Satellite TV service has gained in popularity over the past couple of decades. While it used to be primarily used by those living in rural areas, because they did not have access to cable television, it is now common to find satellite dishes on the roofs of homes everywhere, both urban and rural.
In order to subscribe to satellite TV service, a customer must purchase or rent a satellite dish that will be mounted to the roof or side of their home. The dish will typically need to be located wherever there is the most clear view of the Southern sky, as this will achieve the best signal strength. They will also need a receiver box (or boxes) to hook to their television. Once everything is set up, the satellite dish will receive the signal, the receiver box will decipher or decode it, and the programming will show up on the TV.
Most satellite TV companies today have several programming packages to offer customers, and have set up their programming to be very similar to those you would find with a cable TV provider. Because of this, many people have made the move over to satellite TV, especially considering the cost difference. While the initial setup fees of satellite TV might be a bit more than those of cable television, especially if you purchase your own equipment, satellite tends to have lower monthly rates for comparable programming. When satellite TV first became popular, it used to be required that equipment be purchased prior to receiving service. Today, however, most of the larger satellite TV providers will rent out equipment, so no expensive equipment purchases are necessary before service can be set up.
The one glaring downside to satellite TV, however, is that having a satellite dish is mandatory, and if you don't own your own home, that can be a big problem. Satellite TV in apartments is difficult to come by, unless the apartment complex itself subscribes to it or you happen to live in an apartment that gives you both a place to mount the satellite dish (along with management approval) and a clear view of the southern sky. There is also the possibility that your satellite signal will be interrupted during extremely bad weather, which means if you live in an area with frequent heavy clouds, rain, or snow, you might be disappointed with the reliability of your service. In those cases, cable TV will still be the best option.
For those who have a home where a satellite can be mounted and receive a good signal, however, satellite TV probably wins over cable TV with programming and pricing.