...it's mostly preference based, and we likely don't share the same cable operator. Comcast, Time Warner, etc. all have their digital cable/HD nuances, and can perform somewhat differently in different areas of the country depending on the franchise and local infrastructure quality. How each one performs will also vary by home/wiring/equipment used. Sat services also can be affected by poor weather . So my recommendation may not mean much since your situation is a bit different.
That said, you can often get slight discounts if you also sign up for CATV from the same Cable HSI provider. YMMV. I would try that avenue first. Such 'triple play' deals may save you a little more yet. There's really no way to avoid fees unless you stick with the bare minimum and/or avoiding paid TV altogether.
It has been a while since somebody asked: "Which is better?"
I'm looking to sign up for a digital TV service. I have 4 digital TVs. My family really only watches local channels + Disney + Nick + MSNBC + Fox + movies (no sports). I already have Netflix and use Netflix Instant Watching. I've tried Hulu but haven't got into the habit of using it. I hate using cable/satellite boxes but, from what I can tell, I now have to and am getting used to the idea. I hate being nickle-and-dimed with annoying and growing fees. I can afford high priced plans but am not so addicted to TV yet that I have to have a great plan.
Right now, I only have Basic Cable and Cable Internet.
So, what do you recommend? Digital Cable or Direct TV or Dish Network or something else?