What does DBS mean?
DBS stands for Direct Broadcast Satellite. DBS is a term used to describe satellite TV platforms that broadcast high powered satellite signals directly to the home owner who uses a small dish to receive the signal. Another common meaning of DBS is Digital Broadcast Satellite. Although the proper meaning is Direct Broadcast satellite the use of the word digital does not change the implication of the term.
What choices do I have for Satellite TV?
Currently there are two main service providers operating in the United States. DirecTV ,and Dish Network.
Dish Network and DirecTV use different satellites and you may not be able to use one or even either service if you do not have a clear line of site with the satellite. Go here for more on line of sight obstructions.
What choices do I have for Satellite Internet?
Starband, HughesNet ( formally DirecWay formally DirecPC) and WildBlue are only sources for residential priced satellite internet. Each offers different user plans and purchasing arraignments. All offer comparable speeds and usability.
Can I watch more then one channel at a time?
Not with a single satellite receiver. If you wish to watch two or more different shows on two or more different TV's you will need more then one satellite receiver or a Dual Tuner receiver. Dual Tuner receivers come in two categories. DVR and non-DVR. Dish Networks 322 and 422 are non DVR dual tuners unit. These units provide separate signal to two TVs in separate locations. They use a UHF remote at the 2TV to control the receiver which is usually located at the TV1 location. For more information about Dish Network Receivers, visit our Dish Network Receiver Page. Dual Tuner DVR's such as DirecTV's Tivo and DirecTV brand DVR and Dish Networks 522, 625, 622, and 942 allow the user to watch one channel and record another, or in the case of the 625, 622 and 942, the user can use the receiver to provide single tuner DVR functions simultaneously at two locations.
How many satellite receivers can I hook to a single dish?
You can connect as many receivers to a single dish as you like. Most satellite systems sold today can accommodate up to two receivers right out of the box. Additional equipment is required to connect more then two receivers. The exact equipment depends on the type of system you have and the actual number of receivers you plan to use. The additional devices you may need are a matrix switch or multi-sat switch. If you wish to connect three or more receivers you need to speak to your local satellite dealer to determine the proper switch for your system.
How many televisions can I hook up to a single satellite receiver?
You can connect as many televisions as you like to one receiver, although they will all be watching the same channel. One issue to be aware of is that you will only be able to change channels from the same room that the receiver is located in. Unless, you purchase a unit with a UHF remote.
Can I change satellite channels from another room?
UHF remotes can change channels from several rooms away. Even if you don't purchase a receiver with a UHF remote you can purchase remote extenders. Remote extenders provide you the ability to watch TV in the bedroom and change channels on the receiver in the family room. Ask you local satellite dealer or technician about remote extenders.
Yes, trees, buildings and anything else in front of the dish blocks signals. For more information about satellite signal line-of-sight, go to our Consumer Awareness Project area.
Why do I need a telephone jack for a satellite receiver?
A satellite receiver must be connected to a land based telephone line 24/7 to view Pay-Per-View PPV movies, events and some sports packages. In some cases a full time connection is also required for multiple receiver installations. The telephone line provides the satellite receiver the ability to communicate back to your satellite service provider. When you watch a PPV movie or event the billing information is stored in your receiver. Once a month or so your satellite receiver will call your service provider and upload the billing information. The PPV charge is then added to your monthly invoice.
In multiple receiver installations, your service provider may require a phone line connection for receiver location verification. At a random interval your receivers may make a phone call to the service provider. By using caller ID type technology they can verify that all receivers are located at the same residence.
Dish Network also offers a monthly $5 discount for dual tuner receivers. Since Dish Network dual tuner receivers are designed to serve two rooms, this effectively removes the extra outlet fee. The DVRS still have a DVR fee, but if you are using non DVR dual tuner receiver, this $5 discount per receiver can add up to a $10 monthly discount on a four room system.
How can I tell if I have a good DBS technician?
A good DBS technician will come in many packages. Some will drive new white vans with colorful logo's on the side and others will drive older pick up trucks with a single ladder rack. Some have nice clean uniforms and others have faded blue jeans. The single common thread to all good technicians is they care about you. They ask you questions so that they understand what you want. They try to perform the installation in a manner that meets your requirements as much as theirs. A good technician is not afraid to say "I don't know". A good technician will show up in the time window they said they would or at least call you if they are running behind. A good technician will listen to your questions and answer as honestly as they can. You may not always like the answer but you will get the truth.
What is a fair price for a install?
If your system does not include a free installation, you should expect to pay at least $125-$175 for a standard install. Remember, it takes no skill to be the cheapest. Any work beyond the scope of a standard install will require additional fees. Contact your local DBS technician for nonstandard service rates.
What is a fair price for a service call?
Service call prices can vary greatly from one town to the next. In general you should expect to spend between $85 and $125 for a 1 hour service call.
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