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.