What Are the Advantages of Satellite TV?

Since its inception some 50+ years ago, satellite TV has made some major improvements. No longer do satellite TV subscribers have to deal with erratic signals, massive dishes and only being able to watch one program in the household at a time. As technological advancements diminished these early drawbacks, consumers began to take notice the many advantages satellite TV came to offer.

Today, over 30 million customers in the U.S. have satellite television. Here are some of the reasons why:

Unmatched availability

Satellite TV is the solution to cable TV's limited availability. While cable TV providers have locations they cannot or simply will not offer service, satellite TV is available virtually anywhere. You don’t need a direct cable line to your home for satellite TV – all you really need is a clear view of the southern sky. This makes quality television available to just about everyone in the U.S., from the inner cities to the most remote locations.

How is satellite TV available in so many areas?

It has to do with how satellite TV works. The satellites orbit in one place relative to the earth – that's why a clear view of the southern sky is needed. Also, they move at the same speed as earth's rotation, so subscribers always have a satellite overhead, even if it is 22,000 miles up there. In short, consistent satellite location equals consistent signal and availability.

High-quality picture and sound quality

Satellite TV is also known as DBS, or direct-broadcast satellite. This means the signal is sent directly from the satellite to your receiver. Bypassing other signal transport methods can result in clearer picture and sound via digital channels. Direct-broadcasting enables DIRECTV to offer customers over 200 full-time HD channels.1

With cable TV, your broadcast may be sent through cables for hundreds of miles. Redistribution boxes are needed to re-amplify the signal along the way. You may see these vertical boxes throughout your neighborhood, maybe even in your yard.

Unfortunately, you can't do much about that cable box protruding from your yard. You can, however, eliminate your dependency on it for a quality picture with satellite TV.

Better value

Selecting a TV provider usually comes down to one thing: how many channels do I get for X amount of money? Both cable TV and satellite TV providers offer competitive packages for their programming, but satellite TV will likely offer more channels in comparatively-priced packages.

Satellite TV is also able to carry certain networks that cable providers cannot. This means exclusive programming and more access to sports across the nation. Add that to the quality of picture and sound you get with satellite TV and it's easy to see which type of provider offers the best value.

Alternative to the local cable company

Many consumers are surprised to find that the local cable provider isn't their only option for TV service. Satellite TV offers an alternative to the big cable companies that take over local markets. Read about cable monopolies here.

It's no secret that some cable companies are notorious for less-than-stellar service. If you want to break away from the cable company, if for nothing else than to avoid supporting them, satellite TV is likely an option.

Common satellite TV disadvantages debunked

Satellite TV doesn't have all the answers, but it has many of them. Like the viewing restrictions and bulky satellite dishes of old, there may be some disadvantages to satellite TV. Here's a look at some of the commonly perceived disadvantages of satellite TV.

Costly/timely installation

A satellite dish and someone to set it up…that's got to be expensive, right? Not necessarily. The equipment is often included in the package price, and many leading providers provide standard installation when you sign a 24-month agreement. Your total setup could be done in a matter of hours with little-to-no additional charges to you.

Frequent signal interference

A common argument against satellite TV is that the signal will go out "whenever it rains." While it is true that severe weather can disrupt the signal and cause temporary interference, technological improvements have made this threat less of a problem.

When satellite dishes had moving parts and a 6' radius, signal interference resulting from inclement weather was much more likely. However, modern satellite dishes are stationary and compact, making them less vulnerable to forces such as rain and wind.

Did you know many cable companies get network signals via satellite? It's true, and it means the same weather front that disrupts your satellite signals could affect theirs. While bad weather is far less likely to affect a cable provider's satellite signal than it is yours, there's still a chance a storm could affect some cable channels.

Also, temporary loss in signal doesn’t mean you're completely without TV. With certain DVRs, you can watch recorded programs or On Demand shows until the signal returns.

Limited availability on local channels

Satellite is known for access to national and international networks, but what about the local networks? Satellite TV doesn’t neglect your need for local news and sports. With DIRECTV, local channels are available in 99% of households, so you don't have to worry about trading your local channels for satellite TV.

Given its advantages, is satellite TV right for you? Find out more about satellite TV and its advantages over the cable company – call to hear about satellite TV in your area.

1Over 200+ full-time HD channels.
2Local channels available in 99% of US households