TV Answer Man, I read your articles on Orby TV stopping service, but I’m confused because Best Buy is still selling Orby TV. It sounds like an interesting satellite service for our home, but is it really over? If so, why is Best Buy still selling it? — June, Gaithersburg, Maryland.
June, Orby TV, the low-cost satellite TV alternative to DIRECTV and Dish, announced at its web site yesterday that it was closing its doors. In a terse statement, the company said Orby subscribers could get a “special offer” from Dish if they wanted to continue getting satellite TV.
Update: Best Buy this afternoon (March 2) finally removed the Orby TV products from its web site.
The news was not terribly surprising considering that Orby TV removed all its content from its web site and social media sites a few weeks ago without an explanation; it also stopped taking new customer activations. While the company has not commented beyond yesterday’s short statement, it would appear that Orby simply ran out of funds.
However, Best Buy’s web site, and retail stores, have continued to sell Orby TV receivers despite the uncertainty that has surrounded the satellite service. Even today, more than 24 hours after Orby said it was out of business, Best Buy is still selling Orby receivers on “clearance.” (The price is $15 off the regular price.)
It doesn’t make sense to sell the receivers because Orby’s programming is no longer available via the satellite dish. (Subscribers can get local channels via an antenna which is attached to the dish, but the satellite receiver is not necessary for that.)
In addition, Best Buy’s Orby pages do not include a warning that the company has gone out of business. If you were not aware of yesterday’s news, and stumbled upon the Best Buy Orby TV page, you might be tempted to buy a reduced-price receiver.
Over the last week, I’ve asked two different Best Buy public relations representatives to explain why the retailer is still selling Orby products, particularly with no warning that the devices could be useless now. But the PR reps have not responded.
This goes to show that whether you’re dealing with an underfunded new TV service, or a retail giant, it’s buyer beware.
June, hope that helps. Happy viewing, and stay safe!
Have a question about new TV technologies? Send it to The TV Answer Man at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include your first name and hometown in your message.
— Phillip Swann