Buying a TV system is a complex business as the technologies change rapidly and you need to do some research before you buy. You may be aware that there are different systems, and that some systems are more suited to specific situations, but there are some basic facts that it is worth mastering before you go and talk to the salespeople.
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Digital Cable TV
Cable TV has been available for some years. This uses fiber optic cable to deliver cable TV to your home. Usually this is available in larger towns and cities, and the local cable provider contracts for specific cable services and packages of channels.
Digital cable TV is different from the original cable service only in that the programs are encoded in digital format, and can therefore use the new TV hardware that is available such as flat screen TV and interactive TV. Digital cable TV means that the cable provider can provide more programs over the same bandwidth, so often digital cable packages will give you more channel choice.
Satellite TV delivers the TV signal via a satellite in geosynchronous orbit - thus allowing a satellite dish to be aimed at a satellite and to receive signals without constant adjustment. The signal is usually compressed and encrypted to keep it secure, and the user has to have a satellite dish a, receiver - which decrypts and decompresses the signal - and a TV. Usually satellite TV gives a wide range of stations to choose from.
Quite often you will find that the choice is made for you - if you live in a rural area, then cable TV is not likely to be available, and if you live in the middle of a city, you may have difficulty receiving a satellite TV signal. However, if you have the capability of both, then the choice is likely to be on the package of programs that are on offer and the cost.