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Thinking of switching

Discussion in 'DIRECTV General Discussion' started by mystic7, Aug 31, 2011.

  1. mystic7

    mystic7 Icon

    Dec 9, 2007
    ok, unlike most of you I'm not a satellite fanatic. I like to watch tv but I don't stress over signal strengths and stuff. Anyway. times have been tough, and I have to cut down on expenses. I currently have Directv (100 bucks a month for choice extra, HD extra) and about 100 bucks a month for my phone and internet through the phone company (3 mgs download speed on the internet).

    Time Warner here in Charlotte, NC, in my area anyway, is all fiber optic up to the outside of the house. They offer every channel Directv does plus about 10 others (HD, that is). Total cost will be $102 per month (including phone and internet at 10 megs download speed) vs. $200.

    I don't care about NFL Sunday Ticket or any other Directv exclusives. So, will I be satisfied with Time Warner? Remember, I'm not a Directv devotee, but neither would I go to Dish Network. This Time Warner deal seems on the surface to be superior to what I'm getting from Directv as far as number of HD channels (plus every SD channel that I get with Directv), plus the fiber optic network is a plus (most areas are still copper if I'm not mistaken).

    Oh, and I'm also not picky when it comes to DVR programming difficulty, or guide GUI's, etc.

    If anyone has had previous experience with TW in the Charlotte area please do give me some input.
  2. syphix

    syphix Hall Of Fame

    Jun 23, 2004
    Everyone has to make their own budget. Do what you have to do in this economy to stay afloat, but check to make sure their price isn't an introductory offer even if it is for more than a year.
  3. mystic7

    mystic7 Icon

    Dec 9, 2007
    ok, so your only caveat right now is to make sure the price doesn't go up. Check. Thanks. We did discuss that. The guy I spoke with (face to face) said that they normally will make a new special offer as the old one expires. I'm pretty sure I'll be well back on my feet a year from now anyway. I'm more concerned with dependability of service, PQ, stuff like that. I was told they don't compress the signal from the distributor because they're 100% fiber optic, for example. If someone knows different, that's what I want to hear. I've got 2 days to cancel the order so I'll be checking this thread in the meantime.
  4. Inkosaurus

    Inkosaurus Icon

    Jul 29, 2011
    Did they break down the price for you after the promotion ends in case they dont give you the follow up offer?
    just a tad curious :)
  5. photostudent

    photostudent Godfather

    Nov 8, 2007
    I switched to Time Warner internet last year. Sales person gave me the same story, that I would be able to get another good deal when the year was up. The year is up now, my rate has doubled, and no way are they giving any deals to current customers. Still, if that is what you need to do to get by, do it. I just would not count on getting any discounts next year, and here in Raleigh TW normal rates are a lot more expensive than Direct.
  6. carl6

    carl6 Moderator Staff Member DBSTalk Club

    Nov 15, 2005
    Seattle, WA
    As to quality of service where you are located, the only people that can answer that are people that have the service where you are located. Knock on some of your neighbor's doors and ask if they have the service and are happy with it.

    Cable/fiber systems vary significantly from one geographic area to another.

    I would not expect you to get a new promotion after the first year. Is there a multi-year contract involved, or can you cancel without risk/cost at the end of the promo period (if you choose to do so)?
  7. Sep 1, 2011 #7 of 35

    dpeters11 Hall Of Fame

    May 30, 2007
    At least around here, TWC DVRs can only hold about 20 hours worth of HD. If that meets your needs, that's not a big deal.

    Even with fiber, it's got to be compressed somewhere I'd think. The hard drive would need to be huge to hold even 20 hours of uncompressed HD I'd think. Personally, I wouldn't think the DVR would do the compressing.
  8. Sep 1, 2011 #8 of 35
    Sgt. Slaughter

    Sgt. Slaughter Hall Of Fame

    Feb 20, 2009
    Id be surprised if you are fiber up till the home. Im here in raleigh and even with the new internet/tv package that offers redic speeds its not fiber to the home, still the reg coax right up to the splitter box.

    I will say though why pay that much for phone and internet through your phone conpany? TWC can easily beat that packahe and offer better speeds too. I pay 34/mo for TWC internet alone and have 15MBps dl speeds. There u save prolly 40/mo just doing phone and internet through them as im sure u could get that for 60/mo easy.

    I for one hate twc tv interface and they are always last to upgrade any features.

    As far as promotion goes as you can see im still not paying full pricefor my internet plan and thats been 4yr straight. The one thing with TWV is you easily can call when promo runs out and tell them you want to stay just at your original price and 99.9% time they do it.
  9. Sep 1, 2011 #9 of 35

    ATARI Hall Of Fame

    May 10, 2007
    I hear ya.

    When my wife's hours got cut earlier this year, I was considering switching to the all-in-one package that our phone company offers (with DISH). Would have saved about $70 a month.

    I really didn't want to switch, as I've gotten to like my HRs. So I looked at other things I could cut. I switch NetFlix to one disc at a time (there was $8). I called around and got a better deal on auto and home insurance (that was $50+). Then I switched from Starbucks to Starbucks Via (that was another $50+).

    So in the end I stayed with D*, and I'm still saving over $30 bucks a month due to other changes I made.
  10. mdavej

    mdavej Hall Of Fame

    Jan 30, 2007
    In my experience, cable is always more expensive than sat in the long run and offers lower quality and less content. I call BS on the compression. I've never seen worse compression than on cable (except youtube). You really need to see it at a friend's house for yourself. And bundles are also a sham. VOIP can be had for next to nothing or a cell phone / land line gateway like verizon home phone connect can be had for $10/month. To save money, my advice is to cancel D*. In three weeks you'll be inundated with new customer offers, which is currently $30/month off the first year and $15 off the second. Then switch to Dish in year 3 to continue getting $15 off. In 5 years, cable might be better quality and a more competitive price.

    EDIT: As soon as I posted this, I got yet another email offer from D* to come back. I kid you not. This time for $31/month off for a year.
  11. bidger

    bidger Hall Of Fame

    Nov 19, 2005
    Did you play the "going back to satellite" card? Seems hard to believe they wouldn't budge if so since they're having to deal with a rash of "cord cutters".

    I'm doing the one year special with TWC for TV and RR while DirecTV service is suspended. I'll reactivate after six months for a month and then suspend until just after the promo period is up. If TWC doesn't want to keep my rates low while retaining my current services, I won't add digital phone, then I'll step down to basic cable and a Cable Card for my TiVo HD and Internet. If in the interim there's an option to bundle Verizon LTE with DirecTV (I won't go back to DSL) in my area all bets are off. DirecTV has the better video service, though they do need to get back to expanding their non-premium HD lineup, but it's Internet that's my main concern.
  12. mystic7

    mystic7 Icon

    Dec 9, 2007
    Wow, I didn't expect THIS many replies. Thanks, guys. To answer some of your questions, no, I'm not on a contract, I can cancel at any time. I don't care how little their DVR's hold, I never DVR, it's more of a toy that my kid enjoys. As bidger says, I'm not going to cancel Directv, I'm just going to suspend the service until I'm sure I won't be going back.

    All in all after reading your comments I just might only go with internet and phone. I'll update as the situation changes. Thanks again for all the sound advice.
  13. mystic7

    mystic7 Icon

    Dec 9, 2007
    No, they didn't. I didn't ask because I will drop 'em like a hot potato if the price suddenly gets ridiculous. Anyway, let's see what happens. If I go with the whole bundle I'll report back here on my findings, to help some other poor shmuck in the future.
  14. bidger

    bidger Hall Of Fame

    Nov 19, 2005
    I'm almost a month into TWC/RR and here's the rundown:

    Background - I had TWC from 96 to early 2000. It was Paragon prior to TWC and I actually liked that service. Twice during the last year that NBC had Sunday afternoon NFL games, 1997, the NY Football Giants were not carried by the local affiliate when they hosted AFC teams due to Bills being the home market team. Started researching satellite and had it installed in Jan. 1998, day after the Super Bowl. My promo was a book of coupons that I could mail in with my payment to take a certain amount, can't recall how much off my bill. Might have been six months, might have been a year. USSB was still around and they offered Comedy Central and some other channels along with the premiums. Did without CC and the others until eventually they were on DirecTV, but I did some premiums with USSB. Even without the coupons I paid less than I do now. :eek2:

    I kept TWC for Lifeline cable after the DirecTV install and after picking up my first PC in August 1999, I called about a 1/2 price install and six month service promo for Roadrunner. Rep initially told me I qualified and I said I'd consider if, but 30 seconds after I hung up the phone rang and it was the same rep telling me she was in error. Because I was a Lifeline customer it would 2x the normal cost for install and service. Early the next year I terminated service with TWC after applying for CBS and FOX as distants.

    DirecTV years - While I had to live with dial-up :( , I was very happy with DirecTV as a provider. The equipment was night and day better than TWC. I could afford the extras like premiums, DVR, etc. and in late 2004 Verizon DSL became available in my location. When I inquired about bundling, the best Verizon would give me was $5/mo. off my bill. I found out later I should have been asking DirecTV for the bundle, but I'd see it every month on my Verizon bill so I logically thought they were the ones who'd OK it.

    Recently - DSL in my area tops out @ 1.5 Mbps down, so there's not much streaming you can really do with it. For years we heard about FIOS and after initially holding out hope, I came to the realization it wasn't likely. When Verizon started charging for my not using long distance on my landline, that was it. I ordered RR for $34.95/mo. for one year on the web. The difference was as big as going from dial-up to DSL! I knew that first week I couldn't go back. I dropped down to Choice Select after the promo period was over to compensate for the hike, but I entertained the idea of bundling.

    I called the local TWC office in late June and they offered the $79/mo. deal for TV and RR, Turbo free until next year. They brought the Cable Card for the TiVo that day, but no Tuning Adapter for the SDV channels. I used their box that first day, it's free for a year and after that it gets sent back. People b*tch about "Channels I Get" on the DirecTV boxes, but I've yet to find a way to take out channels I don't get or won't watch on the TWC cable box. I got the Tuning Adapter the Friday after the install, but it took me until that Sunday after finding a national TWC CC support number to get it functional. There were some issues @ first, but since the last firmware upgrade it's been rock solid. Honestly, if I didn't have the TiVo I would have called it off.

    I do think DirecTV has a better PQ and I see some artifacts occasionally on TWC HD channels, it's pretty good. TWC has done a really good job of adding HD channels. I will say that's not my primary motivation for trying TWC out, it's price and the fact that there's been some movement on Cable Card movement in so far as PC/Networked based tuners from Ceton and Silicon Dust and cable cos allowing self-installs.

    What do I miss about DirecTV? The DVRs since I have Lifetime Service and overall I like the DirecTV platform a smidge more than the TiVo and my NYC CBS and FOX HD feeds. I also miss the familiarity I have with channel locations on DirecTV. A couple weeks in I went to put on ESPN on the TiVo and found that 206 on TWC is a SD HBO channel. :lol:

    What do I like about TWC? The fact that I don't have to have a box in every room. I know at some point they'll go all digital, but maybe there will be cheap boxes to address that issue. The fact that it can be integrated into W7 MC, my personal fave DVR interface. The fact that if it doesn't work out I can keep basic cable and get my networks for less than $10/mo. since I can't get all the networks in HD OTA. Finally, HSI. I've been without it for years waiting for some other company to step up and offer it in my area. Well, they haven't and TWC stepped up and upgraded the lines in my neighborhood. That's the kind of thing that tells me you want my business. I also like some of the other steps I see TWC taking like the CEO admitting that HSI is their core business. Also, the Slingbox giveaway as a thinly veiled retaliation for the program providers reaction to TWCs iPad app.

    Summing up, in 2011 HSI is now my primary focus and TWC says it's theirs too. They can show me by making wideband available in my area because while my download speed is good (can always be faster though), my upload speed sucks @#$. I await your initial thoughts after the install mystic7.

    ETA: That brrrrip glitch that occurs in audio on a A/V receiver for some folks with DirecTV equipment happens a lot more frequently with the TWC feed through the TiVo for me than it ever did on my DirecTV equipment.
  15. mystic7

    mystic7 Icon

    Dec 9, 2007
    Thanks, bidger! Now that's what I call a review! I'm getting a bit concerned because TW doesn't have scoreguide, which my son loves, and their DVR only holds 20 hours (is that still the case?) My son is mentally handicapped and his social life is limited so I try to keep him as happy as possible. I will be with the installer and I will be hounding him (in a nice way, of course). I'll have him do the phone and internet first so I can question him about how much better their tv service might be these days, and in these parts as opposed to other parts of the country. I was told that they have practically every HD channel out there, but he didn't really say if they're available here in Charlotte, so I gotta remember all these nitpicky questions. Anyway, thanks again bidger!

    p.s. what is HSI?
  16. Tom Robertson

    Tom Robertson Lifetime Achiever DBSTalk Club

    Nov 15, 2005
    HSI is High Speed Internet.

    Good luck, mystic7 whatever you decide. From time to time I change phone carriers or insurance or grocery stores for reasons similar to why you're thinking of changing payTV. Competition keeps everyone honest. :)

  17. mystic7

    mystic7 Icon

    Dec 9, 2007
    **** TIME WARNER. I REPEAT....**** TIME WARNER!!!!

    What scumbags. I told them NOT to mess with the Directv cables and they cut off the connectors anyway. They tracked some black crap all over my rug and denied it, and it doesn't come out. The phone stopped working after 20 minutes, I just get a fast busy signal. I don't get E! or Weather Channel or YES Network in HD, they didn't hook my son's computer up, I had to do it myself. All in all I'm freakin' pissed and I want this garbage out of my house NOW!!!
  18. ThomasM

    ThomasM RF Engineer

    Jul 20, 2007
    Milwaukee, WI
    Be careful believing anything Time-Warner says.

    I hear horror stories all the time from my friends who can't get satellite for various reasons (apartment, no clear view of the sky, etc.).

    Time-Warner likes to quote prices and then when you get the bill it's a big surprise. Things never mentioned include the EQUIPMENT RENTAL (around here it's $7.95 per "box" and $9.00 for a featureless DVR PLUS the $7.95 "box" charge or $16.95 per month for ONE DVR!!). They even charge $.50 a month for a remote! Then there is the franchise fee (normally 5% of the total bill INCLUDING internet and digital phone).

    After the first year your rate will just about double. You could call in and complain but you'll NEVER get the same deal you got for the first year (this, unfortunately, is just like DirecTV, DISH, etc.).

    Think carefully before making a change. Perhaps one of the "unadvertised" packages from DirecTV would get you back within your budget. I'd give DirecTV a call and explain the situation and see what they offer.
  19. bidger

    bidger Hall Of Fame

    Nov 19, 2005
    How were you getting YES with Choice Extra? I never got any out-of-market Sports channels unless I was doing Premier. Did someone @ TWC tell you that YES-HD was a full time channel and you wouldn't need MLBEI to pick it up?

    It's odd that you're not getting E! or TWC in HD because I do in my market. And my installer never touched the satellite dish, the lines coming in, or the receivers. Same guy who installed Internet the year before, did quality work and neither created or left behind any messes.

    Did you sign off on the install when they were leaving? If so, did you do a walk-through with them to make sure everything was operational and looking good? You could call back and let their office know about the miscues and ask for a more experienced and thorough installer to come out and correct things @ no additional charge. If they refuse, take the equipment to their office and get a receipt for the return and cancel all services.
  20. mystic7

    mystic7 Icon

    Dec 9, 2007
    Directv had given me 6 months free Showtime for being a loyal customer. Well, my wife became a freakin' Twilight addict, watching all 3 movies over and over no matter how many times a day they were on. I seriously wanted to strangle her. So I called directv and told them to please get rid of my free showtime and replace it with YES Network for the remaining 3 months (minus the actual Yankee games). They "sold" me the Sports Pack for $7.95 per month or whatever it is, for 3 months, plus issued me a $25 credit so that I would have to pay anything out of pocket. That's how I got YES. Just a temporary thing.

    Anyway, now that I've calmed down from installation day aggravation, I must say the PQ with Time-Warner is much better, noticeably so, than Directv. I'm not saying this because I have TW now, I've never been a fanboy when it comes to this stuff. Anyway, I think I will stay with TW until the one year special price expires, and if they offer to renew the offer I will stay with them. I will keep you updated on the situation, but, yeah, after 3 days I see no more compression artifacts or audio brrrrrping than I got with Directv and the picture is definitely more vibrant. And I get almost every HD channel except Weather Channel HD and WGN HD, and frankly, since the Cubs are hardly ever on in the daytime anymore, that's no big loss. Oh, I get YES in SD, still waiting to hear what the deal is with YES HD.

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