Primestar was once the third Consumer Satellite company. It was, in fact, owned by cable companies Tele-Communications Incorporated, Time Warner Cable, Cox Communications, Comcast, MediaOne, and GE Americom. It used an older technology than the Dish Network and DirecTV, and as a result required users to use a larger 27 inch satellite dish, as opposed to the 18 inch models DirecTV and Dish Network used; these had to be installed by the company, unlike their competitors'.
At the time of its acquisition by DirecTV on January 22, 1999, it had approximately 2.2 million subscribers, second to DirecTV's 4.5 million. The final Primestar signal was broadcast on September 30, 2000.
But not all was lost for those who suddenly had a 27 inch hood ornament on their roof; some courageous (bored?) souls converted them into long, long range 802.11b antennae; some claim up to 10 miles(!) at full bandwidth if line-of-sight is maintained.
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