Cable TV Vs. Satellite TV Tips

Read these 10 Cable TV Vs. Satellite TV Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Cable TV tips and hundreds of other topics.

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What Equipment Will I Need for Both?

What About the Equipment?

Do cable and satellite television require similar equipment or are there major differences in what equipment is needed?

With cable, you generally only need one receiver per television in which you want to view digital cable on. You can also add a DVR (Digital Video Recorder) to your equipment if you wish to have this service with your cable. When you disconnect your cable due to a move or a change in providers, you will most likely need to return the equipment to your cable provider.

Satellite television requires the use of a dish that is set up outside of your home. This will allow you to receive the signal you need to view satellite television in your home. Besides the dish that you need, you will also need a receiver for your television set. Many times you will need one receiver for two televisions and any TVs after that will need a receiver, also. Satellite providers generally allow you to rent the equipment and then return it when you discontinue using their service.

   
Is There a Difference in Interactive TV Between the Two?

Interactive TV and Cable vs Satellite

Is there a difference in interactive programming with cable television compared with satellite television?

Cable television will bring with it an interactive, electronic program guide that pops up on your television. Cable will also offer you On Demand videos, movies and shows and On Demand subscription services in many areas.

Satellite television will bring with it an interactive, electronic program guide that, like cable, will be available through your remote and visible on your television screen. You will also be offered Pay-Per-View programming and DVR (Digital Video Recorder). DVR allows you to fast-forward, rewind, pause and stop programming as you are viewing it.

   

Cable TV and Satellite Customer Satisfaction

Are there differences in cable customer satisfaction and satellite television customer satisfaction?

According to J.D. Powers and Associates, cable customers reported, on average, cable outages of 3 to 5 percent of the time per year. It ranked cable companies as "good" to "poor" when it comes to customer satisfaction for the last five years.

J.D. Powers and Associates also reported that satellite had power outages 1 percent of the time each year. It ranked satellite companies, Dish Network and DIRECTV, as higher in customer satisfaction compared to cable customers for the last five years of service.

   
What is the History of Satellite TV?

Satellite TV History

Ever wonder how satellite TV got its start? Here is a brief history to better understand how satellite TV was invented and how it works today.

Satellite television started in 1945 when a man named Arthur C. Clark thought that satellite worldwide would be a great idea, so he wrote an article about it. The article caused people to stand up and take notice of his idea. He obviously had a vision of the future because the man also wrote "2001: A Space Odyssey."

In 1976, HBO (Home Box Office) started the satellite television trend by delivering a program to cable television via satellite. This broadcast, a heavy weight boxing match known as "The Thriller In Manila" was broadcast all over the country. Once this occurred, a man named H. Taylor Howard created a large dish-shaped antenna that he used to intercept the signal that cable television providers used to transmit cable to their customers. Howard wrote a check to pay for the movies he had viewed through his satellite signal and eventually wrote a how-to manual on exactly how he managed to create this antenna.

In 1977, Pat Robertson started the first satellite-delivered network for basic cable. The Christian Broadcasting Network was born thanks to him. After this, several other networks followed his path and began creating networks that would be broadcasted via satellite. Satellite television has continued to grow and expand from one man's idea to a multi-million dollar industry.

   
What is the History of DIRECTV?

DIRECTV History

Everything has a history, including DIRECTV. DIRECTV began in 1994 as a direct broadcast satellite system that transmits satellite television to homes and businesses throughout the United States, the Caribbean and Latin America.

In 1981 a man known as Stanley Hubbard, a founder of the United States Satellite Broadcasting. It took ten years for the rest of the world, in the technology sense, to catch up to his vision. He eventually contacted RCA Electronics and Hughes Electronics with the hope of developing a satellite television service for people in their homes by using a dish. The dish was based on a dish, although much smaller, that was created by the Global Broadcast System. Eventually the two agreed to work together to bring satellite with the dish to consumers. Thus, in 1994 DIRECTV was launched.

As of June 2006, DIRECTV is responsible for bringing satellite television to almost 16 million viewers in the above mentioned areas. In keeping with DIRECTV's customer satisfaction, the company proved it really does listen to its customers and has made a promise that by the end of 2007, 100 percent of its markets will have local programming available to all customers.

   
What is the Difference With Cable and Satellite Programming?

Cable vs Satellite Programming

If you are wondering what differences there are between cable television programming and satellite television programming, there are just a few that are noticeable.

Cable television may have up to 300 channels to choose from. You can get most of these programs in digital cable, but you must have a digital receiver to do so. You can get local channels and several Pay-Per-View movies or shows to watch. Cable also offers many On Demand programs that allow you to watch a show whenever you want. Cable television is also offering many high-definition programs, as long as you have a high-definition television set.

Satellite programming, on the other hand, offers around 250 channels and all of them are digital. In most areas, satellite has local channels offered, but you may have to pay an extra fee to receive them. In some areas and with some satellite providers, local channels are not available. Satellite providers are also offering high definition programming for customers who have high definition televisions.

   
Which is Better, DIRECTV or Dish Network?

Dish Network vs DIRECTV

When it all comes down to it, which satellite provider is better? Dish Network or DIRECTV? Let's talk about some of the other perks for each and then you can determine which one has more to offer.

DIRECTV has tons of programming packages and hundreds of channels. It also offers, for an added cost, NFL's Sunday Ticket, which allows you to receive all of the NFL games played every Sunday. Dish Network has a lot of programming packages and hundreds of channels. Prices are very reasonable and there seems to be something for everyone.

As mentioned above, DIRECTV offers the NFL Sunday Ticket for a sports package. Dish Network, while not offering the NFL Sunday Ticket, does have season ticket packages for its viewers. You can choose from, and for a price, professional soccer games, MLB (Major League Baseball), NBA games, and professional hockey games.

If Pay-Per-View is important to you, then you are in luck regardless of if you choose Dish Network or DIRECTV. Pay-Per-View is available to all customers with both satellite providers.

As far as price goes, it often seems that DIRECTV is more expensive than Dish Network. However, DIRECTV seems higher because its packages usually include many more channels when compared to packages with Dish Network.

Which one is better? That is really up to the viewer!

   
Is Cable Reception Better Than Satellite?

Reception Quality of Cable vs Satellite

Is there a difference in the reception quality you receive if you have cable television versus satellite television?

Currently, cable television offers both analog cable and digital cable. Beware, though, that come February 2009, analog cable will go by the wayside and digital cable will be your only cable choice. If you have analog cable right now, you may notice that your signal is not as strong as with digital and that the signal you receive is weaker. Also, your picture quality isn't as clear as it is with digital cable.

If you have satellite television, you will find every channel available to you in digital format. You should have clear viewing on every channel and reception should be clear when compared to cable television. It is important to remember that satellite television often has interruptions because of the weather, while cable television does not.

   
Which One Should I Choose?

Which is Best for Me?

With much information on both cable television and satellite television out there, which is the right one for you?

It all comes down to choice. Cable television is, on average, more expensive when compared to satellite television. However, if you want smaller packages for a cheaper price, cable television may be the choice for you.

If you want tons of channels for a reasonable price and if you want to make sure everything you view is in digital format, then satellite television may be your best option.

What the bottom line really comes down to is what is right for you. Some people prefer cable because there tends to be less weather-related outages. Some people prefer satellite because, when compared to cable in their area, it's cheaper. What is right for you is really a personal decision. No one can make up your mind or tell you which one you should select. It all comes down to personal choice.

   
When Was Dish Network Created?

Dish Network History

If you have Dish Network as your satellite television provider, you are a subscriber to the fastest growing provider of advanced digital television for the last five years.

Dish Network was first developed in 1996 and owned by a parent company known as EchoStar. In 1995, EchoStar decided to develop its first commercial satellite. This satellite was known as EchoStar . This was a major gamble for EchoStar, but it paid off for the company with its success. Because of the success, EchoStar launched Dish Network the following year for people to utilize within their homes. The "Dish" in Dish Network stands for Digital Sky Highway.

Dish Network has grown in popularity throughout the years and in 2006 was serving more than 12 million houses. In the last five years alone, Dish Network has had more than 6 million customers sign up for service with them. On average, Dish Network is viewed by around 30 million people in the 12 million homes that are subscribers to this specific satellite television.

   
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