Satellite TV Tips
Thanks to satellite television companies, customers no longer have to rely on a handful of channels for their entertainment. These days, hundreds of television channels are available for a reasonable monthly fee, and you can get even more if you’re willing to pay extra.
If you’re ready to make the move into the modern age, this article will tell you everything you need to know about how to get satellite television (also known as DBS or Direct Broadcast Satellite). If you’re looking for a free satellite television hookup, however, I’m afraid you’ll have to look elsewhere.
Important Facts About Satellite Television
While the following facts won’t tell you how to get satellite television, they will tell you why you should get satellite television. Prepare to be amazed.
1. Around 300 channels are currently available through Direct Broadcast Satellite. Most of these come with the basic service, but other premium channels (such as HBO, Showtime and adult channels) are also available for an additional fee. As you can see, satellite television providers give you a lot of bang for your buck.
You should keep in mind that local channels will cost extra. So if you’re in love with your hometown anchorwoman, you’ll have to pay a little extra each month in order to see her.
2. In order to use your satellite television service, a small dish will need to be installed on your roof. The dish measures around 18 to 24 inches. If you don’t want it on your roof, it can also be installed in your yard.
3. With cable, you’re stuck with whichever service is available locally. That’s not the case with satellite television. While only two major satellite television providers exist, you have absolute freedom to choose between them.
4. As of this writing, about 1 in 10 households subscribe to satellite television. That number is expected to double within a decade and continue to increase over time. At this rate, cable television may soon be a thing of the past.
The Big Two
When it comes to satellite providers, there are really only two to choose from. These are Dish Network and Directv. Since they are in direct competition with one another, their services and prices are very similar. There are, however, a few differences.
DIRECTV – It has more subscribers, simply because it’s been around longer. One feature they have that their competitor doesn’t is seasonal sports packages. NBA League Pass, MLB Extra Innings, NHL Center Ice and NFL Sunday Ticket allow you to see almost every game of the season. Each of these packages is expensive (around $150 apiece), but the cost is well worth it for fanatical fans.
DISH NETWORK – Many claim that this satellite television provider boasts better customer service. While this may be true, it can often come down to who you get on the other end of the phone. They don’t offer the huge sports packages, but they do have the capacity to eventually broadcast as many as 500 channels. If you’re looking to the future, this could be a major advantage over Directv.
Picking A Satellite TV Package
Once you’ve selected your satellite television provider, you’ll also need to select a subscription package. In either case, getting premium movie channels like HBO will cost you extra. Directv offers premium channels for a bit lower price, but Dish Network offers the more comprehensive packages. For more details, consult their company websites.
Keep in mind that the 100 channel package from either company will contain a number of stations that just play music – not music videos. Realistically, the 100 station package will actually offer around 70 channels with actual moving images.
Pay-per-view channels are also available, but these will cost a fee each time you use them. Still, this is an excellent way to see movies which were recently in the theaters.
If you want the best deal possible, you can also check their websites for current promotions. Since both companies are trying to outdo the other, you can find some good deals from time to time. Don’t be afraid to shop around.
Buying Satellite Television Equipment
The dish, receiver and other satellite equipment can usually be purchased from a local retailer like Best Buy or Circuit City. Buying extra receivers will allow different channels to be viewed in different rooms of the house (especially handy if you have kids).
You can also get your Internet service through your television (known as WebTV). If you want the best possible picture quality, you may also want to invest in a HDTV, as many channels are now being broadcast with a super-clear digital signal.
Ordering Satellite Television
There’s not much to ordering. All you need to do is call one of the numbers below and give them your credit card information. That’s it.
DISH NETWORK 1-800-333-DISH (3474)
DIRECTV 1-800-DIRECTV (347-3288)
Satellite TV Installation
When it comes to installation, you can either get a professional to do it or risk it yourself. Professional installation ranges from a few hundred dollars to free (as part of various promotions).
If you do it yourself, you’ll need to invest in the installation kit. It has everything you’ll need to install your dish, plus a video to walk you through all the steps.
Unless you’re really strapped for cash (or really stubborn), I would recommend getting a professional to do it. It’ll just make your life so much more simple (and prevent you from falling off the roof).
For more information about how to get satellite television, see: