According to a new report by Nielsen, the number of U.S. homes without a conventional cable or satellite TV subscription that receive broadcast stations via a digital antenna has grown by over 50% over the last eight years, reaching 16 million households.
No matter how influential OTT platforms become, Satellite Television will always be the first choice for some old-school users. If you want to switch to satellite TV or subscribe to Netflix, these Pros and cons of Satellite TV will help you make an informed decision.
"Satellite TV" refers to a system of broadcasting, distributing, and receiving television content via signals transmitted from communication satellites. These signals are received by home satellite dish antennas which are installed in homes or businesses.
The first satellite television broadcasts began in the U.S. on July 23, 1980, from the home of Satellite Communication Services president Gene Alden. The signals were transmitted from the Telstar satellite. The adoption of satellite TV was slow in the first two decades.
Still, it is today growing at a faster rate than cable TV, with about 90 million (Source: Digital TV Research) pay-TV subscribers by the end of 2014 compared to about 95 million in January 2011.
The dishes are now smaller, allowing installers to place them on the roofs of homes with the best signals. Dish Network and DirecTV, two satellite television companies based in the US, provide that equipment for free if you subscribe for 12 months. There are many pros of satellite TV to consider when watching tons of channels at a comparatively low cost.
Satellite TV signals can be accessed from practically anywhere globally, provided you have a proper satellite dish antenna. Cable and Internet connectivity is only available in certain areas; consequently, if your household falls outside of these service regions, one would not be able to receive cable or Internet services.
With satellite television, viewers get access to all channels and programs available on Geostationary satellites. This includes foreign and premium entertainment channels that are otherwise not easily accessible with other modes of signal distribution, such as terrestrial broadcasting, aka cable TV.
Unlike traditional Cable TV, satellite television is more cost-effective because it uses fewer resources (e.g., transmitting antennas and receiving equipment). It is also more common to households, making for more efficient use of the technology.
The digital video signals transmitted by satellite providers are high quality, clear and sharp during daytime and nighttime. This is because the signal travels via satellite instead of cable TV, where there is usually interference from hills, buildings, or power lines. The uncompromised quality is, therefore, one of the major benefits of satellite TV over cable networks.
There are no monthly fees or subscription renewals, unlike cable television which is one of the amazing pros of satellite TV. It does not require you to sign any monthly contracts. Consequently, you can change your service provider anytime without incurring any penalties or service charges.
Cable television is one of the most popular ways to watch the programming they desire in their living rooms. With recent progressions such as digital cable and pay-per-view capabilities, cable TV has become more common in recent years. However, do consider some of the cons of satellite TV while signing up for the service.
Installing satellite dishes is expensive compared to regular cable installation costs because these antennas are large in size and need strong structures on which to be installed.
Satellite television is relatively expensive compared to cable TV because it requires viewers to pay for access to all channels or at least most premium channels, unlike cable, where you only need to subscribe to the desired channels.
The amount of lag time between when a live event occurs and when it is broadcast on satellite TV can be significant enough that the viewer misses what happens in some cases. For example, one would miss watching football matches if they are broadcasting via satellite transmission because there could be up to several minutes' delay in the signal reaching your home.
Most satellite signals are prone to interruptions during heavy winter storms or major events such as the Olympic games. These disruptions occur because of many factors, including interference from sunspots, lightning, and other atmospheric activities, affecting the signals transmitted/received by satellite dish antennas.
The frequency of operation for a satellite antenna is in a higher range than cable television, so it can be easily interfered with if any transmitting devices are operating on a similar frequency in your area.
Cable uses a much lower frequency band; hence this is less likely to happen. Interference can be one of the major cons of Satellite TV in residential areas laden with electronic devices or even electric cables.
To receive good quality service from your satellite TV provider, the dish antenna must have an unobstructed view of Geostationary satellites, which means that anything obstructing its line-of-sight view will result in poor-quality pictures.
Another disadvantage of satellite TV is that other satellites in Geostationary orbit may interfere with the signals you are trying to receive. This means that if you have your antenna facing towards Europe, only European channels will work well since they will not get interference from other satellites closer to Earth.
Final Comments on the Pros and cons of Satellite TV
Whether you think satellite TV is good or bad, it’s clear that the industry has changed in the last recent years. What was once a simple process of flipping on your television and choosing from three channels now involves hours of research to find the perfect package for your needs.
With so many entertainment options out there vying for customers, you should be able to choose the best one. As for now, the easy-to-understand Pros and cons of the Satellite TV should be your assistive guide to conclude further. You should be having ample information about what each provider offers and how they compare against one another.
One of the main drawbacks of satellite TV is the initial cost of purchasing and installing their equipment, which can vary greatly depending on which provider you choose. Cable companies, in many cases, run promotions or special offers to encourage subscribers so that the initial investment can be much less than that of satellite TV. Keep in mind that this cost won't include monthly fees, which vary depending on your provider and package.
Because satellite delivers higher HD quality than cable, it's a better alternative for people with top-of-the-line TVs and home theater systems. Furthermore, satellite operators may offer customized packages to sports enthusiasts who want to keep up with their favorite teams all year long by adding premium sports channels.
If you're looking for something to watch on a train or airplane, satellite television offers avenues for significant events such as pay-per-view, sports packages, and reality TV programs that you might miss in real-time if you only use a streaming service.
The most significant distinctions between Digital Cable and Satellite TV are as follows: Most satellite television systems can handle up to 250 channels. On the other side, a digital cable may support up to 300 digital-quality programs. In addition, in most large cities, Digital Cable offers additional local stations.