Satellite television technology could bring about a socio-economic
revolution predicted five decades ago.
Satellite television, now used only for entertainment in about 2
million households nationwide, could become a communications center
which will allow business to migrate from the office to the home.
Already many stockbrokers, investment conselors, consultants and
sales representatives use communications satellites to stay in touch
with offices and businesses from their homes thousands of miles
away. These, however, are the most successful, the ones who can
afford the huge initial investment required to set up such a system.
Even then, with current technology, communications are limited,
and long distance telephone lines are required to complete the
Before the turn of the century, though, receiving and
transmitting equipment will be refined and miniaturized, and offered
at a price low enough so that complete business communications
centers can be established in nearly every home in the nation.
At least that's the prediction of Jack Riley, vice president of
Superstar Connection, a program relay service of Tulsa-based United
Video Inc. Riley also is a director of Satellite Broadcasting and
Communications Association of America, an industry trade
Now home business communications centers are only for the
wealthy or those whose volume of business from the home warrants the
expense of installing separate transmitting and receiving equipment.
Also today's equipment is large, cumbersome and prevented in many
residential neighborhoods by specific zoning laws because of the
unsightly receiving dish and antenna required.
Within 10 years, this six-foot diameter dish (which was 10-feet
in diameter five years ago) will be replaced by a receiving and
transmiting unit about the size of a video cassette recorder.
Today's receiving equipment has a large prong-like antenna
surrounded by a concave dish to gather and intensify signals which
must be physically revolved to receive signals from various orbiting
satellites. The new, smaller receivers, Riley said, will be covered
with individual chips which can be moved so that signals can be
received from more than one satellite simultaneously. The unit can
be located inside the house and will never require repositioning.
"When we get that equipment on the market," Riley said, "we will
have a market explosion.
"Right now we have about 2 million households equipped with
satellite receivers. Because of the small number, that group really
is not a force in the broadcast industry, nor are major equipment
manufacturers keying into them.
"But the market is growing steadily and within five years, that
number will double and double again before the turn of the century.
"When that happens, broadcasters, programmers and manufacturers
are going to jump in completely to garner that market.
"That's when the small, totally integrated receiver and
transmitter will come into its own."
When that trans-ceiver becomes popular, and is available for a
reasonable price, Riley said, most households will have totally
integrated business communciations centers. These centers will have
telephone, computer and television hooked into one outlet of a house
which will be wired with fiber optics so that centers can be in any
room in the house. …