- Satellite - For broadcasts, companies use satellites that are in geosynchronous orbit 22,300 miles above the equator. This orbit is perfectly matched with the rotation of the earth, so it appears like the satellites are “fixed” in space above the surface of the earth. There are two types of broadband, analog communications satellites: C Band and Ku Band. Each type has its own set of uplink and downlink frequencies. You must know what band your program is on. Most contemporary analog downlink dishes can receive both C and Ku transmissions. Each satellite has a name – GALAXY, TELSTAR, etc.
- Azimuth - The arc (east-west) in the sky where synchronous satellites are located. The position of a satellite is referred to as the “coordinates,” given as “degrees east or west.”
- Encryption - (Scrambling) A television signal can be encrypted (scrambled). You would need a specific decoder in order to view the program. We do not encrypt/scramble our broadcasts. FDA programs are provided “in the clear.”
- Transponder - A specific circuit on a satellite that receives an uplink signal, modulates it to the downlink frequency, amplifies the signal and transmits it back to earth. Satellites have at least 24 transponders.
- Linear Polarity – A technique employed to increase the capacity of a transponder. By alternating the shape of a signal (horizontal or vertical), one can double the carrying capacity of a transponder.
- Channel – When speaking of satellite transponders, “channel” is another way of referring to the polarized signal: horizontal or vertical.
- Downlink Frequency – The radio frequency used to send a specific signal back to the surface of the earth. Each “channel” has an assigned downlink frequency.
- Audio - Each satellite video channel has two audio channels. The radio frequencies are the same for all channels: 6.2 and 6.8 MHz
- Digital - A recent alternative to the broadband, analog signal. This type of satellite transmission utilizes small, receive-only dishes, locked or fixed on a specific satellite. Direct Broadcast Satellites (DBS) are examples of digital services, transmitting direct-to-home in the 12 GHz range and beyond. At this point in time, we do not have access to these digital satellites. Our broadcasts cannot be downlinked using DBS dishes.
- Footprint - A term to describe the geographic area (coverage) of a satellite signal.
- Technical Fact Sheet – A document that provides all relevant information for the satellite program. Sometimes, a Program Announcement is the only technical information provided. An Announcement or Technical Fact Sheet for a satellite broadcast should include all of the following information. If it doesn’t, check with the program provider to get the complete information.
- Test time: A period of time prior to the actual program (usually ½ hour) when a special test signal is transmitted. Tuning, fine tuning, and trouble shooting would be done during this time.
- Program time: Usually listed as "eastern time", the time the program actually begins.