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What are some of the myths and facts about cable TV and satellite?
There is a lot of confusion surrounding cable and satellite TV. From the ads, you'd think both services were terrible with the way both services snipe at each other. Here are some myths and facts to sort it all out:

MYTH: All stations on digital cable are digital.

FACT: While most of the upper tier channels are digital, any of the stations that can be received via analog service are also analog with digital cable service. In this case, those channels won't look any better than they do with analog service. However, the digital channels may look better than a comparable analog channel since digital signals can be compressed more efficiently.

MYTH: Satellite TV goes out often when it rains or snows.

FACT: Satellite signals are almost totally unaffected by snow. The moisture content isn't dense enough to block the signal. Any amount of snow that would knock out satellite signals, would probably damage cable lines, meaning cable service would be out longer. Rain can interrupt satellite signals. However, if the dish is pointed correctly and there are few obstacles to lower the signal strength, this condition (known as "Rain Fade") is rare. Areas that get a lot of rain will experience more signal problems, though dropouts are usually short and usually occur only during severe weather. One trick people sometimes use is to spray a thin layer of plain Pam cooking spray on the dish. Buff off the excess to leave a surface that will easily shed water. It's not recommended that you use Rain-X, since this substance may damage the dish surface. Use caution when using wax as the dish surface needs to remain dull.

MYTH: Cable companies constantly jack up rates.

FACT: While cable companies can, and do, raise their rates more often (cable companies don't have to compete with each other), rates usually aren't very far above satellite service. In addition, those rates do include the equipment you use to receive the service.

MYTH: Satellite requires expensive equipment.

FACT: While satellite equipment can be expensive, you can sometimes get it for little or no cost. There are many deals out there that provide multi-room equipment setups without any upfront cost. In addition, leasing options are becoming more common with satellite companies.

MYTH: Satellite gear is hard to set up.

FACT: It isn't hard at all. It requires a couple of hours to hook up and tune everything in, but the steps are easy to follow. However, most new subscribers get free installation, so they don't have to do it themselves.

MYTH (sort of): Dishes are ugly.

FACT (kind of): While this is subjective, dishes don't have to be ugly. Not only can you usually hide them from view, you can paint them, as well. Check with your satellite provider for advice on what type of paint to use. Usually it will be a single color of flat paint in order to avoid unintended signal reflections. Also, some companies make covers that hide a dish and protect it from some weather conditions, while still allowing you to receive a signal.

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