How Satellite TV Works

Have you ever wondered how satellite TV works? With over 24 Million satellite TV owners who have chosen to get digital satellite TV, there may be some of you who would like to know how the whole process works.

Television satellites travel in a geosynchronous orbit approximately 22000 miles above the Earth. That kind of orbit just means that the satellites are rotating at the same speed as the Earth. This allows the satellites to remain fixed over a certain area and that's the reason your small satellite dish can remain stationary.

Whether you choose DIRECTV, Dish Network or another satellite provider, these companies all operate their own private satellites. DIRECTV currently has six satellites and Dish Network has nine satellites orbiting the Earth right now.

Each satellite provider operates broadcast facilities where they gather all of the programming from content providers. Content providers are companies like HBO, CNN, ESPN, Showtime, other television networks and programming sources. Dish Network has a broadcast facility in Englewood, Colorado and DIRECTV operates two broadcast facilities in Castle Rock, Colorado and Los Angeles, California.

The satellite providers digitize the signals for quality, encrypt the signals for security, and then transmit those signals back up to their orbiting satellites. The satellites receive and rebroadcast the digital signals back down to Earth. So the satellites really act like giant reflectors.

Your satellite dish gathers the signal from the satellites then passes the signal on to your receiver. Your receiver processes the signal to your television and that allows you to get digital satellite TV.

The whole process is what gives you access to hundreds of channels of digital video and audio entertainment at home or at the office. It's also easy to take satellite TV with you in an RV or boat. Just aim your dish to the Southern sky and you are in business.

So the next time you're flipping through the channels or you just want to show off your techie side, you'll know exactly how satellite TV works.

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