The introduction of satellite TV led to an explosion in the number and variety of channels being offered to subscribers in comparison to that being offered by the major cable TV companies. From subjects such as news, local events, through to the entertainment channels, the sports channels and the children’s channels, the subscribers were now confronted with a bewildering assortment of viewing options.
One of the fastest growing segments of the range of programs on offer are those channels providing programming of an educational nature, as well as an entertainment nature. These are channels that offer the viewer an opportunity to improve their knowledge about a particular subject and do so in a manner that makes the topics easy to understand and comprehend, and encourages the viewer to further explore the topic.
Subjects that fall within the documentary category are wildlife; geography; war; politics; art; music; biographies; history; crime; and international events. In fact the subject list is as endless as the public’s interest in niche topics.
Irrespective of the subject matter, most of the programs covering any of the above categories have several factors in common. Firstly they are factual; they tell the truth; very little opinion is involved. Secondly the photography is superb; this is particularly so with programs about wildlife and geography. Thirdly the overall production is lavish and of the very highest standard. Fourthly most of the programs are suitable for a family to view together.
Many of the programs are extremely popular the world over and draw praise from teachers and educational experts. In fact such is the public acceptance of these programs as educational resources for school children that many are available on DVD.
The David Attenborough series of programs about natural history produced by the BBC are examples of the very finest programs ever produced. The breath-taking quality of the action photography together with the in-depth commentary ensures that these programs are regarded as educational tools of the highest order.
History programs about a particular country or about a particular period in time provide the viewer with an opportunity to learn about the past and to understand how certain events changes the world or changed the way a society sees itself. With old film footage to add to a viewers comprehension of history, people today are much more aware of what happened in the past and knowledgeable of why these events took place.
Many of the quality educational programs are now available on DVD allowing parents of school children to have these programs available ‘at call’ for viewing when needed.
There are numerous genres of programs available via satellite TV that the public may regard as being educational in nature. However there are just as many that the public may not consider to be in the educational category. Subjects such as cooking, gardening, bringing up children, home decorating – the list is endless. In fact it can be said that almost every program has an educational aspect to it. If it teaches the viewer something he didn’t know before hand then it can be called ‘educational’.
The advent of high definition television (HDTV) now allows many educational programs to be viewed in the very best way. With a vastly improved viewing experience through better reception and superior audio, satellite TV is the best medium for enjoying programs that are exceptional in their photographic content. And with the coming of 3D TV in the not too distant future, signal transmission via a satellite dish will still be a superior proposition to any other form of transmission.