In the early days of television broadcasts, the only way to receive programming was through the air. Due to limited bandwidth on the airwaves, only a few stations could be broadcast at a time. As technology progressed, companies were able to develop alternative ways to deliver content to their customer's televisions. One way was through high-bandwidth cables that allowed for a huge expansion in the amount of content that could be delivered into homes. After cable came satellites that could deliver content through receiver dishes installed in the customer's home. This expanded the amount of available content even further. The latest form of content delivery comes from the Internet. A variety of different streaming services offer unlimited or a la carte on demand content.
Television cable programming is delivered through an extensive network of underground cables that feed to a central office. Due to the large infrastructure costs during initial construction, cable companies justify charging very high prices for their service. Cable television bills can reach $100 for the most basic service, and customers who want a lot of premium content can expect to pay more than $200 per month. Cable subscriptions are also susceptible to blackouts of local sports. Cable television is reliable, but its high costs and inflexibility have caused a lot of customers to look elsewhere.
High-bandwidth internet access has allowed content providers to begin streaming programs through a customer's internet connection. This can be done through game consoles, special TV-top boxes and DVD/Blu-Ray players. Streaming content over the Internet requires additional subscription costs that go beyond payments to an ISP. These subscriptions usually cost less than $10, but the selection of available movies and television shows can be very limited. Internet TV is becoming an attractive option for customers looking to get away from the high costs of cable.
Satellite TV is special in its ability to deliver content that would not normally be available to customers in a specific area. For example, satellite providers could offer programming that is only available to certain cities to customers all across the world. This is especially attractive to sports fans who want to access games that aren't available through cable or the Internet. With packages costing as little as $30 a month, satellite TV usually cost much less than traditional cable. This is because satellite television can be scaled to a large group of customers without significant infrastructure costs. Satellite also doesn't require the presence of an existing Internet subscription, making the cost even cheaper than Internet TV.