DESIGN AND IMPLEMENTATION OF A WEB-BASED PRESENTATION SYSTEM THAT WOULD ENLIGHTEN USERS ON HOW TO INSTALL A DSTV DECODER AND SATELLITE DISH
1.1 BACKGROUND OF STUDY
The satellite television industry developed first in the US from the cable television industry as communication satellites were being used to distribute television programming to remote cable television. Home Box Office (HBO), Turner Broadcasting System (TBS), and Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN, later The Family Channel) were among the first to use satellite television to deliver programming. Taylor Howard of San Andreas, California became the first person to receive C-band satellite signals with his home-built system in 1976 (Barnaby, 2002).
In the US, PBS, a non-profit public broadcasting service, began to distribute its television programming by satellite in 1978 (Seneviratne, 2015).
In 1979 Soviet engineers developed the Moskva (or Moscow) system of broadcasting and delivering of TV signals via satellites. They launched the Gorizont communication satellites later that same year. These satellites used geostationary orbits (Mark, 2008). They were equipped with powerful on-board transponders, so the size of receiving parabolic antennas of downlink stations was reduced to 4 and 2.5 meters(Mark, 2008). On October 18, 1979, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) began allowing people to have home satellite earth stations without a federal government license (Ray, 2001). The front covers of the 1979 Neiman-Marcus Christmas catalogue featured the first home satellite TV stations on sale for $36,500 (Ray, 2001). The dishes were nearly 20 feet (6.1 m) in diameterand were remote controlled. The price went down by half soon after that, but there were only eight more channels. The Society for Private and Commercial Earth Stations (SPACE), an organization which represented consumers and satellite TV system owners was established in 1980
Early satellite television systems were not very popular due to itsexpense and large dish size. The satellite television dishes of the systems in the late 1970s and early 1980s were 10 to 16 feet (3.0 to 4.9 m) in diameter, made of fiberglass or solid aluminum or steel, and in the United States cost more than $5,000, sometimes as much as $10,000. Programming sent from ground stations was relayed from eighteen satellites in geostationary orbit located 22,300 miles (35,900 km) above the Earth.
Multichoice Nigeria made an entry into the Nigerian market in 1994 in partnership with Multichoice Africa, a company born and bred in Africa, with a firm commitment to the development of the continent.
Their leadership in premium pay television technology and entertainment continues to keep Africa connected in real time with the world through the Digital Satellite Television (DStv) platform. They are a responsible investor devoted to promoting and projecting Africa, its successes and the aspirations of its people in a coherent and sustainable way by making significant investments in African TV and film production.
Since pioneering digital television in Africa in 1995, DStv has built a presence across 48 African countries, entrenching its position at the forefront of entertainment benchmarked against the best operators across the globe. DStv’s unparalleled family entertainment packages allow subscribers flexibility in price and choice without compromising quality or variety.
Multichoice is committed to partnering with local entrepreneurs, governments and broadcasters in Africa, tailoring its operations to suit local needs while maintaining the highest levels of service and product quality.
Multichoice Africa’s success grows its local partnerships, which have enabled the company to operate with an understanding of, and respect for, the many different cultures found on this diverse continent.
Multichoice Africa was one of the first pay-TV operations to launch outside the United States of America. It all began in South Africa in 1986 when M-Net was founded as one of the first two subscription television services outside of the United States. At this stage, Multichoice was incorporated to provide subscriber management services for M-Net.
Slightly more than ten years ago - pre-1993 - Multichoice was the subscriptions management department of M-Net, the company which introduced pay-television to South Africa in 1986.
In the early 90s, while conventional wisdom was that one could make a good business from analogue technology, Multichoice literally bet the bank on the idea that digital technology was the future of broadcasting in Africa. In 1995, Multichoice launched its premium DStv bouquet on a newly-constructed digital platform, which has grown to cover nearly 50 countries in Africa and adjacent Indian Ocean islands, offering a range of pay-television services with a variety of language options as well as enhanced television.
1.2 What is a digital Television?
Simply put, digital TV is a way of receiving your television signal in a digital format. This allows TV companies to broadcast better quality sound, a higher definition picture and a wider range of channels than ever before.
As well as better quality picture and sound, and more channels, digital television has many other advantages over its analogue predecessor.
One such advantage is the interactive nature of the service. Digital TV allows users to access further information by entering menus and interacting with their television in ways they had never even dreamed of before. In addition to this, viewers can listen to radio channels via their televisions and even watch archived programs via digital ‘on-demand’ services.
More modern digital TV services will also allow you to access the internet via your television set.
Digital cable TV is delivered via a network of high speed fiber optic cables. The most popular provider of digital cable TV is Virgin Media, whose TiVo box caused a storm by allowing people far greater freedom to choose how they watch TV than ever before.
TiVo allowed users to pause and rewind live TV, as well as giving them access to on demand content and the ability create their own channels by ‘teaching’ TiVo which types of programmers they like to watch.
While the picture quality is fantastic, the services innovative and the range of channels outstanding, this method of receiving digital TV is not currently availableeverywhere. Virgin Media are currently rolling their services out to an increasing proportion of the country, but this is likely to take some time.
1.3 PROBLEM STATEMENT
Installation of DStv systems has always been too technical and complicated process. This type of installation already depends on numerous elements. In order to reduce the technicality, brought about by the need for this project which will make DStv installation a thing easy for the interested users by using this presentation slide thereby making it easier for any user(s) to install.
1.4 AIM OFTHE STUDY
The aim of the study is design a web based presentation system that would enlighten users on how to install a DStv decoder and satellite dish in a very user friendly format.
1.5 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The objectives of the study are:
⦁ To make all the basic and vital information on how to install a DStv system available to its users
⦁ To teach users how to install a DStv system by showing an animated video of the installation steps
⦁ To enlighten users on how to troubleshoot basic problems that can arise from the installation of a DStv system.
⦁ To provide a medium whereby users can share problems encountered during the installation and while using a DStv system.
1.6 JUSTIFICATION OF THE STUDY
Due to the technical details involved in installation of a DStv decoder and satellite dish, this study aims to make this readily available and easy to comprehend so as to make installation of DStv as simple as possible. This would in turn minimize the stress users of DStv go through to install and configure satellite dish and decoders.
1.7 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
This study will present the necessary tools needed to install and configure DStv decoder and satellite dish, the steps or procedural guidelines for the installation of a DStv. The study would use a web based approach to present this information, i.e. the information would be access and available via the internet.
1.8 LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
Due to the vast array of DStv technologies available, this study would be limited to the installation of decoders peculiar to our case study, Multichoice Nigeria. Also the illustration would be limited to a simple flash animation not a real video. This in essence is not a complete tutorial on installation, but an easy to use guideline for people with little or no technical background.
1.9 APPLICATION TOOLS
Adobe Dreamweaver CS5: This tool is used to design the web pages used in this study.
Microsoft Visio 2003: This is the tool used to draw up Unified modeling language (UML), diagrams during analysis and design mainly for the use case diagrams.
Adobe Flash C5: This tool is used to design the animation used in this study.
Microsoft Word 2007: This whole write up is typed using this tool and various formatting techniques from MSword are used to make the write up easily readable.
2.1 SATELLITE TELEVISION
Satellite television is a system of delivering television programming using signals relayed from communication satellites. The signals are received via an outdoor parabolic reflector antenna usually referred to as a satellite dish and a low-noise block downconverter (LNB). A satellite receiver then decodes the desired television program for viewing on a television set. Receivers can be external set-top boxes, or a built-in television tuner. Satellite television provides a wide range of channels and services, especially to geographic areas without terrestrial television or cable television.
The most common method of reception is direct-broadcast satellite television (DBSTV), also known as "direct to home" (DTH). In DBSTV systems, signals are relayed from a direct broadcast satellite on the Ku wavelength and are completely digital. Satellite TV systems formerly used systems known as television receive-only. These systems received analog signals transmitted in the C-band spectrum from FSS type satellites, and required the use of large dishes. Consequently these systems were nicknamed "big dish" systems, and were more expensive and less popular.
The direct-broadcast satellite television signals were earlier analog signals and later digital signals, both of which require a compatible receiver. Digital signals may include high-definition television (HDTV). Some transmissions and channels are free-to-air or free-to-view, while many other channels are pay television requiring a subscription.
2.2 HISTORY OF SATELLITE TELEVISION
In television’s early years, North American and European viewers had to wait hours, if not days, for tapes to be shipped across the Atlantic in order to watch footage from the other side of the ocean. That all changed 50 years ago after the launch of the first telecommunications satellite: Telstar. On July 23, 1962, tens of millions of people watched a historic broadcast as Telstar beamed live transatlantic video into viewers’ living rooms for the first time. The age of satellite television had dawned.
The historic, live transatlantic broadcast was made possible by Telstar, a spherical satellite only the size of a large beach ball. Built by AT&T and dreamed up in Bell Labs, now the research arm of Alcatel-Lucent, Telstar received telephone calls,data, still pictures and fax images from ground stations in Andover, Maine, and France before amplifying them and relaying them across the Atlantic Ocean. A nickel cadmium battery and 3,600 solar cells protected by sapphire powered the 170-pound satellite, which roared into orbit from Cape Canaveral atop a NASA Thor-Delta rocket on July 10, 1962. Since AT&T paid NASA $3 million to launch the satellite, Telstar marked the first privately sponsored space initiative.
After a successful initial test of the transatlantic television signal, the public rollout occurred during that special broadcast on July 23, 1962, which aired in Canada and 16 European countries and on all three major American networks. Telstar could only broadcast signals when it was visible to ground stations on both sides of the Atlantic, meaning there was only a 20-minute transmission window during each two-and-a-half-hour orbit.
The first 20-minute broadcast beamed by Telstar, referred to as a “television space extravaganza” by The Boston Globe, and was slated to begin at 3 p.m. Eastern but started a couple minutes ahead of schedule as soon as Telstar came into range.
Three hours later, on Telstar’s next orbit around the planet, it was Europe’s turn to broadcast live images to North American viewers for the first time. The European program opened with live pictures of London’s Big Ben and a welcome by the BBC’s Richard Dimbleby, hosting from Brussels. The broadcast was a televised Grand Tour of the continent’s great sites: the Sistine Chapel, the Champs-Élysées, the Louvre, the Colosseum and the Tower of London. In one scene, viewers saw a Lapland girl in the Arctic Circle; in the next, Sicilian fishermen tending their nets. While there were some minor flaws such as pictures that jumped or were out of focus, “the technical achievement was little short of awesome,” wrote New York Times television critic Jack Gould. Another newspaper account the next day said that Telstar had “shrunk the earth overnight.” In Europe, the baseball game proved to be the program’s most popular segment, certainly compared to the presidential press conference. As a Daily Mail television critic said, he “preferred to watch Americans play games than talk politics.”
Although a pop culture icon, Telstar 1 had a short life. Radiation from both American and Soviet high-altitude atomic tests bombarded the satellite and fried its transistors. Telstar went out of service in November 1962, came back online briefly but went quiet for good on February 21, 1963. Telstar 2 launched in May 1963, and other Telstar satellites followed it into orbit. While inoperable, Telstar 1 still circles the earth today, a monument to the birth of satellite communications (Klien, 2012)..