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parabolic antenna

A bowl-shaped antenna that reflects and focuses incoming radio waves into a narrow beam directed toward a receiver typically positioned above the center of the unit. Also called a "dish" or "mirror," parabolic antennas are used for satellite signals and planetary telescopes. The reflective mirror design can also emit energy such as in a flashlight or automobile headlight. See DBS.




Dish Antennas
Parabolic antennas are easily recognized by their bowl shape.






DBS

(Direct Broadcast Satellite) A one-way TV broadcast service from a communications satellite to a small round or oval dish antenna no larger than 20" in diameter. Using a highly compressed digital signal in the 11-15 GHz Ku-band, DBS offers TV to every household, as long as there is line of sight from the satellite to the dish. Prior to DBS, costly equipment and very large antennas were required. Tuning into the stations was complicated because content was available on multiple satellites. See parabolic antenna.

DirecTV and USSB
Although DBS service existed in other countries, the first DBS in the U.S. was launched in 1994 by Hughes Electronics (DirecTV) and Hubbard Broadcasting (USSB). DirecTV and USSB used the digital satellite system (DSS) standard with equipment made by RCA and other manufacturers.

PrimeStar and EchoStar
Soon after, PrimeStar introduced a DBS service that included installation of its own equipment that was leased with the content. In 1995, EchoStar launched its first satellite and offered service as the Digital Sky Highway (DISH) network. In 2008, EchoStar was spun off from DISH as a separate entity offering receivers, DVRs and other satellite TV equipment.

USSB and Primestar Became DirecTV
In the late 1990s, Hughes acquired USSB and Primestar, merging both services into DirecTV. In 2015, DirecTV was acquired by AT&T.



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