The Satellite TV Page



In December 1997 a friend of mine, Susie Gilstrap, asked me to research satellite TV for a new home she had just built. Since I didn't have any previous experience with satellite TV, and since I love electronics, this seemed like an adventure. Searching the Internet I found there were three different satellite TV systems: DSS/Direct TV, Primestar, and Echostar/Dish Network. Susie told me she had had Primestar and didn't want it again so it was out of the picture. After much information gathering I decided I liked Dish Network better than Direct TV. There didn't seem to be that much difference in price or programming between the two, but I liked Dish Network's organization better. Echostar/Dish Network controls everything: they own their satellites, manufacture their equipment, and deliver their programming. This way they are able to offer a little more programming for a little less money. Their equipment is also very high tech and costs less than the Direct TV equipment. Direct TV is a fragmented setup: Hughes owns the satellites, Direct TV supplies the 'normal' programming, USSB supplies the premium programming, and various vendors supply the receivers...more companies to feed so you pay higher prices, especially for receivers.

Susie decided on a top-of-the-line model 5000 package for $199 from Great Lakes Audio Video. (NOTE: This same package would cost $499 retail. Never buy a satellite system retail...always look on the Internet...check out my links below) When it arrived I installed it for her. I had never installed one before, but with a little preplanning I was able to install it in one afternoon.

I was very impressed with the quality of the picture and the ease of use of the satellite system. So impressed that I eventually purchased a model 5000 system for myself. I now have 3 receivers (living room, garage, and bedroom).

I'd advise anyone who is even the slightest bit interested to try satellite TV. No matter what provider you choose it is DEFINITELY better than cable or antenna.

*** Note: If you are interested in DSS/DirectTV you need to find out if you are in an area controlled by a member of the NRTC (National Rural Telecommunications Cooperative). A member of the NRTC has exclusive rights to sell programming from DirectTV in a certain area. The bad thing about this is you cannot buy DSS equipment outside your NRTC area...you can't take advantage of the internet specials and you end up paying alot more for your equipment. This was another reason I advised Susie to buy an Echostar system. I'm 99% sure we are in an NRTC area.

Here's my Dish Network satellite dish 'hidden' on the back roof of my house. Since this picture was taken I've replaced the dish with a Dish 500, and the pictured dish now points to the 61.5 degree satellite.

Now I've got a model 3000 satellite system in my garage. The Dish 500 antenna is attached to the side of my garage.


Follow the satellite links below or click here to go back to my homepage.


Satellite links

DBS Forums - an EXCELLENT source of information concerning satellite services

Great Lakes Audio Video - the best place I've found for Echostar/Dish Network equipment

Digital Satellite Source - the best place I've found for DSS/DirectTV equipment (good Echostar prices, too)

Grady's Satellite

Satellite Service Center

E-mail me



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