Today, we are flooded with advertisements through mail, television, Sunday morning inserts and the internet on the best choice in package and prices, cable or satellite and who is best when it comes to delivering television programming. The technology advancements have allowed satellite providers to compete with long-established cable companies in delivering television programming. What used to be considered costly and unreliable, satellite television has become a popular choice for many consumers while creating a headache for cable television providers.
What are my Choices?
For many, the choice offered by both providers are competitive in pricing, but a big difference in how the programming is delivered lies the difference between the two. For many, their individual circumstances will dictate the option best suited for their situation, but knowing the difference in how the providers operate and what the consumer can expect will provide you an educated choice in who, how and what will be delivering their television programming.
Dish or Box
By now, we are all familiar with the converter boxes used by cable companies and satellite dishes to deliver television programming and is a major difference in how service is delivered into homes. The transmission of programming through cable providers is less likely to be affected by the weather, however, the cost of service is typically higher than satellite television providers. The availability of service between the providers varies as well; cable television is only available in the cable provider’s service area, usually affecting those in rural areas or new communities and/or subdivisions within a city’s limit. The versatility of satellite television typically only requires the ability to install the satellite dish with an unobstructed view of the south.
Cable TV Satellite TV
Delivers programming through Coaxial Cables or through fiber-optic cables
Delivers programming through a satellite and received by an outdoor antenna, usually a satellite dish
Cable box and remote
Dish and box
Technician or self- install
Areas only serviced by local provider unavailable at time in rural or remote locations
Anywhere in the U.S provided there is an unobstructed view of the sky facing South
Month to Month
Typically, one or two years, depending on programming and/or specials
Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Cox and others
Dish Network, DirecTV
Average $65-70 non H.D and extended basic
Around $45-65 for non H.D. cheaper for new subscribers with a contract commitment
Installation and Equipment
Installation typically requires the skills of a trained technician; Cable providers will schedule you a technician to arrive on the date of your install and walk you through your programming packages, remote control operation and answer any questions.
Satellite providers offer a professional install or a self-install depending on the package and programming you ordered. Providers are busy and you could find your install date scheduled several weeks out. They will provide you a time frame of their arrival, with a window of 4 to 6 hours. The self-install kit allows those who choose satellite service to start installation once their equipment arrives.
Service interruptions are rare with cable television and typically only occurs when the entire system goes down. Clear reception with satellite television occurs when there is an unobstructed view of the southern sky. Trees, buildings, wires and bad weather can disrupt the satellite signal, resulting in a service interruption. A properly mounted and installed dish in the direction of the southern sky, service interruptions are rare, but is possible in poor weather.
Cable Packages and Equipment
Depending on the program package, equipment costs and installation charges, prices can vary between the providers offered packages. New customer installation and package upgrades will offer low prices over a period of time during a promotional period, but rise to current package pricing once the promotion is over. Basic cable through a local provider averages around $30 a month; $20 a month through satellite providers, but as more channels are added expect an increase in price.
The decision to go with a local cable provider or national satellite provider is a personal choice, but as the rates continue to rise for local cable and satellite companies offering lucrative and inexpensive programming packages along with their channel lineups makes satellite television providers an attractive option. The promotions of upgraded packages for new customer installations is an offer many find to hard turn from. Considering the advances in technology and DVR options, satellite television provides an exceptional value for the programming features and service.
Take a minute and check the next advertisement you see on satellite television, chances are, you can find yourself saving a substantial amount.