Satellite dishes and cable boxes seem to be quite popular. The old traditional antenna is becoming obsolete. Data packets of information enter your television through the sky or from a network of cables. One question still remains, “which is better for me?”
Of course the answers is a resounding, “it depends.” Both have a high quality of picture and deliver on a number of options. However, here are a few tips that should help in making a decision between satellite or cable.
One of the first questions you should ask yourself is how many TV sets do you have in the house? If your answer is more than four, than you may want to go with cable because some satellite providers can only provide up to four receivers per home. In order to get HD programming both satellite and cable require an HD receiver, and you usually pay additional fees for HD receivers. Satellite has a starting cost around $30 per month, which includes local channels. Each additional receiver will carry a charge, plus a monthly fee of around $5. If you upgrade to HD then satellite usually charges around $10 per month, regardless of how many receivers you have. Cable typically has a higher starting cost than satellite, but averages out when adding additional receivers. Therefore, if you only want one or two receivers then satellite is probably the cheaper option.
Another thing to consider is pay-per-view. Each satellite receiver gives you the ability to buy additional movies and sporting events. I believe there are some that still use traditional cable with no receiver. This option does not allow HD or pay-per-view. If you are like me and want to keep track of your favorite football team, than you need the pay-per-view option!
A third thing to consider is high speed internet access. If you go with cable they usually give you a discount for high speed internet. Both cable television and internet run around $100, which is quite expensive. Most people that go with satellite end up getting DSL for high speed internet. The combination of satellite and DSL is around $75, which is less expensive than the cable options. Keep in mind that cable internet is a little faster with respect to latency (ping rate) than the basic DSL option. DSL is still very fast and provides a great service that is cost efficient.
One final thing to consider when choosing between cable or satellite is signal interruptions. Sometimes in severe weather the satellite reception can get brief signal interruptions that result in a garbled picture. The good thing about satellite interruptions is they only last for a few seconds in brief intervals. If the cable goes out it is usually because of a broken line in the network that can take several hours fix. So decide how you will react when watching your favorite show or sporting event; do you want a brief interval of static, or a smaller chance, but still possible, of missing the whole show?
If you are wondering what choice I made, it is satellite. I really like the HD DVR and it is a little cheaper than cable. I also like the satellite DVR software better than what cable offers.