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Cable and satellite services Cable or satellite TV? 

 

CABLE OR SATELLITE TV?

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Cable vs. satellite

If you are looking for a TV service, chances are, you'll end up with the notorious dilemma:  good old cable, or "free satellite TV" deal? So let's talk a little about cable vs. satellite contest.

For those whose only choice is DBS television service ("Direct Broadcast Satellite", better known as "satellite TV", the answer is simple and obvious. They only need to decide which one of the two giant satellite TV providers - Dish Network or DirecTV - comes up with a better flavor. Then, they can seat back and enjoy it.

For the rest of us, life doesn't get to be that easy. Having to choose between satellite and cable TV providers inevitably finds you entangled in a comparison of the pros and cons of  two different broadcasting technologies - something too complicated for a pleasant shopping experience. A piece of apple here vs. piece of orange there, and a piece of mango elsewhere. Even if you succeed in coming to a meaningful conclusion, don't hold your breath - things here can change almost overnight. In fact, there is an ongoing war for your humble opinion.

As millions went for more programming and better image offered by satellite TV, cable television had to cough out $billions to digitalize unaccounted miles of wiring. Still unable to catch up with the satellite, it figured out a new game: why not to lure in both, satellite TV and telephone companies' customers offering attractive bundled packages - voice (phone), Web and video (TV) together. DBS industry answered with its own bundled deals, at present not quite as attractive.

As for the phone companies, they are just about to invest billions to replace their old copper wiring, so that they can add Web and video to their present voice offering. Big single-service telecom companies we knew just yesterday are about to become extinct. Pretty soon, everything will be everyone's business.

If it is so, then why choose satellite TV over cable? One reason could be programming. In general, satellite TV offers more when it comes to sports, international, national and specialty channels. On the other hand, cable probably has generally better movies offer, and more local channels.

As for the number of HDTV channels, satellite TV is also ahead, working hard to stay there.

Also, its cost per channel is still lower. It is not by accident, nor because the cable guys are more greedy. They'd be just happy to take this card out of the competitor's hand. The problem is that ground based TV operation simply costs more to run, especially for smaller providers. However, the difference in pricing vs. satellite TV is becoming fairly insignificant, due to digital cable channel expansion, particularly with large cable TV providers.

One important consideration is quite reassuring, steady record of both satellite TV providers in overall customer satisfaction. While most cable companies vary significantly from one to another, and from year to year in this respect, the satellite TV provider duo is routinely among the top three or four companies, since their first year. In other words, with satellite TV you are getting consistent top quality industry service standard.

In all, neither cable nor satellite TV can be pronounced a clear winner. There are pros and cons to consider with either, and same things matter differently to different people. But this "big picture" should help you to take the right direction in getting what is best home TV package for you.   

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Home  Remember those happy days with no cable television, no satellite TV? Only a single analog TV service available, and everything about getting and using it was as simple as: get it, click, go...

Cable or satellite TV?  Which one is better: satellite TV or cable? In most any comparison, the answer seems to depend on whom you ask...

Cable TV  Cable TV is how the television entered American homes. In its early stages, cable TV service was quite different from the modern cable TV we know now...

Direct Broadcast Satellite  Direct Broadcast Satellite (DBS) TV service is a high-powered broadcast service to homes using satellites as the primary form of signal transmission. Its high transmission power makes possible use of relatively small dish antennas for efficient signal reception and utilization. Commercial satellite TV, as we know it, is a DBS service...

Dish Network  Dish Network is the second largest direct broadcast satellite (DBS) service provider in the US. Together with DirecTV, it shares the US home satellite TV market. Dish Network started commercial DBS broadcasting  in 1996, after its first TV satellite - EchoStar I - has been launched in 1995...

DirecTV  DirecTV is a direct broadcast satellite (DBS) service provider, based in Las Vegas, Nevada. Launched in 1994 by Hughes Electronics Corporation, it was the very first high-powered (mini-dish) DBS service in the world...

High-speed INTERNET  Whether you spend many hours browsing the Internet on daily basis, or use it less frequently, high-speed Internet connection appears to be irresistibly convenient. While it comes at added cost, most people find its benefits worth added expense, which can be quite low...

High-definition TV  Are you too mystified and intrigued by this new kid on the TV block: high-definition television. Expectations run high, but so is the uncertainty - what is really different about it, when compared with standard-definition television (SDTV)?...

Satellite Radio  If you like listening to radio programming, satellite radio has some goodies to offer. Great variety of channels, most of them commercial-free, high quality sound when it is needed, possibility to listen to your favored programming wherever you are...

 News Wire  The latest in the satellite/cable industry...

 

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