Direct TV vs. Dish vs. Cable

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byteme

Direct TV vs. Dish vs. Cable
« on: 10 Mar 2004, 03:32 pm »
Question time.  First, background.  I'm currently a dish subscriber and have been for years.  I've got a 50" HD ready tv and a 21" direct view in the bedroom.  I also subscribe to cable because those bastards want a $10 surcharge for cable internet service if you don't subscribe to cable, so, we just get antenna service form them.  Charter is our cable provider and they, amazingly, aren't that bad customer service wise.

Now to the question.  This whole viacom / dish fight has gotten me thinking.  I don't have locals via Dish because it requires a new freakin' dish - a second dish, pointing to another direction.  I havne't done it since we've got locals via cable.  However, the cable picture sucks.  You can easily tell the difference between the all digital Dish picture and cable.  Locals aren't even watchable in our bedroom they are so bad.  In fact, the only time we watch locals is for Packer games and sports.  For about $50 I can get a  new direct TV setup that will provide locals as well as all the stuff we currently get from Dish.  HOWEVER, we're also thinking to the future and HDTV.  It would run about $450 or so to get HD on the big TV and normal on the bedroom TV, via Direct.  I don't want to have two dishes on the roof and I don't really want to have to put up an antenna to get HD Locals, in fact, I'm pretty darn sure we're too far away to get them anyway (25+ miles) - is that true??.

I'd wait for cable to offer HD, but that's who knows how far away, they claim 6 months but I heard that before when waiting 2 years for cable modem service.  Additionally, while it would be "free" for the HD box from the cable company and they would include locals in HD they will be more expensive monthly AND not all channels will be digital so they'll still suck in quality.

So the question is, from those of you who have been there - which route to go?  Is it worth the $450 investment to get HD from Direct?  Is Direct better than Dish?  Am I too far away to get HD OTA?

And finally, if Direct is the way to go, where is the best place to get hooked up with the equipment?  When we went Dish I did it via an internet place and actually made couple hundred by self installing and rebates...

Thanks.

randog

Direct TV vs. Dish vs. Cable
« Reply #1 on: 10 Mar 2004, 04:00 pm »
Hi byteme,

First off, find out if your true subscription with DirecTV will be DirecTV or Pegasus. Pegasus handles their remote areas in the country (I have them). Pegasus is absolutely terrible and are the only subscriber losing subscriber base and money. They are deep in debt and really want out. Do *not* go DirecTV if you are in the Pegasus area.

DirecTV themselves are pretty good to deal with. If you spent a bit of time surfing AVS forum you will find out plenty (like I did). You can haggle deals with DirecTV and I wouldn't be surprised to see you get an HDTV box with a 2 or 3 box setup along with some free programming for free. Use the Dish Network promotions to haggle them down.

I will be going with Dish Network once they have the bugs worked out of their new HDTV receiver with their version of Tivo (forget what it's called). They also have current promotions for an HDTV receiver but only for new subscribers. I would also haggle with them telling them you will jump ship because of the offers you are getting from DirecTV. They don't want to lose you. Play them against one another and go for the better deal.

I think they are nearly a wash for programming. One thing to note: I think the box you get from Dish Network ceases to work for OTA HDTV if service with them is discontinued. That kinda sucks.

Good luck,
Randy

F-100

Direct TV vs. Dish vs. Cable
« Reply #2 on: 10 Mar 2004, 04:36 pm »
Byteme,
   Dish Network is giving out free HDTV receiver with new subscription. Check out info here.

http://www.gotapex.com/deals.php?search=Dish
http://www.allsat.com/hardware/811s.shtml

randog

Direct TV vs. Dish vs. Cable
« Reply #3 on: 10 Mar 2004, 05:06 pm »
I believe he said he already has dish. The problem with these deals is that they are only for new subscribers and the only way to get ahead is to jump ship every couple of years. However, sometimes you can use that to your advantage in negotiations.

byteme

Direct TV vs. Dish vs. Cable
« Reply #4 on: 10 Mar 2004, 05:46 pm »
Talked to Allsat.  You can never be a new subscriber again once you've been signed up. DAMN.  I'll have to call dish and talk to customer retention.  Either that or find a direct deal.

Juan R

Direct TV vs. Dish vs. Cable
« Reply #5 on: 10 Mar 2004, 08:47 pm »
Go to titantv.com, with your add, they will recomend antenna, and will let you know if you can get it, Buy the antenna with the amplifier. Good luck

Rob Babcock

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Direct TV vs. Dish vs. Cable
« Reply #6 on: 10 Mar 2004, 09:40 pm »
My solution for you:  quit watching the Packers. :| ________________ :P  :lol:

maxwalrath

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Direct TV vs. Dish vs. Cable
« Reply #7 on: 10 Mar 2004, 10:10 pm »
DirectTV is good in my book. If there's a thunderstorm in one certain direction I've lost signal for 5 minutes or so, maybe 10 times in the past year. You have to pay $2/month for local service, but the picture quality is always top notch. Second boxes for multi room hookups run $5/month, and are usually free with subscription.

eichlerera1

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Direct TV vs. Dish vs. Cable
« Reply #8 on: 11 Mar 2004, 08:40 pm »
I've had Direct TV for about a year and I am pretty satisfied with it.
Be aware if you get their digital local channel package ($5.00) it does NOT broadcast these in HD. You would have to set up a antenna (YEEEECH) to get the HDTV Broadcasts.

The local channels do come in quite clearly however.

                                                                                       Paul G

8thnerve

VOOM
« Reply #9 on: 11 Mar 2004, 08:52 pm »
Check out VOOM.  I just signed up yesterday.  40 HD channels for less than what I pay for cable.  Plus the box is a Digital Tuner, and the sat picks up all the other cable channels that are must haves.  You can rent all the equipment for $9.95 a month with NO install fee.  My install is scheduled for next wednesday, I can't wait!!!!

www.voom.com

Russtafarian

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Direct TV vs. Dish vs. Cable
« Reply #10 on: 11 Mar 2004, 09:25 pm »
I'm 60 miles from the Los Angeles transmitters and get all the OTA HD channels just fine with a roof mount antenna.

Eric

Direct TV vs. Dish vs. Cable
« Reply #11 on: 12 Mar 2004, 03:19 pm »
I have direct tv with an antenna to pick up my locals since direct does not carry them yet. HD over the antenna and direct is very good.

Carlman

Direct TV vs. Dish vs. Cable
« Reply #12 on: 12 Mar 2004, 03:35 pm »
What do you need other than an antenna to receive HD?  Do you just plug in an antenna like rabbit ears and blammo, you have HD?  Sorry for the newb question... I'm fairly new to the video world.

-C

byteme

Direct TV vs. Dish vs. Cable
« Reply #13 on: 12 Mar 2004, 03:55 pm »
Quote from: Carlman
What do you need other than an antenna to receive HD?  Do you just plug in an antenna like rabbit ears and blammo, you have HD?  Sorry for the newb question... I'm fairly new to the video world.

-C
The answer is, it depends.  If you have Dish or Direct with an HD receiver OR a separate HD receiver then you could just put up an antenna (go to titantv.com to see what type of antenna you'd need) and run the lead into the receiver to get your local channels in both analog and HD.  This of course assumes you've got an HD ready TV and it's connected to the receiver via component video cables.  The other option is if you've got an HD set with a built in receiver you could run the antenna right into the TV.

With some of the Dish/Direct receivers you can run the antenna into them and actually integrate that into the menu system so it's pretty seamless to use.  

Hope this helps...

HarleyMYK

Direct TV vs. Dish vs. Cable
« Reply #14 on: 12 Mar 2004, 04:09 pm »
Most HD TVs do not have a tuner for OTA HD (Over the Air High Definition).  You need to research if there are any OTA HD stations in your area and if you can get them in your specific location.  If your TV does not have an HD Tuner, then you will need to buy one (as well as an antennae).  I am in the Los Angeles area where there is a lot of OTA HD, but behind a hill, so I am SOL.

Carlman

Direct TV vs. Dish vs. Cable
« Reply #15 on: 12 Mar 2004, 04:52 pm »
I don't know if I have an OTA tuner or not... I know it's an HD and not HD ready television.. I also know we have a couple of local channels broadcasting in HD.  I have a good set-top antenna I've used for years that I'll give a shot.  It's free to try!  :)  I have a huge antenna near my house so I'm sure I can pick up at least 1 channel.  However, it may be so strong it disrupts signals from others... but, we'll see.

As to the original post, I will be facing these kinds of decisions if the cable company drops our deal.  We switched from Dish network to cable to get a good deal.  I get about 4 or 5 HD channels free now.  (including HBO and Showtime HD which I already pay for as premium channels)  I could pay another $7 for 4 more HD channels.

Right now I feel like I'm getting the best deal for what I'm receiving.  However, I have a few gripes.  The main one is the aspect ratio.  If I connect the TV with the receiver for HD, like with component cables, I can't use the TV's stretch features, I have to use the ones on the box.  I can't use that groovy feature where the middle is normal and the sides get stretched.. I have go full stretch or full zoom... which isn't fun when you're trying to read subtitles.  The workaround for this is to also connect the standard s-video outs to another input on my television.  So, if I want to watch non-HD television, I got to the next input.  That's ok but annoying.

So, my main goal would be to not only find the best deal but, a device with better stretch/fitting features for the television's arbitrary 16:9 format.  Ok, maybe not arbitrary but it's only standard for 5% of the channels.. but, different than everything else including movies.

-C

byteme

Direct TV vs. Dish vs. Cable
« Reply #16 on: 12 Mar 2004, 06:00 pm »
Ah, the fun of the mixed environment!  Carlman, rest easy, in a few short years all these issues will be gone.  Of course, they were supposed to be gone already - but who's keeping track.  So, just sit back and be comfortable that by 2006 nearly everything will be broadcast in HD so you won't have to worry so much about all this.  :lol:  Ya, right.

There are so many freaking options, even WITHOUT bringing vendors into the equation.  Then, when you add those bastards it just gets worse.  It's no wonder there is so much misinformation out there.  And the real crime is that each one of the freakin' options is some sort of compromise.  I thought this was America, where we get what we want, when we want it, and a lot of it?!?

Carlman

Direct TV vs. Dish vs. Cable
« Reply #17 on: 12 Mar 2004, 06:23 pm »
Quote from: byteme
......I thought this was America, where we get what we want, when we want it, and a lot of it?!?

 :lol:
Yes, we have freedom of choice... however, who decides what those choices accomplish is the problem...  ;)

lcrim

Direct TV vs. Dish vs. Cable
« Reply #18 on: 12 Mar 2004, 07:26 pm »
I have two directv HD receivers running in my condo as well as a standard def box in my daughter's room.  Recently directv, no doubt because of market presure has been offering a $99 start up deal for hidef.  They provide the receiver, either a Samsung 360 or Hughes HTL-HD and a 3 LNB dish, plus an installer for $399.95 plus a programming commitment for a year, charged to your CC then they apply a $300 credit to your directv account.
For locals, you need an OTA (over the air) antenna because the network affiliates are legally bound to broadcast in HD by 2006, most already do.
Both HD boxes offered by directv also include OTA tuners.  On directv you can get a max of 7 HD stations and then there is whatever you can get OTA.
Voom is a startup that is offering 39 HD stations eventually.  They are experiencing large install issues because of a bad choice in the selection of the national install company.  Also, the programming includes a number of Spanish language soccer stations and poor transfer, 2nd run movies.  Perhaps in a few years they will solve their issues and offer attractive programming options, but not now.
The directv $99 offer is for 2 year customers minimum but new customers may get some other deal.  
I've been spending a huge amount of time on this stuff and in my opinion, the technology needs a bit more time to mature but having said that, programming that was shot in HD originally and not just uprezzed DVD movies, is so damn good it will make your dick hard.

byteme

Direct TV vs. Dish vs. Cable
« Reply #19 on: 12 Mar 2004, 07:37 pm »
Quote
I've been spending a huge amount of time on this stuff and in my opinion, the technology needs a bit more time to mature but having said that, programming that was shot in HD originally and not just uprezzed DVD movies, is so damn good it will make your dick hard.


Truer words I've not heard.  This is particularly true if you're watching pay per view SPICE HD...  :wink: