Every day I get inquiries on how to start a satellite TV channel. I have consulted for hundreds if not thousands of companies, religious organizations, and entertainment companies on the subject. Having set up satellite TV channels around the world I have learned the trends and styles as they have evolved over the last decade. Although the satellite-TV is still very popular it will soon be overtaken in the next decade or two by Internet TV.
I often get inquiries for me to send complete equipment list for a satellite television channel. However it is not that simple and we do not provide full equipment list unless they are one of our consulting clients. There are several different configurations when it comes to satellite-TV. However I will just discuss the basics to give you an idea of cost and equipment.
First and foremost your video server also known as a play out server is the cornerstone of your satellite television station. This video server houses or holds your videos and creates playlists also it allows for the display of graphics across the screen for example sports scores, stocks quotes, and other such graphics. Next you need a live feed to the satellite uplink. Usually this is done with high-speed fiber or a dedicated high-speed Internet connection. What takes place Is the video signal comes out of the play out server and is encoded or compressed then it is sent into an IP box which is then sent over the Internet to the uplink station. Of course there is much more to it than just this but these are the basics for starting a channel. When I referred to basics I’m talking about only what it takes to get your videos or live feed on satellite and not any production costs associated with that.
So you’re probably wondering about costs and these can vary quite a bit. Video servers can cost anywhere from 8000 all the way up to hundreds of thousands of dollars depending on what you want them to do. Typically a set up can be done for under 50,000 sometimes even less if your requirements are not as stringent. However your monthly satellite costs can be anywhere from $8000 a month all the way up to $30,000 a month depending on what satellite you’re broadcasting on.
There are several shortcuts to save you a tremendous amount of money compared to what I quoted above; you can buy our book which has a detailed section on satellite television how to start one. If you look on our navigation bar you’ll see a link to our e-book it is a very helpful tool on starting a cable or satellite TV channel.
Regardless of your strategies or goals for your new satellite TV channel it’s always important to have a professional that can guide you through the process. I have seen several companies that I have been brought on to consult with that had made so many mistakes and cost themselves so much money that they did not have to spend. Companies such as ours save you so much money in the long run trying to take shortcuts in this business is a bad idea.
In this article I want to clear up the differences between what a CDN does, what bandwidth is and why you need it for your Internet TV site, and the difference in what web hosting is.
When you have a Internet TV station it is not just a website. Many people are under the impression that any shared hosting account will be able to handle their Internet TV site. If you look at most hosting companies for example, Go Daddy, host gator, and many others they offer what they call shared hosting. This is a hosting package in which one server is shared by hundreds of paying customers. They offer what they call “unlimited bandwidth” Which is not so unlimited when it comes to video. Compare it to your phone company who gives you unlimited long distance, but if you were to run a telemarketing company out of your home they would call that an abuse of service and shut your unlimited long distance down. When it comes to video there is no unlimited bandwidth for hosting. Bandwidth costs money.
There are three key ingredients for the backend of an Internet TV station. First your shared web hosting only holds your website files. For example your graphics your HTML code or contact us form those are the only things that your web hosting account holds. Your video files are going to be very large. It is common for many Internet TV stations to have hundreds or thousands of gigabytes of video and these videos are not stored on your shared web hosting account. Instead you must have a CDN.
A CDN does two things first it stores your video content and second it delivers the video to your viewers seamlessly without buffering or shutting down. A CDN has the proper server set up and configuration for video play out and delivery.
Your bandwidth is what people are using to see your videos. For example if you have 100 viewers viewing your Internet TV station at the same time and your video is let’s say 500 MB long each of those viewers is watching that video at a certain bit rat. For example let’s say 256 kB a second; Then there is a certain amount of bandwidth that has to be used in order for that video to display properly to all 100 customers at the same time. People naturally think that the bandwidth is coming from the viewers Internet service provider. Well that’s true but the video also must be delivered to the Internet service provider. In other words there is a server doing the upload providing the video upload and then the viewer who is downloading the stream. So if you do not have a proper CDN and server configuration then the upload of the video content to those 100 simultaneous viewers will not take place, or if it does take place it will cause most of the viewers player to buffer continuously until they just close your site.
So not only do you have to have a proper Internet TV site with proper Internet TV features to build playlists, you also need a CDN. Now if you are a little bit intimidated don’t be. We have complete turnkey packages that provide you everything you need. We are not only a CDN but we also provide you your own Internet TV site with your own custom design. This means that you can market your own name, your own domain name and self brand yourself. Your viewers will have no idea that in the background we are there providing the service.
Check out our Internet TV packages by clicking on our Internet TV link in our navigation menu. Do not forget to bookmark our site www.tvstartup.com in your browser.