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Fixed Service Satellite (FSS) and Direct Satellite Service (DSS)

Fixed Service Satellite

FixedServiceSatellite(orFSS),istheofficialclassification (usedchieflyinNorthAmerica)forgeostationary communicationssatellitesusedfor


televisionstations radiostationsand broadcastnetworks,

telephony, telecommunications,and datacommunications.

FSS satellites were the first geosynchronous communications satellites launched in space (such as

Intelsat 1 (Early Bird), Syncom 3, Anik 1, Westar 1, Satcom 1 and Ekran) and new ones are still being launched and utilized to this day.

FSS satellites operate in either The C band (from 3.7 to 4.2 GHz) or The FSS Ku bands (from 11.45 to 11.7 and 12.5 to 12.75 GHz in Europe, and 11.7 to 12.2 GHz in the United States). The higher frequency bands tend to have more spectrum and orbital slots available, but more expensive technology and higher rain margin.

FSS satellites operate at low power and hence require a large dish,

usually 3 to 8 feet (0.91 to 2.4 m) for Ku band, and 12 feet (3.7 m) or larger for C band

FSS satellite transponders use linear polarization.

Systems used to receive television channels and other feeds from FSS satellites are usually referred to as TVRO (Television Receive Only) systems, or BUD, or big ugly dish systems.

Direct Satellite Service

Direct broadcast satellite (DBS), direct-to-home signals, or DTH is a term used to refer to satellite television broadcasts intended for home reception. The subscribers, or end users, receive signals broadcast in digital format directly from geostationary satellites. DBS systems are commonly referred to as "mini-dish" systems. DBS uses the upper portion of the Ku band, as well as portions of the Ka band.

A DBS system consists of a dish antenna two to three feet (60 to 90 centimeters) in diameter. The dish intercepts microwave signals directly from the satellite. A signal converter placed next to the TV set produces output that can be viewed on the TV receiver. The origins of DBS service could be traced back to 1975 when HBO first started to use satellite technology to deliver program content to cable TV companies for broadcast. This led to individuals, often those living in rural areas, installing their own dishes in order to capture the signals intended for distribution by cable companies

Sky Television plc (now BSkyB after its merger with British Satellite Broadcasting's five-channel network), was launched in 1989. PrimeStar began transmitting an analog service to North America in 1991, and was joined by DirecTV (then owned by a division of General Motors, GM Hughes Electronics), in 1994. As of 2010, India has the most competitive Directbroadcast satellite market with 7 operators vying for more than 110 million TV homes. India is set to overtake the USA as the world's largest Direct-broadcast satellite market by 2012. India's national broadcaster, Doordarshan, promotes a free-to-air DBS package as "DD Direct Plus", which is provided as in-fill for the country's terrestrial transmission


FSS satellites operate at a lower power than DBS satellites, requiring a much larger dish than a DBS system DBS satellites use circular polarization on their transponders, FSS satellite transponders use linear polarization. The term of Fixed Service Satellite is chiefly a North American one, and is seldom used outside of the North American continent because most satellites used for direct-to-home television in Europe, Asia, and elsewhere have the same high power output as DBS-class satellites in North America, but use the same linear polarization as FSS-class satellites.