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satellite tv systems

Buying Guides - Satellite TV Systems

About Satellite TV

Direct broadcast satellite (DBS) provides cable-like television programming directly from satellites to small satellite dishes. Millions of households currently subscribe to DBS programming and a record number of subscribers are being added daily. Satellite television is comprised of a digital satellite receiver, a dish antenna and a remote control. This equipment can be used on your current television to provide digital picture and sound.

By launching high-powered satellites into a fixed orbit, companies are able to compress multiple channels into a single digital stream that is received by the dish antenna. The antenna filters the signal into the receiver that de-scrambles the signal for your television. Because the signals are compressed, they allow for sharper, more robust video and audio. In addition to superior picture and sound, satellite television allows you to receive more than 300 channels of movies, news, sports, pay-per-view events and family programming. Because the satellite can send the signal directly to your home, it is an alternative to cable television.


Programming

The satellite system you choose will depend on your desired programming, your budget, what orbital slots you can see from your location and other issues. Sears sells satellite systems from Star ChoiceTM and offers a number of different programming packages. Star ChoiceTM is the only satellite company providing signals from two satellites to give you stronger signals, more programming options, more security and more versatility and access to future services such as internet and interactive TV.


Equipment

To receive signals, you will need a DBS receiver (either as a set-top box or built into a TV set), a satellite dish and, possibly, a signal combining switch. The best combination depends on the type of programming you want to receive now and what you think you may want to receive in the future.

Receivers

A single receiver is suggested for each TV. Receivers feature on-line program guides, parental lock-out features and other capabilities. Upgraded receivers add advanced features such as multi-function remote control, Dolby® Digital capability.

Dish

Star ChoiceTM uses an elliptical dish that enables subscribers to receive signals from both Star Choice satellites. The dish antenna is available in two sizes: 60 cm and 75 cm. The size of the dish you will need depends on where you live.

Accessories

If you live in an area that experiences a lot of snow and ice, you may want to consider a de-icing dish antenna. You can also protect your electronic investment by purchasing a surge protector.


Prices

The price depends on what you want to subscribe to. In addition to the one-time cost of the equipment, there is a monthly fee for programming.


Benefits of Satellite TV

Direct reception

Satellite television offers a distinct advantage over cable television systems: it eliminates the intervening wiring and provides a direct link from the satellite to your antenna.

Better reception

Satellite television allows you to receive signals directly, virtually eliminating interference and snowy reception.

Few interruptions

You are receiving the signal directly with no intermediary, which means there are no interruptions unless there is a problem in the line between your dish and your receiver.

Larger program selection

Satellite systems generally allow you to receive over 300 channels, depending on the programming you choose.

Programming diversity

Satellite systems offer a diverse array of programming choices. Whether you are a movie lover or a sports fan, there are programming packages designed for you.