Satellite TV for apartments? Is that still a thing?

Apartment dwelling is on the rise in this country. Homes are more expensive than ever and for a lot of people, wages aren’t keeping up. Living in cities is on the rise after decades of migration out to the suburbs. More people are embracing a smaller, tighter, more sustainable lifestyle which includes living in a smaller space.

None of that’s a bad thing.

But we all still want to be entertained. We all still want to feel connected. And for a lot of people, that still means video. It means television. It’s easy to count “plain old TV” out, but it’s still the choice for the majority of video consumed in this country. Television still has a lot of fight left in it.

Satellite TV for apartments

Yes, there have been some challenges for people who want satellite TV in apartments. Most landlords aren’t super keen about installers drilling extra holes in the walls. Most satellite TV contracts run two years, while leases only run one year. And, apartment dwellers may not have a view of the sky that’s suitable for satellite TV.

But, there are options. Satellite TV is a better option than cable because there’s more of a channel selection. You can get your favorite sports packages and more of the programming you want. Satellite TV often has the best selection of local channels (short of using an antenna) and you can authenticate to more streaming apps than most cablesystems. More than anything, Satellite TV is a great bet.

Satellite TV is smarter than streaming. Let’s face it. You’re trying to stream at the same time everyone around you is trying to stream. Congestion is going to happen and you’ll get locked out. You know this happens all the time.

Satellite TV works the same no matter how many people are using it. But, we know there are limitations to how it can work in apartment complexes.

And here’s how you get around the limitations

It’s called an “MDU contract.” MDU is an industry term for “multi-dwelling unit.” Because of course, just saying “apartment” wouldn’t be impressive enough, I guess. The idea is that a company comes in and takes responsibility for all the satellite TV in one complex.

A dish goes up on the roof and each apartment is prewired. This limits the issue of drilling new holes in the wall every time. In many cases the existing internet wiring can be used, and sometimes depending on the cable company it is possible to use one wire for both cable TV and satellite. (That’s rare, though.)

There are special programs that let apartment dwellers go on shorter contracts, sometimes with a little more upfront. You get all the information from your rental office or property manager. If you call the satellite company directly, they’ll refer you to the right place.

Smarter for everyone

Using an MDU system is smarter for everyone. Property owners like it because there’s less ongoing drilling. One company (like Solid Signal) manages the account so they have some history and know what’s been done.

From the apartment-dweller’s perspective, everything works the same as it would in a home. The difference is, you don’t need a dish on your patio, and you don’t need to worry about damage to the walls that you’ll have to pay for later.

And of course, satellite TV can coexist with cable. Both sets of equipment can live in the same closet and the worst case scenario is that there’s one line for satellite and one line for internet. Most landlords are going to be ok with that.

How to get satellite TV in your apartment the smart way

It starts with talking to your landlord or property manager. Tell them that satellite TV is worth the time and effort. Maybe get to know your neighbors and then tell the property manager how many people want satellite TV. Tell them to call Signal Connect, Solid Signal’s business arm, at 888-233-7563. They’ll get connected to an expert who can give them all the details and get the ball rolling. Before you know it, you’ll be enjoying satellite TV like a boss!

About the Author

Stuart Sweet
Stuart Sweet is the editor-in-chief of The Solid Signal Blog and a "master plumber" at Signal Group, LLC. He is the author of over 9,000 articles and longform tutorials including many posted here. Reach him by clicking on "Contact the Editor" at the bottom of this page.