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Satellite TV Versus Cable TV: Which One is Perfect For You?

by trygu

When it comes to video and media entertainment, there really is no reason why anyone should be left behind – especially with all the choices being made available by satellite TV and cable TV service providers. But since for practical reasons you can only have one, which of these two services will offer the best deal for you? Here, we take a look at how one compares to the other in terms of the major factors you have come to expect from each.

In terms of COST:

Satellite TV wins, versus cable TV. Recently, the rates per month of satellite services have decreased while cable TV services have increased. Over the last few years, the rate of increase has gone a little over 8 percent each year. You could, for example, get satellite TV services for as low as $ 19.99 a month. With cable TV, the lowest you can go is around $ 39.99 a month.


It’s still satellite TV. The basic cable TV rate you could get lets you view about 65 channels. If you want to access more, you only have to add around $ 11 each month to view channels with digital programming. Installation cost is around $ 40 for a single room. If you want to access cable TV in other areas of the house, you only need to add $ 9.95 for every additional room you want cable to be installed.

With satellite TV, a monthly rate of about $ 30 lets you view 100 channels (that’s all digital programming). You could even take advantage of free installation not just in a single room but for a maximum of 4 rooms. That’s a lot of savings if you want to view as many channels as you can stand from basically every important room in your house – the living room, the bedroom, the kitchen or the family den.

The two major satellite service providers in the U.S. (DISH and DIRECTV) also offer equipment to go with your satellite TV at no cost.


You could expect digital picture quality and audio from both satellite TV and cable TV (although some cable TV service providers still stick to older analog technology). The only drawback is that most cable TV service providers charge additional fees for turning your analog picture to digital format. Currently, the fees range from about $ 10 to about $ 15 per month, depending on the provider. If you opt for satellite TV, you could be assured that both DISH and DIRECTV will let you view your favorite channels in sharp, picture-perfect digital format.

In terms of PROGRAMMING:

You can expect great quality programming for both satellite TV and cable TV. However, if you’re a video monster and prefer a wide range of channels to choose from, satellite TV has more to offer for you. You could also expect more HDTV programming from satellite TV.


Satellite TV relies on the satellite dish to transmit signals from a satellite onto your television set. Since the dish is located outside, reception can sometimes be affected by bad weather. However, this doesn’t happen very often and you could rely on satellite TV to deliver high quality reception 99% of the time. With cable TV, you’ll have to rely on the maximum output of analog technology for good quality pictures.

Outages for satellite TV are also quite low (about 1%). For cable TV, it’s about 4%.

Thomas Martinez has contributed many articles on the HDTV topics especially on Satellite TVs. If you want to learn more on high-definition TVs like

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