Cable Television, DIRECTV, Dish Network, FiOS® or U-Verse - Which is Best For You?
Not too long ago consumers had only one choice for receiving television service and that was from a cable television company like Comcast, Time Warner Cable®, Cox Communications or Charter, for instance. In 1994 DIRECTV launched digital satellite television and shortly after that Dish Network launched their satellite TV service. These two providers added far more programming channels than their cable television competitors of the time for a lower price, and all of that was attainable using a small satellite tv dish anywhere in the country!
In the most recent years even the telephone companies have gotten in the paid television programming game. Verizon launched FiOS® in 2004 and is the first company to deliver television programming (and other services) by means of fiber optics all the way to the house! AT&T followed and they are now offering televison programming as part of their U-Verse fiber optic Service.
Today, these cable tv, satellite tv and telephone providers offer pretty much the same programming in both standard definition (SDTV) television and high definition television (HDTV) format. Sure their channel capacity claims differ, but the fact is the programming is pretty much the same for each. They also each offer additional services like Digital Video Recording (DVR), On Demand Movies and Pay-Per-View Movies, for instance.
One thing separating the cable companies from the satellite tv providers today is bundled services. With their hard-wired networks, cable companies have added broadband Internet and telephone services, making the triple-play bundle a very affordable choice for many:
While the satellite tv providers (DIRECTV and Dish Network) also offer some levels of bundled services, those additional services (high speed internet and telephone) are not carried over the satellite tv network, but rather are typically partner deals with other broadband internet or telephone providers. For instance, DIRECTV and AT&T have partnered to provide a "bundled service" triple play.
All said and done, each major provider (e.g., DIRECTV, Dish Network, Comcast, Time Warner Cable ®, Cox Communications or Adelphia, for instance), whether you are looking for a single service (e.g., just television programming) or a bundled service (e.g., broadband high speed internet, television and phone), are capable of providing that to you.