satellite TV in Manhattan
April 12, 2005 3:43 PM   Subscribe

I'm sick of paying Time Warner's unreasonable rates for cable TV. Has anyone in my part of NYC (Yorkville) had any luck with satellite TV? Or is it impossible here?
posted by Lizzle to Work & Money (8 answers total)
It should work fine if you have an unobstructed view to the SSW (for NYC, that is). On the other coast, it would be SSE, and you can guess what it would be for the middle of the USA. :)

Approximate elevation for your area, depending on the satellite you intend to receive, should be bewteen 15 - 30 degrees. I'm sure I could find you a chart which is more exact if you ask. :-D

You must have absolutely NOTHING blocking your view in this direction, even glass will lower your signal.

So, since you're in NYC, I assume you're in an apartment. Perhaps you and the supervisor can work out a deal for usage of the roof and cable riser? :-D

Good luck.
posted by shepd at 3:53 PM on April 12, 2005

Satelllite TV will probably not be cheaper than cable, unless cable in NYC is much more expensive than cable elsewhere.
posted by kindall at 4:44 PM on April 12, 2005

Lizzie, Optimum is offering their cable service for $29.99/month, maybe you can try that. In my case, when I added up what it would cost to get all the channels I want, including local channels, satellite, in particular DirecTV ended up being just as expensive as Time Warner. With Time Warner's package deal I get RoadRunner too, so removing say $30ish for broadband, you're paying on par with what it costs for satellite.
posted by riffola at 4:52 PM on April 12, 2005

Oh and I am on TimeWarner NYC's $99 for DTV (Digital Cable TV) and RoadRunner package.
posted by riffola at 4:53 PM on April 12, 2005

"You must have absolutely NOTHING blocking your view in this direction, even glass will lower your signal."

This isn't strictly true. I used DirecTV for years with the dish behind a window, though different glass compositions can have very different effects on signal strength. It is true that there can't be any buildings or dense trees in the way of the exact location of the satellite in the sky (which is pinpoint and does not move). If your SSW 15-30 is reasonably clear, the best thing to do is borrow a dish and receiver and play around. Note that you do NOT have to have an active subscription to test signal strength (there's a free "preview" channel), and you should be able to find a very cheap old dish and receiver somewhere, or find a store that'll let you take them home to test for signal and return them if you can't get anything.
posted by trevyn at 5:52 PM on April 12, 2005

I had DirecTV for a while in brooklyn, if it weren't for weather interfering with the signal, I'd still have it.
posted by o2b at 7:54 AM on April 13, 2005

Glass attenuates the signal because it contains iron. If you've got to point the dish out a window and the signal strength is degraded too much you can get better results with iron free glass (expensive but available, it's used in high end solar collectors). Or replace the glazing with sheet plastic which is what I've seen done in those police state wannabe "architecturally controlled" communities that ban dishes.
posted by Mitheral at 11:35 AM on April 13, 2005

How to tell if you've got glass with iron? Look at the glass edge on. If it looks green you've got glass with iron in it.
posted by Mitheral at 12:14 PM on April 13, 2005

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