Comparing the Benefits of Cable TV versus Satellite TV

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Comparing the Benefits of Cable TV versus Satellite TV

Staff Writer · Jan 7, 2010

Comparing the benefits of cable TV versus satellite TV before one commits to either is a smart idea for savvy apartment dwellers who want to save money. Because both services may come with 6- to 12-month contracts, be sure which service is better for you before you sign the dotted line.

Cheaper Service

While no one cable or satellite company is exactly like another, you can compare some general offerings of cable TV versus satellite TV. To discover which service is “cheaper” depends exactly on what services are offered in your area. Services are typically competitive and the more competition there is in an area, the more competitive the monthly prices will be. Both kinds of services may offer package deals with Internet, landline and/or cell phones, which leads to further savings in your monthly budget.

However, cable has one resounding benefit over satellite: it is often much cheaper to have installed, particularly in an apartment. Satellite TV involves more hardware, whereas cable might be already ready for your apartment or apartment complex and simply require hooking up your apartment to the existing service line.

Better Options

There is no clear winner in the “better options” category when it comes to cable TV versus satellite TV, as much depends on the interests of the individual consumer and the offerings of each locally accessible TV provider. Both can and often do offer HD channels, movie channels, sports channels, news channels, local channels and specialty channels in varying package deals in which the consumer can pick and choose which groups of channels to add.

As far as international and/or extremely specialized channels go, satellite may be the better option, as the broad range of a satellite dish can often reach channels that local cable companies wouldn’t even think to offer. As for local channels, though, cable may be the best bet. Some channels, like The Weather Channel, don’t offer localized forecasts on some satellite services. Other areas, such as those close to two large metropolitan areas, can get HD network TV for two cities on cable but only one on satellite.

Troubleshooting

When bad weather occurs, both cable and satellite may go out, so comparing cable TV versus satellite TV when it comes to troubleshooting may be a difficult point. When the power goes out, people lose both services. However, satellite may prove a little more temperamental when it comes to bad thunderstorms and snow fall.

Snow can accumulate on satellite dishes and, if the dishes are difficult to access, can be a pain for the consumer to clear. If cable goes out, all repairs are left in the hands of dispatched professionals. Cable companies most likely have local dispatch offices, but satellite companies may not have repair people easily available in your area.

Once you’ve compared cable TV versus satellite TV, decide which service is best for you-if either is. Remember, a lot of cable programs are legally streamed for free online and you can always head to the library to rent movies and TV show box sets for free, so there are more options than paying for TV.

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