HDTV: Cable vs. Satellite Providers
Perhaps you’re on the proverbial fence about whether to order HDTV from a cable or satellite service provider. Don’t worry, you’re not the only one. Across the U.S., subscription TV companies like Comcast®, Verizon®, DIRECTV® and DISH Network® are duking it out for your hard-earned money, and they’re creating quite a bit of static in the process.
That’s why the folks here at InternetLion.com put together the following article comparing our example satellite provider, DIRECTV, vs. cable HD provider Time Warner. In it, you’ll find complete information concerning whether HDTV from a cable or satellite TV service provider is better, and ultimately, whether you should order your subscription TV service from a cable TV or satellite TV company.
DIRECTV vs. Cable HD Services
In comparing the HD services offered by a satellite provider like DIRECTV vs. cable HD from providers like Time Warner, the most important things to consider are cost and channel selection. On these fronts satellite providers beat out most HDTV cable TV competitors by a large margin.
Take, for instance, the cost and selection of HD programming from DIRECTV vs. a cable HD package from Time Warner. In our sample region, Charlotte, N.C., Time Warner offers 50 HDTV cable TV channels for $76.95 per month. DIRECTV offers a comparable number of HD channels in their Choice Ultimate Package, which includes 55+ HD channels. The current promotional price for the DIRECTV Choice package is $29.99/mo., which includes free HD for life, with 24 month Agreement. For less with a promotional price of $24.99/mo., DISH Network is offering their America’s Top 120 package with over 70 HD channels. In addition to this impressive HD selection, the DISH Network package also includes FREE HD for life, with 24 month Agreement and AutoPay with paperless billing
What’s more, Time Warner only offers 214 SD channels with its $76.95 per-month package. If we divide the package price by the total number of SD and HD channels in the package, it works out to about 30 cents per channel. Whereas DIRECTV offers 225+ standard-definition channels as part of its deal, bringing the overall cost per DIRECTV channel per month to roughly 14 cents apiece. Compare this to DISH Network’s America’s Top 200 package, which offers viewers over 220 SD channels and over 125 HD channels, making the per channel price only about 11.5 cents apiece.
Of course, you might think that for such steep prices, Time Warner has cut back on its channel selection and raised its prices to better the other facets of its services. But, surprisingly, the opposite is actually true. According to a ConsumerReports.org report published in 2009, customers said DISH Network and DIRECTV’s picture and sound quality were better than Time Warner’s across the board.
Even worse, according to JDPower.com, Time Warner scored lower than DIRECTV in all four U.S. service regions in terms of performance and reliability, customer service and promotions. It’s really enough to make you wonder why anyone would choose to get their HDTV from a cable company over getting it from a satellite company like DISH Network or DIRECTV.
DIRECTV vs. DISH Network HD Services
At the end of the day, then, it seems pretty obvious who the winner is when comparing the HD services offered by satellite companies like DISH Network and DIRECTV vs. cable HD services. Really, the only hard call then is between DIRECTV and DISH Network satellite providers. But when it comes to HD, the comparison is easy. DISH Network has the most HD available, more than DIRECTV or any cable company in America.
So, if you want over 200 HD channels and the lowest package prices, get DISH Network today! Plus, for a limited time, DISH Network customers can get Free HD For Life, with 24 month Agreement, AutoPay and Paperless Billing. It doesn’t get much better than that! Click here to learn more about switching to DISH Network today.
Disclaimer: Please note that this article was written when the satellite TV provider DISH was branded as DISH Network. As of 2/1/2012 DISH Network has changed their branding name to DISH. Article post date: 09/17/2010.