Even if you watch your satellite television 5 hours a day, I bet you can't tell what a satellite TV system really is. Satellite television is TV broadcast delivered by way of orbiting communications satellites located 22,300 miles above the earth's surface. Satellite TV system, like other communications relayed by satellite, starts with a transmitting satellite antenna located at an uplink facility. Uplink satellite dishes are directed toward the satellite that its signals will be transmitted to, and are very large, as much as 9 to 12 meters (30 to 40 feet) in diameter.
There are mainly two types of satellite TV systems: TVRO and DBS. TVRO system, aka Television Receive Only, is the first satellite system available for home satellite viewing system. While the DBS system, Direct Broadcast Satellite is available later. These two satellite systems work in different band (C-band and Ku-band) and their working system specifications are quite a different.
Television Receive Only (TVRO) systems
TVRO systems in United States are often referred as Big Dish TV, C-Band Satellite TV or BUD (Big Ugly Dish). It was the first satellite TV system being commercialized and brought into the U. S. families.
Viewing TVRO broadcast requires a big and movable dish - which is why it is well known as big dish TV. The TVRO dish's diameter ranged from 3 to 6 feet. It works in C-Band with frequencies of around 4 GHz. As news companies normally transmit their materials to their headquarters using a C-Band satellite; and as many of these types of feeds are not scrambled, chances to unedited news are great. Besides with TVRO systems, you can also receive free channels and independent feeds from for instance news companies.
Ever wonder why do we need such a big dish to receive TVRO signals? It's because of TVRO's wave length of these frequencies is longer than in Ku-Band which requires a much smaller dish of about 18 inches. Ku-Band, which is used by DBS, is at 12 to 14 G Hertz.
Direct Broadcast Satellite (DBS) system
Satellite TV services were popular only after Direct Broadcast Satellite system is introduced. DBS is meant for everyone with a simple, low cost installation of the system. Small dish, maintenance-free, and stable signals receptions - all these makes the satellite TV system a good commercial product. Satellite broadcast via DBS system is done in the Ku-Band. These satellites work on higher frequencies and can transmit higher power signals. This is why smaller dishes can be used to receive satellite signal for DBS systems.
As you might know, a small TV dish of 18 inches is already good enough to receive all satellite TV signals by Satellite companies. 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. 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.
Unfortunately, there are no free channels available on DBS satellites broadcast. DBS broadcasting are often owned and used by the satellite TV provider (for example, Dish Network and DirecTV) it self. 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 thus a qualified installer will find the satellite and point it to maximum reception within minutes.
Currently in United States, Dish Network and DirecTV are the major DBS systems provides. As satellite TV services are the latecomer in home TV broadcasting services, they are now fighting hard to win the market segments with extremely low prices. Free satellite TV systems, free DVR systems, free DVD players, free shipping, free installations, free HD upgrades, free home protection plans …they give free things as much as possible! All you need to be to qualify the deals condition is you must commit on the satellite TV deals for one year and you must be a first-time customer. With extremely low start up cost, online satellite TV retailers are now offering some very lucrative offers. To review more about these online satellite TV retailers: http://www.satellitetvissue.com/FreeSatelliteTV/SatelliteTVDealers.htm and if you would like to compare Dish Network and DirecTV, this page is suggested: http://www.satellitetvissue.com/DirecTVvsDISH%20Network.htm
Teddy LC. , expert writter on consumer products reviews. Check out his latest satellite TV related website and get recommendations on DirecTV or Dish Network deals, compare Dish Network with DirecTV's and other issues on free satellite TV promotions.