If you are coming directly from standard TV programming or coming over to satellite TV from cable there are quite a few items for you to consider before you ink your name to an extended service agreement. The first thing that you may want to know is just how satellite TV functions. All satellite TV service providers have what is known as uplink stations where the their signal containing their programming is directed up to a series of satellite in geosynchronous orbit around the earth.
Geosynchronous orbit means that the satellite is stationed above the equator and travels in space at the same rate as the earth spins, so it basically stays put in one spot above the planet. After the satellites receive the signal it is then sent back to earth to be picked up by the service providers viewers. The signal is scooped up by the dish and then directed down the cable to the receiver that is sitting on top of the TV where it is then descrambled and played on the screen.
There are two satellite TV providers in the U.S. Right now and they are DirecTV and Dish Network. Deciding between the two can be very difficult, because they do have a lot of similarities but they do have some differences in some of the programming channels that they offer. They also difffer in the number of high definition channels that they offer and how they allow their customers to add them.
They both offer upwards of 350 channels of programming and also provide free satellite radio with many of their programming packages. Some of what you can expect to find on their programming menus is premium movie channels such as HBO, Showtime, Starz Superpak, Cinimax and TMC just to name a few. They also both have a pay per view service that allows you to select from hundreds of highly rated box office releases each month.
For sports, they also have a broad selection to offer including everything from football, baseball, basketball, golf, motor sports, soccer, tennis, hunting, fishing and so much more than that. Of course they have a broad selection of special interest and news channels including CNN, nature and science programming, Disney channels, weather, food, travel and cooking and the list just goes on and on.
For music programming Dish Network provides 60 free Sirius satellite radio channels with most of their programming packages while DirecTV provides 67 free XM radio channels. In fact, right now Dish Network even provides free Sirius satellite radio programming for your car or truck with many of its programming packages.
For multicultural programming these two service providers hold dominant positions over all of their competitors. Their repertoire of multicultural programming channels and packages literally covers the entire planet, because you can find choices in Russian, Chinese, Farsi, Armenian, Korean, Polish, Spanish, French, German, Tagalog, Italian, Hebrew, and Arabic just to name a few.
Both of these satellite TV service providers also have a wide range of reasonably priced and well blended programming packages to choose from beginning with excellent entry level budget packages.