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Here in Baja you have several good options for television service. Some of the options are Direct TV (Directv), Dish Network, local Cable TV, and black market systems. All of them of course have advantages and disadvantages, and over time you will migrate towards the system that works for you, but it does seem as if Direct TV is a clear winner at this time.
Direct TV in Baja, Mexico – Advantages for the Baja Renter
With Direct TV here in Baja, you get a satellite dish installed on your roof, and then you get a box that connects to your TV. If you are in a condo tower, the installers will just go up to the roof and run a cable down to your condo.
There are several advantages specific to Direct TV for an English speaking person or family wanting to rent in Baja. Firstly, you can get local news channels if you bring the box from your home town. Or if you subscribe with one of th local Directv suppliers, you can get San Diego as the default local news. Also, with Direct TV, you can choose your package to have a focus on USA English channels, or Spanish channels. Lastly, you can get the NFL package, NBA package, MLB package, and MLS soccer package.
3 Ways To Get Direct TV in Baja
There are 3 ways to get Direct TV in Baja. If you are doing to rent in Baja for one year or less, you will find the first and the last way to have an advantage as there is no new 18 month contract to have to sign.
The first way to get Direct TV is to order service from one of the service Directv service providers down here in Baja and let them handle the service and installation. They speak English, you can pay them directly in cash for both the installation and the monthly service. They will set an appointment with you to install your system, and by the time they leave your house, you have access to a ton of channels.
With this method, the service people have a master account, and you pay them cash, about $40 a month at the time of this writing. From a renters stand point, with this method you don’t have to sign a long-term contract and could be a fit if you only plan on staying in your Baja rental for 6 months.
This method is also perfect for those who want more channels then they could get for $40 a month if they suscribed to Direct TV on their own. Also with this method there is no credit check, and no social security number (for USA citizens) needed.
The next method to suscribe for Direct TV is for the service people here in Baja to set you up with your own account. With this method, you can pay by credit card, you can have online access to your account with Direct TV, and you can pay bills for movies and special events online as well. Also with this method, you can call the Direct TV 1-800 number for service. With this method you will need a social security number. With this subscription method it may cost you more then $40 a month for the initial box, but if you get 3 boxes, then it starts to average out to $40 a month per box. Also with this method the contract is for 18 months minimum.
The 3rd way people are suscribing to Direct TV is when they have already had service in the US, and then they just bring down a box to Mexico. The Direct TV installers will simply bring a Direct TV satellite dish and connect it to your existing box. You just pay your bill as normal even though you are watching Directv in Baja.
Dish Network – Another Option for Baja
Dish Network is the same as Direct TV, but it isn’t as popular, and maybe because of the reasons above. But if you already are using Dish Network in your home town, then bring down a box and have a satellite tv installer take care of it.
Sky TV in Baja is Mostly for Spanish Viewers
Sky TV service in Baja, and Mexico in general has a focus on Mexico TV stations, and much less in the way of US local news, US events, and US sports. if you want to focus on Mexico TV stations then this is going to compete very well with Direct TV En Espanol. One advantage with Sky TV is that you can pay your bill at nearly any convenience store.
MultiCable – Cable TV is also for the Local Mexican Market
Cable TV in Baja is only in the major cities. It is not yet in the more rural beach communities. Cable TV in Baja does have a focus on Mexico TV stations, and doesn’t give you a huge savings over their satellite competition, but can be much cheaper if you pick a plan that has less channels. One advantage cable tv has is the ability to bundle a package that includes internet. The company here in the Rosarito area is Multicable.
Black Market TV in Baja is at best…
The last method of getting TV here in Baja is via a black market system. These in general have a higher upfront cost, but don’t have a monthly service fee after. You get a satellite dish on your roof, and you hope and pray that your system does not get zapped, that is, shut down. Once it does get shut down, then you take your box to you computer, plug it into a usb port, and download the new patch to fix the zap. You have to do this about once to 3 times a month, and some times it may take as long as 2 days for someone to write the patch and distribute it on the internet. These black market systems are the worst, but can be a fit for any one who likes light computer work, or anyone who has more time then money.
But wait! What About Rabbit Ears!
No kidding. These work well in northern Baja if you live on top of a tall hill. My handyman lives on a tall hill and he built a tall 20 foot antenna topped with hub caps. He gets some of the major Tijuana and San Diego stations with no pesty monthly fees! His neighbors have liked the system so much that he has received orders!