Direct broadcast satellite

In 1977, the ITU adopted an international BSS Plan under which each country was allocated specific frequencies at specific orbital locations for domestic service. At present, numerous countries have brought into use their BSS Plan allocations. By contrast, DTH can apply to similar services transmitted over a wider range of frequencies (including standard Ku-band and Ka-band) transmitted from satellites that are not part of any internationally planned band.

In certain regions of the world, especially in North America, DBS is used to refer to providers of subscription satellite packages, and has become applied to the entire equipment chain involved. The first commercial DBS service, Sky Television plc (now BSkyB after its merger with British Satellite Broadcasting s five-channel network), was launched in 1989. Astro was also started, using a direct broadcast satellite system. Dominion Video Satellite Inc. s Sky Angel also went online in the United States in 1996 with its DBS service geared toward the faith and family market.

In a series of transactions consummated in 2003, Hughes Electronics was spun out of GM and the News Corporation purchased a controlling interest in the new company, which was renamed The DIRECTV Group. The term predates DBS satellites and is often used in reference to services carried by lower power satellites which required larger dishes (1.7m diameter or greater) for reception. In Europe, prior to the launch of Astra 1A in 1988, the term DBS was commonly used to describe the nationally-commissioned satellites planned and launched to provide TV broadcasts to the home within several European countries (eg BSB in the UK, TV-Sat in Germany).

A DBS service usually refers to either a commercial service, or a group of free channels available from one orbital position targeting one country. Sky TV started as a four-channel free-to-air analogue service on the Astra 1A satellite, serving the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland.

AlphaStar also started but soon went under. Before these DBS satellites, home satellite television in Europe was limited to a few channels, really intended for cable distribution, and requiring dishes typically of 1.2m SES Astra launched the Astra 1A satellite to provide services to homes across Europe receivable on dishes of just 60cm-80cm and, although these mostly used PAL video format and FSS frequencies with linear polarization, the DBS name slowly came to applied to all Astra satellites and services too. As a technical matter, DBS (also known by the International Telecommunications Union as Broadcasting Satellite Service, or BSS) refers only to services transmitted by satellite in specific frequency bands: 11.7-12.2 GHz in ITU Region 3 (Asia, Australia), 10.7 - 12.75 GHz in ITU Region 1 (Europe, Russia, Africa), and 12.2-12.7 GHz ITU Region 2 (North and South America).

They include a handfull of FTA HDTV channels. India s national broadcaster, Doordarshan, promotes a free-to-air DBS package as DD Direct Plus , which is provided as in-fill for the country s terrestrial transmission network. While originally launched as backhaul for their digital terrestrial television service, a large number of French channels are free-to-air on 5W, and have recently been announced as being official in-fill for the DTT network. In North America (USA, Canada and Mexico) there are over 80 FTA digital channels available on Galaxy 25. Over the years, this plan has been modified to, for example, accommodate new countries, increase coverage areas, and reflect digital (rather than analog) technology.

Although PrimeStar transitioned to a digital system in 1994, it was ultimately unable to compete with DirecTV, which required a smaller satellite dish and could deliver more programming. Sky Angel, although a separate and independent DBS service, uses the same satellites, transmission facilities, & receiving equipment used for Dish Network through an agreement with Echostar.

Department of Justice denied the purchase based on anti-competitive concerns. Germany is likely the leader in free-to-air (FTA) DBS, with approximately 40 analogue and 100 digital channels broadcast from the SES Astra 1 position at 19.2E. In 2008, Liberty Media Corporation purchased News Corporation s controlling interest in DIRECTV. In 1996, EchoStar s Dish Network went online in the United States and, as DirecTV s primary competitor, achieved similar success.

A company called GloryStar promotes FTA religious broadcasters on G-25 and AMC-4. . Nonetheless, the term DBS is often used interchangeably with DTH to cover both analog and digital video and audio services (including video-on-demand and interactive features) received by relatively small dishes (less than 1 meter).

At the time, DirecTV s introduction was the most successful consumer electronics debut in American history. Because of this, Sky Angel subscribers also have the option of subscribing to Dish Network s channels as well. In 2003, EchoStar attempted to purchase DirecTV, but the FCC and U.S.

Since the DBS nomenclature is rarely used in the UK or Ireland, the popularity of Sky s service has caused the terms minidish and digibox to be applied to products other than Sky s hardware. (The majority of them are ethnic or religious.) Other popular FTA satellites include AMC-4, AMC-6, Galaxy 18, and SatMex 5.

It has since grown from six to 36 TV and radio channels of family entertainment, Christian-inspirational programming, and 24-hour news. These services were to use the D-Mac and D2-Mac format and BSS frequencies with circular polarization from orbital positions allocated to each country.

BSkyB is controlled by News Corporation. PrimeStar began transmitting an analog service to North America in 1991, and was joined by DirecTV (then owned by a division of General Motors, GM Hughes Electronics), in 1994. Dominion, under its former corporate name Video Satellite Systems Inc., was actually the second from among the first nine companies to apply to the FCC for a high-power DBS license in 1981, and it is the sole surviving DBS pioneer from that first round of forward-thinking applicants.

DirecTV purchased PrimeStar in 1999 and moved all PrimeStar subscribers to DirecTV equipment. By 1991, Sky had changed to a conditional access pay model, and launched a digital service, Sky Digital, in 1998, with analogue transmission ceasing in 2001.

These are not marketed as a DBS service, but are received in approximately 12 million homes, as well as in any home using the German commercial DBS system, Sky Deutschland. The United Kingdom has approximately 160 digital channels (including the regional variations of BBC and ITV channels) broadcasting without encryption from the Astra 28.2°E satellite position, and receivable on any DVB-compliant receiver. Direct broadcast satellite (DBS) is a term used to refer to satellite television broadcasts intended for home reception, also referred to more broadly as direct-to-home signals.

The expression direct-to-home or DTH was, initially, meant to distinguish the transmissions directly intended for home viewers from cable television distribution services that sometimes carried on the same satellite. Most of these channels are included within the Sky Digital EPG, and an increasing number within the Freesat EPG.