Should I go with Satellite or Cable?

McCurdy

DTVUSA Rookie
#1
Which is better? Cable or satellite? :) I know it's a subjective question but I'd like to see what everybody thinks. Both services are about the same cost for me although if I add High Speed Internet, the slight cost advantage goes to my local cable provider.
 

bicker

DTVUSA Member
#2
It isn't just that it is subjective, but also it depends on your specific circumstances: Where you live, mostly, but also to some extent what types of programming you like, sometimes down to the specifics of which sports you like.

A pretty-reliable rule-of-thumb is that, with minor exception, you get what you pay for. So if the price is about the same, then on average the value provided is roughly the same. Given any two services at the same price, about half the people would be better-off with one, while the other half of the people would be better-off with the other.
 

FOX TV

Contributor
#3
Both services are way over priced. I got a Direc TV basic package back in 2001 for the going price at the time of $29.95. I have made absolutely no changes in my plan to date, but in that time frame, the costs have almost doubled for no apparent reason other than the never ending desire for huge profits by an out of control industry. I now pay $57.20 with local taxes etc,., but that is still cheaper than a comparable cable connection for a basic package in my area.That price increase is way more on a percentage basis than the basic cost of living has increased in that same time period.

Look out for "Introductory Offers" that lure you in for a short time, and then they spring a lot of purposely hidden fees and charges on you, and this is true of both types of services, Be sure to ask what the monthly charges will be after the introductory time frame has ended. They will balk at telling you this information, but it is very important to know that if you have any type of household budget you need to follow closely.

Since you obviously need internet access, cable may be a good choice, as lots of cable systems offer bulk packages that include high speed internet in the bundle, along with TV programming. Satellite services offer internet also, but it is cumbersome to install and set up, and most of them do not offer any type of bundling of TV and internet as a package, so you would be dealing with two separate companies, and two separate monthly bills.

Hughes Net satellite internet service is very deceptive in their commercials about downloading content. They actually have restrictions on how much you can download during certain peak hours, and only offer unlimited downloads from 3:00 AM until 7:00 AM. If you exceed those limits during the peak traffic hours, they charge you extra, but you will never see that advertised in their commercials.

Cable is normally more expensive than satellite, and that is why so many people are choosing satellite over cable, but each type has advantages and draw backs, and comparing those is about the only logical way to make an educated decision.
 

Yes616

The Mod Squad
#4
Consider everything both Fox and bicker have said plus make sure the service you sign up for has the channels you want. A great example of a shock is a Yankee fan signing up for Dish Network. Dish does NOT carry YES, the Yankee station AT ALL. Nor does Dish have WWOR in HD. The Yankees are on that channel sometimes. You must research this ahead of time. Once you sign that contract, you are committed.

Also, a satellite dish must have a clear line of site to the south. If there are trees, a building or a mountain in the way, it will not work.
 

cclc

DTVUSA Member
#5
I would recommend Cable. Much more reliable and less equipement needed and most cable providers offer very good high speed internet plans that you can bundle in with the cost of your tv.
 

Orrymain

, Blogger: Orry's Orations
#6
Cable by far in my opinion. Everyone I know, and even houses I've just watched who end up putting up a satellite, end up taking it down. They don't stick with Dish. They all return to cable.
 

bicker

DTVUSA Member
#7
Also, a satellite dish must have a clear line of site to the south. If there are trees, a building or a mountain in the way, it will not work.
Just a clarification of this. I believe the LoS needed for DirecTV, specifically, is actually south by south-west, not due south. Of course, it varies depending on location, but generally not due south. For example, from midtown Manhattan, DirecTV can be found somewhere around 192.2°-236.9°.

You can check which specific LoS you need here:
Satellite Finder / Dish Pointing Calculator with Google Maps | DishPointer.com
 

Yes616

The Mod Squad
#8
Just a clarification of this. I believe the LoS needed for DirecTV, specifically, is actually south by south-west, not due south. Of course, it varies depending on location, but generally not due south. For example, from midtown Manhattan, DirecTV can be found somewhere around 192.2°-236.9°.

You can check which specific LoS you need here:
Satellite Finder / Dish Pointing Calculator with Google Maps | DishPointer.com
You are right bicker, I was just being "in general" but Dish Network people on eastern arc may also need to see to the south east in addition to see the bird at 61.5°. I helps to understand everything before the problem starts. Some poeple get hooked up in the winter when there are no leaves on the trees and they get a signal but when the leaves come back, the trouble begins. Thanks for that link.
 

n2rj

Moderator
Staff member
#9
This is my personal preference.

My first preference would be Verizon FiOS if I could get it.

After that I am torn between cable and satellite.

Cable has CableCARD capability which allows me to use my own equipment. With the pizza dish companies you have to use theirs. No choice at all. To be fair this is a FCC limitation in that the FCC did not extend the cablecard ruling to all video providers (which they should have). But they may be rectifying this sometime in the future. "When" is anyone's guess but they are targeting 2012. However you get fewer HD channels on cable and many cable systems have lower quality HD than satellite.

DirecTV Satellite would be my third choice but the equipment choice limitation is important to me.

I don't think I'd ever go with Dish network.
 

bicker

DTVUSA Member
#10
To be fair this is a FCC limitation in that the FCC did not extend the cablecard ruling to all video providers (which they should have).
To be clear, the FCC regulations you are referring to (the separable security regulations, which the cable industry decided to implement as CableCARD) was indeed applicable to all MVPDs -- the FCC then went and deliberately granted waivers to DirecTV and Dish Network. So it wasn't a matter of their not extending the regulation to cover satellite -- it was that they actually excused satellite from compliance. Grrrrrrrrr.

But they may be rectifying this sometime in the future. "When" is anyone's guess but they are targeting 2012.
What are you referring to? I've seen no indications whatsoever that there are any significant plans to re-address this waiver. They are planning a whole new technology, called AllVid, that would encompass satellite (and presumably, this time, they wouldn't waive compliance for satellite). However, that will require all of us to buy new equipment (or converter boxes). Current CableCARD-compatible equipment will not suddenly become usable with satellite.

However you get fewer HD channels on cable and many cable systems have lower quality HD than satellite.
Whether you get fewer HD channels on cable or not depends on where you live. In some places, cable offers subscribers more HD channels than satellite systems offer to those subscribers. Beyond that, quality of HD also varies. On average, I'd put cable somewhere in between the two satellite providers.
 

n2rj

Moderator
Staff member
#11
What are you referring to? I've seen no indications whatsoever that there are any significant plans to re-address this waiver. They are planning a whole new technology, called AllVid, that would encompass satellite (and presumably, this time, they wouldn't waive compliance for satellite). However, that will require all of us to buy new equipment (or converter boxes). Current CableCARD-compatible equipment will not suddenly become usable with satellite.
I was referring to AllVid.

Whether you get fewer HD channels on cable or not depends on where you live. In some places, cable offers subscribers more HD channels than satellite systems offer to those subscribers. Beyond that, quality of HD also varies. On average, I'd put cable somewhere in between the two satellite providers.
There may be a few cable companies that have more but this is the exception rather than the rule, and those that have more HD channels do SDV or pack them 3:1, each of which has its own set of problems.
 

bicker

DTVUSA Member
#12
True, but then again, in many areas, Line of Sight and even weather can be problems for satellite services. There is no perfect solution.
 
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