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Satellite TV Terms


Audio Program Identification

Only applicable for digital transmission

Audio (either TV sound, or Radio) information.

sFIt defines the data substream that contains the


Dolby Digital Surround Sound System. A digitally compressed audio format

characterized by its ability to offer as many as six separate digital audio channels. AC-3

is used for DVD-Video titles in the NTSC format. PAL titles use MPEG-2 audio

compression standard.

Aspect Ratio

"It means the ratio of the width and height for the video. Standard NTSC, PAL, ATSC

(standard definition) and DVB (standard definition) use a 4:3 ratio, ATSC and DVB

high definition formats use a 16:9 format. "


Information used by the display device to create the picture is sent is by varying the

amplitude (height) and frequency (width) of the signal with time.


"Advanced Television Standard Committee." Its established by the FCC to define new

standards for publicly regulated broadcast television in the U.S.


Its the abbreviation of Advanced Television Enhancement Forum - A standard for

combining IP data with television video.


Its the amount of data that can be transferred or processed per unit of time. Bandwidth

is like the pipe size - the larger the pipe, the more it can carry.


The data rate of the DVD title, expressed in Mbs (megabits per second). DVD bitrate is

usually between 2 and 10 Mbs. The higher the bitrate, the more CPU required to

playback the disc.

B frame

An MPEG-2 compressed video frame derived by extrapolation between previous and

future frames.



Some satellites beam their program fair to Earth using a transmission antenna which is

pointed to the whole Earth. That is the part which is "visible" from that satellite. Such

transmission antennas are called "global". It most cases it makes more sense for a

satellite operator to concentrate signals to a certain area on Earth, mainly that part of

Earth where the intended recipients of TV, radio or data channels are at home. Ex. If the

target audience is not at home on ships, it makes more sense to point a transmission

antenna to land masses of Earth, than to oceans. Frequencies are connected to which

transmission antenna in order to know at what parts of Earth signals can be received.

For most of the satellites, SatcoDX has drawn the coverage areas towards where those

antennas are beaming at. In center of those coverage areas reception is possible with

smaller antennas than at edges of coverage areas. Outside coverage areas, reception is

probably still possible, using more advanced equipment. All coverage areas have been

given a "Coverage Code" in 8-letter-format. The first three letters indicate satellite

operator, the following three letters indicate type or version of satellite itself, and last

two letters make a definition of individual antenna coverage area. This 8-letter-format

Coverage Code, or just parts of it, like only the satellite operator, or satellite type, are

being displayed with receivers using automatic programming function of SatcoDX.

FSatellite's Antenna Coverage Beam.



Encrypted Channels are deliberately scrambled, so that a special decryption device is

needed to watch - or listen - to programming. In analogue technology, encrypting a

FEncryption Mode

television channel is mostly done by putting the video lines into a different order.

Digital transmissions can be encrypted in a wide choice of ways. Usually, a special card

(similar to a credit card) has to be inserted into satellite receiver. This card contains the

code to de-crypt signal. Those cards are only available from the programmer, in most

cases at a price (pay-tv), in some cases at no costs to certain citizens only.

enc. = encrypted, or encoded

Here is a list of abbreviations for the encryption methods:

4:2:2 - 422_

Betacrypt - BCRT


Coatec - CTEC

Conax - CONX

Cryptoworks - CRYW

Cryptoworks & Viaccess - CWVA


Eurocrypt M - EURM

Eurocrypt M/S2 - EMS2

Eurocrypt S2 - EUS2


IRDETO & Mediaguard - IRMG

IRDETO & Nagravision - IRNV

IRDETO & Videoguard - IRVG

Leitch - LEIT

Matsushita - MATS

MDE-2 - MDE2


Mediaguard - MGRD

Mediaguard & Viaccess - MGVA

Mediaguard&Cryptoworks - MGCW

Nagravision - NAGV




NTL 2000 - NTL2PowerVU - POVUPowerU & Nagravision - PVNVSiS -

SIS_Starcrypt - STARSyster - SYSTTV/COM - TVCMVC2+ - VC2+Viaccess -

VICSViaccess & Conax - VCONViaccess & Mediaguard - VIMGVideocrypt -

VICRVideocrypt 1 - VCR1Videoguard - VGRD


Its the abbreviation of Constant Bitrate. This type of compressed video signal uses the

same amount of data to describe video signal regardless of complexity.


It means convert data into a more compact form for storage or transmission.

CA, Conditional Access

Its a cryptographic technique for controlling which receivers are able to access a

particular signal.


Common Interface


Coded Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing

selected by the DVB committee for digital terrestrial broadcast television. See


FIts the modulation scheme

Compression or compressed

A mathematical method for reducing the amount of digital information needed to

re-create a television picture or frame.


Content protection

Cryptographic and design techniques used to limit how data flows within a receiving

device and between devices. Generally this is used to restrict copying of copyright

protected material.


Digital Satellite Equipment Control

Data rate

The speed of a data transfer process, usually expressed in kilobytes (thousands of bytes)

per second.


Decompressing a video clip and then converting its color.


Converting video and audio data from a compressed format back into its original form.


Refers to the use of digital television signals to send data or digital information


A method for extracting digital information stored in a specific pattern on an RF signal.


Information sent as a series of high (1) and low (0) signals separated by a fixed period

of time.

DLP, Digital Light Projection

A technique developed by Texas Instruments that creates a video image on a piece of

silicon and uses mirrors and light to project the image onto a viewable screen.

Downlink Freq. GHz

Freq. GHz

Actual frequency the satellite beams TV, radio and data down to Earth, therefore

"Down"- link frequency, as opposed to the frequency used to "Up"-link those signals up

to satellite in first place. There are two main frequency bands in use

FDownlink Frequency in GHz (Giga Hertz)F


FIts with downlink frequencies in the 3 and 4 GHz range.


1 GHz = 1000 MHz = 1000000 kHz = 1000000000 Hz. Hz = Hertz.

Example: 3.456 GHz = 3456 MHz

FWith downlink frequencies in the 10, 11 and 12 GHz range.


"Digital Satellite Service, the MPEG-2 based digital transmission format followed by



"Digital Television generally refers to lower resolution or 480i."


"Digital Video Broadcast, MEPG-2 based digital television standard that defines

formats for cable, satellite and terrestrial broadcast."


"Digital Visual Interface, a digital connection between a video source and a monitor,

replaces VGA."


Converting the color space of a video clip from a full-bandwidth source to a compressed

MPEG-2 file.


A mathematical technique for scrambling information such that only those with a key

piece of information can unscramble the information to recreate the original message.


TV Any of several techniques for providing a viewer with additional information

associated with a television program or advertisement.



Only applicable for digital transmissions: it indicates how many Bytes are used for

actual signal, and how many for correction of errors. A FEC of 1/2 means: 1 Byte out of

2 is used for correcting any errors during transmission, while a ratio of 7/8 means 7

FForward Error Correction

Bytes are used for the actual signal, and only one for error correcting. A FEC of 1/2

gives a perfect as possible reception, since every Byte containing actual signal is

controlled by another Byte checking it.When a programmers chooses a FEC of 7/8 it

means he is not waisting any bandwidth, at the cost of delivering a signal which needs a

more sophisticated equipment at the receiving end (like: very stable LNB, higher

reserves with the dish) compared to the same transmission using a FEC of 1/2.


One half of a video frame, consisting of every other scan line, in interlaced video



One video picture in a series.

Frame rate

The number of frames per second at which a video clip is displayed.

Full motion video

Content that shows 30 (interlaced) or 24 (film content) frames per second.


"Federal Communications Commission, U.S. government body responsible for setting

and enforcing regulations of transmissions over publicly accessible airwaves"


Drawing a frame by alternately drawing the rows of each field. For example, an NTSC

broadcast is expressed as 30 frames per second, but is actually made up of 60 half

-frames displayed one afterthe other .The alternative is de-interlacing, where only

complete frames are drawn on the screen.

LNB (Low Noise Block)

Its used to low down the frequency that satellite beams so that the tuner of DTV cards

could receive. And there are 3 major kinds of LNB, they are divided by the frequency of

LOF(Local Oscillator frequency)



LOF = 5150MHz & 5750MHz


LOF = 9750MHz & 10600MHz (Its usually "Universal" in Europe.


You could always find the value on the tag of your LNB, so that you could tell which

type of your LNB is.

LOF = It varies depends on the location, satellite etc.

LOF (Local Oscillator Frequency)

Local oscillator is how LNB could low down the frequency that satellite beams.


Mode: Transmission Mode

Commonly used name of the transmission mode/standard. Analogue transmission

technologies define color mode, as PAL, SECAM, NTSC, or sound mode, as Wegener.

Digital transmission technologies define the norm, as MPEG-2, or Digicipher etc.

Analogue technologies are less critical, and color mode mainly refers to the television

monitor connected to receiver. Digital technologies require a satellite receiver exactly

capable of receiving that particular mode.


Motion Picture Expert Group. MPEG-1 is used on video CD and CD-I as a video

distribution medium. MPEG-2 and DVD offer better-than-laserdisc quality and twice

the runtime per disc.

MPEG Audio

Compressed audio for using on DVD projects. PCM or MPEG stereo audio is required

for PAL countries for DVD, but MPEG-2 audio is optional worldwide.


"National Television Systems Committee." A committee of the Electronic Industries

Association that prepared the standards for commercial television broadcasting in the

United States, Canada, Japan,and parts of Central and South America. NTSC format has

525 scan lines (rows) of resolution atthirty frames per second (30 Hz).


Pol: Polarization

One frequency can be used two times by using two opposing polarizations, so that the

two signals on the two identical frequencies are not affecting each other. This helps to

virtually double the actual number of channels which can be transmitted. One way of

transmitting a signal is in linear polarization, the other way by rotating polarization. For

the latter, imagine the signal to be transmitted like a screw. Therefore, there are two

polarization modes:

"H" = Horizontal, and "V" = Vertical, for linear polarized signals

"R" = Righthand, and "L" = Lefthand, for rotating/turning signals

Note: In US sometimes the expression "reversed polarity" is in use. Often rotating

signals are used in C-Band, and linear signals in Ku-Band, but there are no rules to this.

Mostly - but not always - nominally equal frequencies on different polarizations are a

little bit off-set to each other to minimize any remaining influencies.



Only applicable for digital transmissions: some transmissions require the receiver to

match (synchronize) Video and Audio signals. 4DTV is a propietary channel indicator.


Phase Alteration Line. This standard is used for commercial broadcasting in most of

Europe, Australia, and parts of Central and South America. PAL format displays at 625

scan lines (rows) of resolution at 25 frames per second (25 Hz).


Picture cell. This is the smallest independent unit of a digital image.

Pixel depth

The number of bits of color information per pixel.


The number of pixels in the width and height of the video window.


Single Channel per Carrier.


Subtitles are the graphics displayed on top of video content. An example of a subtitle

would be the menu choices displayed over the background graphic for many interactive

games. When a subtitle is active, it is called a highlight. Subtitles are also the actual text

of the content, displayed on the bottom of the screen. These subtitles are often used for

language translations.


Video Program Identification

Only applicable for digital transmissions: It defines the data substream containing video


Some transmission modes, like "PoverVu", have fixed numbers correlating with channel

(Frequency) number.

Radio signals, which by definition don't contain any video signal, carry the value 8191

(This means: empty) in the Video Pid. However, it is better to leave this column blank in

SatcoDX Chart, since receivers will anyhow shut down Video when there is none.


"Vestigial Sideband, The modulation scheme selected by the US ATSC committee for

digital terrestrial broadcast television. See modulation."

Video Standards


NTSC stands for National Television System Committee, which devised the NTSC

television broadcast system in 1953. NTSC is also commonly used to refer to one type

of television signal that can be recorded on various tape formats such as VHS, 3/4"

U-matic and Betacam. The NTSC standard has a fixed vertical resolution of 525

horizontal lines stacked on top of eachother, with varying amounts of "lines" making up

the horizontal resolution, depending on theelectronics ad formats involved. There are

59.94 fields displayed per second. A field is a setof even lines, or odd lines. The odd and

even fields are displayed sequentially, thus interlacingthe full frame. One full frame,

therefore, is made of two interlaced fields, and is displayedabout every 1/30 of a

second.NTSC countries are: USA, Antigua, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda,

Bolivia, Burma, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic,

Ecuador, El Salvador, Greenland, Guam, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Jamaica, Japan,

South Korea, Mexico, Netherlands Antilles, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, Philippines,

Puerto Rico, St. Vincent & the Grenadines, St. Kitts, Sapiens, Samoa, Surinam, Taiwan,

Tobago, Trinidad, Venezuela, Virgin Islands. The following countries were listed as

Monochrome 625/50 in one resource: Angola, Burkina Faso , Burundi, Central African

Republic, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia (or PAL or SECAM in other resources).The

above was gathered from various older sources, so discrepancies in spelling or

politicalchanges are unintentional


PAL stands for Phase Alternation by Line, and was adopted in 1967. It has 625

horizontal lines making up the vertical resolution. 50 fields are displayed and interlaced

per second, making for a 25 frame per second system. An advantage of this system is a

more stable and consistent hue (tint). PAL-M is used only in Brazil. It has 525 lines, at

30 frames per second.

PAL countries include: Afghanistan, Algeria, Argentina (PAL-N), Australia, Austria,

Bahrain ,Bangladesh, Belgium, Brunei, Cameroon, Canary Islands, China, Cyprus,

Denmark, Finland, Germany, Ghana, Gibraltar, Greece (also SECAM), Hong Kong,

Iceland, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jordan, Kenya, North Korea, Kuwait,

Liberia, Luxembourg (also SECAM), Madeira, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, Oman,

Pakistan, Paraguay (PAL-N), Portugal, Qatar, Saudi Arabia (also SECAM), Sierra

Leone, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania,

Thailand, Turkey, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, Uruguay (PAL-N),

Yemen (the former Yemen Arab Republic was PAL, and the former People's Democratic

Republic of Yemen was NTSC ), Yugoslavia, Zambia, Zimbabwe.The above was

gathered from various older sources, so discrepancies in spelling or politicalchanges are



SECAM stands for System Electronique Couleur Avec Memoire, which was adopted in

1967. It has 625 lines and 25 frames per second.

Countries include: Albania, Benin, Bulgaria, Congo, former Czechosolvakia, Djibouti,

Egypt, France, French Guiana, Gabon, Greece (also PAL), Guadeloupe, Haiti, Hungary,

Iran, Iraq, Ivory Coast, Lebanon, Libya, Luxembourg (also PAL), Madagascar,

Martinique, Mauritius, Monaco (also PAL), Mongolia, Morocco, New Caledonia, Niger,

Poland, Reunion, Romania, Saudi Arabia (also PAL), Senegal, Syria, Tahiti, Togo,

Tunisia, former USSR, Viet Nam, Zaire.The above was gathered from various older

sources, so discrepencies in spelling or political changes are unintentional.

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