Satellite television has come a long way. From theory to scientific curiosity to fringe contender, the service has made enormous strides to reach the place of prominence it occupies today. In fact, it’s no exaggeration to say that anyone shopping for a television service (and isn’t ready to head to the web) has two choices: satellite or cable.
Of course they’re two different options. Not incredibly different – no matter which one you go with, you’ll be able to access an enormous amount of quality content. Still, the only point of comparison many shoppers pay attention to is the price tag.
Read along, and we’ll give you a quick rundown of satellite service.
Pros of Satellite TV
While most modern homes are wired for cable access, some folks may still find themselves unconnected. Satellite service solves that particular problem. Instead of relying on actual cables to carry signals, a satellite system uses (surprise) a satellite to relay from point to point.
The only requirement for satellite service in the US is often just a clear view of a given hemisphere. Even remote dwellers need only install a reception dish, pay for service, and get watching.
The only real pro that many shoppers need. Even though satellite might sound pretty exotic when compared to cable, that doesn’t show up in terms of cost. In fact, it’s pretty common for a major supplier, such as Charter, to offer satellite plans that come just a few dollars per month cheaper than comparable cable packages.
While both cable and satellite give users access to an incredible spread of programs – wonders of the modern world – conventional wisdom suggests that satellite may be the best option for HD lovers.
While cable may still have the edge for local programming, satellite services reign supreme in terms of picture quality.
The reason? According to experts, the relatively short distance that satellite signals travel after reaching an end user’s house results in less degradation of signal quality than cable.
Cons of Satellite TV
While satellite’s non-physical means of transmission might be great in terms of adaptability, it does mean that the service can fall prey to poor weather. The problems aren’t as extreme as they often are for satellite internet programs (which send signals to and from a web surfer), but it’s a known fact that a storm can make for choppy vision.
While we’re normally all for a DIY approach, most satellite buyers may want to ask for help while installing their new rig. The bulky dish receivers required to actually watch satellite transmissions can be a pain to put into place. Not only that, but you’ll have to make sure that they get a clear line-of-sight to the open sky; unless you’d like your shows filtered by an inconveniently placed tree.
Satellite is increasingly a go-to option for TV service for a reason. It’s well-established, and improving rapidly. Given the difference in picture quality and versatility, it wouldn’t be surprising to see satellite taking more and more of a chunk of provider market share moving forward.
That said, as time passes, we may see more and more so called “cord-cutters” moving away from paid services altogether, instead choosing to rely on the internet for their content fix. We can only hope that this spurs satellite innovators on to greater heights. After all, as far as we’re concerned, you can always have better service.
Neal Bricker has spent over 10 years on the trail of everything interesting in the world of tech. A weathered journalist and an unapologetic geek, Neal still covers emerging and advancing technology.