Cable TV vs DIRECTV: A Brief Comparison

Life was a lot easier with lesser choices back in the 80s when we didn’t really have to make a choice between various incomparable options, all we had was a local cable company providing entertainment services. The 90s was the turning point in the entertainment provision industry when residential satellite TV became available to the public and the cable industry grew, thus introducing many competitors like spectrum, cox cable tv, Mediacom, and Frontier, etc. One of the most significant developments in the last two decades has been from DIRECTV, that supplies personal satellite dishes to individual households for wireless entertainment facility across the US. As far as the battle between cable and satellite TV is concerned, it’s hard to determine a winner. Let’s dig into the major differences and debunk a famous myth about both of these services. Read on to find out:

The Satellite Dish Myth

One myth that most of us deal with is the fact that with a cable connection, one can bypass satellite altogether. However, in reality, the only difference here is that your DIRECTV dish is installed on your rooftop and a cable company’s dish is mounted on their rooftop. Both of them receive signals from the orbiting satellites and are possibly interrupted by the variations in weather conditions. Now that we have talked about it, let’s sort the major differences between the two services.


Cable providers are known to offer greater flexibility when it comes to installation and lesser equipment requirements. If you share your living space with people you certainly cannot afford to allocate a lot of space to equipment only. In that case, the cable takes the trophy. Satellite subscribers, on the other hand, have to install a dish on their rooftop or side of the building and ensure it is pointed in the right direction and is free from any debris whatsoever.

Channel Options

With cable TV connections, there is lesser customization when it comes to selecting the channels of choice. Cable companies usually offer different packages with a different channel line-up. For example,  a basic cable package may include 60+ channels among which only 20-30 are the ones that you really watch, any addition of a channel may add to your cable bill. However, DIRECTV offers greater customization with more choices to opt from, yet if you want any particular channels, you still may have to pay a premium price, depending on the choice of your channel.

Picture Quality

These are HD times, no one gets stuck in the Black Friday craziness to buy an Ultra HD smart TV just to watch a fuzzy NatGeo documentary, We have paid for this stuff with our sweat and blood, and an average TV service gets no right to ruin it. Satellite DIRECTV, in this case, has a better collection of national HD channels whereas Cable TV offers better local HD coverage. However, opt for satellite if you wish to have access to the most popular channels in high-definition quality.


Cable TV requires you to install wiring inside your house starting from a small exterior box outside your home to a wireless router for the internet and a set-top box to your TV set. However, all this equipment is fairy concealed and doesn’t make a lot of mess.

Satellite, on the other hand, requires you to install a dish on your rooftop, or the side of your building, you don’t get to see them that often but the way they are installed, may still expose them to bad weather conditions and a stray ball that might cause significant damages to the exterior equipment.

The bottom line

Owing to this quick comparison, I would recommend going for a cable connection for most users for a steady supply of entertainment. However, for rural customers, satellite TV is the best and most relevant option to go for.

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