December 19, 2008, Newsletter Issue #95: Satellite TV History

Tip of the Week

Ever wonder how satellite TV got its start? Here is a brief history to better understand how satellite TV was invented and how it works today.

Satellite television started in 1945 when a man named Arthur C. Clark thought that satellite worldwide would be a great idea, so he wrote an article about it. The article caused people to stand up and take notice of his idea. He obviously had a vision of the future because the man also wrote "2001: A Space Odyssey."

In 1976, HBO (Home Box Office) started the satellite television trend by delivering a program to cable television via satellite. This broadcast, a heavy weight boxing match known as "The Thriller In Manila" was broadcast all over the country. Once this occurred, a man named H. Taylor Howard created a large dish-shaped antenna that he used to intercept the signal that cable television providers used to transmit cable to their customers. Howard wrote a check to pay for the movies he had viewed through his satellite signal and eventually wrote a how-to manual on exactly how he managed to create this antenna.

In 1977, Pat Robertson started the first satellite-delivered network for basic cable. The Christian Broadcasting Network was born thanks to him. After this, several other networks followed his path and began creating networks that would be broadcasted via satellite. Satellite television has continued to grow and expand from one man's idea to a multi-million dollar industry.

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