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There are two issues you need to consider here --- the equipment itself, and the monthly bill impact for programming services related to the equipment.

Choosing Equipment

To watch different programming on more than one TV, you'll need additional receiver equipment. Fortunately, the free promotional offers for new customers of DISH or DIRECTV now enable consumers to get a satellite system for up to 4 rooms. These offers include, if desired, a digital video recorder (DVR) or high definition receiver at little or no charge. HD-DVR systems (to record HD programming in HD are available, but somewhat more expensive). All promotions include free standard installation.

Tip: If you think you might want to hook up an additional TV to satellite in the near future, consider making that decision before you order. Once you are a customer, the free equipment and installation options go away, which will likely make it more expensive to add rooms later on.

Bill Implications

While the equipment may be free, there are related pricing issues you'll want to consider. We summarize these below. Use the Monthly Bill Estimate tool at left to choose the services you need and see how it will impact your bill.

Additional Receivers

The satellite companies will replicate the programming package you sign up for on each of your additional receivers. Both DIRECTV and DISH charge about $5 - $7 per additional receiver. Since most DISH receivers now have a dual tuner, covering two rooms, the same number of rooms may incur lower additional equipment charges with DISH than DIRECTV.

DVR

If your equipment order includes a DVR, there is a DVR fee of about $7.00 per month.

High Definition

If your equipment order includes a high definition receiver, you'll need to subscribe to one of the provider's high definition packages. To get premium channels in HD, you'll also need to subscribe to the premium network. For example, to get HBO HD, you'll have to subscribe to HBO. Of course, you'll also need a TV capable of displaying HD programming. Click here for more on HDTV, including the channels offered by each provider.

 

 

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