Digital television was a relative latecomer to the UK; it was already a reality or scheduled in most other European countries and further afield. Satellite viewers in the USA had, via DirecTV, a digital satellite service as early as 1994. Ahead of the USA, and the rightful title-holder for the world’s first digital pay-TV bouquet, was Orbit, the Middle East system, which started early in 1994 but with a non DVB-compliant system (dubbed MPEG1.5).
Digital satellite television broadcasts already cover the globe. These broadcasts fulfil two quite separate objectives: