Written by: Guest | Best Company Editorial Team
Last Updated: May 12th, 2020
Guest Post by Sara Marcum
When it comes to satellite television, you are either team satellite, team cable, or team streaming. Streaming entered the entertainment race not that long ago.
The popularity of services like Netflix and Hulu has begun to stick it to satellite and cable television options. This has pushed the big companies to start offering perks for their subscribers in an effort to draw them back.
These perks give options to those who may not have internet available. Some internet service providers like AT&T have begun offering discounts to single parents and those facing economic hardships.
The media isn’t the only ones noticing the struggle that these parents face when it comes to supplying basic necessities. Even the struggle of cheap car insurance for single moms has become more widely recognized.
What is satellite television?
Satellite television is a type of service that delivers television programming options by relaying the signals through a satellite that hovers above the Earth and transmits to your home location.
A lot has changed since the initial launch of satellite in 1961. The Telestar 1 left Cape Canaveral on July 10, 1961 and made history two days later when it sent the first global television signal.
Which satellite provider should you choose?
The two satellite television providers that dominate the market are no secret. DISH and DIRECTV are the two biggest competitors in the satellite market.
However, the rise of the pay-as-you-go model has opened the door for a new competitor, Orby TV. Orby TV does for satellite television what Cricket Wireless does for phone service.
Is satellite television worth it?
Streaming is taking the home entertainment industry by storm. Hundreds of streaming services available just need an internet connection and a monthly subscription. These offer a multitude of options when it comes to watching the shows you love.
Most streaming services don’t offer you the same perks as a satellite system though. We will explore those below.
Finding the best satellite TV perks for your buck
Let’s take a moment to analyze what each of the satellite television power players has to offer. The only way that you can get the most out of your satellite service is by exploring their options and weighing out which one is right for you and your wallet.
Use a satellite provider that offers internet service
Only two of the three providers offer bundles with internet service included. The network you choose determines the internet access that you are offered.
Keep in mind that just because a service offers the internet doesn’t mean that it is available in your area. For example, I live in a rural country setting where satellite dominates because we don’t have the option of cable.
DISH partners with leading internet providers; they do not limit themselves to one company. You will most likely find DISH available with whomever you receive internet through.
For us, Windstream offers a compatible offer with DISHTV but not another satellite provider.
DIRECTV was bought by AT&T, which means that all of their bundled services are with AT&T. I input my address for internet bundled services on the DIRECTV homepage and was advised that it is not available in my area, but I could still enjoy satellite television services.
Orby TV is a new breed of satellite television. This is a pay-as-you-go program that only requires you to buy the equipment and pay a monthly fee for a subscription.
No internet services are required, but they do not offer a bundle with an internet provider.
The winner of the category would have to be DISHTV because they have a wider range of internet options, especially for those in rural areas. However, if you live in an area where AT&T is available, the choice comes down to which is more cost-efficient.
Check out a satellite provider's channel lineup
Different satellite packages offer up different channel options. Obviously, the cheaper the package the lower the number of channels available.
DISHTV offers channel packages that start at $59.99 for 120 channels and increase to over 290 channels for $94.99 a month. This does not include premium channels like HBO, STARZ, or CINEMAX.
These packages require a service agreement for a fixed time period. DVR is available and offered for an additional monthly fee.
DIRECTV offers three package options. The first package is 155 plus channels for $49.99 a month. The second package is 185 plus channels for $59.99 a month. The final package is 250 plus channels for $74.99 a month.
These require that a service agreement is signed for a fixed time period. DVR is available and offered for an additional monthly fee.
After you make the initial investment for the receiver and equipment, ORBY TV is a pay-as-you-go program. You are not tied to traditional payment contracts.
If you don’t have the money to pay for next month’s television service, you simply stop the satellite connection and pick it up when you can pay again.
With that principle in mind, you can expect that your channel line-ups will be slightly reduced thanks to the contracts media networks hold with satellite and cable companies, and the service will be a little higher in the long run.
ORBY TV offers a basic essentials package for $40.00 a month. This includes all the local channels in your area for free. From there they offer add-on packages starting at $6.00 a month.
Compare satellite providers to get the best discounts
Everyone likes to save money. We are willing to drive 50 miles out of the way for a good price at the grocery store, so why wouldn’t we hunt down the best television offers?
DISHTV offers discounts to active duty servicemembers and veterans, and this extends to first responders. They do have special rates for those who are aged 55 and over.
Bundling your services is another good way to get additional savings. Right now, when you order services with DISHTV online, you receive a $150.00 prepaid card.
DIRECTV offers the same bundling services that DISHTV offers, but with fewer options. Because DIRECTV is an affiliate of AT&T, you are limited to their available services.
The nice thing about AT&T internet service is that they do offer a reduced rate for those who qualify economically. A $50.00 prepaid card is being offered when you make your purchase online.
As far as discounts go, ORBY TV doesn’t offer any in the traditional sense. Besides the fact that you don’t need an internet connection to operate it and you get to pay-as-you-go, discounts are non-existent at the present time.
Personal preference determines the best satellite TV provider
In the end, it really doesn’t matter what I tell you about each of these services. You have to choose which one is best for you and your family.
While each of the major satellite providers offer stunning prices, you have to keep in mind that they require a commitment, usually a 24-month contract that says you will pay regardless of circumstances.
Maybe satellite isn’t for you, and you are more comfortable with streaming services. That’s okay too, but keep in mind that satellite does have its perks.
Between bundles, discounts, and area availability, one of the three companies mentioned in this article may be a lower option overall.
Sara Marcum writes and researches for AutoInsuranceEZ.com. She is a mother to two boys and the stepmother to a little girl. After many years of working outside of the home, she decided it was time to make a change and pursue her dream of writing. She is currently working on a novel while juggling all the other tasks in her life.