What are the drawbacks with Cable TV?
Satellite and cable each have their advantages and their drawbacks. Put simply, you can pick up satellite signals from anywhere on the Earth, but they’re subject to all sorts of interference, especially weather, and the picture isn’t always that great. Cable, on the other hand, offers a very good quality picture, but if where you live doesn’t have a high enough population to justify the cost of laying the cables, then you just can’t get it.
Of course, there’s more to it than that. Vain as it might seem, many people’s biggest objection to satellite is that it involves the installation of a honking great satellite dish on the side of their house – not always the greatest thing to look at. Plus, if you buy the dish yourself, it will be quite expensive.
On the other hand, satellite still has many free channels broadcast in the clear. Many of them are a little odd and foreign, granted, but there are literally thousands of channels out there for the taking. To see anything on cable, you have to pay a monthly subscription – although, in practice, you’ll have to subscribe to a decoder card before you’ll see anything worthwhile on satellite either, unless you speak an awful lot of obscure languages.
Satellite subscriptions are often slightly cheaper than cable ones, as cable is a natural monopoly – it’s only economic to have one provider in any one area. 95% of the UK, for example, now gets its cable from the merged ntl-Telewest company, which means that they’re pretty much free to set their prices as high as they like, with people’s only recourse being to move to satellite instead. Of course, satellite isn’t immune from monopolies either, but it at least uses open standards, allowing the hobbyist to buy and operate their own dish if they want to.
About the Author: John Gibb is the owner of Cable TV resources
For more information on Cable TV check out http://www.cable-tv-resources2k.info