Unless you have been living under the rock for the past century, you will know how far the world has progressed. There is a lot going around in the world, especially for the past three decades. Not only has the internet gripped the world in an unending frenzy, but the entertainment options too, keep increasing by the day. There are so many choices to decide between, they are sure to leave you stumped.
For example, high-speed internet means that the entire world is open at your fingertips, with nothing you can’t find online. There are extensive libraries of your favorite kind of movies, books, and all other sorts of stuff to enjoy.
When it comes to entertainment options through TV services, the options are quite a few. You can find TV broadcasting through terrestrial networks, satellite-to-home, and even over-the-top networks. In this article, we will give you a brief introduction to all these services and the top providers that you can trust for good quality entertainment of each kind.
So, let us begin!
What Are Terrestrial Networks for TV?
Terrestrial networks usually work by receiving channels at the network head and redistributing those signals to their subscribers. Headend feeding can be done through cable although it is often through a satellite.
There are three main types of terrestrial networks that exist. These include;
- Cable: video or TV delivery service to end-users through a coaxial cable.
- IP: video or TV delivery service primarily over the internet through a private network.
- Digital terrestrial: video or TV delivery service through radio signals received directly by a digital TV box, or a TV-linked gateway device.
Terrestrial networks, especially cable connections are heavily reliant upon the groundwork that is already available in the country. This often means that these TV services are unable to reach distant areas. This is because, in many remote areas, the terrestrial infrastructure either does not exist, is inadequate, or too expensive to install. Hence, using satellites to feed the service at the headend, is one way in which providers take on this challenge, trying to maximize their reach.
For subscribers in areas where cable and other terrestrial networks already exist, access and use are easy with a large sea of content to watch. For some areas where reach is limited, however, you can expect fewer channel options, limited bandwidth, and so on.
Top Providers of Cable TV in America
Since we have already established the basics of cable broadcasting, let us get into provider details. Some of the top providers for cable TV in the U.S are;
- Spectrum TV
- Xfinity TV
Each of these service providers comes with little perks and features that set them apart. However, all that information is beyond the scope of this article, so let us go on.
What is Satellite Direct-To-Home (DTH) Technology?
Satellite TV is perhaps one of the most versatile TV options out there. Not only does it offer wide availability, but the services are good and most satellite TV plans are quite market competitive. But how exactly does a satellite TV service work?
Satellite Direct-to-Home is when you directly receive video delivery through radio signals at your house. This is usually done through a receiver satellite often set up on your roof. This is a reliable TV service that allows you to get all your channels in one place and a cable TV subscription is not required.
One of the best things about satellite television is its all-encompassing reach. Since it does not use any cable to deliver TV service, infrastructure is never a concern. No matter how undeveloped or distant a certain region is, a satellite TV provider can reach all subscribers.
One other important aspect to consider is cost. While initial setup costs for the infrastructure tend to be a little higher, with satellite transmission, it is well adjusted. The costs remain the same no matter how many subscribers you reach, which is a big advantage in the longer run. Since most Satellite TV providers quickly gain access to a large number of homes, this setup is an extremely cost-efficient network option.
When we talk about the maturity of this satellite DTH technology, it continues to evolve and get better. Moreover, the high bandwidth availability of signals through satellite enables providers to deliver a greater and better quality. Both in terms of the number of premium quality channels and 4K resolution when compared to other options in the industry. For subscribers who only want to access free-to-air TV channels, satellite TV is the perfect option since apart from the initial setup costs there are no regular monthly charges.
Top providers of Satellite TV in the U.S
Satellite TV plans vary from provider to provider. Even so, there are a few satellite TV providers that happen to be large crowd favorites. Just in case you feel like you want to invest in this technology.
There may be only two options for satellite TV in the industry, but they are subtle, strong, and good competitors in a saturated market.
What is Over-the-top (OTT) Service?
OTT service is a term used to label video or TV delivery over internet broadband. This is typically powered by a high-speed internet connection, unlike other services which use cable or satellite. Contrary to popular belief, however, OTT is not meant as a free service, rather, it works as a paid subscription model like Netflix, HBO Now, Hulu, or Amazon.
OTT is on-demand content that can freely be accessed on a computer or tablet. Of course, for the best possible experience, we recommend getting it with a web-enabled television for example with Roku or Apple TV, on your conventional TV screen.
One of the biggest advantages of OTT services is that they are a relatively cheaper option for subscribers. However, since OTT often employs the use of a pay-per-view model that increases with views, and reaches a tipping point. As the service grows popular and more successful the costs too increase in line with viewers’ growth. Therefore, OTT distribution may become more expensive than satellite TV at any point in time.
OTT uses high-speed internet broadband to work, which can be a challenge in some areas. Wide broadband availability and a stable network connection alone can ensure a reliable OTT viewing experience. As the quest for quality entertainment rises, so does the research done by OTT providers in the industry. Developing a service that works even in areas with questionable internet speeds, is the ultimate goal.
Top OTT Providers in the U.S
With the rise in cord-cutters in the entertainment world, OTT options are always increasing. Some of the most popular options in the industry include but are not limited to;
- YouTube TV
- Amazon Video
OTT is the ideal thing to get if you are not interested in live channels and other TV perks, and smaller options can also save you a few bucks.
With the widespread rise in media coverage services such as Netflix, one would almost expect that OTT should be the undeniable future of TV distribution. However, this is not entirely the case. Satellite TV distribution in fact continues to grow rapidly, both in developing markets such as South America, Africa, and some parts of Europe and in more established markets such as the USA, Australia, and the UK.