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In Testing Mode - DirecTV/BrightHouse


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#1 OFFLINE   jceman

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Posted 11 September 2013 - 01:39 PM

As stated in the thread title, I am now in full-blown test mode. This is driven by several factors but the main one is cost. We get BH basic/standard packages as part of our HOA and they are our ISP, so there is no installation fees or extra cable to run; I am paid until the 25th on my DirecTV so this is the perfect time to do a full-blown and legitimate A/B test

 

Those of you who have been here a while may remember my neighbors convinced me in Dec 2009 that BH had corrected the problems that drove me to DirecTV so I gave them a try and left DirecTV. They had indeed corrected the old problems, but I saw some others and was not overly happy so came back in June 2010. This July BH changed their system to go entirely digital and provided little Digital Television Adapters to those of us who didn't want to upgrade to their whole digital package. They work fine and after doing some more checking, I decided it was time to fully investigate as I saw that they had indeed corrected some of my problems from 2010, i.e. added NFL net, all ESPNs in HD and even had some channels in HD that DirecTV doesn't NASA, MAVTV and the Military channel for example.

 

I did have a quite a bit of trouble getting the needed equipment, but won't hold that against BH as it was akin to trying to get an HR44 from a CSR. 

 

It's only Day Two, but here are the results so far:

 

     Picture/Sound Quality: Seems about the same.

 

     Points for BH: No rain fade,

                              Extra channels as above plus other RSNs (though their usefullness is yet to be seen),

                              Great customer service,

                              Lower monthly cost.

 

     Points Against BH: Typical hinky channel mapping, e.g. local Fox 35 is channel 3, 1035 for HD,

                                      No Internet connectivity hence no YouTube, Pandora, MediaCenter,

                                      Still have small DVR capacity (128 GB),

                                      They have a  Whole Home DVR that comes with 500GB drives, but it costs $14/month and client receivers cannot schedule/delete,

                                      Series Manager is far more convoluted and unweildy than DirecTV's,

                                      No 30-second Slip/Skip.

                                   

Guess I really have to decide how important $40-$50/ month is, but I think you can tell which way I'm leaning.

 

I could just cancel DirecTV and see if I can live with the minuses and wait for DirecTV to offer me a great "Come Back" offer again like they did in 2010, but doing that intentionally raises some ethical/moral issues I'm just not comfortable with.

 

Decisions, decisions.

 

 

 

 


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#2 OFFLINE   dpeters11

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Posted 11 September 2013 - 01:51 PM

And when Time Warner has a dispute, you're affected. Not that if Brighthouse did their own, that you'd be in the same situation.



#3 OFFLINE   JACKIEGAGA

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Posted 11 September 2013 - 02:00 PM

Good luck with BH


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#4 OFFLINE   NR4P

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Posted 11 September 2013 - 03:39 PM

The price delta is significant so I see your point.

Worth noting is what is BH's performance?

When was their last 5 outages?

How long did each last?

 

Rain fade sucks as I live with it in the tropical part of the USA.

But I'll take a 6 min rain fade over a 2 hour outage when power is out down the street and the cable amps are off line.

 

If you can get that info and the track record is excellent, the $ savings seem worth it.



#5 OFFLINE   directv newb

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Posted 11 September 2013 - 05:39 PM

I would have to assume that their Dvr is no where near a good as Directv's.  The Genie is absolutely incredible!!  Having the 1TB hard drive is awesome, the guide is awesome,  the picture quality is amazing.  Can you make your own custom guide with BH, most cable companies you can't.  I love my own custom guide!!  I could go on and on.  I understand about saving $40.00/month, but there are some things that I find to important to skimp on, one being my Directv.  When I go over to my son's apartment and visit him and watch his Time Warner Cable I literally laugh out loud when I see his dvr functionality/his guide, ect..., it is a joke.  It seems like you are back in the 90's or something.

Well, whatever you choose, good luck :)



#6 ONLINE   harsh

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Posted 11 September 2013 - 05:52 PM

Pretty much all BH customers outside of California live in a weather fade situation for a good chunk of the year; be it Florida, Tornado Alley or the Lake Michigan area.

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#7 OFFLINE   jceman

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Posted 11 September 2013 - 05:52 PM

I'm a tad upset this was moved from where I first posted it. I put it where I did because those are the people whose input I am looking for. The first two nonhelpful replies illustrate why, not to mention Harsh, who is playing Mr. Obvious and Mr. Irrelevant at the same time.

 

NR4P, BH is also my ISP as I stated in the original post - the availability has been rock solid for at least the last year and a half, we did have about a 1 1/2 hour outage about 3 months ago that was traced to an amp just outside our community's gate; we have more problems with FPL not keeping power flowing than we do with BH. 


Edited by jceman, 11 September 2013 - 05:59 PM.

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#8 OFFLINE   dpeters11

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Posted 11 September 2013 - 06:19 PM

My point was basically another potential datapoint in the con column, you have a company that you are not a customer of doing negotiations for themselves and affecting BH customers.



#9 OFFLINE   JoeTheDragon

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Posted 11 September 2013 - 06:34 PM

As stated in the thread title, I am now in full-blown test mode. This is driven by several factors but the main one is cost. We get BH basic/standard packages as part of our HOA and they are our ISP, so there is no installation fees or extra cable to run; I am paid until the 25th on my DirecTV so this is the perfect time to do a full-blown and legitimate A/B test

 

Those of you who have been here a while may remember my neighbors convinced me in Dec 2009 that BH had corrected the problems that drove me to DirecTV so I gave them a try and left DirecTV. They had indeed corrected the old problems, but I saw some others and was not overly happy so came back in June 2010. This July BH changed their system to go entirely digital and provided little Digital Television Adapters to those of us who didn't want to upgrade to their whole digital package. They work fine and after doing some more checking, I decided it was time to fully investigate as I saw that they had indeed corrected some of my problems from 2010, i.e. added NFL net, all ESPNs in HD and even had some channels in HD that DirecTV doesn't NASA, MAVTV and the Military channel for example.

 

I did have a quite a bit of trouble getting the needed equipment, but won't hold that against BH as it was akin to trying to get an HR44 from a CSR. 

 

It's only Day Two, but here are the results so far:

 

     Picture/Sound Quality: Seems about the same.

 

     Points for BH: No rain fade,

                              Extra channels as above plus other RSNs (though their usefullness is yet to be seen),

                              Great customer service,

                              Lower monthly cost.

 

     Points Against BH: Typical hinky channel mapping, e.g. local Fox 35 is channel 3, 1035 for HD,

                                      No Internet connectivity hence no YouTube, Pandora, MediaCenter,

                                      Still have small DVR capacity (128 GB),

                                      They have a  Whole Home DVR that comes with 500GB drives, but it costs $14/month and client receivers cannot schedule/delete,

                                      Series Manager is far more convoluted and unweildy than DirecTV's,

                                      No 30-second Slip/Skip.

                                   

Guess I really have to decide how important $40-$50/ month is, but I think you can tell which way I'm leaning.

 

I could just cancel DirecTV and see if I can live with the minuses and wait for DirecTV to offer me a great "Come Back" offer again like they did in 2010, but doing that intentionally raises some ethical/moral issues I'm just not comfortable with.

 

Decisions, decisions.

Does BH have all the big ten feeds in HD, goal line HD, Game 3-9 HD, Team 2-9 HD, all nbc premier league extra time feeds in HD?

 

comcast cable does not have a lot of that And other then WOW cable (does not even have the local RSN alt in HD) or U-Verse (soon) is my choices other then dish / directv.

 

Comcast HSI is good but there TV sucks.


I want CLTV / CLTV HD on direct tv.

#10 OFFLINE   JohnBoy

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Posted 11 September 2013 - 07:56 PM

I recently had both and there are pros and cons with both...

 

BHN...

 

Pro -

Better HD line up (more channels with HD about 215+) 

Better On Demand with next day air on all Prime Time networks including Fox On Demand

No worries of rain fade (when it rains here in CFL I find myself praying that 771 doesn't show up)

Start Over and Look back feature with STB

Good customer service - If a stb dies it can be replaced within hours.

 

Cons -

Picture Quality has suffered with too many HD additions added on to SDV system

Ugly GUI

STB only haves a couple of tuners and a generic feel about them

Cost - I find to many misc. charges

No interactive apps

 

Directv...

 

Pro -

Great picture quality

excellent 5 tuner stb and whdvr setup (Genie)

Better GUI and graphics

NFL Sunday Ticket

Cost is Fixed if you leave your package alone...

Pandora,youtube and 84 sonictap stations (BHN has music choice with about 40 stations)

Genie Recommends

 

Cons -

Rain Fade and darn 771 (The people in Florida know what i'am talking about)

On Demand lacking HD content,Next day air and Fox On demand missing

Missing Hd channels ie...Fox Deportes HD,TelemundoHD,Tv One HD and others

If a stb goes down you have to wait days for a replacement and pay $50 for any added service.


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#11 OFFLINE   JosephB

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Posted 11 September 2013 - 09:07 PM

When I lived in an apartment I had Bright House in Birmingham, AL. They are easily the best cable company I've ever dealt with. Rock solid internet service, never an outage, and better channel lineup than DirecTV hands down (unless you get certain out of market sports packages, but that doesn't describe me).

 

Of course there are some downsides, mainly that their equipment sucks. If you go with them, I would highly suggest you look into getting a new TiVo Roamio. Especially if BH has gone 100% digital in your area. 

 

It's kind of a personal up to you kind of decision. I have DirecTV because Charter's TV support in my current town sucks. I'm actually in the process of possibly moving back to an area that has Bright House, and if that were the case I'd have four TV choices..U-Verse, DirecTV, Dish, and Bright House. Having seen U-Verse at my mother's house, I have to say it'd be a close race between Bright House and DirecTV.



#12 OFFLINE   inkahauts

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Posted 11 September 2013 - 09:26 PM

Not sure where you posted this first, but this seems liek the right place here...

 

Id check into the hoa thing. I believe they can not force you to pay for any cable via an hoa fee anymore, but not positive. It should have to be broken out as a separate line item and you should be able to opt out of it, as i believe thats a fcc regulation now, but again, not sure if it would apply to you specifically.

 

And hey, you have to decide which service you will be happy with. I could never work with a dvr that only recorded 20 hours, and two tuners,  Not anymore....



#13 OFFLINE   veryoldschool

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Posted 11 September 2013 - 11:05 PM

I'm a tad upset this was moved from where I first posted it.

Since this had nothing to do with the forum you posted in, my options were to close or move.

I chose to keep it alive.


A.K.A VOS

#14 OFFLINE   dpeters11

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Posted 12 September 2013 - 07:56 AM

I recently had both and there are pros and cons with both...

 

BHN...

 

Pro -

Better HD line up (more channels with HD about 215+) 

 

 

Though this is pretty subjective. It's not as simple as whoever has more HD is better.



#15 OFFLINE   1980ws

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Posted 12 September 2013 - 08:36 AM

This is a little off the OP's narrative, but I also live in Florida, have experienced rain fade with Directv & have Bright House internet via Road Runner. Overall internet pretty reliable, although in the last month have had outages 3 times mid day - early evening. 2 of them were 3 hours long, 1 was 2.5 hours. I assume if I had their cable tv it would have been out as well. In my 5 years with Directv I have been inconvenienced by rain fade probably less than 1 hour total. I had Bright House for 4 years before Directv and had outages somewhat frequently, minutes to hours and during some hurricanes - 10 days. 

 

 It's nice to have choices, and there are obvious pro's to both companies. But saving $40 - $50 a month, well that's real money.


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#16 OFFLINE   jceman

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Posted 12 September 2013 - 10:21 AM

Id check into the hoa thing. I believe they can not force you to pay for any cable via an hoa fee anymore, but not positive. It should have to be broken out as a separate line item and you should be able to opt out of it, as i believe thats a fcc regulation now, but again, not sure if it would apply to you specifically. 

 

 

It isn't really an HOA. We live in an "Active Adult Community", that is in fact a manufactured home community; we own the homes, but rent the lots and our rent includes many services, one of which is a substantial discount on BH cable. It has come in handy on the few times we have experience signal loos when we really wanted to watch a race or a Packer game, etc.

 

Might look into the Tivo thing, though would that not entail additional monthly costs?

 

VOS, I understand your reasoning, but I wanted the mods to know why I chose that forum, It was not at random; I may not be happy with your choice to move it, but I respect it and am glad you didn't just spike it.


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#17 OFFLINE   JosephB

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Posted 12 September 2013 - 10:57 AM

It isn't really an HOA. We live in an "Active Adult Community", that is in fact a manufactured home community; we own the homes, but rent the lots and our rent includes many services, one of which is a substantial discount on BH cable. It has come in handy on the few times we have experience signal loos when we really wanted to watch a race or a Packer game, etc.

 

Might look into the Tivo thing, though would that not entail additional monthly costs?

 

VOS, I understand your reasoning, but I wanted the mods to know why I chose that forum, It was not at random; I may not be happy with your choice to move it, but I respect it and am glad you didn't just spike it.

 

Yes, TiVo would be an additional monthly cost, but if you're paying $15 to BH for a DVR, you will be able to come out about even (you won't have to pay that $15 to BH)



#18 OFFLINE   inkahauts

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Posted 12 September 2013 - 12:05 PM

It isn't really an HOA. We live in an "Active Adult Community", that is in fact a manufactured home community; we own the homes, but rent the lots and our rent includes many services, one of which is a substantial discount on BH cable. It has come in handy on the few times we have experience signal loos when we really wanted to watch a race or a Packer game, etc.

Might look into the Tivo thing, though would that not entail additional monthly costs?

VOS, I understand your reasoning, but I wanted the mods to know why I chose that forum, It was not at random; I may not be happy with your choice to move it, but I respect it and am glad you didn't just spike it.

what forum did you start it in.

And that's interesting about how its paid for.

Personally it kind of sounds like a good setup because two providers is more likely to ensure you are never without one. But I understand cost considerations as well of course. Only you can really decide. I'd never even consider it in my area with the hardware my cable company has. The DVRs for Hi Definition are ten years old.


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#19 OFFLINE   jceman

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Posted 12 September 2013 - 02:05 PM

inkahauts, first rule of Fight Club ...

 

Looked into the Tivo Roamio, pretty danged impressive, but a C(n)SR told me I'd still need a box plus the CableCard, I just nodded to myself - plus don't want to have to shell out $199 - $499 (kind of defeats the whole purpose of the exercise, doncha know) even with BH knocking additional $ off w/o their DVR, it would come out to about $10/mo more with Tivo's service. It's a moot point, however, as Tivo has seen fit to not have Digital Audio Out via coax on any of the Roamios; this was the main problem with getting a "proper" DVR from BH. I must admit that 6 tuners and a 3TB drive is not to be sneezed at!

 

SHMBO said the magic words while we were exercising in the pool this afternoon, "Just keep what we have. You're not going to be happy otherwise."

 

After changing into dry clothes when we got home I proceeded to unhook the DVR and "converter" and hookup the DTA for the big TV then called BH and told them to drop me back to our bulk package. We'll ride the units over to their local shop tomorrow. Cost to us of this experiment? Nada - due to the difficulties we had getting it set up, they had credited service up until today anyhow and comped the extra cable outlet into the spare bedroom yesterday!

 

Thanks all for your input. 


Opinions voiced by me are my own and do not necessarily reflect that of any other person or entity, living or dead, real or fictional, on this or several other planets in this universe or any other.
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#20 OFFLINE   slice1900

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Posted 12 September 2013 - 10:31 PM

inkahauts, first rule of Fight Club ...

 

Looked into the Tivo Roamio, pretty danged impressive, but a C(n)SR told me I'd still need a box plus the CableCard, I just nodded to myself - plus don't want to have to shell out $199 - $499 (kind of defeats the whole purpose of the exercise, doncha know) even with BH knocking additional $ off w/o their DVR, it would come out to about $10/mo more with Tivo's service. It's a moot point, however, as Tivo has seen fit to not have Digital Audio Out via coax on any of the Roamios; this was the main problem with getting a "proper" DVR from BH. I must admit that 6 tuners and a 3TB drive is not to be sneezed at!

 

SHMBO said the magic words while we were exercising in the pool this afternoon, "Just keep what we have. You're not going to be happy otherwise."

 

After changing into dry clothes when we got home I proceeded to unhook the DVR and "converter" and hookup the DTA for the big TV then called BH and told them to drop me back to our bulk package. We'll ride the units over to their local shop tomorrow. Cost to us of this experiment? Nada - due to the difficulties we had getting it set up, they had credited service up until today anyhow and comped the extra cable outlet into the spare bedroom yesterday!

 

Thanks all for your input. 

 

 

What do you mean you were told you'd need a box plus the cable card? You'd only need the Tivo, and you rent a cable card and you're good. My cable company charges me $1.99/month for a cable card, but others charge more, you'd have to check with BH what they charge

 

The trick with Tivo is to ignore the monthly fees. They're a bad deal. Buy the lifetime service. I know it seems like a huge initial outlay, but you make up for it in a few years not paying any monthly Tivo service fees - nor the $15/month BH charges for its DVR. More importantly the resale value of a Tivo with lifetime is huge. I bought the lowest end Premiere three years ago for $199 plus $299 for lifetime (back then it was $399 and I got a $100 discount since I already had a Tivo) If I put it on Ebay today I could sell it for at least $350. So basically it has cost me $150 for those three years plus only $1.99/month to my cable company.

 

Even the Series 3 that is now 6 years old has really good resale value. Lifetime service is lifetime for the Tivo, not for you, so you take some risk that it will die prematurely. You can purchase extended warranties of up to three years if you're worried, but Tivos are generally pretty reliable. My old Series 2 finally died a couple years ago, it lasted just under a decade, and my Premiere is going strong.

 

As for the digital coaxial, it does not have that, but it has optical audio out. They are the same standard, just a different connector. You can buy a converter for less than $20 that will convert the optical audio to digital coaxial.


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