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The media today is a multi-faceted beast. The world is moving away from outlets like newspapers into a more technological and modern sphere of communication. Now, many of us get our news from social media and our broadcasts are consumed by television or by online streaming or video-sharing services.
What isn’t always considered, though, is what runs this technology. We are so accustomed to pulling our phones out of our pockets or searching our latest pondering on Google that we rarely stop to think about how these technologies are developed or how they work. After all, in the age of convenience, all we need to know is that they do work, right?
However, to understand the impact of certain technologies, we need to consider how we, as a society, consume them. Of course, no one technology is responsible for all the convenience we have in technology today. One technology that has had a huge impact, though, is satellite technology. In this article, we are going to focus on the impact of satellite technology on today’s media.
Satellite Technology and the Internet
Once upon a time when you wanted to go online, you were limited to a dial up connection. This connection was slow and extremely limited, not even allowing users to talk on the phone while they browsed the internet.
Since then, though, the internet has come leaps and bounds. When you search “high speed internet near me” today, you have more than just a dial up option. Instead, you can get internet in cable packages, in cellular plans, and, of course, in the form of satellite internet.
You can usually tell if someone uses a satellite internet by the presence of a large satellite dish on the side or top of their house. The dish is the middleman for the connection between your personal computer and the satellite that is distributing the internet signal.
It should be noted that there are certain drawbacks to satellite internet. Chiefly, the signal is easily obstructed by anything in the signal path. This could be something as easily removed as the dish being covered. However, it can also be affected by the weather. So, if you have a thunderstorm in your area and your internet goes out, all you can do is wait for the poor weather to pass.
However, satellite internet can be an excellent option at times. It is the best choice for many consumers located in rural areas because it can be installed where other high-speed internet options aren’t available. As such, satellite technology can be used to widen the spread of the internet and the information that it makes available.
The dish on a house marking the use of satellite technology isn’t just limited to internet access, though. In fact, many time, you might find that these show the use of satellite TV as well.
Much like satellite internet, satellite TV utilizes the same pros and cons. The signal that allows users to access their TV programs can easily be disrupted but it can provide television services even to those customers who are in more rural or remote areas.
While the younger generation might absorb their news and entertainment through their phone and streaming services, TV isn’t something to be classified as antiquated anytime soon. Even in strictly discussing the news, TV still has a fierce hold on the public. If you want an example, take a look at the role that networks like CNN and Fox had on the 2016 American election as most of the content for debates and interviews were strictly televised.
It is crucial to remember, though, that modern media includes entertainment as well as news. As such, it is important to consider the role of satellites in places like theaters as well.
It used to be that when you went to see a movie, you were watching a physical film on a reel. As time went on, though, this became a rather impractical choice for theaters. In 2013, though, the Digital Cinema Distribution Coalition (DCDC) was formed. This included large networks like AMC, Universal Pictures, and Warner Bros. in a decision that their films would be available for download by theaters rather than making them wait for physical copies in the form of reels. How were these movies downloaded, though? Well, by satellite technology, of course.
Satellite radio brings us back to the idea that satellite technology is crucial to rural and remote areas. When you are in a major population center – like New York City or Los Angeles, for example – it makes sense that you would be able to find a wide variety of AM/FM channels to listen to on your way to work each morning.
If you live in a more secluded area, though, there aren’t as many local radio stations that you can tune into. Broadcasting through satellites, though, can cover far more ground than a standard, local radio station.
In addition to this fact, most vehicles – where radio is primarily listened to – are already build to be able to pick up satellite radio signals. This means they can be accessed just as easily as their AM/FM counterparts.
At first glance, this might not seem very important as we don’t live in an age of radio “fireside chats” anymore. However, radio is still a source of news in the form of radio shows and, possibly more than anything else, it is a valuable source of entertainment – especially for the music industry.
Guest Post: David Smith is a blogger and world traveler, with experience in China’s manufacturing industry as well as social media marketing in his hometown of Los Angeles, California.