Satellite TV Comparison Shopping Made Easy!

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DirecTV vs. Dish Network and Satellite TV vs. Cable TV

With so many satellite TV providers competing for your business, how do you know who to choose from? Let’s take a look at two of the more popular satellite TV service providers, DirecTV and Dish Network for an apple to apples comparison.

Dish Network

Dish Network Satellite is the nation’s second largest provider of satellite TV. Does that mean that Dish Network offers better service? Not necessarily.

Dish Network does provide most of the satellite TV resources other providers do, including a satellite TV guide, free satellite TV dishes, free dish network deals and more. Dish Network also offers customers the option of purchasing HDTV equipment and service packages, giving viewers access to 8 high definition channels, a bonus for consumers with high definition TV sets.

In addition Dish Network does have a slightly larger channel selection that DirecTV which is a benefit to some customers.

Here is a summary of the major services offered by Dish Network:

  • More than 180 channels
  • HDTV for up to 8 channels
  • More than 30 sports dedicated networks including subscription options to NBA League Pass, and NHL Center Ice
  • Foreign Language Programming in many languages
  • More than 103 local channels available
  • Monthly cost generally less than $100
  • Available in all 50 states

DirecTV

DirecTV is the nation’s largest provider. Like Dish Network, DirecTV is available in all 50 states. DirecTV’s claim to fame is that they offer more channels dollar for dollar than other satellite TV providers.

So how do you know whether DirecTV or Dish Network is right for you? Let’s look at some of the specifics of DirecTV. DirecTV does offer fewer overall channels than Dish Network satellite (but not much fewer) but it does feature exclusive sports packages including NFL Sunday Ticket, which are a bonus for avid sports fans.

DirecTV also offers a high definition package including four feature high definition channels. DirecTV also offers many of the same freebies Dish Network does, including free Direct TV receivers, free satellite TV dishes and satellite TV resources.

A summary of the benefits of DirecTV is as follows:

  • More than 150 channels
  • More than 30 sports networks including special and exclusive sports package deals
  • Foreign language programming in Spanish and Chinese
  • Up to 8 HDVT channels
  • Approximately 126 local channels
  • Monthly costs less than $100
  • Available in all 50 states

DirecTV or Dish Network Satellite

So, with an apple to apples comparison, you can see that you get most of the same benefits regardless of which provider you choose. There are some subtle differences between the two, Dish Network offers slightly more overall channels and a larger foreign language programming selection. DirecTV offers some exclusive sports networks and greater access to local channels. DirecTV Tivo is an added benefit for DirecTV consumers, which providers channel recording capability to consumers.

Which provider you select may depend on your location. Some may offer better deals or service in some areas than others.

Satellite TV vs. Cable TV

The question of satellite TV vs. Cable TV is an age old one. How do you know which to choose?

Thus the two also deserve a comparison.

Cable TV

  • Equipment – Requires a TV set top box in order to access digital services
    Transmission – Usually Analog but consumers have the option of upgrading to digital for a higher premium. Analog channels don’t convert to digital in this situation.
  • Programming – Supports more than 260 channels and offers options such as pay per view, where viewers can buy movies for a small fee. Usually cable TV offers more local channel options than satellite. Offers fewer HDTV services
  • Pricing – Cable is usually more expensive, in part due to additional costs added onto monthly premium, which may include fees, taxes, pay per view and equipment

Satellite TV

  • Equipment – Requires use of satellite dish and receivers. Many providers offer free satellite TV systems, free satellite TV dishes to entice customers.
  • Transmission – Satellite TV services are all digital, which consumers usually translate to mean better quality reception. TV reception can be subject to interference during inclement weather, but this happens with cable service too.
  • Pricing – Satellite TV can be less expensive than cable particularly if equipment is thrown in for free. Local channel packages are usually extra with satellite, but over time the expense is less.
    So which do you choose?

For many it’s a matter of price, and satellite TV seems to be at an advantage here. Both cable and satellite offer similar channel line ups, though if you plan on watching a lot of foreign or international films you might opt for a satellite provider such as Dish Network or DirecTV.

That said most consumers just end up getting whichever is convenient at the time they are setting up home. No matter your choice, you’ll end up with decent service and a wide channel range which is all most consumers are looking for in the end. Buyer beware, you should know that cable TV fans are very strictly cable, and satellite TV fans very strictly satellite.

You could literally cause an argument between two otherwise friendly neighbors simply by asking them to rate satellite TV vs. cable. That said, you’ll probably find that once you make your selection, you too begin an avid supporter of one vs. the other.

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