Friday, September 23, 2011

True Lies About Free Satellite TV On PC

There are a lot of websites and advertisements online promising you free satellite TV, the type that you receive directly to your PC or laptop computer. It's all lies. And it's all true. I'll explain. But first we'll need to talk a little bit more about satellite TV.

Direct Broadcast Satellite (or DBS) is satellite TV service that you pay for, like DirecTV or Dish Network in the US or Sky in the UK. These networks own most of the popular and recognizable channels, such as HBO for movies and MTV for music. Anyone who tells you that you can get these channels for free is either lying or assuming that one or both of you are willing to break the law. Furthermore, when a website includes the logo of MTV or HBO somewhere on their sales page when they are trying to sell you their free satellite TV software, this is an example of misleading advertising.

If you want free satellite TV without most of these familiar channels, you do have two options. First, you can set up your "receive-only" satellite TV system, also known as "TVRO." These systems predate DBS systems and use a different frequency for receiving their programming. They also use dishes that are bigger than DBS dishes, and sometimes you have to be able to move them to direct them toward different satellites. After setting up your system, you would have to find out what programming is on and when. There are some quality resources on the Web now available for this purpose, such as http://LyngSat.com. TVRO systems are great for those who know what a Low Noise Block Converter is and how get the most out of their actuator - which of course means they're not great for everyone.

For everyone else there's the Web. Yes, it is true that you can watch free satellite TV on your computer screen. It is much closer to what is known as "Internet TV," but is still referred to as "satellite TV to PC," especially by those advertising software designed for this purpose. More specifically, this software allows easy access to satellite TV broadcasts that are streamed live over the Web. It goes for anywhere between $20 to $80, and promises thousands of channels. One good thing about these set-ups is that you get a lot of programming from other countries and other cultures. And we can all do with a good dose of culture now and then.

There are websites that offer some of the same content without having to buy the software. But in some situations, the software - if it is good software - can make the process much easier and add a bit of order to the chaos of the programming cosmos. As with any product, you should do at least a minimal amount of research to find out what you are getting. That means doing more than just reading a long sales page by the company trying to sell you their product.

Some Direct-to-PC satellite TV offers cost more than others, and some promise more than others. Some have good reputations in terms of customer service and support. Others should be ashamed of themselves. Choose wisely.

Drew Surrey writes on a TV culture changing in the age of the Internet and digital technology. For more on your satellite TV to PC options, check out our review site: http://satellitetvonpcreviews.com/

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