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Why Satellite TV is Superior to Cable TV – A Non-Technical Observation

By Gareth Black

Up until the mid 90s the American television viewing public had the option of either watching the programs provided by the established free-to-air channels, or else they could subscribe to cable TV. At that time the cable TV providers were at the forefront of improving the quality of programming and ensuring the use of the latest TV technology.

However the introduction of satellite TV in the mid 90s was the start of a new television era that not only led to a continual improvement in the variety and quality of the programs being shown, it was also the start of a period during which a rapid improvement in TV technology took place.

The public now had a greater choice of TV options – more competition in the market place led to greater benefits for viewers. A bigger choice of channels and programs; cheaper subscription rates; improved customer service; and special deals for new subscribers. Families who wanted to improve their home entertainment choices now had a realistic choice – satellite TV or cable TV.

The major difference between the two types of systems is in the way the TV signal is transmitted. With cable, the signal is delivered to each household via a network of cables. The competing system uses a satellite situated in the south that transmits the signal to a satellite dish located usually on the roof of the subscriber’s house.

In the not too distant future satellite TV will become the most popular TV system in the country. There are a number of reasons why new subscribers and existing cable TV customers are taking up satellite TV in large numbers.

1) As the cable TV companies have been increasing their subscription charges at a faster rate than the satellite companies, cable is now dearer than satellite for the same program options and service. This trend is expected to continue in the future.

2) Satellite TV has a reputation for being more reliable than cable. Annoying transmission disruptions occur much more frequently with cable and are usually caused by bad weather conditions, a situation that doesn’t affect signal transmission by satellite. This problem is one of the major reasons for subscribers switching over to satellite.

3) All satellite TV channels are transmitted in 100% digital for both picture and sound. This feature provides a much more pleasurable and satisfying experience than watching many of the channels shown by cable TV. Another example of the better technology employed by the satellite companies.

4) Due to the superior technical features of satellite TV, it can provide a larger number of channels than cable therefore offering a much wider range of programming options for all. In addition to the free-to-air channels offered by the long-established TV companies – NBC, CBS, ABC, and Fox – all the popular programs presently shown on cable are available on satellite, plus many more. Indeed there is something for all interests whether it be news, current affairs and documentaries; sports; childrens’ programs; movies; light entertainment or sitcoms. Specials events such as concerts, sports etc. are also available.

5) Signing up new TV subscribers is a very competitive business. The two major satellite TV companies spend huge amounts on advertising trying to entice families to switch from cable and the other satellite company. What this means to those looking for a new TV provider is that there are plenty of deals and inducements around. From free equipment and installation, deals on program packages, and deals offered by the installers, new subscribers have never had it so good.

6) Regular surveys of the level of customer satisfaction clearly and consistently show that the satellite TV companies and their installers out-perform the cable companies.

7) Satellite TV subscribers can benefit from access to an internet connection provided by the satellite dish, giving a faster connection than by cable.

The intense level of competition between the two major satellite TV companies will always ensure that subscription rates are competitive and that the programming options will improve.

So for those families looking at a different option than their present service provider then there’s no better time to make that change than now. There’s plenty of great deals around with no equipment to buy; very little commitment on the part of the subscriber; and customer care is as good as ever.

About the Author: The American public demands constantly improved satellite TV services. To satisfy this demand one of the biggest providers, Dish Network regularly upgrades its already large range of channels – a range that surpasses anything the cable TV companies offer.


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