Read these 6 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 Satellite TV tips and hundreds of other topics.
So many channels, so little time. If you've looked through the offers in your mail lately, you've probably had cable companies and satellite TV companies wooing you with their television channel subscription services. So how do you decide which to pick? Here's a little guide to help you through the process.
Price – The typical price for a basic cable service tends to be better, but satellite TV companies can give you more for your money. Even the low-end satellite TV packages will give you about three times the number of channels to watch.
Equipment – For those who like it simple, cable is best. You don't need additional equipment. Satellite TV subscribers must have a converter box, a remote, and a satellite dish to install.
Accessibility – Cable TV loses here. Some areas even in highly populated urban areas have limited cable channel access.
Programming Selection – Both cable and satellite TV offer a wide variety of television programming to satiate your viewing fix. With hundreds of channels to choose from, you'll simply have to find the package which suits your needs best.
It used to be that Internet access was only available through the slow process of modem phone lines. These days, it's common to find high-speed Internet service through your local television cable provider as part of their monthly service fee. The other option for high-speed Internet access is a DSL service where satellite companies have partnered with your local phone company.
Debating between getting your Internet service from a satellite TV provider like DIRECTV vs. cable? If you subscribe to satellite TV, it might be worth your while to go through your satellite TV provider to add a DSL service for a nominal fee. In a 2004 survey by J.D. Power and Associates, thousands of U.S. residents participated in a poll on overall satisfaction with their Internet service. The winner in seven areas of customer satisfaction, including billing, business image, costs, customer service, email, promotions, and reliability, was DSL. The clear winner here in DIRECTV vs. cable is DIRECTV.
All of us see advertisements out there comparing satellite television to digital cable. Here, we want to focus on the costs of each to give you a good comparison of cable vs. satellite. Based on averages, here are some of the costs that you can expect from each.
Setup Costs – Cable vs. Satellite. When you initially subscribe to either satellite or digital cable television, there will be set-up fees. The differences are easy to see based on the equipment required for the subscription. With satellite TV, you will need to purchase the equipment. You will also need to install the satellite TV system, which can be done by yourself, but really should be left to professionals for the best reception and typically is done free of charge. When shopping, also look out for free equipment specials that most satellite providers will offer.
Set-up fees for digital cable are also low because the only piece of equipment required is a digital converter box.
Verdict: Setup fees for Digital cable and satellite TV are similar.
Monthly Fees – Cable vs. Satellite Here is where satellite takes an edge over digital cable. The monthly fees for digital cable will vary greatly on your subscriber, but you can count on paying more for the more channels that you want. On the other hand, satellite television will come with the majority of the channels included. Add on's for satellite boil down to exclusive offers such as the NFL Sunday Ticket™, expanded movie packages, and pay-per-view events.
Verdict: Monthly fees for Satellite are lower then Cable.
In the end, the setup costs of digital cable vs. satellite television are similar. The key is to determine which matters more to you: setup costs or monthly fees. But if selection matters most and you would rather have lower monthly costs, satellite TV is the choice for you.
If you have recently moved or are just thinking of changing your television service, you should consider the installation and set up of all of your options when making your choice. If you are choosing between DIRECTV vs. cable TV, here are a few of the differences between the installations of each. You should contact each for more detailed information before making your decision.
Signing up for digital cable service is fairly simple. First, you will want to contact you local provider and establish an account. After you have chosen your level of service and channel selections, you will be provided with a digital converter box and the necessary cables to install the unit. Basically, you just need to connect the cable line from the wall directly to your converter box and then connect the output form the converter box to the input on your television. You can use coaxial, s-video, or component video cables for installing most digital converter boxes. Once you have this done, you should be ready to watch.
If signing up for cable is fairly simple then signing up for DIRECTV is the simplest. Once you call and order the DIRECTV system a professional installer will contact you to set up an installation appointment. The good thing is that most DIRECTV systems come with free installation. The satellite dish that is required for DIRECTV will be mounted where it will have a clear line of site to the southern sky. After the dish is installed, the installer will install the receivers you ordered. The installer will connect the output from the dish to the input on the receiver and then the output from the receiver to the input on your TV.
More and more advances are being made in how people watch television. Cable has expanded to digital cable and there are also the major satellite providers. How can people choose when all options appear so similar? The truth is that they are not so similar and there are major differences that should be accounted for. Here are a few of the downsides to cable vs. satellite TV.
First, with cable, you are often restricted in which channels you can receive. Certain pay channels and expanded channels are not offered by all cable providers. With satellite, you can get every channel that is available, no matter where you live. Also, with cable, your access to high definition programming can be very limited. Most cable providers have yet to expand their HD programming to include all available channels. With satellite, you can get access to all of the available HD channels on the air. Lastly, with cable TV, you cannot access many of the sports packages that are offered on satellite. Whether you prefer the NFL or March Madness, certain sports are only available from satellite.
There are many other downsides to cable television, but there are many upsides as well. Do what you can to educate yourself as to all of these before you decide on your home TV solution.
If your television reception has been filled with static and you have found that it is because of a bad coaxial cable, don't worry. Fixing a bad coaxial cable is easy with the right equipment and knowledge. Here, we can only give you the knowledge, but the equipment can be found online or at you local hardware store as well.
First, what exactly is the problem? If you have broken off the piece of cable that passes into your television set, here is the solution. You will need a pair of wire strippers to begin.
Start by prying off the metal or plastic threaded connection piece. Once off, use the wire strippers to strip the cable back about a half to three quarters of an inch. Cleanly expose only the center cable and remove the housing that surrounds it. Try not to fray any of the interior housing because this will make the next step more difficult. Once the wire is stripped and ready, you will need to put a new connector piece on it. If possible, you can re-use your old piece. If removing it did too much damage, you can pick up a new piece at any hardware store. To put it on, simply slide it over the end and then use a set of pliers to seal the connection. The connector should grip firmly to the housing.
This is only one solution to repairing this specific problem. For other coaxial cable solutions you can look around LifeTips or contact your cable company. If you simply cannot get the job done, you can always buy a new coaxial cable for a few bucks.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|