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Consumer Satellite Product Overview

dish satelliteDirect-To-Home (DTH) Satellite Television

At present time, there are 4 commercially available satellite television technologies:

  • C-Band
  •  DIRECTV (Ku-Band + Ka-Band)
  •  DISH (Ku-Band)
  • GlobeCast World TV (Ku-Band)

These systems operate in 2 bands, or operational frequency ranges, assigned by the FCC for satellite broadcasting use. These are: C-Band (3.7-4.2 GHz) and high-power Ku-Band (12.2-12.7 GHz) and Ka-Band 18.3-18.8 GHz + 19.7-20.2 GHz

C-Band (3.7-4.2 HGz)

The C-Band industry got its start in 1976 with the first homemade C-Band satellite system. Today C-Band offers more than 250 channels of video and 75 audio services to around 335,000 subscribers using dishes which average 7 feet in diameter. C-Band dishes are steerable, enabling C-Band users to receive signals from 20 or more satellites.

Ku-Band (11.7-12.2 GHz) (12.2-12.7 GHz)

DIRECTV, DISH, and GlobeCast World TV all are DBS providers. Most high-power dishes are 18 inches in diameter and can be installed anywhere – house, condo, apartment, patio, balcony, boat, RV – as long as there is a direct line of sight to the southern sky. Both providers offer more than 200 channels of digital quality picture and sound. Recently, the providers expanded their programming line-ups to include local programming. Both DIRECTV and DISH currently offer local programming to roughly 150 markets.

Ka-Band (18.3-18.8 GHz + 19.7-20.2 GHz)

DIRECTV, & WILDBLUE both use KA-Band satellites. KA Satellites transmit higher power and therefore can deliver more information. These frequencies are currently used to broadcast high definition and broadband services.

Internet Broadband Via Satellite

To date, there are three companies who provide Internet service via satellite: WILDBLUE,
Hughes Network Systems and StarBand.

Internet broadband via satellite requires a singular satellite dish; the same dish may be used for both satellite television and satellite Internet. Internet via satellite provides the consumer with connection speeds comparable or superior to DSL and cable modems, and for a price that is competitive to other Internet services. Since satellites beam content to subscribers simultaneously, the user should not experience any slow-downs or interruptions in service.

Two-way satellite Internet is unique in that it can provide Internet service to anywhere in the country, which makes it an ideal product for consumers living in rural or underserved areas. Furthermore, two-way satellite is “always on” because it does not require the use of a phone line.

Satellite Radio

Satellite radio service recently debuted in the United States with Sirius Satellite Radio. Satellite radio provides the consumer with over 100 channels of virtually every music genre, as well as news, talk radio, sports, and children’s programming. Many of these channels will be broadcast commercial-free, while the remaining channels will carry only minimal advertisements versus traditional radio. With satellite radio, the consumer will receive a crystal-clear, uninterrupted, cd-quality signal throughout the entire country.

Interactive Services

Satellite television broadcasts 100% digital audio and video programming and therefore, is the ideal medium for nationwide delivery of interactive services. Interactive services that can accompany satellite television include:

  • DishPVR --EchoStar's Dish Network offers consumers an integrated set-top receiver with an incorporated Personal Video Recorder (PVR) that allows users to record and control TV for up to 35 hours of Dish Network programming. In addition, the PVR is included with the customers programming package so there are no additional monthly fees.
  • DVR (Digital Video Recorder) -- With digital video recorders, the viewer can record hours of programming without the use of videotape. Both services includes features such as skip, slow motion, and replay.