DTH vs Digital Cable TV comparison is here to guide viewers of 38 cities across 15 states of India with a population of over a million, who have been given a deadline of March 31, 2013 to switch to digital TV viewing in Phase II. As a consumer, you should choose your service provider wisely which will benefit you in the long run. So, if you are confused & thinking that which is the best, digital cable TV or DTH, then here is a clear & an impartial comparison between DTH & Digital Cable TV.

Also read: DTH Services Comparison in India: Which is Best DTH in India?

DTH vs Digital Cable TV comparison

DTH vs Digital Cable TV comparison:

1.    Economical point of view :

a)      Set top box : Set top boxes of most of the leading DTH companies cost around Rs 1600/- (including installation charges).

Whereas the set top box of a cable TV should cost around Rs 800/- to 1000/- (including installation charges).

b)      Packages :The cheapest base packages of most of the DTH companies start from Rs 150 for South Indian packs & Rs 200/- for rest of India which obviously does not include all channels.

But the cable operators will charge only Rs 100/- for their cheapest base packs as soon as CAS (Conditional Access System) comes into effect & now they charge a nominal rate of Rs 200/- to 250/- for all the channels which varies in different areas.

2.    Disruptions :

The DTH vs Digital Cable TV comparison would have been incomplete without discussing the issues that cause disruptions.

Due to bad weather : The most severe drawback of DTH service are that signals don’t reach the set top box & pictures go off when there is slight to heavy rainfall in your area or even in very cloudy conditions.

There is no such drawback in Digital Cable connection.

Due to power cut-off : If there is power cut-off in your area then also you will be able to watch TV with DTH if you have a personal generator or inverter as the DTH service providers beams pictures 24/7.

The pictures in Cable TV fade off when there is power cut-off in your area most of the time. This may vary from place to place.

DTH Service Providers


3.    Managing packages :

All the DTH operators have 24/7 customer care & their own websites which gives you a clear idea of the package rates & channels included. You can even manage your own DTH account, drop/add/change a channel or package anytime at your will.

The cable TV operators lack this robust infrastructure. Most of them don’t have a 24/7 customer care or a proper website till date.

4.    Quality :

Another inevitable point in this DTH vs Digital Cable TV comparison is Quality.

a)      Set top box : The set top box of the DTH companies comes with a 1 year warranty & both the firmware & hardware are of very good quality.

The set top box of the cable TV operators also comes with a year warrantybut are not of such a good quality.

b)      Video/Audio : The picture & the sound quality of both DTH & Digital Cable TV are more or less same. In fact DTH can be put a little bit ahead in the race, but only just.

5.    Service :

The service & response to customer problems & grievances of most of the DTH companies are quick. They have 24/7 customer care to help you & addresses most of the problem within 24hrs. However, the quality/effectiveness of service & response time varies from one DTH company to another.

The cable TV operators lack such organized service & are also not available to hear you 24/7. In case of cable operators, the quality of service/response varies from place to place.

6.    Portability :

The DTH providers provide relocation services all over India. In case you shift from one place to the other, you don’t need to buy a new set top box or any accessories of your DTH. This is useful for people who have a transferable job.

The cable TV operators do not provide any such services & you may even have to buy a new set top box for your new place.

7.    Payment :

DTH is a prepaid service. So you can choose not to recharge your account if you are out of station. This is useful for people who mostly have to stay out for work or other purpose.

Using Cable TV you have to pay irrespective of the fact that you were at home or some other place.

 8.    Regional channels :

DTH has got much less regional channels than cable. But you can watch your own regional channels even if you don’t stay in your own state. So this is beneficial for those who don’t stay in their native place.

Cable TV operators provide many more regional channels. But if you are a person who doesn’t stay in your native place then you won’t get much of your own regional channels as cable operators mostly beam the local regional channels.

9.    Pause/Record/Rewind live TV:

This makes the DTH vs Digital Cable TV comparison more interesting.

DTH companies provide these services at no extra cost. You just have to buy a set top box with storage capacity which is a bit costly.

Cable TV operators are yet to provide such services. So, here was a vivid idea of the DTH service providers & Digital Cable TV. Now you have to weigh the pros & cons and make the ultimate decision to choose the medium that suits you the best. In case, you have any more queries feel free to write to us & it will be our pleasure to help you.

In a nutshell, the conclusion reached from the above DTH vs Digital Cable comparison article is given below :



Digital Cable




Disruption due to bad weather



Disruption due to power cut-off



Easy managing of packages



Quality of set top boxes



24/7 Helpline









Regional Channels







If you have decided to get a DTH connection for your TV, then I’ll recommend to check out this article DTH Services Comparison in India: Which is Best DTH in India?

P.S : The facts posted in this DTH vs Digital Cable TV comparison article are approximated facts of our personal survey & rates are the latest rates till date which are subject to change. You are advised to verify personally before you make a decision. Neither the writer of this post nor the owner of this blog advertises or endorses any cable or DTH company.

with a population of over one million will be digitized by 31st March, 2013