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Direct TV Systems

Direct TV systems are some of the most advanced television systems in the world. Since the inception of the company in 1994, satellite television dishes have become the fastest selling consumer product in modern history. This is not only a testament to people's desire for more entertainment value, but also to the remarkable technological advances that brought this once elite privilege to the living rooms of 30 million Americans.

Making its Mark
Nowadays, the new technology of the Direct TV system is easy to spot. In and on homes across the country it's hard to miss the hallmarks of Direct TV. The small satellite dish, which acts as an antenna beaming the program from a satellite in space, seems to sit on everyone's roof or balcony these days.

Direct TV also has six satellites in orbit delivering channels to your living room. Hughes Electronics Corp. and Loral built these satellites. Each of these satellites has multiple transponders that relay the Direct TV signal from various broadcast centers to homes all across the country. This allows Direct TV to offer local programming as well as programming from around the world.

Location, Location, Location
All Direct TV satellites are located in geosynchronous orbits 22,300 miles above the earth. The FCC, or the Federal Communications Commission, monitors all of these satellites.

The position of the satellites in orbit ensures that no matter what time of year or what time of day, your satellite remains pointed in the same direction. This is great because you only have to aim the thing once after you buy it and then let geosynchronicity do its thing.

On Air
Direct TV's broadcast centers also possess the same remarkable level of technological innovation. Currently, there are two broadcasting centers in the United States. One is located in Castle Rock, Colorado and the other one is located in sunny Los Angeles, California.

Most signal transmissions from the networks arrive at the broadcasting center via satellite. However, some signals do get transmitted via fiber-optic cable while others are loaded on by digital tape. This is to ensure that every signal you get in your home is a digital signal.

The signal is then digitized, encrypted to prevent thievery and uplinked to the orbiting satellite. Next, the video servers at the broadcast centers record the signal. The images are then tested to ensure that they meet the standards of digital video and top sound quality.

DVR
If you are interested in having every show that you want to watch available at all times, with the capability of pausing, rewinding and fast forwarding, DVR can do this. Direct TV, the leader in satellite television, has teemed up with TiVo, the leader in digital video recording.

In order for DVR to work, you need a special receiver to go along with your existing satellite equipment. This receiver must be plugged into your phone line as well, so make sure you have an extra socket or a splitter. You can then program TiVo to search for your favorite shows. No matter when they are on, TiVo will find them and record them onto the hard drive of your Direct TV system.

These shows are recorded in MPEG format. MPEG allows each file to be compressed so that it takes up minimal hard drive space while still maintaining the highest level of digital quality.

The Machine that Thinks
The beauty of DVR is that it also allows you to store videos for extended periods of time. So, if you have some all-time favorite shows, you can watch them over and over again. Since there is no video tape, you don't have to worry about the quality wearing out over time.

TiVo will also use its awesome computer brain to seek out shows that you may like (based on past your viewing habits) and suggest them to you. So, if you are a big fan of home renovation shows, it will automatically search for all shows about home renovation. Then you can browse them to see if you like them.

Direct TV Online
As many of us have found out, high-speed Internet access is not available in every neighborhood, let alone every city. That's a thing of the past, now that Direct TV is offering satellite Internet service.

Just as fast as regular high-speed, and light-years faster than a standard dial-up modem, you'll be able to download information at your leisure anywhere Direct TV offers service. And that's just about everywhere.

HDTV
You can also use the Direct TV system to locate High Definition television shows. Now all of your viewing can take advantage of that new HDTV you just spent so much money on.

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