A digital satellite receiver is a single part in the process of receiving satellite TV usually using a paid subscription from a satellite television provider. A digital satellite receiver decodes and decompresses the encrypted signals sent via a satellite orbiting the Earth, which only allows subscribers to the broadcasting service to view the programs; many receivers from other satellite TV providers are able to pick up the signals sent, but are unable to convert them.
Each digital satellite receiver contains a microchip responsible for decoding the television signals; to ensure the subscriber only receives the channels they have paid for the receiver is registered to the user and is programmed to decode only the package paid for by the subscriber. The digital satellite receiver begins its job by receiving the signal picked up by the satellite dish and decodes it using the built in microchip.
Once decoded the signal is then decompressed by the receiver; compression is required because the large amounts of information required to broadcast the vast number of channels available on modern digital TV would require a larger amount of the available broadcast system bandwidth. In the past digital converters were required to convert the broadcast signal to analog for now out of date televisions; as digital TV’s are now commonly available conversion to analog is now not required.
As the amount of bandwidth available to each satellite TV provider is limited a large number of channels are often placed together in the signal in a technique called multiplexing. With the large number of channels pushed together the receiver must then untangle the large amount of channels placed together and convert the signals into individual channels. With the channels decompressed and decoded by the digital satellite receiver they are then broadcast on the television attached to the receiver.