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Choosing Your Satellite TV Provider

As satellite TV continues to grow at an astonishing rate within the paid television services industry, many interested television lovers are considering making the switch from cable television to satellite television. However, if you are one of these individuals that is deciding on which form of satellite TV you want to obtain, the key to this decision is choosing your provider.

An Important Decision
Choosing a satellite TV provider is the most important part of the satellite TV process. Although broadcasting satellites are responsible for the transmission of television programming that is sent to them from programming stations, satellite TV providers are the companies that own these individual satellites. Satellite TV providers differentiate themselves from each other with the television channels that they are able to make available to subscribers.

The way that the satellite TV business works is that satellite TV providers make the bulk of their profits from monthly subscription fees. With its growth, satellite TV providers are now in a position where they are able to offer either cheap or free satellite TV equipment and installation as part of a larger 12-month subscription package. Although the satellite TV providers use different satellites that broadcast the content from the geostationary orbit, the quality of the equipment and satellites that they use are even. As a result, most choices among satellite TV providers revolve around the type of programming that they offer.

A Tough Choice
Satellite TV providers usually have exclusive contracts with television programming sources to broadcast the content that these programming sources produce. Currently, there are two major satellite TV providers: the Dish Network and Direct TV. Both of these satellite TV providers offer extensive television programing with extraordinary customer service that is designed to minimize and solve any problems that may be affecting your satellite TV services.

In order to help you in the process of choosing your provider of satellite TV entertainment, here is an overview of these fierce competitors.

Dish Network
The Dish Network has been serving the satellite TV needs of television lovers since 1996 when, in the span of four months, they became the fastest satellite TV provider to reach a subscription level of 100,000. A subsidiary of the communications giant, EchoStar, the Dish Network currently has over 9 million satellite TV subscribers. With a list of accomplishments such as being the first company to offer a satellite TV receiver that had a built-in digital video recording device and also the first company to offer local channels to local markets in all 50 states with their satellite TV service, the Dish Network are veterans of the satellite TV game.

A company that is on the rise, the Dish Network offers the standard qualifications that you would expect from one of the largest satellite TV providers in the country. The Dish Network offers 100% digital picture and CD quality sound in all of their programming. Additionally, the Dish Network offers personal video recording (PVR), which enables television lovers to watch the programming that they love at any time of the day. Although Direct TV also offers this service, the Dish Network offers it for free while Direct TV does not.

Additionally, the Dish Network has excellent customer service resources both online and through a 24-hour customer service line. The Dish Network also offers free installation of free satellite TV equipment in most of their deals with an offer of free installation of their satellite TV service in up to 4 rooms of a subscriber's home.

The Dish Network offers a variety of packages that will correspond to their subscriber's TV needs. Additionally, the Dish Network contains the furthermost number of satellite bandwidth allocations, which means that they have the capability to eventually broadcast close to 500 channels. Talk about variety!

However, the Dish Network does not offer the seasonal sports packages that are responsible for distinguishing Direct TV. To counter this, the Dish Network offers a larger number of foreign programming. As the satellite TV industry keeps on growing, you can expect Dish Network to mirror this growth by offering more channels with the same high quality that you expect from your digital TV service.

Direct TV
Direct TV is the largest company in the satellite TV business, partially due to its ingenuity. When it first launched in 1994, Direct TV was the first satellite TV company to offer all digital-quality, multi-channel TV programming through the use of direct broadcast satellite (DBS) technology. As DBS has become the standard within the satellite TV industry, Direct TV has been partially responsible for the development of the satellite TV explosion of recent years.


Similar to the Dish Network, Direct TV offers excellent quality of satellite transmission. What this means is that Direct TV produces 100% digital picture and CD quality sound for all of their television channels. Also, Direct TV provides personal video recording (PVR) as an extra service that their subscribers can obtain for a small fee. The digital TV provider with the largest subscriber base, Direct TV has an excellent customer service department that is available 24 hours a day to aid any subscribers that have problems with their satellite service.

Although Direct TV does not have the same amount of satellite bandwidth allocations as the Dish Network, Direct TV is still able to support up to 250 channels. To counter this relative lack of channels, Direct TV has reached exclusive deals with television programmers to serve their customer's whims. This includes a large amount of sports packages such as NFL Ticket and NBA League Pass that have always been a large draw among satellite TV subscribers.

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