Satellite TV vs. Cable TV Comparision Chart

Below we have provided a comparison chart that lists the differences between satellite and cable television. Each of these services has its own advantages and disadvantages. In general you get mostly the same programming with each, however there are some subtle differences that could make all the difference depending on your viewing habits. Do you want more HD channels? Is sports programming the most important thing to you? Or are you looking for simple and basic TV that doesn't require any cable box, receiver, DVR, satellite dish or any other equipment? These are all important things to consider when making a decision. Still, for some it won't make much of difference at all. It is in your best interest to look into all options carefully before making a decision. Especially if you decide to go with satellite, since it generally requires a contract.

The process of choosing a television service provider can be quite difficult and confusing and our chart should make things just a bit easier for you. Of course, going with a paid service is not a must, and you could always settle for free over-the-air TV with a digital TV converter box or a newer TV with a built in digital tuner..

*This chart has been updated as of February 2014. All Information Contained Within This Chart Is Deemed Reliable But Not Guaranteed Due To The Ever Changing Nature Of The Television Industry. We will however make every effort to update this chart whenever changes occur.

Satellite TVCable TV
Total Number Of SubscribersOver 30 million subscribers40 million subscribers
Signal Technology100% digitalAnalog and digital
Equipment NeededSatellite dish and receiverAnalog - none, digital - cable box
Start up CostsAll equipment and installation free with a 2 year contactFree or small activation fee
Contract OptionsContract almost always required - Includes discounted prices for the first year of serviceGenerally month-to-month with discounted prices for the first 6-12 months
Number of HD Channels200 full-time HDTV channelsUp to 200 HD channels but generally less than Satellite
Programming PackagesPrices starting at $20 for as little as 55 channels and ranging all the way up to over 285 channels for $92.99 per month (Reg. $129.99)Prices starting at $30 for as little as 15-20 channels and ranging all the way up to over $100 for 200+ channels.
Pricing ComparisonLower intro packages and lower on a per channel basis. Higher overall bill if you go with the premium or several add on packages.Generally more expensive on a per channel basis.
Average Price For 100 Channel Package$30$50
Movie PackagesHBO The Works, STARZ Super Pack, Showtime Unlimited, CinemaxHBO The Works, STARZ, Showtime, Cinemax
Sports PackagesClear leader in sports program offerings with Sunday NFL Ticket, MLB Extra Innings, NCAA Mega March Madness, NBA League Pass, NHL Center Ice, ESPN Full Court and MLS Direct Kick.Wide range of various local, regional, and national sports packages. More limited than satellite offerings
Local ChannelsIncluded for free with all packagesIncluded for free with all packages
Geographical AvailabilityAvailable anywhere nationwide via satellite signalsOnly available where wiring and infrastructure is already set up
Customer Service AvailabilityOutsourced. 24 hours per day via email, chat, or phone. 7 days a week. (phone hours limited)Walk In Stores. 24 hours per day via email, chat, or phone. 7 days a week. (phone hours limited)
Customer Service RatingFairly high but limited without the ability to walk into a store meet directly with customer service repsRated higher than satellite due to storefronts that provide the ability to meet directly with service reps
Equipment WarrantyUsually 12 months6-12 months
Special DiscountsExtremely aggressive discounts in the first year for all two year contracts with regular prices for the second yearOften offers an introductory special for 6-12 months then regular price for the rest of the time you have service
Online Streaming OptionsStreaming of some live and previously aired programsVery limited streaming options
DVR OptionsStandard and Premium DVR services offered for an additional feeStandard and Premium DVR services offered for an additional fee
Online Streaming OptionsStream most shows the day after they air along with thousands of on demand programming options.Thousands of live and on demand options
Cost For Additional Receivers/Digital Box$5-$7 per month$5-$10 per month

1 comment:

  1. PPV and OnDemand are not the same. OnDemand offers several free choices and is available instantaneously, whereas the OnDemand and PPV for direct tv requires you have internet to download the movie/show before you can watch it.


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