There may be a bit of misunderstanding out there about the availability of DISH Network and satellite television in general. Sometimes advertising messages may suggest that satellite TV is available “everywhere,” and that’s true for the most part, but there are a few very significant circumstances that make satellite reception impossible in some locations. The key to being able to receive satellite TV signals is a clear, unobstructed view of a certain portion of the sky where the broadcast satellites reside in relation to the ground. In other words, if you have trees, mountains, buildings or other obstructions that block your view of a certain part of the sky, there is no way that DISH Network or any other satellite television service is going to work for you.
Television broadcast satellites orbit the earth in a very specific way which makes them available for reception here on the ground. They are all placed in geosynchronous orbit, which essentially means that they are orbiting the earth, but they are orbiting at a speed that exactly matches the speed of the earth’s rotation. This creates somewhat of an illusion when we observe from the ground because it appears as if the satellites are not moving at all. If they were orbiting the earth like some other satellites do, or like the International Space Station does, for example, they would constantly be moving in an out of range and we surely would not be able to pick up signals from them unless we had a movable satellite dish that was programmed to move to match their movement. And even then, it would only be possible to receive signals from them when they happened to be orbiting within range, since we certainly could not receive anything from them when they were orbiting in the sky on the other side of the earth.
Because a clear, unobstructed view of a particular part of the sky is absolutely essential for receiving satellite television, it isn’t possible to find out with certainty if you can receive satellite television until a installation technician visits the location and conducts a few tests. That’s why even if you call DISH or DirecTV, the representatives you talk to cannot guarantee that their service will work for you. If you happen to live in an area where you can see almost all of the sky and there are no trees, buildings or other obstructions nearby, it’s quite likely that DISH will work for you, but a technician will still have to visit and carry out a few tests to be sure it will all work properly for you at your location.
Here in North America, the main thing to look for is an unobstructed view of the southern sky. Since the equator lies to the south of us and satellites in geosynchronous orbits are placed in the sky directly above the equator, we have to be looking to the south to see them, or more importantly, for our satellite dish to “see” them. Depending on whether you live in the north, south or somewhere in the middle will dictate where you have to point a satellite dish to pick up the signal.
Receiving signals from the satellites in the north means the dish has to be pointed lower, and in the south, which is closer to the equator, a dish will have to be pointed higher in the sky since we have to “look” up higher in the sky as we move south and get closer to the satellites. People living on the equator would have to point their dish very high in the sky to receive signals from satellites that have been placed in geosynchronous orbit.
If you have a lot of trees at your location that obstruct the view of the southern sky, there’s a very good chance that satellite television is not going to work for you. The same is true if you happen to live on the “wrong” side of a mountain or something. Unless you are absolutely certain that you do not have a clear view of the sky where the satellites reside, it’s worth it to make the call and have a technician come out and perform some tests to see if satellite TV will work for you.
For some people who have large properties, they may have clear access to the satellites from some areas of the property and not others. In this case it is important to also realize that there are limitations that prevent a satellite dish from being placed too far from the receiving equipment. So, if your house is surrounded by trees but there is a nice clearing about 500 feet from your house where a satellite dish could receive a good signal, it probably won’t be possible for the technician to install the system because the dish is just too far away. These situations will depend entirely on the technician’s evaluation of the potential installation and her or she will have to decide whether or not it will actually work.
Satellite TV is an especially good option for people who live in areas where cable television is not available since it may be the only way they will be able to watch the hundreds of channels that are available to most people in the country. As hard as it may be for a lot of us to believe, there are still areas of the country where cable TV and high-speed internet service are not available. In those cases, their only choice for television entertainment would probably be watching DVDs or subscribing to a satellite television service like DISH Network, which is available just about everywhere as long as you have a nice clear view of the sky where the satellites are.