What is Orby? Orby is a contract-free satellite service that costs between $40.00-$50.00 per month depending on the selection of channels you choose. The monthly fee gives users a healthy dose Viacom, AMC Networks, Discovery Networks and Turner networks. For those who don’t follow the media industry that means that users get access to channels like Discovery Channel, TNT, TBS, MTV, BET, The History Channel and all of the offshoots that grow from those brands. The intro package, called the essentials package, offers 44 channels but like Philo neither package includes sports channels or local channel affiliates. One major difference is that it does offer CNN. Fans of Fox News or MSNBC need not apply.
What does it leave out?
The marketing behind the model points out that viewers pay a major charge for access to local affiliates and the digital networks that come along with them and that by leaving them out users can save $15.00. Now the thing Orby and others don’t tell you about offering local channels on services available nationwide is that it is very difficult and expensive for services to guaranty access to them. Have you noticed that the cable replacement services that do offer local channels are getting to be $65.00-$80.00 per month?
This is because each major network affiliate means its own set of negotiations. While offering every channel owned by Turner networks may involve negotiating with AT&T, offering CBS means negotiations with dozens of channel owners across the country from major conglomerates to family-owned companies.
Companies not mentioned in the description above include Disney. Orby at this point has no agreement to offer ESPN and its family of networks, which also means that the service does not offer anything else owned by Disney. The service also skips the Fox channels such as Fox News, Fox Business News, FS1, FS2 as well as Comcast owned networks like MSNBC, USA, SyFy and many others.
You buy the equipment
When you buy in with Orby one of the “perks” is that you don’t have to rent equipment. What you do instead is buy a receiver for $100.00. The idea behind this is that you do not have to pay a monthly rental fee. What it also means is that if you wish to receive channels in more than one room, it’s going to keep costing you $100.00 each time. subscribers can put a system in up to four rooms. Would you like a DVR? You can totally do that for 100.00 more per box.
And you better figure out whether you like it fast. On its website, Orby explains that it has a 30-day risk-free trial if you buy the equipment and installation from them online or over the phone! Otherwise, the standard return policy is 14 days from purchase along with a $10 restocking fee. The situation is totally different if you purchase from a store. But whatever you do, don’t buy it from unofficial sellers because you could end up on the outside looking in.
You need to make an appointment
As we said at the start, Orby is a satellite TV company. That means in order to get the service you must have a satellite dish installed at your home. There is an installation fee of $150.00. The Dish itself is covered in the cost and comes with both a satellite dish and an antenna designed to receive over the air tv signals.
The website is currently advertising a special discount of $125.00 off a package. We don’t know if this is truly a limited-time discount or if it is the regular price packaged as though the company is doing its customers a favor. It’s kind of like a store having a sale on items that were marked up right before the sale so that the 20% price cut sounds more dramatic than a 6% price cut.
So is it worth it?
I don’t know, you tell me. The receiver costs $100.00-$200.00 per room plus a 150 dollar install fee. Let’s say you only want a DVR in one room (the living room) and two regular receivers for the bedrooms. The set up will cost you $550.00 minus the “discount” plus of course tax for everything. After you spend that money you don’t get sports or any of the local channels (unless you live in a place that is antenna friendly) and you have a large dish installed on your home, provided you live in a place that allows one. Check that out before you plunk down the cash. You also miss out on about 20 channels that are commonly found in any bundled service. And of course, if you break the equipment….or Orby files for bankruptcy because it is getting into the satellite business at the same time that the two main satellite companies Dish and DirecTV are shedding customers faster then even traditional cable companies well, at least you didn’t have to pay that rental fee right. Oh and Orby does not have Internet. So you will have to have a totally separate internet provider. And the Internet uses the same kind of coax connection that a satellite does so that might mean a totally different installation. You can not use the exact same coax that is delivering a satellite connection to pipe in the Internet.
The receivers are simply TV receivers they are not internet-enabled set-top boxes. This means they do not offer apps. Orby also does not have a streaming app. There is no mobile access to Orby and no Smart TV or OTT box app.
Who is Orby for?
Orby seems to have a very targeted audience. Orby is for people who:
- Want a pay-TV package
- Do not have or need internet access or don’t want to use the Internet to receive TV.
- Live in a place that cannot get cable or don’t want a contract
- Do not like sports and 24-hour news channels besides CNN
- Don’t care for local channels or can depend on an antenna to receive their local channels
- People who have enough money on hand to pay all of the costs upfront to get rolling.
So there you are. Ready to sign up? Check it out here.