Compare and Contrast of Cable TV vs. satellite TV.

Essay by joda35University, Bachelor's November 2005

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Cable TV vs. Satellite TV.

Millions of Americans are switching from cable TV to satellite TV.

When you compare satellite TV to cable TV you'll discover the main reasons are cost, picture quality, program choices, and customer satisfaction.

Most cable companies now offer digital cable. Digital cable is usually a hybrid where some cable channels are analog and others are digital. All satellite TV channels are always sent as a digital signal. While the rates of cable TV vary, the average cable subscriber pays $50.00 monthly ( However, many cable companies offer bundles that include cable TV, digital phone, and cable internet, often at substantial savings. Where as the average cost of satellite service is about 4% less than cable. Satellite subscribers save an average of about $2.00 monthly compared to cable. Additional charges are usually added for installation and equipment. These charges range from $30 to $80.

Free equipment and professional installation are offered by most satellite retailers.

Although digital cable signals may pass through several substations, the reduction in image and sound quality is minimal. The quality of the image and sound of cable vs. satellite TV is determined by how much the digital signal is compressed. The image and sound of satellite TV are digital quality. However, during heavy storms the satellite signal may fade temporarily.

While the innovation of HDTV is increasing, cable HDTV is still only available in a few select areas. Outside of the digital cable box and remote, usually no other equipment is necessary. Most satellite retailers offer free HDTV options. To accommodate increased HDTV programming, Dish Network has expanded their bandwidth capabilities. DIRECTV will soon be able to offer over 1500 HDTV channels.

At the present time DVR is also available only in limited areas. Like HDTV, DVR also requires...