Compare Satellite Versus Cable TV Costs
When comparing satellite versus cable TV costs, there’s tons to consider: Are there more satellite or cable TV channels; how about satellite versus cable TV bundles—should you really order your telephone and Internet services through the same company; and which offers more value in a matchup of cable versus satellite TV digital channels; how can you even tell?
The Basics of Satellite Versus Cable TV Costs
It’s enough to make even the most organized person’s head spin. And, meanwhile, you’re dealing with all the other problems associated with moving. How—with plates to pack, boxes to carry, U-Hauls to drive and addresses to change—can anyone be sure she’s getting a good deal? Finding the time for even a little research is like squeezing water from a rock!
And yet there is hope now that you’ve stumbled onto InternetLion.com. You see, anticipating the pickle you inadvertently put yourself in, we prepared the following report. In it, you’ll find detailed information on satellite versus cable TV costs. Plus, we’ve not only done so for TV-only packages, but for satellite and cable TV bundles as well.
Cable Versus Satellite TV Digital Channels
The biggest historical event for television in the past decade came in 2009 when Congress enacted a mandatory transition from analog to digital television. To many this mandate was another example of the federal government meddling in peoples’ lives. And yet those who were already subscribing to satellite and cable service providers weren’t meddled with at all. In fact, most had no clue the switch even occurred.
The reason for this is that nearly all satellite and cable service providers have always offered their channels in digital formats at no additional cost. As a result, one set of options you won’t have to weigh is the difference between cable versus satellite TV digital offerings. In fact, Consumer Reports’ only qualification to its assessment of satellite versus cable TV channels in terms of digital programming was based on subjective preference:
According to the consumer magazine’s poll concerning cable versus satellite TV digital offerings, “Verizon FiOS and satellite subscribers were generally more satisfied than digital-cable customers… with picture and sound.” Yet, as far as quantifiable differences go, the digital formats studied were essentially the same.
Satellite Versus Cable TV Channels
Compared to satellite, cable providers tend to offer fewer channels. It’s very important to remember this when weighing the differences between satellite versus cable TV costs because, contrary to the old saying, you don’t always get what you pay for.
Take, for instance, the providers listed in the following chart. As you’ll see, compared to satellite, cable providers’ packages, like Armstrong Cable’s, are extremely pricey for the number of cable TV channels they include:
|Cost Analysis: Satellite Versus Cable TV Channels|
|Satellite, Cable Providers||Cost of Basic Package||Number of Non-HD Channels||Cost per Channel|
|Armstrong Digital Cable (Regional)||$30.00/mo.*||112||$.27/mo.|
One interesting aspect of the above satellite and cable service providers’ packages is that most of their much-touted 100-plus channels are fluff. So, in all cases, you can count on not watching all the channels in your chosen package.
Still, compared to satellite, cable providers’ packages include far more fluff. As an example, 40 percent of Armstrong's basic package consists of music channels. In contrast, the music channels in DIRECTV’s and DISH Network’s packages only comprise about 35 and 27 percent of their total offerings, respectively.
Satellite Versus Cable TV Bundles
One way to cut costs is to order one of the many satellite and cable TV bundles out there. Such packages tend to be cheaper over time because satellite and cable service providers will lower their prices for their TV, cable and telephone services if you’re paying them for all three.
Of course, all satellite and cable TV bundles come with a higher price tag, meaning you’ll pay more per month to a single company or conglomerate. But, overall, you’ll save quite a bit by ordering all three services from the same provider instead of ordering each from separate companies. The rule of thumb, then, is to go with a bundle only if you need all three services.
Final Verdict On Satellite Versus Cable TV Costs
Overall, a comparison of satellite versus cable TV costs reveals that cable service providers’ packages tend to be far more expensive. What’s more, though bundling is more cost-effective across the board, according to the numbers, and satellite deals—especially DISH Network deals—are the best value in digital TV with more choices. Click here for more about the deals you can land when you get started with DISH Network TV service.
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: 07/11/2010.