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DIRECTV vs. Cable TV: A Comparison

A woman holding a remote control in front of a television broadcasting Satellite TV channels.

Due to advancements in technology, modern-day mobile phones and tablets can perform any task: TVs, Desktops, and multiple other devices used to serve in the past.

However, despite the increased utility of mobile phones, TVs are still ubiquitous and found in most homes. Watching TV remains one of the major activities people, especially the older generation, do in their leisure time. 

The way TV services are provided has changed in recent times. Previously, TV services were usually provided through cables. However, satellite TV services have sharply increased in popularity in recent years. DIRECTV is one of the largest satellite TV providers in the United States. You can rely on AT&T Internet to enjoy the ultimate entertainment experience.

In this article, let’s compare cable TV with Satellite TV and look at why more and more people are willing to shift to satellite TV nowadays. 

Satellite TV Compared to Cable TV

Let's compare satellite TV with cable TV in terms of different metrics to determine which should be your choice as the perfect TV service:

Transmission of Signals

As the name suggests, cable TV transmits signals through coaxial or fiber-optic cables. A cable from your house connects you to the network of cables and gives you access to a certain service provider. 

On the other hand, satellite TV services provide cable through wireless signals transmitted with the help of satellites. The satellite transmits signals that a satellite dish catches, allowing you to access different channels and other services. 


Cable TV is usually available in urban areas, meaning well-populated cities and towns. However, you may need access to cable TV in remote areas because no cable networks exist. 

Satellite TV is generally available anywhere with a clear sky view, including remote or rural areas, because the signals are wireless. You only need a satellite dish to capture the wireless signals and access the satellite TV without hassle. 


Cable TV requires a cable connection that connects your home to the local cable network. This connection can be done by professionals only. 

Satellite TV's installation is rather easy and can be done by individuals. All you need is a satellite dish that needs to be set up in the right direction and a wireless TV box connected to the satellite dish and receiving the signals the satellite dish relays. 

Channel Offerings

Both cable TV and satellite TV have similar channel offerings. However, cable TV leans more towards local TV channels, while you can expect access to more international TV channels with satellite TV. Channel selection for cable and satellite TV also depends on cable providers' different packages. 


Cable and satellite TV have their own pros and cons regarding reliability. Cable TV is more susceptible to cable outages due to cable damage and maintenance problems. However, it’s more reliable in bad weather conditions. 

Since satellite TV works through wireless signals, bad weather can disrupt signals. However, it's free of cables; cable damage and maintenance are not an issue. 


Cable TV's cost depends on various factors, like cable provider, location, equipment needed, and more. The further away from a cable network, the higher your equipment cost will be. Some cable TV providers also offer equipment on rent, where you won't have to purchase the equipment but pay a monthly rental fee.

Satellite TV’s cost includes equipment, but it’s not as variable because the location doesn’t matter. Having a satellite dish and a TV box would be best, and you’re good to go. This is why satellite TV providers now offer TV plans that match or beat the cost of cable TV plans. 

Final Thoughts

If you want to choose between satellite TV and cable TV, we suggest you go for satellite TV. If you're looking for a satellite TV provider in the United States, DIRECTV is one of the best choices. Contact its customer service team today if you need details regarding their satellite TV plans!

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the main differences between satellite TV and cable TV?
Satellite TV uses wireless signals from satellites, offering wider availability, especially in remote areas. Cable TV relies on physical cable networks, primarily available in urban areas.

Is satellite TV more expensive than cable TV?
The cost varies, but satellite TV offers competitive pricing, sometimes even cheaper than cable, depending on the package and location.

Can weather conditions affect satellite TV service?
Severe weather conditions like heavy rain or snow can sometimes disrupt satellite TV signals.

Do you know if I need professional installation for satellite TV?
While professional installation is recommended for optimal setup, some satellite TV systems can be installed by the user.

How does the channel selection in satellite TV compare to cable TV?
Satellite TV generally offers a broader range of international channels, while cable TV focuses more on local media.

Is satellite TV available in urban areas?
Yes, satellite TV is available in urban and rural areas, as long as there is a clear view of the sky for the dish.

Do you know if I can access high-definition channels through satellite TV?
Satellite TV offers a wide range of high-definition channels.

Are there any long-term contracts required with satellite TV services?
This depends on the provider, but many satellite TV services offer options without long-term contracts.

How reliable is cable TV in comparison to satellite TV?
Cable TV is generally more stable in bad weather conditions but can be affected by local outages or maintenance issues.

Does satellite TV offer on-demand content?
Many satellite TV providers offer on-demand content, similar to cable TV services.

Can I bundle satellite TV with internet services?
Yes, many providers offer bundles that include satellite TV and internet services.

Is the cable TV installation process more complex than satellite TV?
Cable TV installation might require a more extensive setup, especially in areas without cable infrastructure.

Do both satellite and cable TV offer DVR options?
Both services typically offer DVR options, allowing you to record and watch shows later.

How does the picture quality compare between satellite and cable TV?
Both offer high-quality pictures, but satellite TV may have an edge regarding HD channels' overall quality and availability.

Do you know if I can access international channels with cable TV?
While cable TV does offer some international channels, satellite TV generally provides a broader selection.

Are there any additional equipment costs with satellite TV?
Yes, satellite TV requires a dish and a receiver, which may incur additional costs or rental fees.

How does customer service compare between satellite and cable TV providers?
Customer service quality varies by provider, but satellite TV providers often rank high in customer satisfaction surveys.

Can I move my satellite TV service if I relocate?
Yes, you can relocate your satellite TV service, although it may require a new installation at your new location.

Do both services offer parental control options?
Both satellite and cable TV provide parental control features to manage viewing content.

How quickly can I get satellite TV installed after signing up?
Installation time varies, but many providers offer quick setup options, sometimes within a few days of signing up.

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