04 May, 2009

Canal Digital

Oh yeah ;-) I am now a proud consumer of satellite-tv streams. I figured since broadcasts in Scandinavia are all DVB-based, a dish-setup would be the way to go. I chose the vendor Canal Digital because I've watched, and favoured their channel-content and service quality since the mid-90s (when they were known as "Filmnet", and thanks for that reference Olti, I had totally forgotten about them ;).

Our local electro-company distributes fiber-based DVB (Digital Video Broadcasting), but they limit every household to just 4 DVB set-top boxes (because of transmission capacity issues, and the fact they deliver fiber-Internet through the same cable-system). This did not favour me much, since I am household member No.5 (typical). So, I basically had to research alternative tv-broadcasting access solutions.

I have always been a fan of satellite-tv, but then again, I didn't like the broadcast quality because it varied quite much from vendor to vendor a few years ago. But the recent introduction of DVB on a national scale (Norway) led me to believe satellite-tv would have gained enormous capabilities because of their wide broadcasting bands, they would not suffer from cable-fatigue, wiring errors or general network failures. AND, Canal Digital was the first satellite-vendor to introduce DVB-based content via satellite in Europe.

Satellite technology only suffer from environmental variables (fog, rain, snow), and this can even be prevented (somewhat) with supplemental satellite-dish equipment. But there is also a more simplified solution to DVB-access here in Norway, which is more intended for non-technical individuals, and it centers around normal tv-antennas with the addition of a smartcard-based DVB set-top box. But this solution has it's own kind of limitations over both satellite-tv and fiber. It relies on normal tv-broadcasting technology (modulated transmissions) with encrypted, encapsulated DVB-streams (MPEG). Thereby, this technology has very limited channel capacity. Whereas fiber+satellite has enormous channel capacity because they have limited signal-compression and stream-encryption.

To sum up my post a little better without all the technical mumbo-jumbo. I really love satellite-tv. Instead of having just the selected big-name channels provided through land-based vendors, I have a plethora of national and international high-def, high quality channel ranges.

Or, seen from another perspective: I have over 117 120* standard channels in my EPG (Electronic Program Guide), compared to fiber (50+) or the modulated transmission solution (10+), without any significant drops in performance and/or quality.

* = Corrected 11.05.2009 10:35 GMT+1

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