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Satellite TV providers

Compare satellite TV providers to find the best service for you. 

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Best satellite TV providers for 2020

When it comes to satellite TV companies, DIRECTV and DISH have 100% of the market share, making them your main two options. Either DIRECTV or DISH could be the best satellite TV provider for you depending on what you’re looking for.

Best satellite TV providers plans and pricing

ProvidersStarting monthly price*ChannelsDVR recordingsContract
$49.99155-330+Up to 5 shows at once2 years
$59.99190-290+Up to 16 shows at once2 years

What makes DIRECTV the best satellite TV provider?

DIRECTV offers more channel package options than DISH. Plus, DIRECTV is the only TV provider to offer NFL SUNDAY TICKET, so DIRECTV may be better if you’re a football fanatic. DIRECTV may also be a better choice if you already have services from AT&T, since AT&T owns DIRECTV and therefore provides bundle discounts.

What makes DISH the best satellite TV provider?

On the other hand, DISH has the unrivaled Hopper 3 DVR, which can record up to 16 shows at once and automatically skip commercials. Plus, you can store up to 500 hours of HD content. DISH may be better if you love to record and store lots of shows. DISH also offers a two-year price guarantee, whereas DIRECTV prices increase after the first year.

For a more in-depth look at satellite TV services in your area, check out our DIRECTV vs. DISH page. Or, you can always call our TV experts to get more information about available satellite TV packages for your address.

Call now: (844) 451-2720 (844) 451-2720

What is satellite TV?

Satellite TV is an alternative to cable television. Sometimes referred to as cable satellite, satellite TV is fundamentally different from cable. 

How does satellite TV work?

Satellite television providers send signals to satellites above the earth, which then transmit those signals to smaller dishes attached to homes.

Satellite TV receivers convert the signals into an image, similar to how your modem converts incoming signals into internet service. This technology allows satellite TV providers to offer television service nearly anywhere in the U.S.

What makes satellite TV services different than cable TV?

  • Satellite TV uses a dish to get the TV signal to a customer’s home instead of cable lines. 
  • Satellite service delivers all the typical cable TV channels to areas where cable does not reach. 
  • Satellite TV providers are known for carrying a variety of international and sports programming.

Where can I find satellite TV near me?

It won’t be hard to find a satellite TV provider near you. Satellite TV providers, such as DISH and DIRECTV, offer service in all 50 states. Satellite TV is a great option whether you’re looking for a basic TV package or one stacked with premium channels, sports networks and more. In addition to channel package variety, satellite TV also delivers high-quality picture and sound, advanced DVR technology and exceptional availability.

What channels do I get with satellite TV?

Looking for your favorite channels and TV shows before you sign up for satellite TV? Compare channel guides for the satellite TV programs in your area. Remember, local networks can vary by location. 

Bundle satellite TV and internet

You can get high-speed internet with satellite TV service. DISH and DIRECTV both work with internet providers in your area to bring you satellite TV and internet bundles.

Can satellite TV provide internet?

While neither satellite TV provider offers internet directly, you can combine their TV packages with an internet plan from leading providers in your area. Call today to build your satellite TV and internet bundle with providers such as:

Availability, pricing and internet speeds will vary by location and provider. Call to check satellite TV and internet bundle availability and pricing for your address.

Is satellite TV or cable better?

Satellite TV companies will likely give you more channel options and lower introductory pricing, but cable is less likely to be affected by inclement weather. Both satellite and cable TV will give you similar channel packages and picture quality. Take a look at some other differences between the two to find the right TV service for you.

Satellite TV vs. cable

Pros of satellite service:

  • Availability: Satellite TV is available throughout all 50 states. Cable service and providers vary by location.
  • Channel selection: Satellite TV typically has more channel variety and package selections than cable. If you’re looking for a basic package with little more than local channels, cable may be your better option.
  • Picture quality: Satellite TV supports higher bandwidth than cable, which can allow for more 1080p HD channels, or even 4K programming.
  • Customer satisfaction: DISH and DIRECTV had higher ACSI ratings than most major cable TV providers in 2019, scoring a 67 and 66 out of 100, respectively.

Cons of satellite service:

  • Service disruptions: Inclement weather such as rain, snow, strong winds and heavy cloud coverage can interfere with your signal and cause a temporary service outage. However, your recorded programming will likely still be available.
  • Contracts: Both DISH and DIRECTV require a two-year contract.
  • Dish installation: To get satellite TV, you need a satellite dish, so your installer will need to affix the dish to your roof or another exterior surface on your home.

So, which one is better: satellite or cable TV? Satellite service can be a better option for you if you live in a rural area with fewer TV options, want to spend less on TV service or prioritize high customer service ratings. 

Cable can be a better option if you don’t want a TV contract or if a cable provider offers special incentives for bundling TV and internet. Cable is less vulnerable to bad weather, such as heavy rain, which can affect satellite TV service.

Best satellite TV options and features

Get details about satellite and cable TV services from our experts. Call to shop available TV providers, plans and special offers for your home.

Lisa Iscrupe Lisa Iscrupe
Lisa Iscrupe

Staff Writer



Lisa uses years of experience in sales and customer service for internet-TV providers to inform her writing on broadband. Her work has been referenced by CNN and other national sources. … Read more

Satellite TV frequently asked questions

Can I get satellite TV without a dish?

No. A satellite dish is required for traditional satellite TV service. However, if you do not want a satellite dish or are restricted from installing one, AT&T TV NOW (formerly DIRECTV NOW) offers live TV streaming without needing a satellite dish.

Is satellite TV equipment and installation expensive?

Satellite TV providers often include select equipment such as the satellite dish, mounting hardware and cables at no extra cost. Standard satellite installation services are also commonly included for free.

How many satellite TV companies are there?

There are two main satellite TV providers to choose from — DIRECTV or DISH. Both TV providers offer a variety of packages, On Demand movies, premium channels, sports packages and more.

What is the difference between cable TV and satellite TV?

The main difference between cable TV and satellite TV is how you receive the channel signal at your home. Cable TV uses a wired connection and receiver box to bring the TV signal into your house. Satellite TV uses a satellite to receive the signal and display the channels on your TV.

Are there any free satellite TV channels?

Yes. Just as you can use a TV antenna to pick up free over-the-air TV broadcasts, there are “Free to air” (FTA) satellite TV channels that are broadcast via satellite. These FTA channels are typically local news or sports channels, or government-sponsored public TV stations such as PBS. To pick up these channels, you’ll have to invest in an FTA receiver box in addition to your satellite dish.

What other satellite TV companies are there?

While there are niche satellite companies, such as Christian satellite network Glorystar, the two main satellite TV companies are DIRECTV and DISH. If cable or fiber TV is also available where you live, you may also be able to choose from providers such as Cox, Mediacom, Optimum, Spectrum, Verizon or Xfinity.

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