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Image courtesy of Orby TV
Cable-alternative services are the best way for cord-cutters to trade in traditional television for more affordable plans without contracts. Yet, what if you live in an area with insufficient internet? Orby TV may be your only hope. Even though Orby TV packages use equipment pretty much identical to DISH, you won’t need to sign any contracts, and payments occur on a monthly prepaid basis.
One of the biggest differences between Orby TV and a cable-alternative like fuboTV is how the latter is streamable through your smartphone, tablet and web browser. Orby TV, on the other hand, needs equipment attached to your TV in order to watch. That’s because Orby TV works outside of a Wi-Fi connection.
Orby TV offers two main packages — its basic Essentials plan and its most premium Extras plan. Both are more affordably priced than traditional TV and cost around the same as alternative TV services. Below we assembled a complete Orby TV guide that details the service’s channels, packages, pricing and more.
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Orby TV pricing
|Orby TV (Essentials)||Orby TV (Extras)||DIRECTV||DISH|
|Number of live channels||44+||68+||155-330+||50-290+|
At first glance, what’s most attractive about Orby TV is its affordable monthly price. But this doesn’t account for the costly equipment and installation fees. To start watching, you’ll need an Orby TV dish along with an antenna and receiver.
The series of one-time fees amounts to $250 — with a $150 installation expense and the $100 receiver. And it’s an extra $50 per additional room, four being the maximum. So, let’s imagine that you want to professionally install Orby TV in three rooms with one having DVR capabilities. That’ll cost you $650 before your first monthly payment. These costs seem expensive upfront, but in the long run, you could end up saving with how affordable the monthly payment is. You may also want to consider the self-installation kit, which is only $70 — but with this route, you won’t qualify for Orby TV’s warranty.
With the high initial costs of Orby TV, you might prefer renting the equipment instead. Renting the receiver will increase your monthly payment by $15, and if you throw in a DVR, it’ll climb an extra $20/mo. And for each room Orby TV is connected, add $10/mo.
What content does Orby TV packages include?
Orby TV has two main packages to choose from: Essentials and Extras. The names suggest exactly what you’ll get. Essentials includes 46 of the channels you’d expect, like AMC, Discovery, HGTV and TNT. The Extras plan contains every channel in the Essentials, plus 24 others that are mostly sister networks such as BBC World News, Boomerang, MTV Classic and Nicktoons. That’s 70 channels altogether.
Unfortunately, you won’t encounter any sports channels within the Orby TV packages — ESPN, FS1 and MLB Network are nowhere to be found. This, in part, is what makes Orby TV so affordable.
Now, if you have at least decent internet, and don’t care about sports, then we recommend the cable-alternative, Philo. You’ll get 61 channels for only $20/mo., and no equipment is necessary, other than a streaming device.
Even though Orby TV includes some of the top entertainment and lifestyle channels, there are a few noticeably absent. The Disney Channel, FX, ION, Univision and USA are not included on Orby TV.
What are the add-on packages with Orby TV?
Most cable replacement services offer extras for upgrading your package. If you’re someone interested in add-ons, namely premium channels, you’ll be pleased to know Orby TV carries the most popular. Although, when it comes to feature add-ons, prospects are far fewer.
To add any of the premium channels to your plan, you must also already have the Essentials or Extras package. Each premium carrier provides you with an additional four channels.
Cinemax add-on ($12/mo.)
When you add Cinemax to your package, you’ll gain 5 Star Max, Action Max, Cinemax (HD) and More Max. Cinemax carries original series like Banshee, Hunted and The Knick.
Epix add-on ($6/mo.)
You’ll get the best value of any of Orby TV’s premium channels with Epix. These extra channels pack in four times the movies and shows, expanding its selection with Epix (HD), Epix 2, Epix Drive-In and Epix Hits. You can expect original series such as Godfather of Harlem, Pennyworth and War of the Worlds.
HBO add-on ($18/mo.)
HBO may be the most expensive on our Orby TV channel list, but it does carry the most recognized shows with titles like Deadwood, Sopranos and The Wire. The HBO add-on organizes the HBO catalog into four main channels that include HBO (HD), HBO 2, HBO Comedy and HBO Signature.
STARZ/STARZ Encore add-on ($9/mo.)
STARZ has one of the most diverse selections of movies and shows split across its channels: STARZ (HD), STARZ Comedy, STARZ Encore and STARZ Encore Westerns. Popular series include American Gods, Luther and Outlander.
When it comes to feature add-ons, Orby TV keeps things simple. Other than its cloud DVR feature, you won’t find additional features to upgrade your plan. This is a far cry from cable-alternative services, like Sling TV, which let you upgrade your DVR storage space and the number of simultaneous screens.
What’s a TV service without sufficient DVR capabilities? Orby TV understands how DVR is a must for most households and offers 500 GB of DVR storage for an extra $4/mo. But this doesn’t account for the $200 receiver which you’ll get in place of the $100 regular receiver. So, you’ll pay twice as much for the receiver with DVR capabilities. But at least after the initial cost, your monthly bill from then on is affordable. You may also want to note that if you decide to use Orby TV only for local channels, without paying for the Essentials of Extras programming, your monthly DVR cost increases to $12/mo.
By contrast, cable-alternatives like YouTube TV provides its customers with limitless cloud-based DVR. However, saved content deletes after nine months. With Orby TV plans, you’ll at least get to delete saved videos on your own terms.
Orby TV channels
The local programming you get may depend on where you live. That’s because local channels are available through your antenna, not your Orby TV dish. Here’s a collection of channels that are generally available.
- Antenna TV
- Bounce TV
- Cozi TV
- Grit TV
- H&I TV Network
- ION Television
- My TV Network
- The CW
- This TV Network
- True Crime Network
- Animal Planet
- BBC America
- Cartoon Network
- Comedy Central
- CSPAN 2
- Food Network
- History Channel
- Investigation Discovery
- Lifetime Movie Network
- MTV 2
- Nick Jr.
- Paramount Network
- Sundance TV
- Travel Channel
- Turner Classic Movies
- TV Land
- We TV
- American Heroes
- BBC World News
- BET Gospel
- BET Her
- BET Jams
- BET Soul
- CNN en Español
- CNN International
- Cooking Channel
- Crime & Investigation
- Destination America
- Discovery en Español
- Discovery Family
- Discovery Life
- DIY Network
- Great American Country
- History en Español
- Lifetime Real Women
- Military History
- MTV Classic
- Nick Toons
Which Orby TV package is right for me?
Orby TV is a great solution if you live in a location with a poor internet connection. It may also serve you as a way to still watch TV while you’re, say, driving your RV across the country. All you need is Orby’s tripod mount. It’s pay as you need it, meaning if you don’t pay a month, you just won’t receive the service. No penalties. This makes it a good candidate for your lake house or vacation home. Just remember that there are no sports channels within any of the Orby TV channel packages, which means you won’t be able to host game day.
Just to be clear, Orby TV isn’t a cable-alternative service like Hulu + Live TV. You won’t be able to stream Orby TV directly to your smartphone or smart device. It still uses equipment that you’d get with DISH, along with installation and additional costs. But, luckily, you won’t need to worry about any binding contracts or late fees. So, if you do have decent internet, then you may want to give Philo a try first. There’s no equipment or installation necessary, and you can get your first seven days free.
If you’ve got any questions about the service or need help finding a technician, we recommend calling the Orby TV customer service number: 877.672.9881.
By Zack Kulm
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