Many people are not aware of the differences between cable and satellite TV. And this creates confusion when they try to subscribe to a TV service. I subscribed to the Spectrum TV plan and was lucky that the reps guided me well. However, one should be aware of what these both types of TV services are and what are the differences between them.
In case you do not know much already, here is your detailed guide:
Although the scope of this blog post is limited to discussing cable TV and satellite TV, you should know that there are two other forms as well – IPTV and OTT streaming. The former two have to do with broadcast TV. While the latter two operate on Internet networks.
So before we begin to have a look at how cable and satellite TV are different from one another, you should know that they both operate on broadcast networks. In case you are wondering what broadcast networks are, then these are networks that broadcast content that they receive from a central point.
However, there is a difference in how the data transfers to you in both cases. If you subscribe to cable TV, then it will reach you via a coaxial cable network. On the other hand, if you opt for satellite TV, the data will reach you via radio waves that the satellite dish or cable boxes pick up. Nowadays, there are so many satellite networks like dish network available so do be sure to compare a few different television packages if you are thinking about switching to satellite.
To begin with, let’s have a look at how the installation process for both differs. If you opt for cable TV, you would need to call an expert technician as only he will be able to connect everything. However, there could be an exception if you are using the Internet service form the same provider already. In that case, a cable line would be installed in your house. All you would have to do is connect the TV which you can do yourself as well. Other than that, in case you are not happy with the basic cable plans and want anything beyond that, you will also need to subscribe to a cable box.
On the other hand, satellite TV asks you to install a dish on your rooftop or your house’s side. Not only is that a hassle but you also have to be particular about the dish facing South. This is a non-negotiable condition. You can choose to self-install or call a technician. However, the former would consume a lot of your time.
If you have cable TV or are planning to have it, you won’t have to worry about losing reception. Because that hardly happens in the case of cable TV. However, if you bring satellite TV into consideration, you will only receive clear signals as long as everything is clear between the satellite and Southern sky. The moment something stands in their ways like a tree or clouds, get ready to face disruption.
But if you have a strongly mounted dish that hardly moves from its position, then you won’t have to care about bad reception. Unless, of course, the weather goes bad.
Apart from the installation and reception, something that matters a great deal is the availability of a service. This is the only thing that matters at times. When you compare both based on availability, then the most widely available option is satellite TV. Cable TV is only available in regions where the provider has coverage. And these do not include the rural areas most of the time. On the other hand, satellite TV is widely available. You will find it everywhere. Without any exceptions.
HD is where it is at these days. Everyone wishes to relish watching TV in high definition. And when it comes to the quality of channels, satellite TV is a clear winner. It also comes well equipped with a wide range of national channels available in HD as well. Not that cable TV does not have to offer HD channels. But it offers more local programming in high definition.
So, if you wish to watch the most prominent channels in HD, then you should opt for satellite TV. However, if you are indifferent, then you can subscribe to cable TV.
In the case of cable TV, you will have to get the wiring installed in your house. But that is hidden. So, no one will be able to tell if you are using cable TV services. However, this is not the case when it comes to satellite TV. As you would need to install a dish on your roof or at the side of your house. Thus, making it obvious. But it is purely upon you to decide whether you are comfortable with a display of dish in your house or not. Many people don’t mind but some do.
If you prefer cable TV, you can check various other services’ prices like Spectrum Internet and TV prices to have a comparison of the available packages in both cases. Apart from these features, you should also have a look at the channels that each service offers. Your service providing company would be able to better guide you on this.