How To Choose Between Cable TV and Satellite TV

 


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First of all, virtually nobody has an antenna anymore to watch TV, not even my grandparents who live literally in the middle of nowhere. It just doesn’t make sense and with the new technologies and broadcast standards coming into play within the next few years, it is a major question mark as to whether or not traditional broadcast TV will even be available. So you have two choices, how do you decide what is best for you?

Cable TV is a good option. Not excellent, perhaps not the best, but good. On the plus side, cable TV provides good picture clarity, good reception, and very few problems. Most cable TV providers can also give you HDTV (High Definition TV), although they will charge you more for it and you will need an enhanced cable box to really take advantage of all that HDTV brings to the table. And of course, the TV that you own must be able to display HDTV, and if your TV was manufactured more than 3-5 years ago, that might be a huge question mark that you should find out before you pay extra money for HDTV capabilities.

On the downside, it is expensive, typically a noticeable amount more expensive than the satellite TV counterpart. The basic cable service gives you a truckload of channels to choose from and you can also opt for (at additional cost) to have a Chinese menu of premium channels available, like sports channels, various movie channels, and more.

One thing to note is that your cable company MAY be willing to cut you a deal if they are also providing you with high-speed cable Internet access. It is worth checking into, but keep the bottom line cost in mind, as it really may not be a deal at all. Your cable company is probably also willing to provide you with a VOIP phone where you can make and receive phone calls over your high-speed Internet connection. Be aware of this because getting VOIP service from your cable provider is very likely your WORST and most cost INEFFECTIVE option! See my other articles on VOIP phone service in this directory for more details on that aspect.

Satellite TV is typically a better choice, and almost always more cost effective. Yes, you can still get HDTV with a satellite TV connection. The picture quality will be equal to or better than what you get with cable. Your satellite dish will need to be mounted on the outside of your house and will require a clear and unobstructed view of the southern sky (in the US). The only real detriment to satellite TV is the fact that the picture quality can degrade during times of heavy rain or heavy snow. If you live in an area where this might be a frequent occurrence, this problem can be resolved for the most part by opting for a larger satellite dish, which will be more efficient at capturing the signals.

If you live in a rental house or an apartment, you will likely need to get permission from your landlord to mount your satellite dish on the building. If your particular neighborhood is big on aesthetics, they may not allow this, so be sure you have permission before placing your order.

The major satellite TV providers today, Dish Networks and DirecTV, typically offer free installation in up to 4 rooms of your home, and also provide free equipment, sometimes also including a DVR (Digital Video Recorder). During promos, you can sometimes also get about 3 free months of movie channels and sports channels to see if you like them. The provider is of course hoping you will like them and upgrade your account to include those channels.

From a picture quality perspective, both options are good. From a cost perspective, satellite wins almost every time. Understand the pros and cons of each choice so you can make the decision that is best for your particular situation.

Jon is a computer engineer who maintains many websites to pass along his knowledge and findings. You can read more about satellite TV details, tips, and promos at his web site at http://www.satellite-tv-inside-info.com/

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