In today's world, communications are of utmost importance, there is absolutely no doubt about that. Satellite tv is one of the technological breakthroughs of the 20th century. Made possible because of the massive satellite fleets deployed by different companies and with different purposes, satellite tv has in a way revolutionized communications.
The communications satellites of different companies relay on an increasingly diverse range of TV programming. And when it comes to the options you have for your satellite tv receiver, this will greatly depend on the very nature of the satellite tv service you desire to view. There are satellite tv programs which are (FTA). FTA is an abbreviation from "free to air". However, there are other satellite tv services which are encrypted, and are only available to subscribers of various satellite tv companies.
Another important distinction must also be made between satellite tv services which are analog and those which are digital. The analog services are based on electromagnetic waves that vary in their frequency. I am sure you have heard of the term FM, which is short for frequency modulation. Also, analogue transmissions can vary in intensity. In the latter case, the process is called amplitude modulation, or AM.
But digital signals are a different story entirely. And yes, we have entered in the digital age, where everything is made up from many 0s and 1s. This is also how a digital signal is broadcast, in a series of binary digits called bits. 1 means on, 0 means off, and this is how information is actually transmitted to the computer circuitry.
When speaking about the costs of an analog satellite tv receiver, it depends on the number of features offered (as every other electronic product). There are some low cost receivers which equal the high priced items in quality. However, there is a downside. And the downside is the fact that the operator must remember all the adjustments that need to be made and execute them, with each satellite tv broadcast.
However, since we are in the digital era, there are dozens of digital satellite tv services which are emerging all over the place. And their number will only increase in the following years, there is absolutely no doubt about that. The question of MPEG compliancy is a very debatable issue though.
And another difference from the analogue services is the fact that digital services are usually a part of a big package, which consists in a wide array of channel options. This is because digital compression makes combining more channels in a single digital stream possible. This is how "bouquets" are created, and these packages have a great appeal to people who always want "all in one". Having multiple channels in a single package is very convenient, as more and more types of tv stations emerge all over the world. These stations are very specialized. If you want to want sports, entertainment, or everything else and from over the world, there never has been a better time for that with the help of digital satellite tv.