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DISH vs Cable TV

Cable TV Nonsense

They’ll Say Just About Anything To Get You To Sign Up

Now as you can tell, I always felt strongly about my DISH service, and when the cable company sends me something like this in the mail, I have to have a good laugh over it. I never saw any offers from my previous local cable company (Comcast) that prompted me to even consider switching over to their service for my television programming. When I compare DISH vs cable TV, I find that DISH offers the best service, programming packages and prices.

Cable TV Foolishness

This was from my previous cable company, Adelphia, before they went bankrupt!

If they only knew how ridiculous it was to send one of these to me. I cannot believe they say “STOP DISHING OUT MONEY!” Are they serious? Oh sure, sign up with the cable company so they can raise their prices a month or two after you sign up.

No Local Channels?

It’s also strange to see the cable companies making the claim that there are “no local services” available with satellite TV. Once again, they are wrong. I had every local channel in my area available to me for an additional $5 a month when I lived in New Hampshire and the same is true here in North Carolina. As far as local channels go, DISH vs cable TV comes out even.

Even though my location allowed me to receive the local channels from Boston very well with a roof-top antenna, I upgraded my programming package by adding the local channels because we never got good reception from the local TV station in Manchester because the roof-top antenna was pointed towards Boston.

We also were not receiving the on-screen program guide information with the local channels as received from the roof-top antenna and that made viewing local channels a bit less convenient.

Since signing up for the local channels, we were able to watch the Manchester station very clearly, just as we watch the local North Carolina stations today. Manchester, NH and Asheville, NC are not considered “major markets” like Boston or New York, so you can see that DISH offers a lot of local channels, and now offers local channels in every U.S. television market.

DISH vs Cable TV Availability

There’s not much question that DISH wins the battle of DISH vs cable TV when availability of service is considered. While you need to be in the service area of a cable TV company in order to be eligible for the service, the only eligibility requirements for DISH are that you are located in the United States (it may be available in other countries, but that is beyond the scope of this article), have electric power and a clear view of the sky where the satellites are located. That’s why you may seem the claim that DISH Network is available anywhere.

It’s pretty obvious that cable TV depends on cables to carry their signals to their subscribers — hence the name “cable TV.” The problem for a lot of potential subscribers is that there simply are no cable TV cables available to tap into in their area. That happens to be true where I live because the residents of the three houses that live on the isolated cul-de-sac I live on did not want to pay over $1000 to have the cable TV company extend their lines to the area.

That decision was made by the residents who lived here at the time and that was well before I moved here. Basically, we have only two choices for TV here. It’s either standard over-the-air broadcast TV like you can receive with an antenna or satellite TV. That doesn’t mean I would switch to cable if it was available to me. I abandoned cable TV years ago when I lived in an area where it was available and I see no reason to go back.

Cable Industry Claims About Weather-Related Problems Exaggerated

Do they really want to talk about DISH vs cable TV weather outages?
Will this be fixed in 30 minutes?

On the reverse side of the card they sent to me, they have printed the usual nonsensical claims about satellite TV. One of their favorite jabs is to claim that satellite TV reception is subject to weather conditions. This is a true statement, however, they lead people to believe that it is much worse than it actually is.

As I pointed out on the main page, we lost our DISH reception very rarely — perhaps a dozen times while watching something during the 16 years we had it.

I can tell you without hesitation that I used to lose my cable TV service a lot more than that when I had it a number of years ago. We’d lose the service if a auto accident knocked a telephone pole down or if an ice storm or strong winds took the wires down.

I can recall waiting two or three days to have my cable TV service restored after a bad ice storm one winter. The weather-related interruptions we have experienced with DISH TV have typically lasted between 10 minutes and 30 minutes. But of course the cable company never talks about that. They like to distort facts in their favor whenever they can when the subject of DISH vs cable TV comes up.

Be sure to see my blog post that covers the 2008 cable outage that hit the area where we once lived in New Hampshire and lasted over two weeks. And the cable TV companies want to talk about how the weather impacts satellite reception? Yeah, right.

Where Does Cable TV Programming Originate? You May Be Surprised!

And here’s something else to think about. If satellite TV is so unreliable due to weather conditions, why is it that the cable TV companies themselves use satellite signals for most of the programming they are sending out to subscribers? Have you been by your cable TV company’s “head end” facility?

The “head end” is the facility where they feed the signals into their system for their subscribers. If not, find out where it is and take a drive by. You’ll see a few satellite dishes at their facility that they use for most of the programming they provide. I guess getting TV signals from a satellite can’t be as unreliable as they claim it is.

In light of this information, it’s amazing that the cable companies want to talk about the issue of DISH vs Cable TV at all!

Cable TV is also much more prone to outages due to equipment failure, since it is so dependent on all the equipment that is strung up on the telephone poles between their facility and your home. This includes the wires themselves, as well as a series of amplifiers or repeaters that are used to maintain the strength of the signal throughout the system.

If you live in an area that is ever subject to ice storms, you know they can sometimes be severe enough to knock out power for days or even weeks at a time. With cable TV, no power means no TV, since their whole system is dependent on electrical power to keep it working. Remember those amplifiers I mentioned? Well, without power, they don’t work.

However, if you have your own generator or battery back-up system you can continue to watch your DISH programming, and keep yourself from going nuts due to the extreme boredom so many of us experience during power outages! For me, that makes DISH more reliable than cable TV and represents one of the greatest benefits of DISH Network.

Cable TV Nonsense Taken To New Limits

I was searching around not long ago for some DISH information online, and I stumbled onto one of those sites that promote cable TV. It was comparing satellite and cable TV, so I had to take a minute to read some of it. Frankly, there was so much foolishness there that I decided I just had to update this section and destroy some of their claims.

Their old standby argument is that satellite customers have all kinds of trouble due to the weather. I’ve talked about this before, but they did bring up a new fabrication that I thought was rather amusing, so I wanted to mention it.

They are talking about something they call “wind fade.” I don’t know where they dreamed that one up but I can tell you that in all the years I have had DISH, I have not once seen it react to the wind and I used to live in a pretty windy location at an elevation of around 1100 feet.

Trust me, we got more than our share of wind at our previous home. In fact, one of my former neighbors had one of those windmills for generating electric power. Guess what? People don’t spend thousands of dollars getting one of those things installed if they don’t have a good supply of wind in their area. So much for the “wind fade” argument, I suppose. Cable TV loses yet another DISH vs cable TV argument!

Is DISH Dangerous?

And here’s another good one. They claim that since the weather so easily affects your satellite reception, you may lose your signal before you can be warned about dangerous weather that is coming, like a tornado. They encourage people to trust cable TV for the safety of their family. I guess they need to resort to fear-mongering to convince people that cable TV is the best choice.

Well, guess what happens when the wind blows a tree onto the lines? Bye, bye cable service. So much for receiving that warning of an impending tornado by way of your cable service. The very best option for dangerous weather warnings is one of those weather alert radios you can buy at a very reasonable price. Make sure it can run on batteries in case a storm knocks out power in your area! If you are that concerned about protecting your family from dangerous weather, that is the best option.

One thing that particular site keeps harping about with regard to satellite TV is “signal fade.” Well, I’ve had DISH since 1998, and I don’t know what they are talking about, so I guess it cannot be the big problem that they want people to believe it is.

One thing that is not talked about on the cable TV site is a cost comparison, and that’s because cable TV is the hands down loser in that category. I was a cable TV customer for 10 years before I got DISH, so I know how often they raise their prices, and let me tell you, it is not infrequently. In all the years I had DISH, they have raised the price two or three times. If you like paying more, by all means, sign up for cable TV.

As far as I am concerned, you should now know everything you need to know where the DISH vs cable TV argument is concerned.