If you have the luxury to choose between both satellite and cable connection, consider your self lucky! Both of these options are great depending on what you need but both have advantages and disadvantages as well. The best option to choose is on the basis of some main points that are picture and service quality, choice of programming, versatility, aesthetics and most importantly price.

Cable television delivers television programs to subscribers via radio frequency signals transmitted through coaxial cables or light pulses through fibre-optic cables. Satellite television delivers programming via communications satellites and is received by an outdoor antenna, usually a parabolic reflector called a satellite dish.

Picture and service quality:

This is one of the most important aspects as high resolution is what we need and look for always. Now a day almost everyone has an HDTV and high definition is not an issue anymore rather resolution is. We look whether the resolution is 1080p, 720p or lower than this.

Satellite has amazing resolution and most of their channels are 1080p but some of them may be compressed to lower up to the level of cable TV as bandwidth has limits. Cable TV resolution depends on the coaxial cable that it is sent over. The cable provider factors what resolution has to be used. HD resolution is assured usually but some times it could be better or worse than that due to bandwidth concerns. Satellite has its disadvantages of signal quality and even dropout time to time. Even though it is rare and happens during harsh weather for a short period of time, it still does happen.

Choice of programming:

Both types of services have same channels as the other does. Since satellite is a nationwide service, the programmes are the same while for cable services there is variability.

A great influence of sports channels are seen on the cable while they are not present on satellite in many states. We recommend sitting down and making a list of your favourite shows and channels, then making sure that the cable or satellite package you select includes them. On the whole both do not have much difference.


Versatility and flexibility is always good as we move around. As cable runs towards your house directly from the cable provider, many providers make sure on the documents that as you move, you will have to buy a new box as well.

Satellite service does not have this issue as the boxes are the same nationwide. All you have to do is to call your service provider and they will install a new dish at you new place. Some find this procedure frustrating while I think it is definitely better than cable.

Both cable and satellite service providers know that you will want to use internet thus both can give you options. Satellite has a slow internet access  and another dish is required if you need internet along. They offer DSL which is usually slower than internet connection so cable would be better. Cable does not require any extra wires, it is an easy setup and has a much faster speed.


Cable services require wiring inside the house to the television, with adjacent boxes. It also requires a wired connection from the subscribers place to your home from an exterior box in your neighbourhood.

While for satellite service a dish has to be attached to your roof or side of your house which is not a good site. Having a dish in the open and exposed to everything means that it could be damaged in harsh weather.


Price is the most important component that we focus on and care about. We have to know what we can afford best. In many areas comparing prices are difficult while in some there is a huge difference and satellite wins. Satellite service providers have a better range of prices and offers.

Many cable packages do not require long-term commitments but are more expensive on a monthly basis. For many consumers, a plan that allows someone to opt out at any time would be more appealing than most satellite packages that require a one or two year commitment. On the other hand, satellite tends to provide a better price ratio than cable, and under ideal conditions, satellite HD reception will be better. Both services have tiered package and pricing options.

Overall pick basically depends on what you need. Cable offers more flexibility, has more offers and is easy to fit. It is best for those who do not want a dish to be seen at their place. On the other hand satellite is good for those living on the rural side where cable is difficult to get. Satellite is always high resolution and edges cable in sports and news.