Picking cable and satellite TV service in San Diego can be overwhelming. Companies have subtle differences, so it’s crucial to research your decision before committing. Some factors you should look at include:
Satellite and cable companies in San Diego offer a variety of channel packages to appeal to different interests and price points. When shopping for a provider, take into account the price and your viewing habits — if you mainly watch shows on major networks, you may not need a 175-channel package.
Satellite and cable TV providers offer similar services — for San Diego residents, the main difference is how the companies transmit the signal to your home. Cable companies use a physical connection that requires you to live within a company’s service area, while satellite TV services transmit a wireless signal customers receive using a dish and is available nearly anywhere in the U.S.
Those who live in the backcountry and mountains in the eastern part of the county benefit from satellite’s wider availability, but those who live in apartments in San Diego may not have a convenient location to install the required south-facing dish. Satellite TV service generally has a lower cost per channel, more HD options and better picture quality.
Cable TV installation is typically straightforward and only requires you or a technician connect a cable box to your television and an external cable. Cable companies also tend to offer shorter contracts or month-to-month subscriptions.
Check for providers who serve your area with the California Cable and Telecommunications Association’s website.
Internet-based television services are becoming increasingly popular with many San Diego residents. These providers offer live programming options and video-on-demand subscription services through an app or internet browser.
These services do not require any physical equipment from the provider, but you must have internet access and a compatible smart TV, tablet, smartphone or other device. Most internet-based TV packages offer month-to-month subscriptions and do not require a long-term commitment.
Satellite and cable TV subscribers pay an average of $85 to $100 a month for TV service, but prices in San Diego vary depending on the channel package, additional features and the number of connected televisions. Basic cable costs between $20 and $30 a month, but more extensive packages may cost up to $150 or more.
Packages from satellite provider DISH Network start at $59.99 a month for 120 channels with a locked-in rate with a two-year contract. DIRECTV begins at $35 a month for 155+ channels with a two-year contract, but the price is only guaranteed for the first year and may increase dramatically in the second.
Installation fees run between $50 and $200, but companies often waive these charges for new customers. Satellite dish and cable box equipment rental is typically included in the package price, but additional costs of between $5 and $15 per device each month might apply for DVR equipment rental.
Mediacom is a cable television provider that uses fiber optic cables to deliver TV and internet service. The company’s Xtream platform integrates cable and internet into one platform for a seamless experience. San Diego customers are impressed by the company’s competitive prices, and many people comment on the friendly employees and helpful customer service.
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