tv screen with cable tv

Cable vs. Satellite: Which Should I Choose?

Cable vs. Satellite?

Satellite vs Cable?

Which should I choose?

The answer depends on what exactly you are looking for. Is it price? Reception quality? Availability? Access? The amount of channels?

Cable TV delivers television programming to your home or business via radio frequency signals that are transmitted through coaxial or fiber-optic cables. Reception quality can be either analog or digital. Availability is limited to whether or not there is access to cables in your area.

On the other hand, satellite TV delivers television programming via communications satellites received on an outdoor antenna, that is, a satellite dish. Since these dishes only need a southern sky exposure, they can be installed anywhere. However, reception is susceptible to heavy winds, bad weather or a damaged dish. Reception quality is 100% digital.

See the following chart for more comparisons.

DefinitionDelivers television programming via radio frequency signals transmitted through coaxial or fiber-optic cablesDelivers television programming via communications satellites received on an outdoor antenna, a satellite dish
EquipmentCable boxDish and box
ProgrammingOver 300 channelsOver 250 channels
Reception QualityAnalog and digital100% digital
Weather DurabilityAffected by downed lines or power outages.Affected by heavy wind, bad weather, or damaged dish.
Availability/AccessLimited by access to cables.Needs southern sky exposure.
InstallationTechnician to install boxTechnician to install dish
Pricing/CostAbout $45/monthAbout $40/month
Interactive ControlsFor digital cable: electronic program guide, video on demand, subscription services on demand for most areasElectronic program guides, pay per view, DVR functionality
Plan Variety/Bundle ServicesReadily availableSometimes available
ProvidersComcast, Time Warner Cable, Charter Communications, Cox Communications, CablevisionDirecTV, DISH Network


Whether you choose cable or satellite for your home or business is dependent on your residential or commercial needs.


Leave a Reply