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Is satellite television better than cable television?


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2016-06-05 20:40:39
2016-06-05 20:40:39

It depends on where you live and what companies you are dealing with. Here are the considerations:

  • Accommodation: If you live in an apartment then it might be difficult for you to have a satellite dish and cable would be easier. But if you live in a house, then most houses are capable of having a satellite dish.
  • Type of signals: Does your cable company give you analog signals or digital? Whatever it might be, it cannot be considered first generation signal as the cable signal is relayed from broadcaster to station to sub-station before you receive it. This affects the quality of picture. Satellite signals are truly first generation as they are direct broadcaster to consumer. Thus the quality of services is far better.
  • Initial Cost: The initial cost of putting up a satellite system is high as there is a lot of equipment involved. With cable television, the initial cost usually involves just the subscription and maybe a set top box. So it is cheaper, initially. However, some cable providers charge a lot to install cable as well. So it depends on your area.
  • Programs Available: Programs offered by cable vary from area to area whereas satellite gives you programs that are same everywhere. There are a lot more programs that you might be able to watch on satellite which can never be accessible through cable.
  • Interactive Features: Cable offers you electronic program guides (EPG) made to seem like satellite guides. Satellite TV, in addition to EPG, also gives you DirecTV and TIVO which help you to watch one program and record another which may be on at the same time. Such interactive services are not generally available through cable.
  • Internet: This is one service that is much better in cable than in satellite. Although satellite TV does offer internet services, they are not as good in quality and speed as compared to cable internet services. However, again, it depends on what is available where you are.
  • HDTV: HDTV is available through cable but it is not very efficient. Satellite TV has done their homework on this one and through careful planning is able to offer excellent HDTV services.
  • Weather conditions. Satellite doesn't always work well during bad weather.

From the above we see that both have their respective pros and cons. So now you can be the judge of which is better for you.


Yeah satellite maybe cheaper but does your dish provide you with both VOD (Video On Demand) and a DVR?


I have owned both services, and even compared the two on identical televisions for the so called digital vs analog difference. Comparing apples to apples meaning high def HBO or ESPN on DirecTV to that of Comcast's high def equivalents, I dare anyone to see and note a difference in picture or sound quality. Cable is every bit just as clear and sharp.

It depends on the quality of the dish installation and the performance of the cable company. If cable has the programming you want and takes care of their system and customers I have found them just fine.

The same is true of satellites I make sure I get a good installation with a good view of the right part of sky and use a large enough dish for the strength signal you have you won't have the problems the cable companies advertise. The farther north you live the more critical the installation is as the weaker the signal gets. One can get a dish for satellite from as small as 10 inches and large as 40 inches. A 40 inch dish would have 5 times more signal strength at the antenna than an 18 inch one would and set you back about $250.00 more.

When I had Cox for a cable provider things worked well on both the TV and internet side. Cox sold/traded us to SuddenLink and all that was sudden was the decline in service. While the SuddenLink help desk was open 3 hours later until one AM there was very little help to be had from them as there was no one that could diagnose or fix a problem. Not even when I found the problem, wrote it up and found the fix.

Now I am out on the end of a DSL line far enough the speed is degraded 30% or 40% down to about 1/3 what I had on SuddenLink but throughput is twice what it was on Suddenlink as there are no dropped packets and many less retires. On the TV side of Suddenlink more and more programs are missing their scheduled times, being replace without notice or record a lousy quality.. The local channels are often recorded without sound or not recorded at all. The high dollar programing is slipping away and a lot more paid programing fills the night as the stuff that was there fills in for the stuff they toss in the trash as costing too much. It's been 3 years since they dropped 24 Hours and they dropped House for a year or two. They don't have the new Dr Who either.


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As long as you have a direct line of sight to the satellite, it should be no better or worse than cable tv service.

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Satellite TV is better only in some cases. It is better in areas that have no cable service or have very limited cable selection. In some major areas with cable carrier competition, satellite is actually more expensive than cable. Satellite TV is a great choice for those in rural areas. This is because cable has a limited reach because of isntallition issues.

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Satellite TV is better than Cable TV because customers get more channels at a cheaper price.

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Satellite TV is almost always better than cable.

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Do you think cable tv is a better solution than satellite for HD? Which offers more channels in HD?

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