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Comparison of cable TV and satellite TV

Comparing cable TV to satellite TV is like comparing cassettes to CDs. Cable TV still uses outdated analog technology, while satellite TV uses state-of-the-art digital technology. And that’s just to start.

Here’s a comparison of cable TV vs. satellite television:

Cable TV and satellite TV rates

Cable TV

Rates for basic cable programming average $ 30 to $ 40 per month, depending on the company you choose and where you live. In my part of the forest it would cost me $ 37.30 per month to get 64 program channels, and if I wanted to get digital channels I would have to pay an additional $ 10.95 per month.

Satellite television

DISH Network prices start at $ 29.99 for 230 satellite TV channels, including 60 Sirius radio channels. DIRECTV pricing starts at $ 29.99 for 155 channels, including 50 XM satellite radio channels. And both satellite TV providers broadcast all their programming digitally so you don’t have to pay more for it.

As for price increases, cable rates have increased 41% since 1998, while satellite TV rates have only increased 8%.

Cable and satellite TV equipment

Cable TV

Cable television equipment consists of a cable that runs from a main junction box to the cable box that connects to a television. DVRs (digital video recorders) cost extra, and basic installation ranges from $ 25 to $ 75 or more, depending on where you live. Where I live, the installation would cost me $ 39.95 for one room and $ 9.95 for each additional room.

Satellite television

Satellite television equipment consists of a satellite dish and receivers. DISH Network and DIRECT will give you one free dish and up to four free receivers when you sign up for their service. Installation is free in up to four rooms in your home.

You also have the option of getting a free DVR so you can record your favorite shows, or a free HD (high definition) receiver so you can watch your shows in high definition.

Quality and reliability of cable and satellite television

Cable TV

Cable television transmits some of its programming in digital format and some of its programming in analog format, so picture quality can vary from sharp to fuzzy. Cable TV outages average 3% to 5% a year, and in most areas, if you have a problem with your service, you should call for help during business hours.

Satellite television

DISH Network and DIRECTV blackout rates are less than 1%. And if you have a problem, both companies have free online customer service available twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.

JD Power and Associates has ranked DISH Network and DIRECTV number one and number two in customers among all cable and satellite television providers for the past six years. They are also number one and two in the latest American customer satisfaction index.

Bottom line

If you only watch a few shows a week and can find a cable company that charges less than $ 20 a month, then cable TV may be your best option.

But if television is your primary form of entertainment and you are looking for the most programming options with the best picture quality at the lowest price, then satellite television is what you want.

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