Digital vs. Satellite

By: Jenilee Sieg

Communication is the study of information and how it is formed, shared, dispersed, and consumed. In modern society, much communication is done through television, because it is a convenient way to reach masses of people.

Technical communication is an important asset for advancements in technology such as television. With the help of technical communication, explanations of engineering and design specifications have been able to be understood by a general audience     

Through advances in technology and this understanding technical communicators have provided, people now the option of how to receive the information that the television communicates by either digital cable or satellite. Both have advantages and disadvantages and many people struggle with what option to select.           

According to  satellite customers watched only about 15 channels per week, although over 100 were available to them. The study found the numbers for digital subscribers to be similar. While digital cable now has nearly as many channels as satellite, there are still other factors in determining what programming is best suited for one’s needs.            

For many, hardware costs seem to be a big issue when it comes to satellite. Satellite TV requires a dish antenna and a receiver that often costs over $100. The weather poses another major problem with satellite TV. According to, cold weather can slow down and spoil the satellite motor, which in turn leads to no picture.  Ice, snow, and wind can cause the dish to come out of alignment. This will affect the picture and the quality of your service.            

Problems with digital cable include availability, rising costs, and picture quality. Digital cable is not available in some areas, causing limited TV options for many that reside in rural areas. Also, many fear digital cable prices will rise due to the increases of viewership that requires an increase of cost of producing and acquiring programming. Just as satellite pictures sometimes produce a blurry picture, digital cable pictures may also appear “snowy” because of signal compression.           

The decision to choose either digital cable or satellite TV depends on viewer’s locations and preferences.  The viewer should research all options and weigh the pros and cons of each to figure out what is best suited to his or her needs.