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Free Satellite ?

Discussion in 'Electronic Design' started by Luhan, Dec 10, 2005.

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  1. Luhan

    Luhan Guest

    The BBC is now broadcasting from a satallite for free. No subscription
    cards needed!

    This looks like a great business model. After all, a satellite is just
    an antenna, like any cities local stations has. Its just a bit higher
    up. So use it that way, garner advertizing revenue from covering all of
    the western hemisphere all at once, and run a highly profitable business.

  2. Don Bowey

    Don Bowey Guest

    A satellite is much more than just an antenna.
  3. Si Ballenger

    Si Ballenger Guest

    What channel is it on? I just see the local abc, nbc, fox, etc.
  4. Ken Taylor

    Ken Taylor Guest

    It looks like a great business model to you because you don't appear to be
    paying anything for it. But *someone* is paying for space on three
    transponders - satellites are way more expensive than 'just an antenna'.
    No-one else has been able to make money with this idea, so my guess is they
    will do this until the British taxpayer yelps loud enough.


  5. Luhan

    Luhan Guest

    "just an antenna" is a bit of a simplification. Yet regular broadcasts
    need million watt transmitters. Local TV stations get advertizing
    revenue based on the size of their audience. So, it would seem on
    ballance, that the extra expense of transmitting via satellite would be
    well covered by the advertizing revenue gained from the huge audiance.

    Also, you can broadcast multiple stations with one satallite. This
    makes the whole thing even more viable.

  6. Don Bowey

    Don Bowey Guest

    I suspect you might learn enough to really understand satellite systems if
    you would first learn to spell it correctly for your google searches.

  7. Zak

    Zak Guest

    Commercial TV in Germany is mostly free-to-air. The transponder hire
    isn't that expensive when compared to the reach.

    The same applies to the commercial ITV in the UK, to channels 2-5 in
    France, many Italian channels...

    If you add religion, state sponsored and shopping channels there are
    even more (about 1400 channels) - but many not worth watching.

    The problem with coding is that the whole infrastructure is more
    expensive than just the transmission - and it doesn't even save money
    becausetransmission cost is independent of the number of viewers.

  8. Luhan

    Luhan Guest

    No problem, google corrects my spelling!

    (Ain't technology great)

  9. Ken Taylor

    Ken Taylor Guest

    I've also noted that there's enough people out there making the same
    spelling errors as me that I can still google up a storm. :)

    WRT the original topic, however, the cost of a few extra watts in a
    terrestrial transmitter is piddling compared to the cost of putting up a
    satellite, let alone actually making it, getting a useful slot, etc etc.
    Plus the advertising revenue is awkward - what market do you aim at? Given
    you have a limited number of channels , the $/sec are exorbitant if you
    really think you're going to get payback. And the terrestrial transmitter is
    a helluva lot easier to service and stretch out those useful years than a
    satellite. I could go on.....

    No-one has succeeded with this yet, but if you think you're on a winner, go
    for it. :)


  10. Ken Taylor

    Ken Taylor Guest

    I'm not saying it can't/won't/shouldn't be done - I'm just saying it's not
    commercially viable. *Someone* is paying the infrastructure costs, and in
    those examples you've given (assuming they were via satellite, that wasn't
    particularly clear) I'm betting it's the mug taxpayer. Getting advertisers
    to foot the bill would be nigh on impossible.

  11. Luhan

    Luhan Guest


    I'm floating out this idea because I have not seen it discussed before.
    From some of what I've seen here, its not entirely out of the
    question. This particular NG is like a skeet shoot - you toss something
    out and wait to see if it flys or is totally shot down. Either way, I
    was curious about other peoples reaction.

    Thanks for the comments,
  12. Ken Taylor

    Ken Taylor Guest

    I haven't seen it discussed here, but it turns up periodically within the
    industry. Usually during the 'boom' years of the cycle, not surprisingly.
    Once punters actually start counting the cash again, the idea goes away


  13. Big deal. No one in their right mind would want to suffer the BBC's
    unremitting diet of political propaganda and politically-correct
    finger-wagging. Free it may be, but still not worth it.
  14. I liked most of the new Dr. Who, but it was done by BBC Wales

  15. Tam/WB2TT

    Tam/WB2TT Guest

    I don't live in the UK, but my understanding is that free satellite BBC is
    the only way to provide 100% coverage of digital channels during the
    transition period. Besides, it's not really free, is it - don't you pay a
    licensing fee?

  16. Zak

    Zak Guest

    It IS possible, as is clear from my channel list. Is CNBC a state
    channel? Is QVC one? RTL is definitely commercial, advertiser
    supported... 3 channels in Germany, on sattelite, no cipher - heck,
    even still transmitted in analogue next to digital... and analog is many
    times as expensive as analog (analog is a single channel in 27 MHz,
    digital is 40 Mbit/sec, which should give you 6 or 7 decent quality

    Take a look at and look at the offerings on Astra 1 or Hotbird.

    And then there's some 5 or 6 channels by Iranian refugees, transmitted
    from the US to Iran. From the entirely unprofessional looks I'd suppose
    these are privately funded.

    Whether it is affordable depends on both cost and viewership. The retail
    cost of unsubsidized receiver kits (dish, LNB and MPEG decoder) is
    around 70 euro is Germany. This makes for a large number of viewers,
    which allows even narrow interest channels like Bahn TV ("the railways
    channel") to exist, it seems. I don't knoow who's paying for that, but
    if they can, general entertainment can do teh same for sure.

    FWIW I remember a discussion of Dutch state TV channel BVN being
    transmitted in one of the paid packages (DirectV or whoever). BVN wanted
    to go 'free' as well, but the paid package said "we'll kick you out, we
    won't have anything that is for free". So there you have it: either ride
    with the big backages, with an installed base of equipment, or go in
    MPEG-2 on your own, on a satellite that no-one has pointed a dish at.

  17. Ken Taylor

    Ken Taylor Guest

    Some of the Beeb's best stuff was done in the regions.

  18. Ken Taylor

    Ken Taylor Guest

    Not doubting any of that - the OP was opining a business model whereby
    advertising would pay for free channels. While not doubting that RTL is as
    you say private and advertiser-supported, I can't see any evidence of the
    satellite channels being self-supporting, which is what the original
    discussion was about. If you want to include cross-subsidization, then sure,
    anything is possible. I'm also not questioning that there are or should be
    free-to-air channels on satellite: again, just the original concept. A nice
    one, but it hasn't been shown to work. CNBC may be closer to it but they
    cross-subsidies from their other network fees, so same deal.

    Your last comment is an interesting one - we went through a very similar
    process here in New Zealand a couple of years ago when Sky fought
    tooth-and-nail to prevent being mandated to broadcast free-to-air (VHF/UHF)
    channels freely over their bouquet. The government backed down, as they also
    did later on over local loop unbundling.

    You run Lyngsat? Great site, I go there often.....


  19. 'Free' is a bit of a misnomer in the UK.
    Anyone with a TV receiver is forced to pay the license fee which goes straight
    to the BBC. Otherwise dire threats are issued and strange men visit your house
    (illegally) demanding to search it looking for hidden TVs. I usually tell them
    to **** off.


    The Consensus:-
    The political party for the new millenium
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