Satellite TV vs IPTV vs Cable TV – Compare Best Forms of TV with Examples

satellite tv vs IPTV vs cable tv
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For the average television viewer, watching TV involves simply reaching for the remote, turning on the TV and perhaps, set-top-box. You probably never think about how those signals are relayed to your home. Aside from the conventional antenna broadcasting that you receive in analog or digital form, TV service providers now offer you satellite TV, Internet Protocol Television (IPTV), and Cable TV. Here’s an in-depth view of how they work.

Satellite TV

TV service stations relay the program data to an uplink facility that transmits the signals to a space radio station or DVB satellite through an uplink satellite dish. The satellite relays the signals back to earth and you receive them via a hyperbolic shape reflector antenna. This antenna sends the signals to the tuner or satellite set-top-box which in turn converts them into the programs you see on TV. If you live in a remote location where you cannot receive other forms of TV such as the conventional antenna broadcasting, Cable TV, and IPTV, so satellite TV is the best choice.

With the availability of H.264 and H.265 technology, it is now possible to receive Full-HD and 4K video streams in compressed form with excellent picture quality. DVB tuners make it possible for you to get this facility.

Best Satellite TV plans

Downsides of Satellite TV:

  • Satellite dishes are installed in the open like on your roof by expert technicians and that is a time-consuming process which needs careful tuning and dish orientation.
  • You may have trouble receiving signals during bad weather conditions such as solar flares, sun outages, strong winds or heavy rainstorms or snowstorms. You also risk losing the antenna or misalignment.
  • Each satellite TV service provider may not offer you all the channels you want. For this reason, you may have to subscribe to multiple providers to get all the channels you want to watch. This factor also makes satellite TV constrained by area. If you live in the eastern hemisphere, you may not get access to the programs available in the western hemisphere.

Cable Television

Up until the year 2000, cable TV providers collected TV channels from different TV stations and relayed them to your home much like ISP. At the time, you could receive only analog RF signals and for this reason, picture quality was not very good. However, post-2000, TV service providers shifted to digital systems that give you high-resolution TV of up to 1920x1080p with a wider choice of channels and programs. Around the same time, cable TV providers also started offering internet services to their subscribers. However, since the bandwidth was shared by the subscribers in a particular neighborhood, signal speed could go down if too many people were using the internet at a given time. If you want to improve your cable TV subscription and get the most of it, follow our guide.

Best Cable TV plans

While there are various similarities between cable TV and IPTV, they are different in many ways.

Cable TV vs IPTV

  • If you choose cable TV, you’ll get access to a wide range of TV channels. However, opting for IPTV may allow you access to only those channels that are aired on the internet.
  • Cable TV providers may not offer you high-grade 4K broadcasting service that is provided by IPTV providers such as Amazon and Hulu Netflix.
  • By choosing Cable TV, you’ll share the bandwidth with other subscribers living in your neighborhood but IPTV users receive exclusive bandwidth by way of fiber optic network or ADSL.


Also called Video on Demand or Media On Demand, IPTV channels are relayed through the internet. Your internet service provider typically includes this service along with internet access by way of Triple Play, a package deal. You’ll receive most of the major TV channels relayed by TV stations to the ISP along with a selection of satellite TV channels. To receive the signals, you must install a VOD (video on demand) set-up box and connect it to the fiber optic modem or ADSL via RJ45. You’ll have an HDMI cable connecting your TV and the set-top-box. If you have an internet subscription, adding TV to the package should be easy.

At present times, you can get a very good selection of Full-HD TV channels in 1920x1080p. When you sign up with the provider, you’ll receive all the devices needed to link your TV to the network.

Best IPTV plans


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Positives of IPTV over Satellite TV

  • You can get an economical package that includes an IP phone, internet, and TV services.
  • You won’t need to worry about organizing equipment like the satellite dish, tuning, and other nuances.
  • You can choose from one of the many package deals on chosen TV channels. Most subscriptions include many of the popular TV channels so you won’t need to look for multiple service providers.
  • IPTV is the future of TV broadcasting. High-quality streaming with low prices - IPTV has all the benefits you need for the right price, which is why it's gaining popularity in Canada. A common misconception is that IPTV is illegal, but, lucky for all of us, IPTV is legal in Canada.

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