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Blog What are the advantages of satellite television? Here are just some of the advantages of having satellite TV in your home. When it comes to satellite TV, we think satellite TV is the only way to go. Satellite television is programming delivered through communications satellites and received through an antenna. Communication satellites or comsats are located in the Earth’s orbit, where they are launched for the purpose of telecommunications. A satellite sends signals to Earth, which, when it comes to television, are picked up by a parabolic reflector antenna called satellite dish. The antenna is usually located on the roof of a building and connected through a built-in satellite tuner or a set-top box. Satellite television comes in two forms – analog and digital. Analog is currently being replaced by digital television in most countries of the world. Digital satellite television also comes in high-definition, which is a higher quality. This form of television is highly popular in the USA and in other developed countries of the world. It comes with hundreds of channels and allows greater entertainment possibilities than other types of television. In the past, before the satellite television technology, television came with only a small amount of options and the programming was quite limited. Today, satellite television is very widely spread and most people can’t even remember what it was like having only a couple of TV channels available. One of the biggest advantages of satellite television is the choice of channels. This type of television comes with great capacity so you can basically install hundreds of different channels to choose from. This is perfect for families where different members can’t always (or ever, for that matter) agree on what to watch and which channels to get. Satellite television offers something for everyone. The youngest kids can enjoy hundreds of cartoon channels and educational programs. As you can see there are lots of advantages to satellite TV. But will it succumb to the newer technology of Internet TV? Compliments of Is DISH abandoning satellite TV? Internet TV seems to be the wave of the future, but could the main satellite TV providers, Dish and DirecTV be preparing for Internet based TV? Here’s the latest info: A world without satellite TV? If DISH Chairman Charlie Ergen has his way, that could be the world we live in someday. Satellite television has been with us for two generations but it may be just a stepping stone to internet-based delivery. It seems DISH is in negotiations with MTV and others to create an internet-only subscription service different from anything else out there today. Direct Broadcast Satellite television was first created in the 1980s as a response to high costs to lay cable in major cities. While local broadcasting wasn't capable of providing 50 channels (believe it or not that was a lot of channels in 1985) the hope was that with a simple, dish-shaped antenna, regular folks could get at least 50 channels without cities and towns having to lay expensive cable wires. As we all know, two companies took up the challenge. Echostar started Dish Network, while rival Hughes started DIRECTV. Both launched in the mid-1990s after a long journey filled with regulatory challenges. Now, after 25 years of operating a satellite fleet, it seems that DISH may be ready to move on. Could the company whose name literally means satellite antenna be giving up satellite? My personal opinion is that Internet TV will replace satellite TV just as satellite TV replaces over the air TV. But I think it will be a while before this happens. Compliments of the dirt on satellite TV piracy Satellite piracy costs satellite TV companies millions of dollars every year. Here’s the lowdown on what’s happening . . . Cunning users leveraged the Internet to completely bypass traditional methods of satellite TV, through card sharing While the downloading of pirated films, TV, games and music is a subject of much attention from the media, web users, content creators and legislators, little attention is paid in the public eye to the problems faced by broadcasters in securing their distribution platforms.  Exclusive research by NetNames into the state of PayTV piracy offers an insight into the worrying trend of internet card sharing, which allows thousands of users to access premium content via a single subscription. As soon as paid television networks were launched in the 1970s, some users sought to gain access to content without paying. Various techniques could be used, for instance, physically removing the line filters that blocked access to premium content, or (as protection became more sophisticated) by reverse engineering encryption systems. Card based access is the most typical method used today for protection. By scrambling the video stream with a secret key (known as a control word), content can in theory, only be decrypted by those possessing a valid ‘decryption card’. Companies such as NDS and NAGRA have developed increasingly complicated systems of encryption and obfuscation in attempts to stop cloning or emulation of cards. As with a fully cloned or emulated card, users can decrypt the video stream of any channel to which the original card had access. Cards are now routinely paired with receivers to try to prevent simple card cloning, effectively limiting use to a single customer. This process has helped limit signal piracy but as Jeff Goldblum explains in Jurassic Park “…life, uh…finds a way”. Just as the island’s female dinosaurs managed to find a way to breed without restriction, pay TV pirates soon found a loophole to breed a new vector of attack. Instead of engaging in an ever-escalating arms race against protection companies, some users realized that they could leverage the power of the Internet to completely bypass the traditional methods of decrypting channels by creating a network of trusted friends and users. Decryption cards could effectively be shared across that network, allowing a single premium subscription to power the viewing habits of many network members. This opened up the possibility of access to thousands of channels for little or no cost, in a process commonly known as ‘card sharing’. By using a network enabled receiver, users without a valid subscription card are able to access the encrypted video stream. Compounding this issue for broadcasters is the fact that this process takes up a very small overhead in terms of bandwidth, allowing a single user to serve multiple decrypted channels to multiple peers over a regular home broadband account. Thanks to the peer-to-peer nature of the system, a vast network of users can be created, often spanning continents, all using just a few valid subscriptions to view content. While many users choose to share their decryption cards within a small private group, commercial card sharing systems also exist (known in the community as payservers), which are open to all and offer a more simplified set up process. Subscriptions to a payserver generally run to about €20 a month (about US $26) and 24-48 hour test packages are generally available for little or no cost.  The packages on offer from payservers usually include access to a wide range of different providers spanning a number of different satellite providers such as Sky TV or Canal Digital. When a user attempts to access a channel for which decryption is required, CCcam boots up and remotely relays the request to the payserver; effectively decrypting the channel using one of the many different subscription cards at their disposal. Remember, it’s a crime to pirate satellite TV programming, punishable by a fine and even imprisonment. So don’t use this information to pirate satellite TV. Compliments of
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