Satellite TV Systems - How does it work?
The chain of events
There are five links in the digital satellite television chain. At the beginning, there is the satellite providers, who buy the rights to broadcast other channels and programs through their equipment.
A signal is compressed, usually into an MPEG-2 format (the same as DVD's), and transmitted to a satellite orbiting the Earth in geosynchronous orbit, which in turns transmits the signal to your satellite dish. Due to the geosynchronous orbit, your satellite dish needs only do be positioned once, and must face the southern sky in order to pick up a signal.
Once received, the signal is passed to your receiver. This is essentially security equipment for the satellite channels and providers - as the signal is digitally encrypted it is very hard to be intercepted by unauthorized users. The receiver reads the encryption and unpacks the information. The result is what you see on the screen. Recently a new wave of satellite TV has been developed, known as HDTV. To receive HDTV, you will need an HDTV receiver, and ideally an HD television set. HDTV has far superior sound and vision, and broadcasts in DVD quality pictures with Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound, bringing the cinema to your home without a DVD player.