What is Orby TV?
Orby TV is a satellite TV service that launched in 2019 as a competitor to the likes of Dish Network and DIRECTV in all US states except for Alaska and Hawaii. Rather than being an internet-based service, it transmits digital satellite TV and audio, so there is no Orby TV streaming.
The Orby TV service is targeted towards people who cannot afford or do not have access to high-speed internet — which is required for live streaming services like fuboTV, Hulu + Live TV, and YouTube TV. Orby TV customers do not require an internet connection in order to access the service. Furthermore, the service also enables customers to watch local networks for free and enables customers to purchase premium add-on channels.
Unlike most satellite TV services, Orby TV does not force customers into signing long-term contracts. Subscribers need to purchase equipment to get the service set up, then they pay monthly fees and are free to cancel the service at any point. Orby TV also includes fees and taxes within the base price of its plans, which means that the price it advertises is the price customers pay.
Orby TV plans and pricing
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What you need to get started with Orby TV
In the absence of using an internet connection, Orby TV customers will need to invest in a few pieces of starting equipment before they can get the service up and running. Orby TV requires subscribers to have an outdoor antenna, a receiver, and a satellite dish.
This equipment is available from Orby TV directly, and the provider will also install the antenna and dish for their customers. The antenna is attached to the dish in order to pick up local channels, and the two pieces of equipment typically need to be installed on the customer’s roof.
However, Orby TV does not install this equipment for free, which can see startup fees become a little pricey for new customers. Getting the outdoor antenna and satellite dish installed by Orby TV’s service technicians begins at $150. For that price, the antenna and dish will be wired into one room in the house. Wiring them up to other locations in the house costs an extra $50 per room.
Furthermore, Orby TV customers also have to purchase the receivers they use to watch the service on their TV set. A standard TV receiver costs $100, while a Digital Video Recorder (DVR)-capable version is available for $200. Customers must also purchase an additional receiver for every room they want to watch the Orby TV service in. Receivers are available from Orby TV directly or from popular retailers.
Therefore, the minimum price that a new Orby TV customer will pay to get their antenna and dish set up and hooked up to a new receiver is $250. Self-installation kits are available, but Orby strongly recommends new customers use their professional service.
With the equipment set up, Orby TV customers use a remote control to access local and satellite channels from their on-screen TV guide.
Since Orby TV is a satellite TV service, there are mitigating circumstances that could affect its performance. For example, the provider advises that the satellite dish be placed in a location that offers a clear view to the south. Trees and other obstructions can block the signal, and severe weather may result in service interruptions. The service can also be installed at apartments and condo complexes, but will often require special permission.
What to watch on Orby TV
Orby TV offers less choice than traditional cable and satellite providers as it removes expensive premium channels. That means Orby TV customers will not be able to tune into sports networks like ESPN, which will appeal to people on a budget.
The availability of local networks such as ABC, CBS and FOX will be entirely dependent on the customer’s location. These are picked up by the outdoor antenna, as opposed to the satellite dish.
These local networks aside, the standard Essentials package ($40/mo.) provides customers with a choice of 44 live channels, while the Extras option ($50/mo.) enables them to upgrade that to 68 channels.
Both packages include entertainment channels like A&E, AMC, BET, Comedy Central, Discovery, Food Network, History Channel, Investigation Discovery, MTV and MTV 2, Viceland, and VH1. Viewers on the lookout for news channels can stay on top of the latest events with access to BBC America, CNN, and C-SPAN.
All Orby TV customers also get a decent movie selection through channels like Hallmark Channel and Hallmark Movies & Mysteries, Lifetime Movies, Paramount Network, Sundance TV, and Turner Classic Movies. It also offers entertainment for all the family with Cartoon Network, Nickelodeon, Nick Jr, and NickTeen.
Orby TV Extras subscribers get access to more entertainment and lifestyle options, including four additional BET channels, Boomerang, Cooking Channel, Crime + Investigation, Destination America, three further Discovery channels, DIY Network, and MTV Classic. They also get extra news content through CNN en Espanol and CNN International.
In addition to these base packages, Orby TV customers can also add premium channels, which cost extra on top of their regular subscription. This includes getting the best of HBO’s award-winning programming, with shows such as Game of Thrones, The Sopranos, and The Wire, for an additional $18/mo. For this price, users get a further four channels in HBO, HBO 2, HBO Comedy, and HBO Signature.
Movie lovers can add Hollywood hits and original TV series to their Orby TV plan with the Cinemax add-on for $12/mo. This also adds four channels, including the base Cinemax channel alongside 5 Star Max, Action Max, and More Max.
People who enjoy STARZ’s original programming, such as American Gods, Dublin Murders, and Outlander, can add four channels to their Orby TV plan for $9/mo. This includes the STARZ channel, as well as STARZ Comedy, STARZ Encore, and STARZ Encore Westerns.
The other entertainment add-on package available to Orby TV users is Epix, which costs $6/mo. This package enables viewers to watch recent hits like Creed II, Mission: Impossible – Fallout, and Terminator: Dark Fate, classic movies like Dirty Dancing, Rain Man, and Top Gun, as well as original documentaries and TV series. This add-on also adds a further four channels in Epix, Epix 2, Epix Drive-In, and Epix Hits.
Orby TV features
Orby TV users can record live channels using the service’s DVR feature. However, to access this feature, customers must purchase the DVR-capable receiver, which costs $200. In addition to that, they must pay an additional $4/mo. to use the DVR service if they have a programming package. Users can also remove the programming package and record local channels, which will cost them $12/mo. for the DVR service. Orby TV users can also pause live TV channels, then rewind or fast forward the paused content.
The Orby TV service does not enable users to watch via simultaneous streams or create multiple profiles. That is because Orby TV is a satellite TV provider that uses an antenna and dish to pick up channels, as opposed to requiring an internet connection. An Orby TV receiver can only be watched on one specific TV, with the option to add additional receivers in additional rooms throughout the house for $50 per device.
The final cut
Orby TV offers something a little different from the growing number of live streaming services and traditional satellite providers. It provides viewers with a choice of between 44 and 68 live channels, in addition to premium entertainment add-ons. That selection is similar to the number of non-sports channels on streaming services like fuboTV, Hulu + Live TV, Sling TV, and YouTube TV.
Orby TV provides two plans, the $40/mo. Essentials or $50/mo. Extras, which are on par with the price of live streaming services fuboTV and Hulu + Live TV (both $54.99), Sling TV ($30/mo. to $45/mo.), and YouTube TV ($64.99/mo.) But that price point offers a significant discount on traditional cable and satellite TV providers, which can cost upwards of $100/mo.
Orby TV offers an interesting option to people who are looking to cut the cord on cable TV. Not only does it provide a solid channel lineup at a lower price point, but it also gives subscribers the freedom to review their service month to month and do away with long-term contracts.
To do that, subscribers first need to purchase the Orby TV antenna, dish, and receiver they need to tune into the service. And that minimum $250 up-front fee could put some people off. But the service is a good option for people who do not have high-speed internet connections and do not want to commit to long-term, expensive cable contracts.