Direct broadcast satellite (DBS) is a term used to refer to satellite television broadcasts intended for home reception, also referred to more broadly as direct-to-home signals.


The expression direct-to-home or DTH was, initially, meant to distinguish the transmissions directly intended for home viewers from cable television distribution services that sometimes carried on the same satellite.

SES Astra launched the Astra 1A satellite to provide services to homes across Europe receivable on dishes of just 60 cm-80 cm and, although these mostly used PAL video format.

Terminology confusionEdit

As a technical matter, DBS (also known by the International Telecommunications Union as Broadcasting Satellite Service, or BSS) refers only to services transmitted by satellite in specific frequency bands:.11.7-12.2 GHz in ITU Region 3 (Asia, Australia), 10.7 - 12.75 GHz in ITU Region. At present, only a relative handful of countries have actually brought into use any of their BSS Plan allocations.

In recent years, India has become a very competitive DTH market. A number of Indian media & industrial houses have launched DTH services in the past few years to compete with the terrestrial cable companies. They are TataSky (from Tata Group & NewsCorp), DishTV( from Zee Network), SunDirect (from SUN Media), BIG TV (from Reliance Group), Airtel Digital TV (from Bharti Group) and the proposed DTH ventre of the Videocon group.

Free DBS servicesEdit

Germany is likely the leader in free-to-air (FTA) DBS, with approximately 40 analogue and 100 digital channels broadcast from the SES Astra 1 position at 19.2E. These are not marketed as a DBS service, but are received in approximately 12 million homes, as well as in any home using the German commercial DBS system.

India's national broadcaster, Doordarshan, promotes a free-to-air DBS package as "DD Direct Plus", which is provided as in-fill for the country's terrestrial transmission network.

See alsoEdit

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