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Which is Better for Home Theater, Cable or Satellite?


You have your home theater set up, with TV, sound system, comfy seating, and lights. What are you going to watch? Which service is better for home theater, cable or satellite?

Both cable and satellite technology have advantages and disadvantages. Do a little research on the options in your own area, considering these five features:

1. Who Has the Best Picture and Service Quality?

You have your HDTV in your home theater. But can your cable or satellite provider deliver the resolution you’re hoping for?

Cable TV works within the constraints of its coaxial cable. In practice, this means your HD is broadcast at 720p or less due to bandwidth issues. This may mean less-than-HD picture quality in some situations.

Satellite doesn’t have the same bandwidth restrictions—it has some constraints, but not like cable. Most of the high-definition programming is in 1080p and may even be offered in 4K.

However, satellite can have dropout issues in bad weather, although these problems are usually brief.

2. How Much Choice Will You Get in Programming?

Satellite and cable tend to be pretty comparable in programming, with lots of movies for your home theater and a couple of notable exceptions:

  • In some markets, cable may have a monopoly on sports programming.

  • Check to be sure your favorite channels are included in any package before you buy.

3. What Happens When You Move?

With cable, you will likely have to get new cable boxes when you move. If you move to a new area, you may have to cancel your service and start up with a new cable provider.

Satellite’s equipment is national. Of course, you’ll need to get a dish installed at your new home, but that job won’t fall to you—the company will send technicians.

4. What About Internet Service?

Most people bundle internet service with their TV package. Here’s where cable really shines. The modem connects to your cable lines, just as your home theater setup does.

Satellite actually requires a separate dish. Or satellite users can get DSL service, but that is a slower connection than cable. Many satellite TV users actually use cable for their internet service.

5. Which is Cheaper, Cable or Satellite TV?

Take some time to wade through the dazzling package offers and figure out which package will be cheaper in the long run—let’s say two years. Often the first year comes with super-low discounts, but expect to pay full price the second year and thereafter.

In our experience, satellite is usually somewhat cheaper after the first year. Offers will vary.

Connected Home is Your Favorite Home Theater Installer

Whether you choose cable or satellite for your TV service, Connected Home is there to make it work seamlessly and beautifully in your home theater. At Connected Home, we work with new home builders or owners of existing homes to install great home theater setups to wow your family!

To find out about home theater installation and service, call Connected Home today at (910) 317-0876, or stop by our Leland showroom to see the great systems we’re working with now.

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Connected Home in Leland NC has 8 Cedia Certified AV Technicians