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Cable or Satellite - Which One is Cheaper?

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The prices of providers for at-home television and movies are continually on the rise. Both cable and satellite rates are rising with equal concern for customers. As economic circumstances become more challenging as well, smart customers are starting to do their homework where entertainment is concerned.

Getting the most for your entertainment dollar requires making the comparison between satellite and cable television. This is the only way that you can ensure that you are getting the most out of your television at the most competitive rates. The following side by side comparison of the two services can help you make the best possible decision.

The Basics

The difference between satellite and cable television can be pretty substantial in some cases. The most obvious difference to users is the reliability of the service. Anyone experiencing satellite television for the first time will quickly realize that their service can easily be disrupted by adverse weather. Cable television is immune to this kind of problem due to the fact that service is being provided via buried cables as opposed to beams that can be interrupted by rain and other elements.

There are also some considerable differences when it comes to commitment. Cable offers service with shorter-term contracts, making them ideal for people who rent or find themselves on the move regularly. However, cable can face some limitations when it comes to availability for customers. People who live in rural areas or newer developments in the suburbs can sometimes face difficulty locating providers. Satellite television, on the other hand, is available anywhere that a dish can be installed to receive signals from the south.

The Temptations

In general, cable service tends to be less expensive than satellite. However, the cost to subscribers can depend heavily on the provider and the types of packages to which you subscribe. In terms of the most common contracts for each service, cable providers will offer customers the option for month to month delivery. The average offering from a satellite provider requires customers to engage in yearly contracts.

Customers can also find some very specific advantages in terms of bundle services that differ among providers as well. More and more service providers are combining their services in order to offer competitive rates on packages that include Internet and phone service on top of television programming. These types of deals are almost always available through a cable provider. It can be much more difficult to find the same kind of offering with a satellite company. If you do find these kinds of deals through satellite, the price tends to be higher than those being offered through cable.

A Realistic Look

Cable subscriptions are actually declining as time goes by, according to most studies. If a customer is searching for just basic cable, then the average price for the service is close to $30 per month. Adding bundles and increasing the size of the package can raise your rates to as high as $65 per month. Additionally, adding the option for High-Definition choices increases the bill by at least five dollars more. The average satellite subscription without any type of bundling will cost customers an average of $45 dollars for standard service and $65 dollars for High-Definition programming. This type of package generally includes roughly 200 channels for viewers to enjoy. If you are just looking at the dollar for dollar value in the channels that you receive, then satellite tends to come out as the winner. Basic satellite packages that include HBO and other channels such as these are the equivalent of the premium cable packages to which one must subscribe in order to receive the same services.