The top 12 reasons satellite television (i.e. DIRECTV & Dish Network) kick cable’s (i.e. Comcast) Butt:

  1. More channels – Satellite providers are available across the country and out of the country even. More customers means more customer demands and hence more channels and packages available. Let’s say a particular channel is popular and available back east and you want to watch it on the west coast. You are much more likely to have this channel included in you satellite package that you would in your cable package. For example, I like watching Braves games and I live in Utah. Many of the games are played on SportsSouth. That channel is available on both DIRECTV & Dish Network, but not available through my local cable provider.
  2. Cheaper – Thanks to the two major players in the market, the costs are quite reasonable. You will find by comparing packages that you can get much more for your money than you can with cable.
  3. No Activation Fees – Order from either satellite provider and they will be out within a couple days and get you all set up, for free! Cable always tends to tack on a $30-$100 setup fee.
  4. Better Equipment – Enjoy top of the line gadgets from the satellite dealers – again, in most cases it is free.
  5. Free DVR! – Even with the cheapest satellite plans, you can get multiple DVR’s for free. Once you’ve had a DVR it’s hard to imaging not owning one. Cable’s DVR’s seem a bit out of reach in my mind for the average consumer.
  6. All Digital – All channels are digital on the satellite. This is not the case with “digital cable”.
  7. More sports – Looking back at reason number 1, you will see why this is the case. Plus, DIRECTV has more sports than any other provider. If you are a true sports fan, DIRECTV is your only options really.
  8. And Music – DIRECTV has XM satellite and Dish Network has Sirius. What does Cable have?
  9. Customer Satisfaction – OK, everyone will have their complaints and when there are problems with TV service I’ve found that people bark loud! But overall, based on consumer surveys, Dish Network is #1, and DIRECTV is #2. Oddly, is seams customers are more happy when they pay less and get more… go figure.
  10. More HDTV – Satellite has led the way when it comes to HD. Soon DIRECTV will air 150 channels in HD including local channels.
  11. Availability – This obviously will not apply to MOST people, but if you live in Rural area that doesn’t have a cable company, or a new development where the utilities have not yet come to you, you basically have no other choice.
  12. Portability – My mom is weird but, I know whenever they take their camper out, they take along their extra satellite dish and receiver and have satellite TV with them while their camping (if you can call it camping). Have you ever heard of anyone taking their cable with them?

… And the 7 reasons why cable has its strong points:

  1. Optional Set top box – It comes with a reciever, which is needed if you want to have the programming guide and On Demand, but it is not really necessary. You can plug the cable right into your old TV, just like the good old days. This also makes it handy if you have a Media Center PC, you don’t have to worry about using an IR blaster.
  2. Reliability – I went 5 years without having a problem with my satellite including wind, rain & snow, then one day it went fuzzy. That’s when I switched to the other provider and problem was solved. There may be occasions when snow or some other environmental variable may cause interference with your satellite. You just don’t have this problem with cable. That’s not to say cable is perfect. It seems my cable high speed internet has more outages than my satellite, but that’s a different beast.
  3. Local packages – Cable companies are generally local and they know what locals want. The biggest example I can think of is right here in Utah. BYU and University of Utah Football is HUGE in the fall. The mountain west games are now being played on 3 different channels: 1. The Mountain (MTN); 2. Versus; 3. CSTV. Comcast has all three channels in their basic package. Neither DIRECTV nor Dish Network carry the Mountain. It is a new station and they claim they don’t have enough demand yet. I personally thing the real issue is because Comcast owns the Mountain. Damn them all!
  4. Package Deals – Sticking with the local them, you can often get your phone and internet through your cable company, which can save you some money.
  5. On Demand – Comcast loves to tote their On Demand stuff. This basically lets you choose from a library of shows and movies that you can watch anytime – much like YouTube ;)
  6. No Roof Décor – Hey, you can always put the satellite on the side of your house if you don’t like it on the roof ;)
  7. No Contract – Often, if you’re going to take advantage of the free equipment and installation with the satellite providers it will require a one or two year contract. With cable there is generally no contract so you can cancel at any time.