Satellite TV

What is Satellite TV?

Satellite TV is a wireless television service that delivers television programming to households using satellite dishes orbiting the Earth. Due to its space technology, satellite TV is available nearly everywhere in the United States – and the world. This type of TV service bounces signals off three separate satellite dishes with receiving antennas. One is located at a TV provider,  one is mounted to the roof of a resident, and the third satellite orbits space. We break down everything there is to know about satellite TV below to help you decide if it’s right for you.

Top Satellite TV Providers

160+ channels starting at $64.99/mo.
Best Sports Channels

190+ channels starting at $64.99/mo.
Best DVR features

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Is DIRECTV or DISH better for you? Well, that depends on your preferences. If you value having a variety of channels and premium packages that include sports and live events, DIRECTV might be the best choice for you. However, if you prefer the flexibility of an advanced DVR system that lets you record more shows at once, DISH might be even better.

Is Satellite TV Right for Me?

Selecting the right TV service all comes down to what you’re looking for. Available nearly anywhere in the U.S., satellite TV is the go-to choice for many households located in rural and suburban areas where a cable network has yet to be built. Satellite providers typically offer more channel options as well, making those that love sports or premium channels top customers. However, satellite TV is not for everyone. 

Due to its technology, the only way to receive service is through a satellite dish. While cable TV is protected by grounded cable lines, satellite TV relies on a dish exposed to the elements. Because of this, you may be subject to occasional service interruptions due to inclement weather. This can be a deterrent for anyone living along the coast or in areas where the weather changes quite frequently. We recommend checking what services are available near you and then narrowing down your options.


Satellite TV FAQs

A satellite dish is a bowl-shaped antenna that’s used to transmit to and receive signals from a communication satellite orbiting space. One satellite dish is mounted on the premises of a provider and the other is mounted at a customer’s home either on the roof or equally high shed for optimal performance.
No. A satellite dish is required for you to successfully receive satellite TV service.
It all comes down to the method of transportation. Satellite TV providers use communication satellites and dish antennas to deliver TV service. Cable TV providers use either a coaxial or fiber-optic cable connection and a cable box to deliver TV service. Satellite TV is available to the contiguous U.S. including Alaska and Puerto Rico due to its satellite technology, while cable TV requires a cable network connection and has limited availability in rural areas.
While there are a few niche satellite companies (e.g. Glorystar), there are two main satellite TV providers to choose from – DIRECTV and DISH. Similar to cable TV, both satellite TV providers offer a wide range of packages, premium channels, DVR features, On Demand content, and more. To see what TV providers are available near you, enter your zip code here.
While satellite TV has a lot to offer for entertainment, streaming internet services are growing in popularity for those with select preferences. Services like Netflix®, Hulu®, Prime Video®, and HBO Max® have transformed the way many Americans today enjoy their favorite shows. These internet TV streaming platforms cost between $5-20 a month for service.

To keep up with the competition, TV providers, program networks, and big brands are starting to offer similar streaming services. NBCUniversal recently released Peacock to compete with the likes of HBO Max, and household brands have invested billions into new platforms such as Apple TV+ and Disney+.
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