Satellite TV Seeker Exclusive Reports: Part I: Satellite TV & Satellite TV on PC: Great Expectations

By: saddam


In this Four Part Series, we will examine: Satellite TV for PC (PCTV)

• Part I: This new technology, what it is and how it works (briefly),

• Part II: How to buy this new technology Online (in great detail),

• Part III: What the implications of this new technology are (in broad detail) and finally,

• Part IV: What kinds of products are available (in serial installations).

I must explain first, I am neither a novice, nor a geek when it comes to Satellite TV. In the course of the Series, I will be using some technical language you may not be familiar with, but I promise, the technical stuff will be minimal, and made as simple as possible.

I must also qualify myself: I am a fully experienced TV Viewer with decades watching the Tube under my belt, and around my waist.
Further, it's only fair to tell you that I have been watching TV since 1952 (not continuously of course) when my parents went crazy and bought our first of many TVs… all cash!

Since those days, I also have gotten seriously involved with nearly all aspects of Satellite TV, including selling, installing and servicing Dish Network and DirecTV.
Currently I am a regular, satisfied subscriber to Dish Network Satellite TV, and Sound & Vision Magazine (a high-end media monthly).

For more information:

I am not a professional TV expert, electronics expert, or software critic. Nor am I here to sell you anything, except maybe on the wonders of modern technology.
But, after six years in the Satellite TV Business, I do consider myself to be an authority on the subject of Satellite TV.

Introducing Satellite TV for PC: Great Expectations

Depending on current experience, your age, your attitude and relationship to technology (i.e.: going steady, engaged, married, divorced, etc.) your socioeconomic status, your ethnic background, and where you may presently be living in the World; when you hear the following announcement, well, I expect the range of reaction will be very diverse!

So let me just repeat the advertising message one more time for effect:
Introducing Satellite TV for PC!

Dateline The North Pole, The Arctic, Planet Earth! To someone who has never experienced Live TV before, and I know you're out there, this must come as very great news indeed!

Now, through the magic of the Internet you can watch Live TV, on any Personal Computer (PC) connected to the Internet, at any speed; or we should say: a form of Live TV via the Internet, for maybe the first time in your life, right from the comfort of your own igloo!

Dateline Any Town, USA, Planet Earth! To someone a bit closer to my own home town, this may be the most boring thing you've heard this year!

TV on PC? Why should I bother? I've got Cable. I'm perfectly happy with my TV reception as it is, and I don't even own a computer, much less have any desire to want to mess with that awful Internet thing!

See what I'm getting at?

Regardless of your geographic location in the World, your experience with TV, and your attitude towards modern technology generally, you can now watch Live TV any time of day or night, right from your own PC.

Ready to get started? How about that dusty old computer over there? You know, the one that you bought for your husband or wife thinking, next week we'll get on the Internet and…

Hold the line, folks: Let's back up a bit. There's more to this PCTV business than meets the eye; far too much to delve into at one sitting!
We will be covering the how-to-get-started angle in detail, next in Satellite TV Seeker Exclusive Reports: Part II: Satellite TV for PC: Buying Satellite TV for PC.

So, right now we just want take things kind of nice and easy and survey the subject of Satellite TV and Satellite TV for PC, together, to insure we have a pleasant experience should we decide to go further!

What is Satellite TV?

Emerging in the Post War era of the late 1950s and 60s, which included, from my memory, Sputnik (the first artificial satellite) uh Voyager, Apollo, Gemini, 1969, Man on the Moon. Let's see, now…
Anyway, all these events proved that a rocket could successfully carry a payload, such as a satellite, deposit it in a certain orbit, and the satellite thing would stay put indefinitely!
Not only that, these events proved we could actually launch a satellite, lock it into a certain orbit, say 22,300 miles up, so that it would orbit the Earth at precisely the same speed that the World turns, and get satellites to help us do some spectacular high-tech tricks!

Today probably thousands of very sophisticated, geo-stationary Military, Scientific and Communications Satellites circle the Earth.
Basically these satellites act as reflecting stations for whatever information we may choose to beam up to them from Earth.

Very basically, Satellite TV works like this: Programming is generated from live TV sources at surface networks, piped out through wires to Proprietary Service Providers, like Dish Network and DirecTV, and bounced up to Proprietary Satellites, via radio waves.
In turn these signals are reflected back to earth in the form of huge beams. Some, called “CONUS” Satellites, have a footprint the size of the Continental United States!
Although you can't see them, the signals satellites reflect back to Earth, are available nearly everywhere, waiting to be captured and converted.
Proprietary Service Antennas (Satellite TV Dishes) gather the radio wave signals, concentrate them and feed the raw signals into Satellite TV Receivers, where the signals get decoded and put in a form that your TV then redistributes as Audio and Video.

For more on this subject:

Just what is Free Satellite TV?

This is a matter of some considerable controversy, depending on your particular situation.

So far as marketing Satellite TV goes, the lowest common denominator is the 'Free Satellite TV System' which absolutely dominates the American Scene.
In this context, 'Free' refers only to the 'Free' Equipment and Installation, that you, as a new Customer, can later receive when you agree to contract to a monthly programming access plan, by paying a recurring subscription fee.

Like 'free' cell phones, 'Free Satellite TV Equipment' is means to an end for the service providers like Dish Network and DirecTV.
While you, as the potential Consumer may be disinterested in buying equipment, and paying directly for its installation; renting equipment (whether the contract is explicit on this subject or not) is another matter!
So, regardless of how much you may have paid upfront (or not paid) for the requisite equipment and installation, if you want to get programming out of your Free Satellite TV System, you still have an obligation to pick up the monthly subscription tab, which ranges from about $20 USD monthly on up; depending your appetite for TV, and of course, what's in your wallet.

Another Form of 'Free'

Pirating or Hacking of the omnipresent Satellite TV Signal is also considered (by some) Free Satellite TV.
This generally implies a first cost ($25 USD, on up) which is required for even used equipment (Antenna, Receiver and Remote) and maybe $200 USD more for a required counterfeit Access Card, which the end user can (sometimes successfully) insert in a Receiver to get 'free' access to subscription Satellite TV.

Dish Network has pretty much put a stop to most Signal Piracy by placing their Smart Cards in an inaccessible spot inside their latest model Receivers.
DirecTV prefers another method. They have developed a Special Satellite Signal that electronically zaps counterfeit Access Cards from outer space, rendering them useless, at least temporarily.

OK. So what is (Free) Satellite Television (TV) for Personal Computer (PC)?

Let me begin by telling you what it's not. It's not an uncharacteristic act of kindness on the part of any one of the major service providers (Dish Network or DirecTV) channeling some or all of their programming onto the Internet freely, for use on any PC.

These huge corporations, and the powerful men behind them, are in the business of making billions in profits from millions of subscribers so that they, and their stockholders can reap continuous profits.

The “Satellite TV for PC” we are talking about here is also not about connecting a special internal/external PCTV Card or 'Black Box' to your computer in order to decode Satellite Signals. (That would be the subject of another discussion!)

Non-subscription Satellite TV Service delivered via the Internet

The Satellite TV for PC we are talking about here is: Non-subscription Satellite TV Service delivered via the Internet, using some inexpensive Software.
1. This Service, so far as I know 100% legal everywhere in the World!
2. This Service could be considered to be 'free.'

But wait: Am I claiming here, that you now can legally take your TV experience with you and literally tune into TV where ever there is Internet Service, for only a one-time charge for software that in effect magically transforms your PC into a TV, without any further ado?

In a single word: Yes! In two words: It Works! In three: Yes, It Works! In four: Yes, It Works, If! (Stay tuned for more on the “If”.)

How is this possible?

Some (the exact number is unknown) clever computer scientists (and savvy marketers, number unknown) figured out how to capture programming, directly or indirectly, from (presumably old, but still useful) satellites, and make that programming available on a worldwide basis: For a very modest price.

The rocket science is already in place and orbiting silently. (So, no worries here, legally.)
Currently, there are perhaps hundreds of satellites, capable of receiving and transmitting thousands of programs and returning these signals right to your home, at no monthly cost, via the Internet!
The rest of the required technology (packed inside your computer) is also well established. (No risk here either!)

So, dust off the old computer, pay for and download a bit of inexpensive software, logon to your ISP, open that new software, and va-voom, you're watching all your favorite TV channels, free for ever more, on the Internet.

Not so fast Pilgrim! We've gotta take a commercial break!

(To be continued in Part II: Satellite TV Seeker Exclusive Reports: Part II: Satellite TV for PC: Buying Satellite TV for PC.)

PS: Can't wait for the next installment? You can get your advanced Exclusive Report free, simply by requesting it!

Best Regards,

Craig Guest
CEO, Satellite TV Seeker

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