Multichannel television

Television service provider / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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A multichannel television service, also known as simply a television provider, is a type of service provider who distributes television programming to its customers for a subscription fee. Subscription television providers distribute television channels that offer different types of programming, typically including local television stations within their market (including, where applicable, state broadcasters), specialty channels that are distributed solely through multichannel television providers, and pay television services that offer premium content such as feature films and other original programming.

Subscription television services can be distributed to customers through various means, including wireline media such as cable and fiber-optic wire, direct broadcast satellite, and using internet protocols—either over a private network maintained by the provider, or as an "over-the-top" service streamed over the public internet. Equipment is provided to customers in order to receive the service, usually featuring one or more proprietary set-top boxes or some other equipment to decrypt the provided signals. Digital multichannel services typically feature an electronic program guide that can be used to browse available channels, and offer digital video recorders (DVR), which can record programmes to an internal hard drive for later viewing, as well as other interactive features such as access to streaming video services, and other video on demand and pay-per-view services.[1]

Multichannel television is typically sold in bundles, consisting of service tiers with different channels added at each level, along with themed packages of channels that can be added to the service, typically covering specific niches or genres such as children's programming, sports, and individual premium services. Some providers may offer an "A la carte" option, where customers can purchase additional channels outside of bundles. A television provider may offer other services, such as broadband internet and home phone, and provide incentives to customers for subscribing to them all as a bundle; these are referred to as a "triple play".[2]