Everyone likes to save money, and shopping around for special deals on things like satellite TV is what makes a smart consumer. But, as we all know, if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Don’t let yourself be fooled into signing up for something advertised as “free” that ends up actually costing you a lot of money. Here are some things you should keep in mind when looking to save money on entertainment, as well as some things to watch out for in order to avoid falling for false advertising traps.
You may have noticed online ads promoting “free satellite TV” and thought to yourself, “Does that actually exist?” Well, the simply put, the answer is no. “Free satellite TV” can refer to one of two things: watching pirated TV signals without paying for a subscription, or getting free satellite equipment when you sign up for a subscription. While watching pirated TV is actually free in theory, it is also extremely illegal. Plus, if you choose to use pirated TV, no only do you risk running into serious legal problems down the line, but you also will probably end up having to pay for the equipment needed to access it.
What happens is that the pirates use access cards to essentially hack into the signals being transmitted by the satellite providers. These satellite providers work hard to fight piracy and disable these cards. If you are using one of these cards, it is likely to be disabled multiple times in a given week. And each time this happens, you will have to pay for your card to be fixed. After having the card fixed repeatedly for a while, what usually ends up happening is that the card stops working all together. At this point, you will be forced to pay for an expensive new card. Hence, pirated satellite TV is far from free.
You will actually end up saving a lot more money by opting for the “free” options advertised by legitimate satellite TV providers. What these providers are actually offering is free equipment and installation, not the ability to watch TV for free. Usually, in order to receive professional equipment and installation, you will need to sign up for a long-term subscription (usually at least a year). If you aren’t able to commit to a long-term contract right away, you might have to pay for the equipment yourself, which can be quite pricey.
When you select one of the “free” options offered by satellite providers, although you will not actually be receiving viewing for free, since you will still have to pay monthly subscription fees to receive service, you can still keep costs down. There are lots of great deals and packages that come with minimum programming that you can get for rates that are very reasonable. In general, packages tend to get much more expensive once you start adding premium channels. However, if you calculate the monthly cost of your service per channel, satellite TV is still cheaper than cable.