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Satellite TV vs. Cable TV

Television providers all want you to think that they are the best at what they do. Cable companies advertise their speed and simplicity while satellite television providers expound upon their availability and price. In order to define their differences more clearly it’s best to do some additional research, which this article will provide.

Availability
Before any of the other factors matter, you have to know that you can actually use the products in question. While cable offers many benefits, one drawback is its limited reach, which can render some more remote locations impossible for a cable company to provide service to. Satellite is a perfect foil to this weakness, and is readily available in all parts of north America. Because satellite uses communication satellites in space, the only restriction is your placement of the receiving dish on your property. If you have a clear view of the southern sky, you’re all set and should be able to receive full featured television service even in remote, low population areas. In the case that your view of the southern sky is blocked (apartment buildings, geography, etc.)then remember that cable does not have any such requirement.

Reception Quality
Which sounds more secure, a thousand feet of reinforced cable, or a plastic dish bolted to your roof? If you chose the cable, you are (predictably) correct. The quality in cable reception rarely dips unless the whole system or grid is experiencing the same problem. What you give up in mobility, you gain in security of service, and should not need to worry about user-end issues very often. Satellite, however, is a more fragile tool. If anything begins to block the satellites view, knock it out of alignment, or you are experiencing bad weather, then you can have reception problems. If the dish is secured properly, the 2 former problems will be very minimal. However, bad weather will always be a temporary road block.

Available Programming
So now for what you are getting television for in the first place: channels. The split is again very even in this category, cable has more local channels while satellite has a larger selection of international and nationwide programming. Additionally, satellite offers a couple hundred channels in its basic (low cost) channel package, which is usually the number that cable companies aim for in their premium package.

Installation
By now you’ve chosen which type of television service to go for and it’s time to get it put in place. Both types will require a serviceman to come to your house, with installation fees being varied and occasionally waived all together. Satellite installation means securing the dish to your roof (remember the south-facing caveat) and that means having a serviceman climb about and install a semi permanent structure. Cable will require a line run through your house, and you will need to rent a cable box from your provider to access all the channels.

Price
So what does all that cost? Well once again we have a trade off. Cable is usually more expensive(refer to the programming section) however, they can offer more bundled services (TV, internet, and a telephone line) than satellite and can end up being a good bargain. Satellite still offers more channels at a lower price, but usually has you sign a contract for a year or so, and cannot offer the same bundles cable can.

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