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Guest Message by DevFuse

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Talk me out of going back to cable


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54 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   News Junky

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Posted 07 January 2006 - 11:31 PM

I just came from a friend's house who has digital cable. He has HD and I was really impressed with the picture quality and the bells and whistles of his cable DVR.

When I first made the switch to satellite:

• I was excited about 300% more premium movie channels
• Twice as many channels overall
• Digital quality picture
• Lower prices
• And the hope that satellite TV would one day take advantage if its technological advantage over cable and find a way to offer some type of distant market local programming.

Well:

• Cable now gives you just as many premium movie channels as satellite
• And just about as many channels as satellite.
• With digital cable (now the standard with cable TV) all their channels are digital as well except for locals. All satellite does is this jerry rigged digital encoding and retransmission of OTA analog signals for locals anyway so the LIL feeds are actually inferior to cable's non-degragated analog feeds. The only distant market programming you get with satellite that is not available with cable are the NFL Sunday Ticket and WB/UPN Superstations. I can only watch one game at a time and since I'm with D* and not E* I'm not offered Superstations. To be honest, there's more effort to bring distant market TV to you via the Internet than with satellite.

Does anyone have a good reason for me or anyone else not living in a rural area or a cross country motorist why satellite is a better choice than cable? What am I overlooking? Right now I'm feeling that just being a supporter of the technology and status quo lethargy are the main reasons most people don't pick up the phone and call the cable guy, myself included.

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#2 OFFLINE   Bobman

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Posted 08 January 2006 - 07:17 AM

To be honest judging by your comments, I dont think anyone can talk you out of going to cable.

Depending on the cable company, even though they say digital they are really mostly analog. I know all the channels from 2-99 are analog with Comcast at least not sure about other services. DirecTV's picture is way better at least in my area and on my equipment. Also believe this or not I had MORE artifacts and blockky pictures with cable than DirecTV and there should really be NONE with cable if you think about it.

When I had cable and their DVR, I could not get my receiver to accept a digital stereo signal and had to set it as analog "all channel" so it still came out all 5 speakers but was not digital quality even using their optical output. No changes to anything and with my DirecTV DVR's same optical cable, same stereo its digital and sounds so much better. Could just be my system but I dont see why it works with DirecTV and not cable.

The cable companies DVR's are iffy at best. I have seen on other lists like this that supports cable DVR's and most are very inferior to the DVR's and/or TiVo's that DirecTV offers. There is no question at all that DirecTV currently has by far the best DVR's compared to anyone if that matters.

Also price should be a factor, not the specials they run that are lowball but the bottomline AFTER the promotions. In my area I pay about $30 less a month with DirecTV than cable and I really have more channels, less PPV's though.


Bobman

#3 OFFLINE   carl6

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Posted 08 January 2006 - 08:57 AM

I think it has a lot to do with who your local cable company is along with the cost and quality of their service.
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In Seattle, I have found Comcast to be higher cost and lower PQ than DirecTV. However Comcast is ahead with regard to High Def compared to D* locally. DirecTV is working hard to catch up on HD, but they are not there yet.
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And, as Bobman noted, in most (but not all) cases, the first 99 cable channels are analog.
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Carl

#4 OFFLINE   Wolffpack

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Posted 08 January 2006 - 09:44 AM

But any local cable system runs in regards to non-local HD. DTV still has the same stellar selection of national HD feeds as they had a few years back when I first purchased their HD package. $11/month is way too much for those few of channels. And what do you suppose they'll raise that too when/if they add any more national HD feeds?

Myself, I'll be staying with DTV mainly for Sunday Ticket.

#5 OFFLINE   jc17981

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Posted 08 January 2006 - 09:50 AM

I agree with Carl. Though I enjoy my satellite (both DirecTV and Dish), I would not have a problem with going back to cable as my primary provider either. I just got burned by Charter (2 different cities/systems) w.r.t. their quality, customer service, and reliability. From what I've read, Cox, TWC, and Comcast are being a lot more attentive to their customer's needs.

One thing you may want to think about though--- If you have multiple televisions that you want your digital cable to appear on, you have to pay a fee for each additional digital box. (Yes, you have to do this with satellite also). But, depending on the CATV pricing and the promotion, this often drives up the cable price way over satellite.

Good luck,
John

#6 OFFLINE   greywolf

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Posted 08 January 2006 - 10:05 AM

I just helped a friend with a new TV on a CATV installation. The DVR had a 60Hr SD capacity and a 15Hr HD capacity. That was enough to keep me away.

#7 OFFLINE   JcT21

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Posted 08 January 2006 - 10:20 AM

sounds like your mind is already made up. if cable in your area is that good, then i say go for it. however it does really just depend on your area and cable company. i live in a rural area. my local cable compnay offers channels 2-40 and charges 42.99 month for that. they offer premium channels for $10 each per month, but only with a special lil box that carries a rental charge of 3.95 month extra. around here, every other house has a directv dish on it :-)

i think when D* and E* go after cable companies by saying they are so bad and expensive, its companies like the ones here in my area they have in mind.

#8 OFFLINE   midnight75

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Posted 08 January 2006 - 10:32 AM

I, too, say go for it. It does sound like a good deal. My former cable company is just a small one w/ 38,000 subs (down from 45,000 thanks to D* & E*) & they charge what DirecTV charges for TC+ & only have about 52 channels. Needless to say, my area has alot of dishes.
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#9 OFFLINE   Chris Freeland

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Posted 08 January 2006 - 10:42 AM

I went back to cable less then one year ago after having E* since 96 do to too many trees in back yard of new home to get line of site to the satellite. I have Comcast here, I plan to upgrade to the DVR soon but have 2 TV's connected to standard digital STB's now and a 3rd one that will be connected to just the analog service as soon as I get around to have another outlet installed. Comcast charges $9.95/mo for each DVR STB weather you have a extra standard STB or not, they include 1 standard STB in the Digital Plus package and charge $6.95 for each extra standerd STB, since I already have an extra standerd STB, it will only cost me an extra $3/mo to upgrade to a DVR, which is not bad. I also have Comcast Internet which is great, and because of the bundling discount my Preferred Basic w/Digital Plus comes out about the same as it would if I had AT180w/locals and 2 receivers combined with Comcast Internet and limited basic cable TV, however if I went with E* or D* combined with DSL for internet, satellite would be cheaper. If I added HDTV to the mix, cable would be cheaper then E* when combined with Comcast internet, however E* has more HDTV channels evaluable.

I like the look and feel of the E* epg and brouse then with digital cable, however I can go farther in to the future on the epg then I could with my old E* system and the newly added VOD is neat, however I suspect once I upgrade to a DVR I will not use the VOD much because so far I am not real impressed with the content. I have found that the cable digital channel's pq is about = with E*, however channels 2 - 99 are analog here too and the pq is not quite as sharp as I find them on E*. I have found cable to be much better now then when I last had it back in early 90's when I still lived in Florida, but if I could get a line of site to satellite, I would probably go back to E* or try D* and try DSL out to save some money, once we get around to building a new house on are properly which will likely be in 2 or 3 more years, I will then have to decide weather to go with cable or back to satellite or maby my phone company will have something to consider then, who knows?

#10 OFFLINE   News Junky

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Posted 08 January 2006 - 10:44 AM

believe this or not I had MORE artifacts and blockky pictures with cable than DirecTV and there should really be NONE with cable if you think about it.


I now recall when I had cable there was a tendancy of seeing distortion in little boxes especially when fading to black. I see that less with satellite. That might be the same thing you talk about.

My biggest frustration with satellite is the distant market issue. I do find losing signal everytime there's a little weather going on a bummer but because I know they can't do anything about that I understand. They CAN offer UPN/WB superstations legally if they wanted to but they refuse and I live in a market with no UPN local station. If they wanted to badly enough they could also offer limited local programming of distant market network affiliates but they'd prefer the Internet beat them at that one. Then I got burned by them a year ago promising me my network waivers would automatically be reinstated if I returned to them within 180 days and after I did they refused to honor their promise led by the culture of resist any and all distant market local programming whenever possible. So I'm a little bitter.

I'd be happy if they added Superstations, happier if they see the error of their ways and reinstate my waivers as they should have never been deactived in the first place and happiest if they did something similar to the NFL Sunday Ticket for distant market local news.

#11 OFFLINE   RAD

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Posted 08 January 2006 - 12:05 PM

The biggest issue I have with Comast in our area is the quality of the Motorola STB's as compared to the D* hardware. When I tried them last year their DVR had a tendancy to 'hang' up a few times a day (where it wouldn't take commands but eventually came back). Also the series recording left much to be desired when compared to the D* Tivo's. But with the new R15 it looks like D*'s lowering their standards for quality and those boxes has the same issues. With that said, Comcast is being installed on 1/21 and D*'s programming package will be lowered from the $130+ that I'm paying now.

See post My Setup for configuration info.


#12 OFFLINE   boba

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Posted 08 January 2006 - 02:48 PM

I now recall when I had cable there was a tendancy of seeing distortion in little boxes especially when fading to black. I see that less with satellite. That might be the same thing you talk about.

My biggest frustration with satellite is the distant market issue. I do find losing signal everytime there's a little weather going on a bummer but because I know they can't do anything about that I understand. They CAN offer UPN/WB superstations legally if they wanted to but they refuse and I live in a market with no UPN local station. If they wanted to badly enough they could also offer limited local programming of distant market network affiliates but they'd prefer the Internet beat them at that one. Then I got burned by them a year ago promising me my network waivers would automatically be reinstated if I returned to them within 180 days and after I did they refused to honor their promise led by the culture of resist any and all distant market local programming whenever possible. So I'm a little bitter.

I'd be happy if they added Superstations, happier if they see the error of their ways and reinstate my waivers as they should have never been deactived in the first place and happiest if they did something similar to the NFL Sunday Ticket for distant market local news.

Don't complain about your satellite service not offering out of market network stations. Contact your congress man and complain, both DISH & Directv could make more money by selling you out of market channels but Federal Laws prohibit it. Both have tried using the court system to do what you want. It isn't their choosing or fault. Go back to cable you will be happier and poorer.

#13 OFFLINE   Fl_Gulfer

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Posted 08 January 2006 - 02:51 PM

No one here owns the Satellite companys so why would we care if you go to Cable.:confused:

#14 OFFLINE   News Junky

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Posted 08 January 2006 - 03:08 PM

Don't complain about your satellite service not offering out of market network stations. Contact your congress man and complain, both DISH & Directv could make more money by selling you out of market channels but Federal Laws prohibit it. Both have tried using the court system to do what you want. It isn't their choosing or fault.


Oh really? I saw a document online that asked the US Senate to prohibit satellite subscribers from being able to even ask for waivers thus making the former law for prohibitive than the current and it was signed by DirecTV. DirecTV is also legally permitted to offer distant market UPN/WB stations right now and they refuse. Sounds to me like DirecTV is not only opposed to distant market programming but has its lobbying apparatus in place in Washington to pressure congress to keep anyone in America save a select few from the RV community and isolated areas from being able to get distant markets stations even from other satellite services.

No one here owns the Satellite companys so why would we care if you go to Cable.


What makes you so certain Satellite TV doesn't have monitors who follow what people are saying at discussion boards that pertain to them. Besides, many people in America own stock in companies. If you have a 401k YOU probably own a satellite company! Protect your investment and keep me as a customer :-).

#15 OFFLINE   CCarncross

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Posted 08 January 2006 - 04:22 PM

If you are losing signal during a "little weather", you have a problem, it takes alot of weather for me to lose my sat signal... I still find it cheaper than the cable offering here, I'm not doing HD, and the cable companies dont offer out of market locals here either, in fact I didnt think they were allowed to. Maybe the FCC regs will change in the future, just because those signals are there due to teh nature of sat, doesnt mean you should get them or have any rights to get them....Noone will try to talk you out of it, but like me, they may show you their justifications for staying with sat...

#16 OFFLINE   Wolffpack

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Posted 08 January 2006 - 04:26 PM

DirecTV is also legally permitted to offer distant market UPN/WB stations right now and they refuse.

Is this true only if a customer receives no local UPN or WB like with the other networks? If so, given the viewership of those networks, and the fact these networks are broadcast in most all major markets, it would add yet another couple of networks DTV would have to track and only allow certain customers to receive. ABC, CBS, NBC and FOX, fine but UPN & WB? Do those networks even have 3 hours of primetime programming every night?

Again, given the viewership of those networks, I don't see how DTV would justify the added overhead in offering these to the few don't already receive them and would want them. I receive them fine OTA here locally but don't think I've tuned into either since Enterprise went off the air.

#17 OFFLINE   News Junky

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Posted 08 January 2006 - 05:52 PM

Is this true only if a customer receives no local UPN or WB like with the other networks? If so, given the viewership of those networks, and the fact these networks are broadcast in most all major markets, it would add yet another couple of networks DTV would have to track and only allow certain customers to receive. ABC, CBS, NBC and FOX, fine but UPN & WB? Do those networks even have 3 hours of primetime programming every night?


Unless something has changed recently anybody in America can get WB and UPN from distant markets as they are not considered “networks” at present but rather syndication distribution services. DISH offers them as their "Superstations Package" No qualifying needed. No keeping up with a handful of customers to figure out if or if not they can't get UPN or WB already. There is no defending the indefensible. I'm convinced they just like being in bed with the censorship lobby. And they all are about to get bushwhacked by Sling Box, Tivo To Go and pod casting.

#18 OFFLINE   CCarncross

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Posted 08 January 2006 - 08:29 PM

So is not being able to get WB/UPN with D* really what you are all up in arms about?

#19 OFFLINE   News Junky

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Posted 08 January 2006 - 08:59 PM

So is not being able to get WB/UPN with D* really what you are all up in arms about?


Oh no. Only one of several issues. My last sentence of post #10 pretty much sums it up for me.
1. UPN/WB from other cities
2. Also work to get the local content from ABC, FOX, CBS and NBC affiliates where the signal is within range. The LIL only issue is about network programming, not local programming. The stations seem to not have a problem with their local content getting out of market since they go to the trouble of putting their local content on the Internet. Satellite TV is already set up for this; just block the nework programs but let the local content through.
3. And finally the NY and LA networks I had that they took away unjustly (because I temporarily suspended service but re-established within the allotted time to maintain waivers according to their own sales reps and then AFTER I reconnected they did not let me keep them preferring to err on the side of no).

#20 OFFLINE   Wolffpack

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Posted 08 January 2006 - 09:19 PM

Oh no. Only one of several issues. My last sentence of post #10 pretty much sums it up for me.
1. UPN/WB from other cities

As I stated before, IMHO UPN and WB have no programming worth DTV wasting bandwidth on. I'd rather see more nation HD channels.

2. Also work to get the local content from ABC, FOX, CBS and NBC affiliates where the signal is within range. The LIL only issue is about network programming, not local programming. The stations seem to not have a problem with their local content getting out of market since they go to the trouble of putting their local content on the Internet. Satellite TV is already set up for this; just block the nework programs but let the local content through.

Local News? That's all I can figure they COULD offer. If the signal is within range, then get it OTA. Maybe you can explain why DTV should offer you locals not in your DMA but within range. I'm confused. Are you really saying DTV should offer non-network programming for all local channels across the nation to every subscriber? If that's why you're leaving DTV is guess it's a great reason.

You can have every local station in Phoenix. I'm tired of seeing why it didn't rain today, or the latest dog/cat at the shelter and why I may want to adopt him or her. BTW, are you going to get any of this by dropping DTV and going with your local cable?

3. And finally the NY and LA networks I had that they took away unjustly (because I temporarily suspended service but re-established within the allotted time to maintain waivers according to their own sales reps and then AFTER I reconnected they did not let me keep them preferring to err on the side of no).

If you had waivers for those in the past DTV can get you new waivers. Are you saying they will not request those waivers for you again? Guess I don't understand, you had waivers for nation network feeds before so you should be able to get them again. Doesn't matter if DTV extends your old waivers or gets you new ones. Have you moved since you had the old waivers?




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