The term satellite TV is extraordinary for city dwellers, because they can get cable or wireless TV with ease. It is rather more common to under develop, mountainous or desert countries. If you observe the news on Middle East countries, you can easily find fallen satellite dishes on a bombed house. Recently, on developed countries, there are more and more city dwellers installing satellite TV because of some commercial satellite companies are directly competing with cable. They install a small dish pointing to their own satellite. Their contents are usually movies. It is not the scope of our discussion.
Above the equator, there are many satellites. The main purposes of them are for communication. A satellite costs billions of dollars to launch. Some of them could weight few tons. It has a life expectancy of 6 to 15 years. I observed many of them still have vacancies for TV signal even after years of launch. Obviously the sales of TV signal are not the main income of satellites. It is the windfall profit of telecommunication.
Free to Air is a technical term of broadcasting free signal with no subscription fee. Digital TV signal occupies only one fifth the band width of equivalent analogue signal. The cost is miraculously reduced. Many religion organizations well used satellites to gospel. The Seventh-day Adventist has 3ABN, Hope and Loma Linda University channels. 1 3ABN is an independent organization; 2 however, it has the best performance amount all religious channels. Many protestant denominations, Catholics, Moslems, Hindus, and Buddhists also have many channels. The Adventist has only English, Spanish, and Russian languages. The Chinese Buddhist has four channels. Many stations use multiple satellites to cover the whole world. They broadcast 24 hours non-stop because of time difference on zones since the earth is round. Another reason is the cost remains the same whether you use it full time or take rest. Many stations usually prepare eight hours of programs and repeat twice a day. Satellite TV was originally used by broadcaster with gigantic C band dish for signal wholesale. With advancement of technology, household can also receive digital TV with smaller Ku band dish. Our 3ABN is using the satellite to relay signal to local cable companies or TV stations for free. They also broadcast Ku band signal for household and through Internet.
Many countries also have free to air broadcast to promote their own culture. Their programs are usually top quality even though they are free. Many of them are violent free. They usually have very good documental, tour, scenery, dances, news, critics, movies and etc. Corporations also have promotion broadcasts. They have many repeat and boring programs. Most of the times are idling. It proven the cost of leasing the band is low on comparing the cost of preparing the programs. Educational organization also well utilized Free to Air broadcast. You can educate your kids from kinder garden to post graduate study.
Free to Air broadcast has weakness to compete with pay channels with the following reasons:
The operating style of 3ABN is to allow individual churches or ministries to submit contents. They are also producing some of them. Video cameras and computers are down to earth price in nowadays. Many ministries have possession of them with no trouble at all. Digital broadcastings are all computerized. Many stations are just loading films into computer and have them running overnight without people. The operating cost of a TV station could be very low. That is why many supermarkets, department stores, manufacturers, banks, associations, universities can afford one or even many channels. Many corporations have private encrypted channels exclusively for shareholders and management.
Although satellite TV is getting cheap to operate, Adventists are not too concerned on TV broadcast, because
Adventist mission should be:
New generation of population emerge every number of years. We do not have progression even if we have some baptism. With the present pace of Gospel, we won’t make much advance for another hundred years. Some Adventists are already impatient with the speed. I deeply believe God will have his own plan. If the Adventists failed to gospel the world, God may utilize all other denominations to Gospel. It is easier for us to convert other denomination and have them take over part of our burden. That’s why a TV and Internet have an important role. They can penetrate deep into the board with no obstruction. It can pass the truth with no ambiguity. We have already seen fruits with SDA Global.
Although the cost of transmitting the signal is low, the preparation of programs is labor intensive. It needs the cooperation of many volunteers. The initiation is difficult. Once the snowball is rolling, people will participate. SDA Global does not have the ability to initiate a TV station. With our faith with God, we have done some intensive research on satellite reception and broadcast. We have unreservedly opened all experience and trade secret of our satellite TV program to the world in our educational web site. http://education.hitechemall.com/technology/sattv.htm. We encourage people to install Free to Air TV system. We even encourage people to go into FTA business. We deeply believe God may give us an important errand.
Recently, France has designed miniaturized satellites, weights only few hundred pounds. They use obsolete Soviet rockets to launch. The cost is tremendously reduced. It is a good way of utilizing military waste on peaceful use. On seeing the cost of broadcasting will further reduce. There will be even more TV stations coming. The Adventist has three language on air is not sufficient. We should have at least one station per language. The loud cry will trigger many more people to gospel. We have to train these people now. Internet, TV, and printing materials are good candidates. Local TV can cover a radius of 50 miles. Satellite TV can cover the whole continent. It has high efficiency and low cost. Free to Air has little commercial return. Most of them are sponsored by organization. Parents concerning education or spiritual education would install such system. Free stuffs in some cases are even better than paid stuffs. Our salvation is free and is also the best.
1 IIW claims they have 40 languages broadcast in many countries. These channels are radio or part time TV channels. Our discussion in here is 24 hour satellite TV channels.
2 There is a myth of 3ABN will sooner or later be controlled by GC. Danny Shelton, founder of 3ABN, said to me: " Michael, I've talked many times on 3ABN about 3ABN being independent. The GC tried to take control during Falkenbergs' years as GC President, but they failed. They have no control over 3ABN."
3 Jesus is coming back soon is a sensitive topic to discuss among Adventists. You can say very soon, but you must not specific or correlate with prophets. Otherwise, serious pointing fingers to each other can occur.
4 GC has copyright and trademark on the words Adventist and SDA. They have filed lawsuits to several churches. See http://www.sdadefend.com/Reports/Reports.htm under category 6 and 7. The SDA Global has also been threatened twice by GC and IIW to remove contents. A series of 26 session evangelism video and children comics had been removed.
5 The Hope channel operating by IIW has
weak signal equivalent firing blank Gospel to air. We measured their signal
strength. 3ABN has 80%, LLBN has 70%, and Hope has 30%. We have done experiment
to verify our finding. Test location was on longitude 79.6°W.
Latitude 43.6°N. A
33” dish can receive 3ABN and LLBN clearly. But the Hope channel has zero
reception. Using a 39” dish could improve it to 30% reception signal quality.
These three channels were broadcasting from the same satellite AMC 4 at 101°W.
Satellite is using solar energy. The transmitting power purchased depends on
price. It is wasting money to purchase low power.
In fact, the transmitting cost is small on comparing to management cost.
6 Some elders were reluctant to exalt Sabbath amount Sunday denomination because they afraid that they might get angry with us.
7 Some elders believe a remnant church should be small.
Michael Tung, Feb 2005