We currently have basic cable only as we don't really watch the TV much., however I need to get a specific south Indian channel for about 6 months while my parents are here and I realize only Dish network has this option ($14.99/month). So far I found that I could avoid signing a contract as well as paying the installation charges if I could get a referral from any of my friends who already has Dish (confirmed by calling their sales). However, they said I would have to pay for the equipment (about $150) and that I would be given a credit of $5/month until the $150 is recovered (which would be 30 months). Since ideally, I would like to cancel after 6 months, I would have only recovered $30 (ending up costing $120 for the equipment), so I am wondering if there is a cheaper alternative. One alternative I was suggested by their sales is to get their Family package for 19.99/month, but in 6 months, I will end up paying $120 anyway and with any added taxes, it could be more (but still it might be a better option than simply paying for the equipment). What would be other alternatives? Things that come into mind are: - buy equipment cheaper elsewhere (if so, where and what type of equipment to buy). - start with a plan to get free equipment, but downgrade soon after that (not sure what the rules would be). I would appreciate any helpful information on this.