Blog | MVPDs & Global Operators
June 7, 2016

Terrestrial, Satellite or Both?

Allison Olien, Senior Director

Satellite cable delivery has been the standard for many years. However, recently content delivery via terrestrial “fiber” has started to shake up the industry. Depending on your location and goals, one or both may be the best option for your delivery. Read on to find out the difference between the two delivery methods, and get a better idea of which one is right for your pay TV business.

Terrestrial delivery has many advantages over satellite and is becoming the standard for many providers. Most large metropolitan areas in the U.S. already have fiber optic networks built, which allow them to take advantage of many of the following benefits:

  • Supports a wide range of networks, from traditional networks like NBC to international offerings like France 24
  • Permits localization, such as regional sports networks like Pac-12 Washington
  • Easily accommodates a host of formats, including formats that are not widely deployed
  • If the network is redundant, fiber provides an essential backup in case of an outage 
  • Cost efficient to set up if there’s an existing fiber network
  • Services can be cost effectively delivered in mezzanine quality in order to transcode in many formats to support multiplatform delivery

Unfortunately, terrestrial delivery can be cost prohibitive – especially for many smaller cities and towns where laying down new fiber can be incredibly expensive. In these areas, satellite delivery may make more sense. Despite some of the limitations in the range of networks and formats available for satellite, the following are some of the ongoing benefits of satellite delivery:

  • Supports all the most popular networks
  • Can reach viewers anywhere in the U.S.
  • Is often the most cost effective method to receive content for smaller, geographically diverse markets
  • Is a very reliable reception method that is not subject to terrestrial issues like fiber cuts or other network issues
  • Enables affordable mobile backhaul and coverage in areas unreachable by terrestrial connections

So there you have it, both terrestrial and satellite delivery offer unique benefits that are best suited to different regions of the U.S. That said, some of the world’s largest cable operators are harnessing the unique benefits of both delivery methods. Fiber permits them to reliably deliver targeted content, and satellite permits them to offer video options and create new revenue streams.

Whether you are setting up a pay TV business in a large city or a small town, have deep pockets or a tight budget, Comcast Technology Solutions can deliver your premium content via the method that suits you best – terrestrial, satellite or both. Please call 800-824-1776 to learn more.