Satellite vs Cable TV Providers: What’s Best?

Internet    01/12/2021    5 minute read

Despite the growth in streaming and internet TV, broadcast TV is here to stay. Both satellite and cable TV provider shave been staple features of the home since the 1950’s, offering both pros and cons. Which one is the right choice for you? HomeLinkd defines the differences between the two, as well as the pros and cons —so you can make an informed choice on which satellite or cable TV plan is right for you.

Is cable TV the same as satellite?

To give you the long and the short of it —no. Cable and satellite TV are not the same. They both have a few similarities regarding installation and the fact they’re both within broadcast TV and not internet, but there are some key differences. Take a look:

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Cable TV

Satellite TV

Connection Type

TV is received via coaxial cables that have an inner conductor and an outer protective insulator

A TV signal is received via radio wave lengths from satellites orbiting Earth

Connection Category

Broadcast

Broadcast

Equipment

Cable box and remote

Satellite dish and receiver

Installation

A professional needs to install the box at your home

A professional needs to install the dish onto your roof

Installation Cost

The technician’s labor cost plus the actual equipment

The technician’s labor cost plus the actual equipment

Installation Cost

Average starting price
at $44 per month

Average starting price
at $59 per month

Monthly Costs

In areas closest to a cable connection, however, more provider options

Anywhere in the US, however, less provider options

Is satellite TV obsolete?

Over-the-top (OTT) TV services, also known as internet streaming providers like Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime, have seen a sharp increase in value and viewing hours.

In 2026, the video streaming industry will be valued at $149 billion, up 18% since 2018. However, this doesn’t mean satellite TV will be disappearing anytime soon.

A major advantage satellite TV has on streaming services is that it has the most widely available coverage, whereas streaming relies on internet connections that are not available everywhere.

In other words, fiber, 4G, and broadband are modern technologies that are still growing, and cannot possibly reach every corner of the US the way satellite can. It’s because of this reason that satellite TV remains a popular and trusted choice for homes across the US.

Satellite vs cable TV: The Pros and Cons

The pros for satellite TV:

  1. Because satellite is the oldest form of getting access to TV, it has the most coverage in the US. Even the most rural and desolate places will be able to receive a satellite TV signal.

  2. The average monthly cost of satellite TV is cheaper than cable.

  3. Satellite TV offers international channels from Europe, Asia and Africa.

The cons for satellite TV:

  1. Cost of equipment –which include a dish, a satellite receiver and an installation fee –can be much higher than any other TV service.

  2. Your TV signal can be negatively affected by bad weather. Even a few hours of heavy rain can affect your satellite connection.

  3. You have a smaller variety of channels and bundle options.

The pros for cable TV:

  1. Cable often includes premium channels like HBO Max and SHOWTIME and offer award-winning TV shows from hundreds of channel options.

  2. The quality of your signal is steadier and more reliable than satellite, especially during bad weather.

  3. Cable TV is often offered in exciting bundles with internet, voice or call plans.

The cons for cable TV:

  1. Cable TV can be more expensive on a monthly basis than satellite TV.

  2. If you live on farms, desert or mountainous areas, it’s likely you won’t be able to receive cable TV.

  3. You will need to purchase a separate device if you want to record and store on-demand shows.

Compare satellite and cable TV providers with HomeLinkd!

No matter what type of entertainment connection you’re looking for, there’s a deal that suits your needs, budget and location requirements.

HomeLinkd provides customers with several exciting satellite and cable TV plans from Spectrum, DirecTV, Dish, and COX offering speeds of up to 1,000 Mbps and up to 330 channels.

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