Differences between cable and satellite TV

Cable TV is the way television was provided until a few years ago. It uses the classical way of cables that link televisions with the service provider. The alternative to this is now satellite TV.

This one uses satellite communication to send signals to earth that are received by satellite dishes and decoded. This is actually what makes the big difference between the two but there are also some others.

Cable TV

This system uses special cables to carry radio frequencies that when reaching the television are decoded into images. It is the most popular television service in the US. There are some big names in the industry that lead the market. You surely heard about Comcast, Time Warner Cable or Cox Communications.

Satellite TV

This type of television service works with the use of satellite communication and a setting of satellite dishes installed in the subscribers homes. This type of TV service is the biggest competitor for cable TV. The two biggest satellite TV providers Dish Network and DirecTV sum a total of around 33 million subscribers in the US. Actually the trend seems to be in favor of satellite TV because the number of followers grows every day.


Cable TV still offers analog signal together with the new digital signal technology. On the other hand satellite TV providers offer only digital services which bring them in front a little. Still, satellite TV has problems with the reception in cases of hard weather and storms. Cable TV presents no such problem.

Regarding the number of channels, we can say that it is approximately the same. Still, cable TV also offers some local TV channels that are not available on satellite TV. But to even the balance, satellite TV has a broader range of international channels that cable TV doesn’t have. Regarding HD channels satellite TV still has the upper hand, but cable TV providers are making great progress in this field.

For you the comparison narrows at some simple factors: quality, channels and price. You can make a quick decision after comparing these factors between the two television services.

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