What is a Satellite TV Descrambler

Why you need a descrambler for satellite TV

There are two types of satellite TV signal that you are able to access: Free To Air (FTA) and Premium. To cut a long story short you need a descrambler to watch premium and pay-per-view satellite broadcasts but you do not need one to watch FTA transmissions. So what is a satellite descrambler exactly?

Satellite TV basics

Satellite TV is beamed from space to your satellite dish and then passed via a cable to the receiver next to your TV. The job of the receiver is to convert the radio frequency signal from your dish into audio and video signals that you can feed into your home television equipment.

If the incoming signal is Free-to-Air then it will not be scrambled so the job of the receiver is done. You can enjoy the output of the receiver for as long as you like. If the incoming signal is scrambled or encrypted however then you will need to descramble it before you can watch it.

How satellite TV providers make their money

Launching satellites into space and running a huge broadcasting network requires a lot of money so providers generate that money from you, the consumer, in a number of ways. One way they make money is by persuading advertisers to pay them for showing advertising along with their interesting programmes. For some FTA channels this is their only means of generating revenue.

Another way to generate cash from the consumer more directly is to charge you for what you watch. Often a provider will offer a mixture of FTA and chargeable programming. The FTA channels get you hooked then you pay for the more entertaining channels.

What stops you watching premium TV for free?

A provider of premium TV has to have a way to make you pay for what you watch so they encrypt or scramble the TV signal and sell you a key to unlock it. When you have paid your subscription or the fee for a one-time pay-per-view the TV provider sends a signal to your set-top box, which programmes your viewing card to allow the descrambler in the box to decode the signal so that you can watch it.

There isn’t anything to stop you owning satellite descrambling equipment but if you use it to watch non-FTA programmes then you must inform the provider that you are doing so. I bet they then send you a bill.

It is possible to acquire equipment that enables you to unlock and descramble premium satellite TV but the complexity and sophistication of modern digital TV encryption techniques are making it impractical to do so.

Source by Steve Gee

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