How To Compare Satellite TV to Cable or Broadband TV

Technology has come a long way in terms of television reception. From terrestrial free TV, consumers are now able to choose between Cable or Broadband TV and Satellite TV. Cable television is the most popular medium of home television reception. Broadband Internet cable connection is available with this type of set-up. On the other hand, Satellite TV is making its presence felt across the country, especially in areas where cable is not available.

When faced with a choice between getting your entertainment, news, sports and lifestyle programs from either Cable or Broadband TV and Satellite TV, you have to compare these two options side by side.

Equipment Required

Satellite TV requires at least one satellite dish placed outside your home. It should be located where the view of the sky is unobstructed by either nature or man-made objects. A box is required for each television set that will receive programs from the dish. Some satellite receivers come with DVRs (Digital Video Recorders). Depending on the type of service agreement you choose, the equipment can be purchased at the beginning of the contract or loaned to the subscriber for a guaranteed one year or more service contract.

Cable TV simply requires the proper cabling that will run into the house or building plus the cable box or receiver per television unit. The digital cable box is usually returned by the subscriber upon termination of the contract.


Satellite TV supports more than 250 channels of digital quality programming including Pay-Per-View shows. Less local programs are available through satellite reception. High Definition TV or HDTV services are offered by satellite carriers. You can access an interactive, electronic program guide through your remote control. With the DVR, you can record programs, rewind, pause, fast-forward and stop the show as you are viewing it.

Cable TV supports more than 300 channels. These are digital quality as well. Local channels are also part of their line-up as well as Pay-Per-View movies. Subscribers also have the option video-on-demand (a selection of movies and TV shows that subscribers can order and viewed whenever he wants). Cable TV also offers HDTV channels and an interactive, electronic program guide on your screen.

Reception Quality

Satellite TV offers better reception when compared to Cable TV. It is 100% digital quality. Unfortunately, satellite reception is greatly affected by bad weather conditions. Cable TV also provides digital channels that show crystal clear images.

Satellite TV’s initial cost is higher due to the equipment needed. However, this will still depend on the type of contract or commitment you are willing to sign with the satellite provider. Satellite TV comes out cheaper when compared to Cable TV on a per channel basis especially since all channels are digital quality. However, cable companies do offer smaller packages at lower prices.

Satellite TV and Cable or Broadband TV have their pluses and minuses. If you want more channels in all digital quality that comes out cheaper in some areas, satellite is the way to go. But remember you will be at the mercy of Mother Nature when you choose Satellite TV. On the other hand, Cable TV is not affected by obstructions like buildings, hills or tall trees. It can come bundled with broadband Internet connection for your surfing needs. Choosing between cable and satellite requires some thought so take your time and asses your needs and wants when it comes to watching your favorite TV shows.


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