Remember the old days when there were only 4 "real" television channels? Neither do we; we've chosen to block out those dark ages. As far as we're concerned, the more TV you can get, the better. That's why we strongly encourage you to revel in the American pastime of sloth and get satellite TV.

When you get satellite TV, a small dish on your roof will broadcast virtually EVERY television channel on the planet to your boob tube for a surprisingly reasonable price. This SYW will explain all you need to know about hooking yourself up with Direct Broadcast Satellite (DBS) television - from picking a package to buying and installing the equipment. And if being separated from your TV is making you uneasy, just pretend that your mouse is a remote control.


You probably think you're pretty well off with cable TV - MTV, ESPN, Cartoon Network, the Food Network - yep, life is good. But don't get complacent… life could be even better. A little while ago, engineers realized that satellites orbiting around the planet could serve a function other than taking pictures of the moon: to provide the legions of couch potatoes hundreds of channels with crystal clear reception. Ain't science great?

Here are a few basic facts about Direct Broadcast Satellite (DBS):

  • A small dish (about 18 to 24 inches in circumference) is installed outside your house, serving as your window to a vast horizon of TV channels.

  • About 1 in 10 households currently subscribes to a DBS service, a number expected to double within the next couple of years.

  • The main advantage of DBS over cable TV is that it offers you even more choices. With satellite TV, customers can pick which company they want to subscribe with and what package of channels to buy. This is different from normal cable television, where you're forced to purchase whatever system your region offers and pay whatever price they tell you (sounds a bit like the mob, eh?).

  • DBS offers you up to 300 channels to watch. Yep, 300 channels - why, with the help of delivery food (and a very creative way to go to the bathroom), you'll never have to leave your couch again!

  • There are two main downsides to satellite TV. The first is that although the cost of DBS is very competitive with cable, you may have to pay extra to get your local stations. Shocking as it may be, in the past, satellite television did not hook you up to your local stations. So customers had to either additionally purchase a basic cable package, or drag out an antenna to get local channels like NBC, ABC, CBS, FOX, and PBS. But don't panic, because now both providers are offering local stations at very reasonable costs. You still may not get all of your locals, but it's probably your best option.

  • The second downside of satellite TV is that you have to use your brain, evaluate your options, and think about what you want. But don't get overwhelmed by this task - we're here to help.