Orby Satellite TV Review

Orby TV offers the basics at a budget-friendly price.

Orby TV logo
Overall Rating2.5 / 5
Super affordable price
Customizable packages
Limited channel selection

 

Orby TV is one of the newest satellite TV providers on the market, and its main selling point is its low price. The service provides satellite TV on the cheap (with a no-contract option), but the trade-off is its limited channel lineup. You’ll get a selection of popular channels to cover the basics, but sports fans and niche viewers may want to look elsewhere. Orby TV is a good option for people with slow internet or low data caps since you don’t need internet for Orby TV.

Orby TV channels

For $40 per month, you can get Orby TV’s Essentials package, which includes over 40 fan favorites like HGTV, Discovery, Nick, AMC, Cartoon Network, Hallmark Channel, Animal Planet, and more. You can add premium channels including HBO®, CINEMAX®, BET, STARZ®, and EPIX for additional monthly fees.

But you won’t get ESPN or any dedicated sports channels with Orby TV. One of the ways Orby TV keeps prices so low is by eliminating the costly sports programming that many people don’t watch anyway. Orby TV channels are somewhat limited, but if you’re not a big sports fan, choosing Orby TV will save you money over other satellite TV or cable providers.

Orby TV plans and pricing

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PackageChannels*Price**
Essentials43$40/mo.View on Best Buy
Extras66$50/mo.View on Best Buy

* Packages also include 20+ local channels at no additional cost. **Data current as of 8/06/2020. Does not include cost of equipment and installation.

 

Orby’s channel selection is likely to work best for two groups: new viewers and those who need a budget option for satellite TV service.

The Essentials package ($40 per month) provides the basics with enough variety to keep any newcomer entertained. It’s got AMC and TNT for drama fans, Nickelodeon and Nick Jr. for the kids, TLC and A&E for reality show lovers, and VICELAND and MTV for pop culture geeks.

Orby’s Extras package is a little less compelling. Unless you really like HISTORY or more specialized programming, it’s unlikely you’ll find use for it at the extra $10-per-month cost.

While Orby TV’s got breadth, don’t look for too much depth in its channel lineup unless you’re willing to pay for premium options like HBO® or CINEMAX®. In fact, our chief complaint about Orby is its limited overall channel selection.

Orby TV Fees

Orby costs less per month than many of its competitors, but there are a few one-time expenses to budget for.

  • Professional installation: $150 for single room + $50 for each additional room
  • Self-installation kit: $70
  • Equipment purchase: $100–$200
  • Late fee: None
  • Reconnection fee: None
  • DVR service fee: $4/mo.

The only other additional charges come with add-on channel packages, which we’ll get into below.

Bundling

Orby offers only TV services, so you won’t find any internet bundling options. If you want to bundle satellite TV with internet service, consider DIRECTV or DISH. Both offer some bundles, although here’s an insider tip: bundling DISH or DIRECTV with internet doesn’t always save you money.

DISH and DIRECTV bundles offer convenience (simplifying two bills down to one), but since these satellite TV companies are bundling with partner internet companies, discounts are small or nonexistent (bundle discounts give you up to $10 per month).

Plus, if you bundle with satellite internet, make sure you have room for both dishes. You’ll need to have two dishes installed on the exterior of your home—one for satellite internet and one for satellite TV.

Contracts

With the Orby TV Freedom plan, you pay for your service month to month—no contract needed. You do have to purchase your receiver outright, which will set you back $100 to $200 (depending on whether you want a regular receiver or a DVR), plus installation cost. That might seem expensive at first, but it’s a great way to test the satellite TV waters without going overboard or committing to a one- or two-year contract with DISH® or DIRECTV.

If you don’t purchase your equipment up front, you can opt into an 18-month payment plan, which includes the Essentials channel package, equipment, and installation for $60 per month (plus any premium package costs). After you pay off your equipment, you’ll be billed only for the cost of your TV service.

Orby TV Channels

With its Essentials and Extras packages, Orby provides a smattering of channels to meet your basic TV-watching needs. Both also give you access to about 20 local channels like FOX, PBS, and NBC. Orby includes an outdoor antenna with all of its dish setups.

Essentials—$40

The Orby Essentials package comes with most of your conventional channels—TNT, CNN, Discovery Channel, the Food Network, and MTV, to name a few.

This package gives you 46 channels in addition to local channels to help you keep up with most current shows and media. You’ll also get niche favorites like Hallmark, SundanceTV, OWN, SCI, Animal Planet, Lifetime, and HGTV. To see the full lineup of Orby TV channels, check out the Orby TV website.

Extras—$50

With Extras, you’ll get all the Essentials channels plus 24 additional specialty channels like CNN International, Military History, BET, and MTV Classic. Extras also gives you more family programming to choose from, like Discovery Family, Nicktoons, Boomerang, Cooking Channel, and DIY Network. If you’re a particular fan of one of these channels, Extras will satisfy.

Orby TV add-on packages

If you can’t live without episodes of Succession and Game of Thrones—or if you’re a movie buff—opt for one (or more) of Orby’s four premium channel add-ons. You can choose from HBO, CINEMAX, STARZ®, and EPIX, and each package includes four additional channels.

HBO

Channel Count: 4

Cost: $18/mo.

Orby’s HBO package includes HBO, HBO 2, HBO Comedy, and HBO Signature with access to prestige TV shows and movies. The $18-per-month price tag is about average for HBO, which charges $30–$50 for its six-channel bundles.

CINEMAX

Channel Count: 4

Cost: $12/mo.

Link:

The CINEMAX bundle comes with CINEMAX, MOREMAX, ACTIONMAX, and 5STARMAX. This package focuses on existing feature films: indie, foreign, and arthouse movies on MOREMAX; summer blockbusters and features on ACTIONMAX; and award-winning and classic films on 5STARMAX. This is a great bundle for the cinephiles, but don’t expect to find many originals.

STARZ

Channel Count: 4

Cost: $9/mo.

The STARZ bundle—comprised of STARZ, STARZ Comedy, STARZ ENCORE, and STARZ ENCORE Westerns—has its niche in classic films with recognizable actors. At $9, it’s a good value, although expect more dated films.

EPIX

Channel Count: 4

Cost: $6/mo.

EPIX offers a mix of new programming like Godfather of Harlem and Perpetual Grace LTD. EPIX, EPIX2, and EPIX Hits feature similar programs, with most new movies, shows, and documentaries featured on EPIX and then moving to EPIX2 or EPIX Hits after they run. EPIX Drive-In showcases popcorn flicks in the action, comedy, sci-fi, and horror genres. It’s a great buy if you’re looking for a good flick on a lazy night in.

Orby installation and equipment fees

Installation price

You can hire a professional to install your equipment for $150 or go it alone for free—though you do have to purchase a $70 self-installation kit, which includes the Orby TV satellite dish and local TV antenna in addition to your Orby receiver.

Equipment options

If you rent your equipment, you’ll be getting it all through Orby TV. If you choose to buy it up front, you can get your equipment online through Orby TV or at Best Buy or Amazon.* You can choose between an Orby TV Receiver ($100) or an Orby TV DVR ($200).

Both the Orby TV Receiver and the Orby TV DVR include a remote control. The Orby TV DVR gives you 500 GB of storage space, which is about 100 hours of HD programming or 1,000 hours of SD programming.

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Receiver optionsPrice*
Orby TV Receiver$99.99View on Best Buy
Orby TV DVR$199.99View on Best Buy

Data current as of 8/06/2020. 

Installation process

The installation process differs based on whether you’re using a professional installer or managing it yourself. If you’re shelling out for a technician, you’ll need to schedule the install about five days in advance, and they’ll set up a single room with up to 100 feet of cable.

Self installation, while it might seem daunting, is doable for those with prior satellite service experience. You can purchase the components (satellite dish, local station antenna, and mounting hardware) individually or get them all in Orby’s self-installation kit for $70. You’ll also need coaxial cables, and be sure to buy enough cable to cover the distance from your dish/antenna to your TV.

You’ll need an unobstructed view of the southern sky and a high elevation point to mount your dish. Your technician will be able to angle it correctly, but if you’re installing the system yourself, you can use Orby’s dish pointer tool to find the right alignment for your ZIP code.

Payment and leasing options

One of Orby’s defining positives is their commitment to a “what you see is what you get” price structure, which means that you don’t have to sign an equipment lease if you purchase it outright on the Orby TV Freedom plan.

You can return your equipment within 14 days for a full refund (minus a $10 restocking fee). Orby also offers a 30-day risk-free trial, so ask about that option when you purchase your service online or over the phone.

If the $250 up-front cost for the Freedom plan gives you sticker shock, you can opt to finance your equipment with the Easy 18 Startup Pack for $60 per month, which includes the Essentials channel package and free installation. When you crunch the numbers, though, you may be better off shelling out that $250 and going month to month on your service (18 months will set you back $970 total) than spending $1,080 over that same time period on the payment plan.

How does Orby TV compare to other satellite TV services?

Orby TV is the lowest-priced satellite TV option available. It’s budget-friendly price doesn’t include any dedicated sports programming, although you can catch some games on your local channels. You can periodically add HBO, STARZ, or other premium channels to Orby TV for variety, which is a much cheaper way to enjoy these stations without big bundle packages from DIRECTV or other providers.

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Comparing Orby TV, DISH, and DIRECTV

ProviderChannel count*Price**Get it
Orby TV43-66+$40–$50/mo.View plans
DIRECTV155-330+$59.99–$134.99/mo.View plans
DISH190-290+$59.99–$134.99View plans

*Orby TV channel count does not include local stations, which are provided for free. †For 12 mos plus taxes. w/24-mo. agmt. Prices higher in 2nd year. ‡For 24. Months. New customers only. All offers require 2-year commitment with early termination fee and eAutopay. Price includes Hopper Duo for qualifying customers.

Customer satisfaction

Orby is a relatively new satellite TV service, and there isn’t much customer satisfaction data available on the company and its offerings. There are a handful of Google reviews you can read on the product, and most of them are glowing thanks to how cheap Orby is in comparison to other satellite TV services. That said, we’ll keep an eye on it and update you when we know more.

Final verdict: Orby is a flexible alternative to other satellite TV services.

With relatively low costs, good customer service, and no-contract flexibility, Orby TV gets a solid thumbs-up. It may lack the channel selection of competitors like DIRECTV and DISH, but it makes up for it in cash savings. Orby TV is a great option for new satellite TV customers and long-time watchers who know exactly what they’re looking for and don’t want to pay premium prices.

We also like Orby’s flexible installation options—it’s clear that they’re interested in finding a TV solution that works for you and your budget. We also give them props for providing self-installation guides and videos to help you shave a little off your install cost.

Finally, Orby TV’s premium channel packages will give you plenty of extra content with only a slight price increase. Orby might not provide volume, but what it does have is targeted at a price point that’s hard to beat.

We recommend Orby TV to satellite TV newcomers and anyone who knows what they want to watch and who doesn’t want the hassle, expense, or locked-in contracts offered by traditional providers.

Orby TV logo
Super affordable price
Customizable packages
Limited channel selection

FAQ

What is Orby TV?

Orby is a satellite TV service that offers a solid channel lineup at a low cost with no hidden fees or taxes. Simply order your service, schedule your installation (or go DIY), buy the receiver box, and you’re good to go.

Do I need internet service for Orby TV?

No, you don’t need internet service to use Orby TV. Orby TV is a satellite system that needs only a dish connection and a receiver box. Orby’s receiver comes in two flavors: standard and with built-in DVR capabilities.

How much are Orby TV prices?

Orby TV prices start at $40 per month for 46 channels (not including local channels). You can add premium channels like HBO or STARZ for an additional monthly fee.

Can I install Orby TV myself?

Yes, you can install Orby TV yourself. But Orby recommends that you use a professional technician to make sure everything goes right. Most people don’t have the tools or the know-how to install a satellite dish and run wires through the walls to the desired room. Professional installation costs $150 plus $50 for each additional room, in addition to the price of the Orby receiver. If you choose to DIY, you’ll purchase a self-installation package for $70, which comes with the dish, antenna, and mounting equipment. But if you go this route, you’ll still need to pick up a coaxial cable and an Orby receiver, which will add about $120 to your upfront cost.

What channels do you get with Orby TV?

Orby has a decent selection of some of the bigger channel names in cable TV, including HISTORY, Nickelodeon, TNT, Food Network, BET, A&E, CNN, and more. Check out Orby’s full channel lineup.

Can I tailgate with Orby TV or watch Orby TV in an RV?

You can bring Orby TV with you in an RV or while tailgating, but you’ll need to reposition the satellite dish to a precise location every time you set up camp. It won’t work in motion. For more information, check out Satellite TV for your RV.

Do you need a satellite dish for Orby TV?

Yes, you will need a satellite dish installed on your home to get Orby TV. The Orby TV dish is about the same size as DIRECTV or DISH satellite dishes—27 inches by 18 inches. If you have an old dish from another company installed on your home, you cannot use it with Orby TV.

But the installer may be able to remove the old dish and install the Orby TV dish on the same mount. Orby TV recommends having the dish professionally installed, although Orby TV does offer a self-install option (primarily used by people who’ve had a lot of satellite TV experience).

How does Orby TV work?

Orby TV works like other satellite TV services: a dish on the exterior of your home picks up the satellite signals, and a coaxial cable runs from the satellite dish through the walls of your house to your Orby TV receiver or Orby TV DVR. An Orby TV installation package also includes a digital TV antenna, which attaches to the satellite dish. The digital TV antenna gives you free local stations (even if you turn off your Orby TV subscription for the month).

 

Data current as of 8/04/2020. *SatelliteInternet.com utilizes paid Amazon links.

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