Cable vs. Satellite TV

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by BIGdkluver, Jul 11, 2007.

  1. BIGdkluver

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    Forgive me if this burning issue has already been discussed here, but I was just wondering: Which form of TV do you prefer--cable or satellite?

    I currently have cable and am fairly happy with it (it lets me see many movies and special programs that feature hot men and even some penis shots! :smile: )

    But sometimes I wonder if satellite TV might be better and/or less expensive.

    Is the picture better with satellite? Does a bad rain storm adversely affect satellite reception?

    I'd like to hear from both sides as to which means of TV reception is better. Thanks!
     
  2. hung9mike

    hung9mike Well-Known Member

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    I'm probably as qualified as anyone to respond to this question, having had cable with two major providers (Comcast and Time Warner) and both of the major satellite providers (DirecTV and Dish Network), all in the last few years.

    My personal preference is DirecTV. (It's what I have now, when I really had a choice in the situation.) However, satellite in general requires you to be less afraid of playing around with technology, IMHO. Cable is good for people who want a no-fuss, no worries system.

    The "rain fade" associated with satellite systems is not as bad as cable providers make it out to be. It's not nonexistent but I only remember a single instance over the last year that I lost a satellite signal owing to weather. (I probably don't watch as much TV as some people do, however.) And understand, I live in Florida, which can get some hellacious storms. I didn't have cable for 2 weeks after Wilma hit us. I would have been better off with satellite then.

    My impression of Dish Network wasn't very good. In fact, I'd choose any cable provider over them. I know some people like them, and some of my issues with them were related to the fact that I part of a commercial (not residential) setup.

    The picture is noticeably better with satellite even (I think) when comparing satellite to digital cable. And frankly, I think satellite gives you more value for the dollar. But you're more on your own if your satellite system stops working the way you want it to.

    Hope this provides some insight-- there's no simple answer to your question as to which is better. It's more about which system is better for you.
     
  3. B_Lightkeeper

    B_Lightkeeper New Member

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    If I had cable available where I live, I'd probably go with it. I now have Dish network and like last night, rain made me lose signal while trying to watch Big Brother. Damn was I mad - although we do need the rain.

    Cable reception is often interupted by weather but I don't think as much as with home satellite dishes.

    The main thing about Dish (probably Direct TV too) is having to pay for all those channels I never watch. My subscription package is for 250 channels and I bet I never watch over 13 to 15 of them. Some I have no interest in whatsoever. Would be nice to be able to pay for just the ones you prefer.
     
  4. dong20

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    I have both. 200+ channels of crap. Well, about 100+ channels of crap, with the same crap on the other 100+ just an hour behind. Plus, of course 90% of which repeats every 6 hours anyway.

    When I get my act together I'm going to bin them both....
     
  5. circumstances

    circumstances New Member

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    the main issue for me is high definition content and how it's delivered. i have comcast cable. i'm fairly certain directv has more high definition channels, but on the HD forums it is derogatorily called "HDLite" because of how drastically they compress the signal (thereby degrading the picture).

    i'm not an engineer and am clueless as to the science behind it, and i don't know how superior comcast is in this regard (but the consensus is that it is), but i'm staying put until there is legislation that effectively limits how much the satellite providers can mess with the signal that is ultimately sent to the consumer.

    if verizon FIOS becomes available in my area i will look into that. from what i read it is an extremely high quality signal.
     
  6. whatireallywant

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    I have basic cable but I rarely watch TV (I'm always online!) so I wonder if I should even bother with it.

    There is one reason I'd like to have satellite rather than cable: a network called Link TV. They are not available on cable, only on satellite. It's a network of international programming and world music videos!

    However, I live in an apartment and cable makes more sense than satellite considering my living arrangement.
     
  7. dreamer20

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    Excellent question Bigdkluver. Satellite channels do have digital picture quality. However viewing the networks is prohibited in many states, whereas cable viewers don't have that prohibition. You can find out beforehand if your satellite provider allows a network subscripiton in your region. When a rainstorm (or thick cloud cover) is present the satellite signal goes off and one has to wait until normal viewing is possible once more. It is best to switch the system and TV off if you suspect lightning. I had the foresight to do this last weekend, but I did not unplug my computer's modem and a lightning induced power surge killed it. The satellite dish should be taken down if a hurricane approaches. This I have also learned from experience.
     
  8. datdude

    datdude New Member

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    I like Direct TV better than Cable.

    I was paying $42 a month for basic cable. 50 Chanells and not NFL network and other channlls. I had to upgrade to digital for $85 or $90 dollars for that.

    Direct TV I get all those channels 150 for $44.

    So I say Direct TV all the way:smile:
     
  9. Biggie77

    Biggie77 New Member

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    I hate ComCast cable, but love the internet service. Blazing fast. The VoIP sucks too.
     
  10. Mr. Snakey

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    Same here and the picture quality is better. Its as good or if not better than dvd quality picture
     
  11. yngjock20

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    I thought I'd hate having satellite simply because the time difference, but since the TV networks became sympathetic to satellite viewer needs and started re-airing their footage for both coasts, I'm a happy boy.

    That being said, I also have to say that paying for 150 channels and only watching 8 of them kinda sucks.

    I mean, sure sometimes I'll watch Discovery Military Battle Re-enactment HD Channel if there's some hot bulge action going on (or for historical knowledge, whatever) but I don't need five different Disney channels.
     
  12. ganja4me

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    I have Dish Network myself. I like it but I think I might like DirecTV better. Yes the satellite does goes out in a bad rain storm or it has even gone out on me when it was a really windy day. Luckily that doesn't happen to often where I live so it's not really a problem for me.
     
  13. avalonjim

    avalonjim Member

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    I loathe Comcast, they are great in single family homes, but man does my signal suck on my internet. I am in a ten story loft conversion in Center City Philly, there are only 6 units on my floor, but the signal gets divided far too much and gets diluted down for the internet to work well. I actually have been fighting with them now since January about having a negative signal. Its been atrocious so I just switched everything to DSL and DirecTV, but it requires special wiring to be run for both the HD dish and the regualr dish because i have both types of tv's
     
  14. dong20

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    What's Direct TV?
     
  15. viking1

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    I don't see much difference in the picture quality between digital satellite and
    digital cable. Satellite is noticeably better than analog cable, though.
    As for the price? It depends on your local cable market. Satellite isn't the bargain it was 10 years ago. If you get a cable "bundled package" it may be cheaper to get tv, internet, long distance, voip, ect. from a cable co.

    I do know a little about this. I used to work in an electronics repair shop.
    Also, I have installed and repaired a few satellite systems.

    When I first saw digital satellite in the early '90s, it was the best tv picture I'd ever seen. Now I think digital cable is just as good. If you live where you can't get cable or local channels, then satellite is the way to go. Many in my area who live at the foot of the mountains can't get any off air reception.

    Just Google Directv if you would like to read how they handle the compression of HDTV signals.

    Cable internet is the only way to go if you can get it. It's way faster then DSL. Only the fiber optic service like Verizon's FIOS, or ATT Broadband can compete, and you can get tv service through that too. Currently, it's only available in major urban areas, though.
     
  16. chase1001

    chase1001 New Member

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    I got rid of overpriced timewarner for cheaper directv, now i have lousy reception and when it storms i get no reception...
     
  17. Hatched69

    Hatched69 Member

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    I've had DirecTV since 1995 and this is the last year. I'm going back to cable. I have the 3rd generation receiver eqpt and now with all the extra channels they've tacked on, the video's so compressed it looks like crap. Plus, the rates have been jacked up $25/month since '95 and my local cable provider (Insight) has a fairly decent picture and programming lineup for less than half of what I pay now. I have the "hi speed" internet (unfortunately not as fast now that more people have service in my 'hood) thru Insight, so I'll get a bundle discount anyway. I don't watch TV enough (read: give a damn enough about it) to warrant a hi-def receiver which is the only solution to a shitty picture DirecTV will give me, and it's expensive to upgrade for 2 rooms. Spend more money until it gets worse, then spend more money again. No thanks!!
     
  18. RideRocket

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    I've had cable forever and a day and finally switched to DirecTV only because I'm tired of missing my Pittsburgh Steelers games. DirecTV is the only provider that carries the Sunday NFL Ticket ensuring me of being able to watch every game. No real problems with outages during storms, although I've noticed more outages already with satellite than I ever had with cable. Costwise it's the same, although I had to pay extra for the NFL Ticket. I'm willing to deal with these minor issues because it allows me to watch my favorite football team.
     
  19. Principessa

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  20. agnslz

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    I currently have basic-plus cable. I've had both satellite and digital cable in the past few years, though. I think they all have their strong points and their weaknesses.

    Basic-plus cable has most of the really good channels and is very reliable. The cost for it has skyrocketed though! I pay (well, not really me - someone else pays it for me atm) nearly eighty dollars a month for my service, and get nearly eighty channels for that. Basically, a dollar a channel. It used to be nearly forty dollars less than that, just a few years ago. Half the price it is now! Comcast (my provider) says the price has risen along with the number of channels. But the quality of those channels is not so great, IMO. If they'd added BBC America or some such channel, then I'd be less annoyed with the price jump. Instead, they've added G4, The Golf Channel, and other kinds of channels that appeal to only a very small portion of the population. As well as the completely useless infomercial channels.:eek:

    Digital cable is also very reliable, and offers many more great channels, but it's also very expensive (too expensive, for me) and comes with even more channels that I find useless. They brag about the music channels, but I hardly ever tuned into those. It also has various MTV and VH-1 spinoffs which I found even more annoying than the originals and never watched. Still, I loved digital cable when I had it. Not only for BBC America, Discovery Science, IFC, Sundance and the Encore movie channels, but also for the on-screen TV guide, which allowed me to set timers and reminded me whenever a show I wanted to see was about to come out.

    Satellite TV was similar to digital cable I found. However, contrary to others experiences, it always went out on me whenever it rained more heavily than a light downpour. It also went out during regular amounts of snowfall in the winter time. Like digital cable, it offered many channels that I just did not like and rarely ever watched, and they were included in packages along with those channels that I could not go without. So I had no choice but to pay for them. Satellite is also quite a bit less in cost 'pound for pound' than digital cable. Excepting the initial hardware fees, of course.

    One thing that was a downer for me with both satellite and digital cable, was there being too much channels to choose from. As well as too many good programs that I wanted to see, all coming out at the same time. I always had to switch channels often just to get a bit of each show. I remember spending more time flipping through the channels and on-screen guides trying to decide just what I was going to watch, than I did watching any given show in its entirety. Not really a bad thing against them, just an overwhelming experience for me.

    All in all I'd say I'm fairly happy with basic-plus cable and I don't miss the digital cable or satellite TV all that much. Except whenever I yearn for BBC America!!:biggrin:
     
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