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r.v.s.tvro FAQ - Part 8/10

( Part1 - Part2 - Part3 - Part4 - Part5 - Part6 - Part7 - Part8 - Part9 - Part10 )
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Archive-name: Satellite-TV/TVRO/part8
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PART EIGHT - What is the Future for TVRO?

It seems as though consumer TVRO is at a critical crossroads. In the mid-1990's, the 
TVRO scene made (for better or for worse) the often uncertain transition into digital 
satellite reception. This was also the same time period that direct broadcast satellite 
(DBS) was introduced and became wildly popular. Your "average Joe" couch potato 
TV viewer saw DBS as the answer to "getting hundreds of channels" with equipment 
costs lower than those of TVRO, simpler installation, and better picture quality than 
that of cable television. Not to mention, it is "digital", so it HAS to be good, right?

DBS may prove to be a worse adversary to big dish satellite usage than cable television 
ever was. Although those who know better know the technological cons of DBS, such 
as the perils of the overuse of digital compression, no choice of programming providers, 
digital artifacting, rain fade and proprietary technologies, this has little or no meaning to 
"average Joe" couch potato TV viewer. He (or she, of course! "Jo" for her..) only cares 
that he gets ESPN, Discovery Channel, CNN, and other popular cable/satellite 
networks with easy channel surfing. Experimentation, wild feeds, different modes of 
broadcasting, and programming found nowhere else are foreign concepts to "Joe". 
DBS, by being smaller and newer than TVRO, along with "being digital" as a popular 
marketing catch-phrase, works hard to present the image that TVRO is simply "old, 
outdated satellite TV". This narrow-minded stereotypical TV viewer is becoming the 
majority and therefore speaks the loudest with his dollars. Cable television is an already 
entrenched force in influencing what you watch, and the two American DBS 
companies are not too far behind. Worse, the DBS companies are buddying up with 
some of the fewer remaining TVRO/C-Band subscription programming suppliers to try 
to force TVRO viewers to switch to DBS, often using outrageous technological and 
financial claims, not to mention outright lies. 

It isn't that large strides haven't been made by the U.S. Government to encourage 
choice in the source of one's television (and audio) programming, it is simply that big 
dish satellite has become the unfortunate victim of unfounded notions of being an 
outdated technology simply one the premise that if it isn't new, it must be outdated. 
One could argue, using an automotive comparison, that this is like saying that a 2001
Volkswagen Beetle or Chrysler PT Cruiser are "better cars" than a 1966 Ford 
Mustang or a 1972 Chevrolet Nova simply because they are more modern. Like the 
TVRO versus DBS debate, this type of oversimplistic comparison does not allow for 
true analysis of what each is and is not. TVRO is also the victim of being a more 
involved and complicated to use product than the mass-produced, smaller DBS 
systems such as DirecTV and DISH Network.

Basically, TVRO is becoming more and more for just those with technical and 
experimental persuasions, not unlike the early days of TVRO. Someday, traditional 
subscription programming will either disappear from TVRO or simply become more 
and more expensive like it already is with cable TV programming. More and more 
equipment is also becoming necessary to get what is still out there, such as 4DTV 
receivers or sidecars, DVB/MPEG-2 free-to-air receivers and the like. In the future, 
an investment in even more equipment, such as expensive commercial DVB/MPEG-2 
receivers with QPSK, 8PSK, and 16QAM modulation and 4:2:2 screen ratio will be 
needed just to maintain the level of programming choice TVRO viewers are used to. 
Although these changes in technology don't discourage diehard TVRO enthusiasts, it 
has the unfortunate effect of making TVRO an increasingly less attractive consumer 

Luckily, diehard TVRO viewers are a hardy lot and a mostly intelligent group overall. 
TVRO viewers know the technical advantages of TVRO and the superior choice that 
they have over cable and DBS. TVRO home theater aficionados couldn't imagine 
settling for the inferior technical quality of cable or DBS in their home theater setups. 
Most TVRO owners have been in it for the long haul since the beginning and view 
their systems as an investment; and with the right information instead of the anti-TVRO 
misinformation and lies, their investment in TVRO will still be viable into the 21st 

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Last Update March 27 2014 @ 02:11 PM