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TV Throwdown: Which Company Reigns Supreme?

Television is one of the world’s greatest sources of entertainment. As technology has progressed, people now have multiple options to get their entertainment fix: cable, satellite, online streaming, apps, etc.


But, with all of these options readily available, which one is the best buy? Here is a facts-only TV breakdown:


Top the two satellite companies are DIRECT TV, the number 1 satellite provider with 20.3 million customers, and Dish, the no.2 provider with 14.1 million customers. Satellite caters to both city viewers and country viewers because TV channels are transmitted through a satellite dish instead of through cables.

-DIRECT TV offers customers a wide variety of options. Not only do they have many packages to choose from, ranging from small packages to premier packages, they also give customers the option to stream (without needing Wi-Fi) their DIRECT TV channels and DVR’ed programs directly to their phones, computers, and tablets via his or her HD DVR device The Genie.

-Dish also has a variety of packages to choose from, however, the packages appear to offer less than those provided on DIRECT TV. Dish does, however, have a DVR device, the Hopper, which allows viewers to record up to six primetime shows at a time and instantly skip commercials on recorded primetime shows. Unfortunately for Dish, various networks are displeased with the Hopper, leaving Dish in a swamp of legal negotiations.

Online Streaming

Many households have abandoned the cable cords in favor of streaming shows over their TV, laptops, tablets, and phones. Online streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Instant offer viewers a limited amount of TV and movies for an inexpensive price.

  • Netflix: This company began as an online rental company, competing with now obsolete companies like Hollywood Video and Blockbuster. Netflix began offering customers the ability to directly stream shows and movies to TV, which was a concept that changed the face of TV. While Netflix is an inexpensive choice, it is limited on what viewers can stream, especially on current TV seasons.
  • Hulu: When Hulu first began, viewers were in TV heaven. Practically all current shows were available with only 30-second commercial breaks, and it was free. But as Hulu began to take off, shows grew increasingly more limited unless viewers wanted to pay for Hulu+, and commercial sets grew from 30 seconds to sometimes 3-4 minute sets. Now, even with Hulu+, many primetime channels are not releasing their show’s rights to Hulu, making Hulu’s selection extremely limited.
  • Amazon Instant: Much like Netflix, Amazon, through the use of its Prime membership, allows users to rent or purchase digital movies. While they do have a wide variety, Amazon Instant is geared more toward those who are already paying for a Prime subscription.


Depending upon your location, there are different cable companies to choose from. However, regardless of which cable company you select, the general consensus is that cable is very pricey for its limited selection in comparison to both satellite and digital streaming.

Written By

Jessica Socheski is a a freelance writer and tech enthusiast who frequently researches and writes about technology news. She also edits for The Teaching Box and can be found on Twitter.

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