Having had both and no longer having the cable option due to relocation, in my opinion & use cable beats DBS. I was a basic cable user, and watched OTA HD.
Where DBS fails for me:
1) DBS costs more and delivers less
My last home was pre-wired and had cable at all outlets for the same rate, which included broadband Internet. For this same price (without the still waiting for $20/month for 10 months rebate trick) I get the 250 channel + HD pack from Dish and no Internet. I have to have a receiver where I want to watch TV OR I can use the "dual output" to send the signal to one other TV. Of the 250 channels, many of them are audio channels or garbage or promo channels that are never watched. I had to go with the 250 package to get the same basic channels we had with cable. There is also a monthly fee for additional receivers and a monthly DVR fee. Captain Jack would be proud.
2) DBS is not user friendly
a. I'm technically oriented, the rest of my family is not. When Mrs. L33 wanted to watch TV on the main TV while something was recording, she found out she could not do so. This was not an issue with cable, we have a DVR and did this on a regular basis. To get around this, I have split the TV2 output from the main receiver and run it through a distribution amp to all the regular TV outlets in the home. She could now watch DBS on a UHF channel on another input on the main TV, but the steps involved with doing so are not all that easy, and if I forget to change the TV input back after doing so...
b. It was easy for her to recall Hallmark was channel 73, USA was 52, etc. Now with the three and four digit channels, it is hard to remember what channel something is on, which makes the program guide mandatory. Of course, you have to filter out the 95% of the channels you will never watch into a list...
3) DBS cannot be easily distributed
Each TV needs a DBS receiver (or TV2 output). Cable has no such restriction past a distribution amp.
4) External devices take extra devices and effort to work properly
Our new home has a triple input modulator (cable or OTA) brought from our old home for a couple of external video cameras as well as a whole house DVD changer channel. What I had to do here was utilize a DBS distribution amp's OTA input for the modulator output and then distribute this with the Dish UHF TV2 output. With cable, I had the modulator set to some unused channels and it worked fine combined with cable. You could watch a camera or the whole house video from any TV. The same cannot be done with DBS unless you have a TV with multiple inputs and distribute the TV2 output as noted above.
Summary for me:
DBS= PITA to configure and use, more expensive, and unfortunately also the only option at this point.
I agree with you. I have been with Dish Network for 4 years and will be leaving
next month when my 18 month commitment is up. I was lucky to get Verizon
Fios in March and I hooked basic cable back up to get the MLB EI package.
Cable is cheaper than satellite. The Dish HD packages are the highest in the
industry. Cable technology is easier to use. The satellite receiver requirements
are not as user friendly as you say, as cable. Cable provides programming that I
want, not available on satellite