community guide to Eugene and beyond
Satellite versus Cable
It used to be that you only had two choices for receiving television programming. You either put up and fought with an antenna, or you called your local cable company and they would come out and run a cable into your home. That was good, since watching TV with an antenna can be absolutely frustrating at times, and you never got more than five or six channels anyway. So cable was the only real choice for getting a good quality signal, plus you could get access to a few premium channels such as Showtime and HBO. Sadly, this lack of choices, while beneficial to the cable companies, put the consumer between a rock and a hard place if they were dissatisfied with their cable service. Their only recourse was to go back to the antenna and it’s six fuzzy channels.
Eventually some people realized that this lack of alternatives was a great business opportunity just waiting to be realized. This is how subscription satellite TV services came into being. With a tiny satellite dish and in-home receiver, subscribers could get a pure digital signal, and finally be able to break free from the cable companies. One of the great side benefits from this freedom is that dish service is available just about anywhere, even in the most remote locations.
Not only is the satellite signal 100 percent digital, it is, in many cases more affordable than a comparable cable TV subscription package. While cable services do provide an option for digital service, even then some channels are still not digital, and other channels may show visible effects from signal compression such as pixilation. Both satellite dish service and digital cable both require a receiver box in every room that will be using the signal, and both cable and satellite services offer a box with built in DVR capability. A Digital Video Recorder can record your favorite shows, full length movies and sports events. It’s so nice to be able to pause your show when the phone rings, or rewind a part you missed, and best of all, to fast forward through the commercials. The recorder can be preset to record while you are away or watching another show. It’s really great, since you never have to worry about finding a blank videotape, or figuring out how to program your VCR. All you have to do is find which show you want to record in the interactive program guide and select the record button. It’s that easy!
Since most channels are now available on both cable and satellite services, the choice between the two boils down to a cost and feature comparison, and a picture quality issue. With cable, the first receiver box is loaned to the subscriber free of charge, while the dish equipment is owned by the satellite subscriber. In most cases, however, the satellite gear can be obtained for free in a package deal that includes signing up for 12 months of service. Plus, you won’t have to pay the franchise fee that covers the cost to the cable provider of leasing right-of-way access to utility poles and underground conduits. While cable and satellite can both provide a high quality signal, to get the digital signal with cable, you have to subscribe to at least a basic digital cable package, which costs quite a bit more than the basic satellite packages.
Finally, local TV channels are available on satellite in the Eugene-Springfield area, providing an alternative to expensive local cable TV service. DISH Network now offers . . .
Comcast cable services provide a variety of options to meet your entertainment needs. DVR, Video on Demand and more. Whether you're interested in Comcast Cable or Digital . . .