Direct to home technology refers to the satellite television broadcasting process which is actually intended for home reception. This technology is originally referred to as direct broadcast satellite (DBS) technology. The technology was developed for competing with the local cable TV distribution services by providing higher quality satellite signals with more number of channels.
In short, DTH refers to the reception of satellite signals on a TV with a personal dish in an individual home. The satellites that are used for this purpose is geostationary satellites. The satellites compress the signals digitally, encrypt them and then are beamed from high powered geostationary satellites. They are received by dishes that are given to the DTH consumers by DTH providers.
Though DBS and DTH present the same services to the consumers, there are some differences in the technical specifications. While DBS is used for transmitting signals from satellites at a particular frequency band [the band differs in each country], DTH is used for transmitting signals over a wide range of frequencies [normal frequencies including the KU and KA band]. The satellites used for the transmission of the DTH signals are not part of any international planned frequency band. DBS has changed its plans over the past few years so as to include new countries and also modify their mode of transmission from analog to digital. But DTH is more famous for its services in both the analog and digital services which includes both audio and video signals. The dishes used for this service is also very small in size. When it comes to commercial use, DBS is known for its service providing a group of free channels that are allowed for its targeted country.
DTH in India
India is one of the biggest DTH service providers in the world. The requirement is very high because of the high population and the increased number of viewers. The low cost of DTH when compared to other local cable providers is also one main reason for this substantial growth.
In India the DTH requirement is more than in any country as the population of viewers is at very high rate.
The idea of DTH was first provided to India in 1996. But it was not approved then as there were concerns about national security. But the laws were changed by the year 2000 and thus DTH was allowed. According to the new rule, DTH providers are required to set up new stations within 12 months of getting the license. The cost of the license is almost $2.15 million in India with a validity of 10 years for renewal. The latest reports suggest that almost 25% of the total Indian population use this facility while others use local TV connections.
Some of the common DTH providers in India are
1. TATA Sky
2. BIG TV
3. Sun Direct DTH
4. Dish TV
5. Airtel DTH
6. Videocon DTH
Working of DTH
To know the working of DTH better, take a look at the diagram below.
For a DTH network to be transmitted and received, the following components are needed.
- Broadcasting Centre
- DTH receivers
It must be noted the channels that are broadcasted from the broadcasting centre hare not created by the DTH providers. The DTH providers pay other companies like HBO, Sony MAX and so on for the right to broadcast their channel to the DTH consumers through satellite. Thus the DTH provider acts as a mediator r broker between the consumers and the programme channels.
The broadcast centre is the main part of the whole system. It is from the broadcast station that the signals are sent to the satellites to be broadcasted. The broadcast station receives the signals from various program channels.
The satellite receives the signal from the broadcast centre and compresses the signals and makes them suitable for re-transmission to the ground.
The DTH providers give dish receivers for the viewers to receive the signal from the satellites. There may be one or multiple satellites that send the signals at the same time. The receiver receives the signal from them and is passed on to the Set Top Box [STB] receiver in the viewer’s house.
The STB receiver changes the signal in a form suitable for our television and then passes it on to our TV.
Advantages of DTH Technology
- The main advantage is that this technology is equally beneficial to everyone. As the process is wireless, this system can be used in all remote or urban areas.
- High quality audio and video which are cost effective due to absence of mediators.
- Almost 4000 channels can be viewed along with 2000 radio channels. Thus the world’s entire information including news and entertainment is available to you at home.
- As there are no mediators, a complaint can be directly expressed to the provider.
- With a single DTH service you will be able to use digital quality audio, video and also high speed broadband.