Digital Satellite Service is the assumed initialism expansion of the DSS digital satellite television transmission system used by DirecTV. Only when digital transmission was introduced did direct broadcast satellite (DBS) television become popular in North America, which has led to both DBS and DSS being used interchangeably to refer to all three commonplace digital transmission formats - DSS, DVB-S and 4DTV. Analogue DBS services however existed prior to DirecTV and are still operational in continental Europe as of 2006.
While functionally similar in DVB-S - MPEG 2 video, MPEG-1 Layer II or AC3 audio, QPSK modulation, and identical error correction (Reed-Solomon coding and Viterbi forward error correction), the transport stream and information tables are entirely different from those of DVB. Also unlike DVB, all DSS receivers are proprietary DirecTV reception units.
DirecTV is now using DVB-S2, the latest version of the DVB-S protocol, for HDTV services off the SPACEWAY-1, SPACEWAY-2, DirecTV-10 and DirecTV-11 satellites, however huge numbers of DSS encoded channels still remain.