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Tough choice coming up


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86 replies to this topic

#61 OFFLINE   JeffBowser

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Posted 16 April 2013 - 06:17 AM

If you're not going to use a third-party approach, TiVo or Cable Card for HTPC with extender, you're probably not going to adjust to Comcast's equipment. 

 

I can adjust to anything. The only reason I am considering Comcast at all is their TV comes for free with my internet for the next two years. Otherwise, i was considering no pay TV at all.

 

After a night of watching Comcast and switching between Sat and Cable sources, Comcast's audio comes across as "muddy" (my wife's words, to boot). Some channels look overly sharpened, and I did notice some motion artifacts I don't get on DirecTV.


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#62 OFFLINE   dpeters11

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Posted 16 April 2013 - 07:33 AM

There actually is a valid reason why cable doesn't do that which is only slowly fading away. When part of  a cable system is analog "channel 4" has  a very specific meaning. Until you are 100% digital you cant have two "channel 4"s.  Of couse they could have done like DirecTV did with On Demand and just added 1000 to the SD channel number - 4 SD is 1004 HD, 210 SD id 1210 HD, etc  On a funny side note to this, when a system does try to go 100% digital there is usally a ton of complaints because every TV now needs a cable box

 

I saw a few days ago that Comcast was going to start requiring boxes.



#63 OFFLINE   mdavej

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Posted 16 April 2013 - 11:59 AM

I can adjust to anything...

But it will be a very unpleasant adjustment. Cable DVRs are incredibly bad. I thought I could adjust too, but I couldn't. I only lasted a few days before I broke down and built an HTPC. You should at least have a backup plan for Tivo or HTPC, if not to avoid the cable DVR's 30 year old interface, then at least to save a lot of money.


Edited by mdavej, 16 April 2013 - 12:00 PM.


#64 OFFLINE   markrw58

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Posted 17 April 2013 - 02:53 PM

I posted near the beginning of this thread that I was switching to Comcast after 16 1/2 years with Directv. Well I have had Comcast for a week now and on the plus side I would say the picture is slightly better than Dorectv but other than that, and the faster Internet speed, I do not like the Comcast experience.

The instal could not be done on the first appt because they needed to get into the neighbors backyard and they weren't home. So after many calls it got rescheduled for the following Saturday. That appt took 4 hours and they tried to give me a box with no HDMI, got that straightened out then one of the two small hd boxes was doa so they gave me a massive box instead. The installer left some trash and did not leave a remote for our family room fortunately I have a Harmony remote for that room any way.

After the install the Internet works great and the picture quality is a little better than I had with Directv, just a little, but the guide is a joke, very frustrating, the wife already said she hates it and having to watch a number of shows I like 3 hours later is a pain. All of these issues have me rethinking my decision and what I can drop from my suspended Directv service to get the cost down, cancel Comcast and go back to Directv.

#65 OFFLINE   JeffBowser

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Posted 17 April 2013 - 03:06 PM

I agree, the guide is a silly joke. The box is, however, responsive. I have not had the same picture experience in my neighborhood, but its close enough to not be a major concern. The audio, however, is a good deal worse, even their "uncompressed" DD 5.1 signal is muddy.  Still, I'm getting TV free with my $70 internet connection, DirecTV for $140 on top of that is still a major decision point.


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#66 OFFLINE   markrw58

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Posted 17 April 2013 - 03:57 PM

That is a major cost savings hard to ignore, fortunately my audio with Comcast is excellent. My cost savings is less than yours $55 a month for the first year although the package with Comcast is less as well, no dvr and fewer channels.

#67 OFFLINE   mdavej

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Posted 17 April 2013 - 04:16 PM

That is a major cost savings hard to ignore, fortunately my audio with Comcast is excellent. My cost savings is less than yours $55 a month for the first year although the package with Comcast is less as well, no dvr and fewer channels.

You should seriously consider an HTPC. You'll have a DVR on par with DirecTV and even better in some ways and save a lot of money to boot. It's the only way I've been able to survive the shock of cable DVRs. Mine is an 8-tuner whole home system that works beautifully and looks fantastic. And it's fully integrated with the rest of my media (videos, music, photos, movie rips, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, Netflix, etc.). Plus it works so seamlessly, my wife still thinks we have satellite.


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#68 OFFLINE   markrw58

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Posted 17 April 2013 - 08:15 PM

Do you have recommendations for the tuner cards, software, etc that you used to build the HTPC?

#69 OFFLINE   mdavej

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Posted 18 April 2013 - 04:24 PM

Do you have recommendations for the tuner cards, software, etc that you used to build the HTPC?

My system is very simple. I just use Windows Media Center, which is free with Windows 7 ($10 add-on, I think, with Windows 8). My cards are Ceton InfiniTV quad tuner PCIe cards. They also make USB versions. Silicon Dust and Haupauge make 2, 3 and 4 tuner models as well, like the HD Homerun Prime. The key is to make sure you get a cable-card tuner so you can access all your subscribed channels. My other TVs interface with my main HTPC via "extenders" which can be Xboxes, Ceton Echos, and a few others. This works very similar to the way a Genie and C31/C41 clients work or Hopper/Joey if you are coming from Dish. It's not a viable option if you have a lot of TV's since you can only have 6 clients simultaneously using the system, but it's plenty for my 4 person household.



#70 OFFLINE   goinsleeper

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Posted 18 April 2013 - 05:18 PM

I agree, the guide is a silly joke. The box is, however, responsive. I have not had the same picture experience in my neighborhood, but its close enough to not be a major concern. The audio, however, is a good deal worse, even their "uncompressed" DD 5.1 signal is muddy.  Still, I'm getting TV free with my $70 internet connection, DirecTV for $140 on top of that is still a major decision point.

I can only assume you had quite a bit of programming with that $140 D* bill.  I would imagine you could trim a ton of stuff off in order to make the price more feasible.  What package did Comcast give you?


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#71 OFFLINE   JeffBowser

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Posted 18 April 2013 - 06:06 PM

I can only assume you had quite a bit of programming with that $140 D* bill.  I would imagine you could trim a ton of stuff off in order to make the price more feasible.  What package did Comcast give you?

No, pretty basic, but I have two DVR's and 3 STBs


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#72 OFFLINE   bidger

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Posted 18 April 2013 - 07:52 PM

Since we're touching on HTPC and DVR options, The Green Button is a great WMC resource: http://www.thegreenb...orums/index.php

 

And Tuner Salad now supports 32 tuners in W7 and W8 MC!  :gott:  http://www.mychannel...unserSalad.aspx


Edited by bidger, 18 April 2013 - 07:52 PM.

Ceton 6 tuner eth, Cisco Tuning Adapter 1520, TWC Digital Explorer Pak and Standard Internet, TiVo HD (upgraded to 500 GB) for OTA,TC-P50U50, SONY NSZ-GT1 BD player and Google TV box, Yamaha RX-V373 A/V receiver, Squeezebox Duet music streaming device, Xbox 360 

 

 


#73 OFFLINE   mdavej

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Posted 19 April 2013 - 07:17 AM

While 32 tuners is great, remember you're still limited to 5 simultaneous extender (client) sessions. That's 6 possible viewers per server. I guess you could at least record 32 programs at once.



#74 OFFLINE   omartinjordan

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Posted 19 April 2013 - 08:02 AM

You should seriously consider an HTPC. You'll have a DVR on par with DirecTV and even better in some ways and save a lot of money to boot. It's the only way I've been able to survive the shock of cable DVRs. Mine is an 8-tuner whole home system that works beautifully and looks fantastic. And it's fully integrated with the rest of my media (videos, music, photos, movie rips, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, Netflix, etc.). Plus it works so seamlessly, my wife still thinks we have satellite.

 

 

I have a stupid question.  Do you subscribe to cable and use the HTPC for DVR?  Does this save much money?  I would be interested in building my own if it cut my bill down.



#75 OFFLINE   goinsleeper

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Posted 19 April 2013 - 05:33 PM

No, pretty basic, but I have two DVR's and 3 STBs

So 5 receivers total?  That's $24 in mirroring fees and $10 for DVR service.  That would leave around $100 for programming and Ultimate is only $77.99/mo.


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#76 OFFLINE   JeffBowser

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Posted 19 April 2013 - 06:04 PM

So 5 receivers total?  That's $24 in mirroring fees and $10 for DVR service.  That would leave around $100 for programming and Ultimate is only $77.99/mo.

 

Then I'm getting screwed and need to take a closer look at my bill.


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#77 OFFLINE   JeffBowser

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Posted 19 April 2013 - 06:08 PM

02/28 03/27 XTRA Monthly  70.99
 
02/28 03/27 DIRECTV HD EXTRA PACK Monthly  4.99
 
02/28 03/27 Advanced Receiver-HD Monthly  10.00
 
02/28 03/27 Block Viewing Data Collection  0.00
 
02/28 03/27 Advanced Receiver-DVR Monthly  10.00
 
 
  Fees
 
03/01 Additional TV  6.00
 
03/01 Additional TV  6.00
 
03/01 Additional TV  6.00
 
03/01 Primary TV  6.00
 
 
  Adjustments & Credits
 
03/01 Primary TV Free  -6.00  Credit
 
 
  Taxes
 
  Sales Tax  2.04
 
  Communications Service Tax  11.33

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#78 OFFLINE   JeffBowser

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Posted 19 April 2013 - 06:10 PM

So, $127. Not $140, but still too much.


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#79 OFFLINE   Volatility

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Posted 19 April 2013 - 06:28 PM

02/28 03/27 XTRA Monthly 70.99

02/28 03/27 DIRECTV HD EXTRA PACK Monthly 4.99

02/28 03/27 Advanced Receiver-HD Monthly 10.00

02/28 03/27 Block Viewing Data Collection 0.00

02/28 03/27 Advanced Receiver-DVR Monthly 10.00


Fees

03/01 Additional TV 6.00

03/01 Additional TV 6.00

03/01 Additional TV 6.00

03/01 Primary TV 6.00


Adjustments & Credits

03/01 Primary TV Free -6.00 Credit


Taxes

Sales Tax 2.04

Communications Service Tax 11.33

I have to ask, do you watch channels 560-568? That is the HD extra pack. If you do not you can take that off to trim some. You should try calling in to get your bill lowered. Also on prices Directv is very competitive in the industry so no matter whom you go with after the rebates end it is going to be around the same price for the same or similar entertainment value. Directv is pretty reasonable on pricing like they also don't try to charge you a 5.00 fee to change the package as another company; you may also want to consider changing the package.

Edited by Volatility, 19 April 2013 - 07:17 PM.


#80 OFFLINE   goinsleeper

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Posted 19 April 2013 - 06:51 PM

Yeah the HD wasn't factored in either.  Gotta love Florida's "Communication Service Tax".  By far the highest charge from any state.  $127 is pretty rough though.  You could probably scale that under $100 without much effort but compared to what you're paying now with Comcast, still a considerable difference.


My posts, whether fact or opinion, are my own and in no way represent DirecTV or any affiliated enterprise or corporation.




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