Pay TV vs. Free TV

Pay TV or sometimes just called cable tv is a way to watch the premium channels by subscribing to a provider which holds the licence or copyright to broadcast the programmes. Free TV or simply called FTA (Free to Air) is a channel or channels which you can watch freely, no need to pay for any amount of money in order to watch their programmes.

The quality of Free to Air tv/s is not always bad as it's being Free. But, if you love watching some premiums program, then FTA is not the choice. FTA takes the so called fee by the advertisements. The more ads on the air usually make the FTA content varies. But, once again, the quality of the programmes for instance the film will never be the same as the pay tv channels. You can compare the FTA local channels with HBO for example.

So, what would you get from a paytv? Well, various channels! You can find many of sports channels, movies, documentaries, and even the shopping channels (the home shopping program). You need to contact a service provider in order to get those channels. There are many of pay tv service providers around the globe, for example: TelkomVision, IndoVision, Dish Network, Zee Network, etc.

All of this service provider serve us with different kind of pay tv subscription system. If you live in the US you may find Direct TV (click on the link to find more about Direct TV and how to subscribe), if you live in Asia for example in Malaysia you can get Astro Malaysia, in Europe you may have Digital Plus, etc. They offer us with different packages, and the packages contain many channels. It's grouped into: Movie Package, Sports Package, Documentary Package, Edutainment Package, etc. Most of all, Sports Package usually being the main package being subscribed.

Nowadays, HDTV becomes popular. Some pay tv provider have used this technology to meet their subsribers need on bringing high video quality of channels into their home. Once again, as an example Directv (click on the link to find out more about Direct TV and how to subscribe) is one of the leading provider in the market with it's HD Package. It's not just about the video being on MPEG4 format, but the signal transmitted is using the DVB-S2 standard. So we can have clearer picture on the HDTV or HD Ready television set. Instead, the HD technology is rarely used by Free TV by now, wish it would sooner implemented on many more FTA channels. Some FTA channels is using the High Definition quality picture (but still use DVB-S standard on the transmission) for example CCTV HD, LuxeTV HD, and MetroTV HD.

How much should we pay for a subscription fee? It depends on what country we live in. It varies from different provider, and with many promotional offers at the same time. Different packages different rate of fee. For example there are some movie package which contains just three to four channels with the subscription fee for about $6 to $7 per month. Movie channels we can watch by subscribing to pay tv for instance: HBO, Cinemax, Showtime, Flix, Encore, and many more.

For a satellite hobbist just like me, I only need some package if I want to watch some premium contents. Instead, for just watching some local channels, I usually tune to the FTA on many satellites up there. The choice is on your hands, you make your decision whether to watch the premium content (go subscribe), or just having fun with the ordinary FTA channels.

Related information: Direct TV in New York (Find where you can subscribe to Direct TV in New York)

Happy watching!


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