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Comcast Customer Considering Switching to DBS Service


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15 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   frankR

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Posted 27 September 2008 - 11:49 AM

I apologize if this questions has been posted before. I'm looking for the most accurate information about DBS service ASAP.

I currently pay ~$130/mo for Comcast Tripple Play. I have Comcast's most basic channel line-up with an HD-DVR. 99.9% of the time I watch HD channels.

My interest in DBS is because it seems possible I can get more HD channels from DirecTV or DISH for less money, and possibly with better picture quality. The plan would be to negotiate with Comcast to keep my internet service at a reasonable price (everything is negotiation with Comcast), drop voice and add DBS as my TV service.

Here are my questions:

1) It appears I have to out-right purchase the receiver/DVR. From what little research I've done this may cost over $400. Is there a viable second hand market for DBS receivers? Or do I have to invest heavily up-front with DISH/DirecTV to get into DBS?

2) I'm leaning towards DISH because they seem to offer the best HD bang for my buck. DISH's website shows I can get a basic HD channel line-up for $25/mo. What is the fine print?

3) Do I need a voice line so the receive can talk to DISH?

4) I live in the SF Bay Area, from DISH's website it appears they transmit all Bay Area networks. Are they in HD? Is the quality good, I read a thread about audio drop-out, is this a concern for me? Will I need an OTA UHF antenna to complete my local HD channel line-up?

5) Anything else?

Thanks.

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#2 OFFLINE   space86

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Posted 27 September 2008 - 11:58 AM

Directv is the way to go if you want NFL Sunday Ticket and other sports packages.
If you don't care about that, I would say get Dish Network, the equipment is better on Dish Network. I have had Directv in the past and their equipment is not as good
as Dish Networks.

#3 OFFLINE   frankR

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Posted 27 September 2008 - 12:07 PM

Directv is the way to go if you want NFL Sunday Ticket and other sports packages.
If you don't care about that, I would say get Dish Network, the equipment is better on Dish Network. I have had Directv in the past and their equipment is not as good
as Dish Networks.


I'm not interested in NFL Sunday Ticket.

It seems DirecTV service is very contract oriented, to get the good deals you must sign a 24 month contract. I don't know if I want to commit to any service for that long.

#4 OFFLINE   EXTACAMO

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Posted 27 September 2008 - 12:10 PM

There are a few things to consider before jumping head long into DBS. First make sure you have line of sight to the satellites. This is more important with D* because you may need to look at more sats depending on your program package. Also are you involved with a homeowner association? They can be a pain to deal with. Compare both services carefully and go with the one that gives what you want. If possible seek out people in your area that have DBS. Ask them about their experiences and if they would recommend one or the other. Other then that good luck. Oh, both require 2yr. contracts.

#5 OFFLINE   EXTACAMO

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Posted 27 September 2008 - 12:18 PM

You need either a landline or broadband internet connection to E* HD dual tuner DVR boxes. Not sure about the single tuner boxes. People have reported that services such as Vonage will work.

#6 OFFLINE   phrelin

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Posted 27 September 2008 - 12:50 PM

I apologize if this questions has been posted before. I'm looking for the most accurate information about DBS service ASAP.

I currently pay ~$130/mo for Comcast Tripple Play. I have Comcast's most basic channel line-up with an HD-DVR. 99.9% of the time I watch HD channels.

My interest in DBS is because it seems possible I can get more HD channels from DirecTV or DISH for less money, and possibly with better picture quality. The plan would be to negotiate with Comcast to keep my internet service at a reasonable price (everything is negotiation with Comcast), drop voice and add DBS as my TV service.

:welcome_s

I have Comcast internet, Dish network, "the new" AT&T for land line using metered residential service with Pioneer long distance, and Verizon cell phone service. Right now, if you went with a TurboHD package available only to new customers from Dish, it is likely you would save money and have more HD channels.

Here are my questions:

1) It appears I have to out-right purchase the receiver/DVR. From what little research I've done this may cost over $400. Is there a viable second hand market for DBS receivers? Or do I have to invest heavily up-front with DISH/DirecTV to get into DBS?

You don't have to purchase a receiver/DVR. They are "leased" (I use quotes because it isn't really a lease per se). You can buy, but I'd strongly recommend against it.

2) I'm leaning towards DISH because they seem to offer the best HD bang for my buck. DISH's website shows I can get a basic HD channel line-up for $25/mo. What is the fine print?

A 24-month contract and other details. You do need to be aware of some things. A few of them are actually good. For instance if you agree to autopay and paperless billing, you can get Cinemax for a penny for at least a year if you haven't had Cinemax from Dish in the past several years. If you are going to sign up on line, call the next day to confirm that you are actually going to get. After everything else is correct ask about the Cinemax deal.

3) Do I need a voice line so the receive can talk to DISH?

No, but if you are getting a ViP622 or 722 that can feed two TV's it must be hooked up to a phone OR your internet connection to avoid an additional charges. If you use the internet connection, it will give you access to content on line.

4) I live in the SF Bay Area, from DISH's website it appears they transmit all Bay Area networks. Are they in HD? Is the quality good, I read a thread about audio drop-out, is this a concern for me? Will I need an OTA UHF antenna to complete my local HD channel line-up?

You will get ABC, CBS, Fox, and NBC HD plus everything else SD from the satellite. At this time, if you want PBS, The CW, or anything else in HD, you will have to use an OTA antenna. OTA is not possible for me as I'm so far away from Sutro towers but I consider the lack of HD on PBS and The CW as only a minor irritation.

5) Anything else?

Thanks.

You may want to indicate here your TV/audio configuration to get some advice on what to order. Honestly, there is alot "else" but until you sign up and get the installation, all one can suggest is looking around in this forum and in the case of Dish looking around the Echostar Knowledge Base web site.

There is alot of support for the belief that Echostar/Dish's ViP722 is the best DVR available today. If you were a sports enthusiast, DirecTV might be a better choice. If you look around this forum you'll see that both have grumbling customers, including me. But I grumble about Comcast. So, we all have to accept the fact that customer service from all these folks isn't always great or even mediocre, the whole operation depends on what are factually computers in the home, there are lemons among those computers, etc. I've been an Echostar satellite equipment user for 20 years. I have developed a love/hate relationship with them. But overall, I think Dish Network is a superior way to get TV.

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#7 OFFLINE   puckwithahalo

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Posted 27 September 2008 - 01:06 PM

You need either a landline or broadband internet connection to E* HD dual tuner DVR boxes. Not sure about the single tuner boxes. People have reported that services such as Vonage will work.


You don't have to have one. Having one just saves you $5.00 a month.

#8 OFFLINE   BattleZone

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Posted 27 September 2008 - 01:39 PM

I apologize if this questions has been posted before. I'm looking for the most accurate information about DBS service ASAP.

I currently pay ~$130/mo for Comcast Tripple Play. I have Comcast's most basic channel line-up with an HD-DVR. 99.9% of the time I watch HD channels.

My interest in DBS is because it seems possible I can get more HD channels from DirecTV or DISH for less money, and possibly with better picture quality. The plan would be to negotiate with Comcast to keep my internet service at a reasonable price (everything is negotiation with Comcast), drop voice and add DBS as my TV service.

Here are my questions:

1) It appears I have to out-right purchase the receiver/DVR. From what little research I've done this may cost over $400. Is there a viable second hand market for DBS receivers? Or do I have to invest heavily up-front with DISH/DirecTV to get into DBS?


If you agree to a 2 year contract, Dish will lease you receivers for up to 4 rooms of TV service, including one DVR (that serves 2 rooms), for free. Both can be HD receivers; this would mean a 722 HD-DVR (TV1 is HD, TV2 is SD) and a 222 HD non-DVR receiver (TV1 is HD, TV2 is SD). You could pay to upgrade the 222 to a pair of 211s or even 612s. You will also qualify for whatever the current promotional programming deals are.

If you choose NOT to go with the contract, you will have to pay an activation fee, and will not qualify for any promotional programming (i.e., no discounts). You would still be leasing.

Finally, you could elect to buy your equipment outright, if you wanted to own it for some reason, but honestly, there is no real advantage to owning your receiver; few people buy them anymore, and by the time you wanted to get rid of it, there is usually something newer available that makes your receiver of limited value. Obviously, if you buy everything, there are no commitments.

2) I'm leaning towards DISH because they seem to offer the best HD bang for my buck. DISH's website shows I can get a basic HD channel line-up for $25/mo. What is the fine print?


The fine print is that is for one non-DVR HD receiver, and doesn't include locals. A DVR adds a DVR service fee. A 2-room receiver adds another $5/month UNLESS it is plugged into a phone line (or Internet, if it's a ViP-series receiver). A second and any additional receivers add additional charges ($7/month for HD receivers, $5/month for SD, $6/month for each additional DVR). Locals adds $5/month.

3) Do I need a voice line so the receive can talk to DISH?


No. However, if you have dual-output receivers, you will save $5/month per dual-output receiver by having them connected, as I stated above.

4) I live in the SF Bay Area, from DISH's website it appears they transmit all Bay Area networks. Are they in HD? Is the quality good, I read a thread about audio drop-out, is this a concern for me? Will I need an OTA UHF antenna to complete my local HD channel line-up?


My company does Dish installs in Brentwood every day. You will get HD locals from San Francisco over the dish. You could optionally put up an OTA antenna to receive digital (including HD) locals from Sacramento if you wish; you would be able to watch whichever one you like, and they would be integrated into the guide.

Feel free to PM me if you have any other questions. I'm a Dish and DirecTV retailer, and local to you.

#9 OFFLINE   Paul Secic

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Posted 27 September 2008 - 02:14 PM

I apologize if this questions has been posted before. I'm looking for the most accurate information about DBS service ASAP.

I currently pay ~$130/mo for Comcast Tripple Play. I have Comcast's most basic channel line-up with an HD-DVR. 99.9% of the time I watch HD channels.

My interest in DBS is because it seems possible I can get more HD channels from DirecTV or DISH for less money, and possibly with better picture quality. The plan would be to negotiate with Comcast to keep my internet service at a reasonable price (everything is negotiation with Comcast), drop voice and add DBS as my TV service.

Here are my questions:

1) It appears I have to out-right purchase the receiver/DVR. From what little research I've done this may cost over $400. Is there a viable second hand market for DBS receivers? Or do I have to invest heavily up-front with DISH/DirecTV to get into DBS?

2) I'm leaning towards DISH because they seem to offer the best HD bang for my buck. DISH's website shows I can get a basic HD channel line-up for $25/mo. What is the fine print?

3) Do I need a voice line so the receive can talk to DISH?

4) I live in the SF Bay Area, from DISH's website it appears they transmit all Bay Area networks. Are they in HD? Is the quality good, I read a thread about audio drop-out, is this a concern for me? Will I need an OTA UHF antenna to complete my local HD channel line-up?

5) Anything else?

Thanks.


In the SF Bay Area channels 2,5,7,11 are in HD.

Enjoying AT 250 HBO, 

 

Equipment: VIP 722 reciever


#10 OFFLINE   frankR

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Posted 04 October 2008 - 01:54 PM

Thanks for the replies everyone, they have been informative.

Everything looks good going with DISH HD. However, just getting Comcast internet will cost $60/mo. With the basic HD service it would be around $40/mo. That's less then $15 less per month then what I pay now with Comcast, and I would lose my voice line.

They don't make these decisions easy, do they?

I already talked to ATT, I would have to use their UVERSE TV service to get an internet connection through them. Comast or UVERSE are my only options.

#11 OFFLINE   EXTACAMO

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Posted 04 October 2008 - 02:00 PM

Is DSL an option for you?

#12 OFFLINE   phrelin

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Posted 04 October 2008 - 02:15 PM

Thanks for the replies everyone, they have been informative.

Everything looks good going with DISH HD. However, just getting Comcast internet will cost $60/mo. With the basic HD service it would be around $40/mo. That's less then $15 less per month then what I pay now with Comcast, and I would lose my voice line.

They don't make these decisions easy, do they?

I already talked to ATT, I would have to use their UVERSE TV service to get an internet connection through them. Comast or UVERSE are my only options.

No they don't make it easy. Several members of my family in the Bay Area use the Comcast bundle. One uses Dish with the other services separately through AT&T (phone, AT&T Yahoo DSL, cell phone).

#13 OFFLINE   frankR

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Posted 04 October 2008 - 02:31 PM

Is DSL an option for you?


Apparently not. I have a FTTP at my house. ATT UVERSE is the only service option for it, and their service is not designed for FTTP band-width, so it's a waste, IMO.

I've been dreaming of a 50 Mb down, 10 Mb up service on my fiber. With Comcast's top end package I was downloading > 30 Mb with the "boost" option. With the mid-grade package I get 10 Mb sustained.

My experience w/ATT is they're stingy with their bandwidth. With DSL I'll only manage 6 Mb.

If I go with DISH I'll probably have to bite the bullet and pay them $60 for my internet. I'm going to call ATT to see what they say.

#14 OFFLINE   EXTACAMO

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Posted 04 October 2008 - 04:40 PM

I thought I read somewhere that ATT and D* just inked some kind of marketing agreement. Don't know when it starts but it maybe worth waiting for.

#15 OFFLINE   BattleZone

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Posted 06 October 2008 - 10:43 AM

I thought I read somewhere that ATT and D* just inked some kind of marketing agreement. Don't know when it starts but it maybe worth waiting for.


It doesn't take affect until Feb 1, 2009. In the meantime, AT&T's deal is with Dish, but that only applies to areas where AT&T doesn't offer Uverse. DirecTV's deal will be the same: only where Uverse isn't available.

#16 OFFLINE   Mindhaz

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Posted 06 October 2008 - 10:57 AM

My experience w/ATT is they're stingy with their bandwidth. With DSL I'll only manage 6 Mb.


Where I live, 6 Mb of ATT DSL rocks the socks off Comcast at 12... or 16... or whatever they are claiming these days.

My DSL is rock solid. It's always on and always fast. With Comcast I was constantly rebooting modems, pcs, etc. and at times it would be offline for days at a time.




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