I think what you have heard is true for Directv. With Directv you must have an elliptical dish (18" X 24") dish to receive BYU TV, NASA, and some other public interest stations (and other subscription services as well).
You can also get BYU radio and the rest of the STEREO audion channels 950-981 for $4.95 a la carte.
BYU is located at the 110° location. So a Dish 500 or a dish pointed at 110 is absolutely necessary. I don't think you can get a new dish system without a Dish 500 anymore anyway. There are a few other channels included in AT50 and higher that require a Dish pointed at 61.5 or 148, but they aren't much to look at.
BYU-TV is a "PI Channel" (Public Interest). PI's are included in all basic packages and there are different PI's on each satellite. As mentioned above, BYU-TV is on 110 (as well as several other PI's). The rest of AT-50 is on 119. Add a 61.5 or 148 dish and you'll get the full slate of PI's.
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