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Stallions Satellite and Antenna - TV Reception Solutions
Satellite Glossary

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Cliff effect:  Sudden breakdown or loss of digital signal reception when it contains more errors than the error correction system can cope with. Up to this point there is no degradation in reception quality; a significant advantage over analog where there is a gradual deterioration.

Compression:  In order to make more efficient use of transmission capacity, digital broadcast signals are reduced in size by digital compression. This has a minimum effect on the received signal quality but allows several compressed TV channels to be transmitted in the space required for one analog channel.

Conditional access system - CAS:  Ensures that broadcast services are only accessible to those entitled to receive them. Usually achieved by "coding" (scrambling or encrypting) the service to make it unintelligible to unauthorized viewers.

Co-location:  More than one satellite located at the same orbital position.

Conditional access:  System which controls access to pay and copyright-protected services.

Coverage:  The "coverage" of a satellite system is the number of households who are receiving at least one channel of that satellite system.


Decoder:  See "descrambler".

Descrambler:  Device (in conjunction with a smart card on many DBS satellite systems) which decodes a scrambled signal and allows access to the satellite service.

Digital:  Transmission and recording system where the signal is a sequence of ones or zeros, or on-or-off states.

Digital compression:  The reduction of the information needed to be broadcast (video, audio or data) giving minimum loss of received quality so as to make maximum use of the available transmission capacity. Thus, several digitally compressed TV channels can be transmitted in the space required for a single uncompressed analog TV channel. The main way that compression works is by eliminating some of the redundant data in the signal.

Digital TV:  More efficient means of transmitting television services which offers more channels and interactive services, as well as improved picture and sound quality.

Digitize:  To convert analog signals into digital ones.

Dish:  See "satellite dish".

Dolby Digital:  High-quality digital surround sound system for movies and TV programs. The successor to Dolby Pro-Logic. A Dolby Pro-Logic audio signal can be carried either over an analog or a digital transmission.

Dolby Pro-Logic:  High-quality surround sound system for movies and TV programs. A Dolby Pro-Logic audio signal can be carried either over an analog or a digital transmission.

Downlink:  Signal channel or path from the satellite to all types of reception sites on earth.

DTH:  Direct To Home - reception of satellite programs with a dish in an individual home.

DTO:  Direct To Office - reception of satellite programs with an individual dish or shared dish in an office.

Dual LNB:  A DBS LNB which provides all the transponders broadcast in KU-Band on two independent outputs.

DVB:  Digital Video Broadcasting group - over 300 organizations from 40 countries developed specifications for the transmission of MPEG-2 signals by satellite, cable and terrestrial links.

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