The recent revolution in television industry is emergence of Satellite TV. Satellite TV functions through delivery of programming transmitted by the TV Satellites. Earlier, TV satellites functioned through its Conus beam transponders. But now, TV Satellites function through Spot beam transponders along with Conus beam transponders. Using Spot beam transponders, Satellite TV providers like DirecTV and Dish Network deliver local channels in an effective way. Let us have a deep look about Spot beam technology and its benefits, in this article.
Satellite TV has many features in their service but, have one main disadvantage of limited number of local programming. After many trials, Spot beam transponders were installed in TV satellites to provide local programming to subscribers.
Using Conus beam transponders, TV Satellites deliver programming signals throughout the U.S region like a blanket. As a result, many popular networks can be uniformly delivered throughout the region. However, local programming is subject to change from one place to other. In this case, Spot beam technology plays a major role by delivering more number of local channels to a particular local market in an effective manner.
Programming signals are transmitted to the TV Satellites from the earth stations. Spot beam transponders in TV satellites receive these programming signals. In one spot beam TV satellite, 5 beams are available. One beam uses 5 different frequencies (i.e. 5 beams X 5 frequencies = 25 spot beam frequencies). So, totally 25 spot beam frequencies are available in one spot beam TV satellite.
One of the main benefits of Spot beam transponders are reusability of frequencies. This reusability of frequencies helps in delivering local programming from one DMA (Designated Market Area) to another DMA. For example, a beam has 2 frequencies (i.e. frequency 1 and frequency 2). Frequency 1 is used in one market area – Albany, GA. Frequency 2 is used in another one market area – Oklahoma City, OK. When Oklahoma City, OK needs another frequency to deliver more local programming, Frequency 1 may be reused along with Frequency 2 in Oklahoma City, OK.
Spot beam transponders have the ability to cover regions with signals with each spot beam being approximately 300 miles in diameter. This coverage is also called as high beam where subscribers get crystal clear local programming. The subscribers who are just outside this coverage area or nearby get marginal signal strength called as low beam or “fringe area”.
Satellite TV providers like DirecTV and Dish Network have leveraged the abilities of Spot Beam technology to effectively deliver local channels, to provide high quality service to their subscribers.