From enormous „radar“ style dishes parked in the center of a lawn or yard to the discreet and incredibly efficient receiver dishes mounted on the roofs and exteriors of today’s homes, satellite equipment has evolved rapidly and dramatically. In fact the entire industry has gone from one of techie enthusiast to mass market entertainment very rapidly.
Today’s satellite dishes receive clear signals and picture perfect images from satellites orbiting the Earth. These signals originate in a variety of places, but the components within a satellite television system interpret them into movie quality images and sound.
The required elements of a modern satellite television system are the satellite dish and mount, the receiver unit, and satellite signals broadcast by programming sources and distributed centers. Though this at first may sound a bit complex, the entire system is quite straightforward and well-developed. The programming source is basically either a national or local channel. Many people are familiar with traditional national channels and networks, and often seek satellite television specifically for the programs such channels provide. Many people also want to keep up to date with local programming and news and will also require receipt of their local television channels. The national channels provide a feed or broadcast directly to a programming center, while a local channel will rely upon a fiber-optic cable or antenna to send their own signals to a separate programming source, which then forwards this on to the programming center.
A programming center is the hub for all programs to be received and broadcast to the various satellites used by the center. There are currently an amazing number of satellites for television programming. These units receive and send out the signals from programming centers, which are then received by the millions of satellite dish systems in homes, offices, schools and businesses around the world.
The home equipment used by most satellite television customers consists of the dish and the receivers. Consumers are able to directly purchase all of their own equipment and set up service with a provider, or they may rent the equipment when they order their service to be installed.
Today there a seemingly unlimited number of programming packages and options for consumers to choose from, including national and local programming, high quality music and radio programs, high definition networks and movies, as well as many international and alternative programs. In addition to traditional subscription packages the industry has been able to create an amazing variety of „on demand“ or „pay per view“ programming options. These can include movies that are currently playing in theaters, subscriptions to sporting events or entire seasons, special access to entertainment venues, adult entertainment features, and even some multiplayer gaming experiences.
Most satellite television systems are integrated with a traditional home telephone line, and this allows a continuous flow of information between the provider and the owner, which enables a great many interactive features and benefits to be available.
With the availability of high quality television sets, surround sound systems and various recording devices, an investment in a satellite television system can eliminate the need to leave home for most family entertainment needs.