Until about 3 decades ago, we didn’t really have too much choice regarding TV. The BBC and ITV dominated the early days, and there would be a handful of channels available to the UK public. Then the digital age arrived and that changed everything, the Internet spawned an entirely new platform for communication and media presentation. The digital TV industry soon grew, with cable becoming very popular in the 1990s, and satellite TV arrived soon after.
A staunch British establishment, the British Broadcasting Corporation was initially created in 1936, and only served London with a TV service. The principal public service provider in Britain, the BBC is funded by a licence fee levied on all households that receive the signal, hence they do not carry advertisements, which is the normal way for a TV provider to create revenue. Before the digital age, the BBC offered two channels, BBC 1, and 2, but today there is a total of 10 channels.
Independent Television (ITV)
Initially created to provide much needed competition for the BBC, ITV was a network of 15 regional franchises, and was the first commercial TV provider to fund itself from advertising. The channel has enjoyed a high level of success since it started in 1955, and has grown to 10 channels at present.
Channel 4 is a government owned national broadcaster that derives its income from advertising and other business interests. They have been very successful since their 1982 launch, and currently have many digital channel networks under their control.
Another independent broadcaster, Channel 5 began broadcasting in 1997, and was the first company to use satellite. The company is currently owned by Viacom, who took over in 2014, and although it has no regional programme differences, there are five areas for advertising.
Sending digital signals is not limited, and over the years, the number of available stations has increased, giving the user literally hundreds of channel choices, covering a wide range of programmes. If you wish to have countless channels, simply go online, find a supplier of satellite dishes, and you can be watching your favourite documentaries within days.
Sky operates a network of satellite channels, and have always been a major player in the cable and satellite TV networks. They were in serious competition with British Satellite Broadcasting (BSB) when they began to broadcast in 1990, and eventually SKY saw a better subscription rate and won the day.
Modern satellite systems
It is now possible to receive hundreds of channels with a single dish, and there are established suppliers online, so you are only a few clicks away from opening a new dimension to your viewing. The dishes themselves have become smaller and with so many channels available, there are multi-disc solutions that will enable the viewer to see a range of interesting new channels that will widen your perspective. Whether you are into sports, documentaries, or vintage films, satellite TV covers them all.