Satellite TV Glossary
Additional Outlet (A/O): Receivers
other than the primary one can be connected to the dish allowing
other televisions in the house to be on different programs than
the one connected to the primary receiver. An A/O also refers to
a convenience outlet where there is not another receiver and the
television will show the same programs as the television connected
Audio/Video Jacks: There are three jacks:
one for the video, one for the right channel sound and one for the
left channel sound. The audio jacks are necessary for the sound
to be in stereo. R/F connectors (coaxial cable) will not provide
stereo from the satellite receiver.
Azimuth: The horizontal direction of a
satellite. It would have a different azimuth in Los Angeles than
in Chicago. Since the satellite is over the equator, wherever you
live it will be in the southern sky.
Bandwidth: Range of frequencies occupied
by a signal or allowed by receiving equipment (basically, what a
receiver is capable of receiving).
Baseband: The raw satellite TV signal before
it is re-modulated to become a signal that is suitable for a TV.
Beam: A satellite transmission pattern.
It may be wide, narrow or spot. This affects the satellites footprint.
Bird: An alternative name for a satellite.
Blackouts: A particular programming service
may not be available in certain areas of the country. Usually because
of contractual agreements.
Castle Rock Broadcast Center: The facility
which provides all DirecTV television reception, tape playback,
encoding, and uplinking.
C-band: Signal frequency range (3.70-4.20ghz).
Clarke Belt: Named after its founder Arthur
C. Clarke, the Clarke Belt is an orbit used by satellites at a height
of 22,250 miles, in which satellites make an orbit in 24 hours,
yet remain in a fixed position relative to the earth’s surface.
DBS: Digital broadcast satellite. This
high-powered satellite uses a Ku-band frequency (12.2 to 12.7 GHz)
to deliver programming signals directly to small (18-inch) dishes
installed at viewers' homes.
Digital Audio Broadcasting: Standard which
describes the method of transmitting digital audio.
Digital Compression: A process of translating
video images into a digital code which takes up less transmission
space than the original signal would have. This allows more channels
per satellite transponder: from four-to-one for live video to eight-to-one
Dolby Digital / AC-3 Compatible: Dolby
Digital provides 6 independent sound track channels through the
optical output jack. When connected to your AC3 compatible home
theatre audio set-up, this connection provides Dolby Digital Surround
Sound (when Dolby Digital is part of the programming being viewed).
Dolby Pro Logic: Dolby Pro Logic (known
as Dolby Surround in the theatres) is based on the use of an amplitude-phase
matrix. This is a method of encoding four channels of information
into two tracks of stereo media and then decoding them back into
four channels for playback.
Downlink: A signal’s path from satellite
DTH: Direct to home. Official term used
by the Federal Communications Commission industry to refer to the
satellite television and broadcasting industries.
DVB: Broadcast standard for digital radio
and television, using MPEG II compression. DVB is being supported
by all European manufacturers and broadcasters.
Elevation: How high a satellite is from
Feed Horn: A device which collects the
signals at the focus of the satellite dish and channels them to
Fixed Dish System: Satellite system in
which the dish does not have to be moved. DirecTV and Dish Network
are fixed dish systems.
Footprint: An area of the earth that is
able to receive a particular satellite’s signals. This depends on
the satellites beam.
Geostationary: Satellites orbit the Earth
22,300 miles above the Equator and rotate at the same relative speed
and direction as the Earth's surface. Therefore, the satellites
appear stationary. There are nearly 40 satellites currently in this
type of orbit over North America, and well over 100 around the globe.
Impulse Pay per View: The ability to buy
a particular program on a last-minute decision. Pushing the "buy"
button on the remote control instead of having to make a phone call.
Interactive TV: An interactive television
service that lets you use the enclosed remote control to access
up-to-the-minute news, sports, financial information, weather, get
program trivia, respond to free offers and shop, all while you watch
IRD (Integrated Receiver Decoder): A satellite
receiver with a built-in decoder for unscrambling subscription channels.
It is usually called the receiver.
KU-band: Signal frequency range between
11 and 14 GHz. that is often used with communications satellites.
LNB (Low Noise Block down-converter): Amplifies
received signals and converts them from microwaves to lower frequency
signals which are then sent along a cable to the satellite receiver.
An LNB can be either single or double. A double LNB is required
when more than one receiver is used allowing the viewing of different
channels on other televisions.
Locks & Limits (Parental Controls): Allows
you to restrict viewing of rated movies (based on the motion picture
rating system) or to lock out entire channels.
Moving Pictures Experts Group (MPEG): The
organization which defined the standards for moving pictures, like
MPEG I/II Compression: Method to compress
digital signals. Thanks to compression it is possible to combine
several programs into one satellite transponder.
Noise Figure: A measure of the performance
(noise contribution) of an LNB in decibels. The lower the better.
Offset: Type of dish with the focus and
feed horn below the center of the dish.
Pay Per View (PPV): Conditional access
service where the user is able to buy one particular program.
Rain fade: The loss of signal from the
satellite during a heavy rain. This happens more or less to all
Receiver: The IRD. Unit which takes signals
from a satellite dish and converts them so that they can appear
R/F connectors: Output for coaxial cable
(the stuff cable companies use). R/F connectors will not provide
stereo from the satellite receiver.
RG59: The coaxial cable that is commonly
used for cable TV. If a home already has coaxial cable, it probably
is RG59. It is a smaller gauge than RG6.
RG6: The coaxial cable recommended by DBS
manufacturers. It is a larger gauge than RG6.
Satellite Home Viewer Act: (SHVA)
S-Video Jack: Some televisions have an
input for a S-Video cable. This is better than audio/video jacks
or R/F connectors. It is for the video, not the sound. All DirecTV
and Dish Network receivers have s-video output.
Threshold: the measure of sensitivity of
a satellite receiver measured in decibels (dB).
Transponder: Equipment inside a satellite,
responsible for receiving a single uplinked channel and re-broadcasting
it back to earth.
UHF Remote: Ultra High Frequency remote
control that can operate the receiver from another room. The IR
(Infra Red) remote needs to be pointed at the receiver.
Uplink: A signal’s path from the earth
to a satellite. DirecTV's uplink facility is located in Castle Rock,