View Full Version : Which satellite offer should I pick? (For basic service, no satellite TV yet, no hardware yet)

10-01-2011, 11:56 AM
Hello everyone in the friendly forum. :-)

I'm moving to the USA. I don't have satellite TV yet, but I would like to get it.

The offers are just so complicated.

I just would like basic service, like ABC, CBS, NBC, which are mostly carried as local channels, I guess - plus the news channels, and PBS.

I don't need HBO, or Showtime, or Stars or anything.

I don't need to watch NFL, or any sports.

Still, it would be nice to have those basic channels in HD as well.

Which satellite company has the cheapest offer for what I need?

Or course I'm gonna buy a TV set seperately.

How does it work with the satellite dish, or with the needed receiver/DVR?
Is it cheaper to buy the satellite dish seperately, and the receiver/DVR box seperately, or is it cheaper to get it through the satellite company as well?

I know those are a lot of questions, still I would appreciate any advice on what offer is the best matching and cheapest.

Thank you,
list-mails :-)

10-01-2011, 12:13 PM
Check the offers on the websites and see which one meets your needs for the lowest price.

You also need to use the locals qualification tools on the respective websites to determine which locals are available in the area you're moving to.

In alphabetical order:

DIRECTV home page: http://www.directv.com/DTVAPP/index.jsp locals qualification: DIRECTV: Local Channels (http://www.directv.com/DTVAPP/packProg/localChannels.jsp?assetId=900018)

DISH Network home page: DISH Satellite TV Packages From $19.99. Ask About HD Free For Life. (http://www.dishnetwork.com) locals qualification: DISH Network - - Satellite TV (http://www.dishnetwork.com/packages/local/default.aspx)

Without knowing the ZIP (US Post Office) code of your new home and specifically what channels you're looking for, we can't make a thoughtful recommendation.

10-01-2011, 01:29 PM
You might also live in an area were you will be able to receive all the programming you need over the air with an antenna and no subscription required. I would explore that option first.

10-01-2011, 02:57 PM
Thank you so much for your replies.

I'm not needing the local part of the local channels. That completely doesn't matter.

In reply to harshness, here's what channels exactly I'm looking for:

PBS, MSNBC, CNN, Fox News.

And then my wife wants to watch Grey's Anatomy, and The Big Bang Theory.

That's all we need.

As I said, I don't need the local channels. I don't need any local news or anything.

But it would be nice to have those news channels in HD, if possible.

I don't know the exact ZIP code yet, because I'm just about to move into the USA, I don't have my exact address yet.

I already looked at the DISH website. And it's so confusing. You can get the free HD for life, if you get a subscription, and then afterwards change it to HD. Why do they make it so complicated? Why can't one get the HD for life with a new subscription right from the beginning? What about the hardware? A special receiver needed or something? What does that cost extra, on top of everything? Are taxes and fees included, or do they go on top of everything as well?

Because the original website of DISH was so complicated to me, that's why I turned to this forum here.
Plus I thought, there must be more out there, then just DISH and DirecTV out there.

Thank you again for your responses.

And thanks especially for that tip, that one could get basic service terrestrically.
But is there HD over the air?
I really like HD...

Best regards,

10-02-2011, 12:16 PM
It depends on how big the city is as to how much HD you can get OTA. In most locations ABC/CBS/FOX/NBC are in HD. In bigger cities PBS is HD. In big cities like NY, LA, Chicago, etc there are a bunch of other channels in HD. Plus they have digital sub channels. In the US the local channels carry those shows. ABC carries Grey's Anatomy and CBS carries The Big Bang Theory. Some have morning new programs, there are national news shows too on these channels.

Now it looks like you only want a cable/satellite subscription for CNN/MSNBC/FOX News. If you are going to a big city there are probably subchannels with 24 hour news, but it is not one of those three. You also have the option of just going to their web sites and viewing the stories, but if you like to have the news on all day you will need to get AT120 to get CNN/FOX and AT200 to get all three. With a 2 year commitment you can get them in HD.

10-04-2011, 11:48 PM
I'm not needing the local part of the local channels. That completely doesn't matter.

In reply to harshness, here's what channels exactly I'm looking for:


And then my wife wants to watch Grey's Anatomy, and The Big Bang Theory.

That's all we need.

As I said, I don't need the local channels. I don't need any local news or anything.

But it would be nice to have those news channels in HD, if possible.

OK, I don't think you understand how network TV works in the US...if you want programming that is on ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, PBS, CW - you ARE getting it on "local" TV channels, period.
Whether it be via a TV antenna you buy, or cable TV or satellite service - the local channels that serve your particular area that you live in, WILL be providing those networks & their programming. Whether you choose cable TV or satellite service, those services are required to provide these networks (& their prog) by picking up the local channels that serve your local area & "rebroadcast" them to you as a subscriber. They do NOT & CANNOT carry a "national" version of these broadcast networks to their subscribers (except in very few circumstances) - unlike the way they DO carry "national" channels such as CNN, Fox News, HBO, ESPN, etc. There are actually 212 different TV markets (DMA's) in the US, but some of the very smallest markets do NOT necessarily have all these networks available. So you understand - there are actually 200+ different versions of ABC local channels scattered around the US, 200+ versions of CBS, etc.

The reason why this is, is due to the concept of broadcast TV here, IS commercial supported programming. The commercials that the local network channels run, would NOT be effective, if say the local cable co. or satellite TV carried a "national" version of ABC, etc. Legislation was passed in the US, that requires cable & satellite, to carry ONLY the local, broadcast version of these networks, & NOT from another area.

You also have to understand that while it's a given that every cable system DOES carry these local broadcast networks, NOT every TV market has these local broadcast networks available via satellite. (DISH or DirecTV) While DISH Network claims to carry local channels in EVERY market, they are still missing some networks in some of these DMA's. DirecTV actually has less coverage of local broadcast markets than DISH does. If you are in a DMA where DirecTV or DISH does NOT provide ABC, for example - you generally will NOT get it at all, period. (there are exceptions where subs can get a "distant" version of ABC from NY or LA - but again, these are rare exceptions for the most part) Again, satellite providers are forbidden to "import" these broadcast networks from another outside market, except under rare & specific situations.
AND, on top of this, it varies on which DMA's have the broadcast networks available in HD, between each DMA AND between DISH & DirecTV.

AND, as far as cable systems go - they can vary widely depending on where you are located. And even within large urban areas, you could have multiple cable systems that serve different areas within a given (large) city. Because of this, again - we simply cannot tell you how good/bad you cable system would be, until you tell us WHERE it's at. Some are very good, some so-so & some are the PITS - again, it's all in where you move to!

As far as using an antenna - again, it's going to depend on where are. Some areas you can get by nicely with indoor "rabbit ears" & get lots of free channels - in others, it requires outside antennas, possibly on a tower; if you are in a remote area, OTA reception can be impossible. Again, it ALL depends on where you live...

SO...NOW you know the reason why we keep telling you that before we can really give you an accurate answer, YOU really need to know where you are moving to. If you could at least tell us the city/state you are moving to, we could at least narrow it down a LOT... ;)

10-05-2011, 12:04 AM
OK, sorry to have overloaded you with all this info, but I was just trying to get you to understand that in the US, cable or satellite service is not really "uniform" across the country, like it is taken for granted in other countries.

Now that I've said that - I really think that for what you are looking for, you probably would be best to start out on cable TV. Since you are asking for CNN, Fox News, MSNBC - you probably will not be satisfied with just OTA antenna service. You will NOT have to mess with an antenna, there is no large upfront costs or equipment to buy or install on your house.
And generally, you are not having to go under a contract. (unless they put you on a reduced cost promo; you need to read the terms carefully before you actually have it installed) Both satellite companies here normally require a 1-2 year contract & if you cancel before then, they hit you up with an early term fee.

If after you settle in & after doing some more research in YOUR local area, if you decide that you want to try something else, you just call the cable co. & have it disconnected & return their converters, if applicable.

Reigster at SatelliteGuys