There are significant differences between satellite dish television and cable television. Besides their modes of delivering service, there are many factors that need to be considered before choosing a provider. Cable is less influenced by weather and is typically more expensive than satellite dish. For those who do not want to commit to long term contract, cable may be the best option. The availability of service will influence your choice as well. Generally speaking, cable is available in most areas.  Satellite is also available most anywhere provided there is a space where the dish can be installed.

Lets do a comparison of the two services:


The installation of cable television requires the services of a professional, as cable lines and other equipment will need to be installed. However, if you already have internet services through the same provider, you may be able to perform the installation yourself. For satellite dish television, there needs to be the installation of a dish somewhere around your house. As a rule of thumb, the dish MUST face the south, a professional can best determine the optimal location. If you want to do this yourself, be aware it can be time consuming and certain technical skills are needed.


The reception of cable television is almost flawless. It seldom goes off line except when the line is disconnected somewhere or the entire system is down. For satellite dish television, provided there is a clear sky between the dish and the southern sky, there should be no interruption. However, if there is a tree, wall or other obstruction, there will be an issue. In extreme weather conditions, reception can be affected leading to loss of signal.

Available Programming

In their most basic form, cable and satellite dish may offer the same programs, however, satellite dish offers an additonal 200 channels that are only offered with a premium cable subscription. This makes satellite dish a preferred option from this perspective.

International Programs

Cable services offer international focused channels such as Korean, Chinese and Portuguese, all of which are based in the United States. The satellite dish however, transmits any international signal it picks up from the air waves. For those who prefer international programs, satellite dish television may be a better option.

Both cable and satellite dish are great services, only the user can determine which one will meet their individual television needs.


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