The Best Satellite TV

In this buyer's guide we compare & rank the best satellite TV providers

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Satellite TV Reviews

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For many consumers, finding the best satellite TV is based around finding the right fit. Price and customer service can go a long way to helping you identify the best satellite TV providers.

If you are looking to switch from cable TV, there are many perks that make satellite television worth it. I've reviewed the top satellite TV companies and listed them below.

Our Top Picks for the Best Satellite TV Provider

Direct-broadcast satellite television (or DBS satellite TV), otherwise known as direct-to-home television (DTH satellite TV) is what most satellite customers rely on. DTH satellite TV providers include Dish and DIRECTV.

The two major providers available to most are DIRECTV and Dish Network. Both have different perks that make them appealing. Here are the satellite TV side-by-side comparison reviews to give you an overview on each.

1st
  • Channels: 190-290
  • Monthly Price: $34.99-49.99

Dish Network Packages

  • Pros
  • Good value pricing
  • Bundle TV, phone, and internet for savings
  • Free professional installation
  • No fee for HD service
  • Customer support among the industry's best
  • Cons
  • Customer service can take a while to reach
  • Two-year service agreement required

Dish Network offers a wide variety of packages to accommodate the viewing preferences of nearly anyone. Dish Network's cable services range from $19.99 to $39.99 per month, which is fairly cheap. Though, their channel (including HD channels) offerings and sports packages don't quite measure up to DIRECTV.

Despite that, there are plenty of neat perks Dish offers that make it an appealing choice. Here are just a few:

  • DISH typically waives all of your initiation fees when you begin service. And there is no additional installation fee for a technician to come out to your home.
  • If you want to bundle, Dish has you covered as their satellite internet and cable service bundles range from $39.99 to $69.99 per month.
  • Dish provides custom installation of TVs, home theaters, and wireless networks.

There are few downsides, however. Because Dish requires you to buy your equipment from them, you can expect to see a monthly charge on your bill on top of your package as well. Like DIRECTV, DISH requires a two-year commitment once you begin service. So if you like to jump around between providers you will have to keep that in mind. But you will have some quality service at competitive prices to look forward to for those two years.

Related: DISH Network TV Packages

2nd
  • Channels: 145-315
  • Monthly Price: $50.00-125.00

DIRECTV Packages

  • Pros
  • Over 280 channels
  • Exclusive sports packages
  • A variety of HD channels
  • Excellent customer service
  • Good signal for satellite
  • Cons
  • Requires two-year contract

DIRECTV is among the best and most popular cable services around. Particularly among sports fans because of their exclusive rights to the NFL Sunday Ticket package.

DIRECTV makes setting up service as easy and inexpensive as possible. First, there is typically no equipment to buy as most fees are waived once you order service. This is a welcome perk because there are some providers who charge you monthly to buy or lease your equipment.

DIRECTV offers a wide range channels (including HD channels) and packages. As a whole, they tend to offer a larger variety of channels than Dish Network.

In addition, DIRECTV doesn't charge you for HD TV service and if you don't have an HD TV receiver in your home, your technician will provide you with one free of charge. Finally, there is never any charge for the technician to come out to your home to install service.

Despite all these benefits, there are some downsides. The majority of DIRECTV's packages are more expensive than Dish's. Their Internet bundles use AT&T's service, so you'll have to look elsewhere if you don't like AT&T. In addition, you can expect stiff early termination fees if you decide you want to switch.

Related: DIRECTV Packages

3rd
  • Channels: 140-470
  • Monthly Price: $50.00-125.00

AT&T U-Verse Packages

  • Pros
  • Competitively priced
  • Combine TV, Internet and phone for savings
  • Great digital service
  • Free installation
  • Good customer service
  • Cons
  • Limited streaming capabilities
  • Limited U-verse availability
  • Activation fees might apply

AT&T's packages are among the best around as well. Ranging from $29.99 to $91.99, they have something for everyone. And if you're bundling telephone and internet service, the value gets even better.

AT&T U-verse setup is straight-forward and a technician will arrive at your home days after placing your order. As is common with most companies, AT&T waives all of your installation fees. However, be prepared to pay a monthly charge for your equipment as the company requires you to buy it. The one benefit of paying for these boxes is that you get to keep them even when you finally terminate your service. Also, another perk is that AT&T won't charge you for re-installation if you move.

Another little bonus is that, depending on which services you order, AT&T will send you a Visa prepaid debit card with $50 to $300 loaded onto it. The amount of money you get as a rebate depends on which of their array of packages you order.

AT&T's DVR service comes standard, which is a nice bonus. And you can record four shows simultaneously using their boxes which is rather convenient.

One of AT&T U-verse's biggest weaknesses is that it is only available in 20 states. One last thing to note is that AT&T requires a one-year contract. So expect to commit to U-verse for at least a year when you sign up.

Related: AT&T U-Verse TV Packages