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Types of Satellite TV Systems – TVRO and DBS
TVRO – TeleVision Receive Only
TVRO was the first satellite system available for home viewing of satellite TV. It required a relatively big dish of 3 to 6 feet in diameter and worked in C-Band. Frequencies of around 4 G Hertz are called C-Band and require bigger dishes because the wave length of these frequencies is longer than in Ku-Band which requires a much smaller dish of about 18 inches. Ku-Band is at 12 to 14 G Hertz.
TVRO systems also need a movable dish because it needs to get all the channels of many satellites. C-Band satellites have much less channels available than Ku-Band satellites and therefore more satellites are needed to provide enough channels. Possibilities that exist with TVRO systems is that you can also receive free channels and independent feeds from for instance news companies. You could for instance receive the unedited material that is broadcasted from a news crew somewhere in the coverage area of the satellite. They transmit their materials to their headquarters using a C-Band satellite. Many of these types of feeds are not scrambled and are available to everyone with the proper equipment.
TVRO systems are often referred to as Big Dish TV, C-Band Satellite TV and BUD (Big Ugly Dish).
DBS - Direct Broadcast Satellite
Satellite TV via DBS is done in the Ku-Band. These satellites work on higher frequencies and can transmit higher power signals. This means that much smaller dishes can be used to receive the signal. A small dish of 18 inches is already enough to receive all satellite TV by Satellite TV. This makes it possible to have satellite TV from an apartment on the 10th floor, if you have a clear line of sight to the south.
DBS is for everyone. The satellite dish is so small that it is not an obstacle like with for instance the TVRO dishes of 3 to 6 feet. Once installed the dish needs no maintenance since it is aimed at just one satellite. Some dishes actually have 2 or more feeds which makes it possible to receive the signals from more than 1 satellite.
There are no free channels available on DBS satellites as these are often owned and used by the satellite TV provider it self, while TVRO satellites often are used by those who rent space on the satellite for a limited time. TVRO systems are meant for, for instance, transport of unedited materials between continents, but also within one continent.
DBS is meant for everyone with a simple, low cost installation of the system. Often the installation is for free as it really is very easy to do. The only thing that is needed is a bit of knowledge of where to find the satellite and the tools that make this even easier. A qualified installer will find the satellite and point it to maximum reception within minutes.
By Gary Davis
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