Best Satellite TV Receiver Reviews 2018

The first satellite TV receivers were nothing more than decoders that only allowed people to receive satellite TV. Over the years, however, these receivers have become loaded with awesome features designed to make the viewing experience better and more complete. If you want to go the satellite way and enjoy more programs, you can get a good receiver and make your wishes a reality. All you have to do is read our review on five great satellite receivers from top brands and make your decision.
Overview
PROS
CONS
SPECS
Ports
Type
Display
Size/Weight
Extras
Our Top Choice
Winegard DISH Receiver Bundle
With a CEA hall of fame member as its creator, Winegard is definitely a big deal. It’s a renowned designer of over a thousand antenna models and holder of over 80 patents.
Automatic satellite antenna. DISH programs on-the-go. Easy to set up and install. Maximum strength and durability. High speed and precision. Easy-grip handles.
Doesn’t come with roof mount kit.
1 Coax
Paid
HD display
16 x 16 x 13 inches/7 pounds
Easy-grip handle
Best Value
Pace International DISH Solo HD Receiver
Pace International is your one-stop-shop for telecommunication systems. It’s a distribution company that stocks only the best data and video solutions that are available today.
Lightweight and compact size. Seamless transmission with DISH. Easy to set up and use. Pocket-friendly price. Comes with IR remote.
Customer support doesn’t seem knowledgeable.
USB, HDMI, AV
Paid
HD, 720p, 1080i & 1080p
14 x 12 x 4 inches/5 pounds
OTA input, IR remote
KING Tailgater for DISH Bundle
When it comes to creating premier satellite TV antennas that are simple, portable, functional, and make your life more fun, KING blazes the trail that countless others follow.
Supports multiple TV viewing. Automatic DISH program locating. Easy and quick setup. Simple on-screen instructions. Receiver-powered antenna.
It’s sensitive and signals can be obstructed.
HDMI, Coax, AV
Paid
HD, SD
8 x 10.4 x 1.6 inches/1.6 pounds
RF remote, Mounting feet
Dish Network DISH Wally HD Receiver
Dish Network is a Fortune 200 company that’s responsible for the change in the way the world approached pay-TV. It’s the 4th largest provider of pay-TV and has stayed venturesome.
Netflix and other apps built-in. Improved interface. HD OTA tuner. Wireless internet connectivity. Lightweight and compact. Easy to install and use. RF remote.
Requires all 3 satellites to be available before it can function.
USB, HDMI, AV
Paid
HD display
8 x 10.4 x 1.6 inches/3.5 pounds
Bluetooth audio, RF remote
DIRECTV Genie Receiver
Over the years, DIRECTV has produced great entertainment tools. With its technology, it skips the easy route so that you get easy and truly enjoyable TV, anywhere and anytime.
Quality recording and viewing. Easy to install and operate. Affordable. Up to 5 Genie DVRs can be attached.
Limited to HR34 and HR44 Genie systems.
Info not provided
2-year extension of contract
HD display
7.5 x 6.3 x 3.6 inches/1.7 pounds
RF remote

(Updated )
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How Do I Choose the Best Satellite TV Receiver?

Television sure has come a long way from the good old days when a TV was a bulky box thingy with limited program options to the flat, unobtrusive wall hangings with seemingly unending viewing options that they are today. All thanks to technology that has taken us from traditional cable TV to satellite TV and its many, many programs. However, if you’re going to enjoy the dividends of these changes in your television-entertainment life, you’re going to have to get a satellite TV receiver.

These devices have been around for a while—for decades, in fact—but they’re no longer the simple set-top-boxes that they used to be. They have become our link to a vast range of video and internet content that not only keeps us entertained, but informed and up-to-date as well. Satellite TV receivers (aka decoders) are usually used with antennas or satellite dishes to relay information from our trusty satellites in space to our televisions in formats and languages that we’ll understand (unless, of course, you speak satellite).

There is quite the number of these devices for you to choose from and we seek to guide you as you make the decision of which is the best for you. We support your putting your budget first, and we also advise against settling for the cheapo receivers that you’re likely to come across so that you actually get to enjoy your TV time.
Price
When it comes to how much a satellite TV receiver is sold for, you’ll find that there is an interesting difference in the price range. Let’s take the ones we’ve featured in this review for instance; the lowest-priced is about $39 while at the other end of the price range, we’ve got the highest, priced at about $440. So, what gives? Why will one receiver sell for under $50 and another for over $400?

Well, it can be explained by concepts as simple as the basicity or complexity of the receiver (fancy way to say one receiver has plenty of features while the other hasn’t), and what’s included in the package, among others. Some satellite receivers in the market come in a package that includes an antenna, a remote, and so on, and they naturally cost more. There are also cheap satellite TV receivers, but trust us, you’re better off without a receiver than with one of those.
Features
Choosing the best satellite receiver for you is no biggie when you know the right features to look for. Below is a list of those features, put together for your convenience:
  • Ports
  • Type
  • Display
  • Number of satellites it accesses
  • Size/Weight
  • Extras
Construction and Design
There are three major factors to consider when looking at the construction and design of a satellite TV receiver: its size and weight, the type and number of ports, and its display. Let’s take a closer look at each of these.

Size/Weight

Satellite TV receivers are generally compact, portable boxes that do not weigh much; their dimensions rarely reach 20 by 20 inches, and they seem to have a 5-inch height limit. So, all in all, you should be able to fit one of them just about anywhere and enjoy great TV without cramping your style.

Ports

Pay attention to the type and number of ports a receiver comes with, as it’s an indication of the capabilities of that receiver. If it has USB ports, chances are that you’re dealing with a high-tech receiver and you’ll be able to connect a hard drive, Wi-Fi adapter, and more. Read the specifications, as the devices and services that can be connected or obtained are usually indicated there.

Display

A satellite receiver works by taking the encrypted information it has received from a satellite and unscrambling it into a format that your TV can understand. So, if the TV program has been created in a HD display format, your receiver is going to give it to your TV in that same format. This means that you should ensure that the TV you’ll be using the receiver with is HD-enabled, otherwise it may not display—that’s if you’re looking for a HD receiver, anyway.
Performance and Ease of Use
In order to ensure that the satellite TV receiver you buy will offer you the performance and ease of use you desire, there are a few things you should probably consider. These include the type of receiver, the number of satellites it has access to, and if it comes with any extras (typically a remote). To find out more about these, read on.

Type

When we say “Type,” we’re referring to the program access options available with a satellite TV receiver; they include free-to-air and pay-TV. Before you hit the road in search of one of these devices, you ought to know which of these options you’d rather have. You also have to decide beforehand which of the service providers you’d like to do business with.

In the pay-TV arena, DISH and DirecTV are popular choices and they deliver services of a commendable quality.
Many of these receivers offer a convenient plan where you get to add them to already-existing subscriptions, while others offer a pay-as-you-go plan that doesn’t tie you down with all those contracts, activation fees, etc.

Number of Satellites it Accesses

Make sure that whichever receiver you choose, it’s compatible with your antenna or satellite dish. Another important thing to find out is the number of satellites a receiver is able to access and their locations. There are 2 arcs: western and eastern arcs. The western arc has powerful and newer satellites and covers satellites 19, 110, and 119. Some receivers offer access to both arcs and increase your TV program options.

Extras

Extras, such as a remote, make life easier as they enable you to set timers and record your favorite shows so that you don’t have to hurry home or miss any shows. There are basically two types: the RF (remote finder) and the IR (Infrared) remotes. The remote finder remotes make it near impossible to lose your remotes, ever again. They can be used to control the receiver even if it’s in a different room. The IR remote has to be pointed at the device it controls for it to work.

What is the Best Satellite TV Receiver?

What should you look at when buying a satellite TV receiver? We recommend you look at what the set top box comes with. Does it have features such as USB and HDMI for HD viewing? What’s the processor speed of the decoder? Does it have Wi-Fi? As you get these answers, do not forget that the more features you get, the higher the likelihood that you’re going to dig deeper into your pockets.
Our Top Choice
The Winegard DISH Playmaker & DISH Wally HD Receiver Bundle is an automatic satellite antenna designed to keep you connected with all your favorite DISH programs whether you’re RVing, camping, or throwing a tailgate party. If you’d like your satellite signals from both the western and eastern skies, you should consider a satellite TV receiver with a dual arc—the Winegard Pathway X2 Satelitte TV Receiver.
Winegard DISH Playmaker & DISH Wally HD Receiver Bundle

Winegard Satelitte TV Receiver PL7000R


Features
Winegard is a multi-million-dollar, family-owned enterprise that was founded by John Winegard in 1954. Under skilled, visionary, and passionate leadership, the company has grown into a globally acclaimed designer and manufacturer of custom antennas, communication solutions, and mounts. In its early years, the company dedicated its resources to the creation of traditional OTA TV antennas, accessories, and mounts for residential purposes; they were reliable first-rate products and the company’s work soon earned it recognition by NASA and an induction into the Consumers Electronic Association Hall of Fame for John Winegard. Today, the company continues to grow, and thanks to the new leadership of Randy Winegard, John’s son and current CEO, the company has taken giant strides into satellite TV and 2-way VSAT real-time broadband technology.

The Winegard DISH Playmaker and HD Receiver Bundle includes a portable, fully automatic satellite antenna, a Wally HD receiver, and a remote control. The DISH Playmaker is fully automatic. What this means is that you don’t have to go through all the drama and exertion involved in pointing or aligning the antenna. All you need to do is use the coaxial cable that’s included in the package to connect the Playmaker to the Wally, then connect the Wally to your TV with an HDMI or coaxial cable, and you’d be set—just give the Playmaker some 5 minutes to get its bearings and ensure that it’s got an unhindered view of the sky.

For power, this satellite antenna gets its 120 VAC juice from its connection to the HD receiver (the Wally) and doesn’t require any power cables or extra power source, making it convenient to use and set up. Plus, it also removes the clutter that having an extra cable lying around would no doubt have caused. Another feature for your convenience is the handle that’s designed and included so that you can effortlessly carry and transport the antenna from place to place. However, it should be noted that the Playmaker is designed to function when it’s in a fixed position.

The Playmaker is only compatible with DISH and uses the western arc (i.e. 1100, 1190 and 1290) to receive programming. It’s great for RVs, motorhomes, and throwing the awesomest tailgate parties.
Best Value
The Pace International DISH Solo HD Receiver comes with a universal infrared remote and is designed for DISH satellites for seamless, straightforward transmission of programs in 720p, 1080p, and 1080i resolutions. If you’re interested in a Wally HD receiver, you can also check out the Pace International Dish Network RF Remote Wally.
Pace International DISH Solo HD Receiver – with Universal IR Remote

Pace International Satellite TV Receiver MOBILE-VIP211Z


Features
Pace International was founded in 1972 with a mission to lead the communications market by supporting and simplifying the integration of content solutions and hardware. It has been hard at work, making sure that it’s able to translate those words into reality, and its ability to expertly service particular segments of its industry is a testimonial to its success. It adopts a forward-looking approach to the business of connection and communication which provides its customers with the appropriate tools to strategize and succeed as well. This brand is an international, leading procurement and automation specialist with a wide range of products that include DISH, smartbox, audio/video, data, fiber optics, etc.

The Pace International DISH Solo HD Receiver is a compact and lightweight unit that’s sure to fit snugly in your RV or camper—when compared to an older model, the ViP211k, it’s actually smaller and lighter by 10 and 40 percent respectively. It can be connected to DISH satellites 1000.4 and 1000.2. What’s more, you can also connect it to a Tailgater antenna as it’s built with software for both Relay and Tailgater antennas; all of these connection options increase the flexibility of this receiver and improve your over-the-air TV experience.

The ViP 211z boasts higher speed and internal memory than its predecessors; it has a super-fast processor and more than 280 megabytes of memory space. With its high-definition capabilities, you can enjoy crystal-clear, pay-as-you-go programs on the road; moreover, with DISH’s simple and efficient Pay-As-You-Go service, you won’t have to worry your head about activation, disconnection, or restart fees as they aren’t required.

A 4-component infrared remote is included, so there is no need to worry about finding a compatible one. The receiver has 2 USB ports with which you can hook up a digital OTA tuner (sold separately) or a DVR/hard drive (this is also not included and may require an activation fee) to the receiver.

Other satellite TV receiver offers by Pace International include:
  • The DISH Wally Receiver with 1TB DVR External Hard Drive – It’s Playmaker and Tailgater compatible
  • The DISH Wally HD Satellite Receiver and KING Speaker Light Bundle – Compatible with Tailgater and Playmaker, and comes with weatherproof speaker
  • The Pace International RV Trailer Dish HD Set-Top Box Satellite TV Receiver – With USB 2.0 ports and 5.3 infrared remote control
The KING Tailgater for DISH Bundle with Portable Satellite TV Antenna supports multiple TV viewing and automatically finds DISH programs. The DISH Wally features a new interface and high-definition graphics for your enjoyment. If you don’t care for more than one TV to enjoy your satellite receiver with, come take a look at a bundle for single TV viewing: the King Satellite Single TV Viewing Tailgater Bundle.
KING Tailgater for DISH Bundle with Portable Satellite TV Antenna – Available in Multiple Configurations

KING Satellite TV Receiver VQ4550 – KING Tailgater for DISH with Wally Receiver


Features
KING lives by a simple mantra: “simply better, by design.” It’s a leading designer and manufacturer of over-the-air and satellite antenna systems and was established in the year 1985. It has a deep heritage in the field of consumer electronics and a tradition of technological adroitness that have seen it through its early days as a manufacturer of vehicle electronic systems to the respected name that it is today. When developing any of its antenna systems, it focuses on making hassle-free products that give the customer a convenient experience by removing any complexities in all the processes they have to go through to get to you. It also gives a great deal of thought to the design of its products and works to ensure that they fit beautifully with existing technology and your lifestyle as a whole.

The KING Tailgater for DISH Bundle is the embodiment of ease; it comes with a KING Tailgater antenna, a DISH Wally satellite receiver, an RF remote control, 50-inch coaxial cable, a 7-inch HDMI cable, and a set of mounting feet—all in one package! You don’t have to spend any extra in setting up; you get to set up wherever you please, and with its multiple TV viewing feature, you and your favorite person(s) can enjoy TV wherever you please.

It’s compatible with only DISH service, both standard-definition and high-definition programming. The antenna is easy to set up and can be used as a portable satellite antenna where you’re able to carry it from one position to another. If you’d rather forego all that carrying and moving, you can easily mount it on your roof with the mounting feet that are included in the bundle.

The antenna automatically seeks and locks on DISH programs; if you’re already a DISH subscriber, you can simply add this one to your account and get the same programs that you enjoy when you’re home. If you don’t, the simple, contract-free, pay-as-you-go plan from DISH is available at no extra fees.

Further, the antenna doesn’t need any extra power source as it’s powered through the receiver. The Wally receiver features an improved interface and a “Netflix integrated search” that enables you to stream videos and any other online applications—but the USB Wi-Fi adapter is sold separately.
This Dish Network DISH Wally HD Receiver comes with built-in apps such as Netflix and Game Finder. It sports a sleek design, a new interface, and high-definition single-tuner operation. It can be paired with USB adapters. If you’d rather have something different, maybe a ViP 211k receiver, check out the Dish Network Solo HD Receiver.
Dish Network DISH Wally HD Receiver – With RF Remote and Tailgater Compatibility

Dish Network Satellite TV Receiver 208381


Features
Dish Network is a pioneer supplier of satellite TV. It is the company that provides most of the international and HD programming to both residential and commercial customers in the United States, and also Broadband Service. Near the end of 2016, the company recorded well over 13 million subscribers to both its television and broadband services. It was set up in 1996 as a service of the EchoStar company; with the launch of its first satellite, it began the journey to successful satellite pay-TV technology and became an international force in the provision of superb internet, telephone, and video services.

This Dish Network DISH Wally HD Receiver gives you the complete functionalities and more of a satellite TV receiver, while taking up the least space and effort from you. It has a compact design that’s sleek and modern so that it fits in the small spaces that RVs, motorhomes, and campers afford—looking pretty while it’s at it.

With a Wi-Fi USB adapter, you can wirelessly connect to the internet and enjoy services and apps such as Netflix (this one is already pre-installed) and Game Finder. It is also equipped with Bluetooth audio capabilities so that with the appropriate adapter, you can pair this receiver with your headphones and take your listening experience to the next level.

Enjoy local channels with the OTA single-tuner feature on this baby, and in HD too. What’s more, you can kiss goodbye to ever having to turn your home upside-down in search of the remote, because the remote finder (RF) button on the receiver causes the remote to emit a chime when you press it.

Here are some other receivers from DISH that you might like:
  • Dish Network Satellite Receiver/Recorder – Watch and record HD and SD programming; records multiple programs from satellite and OTA at once
  • Dish Network Mobile ViP211k HD Pay-As-You-Go Receiver
  • Dish Network Factory Remanufactured HD Satellite Receiver/DVR ViP722k – Watch and record HD and SD DISH programs at the same time; electronic program guide
The DIRECTV Genie Client Satellite Receiver with RF Remote lets you enjoy HD-quality TV and attach up to 5 Genie DVRs for the ultimate entertainment. It can be set up to allow for viewing of four different shows on four separate devices and locations. If you’re looking for a more-advanced model that’s 3D ready, check out the DIRECTV H25 HD Receiver. We bet you’ll love it!
DIRECTV Genie Client Satellite Receiver with RF Remote

DIRECTV Satellite TV Receiver C51


Features
DIRECTV offers solutions in an industry that keeps growing day by day. As a company that has won various awards in regards to customer service, it has truly earned the loyalty of its numerous clients. In 2015, it was acquired by AT&T, a merger that created AT&TDirecTV, the country's largest Pay-TV provider.

The DIRECTV Genie Client Satellite Receiver with RF Remote is a great bargain, as it gives you the convenience of attaching up to 5 Genie DVRs. This satellite TV receiver allows everyone in the family to stay entertained in multiple rooms with the accompanying HD DVR. To use this satellite TV receiver, you will have to accept a contract by DIRECTV, and monthly fees will apply.

Look at the other features that make this satellite TV receiver a masterpiece:
  • Ample recording storage with up to 200 hours of quality entertainment
  • Lets you record up to five shots simultaneously from any channel
  • Comes with Genie Sport feature to help you tune in and find your favorite sports games
  • The Genie Mini HD DVR gives you quality HD functionality on all the screens

Get the Best Satellite TV Receiver of 2018!

Whether you’re looking for a Direct TV receiver, or a good model by Dish Network, we have something for you. We have found other awesome brands as well to help you enjoy those channels you never had—take a look. We are glad we were of help in your search for a satellite TV receiver that won’t disappoint you.

Our Top Choice
Winegard DISH Receiver Bundle
Best Value
Pace International DISH Solo HD Receiver
KING Tailgater for DISH Bundle
Dish Network DISH Wally HD Receiver
DIRECTV Genie Receiver