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How do I Choose the Best Satellite Dish?

By Ken Black
Updated May 16, 2024
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Choosing the best satellite dish is an issue that is mainly dependent on the satellite service that is subscribed to. Each individual service has their own dish that must be used and is specific to the service from that particular brand. Therefore the best question to ask in this case is not what choosing the best satellite dish would be, but rather the best satellite service. Once this is done, the actual satellite dish will be chosen for you.

In the United States, the main satellite programming choices are Dish Network® and Directv®. There may be some minor companies offering service from time to time as well, but these are the ones offering the most consistency over the years. In truth, the services are owned by the same company. However, the programming choices offered by each company is somewhat different.

The main difference between the services comes down to one of packages and pricing. Dish Network® offers slightly different pricing packages and programming than Directv®. Those looking for bargains may do well to check Dish Network® first, as this company's programming has traditionally been priced somewhat cheaper than their counterpart. However, that discounted pricing also comes with fewer channels in the basic package as well.

Those interested in sports programming may want to look closely at Directv®. That satellite dish programming service has several unique and exclusive contracts for sports subscriptions. While most of the basic sports programming is available from either provider, the extra options offered by Directv® may be enough to convince some people to use that system. It should be noted that, because of the merger of these two former competitors, it is possible the programming distinctions will become less and less over time. Therefore, it is always important to check each one individually.

As far as set-up of the satellite dish goes, both services will usually take care of that portion of the job for you. In years past, the companies usually offered a free do-it-yourself installation kit or a discount on initial installation by a professional. Currently, the do-it-yourself kits are difficult to find, though they may be available if directly requested. Rather, for a commitment to programming, the installation is provided for free by a professional in most cases.

For those who do not have clear view of the southern sky, it may not matter which satellite dish company is used. Both point their satellite to nearly the same exact location and do require a nearly unobstructed line of sight to the sky. Some other services may offer slightly different satellite locations, making them worth checking into for those who do not have southern sky exposure.

HomeQuestionsAnswered is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

Discussion Comments

By anon145918 — On Jan 25, 2011

Again with only pricing information. Besides the best deal (Dish has the best long term cost but lacks some key channels) the overall performance hasn't been addressed. Which dish works through storms and just a plain old cloudy day. I've heard there have been improvements in the quality of the dish but nobody has addressed the performance. Help.

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