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Direct-to-Home (DTH) satellite television is becoming a buzzword in
the satellite broadcast industry due to the fact that DTH offers
immense opportunities to both broadcasters and viewers. Thanks to
the rapid development of digital technology, DTH broadcast operators
worldwide have been able to introduce a large number of new interactive
applications in the television market besides a large number of
entertainment programmes over a single delivery platform. In addition,
since digital technology permits a highly efficient exploitation of the
frequency spectrum, the number of TV channels that can be broadcast
using digital technology is significantly higher than with analogue
technology. The increased number of television channels allows the
operator to satisfy the demand of a number of niche markets with
In general, DTH service is the one in which a large number of channels
are digitally compressed, encrypted and beamed from very high power
satellites. The programmes can be directly received at homes. This
mode of reception facilitates the use of small receive dish antennas of
45 to 60 cm diameter installed at convenient location in individual
buildings without needing elaborate foundation /space etc. Also, DTH
transmission eliminates local cable operator completely, since an
individual user is directly connected to the service providers. However,
a digital receiver is needed to receive the multiplexed signals and view
them on a TV. DTH, in sharp contrast to Cable TV, lends itself to easy
monitoring and control.
Transmission in Ku band is most appropriate and widely used for the
purpose. As mentioned above, all the encoded transmission signals
are digital - thus providing higher resolution picture quality and better
audio than traditional analog signals. All the advantages of the digital
transmission, as applicable to the terrestrial transmission are relevant
in the satellite transmission also.
There are 5 main parts to a direct to home (DTH) satellite system:
Programming Source - These are basically the channels that provide the
basis of the broadcast. A few examples being HBO, ESPN or CNN.
Broadcast centre - This is the site at which the service provider
receives the signals from the various programming sources. The
information is then transmitted to the satellites orbiting in space.
Satellite - The satellites receive information from the broadcasting
centre, and then transmits them to the ground.
Satellite dish - This receives the information from the satellite (or
satellites), and then passes the signal to the receiver.
Receiver - The receiver processes the information and then passes
it on to the television.