Since the world's first commercial communications satellite was placed in service in 1965, space system technology has made tremendous advances. Indeed, the technological advance has been so rapid that a number of CATV operators are concerned that CATV systems may soon be rendered obsolete by the delivery of video signals directly into the home via satellite.
This paper examines the potential of future satellites by considering the major technical and economic factors that influence system design. Consideration is given to the choice of launch vehicle, frequency, spacecraft communications subsystem, propagation, and earth station capacility.
The conclusion is that direct to the home satellite broadcasting systems are not likely to be introduced in the U. S. in the near future. Satellite systems can, however, provide economical video signal distribution to CATV head-ends.