The real Cable thieves.

A piece today on the Motely Fool analyzes the cost of Satellite versus Cable television. Not surprisingly, satellite TV is less expensive, has seen smaller price increases, and has more satisfied customers.

Despite deceiving advertising about satellite’s reliability — the cable industry would have you believe you’ll lose your satellite picture every time the wind blows — DirecTV and Dish Network ranked first and second in overall customer satisfaction. For factors such as performance, reliability, and cost of service, it seems cable can’t compete with satellite.

I’ve been a satellite fan for over five years now. Back in graduate school, I did a quick cost-benefit analysis of the two services. I was an engineering economy TA, ok? At the time, local cable was around $40 a month and DishNetwork was closer to $30. Factoring in the initial cost of equipment, the savings would start paying off after 16 months. Nowadays, satellite receivers are given away for free by the providers as part of package deals so the intial outlay isn’t even a factor.