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Satellite vs. Cable: And the Winner Is...
by: Frederick Greystone

A fierce battle is carrying on between satellite TV and cable TV in America. While cable has lots of option with numerous providers, satellite also has lots of choices but only two providers - DishNetwork and DirectTV. The choice between the services is such a close call that it boils down to preference. Some cable fans quickly point out that satellite is a fair-weather friend and some satellite fans boast of satellites versatility in channels. You be the judge and weigh each side.

In the United States, satellite TV subscribers have a choice between Direct TV and DishNetwork. Cable TV providers, on the other hand, are more abundant. Most cable subscribers choose either basic cable or digital cable. Digital cable has many more options than basic cable. Both satellite and cable hook up with DSL Internet service, HDTV, TiVo, parental control and other fun features. However, to get these services, you'll need extra equipment. Satellite TV had been scoring a one up on cable in this round: high definition reception automatically comes through satellite TV, whereas cable TV made customers pay extra for this reception. However this advantage ended once HD became mandatory on all new sets in the US in 2007 and all channels now come through HD.

The more options the better, according to many subscribers. Satellite wins hands down in this arena, although cable undoubtedly carries lots of channels. Many fans of satellite TV believe its reception is crisper and love the fact you can interact with many channels. You can also watch a satellite sports channel and turn off the broadcaster or watch a sports event and leave out commercials. Cable TV may soon catch up since it's trying out a few new interactive channels such as Time Warner Cable's interactive games and sports news.

Cable TV doesn't limit all you TVs to broadcasting the same channel on every TV. You can watch different channels on different TVs. This isn't so easy to do with satellite TV. You need a separate receptor box to get a different reception than what's showing on a different TV. However, one receptor box can be hooked up to as many as 6 sets. The satellite TV providers are now offering these boxes for free rather than charging for additional boxes in the past. Even though cable TV comes through a cable line hooked up to your TV, cable seems to win in this department.

While weather can sometimes affect cable reception, a lot more can interfere with satellite TV signals. A satellite TV dish needs to be obstruction-free to the south of where it's placed (reception of satellite TV comes from the South). Most subscribers have their dish located either on their roof or porch. While some homeowner associations and landlords try to ban this placement, homeowners and renters have FCC regulations on their side.

No one can say for sure who's winning in the battle between cable and satellite. The call appears very close. Whichever service you decide has more to do with your preference for one option or another since the costs even look close and the issues look pretty upfront. So, which side are you on?




 



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