. The satellite is designed to receive signals from TV centers and then send these back to the earth. This is what allows the wide-range broadcasts that subscribers rely on.
What The Dish Does
Providers make use of radio waves which only move in straight lines, hence the requirement that antennas be lined up properly to pick up the signals, without trees or buildings getting in the way. The curve in the dish is intended to let it capture more of the signal. This is then focused on the feed horn at the front, which in turn relays it to a converter called Low Noise Block (LNB). From there the signal is passed to the receiver in your home.
How The Satellite Receiver Works
The receiver is what lets you switch channels. It has a decoder to decode the signal coming in from the LNB, which is converted into a video and audio the signal and sent to your TV. Dish Network and DirecTV let you have DVRs or digital video receivers, which come with the provision to record TV programs even when you are into watching them.
It is also possible with Dish and DirecTV packages to choose an HD receiver if you want to watch TV programs in high definition. This is one of the things making satellite one of the best cable TV alternatives out there.
Satellite TV Programs
Channels you watch on satellite TV, such as ABC, HBO, and Fox, are paid by satellite providers for their programming rights. These networks then send their programs to the broadcast center, which in turn transmits it to the satellite. The major satellite TV providers don’t need introduction – they are DirecTV and Dish Network.
That was an overview of how satellite TV works. If you do get a channel or station blackout, then one of the things mentioned here has definitely gone wrong.