You’ve seen advertisements on the internet and on TV — “Free satellite TV!” “Get a 4-room Satellite TV System Free!” and “Satellite TV Dish and Receivers Absolutely Free!”
But is satellite TV really free?
The answer to that question is partly yes … and partly no.
Yes, the equipment you need to receive satellite TV — the satellite TV dish and satellite TV receiver — is free. But no, the programming service is not free and will cost you money every month.
Let’s examine the actual costs.
In the United States, there are now only two major satellite TV providers — Dish Network and Direct TV. Now, we’ll review the offerings from each company separately.
Dish Network Service
When you order a free satellite TV system from Dish Network, you will be asked to pay a $ 49.99 activation fee. This fee will be credited to your programming bill, so in essence, your satellite TV system is free. Installation of your satellite TV system is also free.
With Dish Network you have two choices a DVR (digital video recording) receiver, or an HDTV (high definition TV) receiver at no charge.
Dish Network programming starts at $ 31.99 per month for 60 program channels, and goes up to $ 86.00 for 230 channels including Showtime, Starz!, HBO, Cinemax, and Sirius radio.
Dish Network offers more movies, shows, and HDTV than cable or Direct TV, and with one of their free DVR receivers you can record, pause, and fast forward live TV with a click of your remote. All Dish Network programs are broadcast in digital format for crystal-clear picture and sound.
Direct TV Services
Based on your credit score, when you order a free satellite TV system from Direct TV you may be required to pay a deposit or prepayment. Because the deposit is refunded to you and the prepayment goes toward your programming fees, the Direct TV satellite dish and receivers are free. Installation is also free.
If you want a DVR receiver you will be charged an additional $ 49.99. The charge to get HDTV receivers is $ 299.99.
Direct TV programming packages start at $ 41.99 per month, at the low end, for 115 channels (including 31 music channels), and go up to $ 93.99 per month for 185 program channels, including Showtime, Starz!, HBO, Cinemax, and 31 music channels.
Direct TV offers more sports programs than you can get with cable or Dish Network, including the popular NFL Sunday Ticket, and is broadcast in all-digital format.
Your Total Costs
Both Dish Network and Direct TV’s basic satellite TV dishes and receivers are free … but you will pay a monthly service fee anywhere from $ 32 to $ 94 a month.
So if you watch just a few television programs a week and have access to over-the-air TV, or if you have cable TV and are happy with your service, then you need to seriously evaluate the total costs of Satellite TV.
If, on the other hand, TV is one of your primary forms of entertainment and you want the biggest variety of shows, movies, sports, and new — or if your cable bill is beginning to equal your mortgage payment — then satellite TV may be just the ticket. Brian Stevens is a professional freelance writer and webmaster who has written extensively on free satellite TV systems.
In addition, there is now a Satellite TV offering that offers over 3,500 channels from all over the world. It’s not free either, but the only thing you have to pay is a one-time access fee. Once you sign up and install the software on your computers, you can watch as much TV as you like. There are no monthly service fees. Satellite TV on your computer is a viable option.
By MichaelGaida from Pixabay