If you want to lower your pay TV bill, maybe you’ve seen the ads for Orby TV and wondered if it’s a good option.
Team Clark has received several questions about Orby TV since it launched in early 2019, so I reached out to a company spokesperson to get some answers for you.
In this article, I’ll review how the service works, the pricing, available channels and other key features. Let’s get started…
Orby TV Review
- What Is Orby TV?
- How Does Orby TV Work?
- How Much Does Orby TV Cost?
- What Channels Do You Get With Orby TV?
- Can I Get Orby TV Where I Live?
1. What Is Orby TV?
Orby TV is a satellite TV service like Dish Network and DIRECTV, not an internet-based live TV streaming service.
The small, privately held company is based in Los Angeles, California. Its CEO and co-founder Michael Thornton is a TV industry veteran who previously worked for Starz.
Since an internet connection isn’t needed for satellite TV, the service may appeal more to people in rural areas.
2. How Does Orby TV Work?
Although you don’t need an internet connection with Orby TV, you’ll have to invest in a few things to get started: a receiver, satellite dish and an outdoor antenna.
Orby sells the equipment and partners with MasTec Advanced Technologies to install the dish and antenna, typically on your roof. The antenna is attached to the dish and is used to pick up your local channels.
Once you’re set up, you’ll use a remote to access local and satellite channels from the same on-screen program guide.
3. How Much Does Orby TV Cost?
Orby’s monthly price is lower than its satellite competitors and roughly the same as streaming providers, but the startup costs can still be significant.
One-time fees will set you back at least $250 and monthly charges start at $40. Here’s a closer look:
The two main startup fees are for purchasing the receivers and professional installation.
Orby TV offers two different types of receivers: The standard TV receiver costs $100 and the DVR-capable receiver is $200. You must purchase an additional receiver for every room where you want to use the service.
These receivers are sold at retailers like Best Buy, select Target locations and online at OrbyTV.com. Sometimes you can find them on sale.
In addition to the receivers, you’ll have to pay at least $150 to have the satellite dish and outdoor antenna installed by the professionals at MasTec Advanced Technologies.
That $150 price includes the dish, antenna and wiring to a single room, but it’s $50 extra for each additional room.
When you add up the one-time expenses, it will cost a minimum of $250 to get started if you purchase the $100 receiver for a single room and pay $150 for installation.
A self-installation kit is available for $70, though Orby strongly recommends that you hire a pro.
As far as monthly charges, Orby TV offers two packages: Essentials and Extras. The Essentials plan is $40 per month and the Extras plan is $50 per month, both for up to four rooms.
What makes this service different is that taxes and fees are included in that price — what you see is what you pay.
There are also no contracts if you purchase your equipment. Customers prepay for a month of service and decide at the end of the paid month if they want to continue.
Editor’s note: At the time of this writing, Orby TV required a 24-month commitment for those who rent (not buy) the equipment.
The main add-on fee is for DVR and I’m not referring to the more expensive receiver. You must pay an additional $4 per month for DVR service if you have a programming package.
If you drop the programming package and want to just record local channels, the cost is $12 a month for DVR service.
Other than that, Orby TV’s add-on fees are for premium channels like HBO, Cinemax, Starz and Epix. You must have a base package to sign up for those networks.
4. What Channels Do You Get With Orby TV?
Orby TV offers fewer channels than a traditional cable or satellite provider, which is why the monthly price is so low.
To keep costs down for consumers, Orby TV doesn’t include expensive sports networks like ESPN as part of its channel lineups. That will be a dealbreaker for some and a savings opportunity for others.
Local channels like ABC, CBS and FOX will vary because they’re picked up by the outdoor antenna, not the satellite dish.
Orby TV Channel Lineups
|Essentials: $40/month||Extras: $50/month|
|Animal Planet||Animal Planet|
|BBC America||BBC America|
|BBC World News|
|Cartoon Network||Cartoon Network|
|CNN en Español|
|Comedy Central||Comedy Central|
|Crime + Investigation|
|CSPAN 2||CSPAN 2|
|Food Network||Food Network|
|Great American Country|
|Hallmark Channel||Hallmark Channel|
|Hallmark Movies & Mysteries||Hallmark Movies & Mysteries|
|History Channel||History Channel|
|History en Español|
|Investigation Discovery||Investigation Discovery|
|LMN (Lifetime Movies)||LMN (Lifetime Movies)|
|LRW (Lifetime Real Women)|
|Nick Jr||Nick Jr|
|Nick Teen||Nick Teen|
|Nickelodeon/Nick at Nite||Nickelodeon/Nick at Nite|
|Paramount Network||Paramount Network|
|Sundance TV||Sundance TV|
|TCM (Turner Classic Movies)||TCM (Turner Classic Movies)|
|Travel Channel||Travel Channel|
|TV Land||TV Land|
|We TV||We TV|
|Last Updated: October 27, 2019|
Here’s my suggestion: Make a list of your must-have channels and compare it to Orby TV’s list.
Orby’s startup costs are higher than streaming services, so you want to take this step seriously. Be sure that everyone in your household will be happy with the channels that are included and those that aren’t.
See this tool to learn about the local channels you’re likely to receive with the outdoor antenna.
5. Can I Get Orby TV Where I Live?
To ensure reliable service, the satellite dish must be placed in a location with a clear view to the south.
According to this FAQ page, if you already have a satellite dish on your home or a neighbor has one, there’s a good chance that Orby TV will work where you live.
Orby can also be installed at apartment and condo complexes, but you may need to request special permission.
Since this is a satellite TV service, trees and other obstructions may block the signal. You can also expect to experience service interruptions during severe weather events.
Orby is available in all U.S. states except Hawaii and Alaska.
Orby TV is an affordable option for the millions of Americans who don’t have reliable high-speed internet service where they live.
Those streaming services also cost around $50 per month, but the startup expenses are much lower.
If you’ve signed up for Orby TV and have an experience to share, Team Clark wants to hear from you! Leave your Orby TV customer review in the comments below.