BS also stands for B
atellite, an analog
-turned-digital satellite TV
system used in Japan
. The first operational BS satellite was developed by Toshiba
and General Electric
, and launched by NASDA
in 1984 to carry NHK
programming. There are currently four operational BS satellites in orbit
, which carry most of Japan's popular satellite television, including NHK and WOWOW
. These satellites broadcast with two main 14/12 GHz transponder
s each, plus one backup.
NHK and WOWOW charge separate reception fees for their programming, but since the inception of HDTV in 2000, Japan's five major terrestrial networks have offered BS service for free to any home with a receiver.
Japan's other satellite TV network, the CS system, is superior to BS in every respect, but Sky Perfect Communications currently holds a monopoly on CS and charges hefty fees for its 170-channel CS service, making BS a far more popular choice for your average Joe Sixpack in Tokyo.
BS introduced Domo-kun to the world.