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Satellite TV

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Because of the presence of digital technology, the sound and picture quality of satellite TV is of the highest quality. Additionally, satellite TV has drastically increased the range of television programming that is now accessible at the fingertips for television viewers. Regardless of what form of paid television service that you eventually choose, you would have to agree that the rise of satellite TV has improved television technology for the better for all television viewers.

The Choices Are...
When deciding what type of satellite TV you want, you will invariably be choosing among satellite TV providers. The two largest satellite TV providers are Direct TV and the Dish Network, who are currently competing with smaller upstarts such as Pegasus and Voom. The purpose of satellite TV providers is to provide TV programming options to the satellite TV viewers.

Similar to cable television services, satellite TV providers charge a monthly subscription rate for viewers to access a package of available television channels. These satellite TV providers share many television channels but they also are the sole providers of other specific networks.

The Set-Up
For the most part, the equipment that is used by each satellite TV provider is the same. Although satellite TV providers use different broadcasting satellites, there are few variations among the hardware that they use. Additionally, the potential satellite TV subscriber should not worry about equipment and installation costs.

As satellite TV providers make the bulk of their profit through their monthly subscriptions, they usually bundle the equipment required to receive satellite TV transmissions and the installation services for this equipment with a twelve month subscription. The profits that these satellite TV providers are able to make from their subscription rates make the losses of either giving away or charging low rates for the satellite TV equipment and installation services negligible.

What to Compare
When attempting to compare satellite TV, it is important to examine these issues:

Quality of Transmission For the most part, satellite TV utilizes high quality digital technology and transmits programs broadcast by digital channels. As a result, satellite TV providers produce a 100% high quality digital transmission. This is different from digital cable TV packages that utilize digital technology but are unable to convert analog programs into digital programs.

Programming One of the most important byproducts of satellite TV technology is that television watchers are now able to enjoy much more varied programming through an increase of available channels. The type of subscription package that you purchase from a satellite TV provider will dictate the programming, but Direct TV, the Dish Network and Pegasus offer over 200 television channels. Voom offers over 100 television channels.

There are also differences in the type of programming that the satellite TV companies provide. Comparing Direct TV and the Dish Network in terms of the type of programming that they offer, generally Direct TV offers more sports programming whereas Dish Network offers more international programming.

City Accessibility As satellite TV increases in popularity, the services provided by satellite TV providers will increase their availability among the country. However, currently Direct TV does not provide service to Oklahoma City, Albuquerque, Honolulu and Grand Rapids. Conversely, the Dish Network does not provide satellite TV service to Las Vegas, Memphis, Milwaukee, Columbus and Baltimore.

Cost It is difficult to compare satellite TV prices because it depends on the type of satellite TV package that you are interested in. Generally, satellite TV providers offer a range of programming packages that will increase in channels with an increase in price. It is important to note that the cost of satellite TV packages will always change to match the growing competition within the satellite TV market and to match the growth of the paid satellite TV market as a whole. Here is a comparison of current satellite TV provider costs:

  • The Dish Network offers basic packages that range from $24.99 per month to $77.99 per month.
  • Direct TV offers basic packages that range from $36.99 per month to $87.99 per month
  • Pegasus offers basic packages that range from $39.99 per month to $42.99 per month.
  • Voom offers basic packages that range from $39.90 per month to $79.90 per month.

Performance Differences When comparing the performance differences between Direct TV and the Dish Network, it is important to note that there are only subtle differences. The best Direct TV setups are slightly easier to use than Dish Network setups, but recent testing has shown that Dish Network systems offer a slightly better overall picture than Direct TV systems.

Customer Service As growing companies, the two largest satellite TV providers have increased their customer service to help their subscribers at any time. Both Direct TV and the Dish Network offer online customer service that enables subscribers the ability to access their current statements, prior statements, online user manuals and online installation guides. Additionally, these online services allow subscribers to add packages and make account payments.

Warranty Both the Dish Network and Direct TV offer a full year warranty to their subscribers that commences on the day of service activation. For their subscribers, both companies offer a 24-hour customer service line. Direct TV also provides high quality in-house servicing.

Find out how other people compare the different satellite providers in the forum.