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Direct Broadcast Satellite Communications: An MPEG Enabled Service by Donald C. Mead

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Chapter One History of Communication Satellites

In the United States today, powerful direct broadcast satellites (DBS) transmit more than 200 audio/video services directly into homes through small, 18-inch-diameter antennas. In the next few years, the number of services surely will exceed 500 and coverage will be extended to many more countries.

The powerful satellites that provide these services are the result of a natural evolution that includes:

• Visionary concepts

• Engineering genius

• Technology continuing to build on itself

This chapter describes the history of this evolution.

1.1 Background

From the dawn of electronic communication in the early twentieth century until the advent of the communication satellite, long-distance communication ...

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