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Vor einigen Tagen wurde ein großes Update für das neue DreamOS der DM820 und DM7080 veröffentlicht. Neben vielen Neuerungen ist die wahrscheinlich sichtbarste Neuerung die komplett überarbeitete Menüstruktur.

Hauptmenü umstrukturiert

Viel Zeit und Energie haben die Entwickler von Dream in eine logische Umstrukturierung des Hauptmenüs investiert. Zwar ist kurz gesagt alles anders, jedoch steckt nun eine Logik dahinter, die deutlich mehr Sinn macht.

menue_daserste

In den Einstellungen sind die Menüpunkte nun wie folgt gruppiert:

Kanäle und Aufnahmen. Dieser Menüpunkt beinhaltet sowohl die Kanalsuche als auch die Jugendschutzeinstellungen, Konfigurationsmöglichkeiten für den Aufnahmepfad sowie HbbTV.

Bild und Ton. Die Konfiguration der Menüanimationen sind hier ebenso enthalten wie die Auswahl von installierten Skins, A/V-Einstellungen, erweiterte Video-Einstellungen, Display und Sprache.

Geräte. Die Konfiguration für alle Ein- und Ausgabegeräte sind unter „Geräte“ zusammengefasst. Dies beinhaltet Speichermedien, CI, Eingabe, Keyboard sowie auch HDMI-CEC.

Die übrigen Menüpunkte Softwareverwaltung, Netzwerk und System sind gleich geblieben. Lediglich die Einstellungen für UPnP und DLNA sind nun in das Netzwerkmenü gewandert.

Verbesserte Unterstützung „unter der Haube“ für FullHD-Skins

Ein weiterer Fokus dieses Updates schien bei hochauflösenden Skins gelegen zu haben. Dabei liest sich die Beschreibung des Updates so, dass die neuen Enigma2-Images recht flexibel auf verschiedene Auflösungen reagieren können — Full-HD wird jedoch schon seit einiger Zeit ebenfalls unterstützt.

Plugin- und Skin-Bauer steht nun eine größere Palette an Tags zur Verfügung, mit denen die Größe bestimmter Ansichten sowie auch die Schriftgröße festgelegt werden können. Hierfür wurde auch der Default-Skin bereits angepasst und dient als Referenz.

EPG und CEC

Eine zwar kleine Veränderung, aber dafür umso Praktischer ist die neue Belegung der gelben Taste. Ist kein Menü oder Plugin geöffnet, so öffnet die gelbe Taste nun die detaillierte EPG-Ansicht über das aktuell laufende Programm — anstelle des Menüs für die Auswahl der Audiospur. Dies war vorher nur durch manuelles Umprogrammieren der Fernbedienung möglich. Sofern die genutzte Fernbedienung nicht über eine separate Audio-Taste verfügt, bleibt jedoch das alte Verhalten bestehen.

In der Multi-EPG-Ansicht von Enigma2 bzw. DreamOS wurde die gelbe Taste ebenfalls etwas umprogrammiert: Die Taste kann genutzt werden, um zwischen der Primetime- und „Jetzt“-Ansicht umzuschalten. Dies lässig sich über die Menütaste im Multi-EPG jedoch konfigurieren.

Interessante Neuerungen gibt es bei der HDMI-CEC-Ansteuerung. So gibt es nun eine extra angepasste Ansteuerung für Panasonic und Samsung. Standardmäßig ist diese zwar deaktiviert, kann aber in den CEC-Einstellungen aktiviert werden, sofern die CEC-Ansteuerung nicht so funktioniert, wie erwartet.

Fazit

Nach ein wenig Eingewöhnungszeit fällt zumindest unser Fazit zur neuen Menüstruktur klar aus: Es ist deutlich aufgeräumter und die neue Struktur macht Sinn! Was haltet ihr von der neuen Menüstruktur? Die Entwickler haben aktiv die Community nach ihren Meinungen gefragt — die auch im eigens dafür angelegten Thread im Dreamboard geäußert werden kann.

Zudem sollte die neue HDMI-CEC-Ansteuerung für zumindest manche User eine noch bessere Unterstützung ihrer Fernseher mitbringen — zumindest der erwähnten Hersteller.

Wie immer gibt es dieses Update zunächst nur für den experimentellen Zweit von DreamOS. Wer die Neuerungen also schon jetzt haben möchte, kann unter dreamboxupdate.com das offizielle experimentelle Image von Dream für die DM820 und DM7080 herunterladen und installieren.

Nutzer von alternativen Images müssen sich in der Regel ein paar Tage gedulden, bis die Änderungen verfügbar sind. Da es sich hier um ein etwas größeres Update handelt, ist davon auszugehen, dass es diesmal ein wenig länger dauern könnte.

facebook YouTube auf der Dreambox derzeit nur über HbbTV

Um auf YouTube über die Dreambox zuzugreifen, gab es bisher immer zwei Möglichkeiten: HbbTV und das MyTube-Plugin. Der große Vorteil des MyTube-Plugins ist, dass es nativ auf jeder Dreambox-Generation, die auf Enigma2 basiert, problemlos und ziemlich zudem auch sehr performant läuft. Der Nachteil ist jedoch, dass es auf die Programmierschnittstellen von YouTube angewiesen ist — im Gegensatz zur HbbTV-App, die direkt von YouTube bereitgestellt wird.

Nun hat YouTube tatsächlich Änderungen an der Schnittstelle durchgeführt, sodass diesmal größere Anpassungen an MyTube nötig werden. Dies liegt daran, dass eine alte Version der Schnittstelle abgeschaltet und auch eine neue Version ersetzt wurde. Diese scheint doch verschieden genug zu sein, dass Videos nicht ohne weiteres abgespielt werden können und der Zugang zu YouTube derzeit komplett verwehrt bleibt. Der einzige Ausweg derzeit bleibt nur der Zugang auf YouTube über HbbTV.

Doch es gib auch gute Neuigkeiten! Entwickler von Dream Multimedia sind bereits dran und ein Update für MyTube soll schon sehr bald veröffentlicht werden — details dazu gibt es imDreamboard.

In der Zwischenzeit haben schon andere Nutzer damit begonnen, eigene Anpassungen für MyTube durchzuführen. Hierzu wurde auf Github bereits ein Repository mit ersten Anpassungenveröffentlicht, bei dem es sich bereits um ein lauffähiges MyTube-Plugin handeln soll. Experimentierfreudige und erfahrene Engima2-Nutzer werden damit sicherlich ihren Spaß haben.

Wir empfehlen jedoch, auf das offizielle Update von Dream Multimedia zu warten und so lange auf HbbTV auszuweichen. Sobald das Update für MyTube veröffentlich wird, wird es dazu natürlich einen weiteren Artikel hier im Dreambox-Blog geben!

Could satellite technology make TV programming truly global?

When the world awoke on March 11, 2011, many turned on the TV news and saw that Japan had been devastated by an earthquake and tsunami of epic proportions. The pictures and news footage of the devastation were shocking.

As the days wore on, the images of people huddled in shelters, or fighting fires at several nuclear plants where radiation was leaking, were more than gripping. The disaster dominated the world’s interest for days as the death toll climbed and as the nuclear crisis intensified. A Pew Research Center poll conducted a week after the tsunami showed that 57 percent of Americans followed the disaster closely — more than any other story at the time [source: Pew Research Center].

It wasn’t that long ago, disasters received attention only on the front page of newspapers or during the nightly news. But that was then. Today, thanks to satellite technology, disasters, wars and other stories of public interest are beamed into our houses — not to mention our iPhones and iPads — 24/7.

Although it might seem trite to say, television has indeed made the world a smaller place — a truly global community. Networks have been able to use satellite communication technology to deliver news and programming as the human drama unfolds [source: Ainsworth]. Satellite TV allows all of us, no matter our address, to share experiences and react as one.

Additionally, satellite technology has helped the world collectively cheer the achievements of athletes during the Olympics, World Cup soccer matches and other sporting events. Just as importantly, satellite TV has allowed many of us to share our culture through TV shows, educational programming and music.

During the 1968 Democratic Convention in Chicago, Vietnam War protesters shouted “the world is watching” as police cracked down on the demonstrators. Satellite TV has made that phrase truer today than it ever has been. Read on to learn more.

The first satellite communication occurred on July 26, 1963, when a U.S. Navy ship located off Nigeria communicated with the naval station at Lakehurst, N.J. [source:Federal Communication Commission].

Soon after, telephone companies and television networks started using satellites to broadcast signals around the world. But it wasn’t until 1980 that satellite technology really flexed its muscle. That’s when CNN — Cable News Network — launched.

For the first time, people had a newscast that ran 24-hours a day, seven-days-a week. A global audience found themselves suddenly connected with millions of people sharing the same experiences [source: White].

As such, CNN changed how the world viewed itself. The first instance came in 1989 when pro-democracy students in Beijing took to the streets in Tiananmen Square [source: White]. CNN stayed with the coverage for days as public condemnation of the Chinese government grew. The lasting image was of a lone man standing in front of a communist tank, refusing to move.

The next event that galvanized the world’s attention also occurred in 1989, when the Berlin Wall, long a symbol of communist intransigence and domination, came down. Then in 1991, the Persian Gulf War began. An international audience of millions watched as CNN news correspondents reported from Baghdad as bombs exploded. It was the first time people could view a war as it was being waged [source: White].

The last event was the terrorist attacks of 9/11. By this time, more satellite news networks, in the United States and abroad, were broadcasting. Hundreds of millions watched as the World Trade Center towers collapsed. Those images, seared into the world’s collective conscience, united the globe as no one event could [source: White].

But satellite TV also had an unintended consequence — the “CNN Effect,” a catchall phrase describing how 24/7-live news coverage has affected the foreign policy decisions of nations [source: Strobel].

The CNN Effect was first felt in the early 1990s, when CNN broadcast graphic pictures of starving children in Somalia. The public outcry forced President George H.W. Bush to send troops to that beleaguered African nation to stem the disaster. The United States retreated from Somalia after Americans next saw the horrific footage of an American soldier’s corpse being dragged through the streets.

Until a few years ago, most Arab states owned the ways and means to broadcast news. As such, the government controlled what people could see.

Then the global satellite TV telecommunication revolution exploded. It wasn’t long before there was an Arab version of CNN — Al-Jazeera. And just like CNN, Al-Jazeera soon had competition. Today, there are more than 750 satellite stations on the air in the Middle Eas.

Al-Jazeera provides millions of Arabs with unfiltered news and political debate. The channel’s viewership is in the tens of millions. The result has been that the region has seen remarkable growth in open discourse [source: Campagna]. Al-Jazeera also provides Arabs a vision of the news that is much different than what is seen in the West [source: Dajani].

An entire generation has been influenced by the programs and images on satellite TV. Experts believe that Al-Jazeera and its competitors are mainly responsible for educating ordinary Arabs in the ways of politics, and for raising awareness of international affairs, not to mention images of Western culture and politics. Arabs began demanding more from their governments [source:Soliman and Feuilherade].

When social unrest in North Africa and the Middle East began early in 2011, the revolutionaries combined the technology of the Internet and social networking with satellite TV. They used the media to organize, and post videos and pictures of the turbulence. TV satellitesthen transmitted those images around the world, spreading revolutionary fervor.

Although many credit “new” media for playing a huge role during the revolutions, the majority of people in the Middle East do not have access to the Internet. Without satellite TV, most Arabs would not have seen the demonstrations or the response of governments [source: Dajani].

Thanks to satellite TV, various minority groups are starting to make strides combating discrimination. The issues women face in the Arab world have found an international audience. In 2009, a Saudi TV station aired a rape scene in a drama series, which would have been unthinkable a few years ago. By making the problems more public, the producers hoped to shed light on violence against women.
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How many satellites orbit the Earth?

A “satellite” could be a communication satellite, a weather satellite, a military satellite, the ISS, the Hubble space telescope, etc.

According to the USC (Union of Concerned Scientists) Satellite Database there are 888 operational satellites in orbit.

But there are thousands of other “satellites” in the form of defunct equipment, trash, discarded boosters and other space debris. Recently two satellites collided in orbit and created hundreds of pieces of debris.

Here is what the crash would have looked like:

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How do satellites orbit the earth?

Hi, I’m Marshall Brain With today’s question, how do satellites orbit the earth? Satellites are to some degree mysterious objects. They travel in space, which feels like an exotic place because most of us have never been there. They’re so far away we can’t see them. They usually cost millions or billions of dollars, which means none of us will ever own one personally, and so on. Orbital mechanics can also be mysterious because there’s no easy way for us to experience orbital mechanics personally.

However, with a little imagination, you can understand the basic idea behind orbital mechanics very easily. Think about what happens when you throw a ball. Imagine that you’re standing in a big field and you throw a baseball as hard as you can like a pitcher. The ball might go 100 feet and then hit the ground. You put the ball into the orbit, it’s just that the ball’s orbit is very short. Now imagine that you shot a rifle straight and level instead of throwing a ball. The bullet might travel a mile before succumbing to gravity and hitting the ground.

Now imagine that you shoot a very large and powerful cannon that’s able to give its shell an extremely high initial velocity. Imagine that the cannon is shot straight and level. The shell is going to go many miles, far enough to actually follow the curve of the earth for a period of time before hitting the ground. One thing that gums these examples up is air resistance.

So imagine that you took this powerful cannon to the moon and mounted it on top of the highest mountain. The moon has no real atmosphere and is completely surrounded by the vacuum of space. If you adjusted the speed of the shell just right and shot the cannon, the shell would follow the curve of the moon perfectly. It would fall at exactly the same rate that the curve of the moon falls away from it. So it would never actually hit the ground. Eventually, it would curve all the way around the room and ram right into the back of the cannon. On the moon, you can actually have satellites in extremely low orbits like that just a few miles off the ground to avoid the mountains. And the satellites could conceivably the launched from powerful cannons.

On earth, it’s not so easy because satellites have to get up above the atmosphere and into the vacuum of space to orbit for any length of time. 200 miles up is about the minimum to avoid atmospheric interference. The Hubble Space Telescope orbits as an altitude of 380 miles or so. But the principle is exactly the same. The speed of the satellite is adjusted so that it falls to earth at exactly the same rate that the curve of the earth falls away from the satellite. The satellite is perpetually falling, but it never hits the ground.

How Satellite Internet Receivers Work

In today’s wired world, everything on the information superhighway is just a few clicks away. And as technology advances, more and more people are able to access the Internet and contribute to this virtual community. Many of us have a whole slew of options when it comes to accessing the Internet, including DSL, cable Internet and dial-up.

In urban and suburban areas of the developed world, DSL and cable Internet access are popular because the connections are so fast. Traditional dial-up access is often a viable alternative because it can be less expensive or more accessible. For instance, in rural and remote areas, DSL and cable Internet may not available. That’s because the terrestrial connections required for such services aren’t installed everywhere. On the other hand, all that’s required for dial-up is access to telephone lines.

It may be confusing to learn that DSL isn’t as accessible as dial-up. Although both DSL and dial-up use telephone lines, the DSL technology is dependent on distance. If you’re too far from the telephone company’s central office, a DSL connection won’t work as well — if at all. As a result, many people living in rural areas settle for dial-up in order to connect to the virtual community. But this isn’t their only remaining option.

A lesser known type of access is satellite Internet. Because this connection relies on space instead of terrestrial wires on Earth, this alternative is more accessible than even dial-up. A satellite connection offers Internet to those who live in locations so remote that there are no telephone lines, or even to those who travel in mobile vehicles and boats. However, these Internet users still need the right equipment. When you think of helpful travel gadgets, satellite Internet receivers might not be the first thing that comes to mind, but they certainly come in handy when nothing else will get you connected.

Most Internet connections rely on terrestrial communications. Even when you take your laptop to a coffee shop and use wireless, the weak signals aren’t strong enough to extend the access out of a very limited range (perhaps a few hundred feet), let alone out of the Earth’s atmosphere.

For satellite Internet, signals are stronger and able to carry all the necessary data from the provider hub up to the satellite and back down (in a downlink) to your computer. With only downlink capability, you need a way (such as dial-up connection) to send back any information, such as a request for a Web page. This isn’t helpful for those who travel and have no access to telephone lines. However, two-way satellite Internet allows you to send Internet signals back up (in an uplink).

Satellites are able to send and receive messages through space using waves of the electromagnetic spectrum. Specifically, the waves necessary to carry two-way satellite Internet signals strong enough for broadband Internet fall under the 27.5 to 30.0 GHz ranges for uplinks and 17.7 to 20.2 GHz for downlinks [source: StarLan]. The dish that receives the signals must have a clear view toward the direction of the satellites, which are located over the equator. That means that in the United States, your dish would need an unobstructed path to the southern sky.

While these analog wave signals make the transfer of data through air and space possible, computers only understand digital language (combinations of 1s and 0s). In order to get computers communicating with each other, there needs to be a translator. This is where satellite Internet receivers come in. They’re really just modems. The word “modem” is short for modulator-demodulator, and these gadgets basically translate analog signals into digital data and vice versa.

For a downlink in satellite Internet, the dish would get analog information from the satellite and send it along to the receiver, which converts it to digital data (bit streams) before sending it to the computer. During an uplink, the process is reversed. You may have two modems to accomplish this task — one for an uplink and one for a downlink — but many receiver gadgets can do both jobs.

The receiver connects to the satellite dish through coaxial cables. Otherwise, the mechanics of satellite Internet receivers are similar to that of other modems. For example, they convert analog to digital data and can connect to your computer through either Ethernet or USB port connections.

Using Satellite Internet Receivers

If you’ve got satellite TV, the provider might’ve given y­ou the option of installing it yourself when you signed up for the service. The same isn’t usually true of satellite Internet. Often, rules and regulations governing satellite communications prohibit nonprofessionals from installing it. This also applies to two-way satellite Internet [source:Briere]. The upside to this is that you won’t have to deal with the hassle of installation, and using satellite Internet receivers is just a matter of keeping everything plugged in.

Basically, this is a simple task: Two coaxial cables run between the dish and the receiver, and an Ethernet or USB cable runs between the receiver and the computer. If you wish to go wireless, you can also connect Internet receivers to WiFi routers.

Perhaps the most frustrating part of working with this type of Internet access doesn’t have to do with the satellite Internet receivers per se. The service itself isn’t the fastest kind of Internet connection, nor is it the most reliable. Although satellite Internet might not be as fast as DSL or cable, it’s typically faster than dial-up — that is, when it’s working.

Satellite Internet connections experience latency, or delay. Latency can have a variety of causes, and they aren’t typically ones you can fix by replacing a few gadgets. One is distance, which is obviously a factor for satellite communications (even if the messages are traveling at the speed of light). The signals must travel the distance between the hub site and the satellite, and then to you, totaling about 46,000 miles (74,030 kilometers) in all [source: VSAT Systems]. This is why providers of the service will discourage you from playing certain games online that require quick response. However, providers do maintain that the connection supports streaming video.

Another factor in delay or disruption of service has to do with weather. Much like satellite TV, satellite Internet may not work well in bad weather, such as heavy rains. You’ll have more trouble if there are any obstructions between the dish and satellite. One thing to look out for are nearby trees; anticipate trees growing a few inches taller over the lifetime of the satellite or sprouting leaves in the spring, both factors that will obstruct your connection.

In light of this knowledge and the prospect that satellite Internet can be more expensive than all the other options, you may wonder why anyone would get this service [source: Briere]. Don’t underestimate the feature that sets it apart from competitors — accessibility. Those who travel in RVs or in boats and those who live in the most remote areas certainly appreciate it when there’s no other Internet connection to be had.

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On Feb. 14, 2008, President George W. Bush announced theUnited States would shoot down its own USA 193 spy satellite. The U.S. lost contact with the satellite only a few hours after its launch in December 2006 by the National Office of Reconnaissance (NRO). A year later, USA 193 entered into adecaying orbit — moving towardEarth — and would re-enter the Earth’s sometime in March 2008, out of any kind of human control. A missile fired from the U.S.S. Lake Erie hit the satellite at 10:26 p.m. on Feb. 20, successfully destroying the errant bird [source: Gray].

Government officials say that if the gas canister containing 1,000 pounds (453.6 kg) of unspenthydrazine fuel survived the missile strike, made it back to Earth and leaks, it could have posed a health risk. The gas is like chlorine, and causes the same type of lung and throat irritation effects as chlorine — prolonged exposure can mean death. A similar gas canister withstood re-entry following the Columbia space shuttle disaster in 2003. While it didn’t land in an area where it endangered lives, it could have. “This is all about trying to reduce the danger to human beings,” said Deputy National Security Adviser, James Jeffrey [source: The New York Times]. Pentagon officials are confident the fuel tank was destroyed along with the rest of the satellite [source: CNN].

Not everyone buys the United States’ reason for firing on the satellite. Once plans were announced, bothRussia and China cried foul, calling the plan a threat to space security and thinly disguised tests of the United States’ missile defense systems. The two nations saw the mission as an opportune way for America to show “its capability to destroy other countries’ satellites” [source: AP].

Other organizations viewed the missile strike with a critical eye. “There has to be another reason behind this,” Michale Krepon, of the Henry L. Stinson Center on arms control, told The Washington Post. “In the history of the space age, there has not been a single human being who has been harmed by objects falling from space.”

In other words, some speculate the world is watching a chess game play out above the Earth’s atmosphere. In January 2007, China shot down an old weather satellite 537 miles (864 km) into space. Back then, the roles were reversed — the United States filed a formal complaint with the United Nations about China’s reckless behavior.

Spy Satellite Missile

One could make the argument that the Cold War arms race between the United States and the Soviet Union was a good thing, at least in one case. If it weren’t for the development of ballistic missiles, there would have been no need to develop anti-ballistic missiles. And without the latter, there was no way to tell where the two-ton (1,800 kg), highly classified spy satellite that the U.S. Navy shot down might land.

The Pentagon modified an existing missile system, and the Navy spent three weeks making modifications to the Block III, a Raytheon SM-3 antiballistic missile. The missile launched from the U.S.S. Lake Erie, a guided missile cruiser in the Pacific Ocean near Hawaii, hitting the satellite at 10:26 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (EST) Feb. 20. The Navy had a very short window to make the strike; the missile had to be fired sometime between 9 p.m. EST on Feb. 20 [source: ABC News] and 10:30 p.m. EST on Feb. 21, 2008 [source: Wired]. It was the first time the United States attempted to use a tactical missile to take out a spacecraft [Business Day].

The Raytheon SM-3 isn’t designed to explode upon impact; rather, the missile destroys whatever it hits using brute force, like a bullet. It contains a heat-seeking component, which guided it to the wayward spy satellite. The Navy launched the Block III so that it traveled in the opposite direction of the USA 193, in order to produce a head-on (collinear) collision. The closing velocity of the impact — which in this case is the sum of the two objects’ velocities — is estimated around 22,000 miles per hour (35,406 km/h) [source: Department of Defense].

The USA 193 spy satellite was about the size of a school bus and weighed 5,000 pounds (2,268 kg) — a sizeable target — if it had re-entered Earth’s atmosphere intact, its course would have become erratic. The Union of Concerned Scientists said before the launch that the missile had “no better than a 50 percent chance of hitting its target” [source: The Washington Post], although the Block III is a highly accurate missile. As of November 2007, the system had hit 11 of its last 13 targets [source: Wired].

One of the greatest challenges of “the shot” was the brief window of time that the Navy had to take it. WhenChina shot down its weather satellite in January 2007, the altitude (nearly 600 miles (966 km) above sea level) caused the debris created by the impact to hang around in space. While the space junk shouldn’t enter our atmosphere — and pose a threat to life on Earth — it does present a problem for space travel. The debris can collide with functioning spacecraft, including those that bear human passengers.

To reduce the chance that the debris from the USA 193 will stay in space, the United States chose to shoot it down once it reaches an altitude of about 150 miles (241 km) [source: The Washington Post]. According to the Reuters news agency, the Block III missile hit USA 193 at an altitude of 153 miles (246 km) above the Earth. The window for a perfectly successful shot was narrow. The New York Times put it this way before Wednesday night’s successful mission: “If they fire too late, the satellite will enter the atmosphere and start hurtling in unpredictable directions. If they fire too soon, space debris could spread and threaten the International Space Station and other satellites.” The Navy had a back-up plan in the event of a missed target: It had two more ships ready to fire. “The worst is that we miss, and then we have a known situation, which is where we are today,” said the Joint Chiefs’ Gen. Cartwright.
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How Satellite TV Works Problems with Broadcast TV

Conceptually, satellite TV is a lot like broadcast TV. It’s a wireless system for delivering television programming directly to a viewer’s house. Both broadcast television and satellite stations transmit programming via a radio signal (seeHow Radio Works for information about radio broadcasting).

Broadcast stations use a powerfulantenna to transmit radio waves to the surrounding area. Viewers can pick up the signal with a much smaller antenna. The main limitation of broadcast TV is range. The radio signals used to broadcast television shoot out from the broadcast antenna in a straight line. In order to receive these signals, you have to be in the directline of sight of the antenna. Small obstacles like trees or small buildings aren’t a problem; but a big obstacle, such as the Earth, will reflect these radio waves.

If the Earth were perfectly flat, you could pick up broadcast TV thousands of miles from the source. But because the planet is curved, it eventually breaks the signal’s line of sight. The other problem with broadcast TV is that the signal is often distorted, even in the viewing area. To get a perfectly clear signal like you find on cable, you have to be pretty close to the broadcast antenna without too many obstacles in the way.

The Satellite TV Solution

Satellite TV solves the problems of range and distortion by transmitting broadcast signals from satellitesorbiting the Earth. Since satellites are high in the sky, there are a lot more customers in the line of sight. Satellite TV systems transmit and receive radio signals using specialized antennas called satellite dishes.

Satellite TV System

Early satellite TV viewers were explorers of sorts. They used their expensive dishes to discover unique programming that wasn’t necessarily intended for mass audiences. The dish and receiving equipment gave viewers the tools to pick up foreign stations, live feeds between different broadcast stations, NASA activities and a lot of other stuff transmitted using satellites.

Some satellite owners still seek out this sort of programming on their own, but today, most satellite TV customers get their programming through a direct broadcast satellite (DBS) provider, such as DirecTV or DISH Network. The provider selects programs and broadcasts them to subscribers as a set package. Basically, the provider’s goal is to bring dozens or even hundreds of channels to your TV in a form that approximates the competition, cable TV.

Unlike earlier programming, the provider’s broadcast is completely digital, which means it has much better picture and sound quality (seeHow Digital Television Works for details). Early satellite television was broadcast in C-band radio — radio in the 3.7-gigahertz (GHz) to 6.4-GHz frequency range. Digital broadcast satellite transmits programming in the Ku frequency range (11.7 GHz to 14.5 GHz ).

The Components

There are five major components involved in a direct to home (DTH) or direct broadcasting (DBS) satellite system: the programming source, the broadcast center, the satellite, the satellite dish and the receiver.

  • Programming sources are simply the channels that provide programming for broadcast. The provider doesn’t create original programming itself; it pays other companies (HBO, for example, or ESPN) for the right to broadcast their content via satellite. In this way, the provider is kind of like a broker between you and the actual programming sources. (Cable TV companies work on the same principle.)
  • The broadcast center is the central hub of the system. At the broadcast center, the TV provider receives signals from various programming sources and beams a broadcast signal to satellites in geosynchronous orbit.
  • The satellites receive the signals from the broadcast station and rebroadcast them to Earth.
  • The viewer’s dish picks up the signal from the satellite (or multiple satellites in the same part of the sky) and passes it on to the receiver in the viewer’s house.
  • The receiver processes the signal and passes it on to a standard TV.

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3D movie satellite list all over the world

125.0°E ChinaSat 6A 120528
42.0°E Türksat 4A 140704
36.0°E Eutelsat 36B 150402
28.2°E Astra 2F 140604
23.5°E Astra 3B 150317
19.2°E Astra 1KR 130703
Astra 1L 130221
Astra 1N 120129
13.0°E Eutelsat Hot Bird 13B 120824
9.0°E Eutelsat 9A 140206
7.0°E Eutelsat 7A 141023
70.0°W Star One C2 140812
82.0°W Nimiq 4 140831