Celebrating over twenty years of satellite TV

in Satellite

The BBC has been entertaining UK and international audiences for over seven decades. From its World Service and 24-hour news programmes, to sitcoms and documentaries, it's perhaps fair to say that the BBC is a global institution.

But as respected as the BBC is, people like variety. It wasn't all that long ago that TV viewers had a mere three channels to choose from in the UK. This rose to four channels when Channel 4 was introduced in the early eighties, followed by a fifth terrestrial channel in 1997.

Of course, with the advent of the digital age, the likes of Freeview and Top-Up TV offer a little more variety – but the crème de la crème of TV is reserved for those with a circular, parabolic antenna attached to the side of their house. Or a satellite dish, in other words.

A satellite dish cannot only bring TV to remote areas where terrestrial signals dare not go, it can also bring hundreds of channels not available anywhere else – and the technology has been around a lot longer than you may think.

The very first satellite television signal was transmitted between Europe and North America in 1962, with the first commercial communications satellite launched into orbit a few years later. The Soviet Union are credited with the first national satellite TV network, which began broadcasting in 1967.

However, it wasn't until the launch of the Astra 1A satellite in 1988 that most home viewers got to enjoy proper satellite TV. Astra 1A carried Earth's first ‘direct-to-home' satellite service, and dishes have been popping up on homes across the country ever since.

Indeed, satellite television kick-started a TV revolution that would change popular culture forever -trends, fashion and tastes could be shared and disseminated instantly and on a global level.

The year 1992 was a key year for sports fans in the UK. The FA Premier League was launched, with the clubs in the top division deciding to sever ties with the Football League, which enabled them to negotiate their own TV rights. Football and satellite TV have gone hand-in-hand for football fans in the UK ever since, and the league is now one of the most watched sporting leagues in the world.

The BBC and other terrestrial channels will always have a part to play for TV viewers across the UK. But a simple satellite dish brings more channels to a wider audience – and whether you're a football lover or movie geek, the chances are you'll find something you like.

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Paul Buchanan has 1 articles online

Paul Buchanan writes for a digital marketing agency. This article has been commissioned by a client of said agency. This article is not designed to promote, but should be considered professional content.

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Celebrating over twenty years of satellite TV

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This article was published on 2010/11/01