In choosing a high-definition (HD) television provider, the decision usually comes down to choosing between cable and satellite. Both systems have their own advantages and drawbacks, especially in their delivery of HD content. The HDTV (High Definition Television) provided by cable services is, for many reasons, superior to the HDTV provided by satellite operators.

What might be cable’s biggest advantage over satellite as an HDTV provider is that cable relies on lines run directly to a person’s home. This means that cable has an extremely high reliability rate, no matter what kind of weather or other conditions a person lives in. On the other hand, satellite TV relies on a dish mounted on a customer’s house. Aside from requiring a clear view of the sky to even begin with, satellite will also falter during rain and snow, or even just heavy wind. Since the signal is more prone to interference, cable’s reliability makes it more desirable.

Cable also offers local networks in HD. Satellite providers have started to provide local networks in HD, but they still don’t carry all of them. This means that individuals who choose satellite won’t have access to local networks in HD. Newscasts, football games, and other local programming would all be unavailable. Cable companies, on the other hand, mostly carry all local networks in HD quality.

Yet another reason that cable HDTV is superior to satellite is on-demand programming. While both service providers usually offer a number of on-demand programs, cable operators offer more free on-demand programs. Movies that aren’t new releases, select episodes of television shows and niche programming can all be found for free on a number of cable providers, and it can all be found in HD. Compare that with satellite operators, who typically charge for all HD programming, and it’s easy to see why cable’s HD service is preferable.

One last advantage to having HDTV service through a cable provider is the ways a customer can access their HD programming. Satellite providers typically let customers record shows in HD on a DVR-enabled receiver and then only play that content from the receiver it was recorded on. Cable providers allow recording on a similar DVR-enable HD receiver, but most services then offer a way to watch that content in another room.

Between these factors, at least one thing is clear. With its higher reliability and increased selection of local channels, it’s not hard to see why so many people choose cable over satellite for their HDTV needs. For these reasons and more, cable bests satellite for HDTV service.