The first communications satellite was launched in 1962. This was just 5 short years after Sputnik, the first satellite of any kind to be successfully launched into space, was deployed by the Soviet Union in 1957. The United States entered the satellite space race just one year later with the launch of Explorer I in 1958. Interestingly enough, the United States government created NASA in 1958 as a reaction to the launch of Sputnik and the perception that the Russians were winning the space race.
While the government and NASA switched their attention to travelling in space and eventually landing on the moon, the private sector quickly saw the commercial possibilities of satellite technology. A group of such companies worked together to develop “geosynchronous” satellite technology. This technology requires that a satellite above the Earth must move at the exact same speed and direction as the rotation of the Earth so that communication systems on the ground could point to the satellite in the exact same position in the sky at all times. This eventually led to the launch of the first communication satellite in 1962, over 50 years ago!
While the technology continued to evolve and large companies continued to look for new ways to exploit this new technology, the next evolution of home satellite television as we know it today actually occurred in somebody’s garage. H. Taylor Howard, a former NASA scientist, developed the very first DTH satellite system, also known as Direct To Home satellite in 1976. And don’t think that Professor Howard didn’t put his new invention to good use! He used it to get free HBO, which had recently launched its own satellite. Seeing the possibilities, Professor Howard launched a new company to allow folks to pick up satellite signals using the device he created. His technology proved to be very popular and soon his company had grown to over $50M in sales. Thus, satellite television was born and here to stay.
From 1977 to 1984, still long before DIRECTV was founded, the satellite television industry expanded dramatically. Millions of people wanted to use satellite television to pick up direct signals from broadcasters, which now included such channels as the Family Channel, Turner Broadcasting System and many of the other content providers that still exist today. Because it was free to collect these signals, the early adapters of satellite television only needed to pony up the upfront costs and theoretically receive free, high quality satellite television forever! And sure, the price of this technology was very high, from $7,000 to $10,000 up front, but the prospect of free television forever was too enticing for consumers to pass up. In just 5-6 years, they figured, they would get a full payback on their investment and live out the rest of their lives with nothing but free satellite TV for as far as the eye can see. Buy DIRECTV.
Unfortunately, none of these consumers were able to realize these long term savings as the programming providers pushed the government to end free access to satellite television, leading to the Cable Act of 1984, ending the free ride for satellite TV viewers and allowing the providers to encrypt their content and protect their signals. While this may have spelled the end for the free TV movement of the 7 years prior, it paved the way for the launch of the next group of large players in the industry, the satellite television companies!
The first such company to launch was called Primestar in 1992, which was actually a partnership between four of the larger cable companies from the time. Just two years later, DIRECTV was launched, followed not long after by DISH Network. These three companies (eventually two as Primestar went out of business not too many years later) ushered in the age of the small home satellite systems as we know them today.
A lot has changed since those early days of satellite television. The number of channels has grown exponentially, as has the number of subscribers. With millions of people now receiving their television via satellite, the industry and the companies that provide services have taken off to levels never before expected. Other advancements have made satellite TV ever more appealing to the masses.
One great example is the DVR, allowing television viewers to pause, rewind and record live television. This invention, rolled out to all types of TV service in the early 2000’s, has literally changed the way that people watch satellite television. Gone are the days when you had to rush home to catch the latest episode of your favorite show. And staying up late to watch late night TV? Not necessary anymore! You can simply record the program and watch it at your convenience.
Only recently, DVR technology has expanded to not only allow you to watch television whenever you want, but now you can watch it wherever you want! Multi-room DVR systems are all the rage now with DIRECTV and DISH Network subscribers.
It is a great time to move your television viewing to satellite TV. The technology that is now built into DIRECTV boxes is better than ever.
So do yourself a favor and call us today. We are here to walk you through all of our DIRECTV packages and special deals. We will find a package that is perfectly tailored to the shows and channels that you want to watch. From premium services to local television channels, you will never have to worry about missing your favorite show again. Our sales specialists are standing by to take your call. Sign up is fast and easy and you can be watching unbelievable, high quality DIRECTV satellite television in no time.