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Test Report for The Future of C-Band

The Future of C-Band

We are on the brink of the 21st Century, where every technological dream will come true, even the "Hang-on- your-wall flat-TV". The flat TV took much longer to get here than folks expected, and with a $5000 price tag, it may be a while before most of us dish owners own one, but Phillips says you will be able to buy their Plasma Display Flat TV some time this year if you want to spend the money. The new screen looks wider than our TV sets today. This is one of the futuristic changes on the way, as the old analogue standard NTSC video system, which was developed in the early 1940s finally, gets replaced. When Color came in the early 50s, many competing companies came out with their own ideas of how it could be done. CBS even dreamed up a Rube Goldberg system that used a mechanical spinning wheel in front of a black and white 17-inch picture tube to produce a full color image. The FCC rejected the CBS system because it was incompatible with the existing way of doing things. Enter RCA with "Compatible Color" and the full NTSC standard was born. Often called "Never Twice the Same Color" because of the difficulties in the early system in holding color tones (remember the purple and green faces), after ten years of refinement, the round tube color TVs finally started selling. The set you use today to watch your subscription satellite programming, backhauls and wild feeds is evidence of refinement of an old standard. BUT like it or not TV is going to change in a big way and soon. We as owners of the BIG C-Band dish will get some of the first chances to witness the technical changes coming to the world of television... Or we can be among the last to still have access to high quality analogue video. That's the nice thing about C-Band. It's the place where EVERYTHING HAPPENS.

Have you felt the pressure lately? For a few years now, certain factions have been calling us Dinosaurs. Do friends and relatives call you "the guy with the Big Ugly Dish" (BUD)? With so many of the little 18-inch systems out there, a few C-Band owners have given in to the simplicity and ease of operation afforded by mini dishes. Don't get me wrong, the 18-inch wonder is fine for someone who just wants to watch cable "Tee-Vee" type programming, and they produce a viewable picture. BUD purists argue that the video seen on the Big Dish is far superior. And we BUD guys will happily show you the one thing that the Big Dish will always have, and that is something called "Bandwidth", which is the total amount of information a given system can process. Simply put, because we are not limited to one satellite, we will always have access to more programming, more variety and more CHOICE. Whether you are a movie fan, sports nut, or news junkie, your best bet will always be C-Band. So don't go taking down that big dish yet, not 'til you have the FULL story on what our crystal ball tells us about where C-Band is going. One thing for sure. It is NOT going away. Every few months, ANOTHER C-Band satellite is launched. Does anyone think that major communications giants would spend money to put up more C-Band satellites if this was a dying technology? No indeed, the spectrum space used by C-Band is valuable real estate. Any engineer will tell you that when it comes to reliability, better performance in bad weather, and rock-solid video, C-Band is the place. The broadcast networks won't give up C-Band. The cable companies won't give up C-Band. Specialty programmers and many others know that C-Band will never die.



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