Where ever you live this seems like a question that generates a lot of interest. I’ve done a little research and thought my answers maybe of interest to anyone prepared to read on. Personally I have a cable TV installation at the moment but seriously considering moving to a satellite TV installation.
I live in the UK but many of the responses I have seen have originated in the USA – so don’t stop reading you guys in North America. On balance I would say that more people preferred a Satellite TV to a cable TV installation. If I had been asked 5 or 10 years ago then I may still have answered cable TV but for very different reasons. I really believed that combining TV and other services into a cable would be everyone’s answer but in practice satellite TV providers have moved more quickly to provide what the customer wants. There have been so many advances in technology that we seem to have far more choices than could been foreseen just a few years ago.
Some of the key points I have identified in my research are:-
- Satellite TV is an uninterrupted digital signal – the only cable used in the connection is from the dish to your set. This, I understand, is why the quality of picture via a satellite transmission is regarded, by many, to be better than cable transmission.
- Satellite TV is prone to signal loss during heavy storms. This is information I have gathered from US users rather than here in the UK. Equally I read somewhere that to spray PAM on the dish every 3 months or so works wonders (if it is safe to access – of course). The PAM treatment is a non stick coating which prevents rain ‘sticking’ to the dish. [Do we have non stick rain in the UK or maybe the dish specification and manufature is different?]. This obviously can not happen to a cable user but there many other ways in which cable transmission can be interrupted.
- Cable TV has it’s supporters though. Installation is simple and there is no ‘ugly’ dish attached to your property. This assumes that a cable is already installed in your neighbourhood.
- Cable providers frequently bundle or package other services which can help reduce your total costs for a computer network connection, telephone service and TV.
North America has had many cable networks for many years so the 2 players in the satellite TV services are providing some great promotions at the moment. Many companies are providing FREE equipment and installation packages in return for an ongoing subscription. Ironically Free SAT has just been launched in the UK which means you get 200+ channels for the one-time purchase price of a Free SAT box and installation of a satellite dish (if you don’t already possess one). There is no on-going subscription with Free SAT. We also have SKY TV a regular subscription service with the premier channels (i.e. top sports events and most recent movies).
The next choice to be confronted with will be IP television – this is television delivered via your computer network. Ironically this is perhaps why I thought cable – meaning a cable into your property rather than cable TV – would have been naturally ahead of satellite TV.
Time and the television watching public will reveal how we receive our visual images in the future. My vote for the moment is for a satellite TV installation.