Cable TV vs Satellite TV

Satellite TV and cable TV services are fundamentally different in various ways, from their respective programming to their deliverability. If we compare both of these services, it is rare seeing cable TV service getting affected due to weather, but satellite TV service can be interrupted by weather changes. In terms of charges, satellite TV service is much more economical as compared to cable TV. When it comes to choosing a service, cable TV entirely depends on the availability factor in that particular region. For people who are not looking for long-term solutions usually go for satellite TV options, and cable TV perhaps is more appropriate for renters. Moreover, cable TV services are available where the providers operate, and they usually cover urban localities and exclude outskirts or new societies. Whereas, satellite TV can be used wherever the dish can be installed facing the south direction.


Installation Process

Cable TV requires a professional or technical expert to get the hardware installed. If you are looking for something more than the basic cable, you may be required to rent out a cable box along with a remote from the cable provider till the contract ends. However, if you’ve subscribed to more than one services from the same provider, that would mean the cable line is already installed at your home for a landline phone or internet service – then chances are you may be able to set up the cable TV without any help.

Satellite TV, as the name suggests, requires installation over the roof facing the south side. This is the prerequisite of having a satellite connection. It can be a problem for someone who has shared the space in an apartment or building where the south side cannot be accessed. The self-installation of a satellite connection can be extremely time-consuming. The installation fee for a satellite connection is usually negotiable or can even be waived, particularly if the customer is in a long-term contract with the company. The equipment also has to be returned upon the completion or termination of the contract, however, there can be an exemption if the antenna is difficult to reach.

Reception of Cable TV vs. Satellite TV

It is quite rare to witness cable TV services losing reception too frequently unless the entire system is compromised due to a technical glitch or cable lines having issues. However, when it comes to the reception of satellite TV, it gets a clear and undistorted service as long as the satellite dish is facing the south sky and there is nothing between them. If anything does come inbetween the satellite and the sky, whether building, wall, trees, heavy rain or thunderstorm, it can affect the quality of the reception. A firmly affixed dish with a reasonable exposure to the south side of the sky can once in a blue moon undergo bad reception – unless it’s weather-realted, but that too is sorted and brought back to normal in no time.

Comparison of Costs

The basic cable TV subscription costs start from $30 a month, while the general prices for packages vary based on the service features and other factors. The best thing about cable TV is that once it’s bundled, prices already drop to your advantage. Satellite TV doesn’t work like that. Still, it provides somewhere around 200 channels for a price that is much more affordable. You can check out the availability of Cox Cable TV in your area and compare the prices of this exceptional cable service (bundled or not) with that of the best satellite provider in your neighborhood, such as DISH or DIRECTV, and see the difference for yourself.

Availability and Programming

Cable TV services are often limited to the telecom provider’s coverage locations which usually exclude rural areas. Whereas, satellite TV services can be availed anywhere as long as the dish can get good exposure to the southern side of the sky. Cable TV typically covers the local channels, which are often not carried by satellite TV providers. Satellite TV brings together content from the East and West Coast, and different sports channels like Fox Sports and ESPN. Furthermore, it provides various international programming, which is also covered by cable TV providers.

Cable TV provides some international centered channels, including Portuguese, Korean, and Chinese, however, these channels are based in the US. Contrary to it, satellite TV lets its viewers watch international channels for free that are caught by the dish. Again, this possibility’s left to chance. One of the reasons why satellite TV service is better for international programming is that it provides an option to customize the package from several points in the world including Asia, Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Latin America.  Also, this is one of the most prominent reasons why satellite TV is relatively more popular among immigrants in the US.

So, now that you’ve caught the pros and cons of each TV service type, it’ll be easier for you to choose one for your home.

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