So what’s it going to be, Cable or Satellite?

When it comes to TV packages, both cable and satellite TV have their advantages and disadvantages. Watching TV is supposed to give you a chance to relax, so the last thing you want to be doing is stressing about your package. But picking the right package for you doesn’t need to be difficult. We are here to help.

Read on to learn more as we compare cable vs satellite TV to see which you should choose


A lot of rural regions fall outside of most cable companies’ coverage area. This means you might not be able to subscribe to cable if you’re in a remote location. It’s likely only to be available in more built-up areas. But, with satellite, it’s available anywhere. All you need to do is make sure the dish can face south without any obstructions blocking it. So, before setting your heart on anything, find out what is available in your area.


It’s common for both cable and satellite companies to offer bundle packages. This means lower overall pricing if you buy your TV, internet, phone and tv service from the same company. If you’re in need of the full package, it’s a brilliant way to save money. Also, make sure to ask about offers before signing up. Most satellite and cable companies offer large discounts for new customers. You don’t want to miss out!


It’s common for cable companies to let you pay month-by-month rather than lock into a contract. This is a great option if you don’t want to commit to set payment amounts for the long-term.

Each company will have packages that could range from $15-$50 a month depending on what you want to watch. This means you can tailor a package to suit your needs and your budget.


You’ll usually have to sign up for a 1 or 2-year contract with a satellite company. If you’re looking to stay with the same provider for a while, this is a good option.

A basic satellite package will start somewhere around $50. But basic satellite packages offer more features and channels than basic cable packages. Make sure to shop around and check out dish’s current deals for the best options.

Equipment and Installation

Whether you choose satellite or cable, both will need equipment installed. You’ll need to factor in the extent of the installation and what’s required.


If you are set up, you’ll need a technician to come out and install it. They’ll hook in a wire cable and then place a cable card in your TV to activate the channels.

To access the channels you’ll also need a digital converter box. Your cable company will rent these, or you can buy them from electrical retailers.


To receive satellite you’ll need a dish on your roof and a receiver that goes inside your home. Make sure to check, as some companies will add the equipment in with your monthly fee. Some will not charge for the equipment at all though. You’ll need to have a professional install it, which the company will usually provide for free.

Type of Home

The type of home you live in can dictate whether you’d be eligible for cable or satellite or both.


Whether you’re renting or have bought your own home, cable installation is easy. And it doesn’t involve the installation of a large dish on the outside. Apartment buildings often use one provider which can give lower monthly bills. So make sure to check this with your landlord before signing up yourself.


If you’re renting, your landlord might not want you to install a satellite dish on their property. This could be for cosmetic reasons, or it could be because of installation issues. A poor installation can lead to issues with water ingress, as well as injury if the dish falls off or cords dangle.

But under the Federal Communications Commission Order 98-273 you can install one. As long as it isn’t in a communal area, is no more than 40 inches in diameter and installed by a professional. But remember, they only work if facing south, so if you’re not south facing, a dish might not work for you.


Fewer things are more aggravating than having the connection go out when you’re in the middle of an episode of your favorite show.


The reliability of cable often comes down to whether you have above or below ground wires. Underground wires are unlikely to cause problems unless someone is excavating and accidentally cuts through the wire. However, if you have an older house you may be served by above ground wires that are more exposed to potential damage.


Satellite is more affected by weather conditions, with wind and rain potentially have a large impact on TV reception. Damaged satellite dishes are also more complex to fix than patching a cable, so damage related interruptions may be longer.

If stormy weather is common in your area, cable is for you, but if you are surrounded by construction work then satellite may be the safer bet.

Channel options

We all have our favorite programs and channels, which can be a deciding factor when choosing a TV package.


If you like to keep your finger on the pulse with local news or enjoy chatting around the watercooler about primetime broadcast TV, then cable is your best option. Paid programming means that you shouldn’t miss out on movies or sports, but the costs can mount up.


If you’ve invested in a top of the line 4K TV and surround sound system, then the higher quality satellite TV broadcasts are the best way to make the most of them. Tailored sports packages allow you to support your team year-round (and get the guys round to show off your setup).

Choosing Cable vs Satellite TV

As you can see, the choice of cable vs satellite tv isn’t always an easy one. A TV package is a long commitment, so be sure you know exactly what you will be paying and how quickly and easily you can get set up. But remember, not all television packages are the same, so check that you will receive the channels you want before making a commitment.

If you found this article useful, be sure to check out our other posts.

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