The Online Shoppers Guide to Satellite Television

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The Online Shopper's Guide to Satellite Television

When satellite TV was first introduced, it required a lot of expensive, bulky, and unattractive equipment. As the technology has evolved, the equipment has become smaller and more affordable. So much so that many people opt for satellite service over cable service for their televisions. The services are comparable, but there are some distinct differences between the two. Before making the decision to go with satellite over cable or public broadcast television, shoppers should take the time to learn more about the satellite service, its benefits, and what it entails.

With this information, shoppers can go online to look for and compare prices on all of the equipment that they are going to need. By learning the basics of satellite television and all of the services that satellite TV has to offer, customers can get the most out of their equipment and their television service. Savvy online shoppers can find many of the best deals on new and used satellite television equipment on eBay.

About Satellite Television

Satellite television offers hundreds of channels from all over the world. Rather than using a cable box and running lines from a main source on the road, satellite television uses a dish that is connected directly to the house and has lines running to a set-top box. The satellite dish on the home receive signals from satellites that are orbiting the Earth. This way, users can view channels from all over the world. The technology for satellite TV has advanced over the past few decades. Rather than users having to search on their own for channels to watch, they can receive signals directly from a direct broadcast satellite provider.

Benefits of Satellite Television

Satellite is becoming an increasingly popular service for watching television. In the past, satellite dishes were extremely large and expensive. Now satellite dishes are a compact size that can easily fit on the side of a house or flat. Additionally, the equipment is now more affordable, allowing more people to enjoy the services. Satellite has many benefits over cable or broadcast television, which is why many people are making the switch from one service to the other.


One of the biggest advantages of satellite television over cable television is programming. Customers can select television packages that only include the channels they want rather than having to pay for several others that they do not. Additionally, customers can receive channels from all over the world and not just those that are available in their area.

Better Signal

Satellite television offers a better signal than cable television, for the most part. All satellite signals are digital. This means that the interference and distortion common to terrestrial broadcasts does not affect satellite transmissions. This also makes it easier to receive high definition signals for the best possible viewing quality on an HDTV. The only exception to this is that satellites can lose signal for a short period of time during harsh weather, such as heavy rainstorms.

What to Know Before Purchasing Satellite Television

Before deciding on satellite television service and purchasing any equipment, there are some important things that all customers should know. Being aware of all aspects of satellite television, including its limitations, helps shoppers make informed choices about the types of television services that are best for them. Important aspects to evaluate are the installation requirements, and equipment and service costs.


An engineer has to visit one's home to install the satellite dish and make sure that it is facing the proper direction. The dish should be pointed to the southeast to ensure a clear signal. This means that there should be nothing obstructing the dish. Those who live in heavily wooded area may need to remove branches from trees to clear the path of the signal. Additionally, the engineer needs to drill a hole in the wall to run a cable from the dish to the inside of the home. A person who lives in a listed building or conservation area may run into a problem and not have permission to do this. It is important to check with the owner of the building before making any modifications or installing a satellite dish.

Equipment and Service Costs

The satellite provider has equipment available for customers to lease or purchase. The upfront cost can be expensive when going through the satellite company. They often reduce this cost by having the customer commit to a year or more of service. The cost of a channel package may also be reduced with a service commitment. Customers who don’t want to be locked into this type of agreement can purchase their own equipment from other retailers or online to find better rates.

Equipment Needed for Satellite Television

Customers are not just able to plug their televisions into the wall and immediately start watching satellite television. Several pieces of equipment need to be purchased and installed before they can start watching. Shoppers should look for equipment that is not only compatible with each other but also compatible with the satellite provider. When shopping for satellite television equipment, shoppers need to look for satellite dishes, set-top boxes, and remote controls.

Satellite Dish

The satellite dish is the bowl-shaped antenna that receives the signals from the direct broadcast satellite provider. These satellite dishes are a compact size, measuring between 60 cm and 1 m in diameter, depending on the type. The satellite dish should include a mounting bracket to connect to the side of a house or a pole to install the dish in the yard. Cables connect to the satellite dish and run into the home where the cable is connected to the set-top box.

Set-Top Box

The set-top box is a small device that receives the signal from the satellite dish and turns it into content form so that it can be viewed on the television. Set-top boxes also have the ability to enhance the signal that is coming from the dish to produce a better quality picture. There are a few different types of set-top boxes, and they each offer different features. The table below lists the three main types of set-top satellite boxes and what they offer.

Type of Box



Receives standard digital signals; ideal for those who do not have an HD television


Receives high definition signals for a clearer picture; for use with HD televisions


Receives high definition signals; can connect to multiple televisions; only one box needed for the entire house

The standard set-top box is the least expensive box to purchase or lease. It offers all of the features of the other boxes, but receives a lower quality signal. People who do not have high-definition televisions can save money by looking for standard set-top boxes. Both standard and HD set-top boxes are designed for use with one television. This means that a separate box is required for each television in the home. The multiroom set-top box, like the Sky multiroom receiver, is ideal for the person who has several televisions in the home and does not want to invest in several boxes. It also eliminates the need for a lot of extra equipment in the house.

Remote Control

In order to access all of the features available with satellite television, customers need to have a remote control to go along with the set-top box. Many set-top boxes have no controls on the actual box and can only be controlled remotely. When receiving equipment from the satellite provider, remotes are included. When purchasing equipment through another source, shoppers should be sure that a remote is included or look for a remote that works with the type of set-top box they have.

Getting the Most Out of Satellite Television

In order to get the most out of satellite television, customers should be sure that they are taking full advantage of all of the services that the provider has to offer. Most services are available for customers no matter what type of set-top box they have, but better quality picture and performance can be achieved when used with the proper equipment. Three services or features that satellite providers have to offer are HD programming, DVR, and On Demand.

HD Television

Customers who wish to view movies and television shows in high definition need to have a high definition television. Many satellite set-top boxes are compatible with HD televisions, but won’t improve the quality on a standard television. In order to enhance the signal and receive the highest quality visuals, a user needs to have an HD television. While there may be an additional charge for the HD equipment, there is no additional charge to receive or view the HD channels. Some satellite providers also offer free 3D programming with compatible set-top boxes and televisions.


A DVR or digital video recorder allows viewers to record television in real time or programme shows to view at a later time. With DVR, viewers can pause and rewind live television so that nothing is missed. Older set-top boxes may not include DVR or may have very small storage space. If the storage space is too small, then viewers have to constantly delete shows to make room for new ones. A customer who wants to get the most out of their satellite television experience should look for a set-top box with a large capacity DVR.

On Demand

Video on demand is a service that many satellite providers offer free of charge. If a viewer misses a show they’ll be able to watch it at a later time without having to set up a recording on the DVR. Customers have access to hundreds of shows and movies on demand to watch at their convenience.

How to Find Satellite Television Supplies on eBay

If you are ready to start shopping for satellite television supplies, then head online to eBay to find great deals and low prices. Enter keywords into the search bar to describe the equipment you are looking for, like 'Amstrad set-top box', and the search engine then searches the entire site to see what is available. Refine the results to show only those that match what you need and fit within your budget. Also, evaluate the different delivery options to save money on postage and packaging.

Sort and Refine Search Results

Once you have started the basic search for a satellite dish or set-top box, select different options to narrow down the thousands of listings to a more manageable amount. Specify the brand, type, condition, size, or price range to focus the results on a more specific item. Additionally, you can sort the results by price, distance, or relevance.

Postage and Packaging

Despite the compact size of a satellite dish, it can still be too bulky for shipment. Look for sellers who offer free postage and packaging to help bring the overall cost down. Also, look for sellers who are located near you. If they are close enough, you may be able to meet the seller and pick up the item in person and forgo the delivery process altogether.


Satellite television has come a long way since it was first introduced to consumers, and now it offers a service that is comparable to or better than cable and broadcast television. The equipment is smaller and more affordable, so more customers are able to take advantage of all that it has to offer. There are some clear differences between satellite and cable service, and customers should be sure that they understand these differences fully before committing to a satellite service agreement with a service provider.

Learning about the basics of satellite television programming, what equipment is needed, and what services are provided with satellite television, ensures a shopper gets the most out of their equipment and the satellite TV services. Many people shop online to find better deals on satellite equipment like dishes, mounting brackets, and set-top boxes. Online shoppers can find a huge selection of new and used satellite equipment on eBay.

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