With all of the great advances made by the satellite TV industry when it comes to supplying television programming to a huge number of people anywhere in the country at an affordable cost, it's amazing that the cable TV industry hasn't been able to keep up. At least that's what you would think until you looked a little bit more deeply into the situation. In actuality, the cable TV industry hasn't been able to keep up because it was at a technological disadvantage from the beginning. While satellite TV companies like Dish Network were taking advantage of new technologies that allowed them to use cost effective eighteen inch satellite dishes and MPEG-2 data compression technologies and the digital television format, cable TV companies were content to just keep on using the same old fashioned analog TV format and expected their subscribers to be content with a mere one hundred channels or so. Meanwhile television networks recognized that the technology used by Dish Network and it's peers allowed them to broadcast a lot more channels than cable ever could, so they began producing new channels to fill that void and give the television viewing public even more choices of programming. The cable industry slowly saw the benefits of the technology used by Dish Network and slowly began to upgrade its cable networks and offer things like digital television in limited markets, but most cable TV companies were still lax when it came to upgrading their ability to offer more programming.
More recently the increased interest in high definition television (or HDTV as it's commonly known) has exposed a lot of the weaknesses of the cable industry overall. A few cable TV operators foresaw the advent of high definition television, but most of the smaller ones that were the slowest to change and upgrade are now at a tremendous disadvantage when it comes to offering HDTV to their subscribers. The cable networks that they run just don't have the capacity. Because a single high definition television channel can take up as much as ten times the bandwidth of a standard definition television channel, and these small cable TV companies (which make up the majority of coverage by the way) are already running at capacity, they'd have to dump as many as ten standard definition channels for every HDTV channels that they offered or they'd have to drastically expand their networks. Rather than alienating customers by dropping channels, these cable operators have chosen to alienate their customers by drastically raising their rates in order to finance the expensive process of digging up and replacing older cable networks with new high capacity fiber optic ones.
Meanwhile Dish Network has been able to provide increasing numbers of high definition as well as standard definition channels while keeping its rates stable. This has led to a defection of many cable TV customers who have gotten fed up with expensive cable bills and inferior service. These defectors have discovered many other advantages of Dish Network subscriptions as well. These advantages include the clear picture and sound of digital television programming, an unsurpassed ability to customize programming packages, and a huge selection of programming packages to begin with.
It's no wonder that the cable TV industry has been losing subscribers while Dish Network has been gaining them.
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