Greek Satellite TV in the USA

Read the information farther down for information on Greek Satellite television. But I am starting the page with other ways to watch Greek television abroad. I no longer subscribe to satellite TV, mostly because of all the frustrating nonsense they put their subscribers with muddy and ever changing channel packages, and channel shifts. If you already satellite dishes, subscribing to the Greek channels woudl be easier, but you will probably agree with my frustrations.

Watching Live Greek Television on Roku

The tiny Roku set-top box connects your television with an internet TV service. Several international subscriptions services are availbable, including a Greek package. The channels available on Roku are the same channels available via satellite television and for about the same price. Except, with Roku you don't have to pay for a satellite dish or for another package. You can just subscribe Greek television and Greek radio. The offerings include Mega, ERT Sat, Skai, Star, but don't include ANT1 channel that's only available via Satellite.

Roku requires an active internet connection at home and it works through WiFi, so you don't have to pull cables around if you have a wireless router. It has many other services available, many of which are advertised as "free". My experience is that all these free channels are mostly useless, but if you are a subscriber to Netflix or Amazon Prime, you can watch movies from these services on your TV through Roku.

Information about Greek Satellite television in the United States

I was inspired to write this page as I was researching the possibility of watching Greek television in the United States. I was amazed to find out that information on the web (or any other easily accessible place) was hard to find, mostly miseladiing , and never adequate.

I became subscribing to Greek Satellite channels in the US since 2004 and here is some information that I hope can help you if you are searching for information on the subject.

While Greeks living in Europe can watch just about every Greek television channel through NOVA, Greek-Americans can subscribe to the Dish Network.

Subscribing to Greek Satellite TV

Receiving Greek television might require either a second dish from the Dish Network, or a "super dish". If you already are a subscriber of the Dish Network, you will need to buy a second dish just to receive the Greek channels. With the dual dish set-up you can receive all the television channels but not the Greek radio stations. DishNetwork is notorious for changing their packages and policies often, so double-check what you would need to buy before you commit to a contract.

One of the things that makes subscribing to satellite television confusing is all the different packages, and promotional offers that are available - with the promotional offers changing often and from place to place. So you will have to take a look for yourself at what is available in your area. When I ordered mine, I was able to get more information from the local distributor than what the Dish Network web site had to offer.

Most likely, you would not be able to subscribejust to the Greek Satellite channels without also subscribing to one of the regular Dish Network packages, but some special sales might ofset the extra expense for a period of time. Once again you might want to call your local distributor to ask about what specials are available.

All in all, besides the confusion with the channel line-ups, the promotional packages, and the extra dishes and switches, signing up is a quick process. It can take about one hour for a technician to install the satellite on your roof and to connect/activate the boxes for each television.

Programming

The Greek Satellite Television Channels

Before I subscribed to the Dish Network, the most frustrating part about researching the availability of Greek television was the fact that the available channels offer the most minimum of information about programming on their web site (Alter Globe offers absolutely no information). Furthermore, as I found out after I subscribed, just because the channel guide indicates one program, it does not mean that the channel is showing it! As an example, when live soccer games are broadcast, the channel guides never list them. Even as Greek channels play a program, the information on top often does not match the program shown at the time.

The biggest problem from my experience with Greek Satellite television is the fact that you cannot choose the channels you like one by one (a-la-carte). Instead, you are forced to choose from a number of packages, which can change at any time and without your consent (see above "Problems with Dish Network's Greek Satellite services"). The only a-la-carte channel available is Ant1 Satellite.

Here are some of my general impressions regarding the actual programming from having watched most Greek channels for a few years now:

There are five available Greek satellite channels broadcast exclusively by DishNetwork in the USA:

All three major channels (ERTcosmos, seem to offer much of the same programming. It seems like each television channel competes only on style points and are reluctant to offer different programs than the competitors. They seem to offer the same sort of programs at the same time as all the other stations. All three channels keep alive the great Greek tradition of never meeting the scheduled times with many programs starting way later than their announced time.

The satellite program guide is vastly different than the program that's offered in Greece. Antenna Satellite, Mega Cosmos, and ERT sat are different channels than Antenna, Mega, and ERT. The program is usually tailored to fit the Greeks abroad and to accommodate the time difference between Greece and the other parts of the world.

Besides news and opinions you can catch several Greek soap operas mainly on Mega, the obligatory traditional (dimotika) songs and dances on ERT Sat, and the unbearable reality shows and tabloid TV talk shows on Mega and ANT1.

All in all, ERT Sat seems to offer more of the quality programming that I would prefer: A bit of tradition (although it seems too much at times), a bit of news, a bit of good reporting, and a little bit of music. Not to forget the rich sports offerings.

The Mega Cosmos programming is dominated by old Greek movies, soap operas, reality shows, and news, while ANT1 Satellite mirrors that of Mega.

Sports Programming in Greek Satellite Television

If sports is the reason you are interested in Greek satellite television, then here is what the channels have to offer (this is my experience since 2004):

Each season the channels negotiate the rights to their games with the TV channels in Greece, and hold separate negotiations for the rights abroad.

ERT Sat and Ant1 Satellite broadcasts live games from the Greek competitions and they change their line-up from year to year. This means that if you choose to subscribe to one channel tha carries your games, you might have to subscribe to a different channel next year to watch the football games.

None of the Greek channels broadcast the UEFA Champions League or UEFA cup games, or the national team matches, except in special cases (usually when Greek teams play weak European teams and the game does not get picked-up by any other major channel in the US.).

Other ways to Watch Greek Television Abroad

ERT SAT makes its program available via the internet, but no other channel can be available with any consistency online. The Live Greek Television online links are available here, and at times more channels broadcast online, but they never stay around in a way that one can count on them. Watching ERT SAT television online can be an exercise in frustration, especially when soccer games are on since it becomes impossible to connect or to maintain connection.

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