Cable TV companies lay wiring throughout the areas they service, including amplifiers to make sure signal strength is good throughout. Cable can then be easily brought into your home and connected to a cable box or directly into your TV. Satellite TV:
Satellite TV companies send their signal to a satellite in space, which then sends it down to the dish on your roof. The dish then needs to connect to a receiver box, which connects to your TV. What kind of equipment do I need?
If your home is not wired for cable TV, an installer will need to run cable into your home and create a wall plate with a connector on it. You can plug directly into your TV if you want to receive a basic channel lineup. To receive a fuller menu of digital and HD channels, a cable box is required for each television you plan to use. DVRs and HD-DVRs are generally available that deliver digital and HD channels as well as extra features like the ability to record/store programming and pause live TV. Satellite TV:
You'll need to have a dish installed outside on something like a roof or balcony that has a clear view of the southern sky. Set-top boxes are required for each television you plan to use. DVRs and HD-DVRs should be available that deliver digital and HD channels as well as extra features like the ability to record/store programming and pause live TV. What kind of programming can I get?
Both cable and satellite TV offer digital and HD channels, along with varying amounts of on-demand and pay-per-view programming. Cable TV almost always offers a full range of local channels, while satellite TV's local channel availability is much more robust now than in years previous (most cities should have access to a full list of local channels). Can I get service where I live?
If you live in a medium to large-sized city, you will very likely have access to cable TV. If you live in a very small town or...