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Guest Message by DevFuse

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Is Cable Unbeatable?


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26 replies to this topic

#21 OFFLINE   RAD

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Posted 11 July 2007 - 12:11 PM

3) DBS cannot be easily distributed
Each TV needs a DBS receiver (or TV2 output). Cable has no such restriction past a distribution amp.


Just an FYI. A number of cable systems are moving all but the very basic analog channels to their digital tier (ask the folks in Chicago on Comcast), which means you'll need either a cable box or a TV set that has a cable card option, either way you'll be paying the cable company for something. Other cable companies are also moving to switched video delivery for a number of their channels, again requiring the use of one of their cable boxes. So enjoy it while you can since it might not be lasting much longer.

See post My Setup for configuration info.


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#22 OFFLINE   harsh

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Posted 11 July 2007 - 12:20 PM

Signing a lease agreement with E* or D* to provide equivalent service would involve a huge upfront equipment lease fee.

Not nearly as huge as the investment that you currently have in receivers. Further, as CATV converts more and more of their content to digital, you're left with renting CATV receivers on top of everything to provide programming to the SD TiVos.

#23 OFFLINE   Hound

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Posted 11 July 2007 - 12:43 PM

Having had both and no longer having the cable option due to relocation, in my opinion & use cable beats DBS. I was a basic cable user, and watched OTA HD.

Where DBS fails for me:
1) DBS costs more and delivers less
My last home was pre-wired and had cable at all outlets for the same rate, which included broadband Internet. For this same price (without the still waiting for $20/month for 10 months rebate trick) I get the 250 channel + HD pack from Dish and no Internet. I have to have a receiver where I want to watch TV OR I can use the "dual output" to send the signal to one other TV. Of the 250 channels, many of them are audio channels or garbage or promo channels that are never watched. I had to go with the 250 package to get the same basic channels we had with cable. There is also a monthly fee for additional receivers and a monthly DVR fee. Captain Jack would be proud.

2) DBS is not user friendly
a. I'm technically oriented, the rest of my family is not. When Mrs. L33 wanted to watch TV on the main TV while something was recording, she found out she could not do so. This was not an issue with cable, we have a DVR and did this on a regular basis. To get around this, I have split the TV2 output from the main receiver and run it through a distribution amp to all the regular TV outlets in the home. She could now watch DBS on a UHF channel on another input on the main TV, but the steps involved with doing so are not all that easy, and if I forget to change the TV input back after doing so...
b. It was easy for her to recall Hallmark was channel 73, USA was 52, etc. Now with the three and four digit channels, it is hard to remember what channel something is on, which makes the program guide mandatory. Of course, you have to filter out the 95% of the channels you will never watch into a list...

3) DBS cannot be easily distributed
Each TV needs a DBS receiver (or TV2 output). Cable has no such restriction past a distribution amp.

4) External devices take extra devices and effort to work properly
Our new home has a triple input modulator (cable or OTA) brought from our old home for a couple of external video cameras as well as a whole house DVD changer channel. What I had to do here was utilize a DBS distribution amp's OTA input for the modulator output and then distribute this with the Dish UHF TV2 output. With cable, I had the modulator set to some unused channels and it worked fine combined with cable. You could watch a camera or the whole house video from any TV. The same cannot be done with DBS unless you have a TV with multiple inputs and distribute the TV2 output as noted above.

Summary for me:
DBS= PITA to configure and use, more expensive, and unfortunately also the only option at this point.


I agree with you. I have been with Dish Network for 4 years and will be leaving
next month when my 18 month commitment is up. I was lucky to get Verizon
Fios in March and I hooked basic cable back up to get the MLB EI package.

Cable is cheaper than satellite. The Dish HD packages are the highest in the
industry. Cable technology is easier to use. The satellite receiver requirements
are not as user friendly as you say, as cable. Cable provides programming that I
want, not available on satellite

#24 OFFLINE   Steve Mehs

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Posted 12 July 2007 - 12:22 AM

While I love the cable industry, I have to disagree with L33. I fully support cable going 100% digital only, which means I support forcing cable customers to do what DBS customers have to do. Digital set top terminals for every TV set.

I do agree with the technology part but in a different light. With DBS you've got upgrading issues. New receivers for MPEG 4, new dish antennas to see additional orbital slots, new multiswiches for the new LNBs, etc. I no way I’m I saying this is bad, it’s the opposite, it’s progress. But personally, I’d rather have the cable company do the upgrading at their end and if need be I go to the office for new hardware. No cost, no commitment and relatively simple.
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#25 OFFLINE   jpl

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Posted 12 July 2007 - 09:51 AM

While I love the cable industry, I have to disagree with L33. I fully support cable going 100% digital only, which means I support forcing cable customers to do what DBS customers have to do. Digital set top terminals for every TV set.


I gotta agree that this is where cable is headed. The advantage of being able to just hook a cable up to your TV is going away. Traditional cable companies (Comcast, e.g.) need the additional bandwidth to accomodate expanded HD. Even FiOS is getting rid of their analog channels. They don't have many to begin with - just locals. But those will be gone as of Feb. 2009. And not because of the cut-off for analog OTA - this was part of a deal struck with the FCC. On July 1st, due to FCC mandate, cable companies were required to make their set top boxes more universal (allowing for 2-way cable cards). Verizon put in for a waiver, and as part of the deal (not sure why this was part of the deal) they agreed to do away with their few analog channels by Feb. 2009.

Where I think cable companies COULD take advantage of this, however, is if they moved toward a set top box that feeds multiple TVs. They already have multi-room DVRs, and from what I understand Dish has the capability already. Why not just have a single box that feeds out, say, 3 separate TVs? I'm starting to think that that's exactly what companies like Comcast will need to do as they push more and more programming to digital. Even if they could convince some long-time analog-only users to digital, the requirement that they would need a separate box for every tv could be a deal-breaker for them.

#26 OFFLINE   Hound

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Posted 12 July 2007 - 10:50 AM

While I love the cable industry, I have to disagree with L33. I fully support cable going 100% digital only, which means I support forcing cable customers to do what DBS customers have to do. Digital set top terminals for every TV set.

I do agree with the technology part but in a different light. With DBS you've got upgrading issues. New receivers for MPEG 4, new dish antennas to see additional orbital slots, new multiswiches for the new LNBs, etc. I no way I’m I saying this is bad, it’s the opposite, it’s progress. But personally, I’d rather have the cable company do the upgrading at their end and if need be I go to the office for new hardware. No cost, no commitment and relatively simple.


At least with cable there will be a cable card option, if you are lucky enough
to have bought a new TV with a cable card slot. With the July 1 FCC new cable card rule, TV manufacturers will be making new TVs with the slot. Or if you buy your own set top box with cable card slot. I have two Sony DVRs with cable card slot. Also, even with cable going all digital, most new TVs have QAM that will pick up unencrypted channels. Satellite does not have these options.

#27 OFFLINE   harsh

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Posted 14 July 2007 - 08:37 AM

Until cablecard 2.0 starts coming in televisions, it isn't a complete answer to a STB. Then, if SDV gets a foothold, cablecard isn't going to help you.




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