Television receive-onlyTelevision receive-only, or TVRO, refers to satellite television reception equipment that is based primarily on open standards equipment. This contrasts sharply with direct broadcast satellite, which is a completely closed system that uses proprietary reception equipment.
TVRO systems are designed to receive analog satellite signals from both C-Band and Ku-Band satellite television or audio signals. TVRO systems tend to use larger rather than smaller satellite dish antennas, since it is more likely that the owner of a TVRO system would have a C-Band only setup rather than a Ku-Band only setup. Additional receiver boxes allow for different types of digital satellite signal reception.
TVRO originally was the only form of satellite television reception possible. Consumer TVRO was born in 1977 when Stanford graduate Dr. H. Taylor Howard designed his own system to receive C-Band satellite signals. At the time, there were only a few television signals that could be received.
TVRO as a method of receiving subscription programming reached its peak around 1994 and has slowly given way to DBS, whose equipment is less expensive than TVRO equipment and requires less technical know-how and maintenance, as well as the satellite dish taking up less space. TVRO has a higher picture quality than DBS or digital cable, which tend to use high amounts of digital signal compression.