Comparing Cable and Satellite Television and Internet

Depending on geographical location, for example whether the subscriber lives in a rural or urban area, they may have no choice but to subscribe to satellite television or cable television. Each has a peculiar set of advantages and disadvantages when it comes to offering quality programming, but for most subscribers, all they want is decent television programming with reasonably good picture and audio quality along with high-speed Internet access. Both cable and satellite providers can do this for their customers, but there are still differences between them. This article will explore these two methods of content delivery and examine them in detail.

Satellite communications first came into its own with the launch of Telstar, the first privately owned and launched telecommunications satellite, in July of 1962. Since then, satellite telecommunications technology has advanced considerably, to the point where satellites can deliver hundreds of digital cable channels including high-definition programming and even broadband Internet access.

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The advantages of satellite television and Internet access are that these two services can be accessed from anywhere in the world, and all programming is digital and of much higher quality than cable. Major providers of satellite services offer Internet and television bundles, where both services are included for a reduced price. The one big disadvantage is that signal reception is severely hampered by cloud cover and by storms. In addition, the satellite receiving dish must have an unobstructed view of the southern hemisphere in order to work.

Satellite television and Internet can also be expensive if the consumer does not watch out for unusual fees and charges on their monthly bill. It is up to them to determine if the service they are paying for is worth the cost. Calling the satellite provider and negotiating their price down is often the best way to rectify the situation.

When it comes to cable television and Internet, quality comparison immediately reveals a large difference. Depending on whether or not the consumer subscribes to digital or analog signal broadcasts, the reception quality can be very different. However, in the United States, all television broadcasting has been changed to digital as of June 12, 2009. Therefore, cable can now compete with satellite television broadcasting in terms of program quality.

Since cable television and Internet use the same transmission medium, radio frequency signals transmitted through fixed fiber-optic or coaxial cables, cable companies can offer cheaper service with less susceptibility to weather interference in rural areas. Often the only discriminating factor between cable and satellite service is geography. This makes choosing between the two a matter of choice and satisfaction.

For instance, providers of cable and satellite television and Internet are forced to compete not in terms of service quality but in terms of the type of service offered. Satellite television providers are famous for providing sports channel packages, while cable companies can offer tiers of channels each tied by a specific charge rate.

In the final analysis, the transition from analog to digital broadcasting has made quality comparisons between cable and satellite largely irrelevant. The major source of improvement is now providing different programming for better prices.

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