This post was most recently updated on January 22nd, 2019
While we have all come to the realisation that IPTV is the future of TV viewing, we need to reassess the impact of the other/older tv viewing technologies. Today will be comparing 3 of the most popular satellite Tv encryption/decoding technologies. By so doing, we shall be doing justice to the lopsided war between that is FTA Vs IPTV Vs PayTV. Previously on this site, you must have come across the term FTA and IPTV multiple times. What we are simply doing here is to draw the distinction. This will help us to t=detemine which is most suitable for you and why.
If you are one of those persons who look forward to just sitting back and watching some TV during weekends, then you’d be happy if you have access to free-to-air(FTA) channels. You can make this possible by setting up your own satellite system. Just by making a one-time purchase of all satellite equipment needed like a satellite dish, a receiver and some low noise blockers(LNBs), you will already be able to enjoy a great deal of FTA channels even without cable or satellite subscription. What is more, FTA is 100% legal. However, the article of today focuses on the distinction between various satellite Tv systems that we have.
- IPTV and Cardsharing tech: Learn the basic How-to
- Is IPTV legal?: Arguments for and against the legitimacy of IPTV fully analyzed
- Basic Free-To-Air(FTA) Satellite Tv Channels with their Frequencies
- IPTV vs Satellite tv/Cable tv and Cardsharing-The comparative analysis
- Top Satellite Tv signal encrypting/conditional access companies and their client base
FTA Vs IPTV Vs PayTV: What are the Various Options Available to Us When Watching TV?
In some cases, we are restricted in the ways we can receive our TV pictures due to where we live and the services that are available to us. In addition, we can also be limited by the technology that we need in order to get the right services.
Types of Television Providers
One of the most confusing issues when trying to figure out how we are going to receive our TV shows is understanding the different types of delivery available to us.
Let us break it down, so that it can be easier to see what our options are.
The main types of television available in both the developed and the developing countries of the world can be broadly categorised into five main categories:
- Broadcast Television (Over-the-Air or Terrestrial TV)
- Free-to-air TV (FTA – or Unencrypted Satellite)
- Cable Television
- Direct Broadcast Satellite (DBS – or Satellite TV)
- IPTV and Internet TV
- Broadcast Television
The broadcast television system is sometimes known as terrestrial TV. You can call it the most traditional type of TV delivery.
Furthermore, this TV type can be received for free and is traditionally picked up by an antenna (or aerial) in your home. The process involves the sending signal down a cable into a tuner integrated to your TV set.
For many years this type of TV has been sent using an analogue signal. However, analogue signals are starting to be replaced by digital signals. This is also known as Digital Terrestrial Television. Many houses in Nigeria are still using this type of tv system up till today.
Digital or analogue
Digital & analogue system are very similar to the broadcasting/terrestrial system above.
By default, the TV tuner is often built into the TV set itself. However, to increase the number of channels that you can receive, you may find it necessary to use an external box to receive the signal from the antenna. And this box is then connected by cables to the TV or home entertainment system.
In the US for example, this is how many people have historically received the major broadcast networks – ABC, Fox, NBC, CBS and The CW. Similarly, in Nigeria, we receive channels via digital and analogue tv such as NTAi, and other local channels such as AIT, Galaxy tv most of which are now on satellite tv systems.
In the UK, the main broadcast channels are BBC1, BBC2, ITV, Channel 4 and Five.
Free To Air TV
Free-to-air TV is similar in many ways to traditional broadcast TV transmissions – and can be seen as an extension of broadcast TV.
All the main channels available for broadcast TV can also be categorised as free-to-air and will be available using this method.
The main difference is that this type of TV is often sent using unencrypted satellite transmissions and can be received for free (or without subscription) with the right equipment to receive the signals. For example, if you have a free to air standalone decoder like strong, Openbox, Dreambox, skybox, gsky and so on, you are eligible to receive these channels.
Note; In this context, yet to be encrypted or newly added channels that are on test transmission also qualifies as free to air. However, the method of delivery doesn’t have to be restricted to satellite transmissions. Therefore, the boundaries of this type of television and broadcast TV can be somewhat blurred.
Compared to traditional terrestrial TV, there are more channels available to the consumer via free-to-air services. There will also be many radio stations as well as TV channels.
First off, cable television companies provide TV, radio, phone and internet services by means of a cable network which is connected to your home.
This delivery method usually requires a subscription, but this will provide a far greater choice of TV programming than what is available for free-to-air.
In addition, you will need a cable box(also known as decoder/ receiver) in the home to transmit the picture and sound to your TV. You have the option of choosing between a standard play-only unit and a more advanced digital video recorder (DVR / PVR) which allows scheduled recording to an internal hard disk.
One major advantage of cable television is that there is no need to have external equipment like an aerial or dish on the outside of your home. The picture from a cable service will also be unaffected by poor weather and atmospheric conditions, which can sometimes be a problem with a satellite TV service.
Cable networks are also able to offer high bandwidths which are well-suited to transmitting high-definition pictures and supplying fast internet connections.
Digital Satellite TV
As a reminder, Direct broadcast satellite is more commonly just known as satellite TV. Sat TV/DBS is a commercial subscription-based TV service provided to home consumers.
With this type of delivery, the home-user will install a satellite dish on the outside of their home. This dish is then directed at the location of the transmitting satellite in the sky. A cable is then run into the home and into a receiver box, which connects to the TV.
In some cases, these systems can receive a limited number of free-to-air channels which can be viewed without charge. However, for the full range of entertainment, sports and movie channels, the user will need to pay a subscription. Examples of digital Satellite tv are: dstv, mytv, consat, startimes, beIN, canalsat, skytv and so on.
Internet Protocol Television or IPTV
IPTV is a technology that allows television services to be delivered over a proprietary broadband packet data network using the internet protocol suite. Internet TV, on the other hand, is a television broadcast service distributed over the internet.
The above will afford us the opportunity of knowing what to go for when selecting a tv package. Hope you are on standby for my upcoming updates on satellite and others. stay tuned.