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Comcast Customer Considering Direct TV - Lots of Questions

Discussion in 'DIRECTV General Discussion' started by BoydRice, Aug 11, 2007.

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  1. BoydRice

    BoydRice New Member

    Aug 2, 2007
    Great forums, there seem to be a lot of very informed people that read this site. So I am a current Comcast customer and HD fan that has been intrigued by all the recent talk of Direct TV's impending HD channel capabilities. I have been trying to do some research on the packages and pros and cons of Direct TV. The biggest hurdle for me on a switch to Direct TV has to be the $200 lease upfront for the HD DVR. This seems to be a bit excessive as I currently get a HD DVR included in the HD programming fee from Comcast. I have looked through lots of posts on Direct TV's HD DVR and it seems to be a hot button topic that has very strong proponets and very vehement detractors. I want to know is the unit worth the 200 bucks upfront, or is there a way to get it without the upfront cost? Coming from the Comcast Motorola HD DVR could anyone compare the user experience? I am not a Tivo user so I guess I am used to dealing with an imperfect system, but I don't like the idea of shelling out money for something that craps out. Also can you replace this leased box if the thing doesn't do what it is supposed to, record scheduled shows, freeze up, crash, etc. Is this an easy thing to do or a hassle?

    Can I keep internet service coming through my existing cable with satelite, or will I need 1 coax for internet and one for Direct TV?

    This "Slimline Dish" does it require a tripod mounting on a roof?

    My house was built last year and came with a GE Smart Panel and coax in two rooms, would this be sufficient for an install or do I have to have more cable ran through the house?

    NFL Ticket, I don't need it cause I get the Seahawks on my local stations, but the current offer sounded good till I heard that you need Superfan for the HD version of games, is that true? 100 dollars more sounds like a rip off.

    Sorry for the lengthy post but I appreciate any helpful comments and feedback cause the customer service person didn't seem to know more than I did.
  2. orinth

    orinth AllStar

    Aug 5, 2007
    I am in the same boat as you. I'm a current comcast customer and would like to sign up. I've probably called up 10 or 12 times and they haven't budged on the price of the hr20.

    I've also been told that you don't need superfan to watch the games in HD. Multiple reps have told me this, although who knows if it's actually true or not.
  3. JFHughes08088

    JFHughes08088 Godfather

    Mar 24, 2007
    SuperFan, giving HD games, was given free to many of us this year. The $199 is the standared price but with a few calls, telling them you are considering a switch from Comcast, etc might get you a lower price.

    For the next few years, HD will be the key differentiator. Whoever has more of it will have the upper hand. It seems that D* is signing up as much programming that they can, launching satellites to serve current and future demand, and generally investing in their future capabilities.

    Years from now, everyone will have HD. In the near future, the game will be to get more content available. You can only broadcast as much as thiere is available................
  4. RAD

    RAD Well-Known Member

    Aug 5, 2002
    Can you get out of the $300 upfront change for the HR20, the answer is it depends. The best thing you can do is call DirecTV and tell them you're interested in switching but the $300 charge is stopping you, is there anything you can do to lessen the blow. One thing to look at is over a year or two what's the real cost difference when you add in the monthly charge that Comcast hits you with for the HD and DVR charge.

    Don't mix the satellite signal with internet, much better to just use seperate cable runs for each.

    The dish uses a single base plate mounted to the roof with two additional support arms for stability. Another option would be to use a pole mount somewhere in the yard if you don't want it on the roof.

    Currently you really should have three coax runs to the HD DVR, two from the satellite and one for an over the air antenna so you can receive the local HD channels that D* isn't carrying at this time, like PBS. D* is working on a new piece of hardware that will allow for a single wire to be used it's rumored to be available in the next month of so.

    No, you don't need to NFL Superfan package to receive your local NFL games in HD. The SuperFan option is needed for NFL Sunday Ticket subscribers to receive the ST games in HD, those are the out of market games that your local station doesn't carry.

    Hope that helps.
  5. heisman

    heisman Icon

    Feb 11, 2007
    No knock against D*, but I wouldn't switch right now if I was you. Like you, I have considered switching, but here's the thing, the deal they have to get new subscribers only benefits people who want NFLST. I have no interest, so it's not much of a deal. Not to mention, the price of their HD Dvr is ridiculous considering the marketplace. Another big reason to avoid switching is that your Comcast HSI will go up $20 without having cable. So, unless you have less expensive dsl options in your area, you might want to give that factor its proper weight. Finally, D* will require you to sign a 2 year contract, which none of the other providers require.
  6. carl6

    carl6 Moderator Staff Member DBSTalk Club

    Nov 15, 2005
    Seattle, WA
    The DirecTV HR20 DVR is a considerably better, more comprehensive, and more capable DVR than is the Comcast Motorola DVR. It has much larger recording capacity.

    As a leased unit, if it fails you get a replacement for cost of shipping, which I think is $19.95.

    Yes. I have Comcast cable internet and DirecTV. As someone else noted, depending on your specific market your internet cost may go up if you do not have tv service. In my case, I would pay $10 a month more for internet without tv, but for an additional $2.50 I get "limited cable" which has all my locals (cost is $12.50, but I would already be paying $10 of that if I had no cable tv with my internet service). You have to decide if the cost is worth it.
    There are various mounting options, including bolt down, tripod, non-penetrating roof mount, pole in the ground, etc. Not all would be available as part of free installation.
    You need four coax cables from the dish to a multiswitch location (which can be outside). With the new, supposedly now available Single Wire Multiswitch (SWM), you would then only need one coax to your tv location. You would want to keep a separate coax for your internet.

    I think you will be happy with the HR20. My personal opinion is that it is worth the $200 or so you will have to pay. Others disagree. But DirecTV can't keep them in stock, the demand is so high, so don't expect a major drop in price.

    Good luck whatever you decide. And Welcome to DBSTalk!

  7. JLucPicard

    JLucPicard Hall Of Fame

    Apr 27, 2004

    Welcome to DBSTalk! :welcome_s I can tell you if advice on DirecTV is what you seek, there aren't any better places to look than right here.

    A lot of people balk at paying up front costs for what is a leased receiver. I can understand what they're saying, but before the lease, I was buying my D* equipment up front anyway so it's not really a philosphical change to me. On an ongoing basis, I don't pay anymore for leased receivers than I pay for the ones I own. I haven't had a box from Comcast since '96, so I don't know what their current pricing is, but I thought I've read here that what they charge over a two-year period is about the same as the one-time up front cost.

    Having typed that now I realize it's a hot button issue and feelings will be pretty strong on both sides. For my needs - which is all I can judge by - I'm fine with how D* does their business. Now, having said that, I whole heartedly agree with those who have advised to call D* and see if there is any better deal to be made.
  8. MikeR

    MikeR Hall Of Fame

    Oct 5, 2006

    +1. I pay $10 for the right to have internet without tv. But after the introductory cable pricing, I'd be paying much more, and I get more than I could get from Adelphia/Comcast.

    +1. I followed this forum for a while before I made the jump to the HR20 (and got the wife to agree). This site has really improved my enjoyment of using the equipment and D*. Great resources!

    I started with the basic system which at that time was a free HD receiver (H20). Now that I have DVRs, I wouldn't go back....but customer service may be more willing to make a "deal" after you have been a customer a little while. Depends on your customer rating, negotiation skills and the CSR you get.

    I'm happy with D* as they seem to be the leaders in adding programming and products. I never had that feeling when dealing with the local cable company (here's your box...enjoy).
  9. cnmsales

    cnmsales Hall Of Fame

    Jan 8, 2007
    Call them up and tell um you are a comcast cable customer interested in switching but dont want to pay the fee for the hr20. Trust me they would be more than happy to take some off to steal away a cable customer.
  10. heisman

    heisman Icon

    Feb 11, 2007
    Trust me, I've tried it 100x with no success.
  11. qdm

    qdm New Member

    Aug 11, 2007
    as to the equipment, I was told by a local installer, that in about 30 days you will only need one dish to get regular and HD tv instaead if the current 2 dishes. have any of you heard that, or is that some sort of sales talk. he did advise waiting on installation because he believed it.

  12. davring

    davring Hall Of Fame

    Jan 13, 2007
    If you live in one of the few markets that require a second dish it is because your locals are not carried on D* primary sat (101). I believe, even if you update to HD, you will still need the second dish. I also understand that with the new birds going up the need for the second dish may not be necessary in the future.
  13. carl6

    carl6 Moderator Staff Member DBSTalk Club

    Nov 15, 2005
    Seattle, WA
    It depends if your locals are on 72.5 or 119 (in either case, it could be a second dish - definately for 72.5, possibly for 119). If they are on 72.5 you will still need a second dish. If they are on 119, then either the 3-LNB or 5-LNB dish will receive them today.

    My guess is your locals are on 72.5, which means you need a second dish. That is likely to change in a year or two, but I would not expect significantly sooner. DirecTV first has to migrate existing MPEG2 HD off of 110 and 119 which will free up some room to move SD from 72.5 to 110 and 119. That should eventually happen, but as I said, I don't expect it very near term.

  14. nbajam

    nbajam Cool Member

    Jul 9, 2007
    Just wanted to add in that the new subscriber offer does NOT require Super Fan for Sunday Ticket HD games. Your local games would be on your OTA stations if you have locals in your market.
  15. Stuart Sweet

    Stuart Sweet The Shadow Knows!

    Jun 18, 2006
    I had an opportunity earlier this year to look at the Comcast HD DVR and I heard a lot of complaints about it. The recording capacity is something like 12 hours - not really enough and I thought the user interface was very primitive. I also thought the remote was sort of scattershot.

    I'm a big fan of the DIRECTV HD DVR. I've recommended them to friends and strangers. The 35-55 hour HD capacity is great and you can add eSATA drives if that's not big enough.

    The biggest thing, though, is that unless I'm unaware, there just isn't a user community dedicated to cable TV as there is here at DBSTalk for both DIRECTV and Dish. The people here are a huge asset.
  16. Redlinetire

    Redlinetire Icon

    Jul 24, 2007
    I've said this before, and now I'm saying it again...:D

    Don't forget when calculating the 'price difference' that Comcast charges a FCC/Franchise/PEG fee in most areas. In my region, it's $7/month. A fee that D* does not charge...
  17. raott

    raott Hall Of Fame

    Nov 23, 2005
    I've been using the Moto 6412/6416 extensively over the past month while we are living in temp quarters.

    For the most part, it is lousy compared to the HR20/R15 interface.

    IMO, the only plusses the Moto boxes have over the D* units is the moto box does have DLBs, the HR20 and R15 do not and the Moto box does not have limits on amount of series links and "to-do" list while both the HR20 and R15 do.
  18. MikeR

    MikeR Hall Of Fame

    Oct 5, 2006
    Don't know if this applies to you but.....apparently Comcast's Triple Play has a 24 month agreement as well
  19. qdm

    qdm New Member

    Aug 11, 2007
    thanks for the info guys. I will go ahead and let him install the 2 dishes(assuming I can convince him to climb up my roof to get HD line of sight!)
    thanks again
  20. rjdude

    rjdude Legend

    Mar 8, 2005
    I recommend that you try signing up as a referral from another D* customer. Both of you will get $50 credits ($10/mo over 5 months). The problem you have now is that D* is "pushing" NFL ST, and you get the free Premium programming package instead of equipment credits. A few months ago, you could have signed up as a referral and gotten another $100 credit to upgrade to either the H20 or HR20 (DVR). The $299 cost of the DVR was therefore only $149 then. My sister got another $100 credit for buying a new HDTV from Best Buy on top of that.

    You could wait later until NFL season winds down. I suspect the next wave of offers will come just in time for SuperBowl.
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