Satellite Versus Cable TV

December 22nd, 2017

How has your experience been with cutting the cord on satellite television?



Today’s post is by Troy Lowe; Vice President of Development at SafeSourcing.

Well it’s been about 6 months since we cut the cord and got rid of our satellite television service.  I’ll have to admit that it was hard at first.  Well, I thought it was hard at the time, but looking back it was just getting used to different types of menus for finding the content that we like to watch.

One of the first things we did was buy a TiVo and an over-the-air (OTA) antenna so that we could record and watch all the local channels for free.  Because we are in the middle of two large cites we are able to receive content from both cities which gave us a few more channels, most of them duplicates.  What we have found from watching the programming on the TiVo with the OTA signals is that the video is much clearer than the satellite picture we were used to.  This is because cable and satellite companies compress the signal and some of the data is lost during the transmission.  The difference in quality to me was amazing, and after months of use I still see the difference when viewing.

When it comes to cable channels and premium channels, the transition was not as easy.  There are a lot of apps available for streaming the channels, but not all of them offer DVR functionality.  Since we do not like watching live TV, this functionality was a necessity.  We had to do a lot of research to find an app that would supply the DVR functionality and the channels that we watch on a regular basis.  Luckily most apps offer a free trial and no long time contracts, so you can install them and test them before you make a decision.  Just like satellite and cable these apps offer different packages that allow you to customize which channels you receive.  So the price will vary based on your options.  One of the negatives, at least for me, that we have found is that most of the apps only stream certain channels at 60 frames per second (fps), the rest are streamed at 30 fps.  This is not an issue for most content except sports.  Some of the apps will stream just the sports channels in 60 fps.  So if you are watching a game on one of the channels, besides the sports channels, the signal will be 30 fps and the video appears to be very choppy.  This annoys the heck out of me but my wife says she cannot tell the difference.  There are some apps that stream all channels in 60 fps, but they either did not have the channels we needed or the DVR functionality did not exist.

All in all, we are happy that we made the switch.  We are still able to watch and record all of the content that we did with the satellite service and our monthly bill is more than half the cost.  If you need help researching an alternative to your service, feel free to contact SafeSourcing.   We can gather all the necessary information for you and help you decide which service meets your needs.


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