Internet TV vs. Satellite TV vs. Cable TV

There was a time when satellite TV was a clear favourite. They offered more channels and options, and as they tried to gain a foothold in the industry, their pricing was aggressive. But the competition between the cable and satellite television providers eventually settled down. The channels, the options and even the pricing structures became similar. Satellite was no longer the clear choice, and over the years, the choice became increasingly more complex.

Now, a new option has entered the fray: Internet TV. Internet television has been around in one form or another for quite a while, but it is only now that it is becoming accessible to such a widespread audience. Perhaps what’s most interesting is the timing. These are difficult economic times in the US and all over Europe. Average Joes are feeling the pinch, and looking for ways to do more with less. Enter Internet TV, which is often free.

Internet TV vs. Satellite TV vs. Cable TV

Of course, nothing is ever quite that simple. In theory, free Internet television seems like a panacea for our entertainment budget woes, but it’s just that, a theory. Free Internet TV is still extremely unreliable and likely will be to some degree for the near future. If you want to upgrade to reliable, it’s going to cost you. So this addition of a third option is actually going to make this choice more complex rather than give us a simple way out.

Further complicating the issue is that there is no single answer. The right answer for you will very much depend on your needs, wants and means. If cost were not an issue, then we’d probably go with a deluxe cable package, a basic DirecTV package just for the NFL Sunday Ticket, and a healthy dose of IPTV (Internet Protocol television) sprinkled in. Since that’s an unrealistic option for most, we’ll instead consider the pros and cons of the single-service options.

When it comes to cable television, such as a company like Time Warner, the greatest upside is dependability. Cable experiences very little downtime, and since almost all the cable is underground these days, these companies aren’t prone to accidental outages. Cable also delivers channels and features as diverse as satellite, minus a certain sports package. The downside, however, is that cable is by far the most costly choice at the basic level.

Satellite outages can occur because of severe weather or damage to your dish, and if a problem does occur, the repair process tends to be slower than with cable. However, accidents are rare, and the weather issues tend to get overblown. On the plus side, good satellite TV deals can offer attractive entry-level packages that are better than your over-the-air offerings. But if you decide to enhance your package, the gap between satellite and cable closes quickly.

Keep in mind that as we move forward both the cable and satellite companies will embrace more Internet-enabled features in order to keep up with new services competing for their business. In other words, don’t doing anything rash because you might regret it. On the other hand, if you are an infrequent TV watcher and have a solution to the lack of sports and news, than switching to an IPTV-based solution can save you a great deal of money.


About Paul Salmon

Paul Salmon is the founder of Technically Easy. He is a an experienced PC user, and enjoys solving computer-related problems that he encounters on a regular basis.

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  1. Posted August 28, 2013 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

    We use satellite for our RV. Excede is fast and reliable! It takes about 30mins to setup however.

  2. Posted September 18, 2012 at 3:43 pm | Permalink

    Internet TV adds another dimension to your existing television at home. Not only does It allow individuals to stream their channels over the web but watch whatever they like from any location in or out of the home.

  3. Posted May 11, 2012 at 3:53 am | Permalink

    I’m glad to be a visitor of this everlasting blogging site ! , value it for that data! .

  4. Alibaba Lilipa
    Posted October 16, 2011 at 11:31 am | Permalink

    I think satellite tv is better but if you want to want portability then choose internet tv.

    • Posted October 16, 2011 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

      The biggest thin with Internet TV is the portability. With the increase in Internet connection speeds, the quality of Internet TV will continue to increase over the next few years, and probably will be the cheapest method of watching TV.

  5. Amit
    Posted August 9, 2011 at 12:03 am | Permalink

    Internet TV has its advantages, but the biggest drawback which eventually makes the difference is the necessary bandwidth that people from parts of the world don’t have. You can watch in poor quality and lower bit rate, but then what’s the point?

    • Posted August 9, 2011 at 10:24 am | Permalink

      Bandwidth is always an issue. Where live, the standard cable Internet connection that I use is 14 Mbps, and the bandwidth allowed each month has increase to 80 GB. I can easily go over this with enough Internet TV or movie downloads, or some of my online backups.

  6. Posted July 30, 2011 at 5:13 am | Permalink

    If you are willing to use Bittorrent (and probably break the law), there is no need to DVR. Just download shows, put them on a media server on your home network and use set top boxes to watch the content…

    • Posted July 30, 2011 at 11:03 pm | Permalink

      Which I’m sure many people do on a regular basis. I don’t watch many shows, so I really don’t need to download them.

  7. Kaye
    Posted July 10, 2011 at 2:35 am | Permalink

    Our generation is very much equipped with high-tech inventions. One of this inventions introduced by our brilliant-minded individual is this satellite TV. The user itself should also take into considerations the system reliability as well as its affordability. This satellite TV on computer is really amazing. Through this, you can watch TV online any time you want. It provides more or less thousands of channels than the cable system. The satellite TV invention truly hits the global market since most of the customers prefer purchasing it since it has a better picture quality than the others.

    More info on satellite tv comparison

  8. Panama foundation
    Posted June 27, 2011 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

    Precisely What Cable Providers Offer That Satellite Television Doesnt …. Not only do you have tIn many regions digital cable has already been installed. Theyve got systems connected and most houses or apartments are already hooked up to the cable hubs.

  9. erik
    Posted June 22, 2011 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

    I work for DISH network and have subscribed for years. If you’re looking for a great source of information, including hints, price, technologies and customer reviews, check out this new website dedicated to comparing the providers side-by-side:

  10. Posted June 22, 2011 at 3:28 pm | Permalink

    I think Satellite TV is more than flexible where you can’t take the advanced of cable TV.

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