Because satellite TV is already digital, if you are a satellite subscriber you are not affected by the analog to digital transition that occured in June 2009.
Satellite users may one day want a better picture by upgrading to a digital receiver with a high definition (HDMI) output and a Digital TV (DTV).
Without those, you are receiving a digital signal that is being converted to an analog video signal, so you are not enjoying the full benefit of digital clarity and sound.
Satellite High Definition programs are supplied by two main companies, Dish Network and DirecTV. These two companies offer about the same standard channels.
For an additional fee, you can also enjoy the premium channels. Check each company to see what channels they offer.
As the demand for satellite increases, companies are growing by launching more satellites. Most large cities are able to receive local channels on satellite HDTV.
The disadvantage for rural areas that subscribe to satellite is that the local channels are not always available.
If you are able to receive the local channels over-the-air, you will need an antenna on your roof or rabbit ears. Since the analog to digital transition, you will either need a digital TV set or a digital to analog converter box to use with your existing analog TV set.
Technically speaking: Each High Definition TV (HDTV) satellite channel uses ten times more bandwidth than a regular satellite channel, so to broadcast all of the standard programming as well the local channels would exceed the current available bandwidth.
How to connect your Converter Box
and your satellite receiver: