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What are my choices for satellite television?
Unlike with cable, you can choose your satellite provider. Currently, there are two: DirecTV and Dish Network.

DirecTV is the larger of the two companies and is partially owned by Rupert Murdock's NewsCorp. DirecTV currently offers less HDTV than Dish Network, though they have most of the major HD channels. However, compression for these channels is a bit higher with DirecTV due to a current lack of satellite capacity. DirecTV is in the process of launching several satellites which will give them the capacity to offer every national and local HD channel by sometime in 2007, hopefully at the best possible quality. Other plans include Video On Demand and other interactive TV features.

DirecTV currently has the exclusive rights to NFL Sunday Ticket, their expanded football package.

Dish Network is a newer and smaller satellite company. However, they actually attempted to purchase DirecTV when it went up for sale. However, the FCC denied them the right to do so as they felt it would inhibit competition.

Dish bought the satellite assets of the currently defunked Voom satellite company (which had plans to become a third satellite company with the draw of offering more HD channels than any other provider). Dish Network added the Voom exclusive channels to their lineup, which is why they currently have more HD channels than DirecTV.

Dish Network allows subscribers lease equipment, so there is no upfront purchase required.

Both companies offer roughly the same channel lineup for SD programming. Both offer HD DVR service as well as music, Pay-Per-View and some Regional Sports Networks (RSNs).

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