Cable TV has been facing increasing competition from other communications types like satellite television and even such computer sites as Netflix. With all of these options now available, it is a good opportunity to look at the pros and cons of cable television. In this article, I will examine three positive and three negative points about cable television, to help you make an informed decision.
Advantage # 1: Stability
Cable television is especially stable in its service. Both traditional air-wave broadcasts and modern satellite television can and will cut out on you during any serious storm (and often during some not-so-serious storms). Cable, on the other hand, will only go out if there is some flaw in the overall system, like a broken cable or router. This will happen far less often than rainstorms, so cable television will provide far more consistent service.
Advantage # 2: Bundling
Often specials are available by bundling your cable television with other services in a single package, usually internet and phone, but sometimes services like cellular phones. These bundles can actually save you quite a bit of money, especially if you bundle all three typical services together. It also provides the convenience of having a single bill.
Advantage # 3: Price
Cable television can actually be fairly inexpensive, if you do not add too many options. The initial hardware costs are fairly inexpensive when compared to satellite, and the FCC requires that all cable companies provide a basic cable package consist of broadcast channels and a few local channels. As a result, cable television can be the cheapest form of television away from buying an antenna.
Disadvantage # 1: Annoying Monopolies
Many areas only have a single cable television provider, and this creates a monopoly. While the competition from satellite is increasing, the corporate culture of these monopolies is especially poor. Customer service can be terrible, if not non-existent in many cases, and consumer satisfaction with cable TV companies is consistently some of the worst among any companies in the United States.
Disadvantage # 2: Confusing Price Packages
Many cable companies are very confusing when it comes to how much their service will actually cost in the long run. Many require you to sign up for two years in order to get a one-year introductory deal. However, you have to really dig on their websites to find out how much the second year will cost. In other cases, there are hidden fees, rental charges and taxes.
Disadvantage # 3: Privacy
If you are bundling your cable television with your internet (and many people do), you will have less privacy on the internet. Cable internet works with a stable IP address that does not change, so people will be able to easily track your visits to their sites. Compare this with DSL, where you can easily reset your IP by turning your modem on and off.
With these advantages and disadvantages in mind, you will be in a better position to make a decision about whether to choose cable television.