Satellite -vs- Cable TV
DirecTV and Dish Network are Television program providers in direct competition with cable, the FCC rules demand that DBS follows the same “Must Carry” rules of cable TV. The “Must Carry” rule is an FCC rule that makes all cable TV and satellite TV providers, carry your local over-the-air broadcast stations. In plain English, it is the over 3,400 local TV stations that DBS must carry by law, that is killing their signal. If DBS didn’t have to carry your local channel, they would have the best possible picture and audio quality.
Nobody would be able to come close. Cable is fortunate in that each of their cable systems serve just one area or region. So they only have maybe 5 to 20 local channels to carry. That doesn’t take up very much frequency spectrum. But DBS has to cover the whole country with over 3,400 local stations on just 3 satellites. That is more channels than all of their regular program channels combined.
NOW ON TO DIGITAL CABLE TV
When cable TV first started, it was still analog and often grainy or fuzzy looking. But it was all we had, and we got to see instant news, lots of sports, and uncut, uncensored movies and specials on HBO. When DBS entered the market, it boasted a 100% digital crystal clear picture and digital sound. And they didn’t have to carry your local channels at that time. It was great and many jumped on the satellite bandwagon. I did too. It looked great, and it was cheaper than cable. Cable providers knew they had to go digital to compete head to head with satellite.
So cable TV providers converted their systems to digital as fast as they could. Most of today’s cable systems are 100% digital with a few old analog channels for subscribers with older TV’s that don’t want to pay extra for a digital converter box. Cable now offers sports packages, multiplex movie channels, and all of your local channels, including their extra secondary and third digital channels. They are just like satellite with packages and pricing. They offer the same amount of channels and sometimes more on certain cable systems. But cable has something that DBS can not offer.
DBS offers something called OnDemand, but it is just the term they use for PPV movies. And you must have a DVR or TiVo box to take advantage of the DBS OnDemand features. But it is NOT true OnDemand. They just use this term to make you think they are equal to cable. They are lying.
True OnDemand, ONLY available through digital cable TV offers interaction between you and the cable system. You can order PPV movies and events. But you can also order many of your favorite shows from most of the TV networks, and most of the basic channels that cable carries. Watch hundreds of music videos when you want. These shows are all FREE, and many are in HD. You can order lots of programming that is not available anywhere else including DBS.
It also offers interactive info channels such as home listings from local realitors, sneek peeks at new cars and trucks the auto companies and car sales from local dealers, local job listings from Monster Jobs, places of interest including resturants, movies, night spots, sight seeing and more to visit in your area…etc. You have full control of the programs for Fast Forward, Rewind, Pause, and Stop. And no DVR or TiVo service is necessary to use these features. OnDemand is available to all subscribers with any package above the Economy basic package at no extra charge.
You can start your OnDemand show at anytime on your time. Stop the program and save it. When you go back to it later, it starts from where you left it at, or you can go back to the beginning. You don’t have to wait for the next available showing time like on DBS. Just select your show or movie anytime from the list and hit play. In a few seconds, you are watching it. So that is a big PLUS for digital cable TV.
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