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VOD comparison Cable versus DirecTV.

Discussion in 'DIRECTV Connected Home' started by jtn, Nov 5, 2007.

Cable TV versus DirecTV on quality of programming and realiablity.

  1. Cable TV (Comcast) VOD has programming equal and reliable streaming versus DirecTV

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  2. DirecTV VOD has programming equal and reliable versus Cable TV (Comcast)

    100.0%
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  1. Nov 5, 2007 #61 of 129
    Ryanm86

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    I am amazed to see that this thread isn't closed yet. Its pretty ridiculous to start a topic such as this.
     
  2. Nov 5, 2007 #62 of 129
    chrpai

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    I don't know.... I'm new around here, but personally I don't like it when the owner is that involved in every thread. I remember Earl back in the Tivo forums and I love what he's done with the CE/Beta stuff.... but I get a little weary when the facilitator is so strongly opinionated and involved in every single thread.

    I was on another board for a few years and one day I PM'd a moderator asking why something really innocent was deleted. Never recieved a reply except `banned`. Ohwell, I guess that's the way of boards these days...
     
  3. Nov 5, 2007 #63 of 129
    vollmey

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    I'll put my vote in, I have never had a problem with VOD/DOD. My HR20-700 is on a wireless connection, give it a minute or so an I can watch a movie or show with out catching up with the dowload.

    Works great.
     
  4. Nov 5, 2007 #64 of 129
    Ryanm86

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    Shhh "Those We Don't Speak Of"
     
  5. Nov 5, 2007 #65 of 129
    Earl Bonovich

    Earl Bonovich Lifetime Achiever

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    FYI.. I am not the owner...

    Umm... I haven't banned or deleted anything...
    Can't I be a passionate hobbiest... and also be a moderator ?

    Or does becoming a moderator mean I can no longer have an opinion on something?
     
  6. Nov 5, 2007 #66 of 129
    Steve Mehs

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    Pretty much. :D When I was an Administrator here, I wasn't nearly as vocal or opinionated about anything as I am now. Not that I didn’t go off every now and then, but lot of people expect admins and mods not to have opinions and I played into that.
     
  7. Nov 5, 2007 #67 of 129
    Earl Bonovich

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    Okay...

    If you have an issue with the way I comport myself, or think I have violated a rule of the site... report the post... or PM my forum boss... Chris Blount


    :backtotop
     
  8. Nov 5, 2007 #68 of 129
    chrpai

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    Sorry for bringing it up....
     
  9. Nov 5, 2007 #69 of 129
    Earl Bonovich

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    No big deal... it isn't the first time... isn't going to be the last...
    If you are thining it... I am sure someone else is as well.
     
  10. Nov 5, 2007 #70 of 129
    Sharkie_Fan

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    Why should they have tested it any further? It's a BETA. They're allowing any Larry, Moe, or Curly to test it for them.

    Are there bound to be problems... absolutely, that's sort of the nature of a BETA test.... and kind of the point - to try and weed out the problems.

    And, besides... without having followed the DOD threads REAL close, the threads I've read, the "I have's" far outweigh the "Have Nots".... Not that there aren't those (yourself included, it would seem) who are having problems, but it would seem that the majority is working.
     
  11. Nov 5, 2007 #71 of 129
    jpl

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    Cool - thanks, Earl. Call me a geek, but I just find this stuff interesting. I like understanding how these various providers architect their systems, especially a tough nut like 'how does a dbs company provide an on-demand service.' Like I said, I think this is a hard one for a dbs company to offer, and I give them credit for putting it together.
     
  12. Nov 5, 2007 #72 of 129
    Steve Mehs

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    I have no experience with DirecTVs Video On Demand or Comcasts Video On Demand, but I will share some opinions on what I have experienced with Time Warner over the past year and a half.

    VOD is something I never understood the hype of until I went back to cable, to me a DVR was always good enough. But after using it, Video On Demand really compliments DVR service very nicely.

    Structure:

    I feel Time Warner organizes the content very nicely, for example we have a channel called 'Kids On Demand' which features content from Nick, Noggin, PBS Kids and BBC Kids and 'Lifestyles On Demand' which features content from HGTV, DIY and Food Network. Some channels are not combined like CNN, Court TV and the premiums, altogether I believe it's about 30 individual channels of On Demand with content from probably about 50 different channels.

    Content:

    Content is pretty good for the most part. Some of it doesn't get updated very often, but some of it is always changing. The premiums are probably the most dynamic. Due to the amount of shows I record on Monday nights, when the fall season started, I removed Californication from my Scheduled Recordings and just watched it on Showtime On Demand. New episodes were added the following day. I also watched the entire season of Dexter on Sho on Demand. The movie selections are also pretty good. I used to watch South Park on Comedy Central on Demand and Crank Yankers and The Man Show on G4 On Demand, the same episode would stay in the library for weeks on end.

    It is disappointing that there is no regular HD On Demand programming, all HD On Demand is current movies at $3.95. The equivalent to HD PPV on satellite.

    Quality/Reliability:

    Out of the probably 100+ times I’ve used the On Demand functionality, getting content was always quick, usually takes about 15 seconds to start. Only three times did I get an error, once was due to a VOD server crash, the other two I have no idea. Picture quality is on par with the rest of my cable line up. The premium channels are at a higher resolution. Watching something HBO On Demand it looks like your watching in on HBO. G4 is at a lower rez and compressed more, and G4 On Demand content is the same way.

    Gripes:

    Slow fast forward, no time progress bar and if it’s paused to long it takes you back to the main VOD library. You can pick up at the point it was paused at, but it can be annoying at times.
     
  13. Nov 5, 2007 #73 of 129
    jpl

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    Steve, your experience lines up very nicely with mine. When I was with directv, and comcast launched VOD, my first thought was 'they can keep it... my dvr works just fine!' Then I left directv, and went to fios, and I have to say, I wouldn't give it up willingly. It's the reason I won't get a tivo - I don't want to give up VOD.

    I agree with much of what you wrote. I think Verizon does a pretty good job with organizing their VOD, for the most part. I love the fact that they have lots of kids shows on there, but it would be nice if they had more episodes of some of those shows, and if they updated them more often.

    I have yet to get HD VOD at all - Verizon is adding it, in limited capacity, this year. VA already has it, and I can't wait until we get it. My gripes are the same as your's too - that you can't ffwd beyond the first speed is a big nit in my opinion, and navigating is painful (I'm looking forward to Verizon's new IMG guide s/w which lets you search on VOD titles, as well as 'bookmark' the ones you want to watch). One other nit - I really wish Verizon would learn to take credit for stuff they've done. They add stuff to VOD all the time, but you would never know about it. And Verizon's architecture is very different than everyone else's with regard to VOD. They run VOD via their IP feed - it goes through my router, even though it's fed in real time. As a result, I've had some very minor issues only once or twice (pause too long, e.g, and you lose the connection - hit play again, and the connection - which only takes about 3 - 4 seconds - has to get reestablished -- there was one time where it wouldn't reconnect... and I had to get out, and resume play -- they put any recent viewings on a recently viewed list, and you can resume where you left off just like with a recording).

    Even with all of its limitations, I really love that VOD service - in particular:

    - I love the fact that episodes of shows are on VOD. I found out that I can get rid of my series for shows like Monk and Psyche... and I've caught every episode of Bionic Woman through the NBC VOD offerings.

    - I have their movie pack, and I've found that I watch more movies on Starz VOD than I do via a live feed, or even recorded on my DVR.

    - I particularly love the fact that it gives a provider more options. We keep getting feeds for channels that fios doesn't currently carry, e.g. Those in VA now get History HD feeds, and we now have feeds for channels like Illusion, Lime (whatever the heck THAT is), and FEARnet (I wish I would have known about that one on Halloween night when my wife and I were in the mood for a good horror movie).

    - I also really like the fact that it gives you the ability to watch stuff without the need for a DVR. Get a standard STB, and you can watch stuff on demand too - including having the ability to pause, rwd, and ffwd.
     
  14. Nov 5, 2007 #74 of 129
    Sharkie_Fan

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    I've never had cable VOD from any provider, but I agree with you that the VOD concept is a nice compliment to my regular programming.

    I've had a few weekends where we didn't have anythign recorded from the week and so I downloaded a couple of episodes of Biography, or a few cartoons from 'Adult Swim' on the Cartoon network.

    A couple of times I started the download and walked away, but a few times I had company over and they said "You've got to check out this show", and we looked it up and happened to find an episode on VOD and started the DL, and within 30 seconds or so, we could start the show playing, and the DL stayed ahead of the playing...

    I do think that the interface is a little "clunky" yet... it just doesn't feel smooth, and I'm not sure I can put my finger on EXACTLY what I don't like about it, but the concept is pretty cool, and so far, the implementation, for me, anyway, has worked pretty well.
     
  15. Nov 5, 2007 #75 of 129
    dervari

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    AT THIS POINT IN THE GAME I can't believe anyone is voting for D*. I love it as much as everyone else, but when it comes to quality of programming Comcast blows D* out of the water. Miss CSI and need to catch up? Got D*? Sorry.

    The download time is also a factor. It took me over an hour to download a 24 minute Family Guy episode. I hate to think of how long a 40 minute HD series episode is going to take. And no, it's not my network. I routinely get 6-8mb/s downloading from Usenet.
     
  16. Nov 5, 2007 #76 of 129
    vollmey

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    It's got to be your ISP or your network. I run my HR20 via a Buffalo wireless adapter and I have never once caught up with the download if I give it a minute to start. What's G wireless 3Mbps max???

    I have used both Cox's VOD and D*'s now. Besides HD content which I am sure will happen and no HBO yet, there is not much difference.

    Edit: If Comcast has Primetime networks like CBS for CSI, etc... That would be something that D* really needs to get on board with, that would be nice.
     
  17. Nov 5, 2007 #77 of 129
    DrEricCarlson

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    Since you believe the majority of users are having problems I want to be one to report that I have no problems with DOD and I haven't since day one. I have downloaded many programs (not all 2180) but not one has failed or had any problems. I think people post more often when they have problems then when things work well for them.

    I voted for DOD over comcast as the one time I saw someone try to use comcast VOD it had some connection problems (failed twice during playback). Therefore by your logic the majority of comcast users must have problems based on my sample size. But really you want to compare a Beta product to one that has been out in the market for a while? You don't like DirecTV's implementation and think they should have waited until it got better? here's a solution, don't use it until it no loner a Beta then you can compare and complain to your hearts content. Until then this comparison makes no sense. just my 2cents

    -DrEric
     
  18. Nov 5, 2007 #78 of 129
    chrpai

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    I think part of the disconnect in user experience here is the fact that DirecTV is relying on public and private networks to deliver content. Depending on the quality of these components there is going to be a whole lot of YMMV. Cable companies are also using networks to deliver VOD but the difference is they control the video streaming, the node, the bandwidth and there is no consumer private network to deal with since they are talking IP straight to the cable box.

    Does everyone have major problems? No. Does everyone have perfect success? No.

    That said, I've got 6MB FTTP ( wish it was more... damn AT&T ) and a brand new house with structured wiring including drops to my XBox 360, HR20-100 and A2. I find that my DirecTV VOD works awesome and that my XBox 360 Live Video Market Place works pretty good. Watching shows off netflix online works pretty good also.

    I could imagine other people with perhaps slower or less reliable internet connections, wifi bridges over 802.11b and other people having different, less positive experiences though.
     
  19. Nov 5, 2007 #79 of 129
    miksmi21

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    Just got into Dod as of Friday because i'm a 100 Nation member and missed the first run to get a CE that had it available. I've had D* for over a year now, but before this, I had Charter Cable. What a horrible service that Charter is. Lack of channels, overpaying for standard package channels....Geesh...but anyways...to my thoughts....and sorry if someone commented on comparing Charter VOD with D* Dod.

    Charter was relatively quick to stream/download it's VoD, however, didn't have a lot of content. Which sorta holds true with their service in general. They have a bunch of channels that are missing, or were stripped (NFL Network), etc. Meanwhile, don't get me started on their internet service which I still sadly have and still has the slowest speeds on the planet short of dial up....but anyways.

    In my short time having DoD, I notice the speed of initial kickoff of the video is a bit slower....enough for me to freak...no...but I think this also has to do with my shotty network speeds coming from Charter. I would love to get Fios in here...but not available in my area. Sadly Charter cable is my only choice where I live. 3MB service for $40 a month...what a sin.

    But anyways. So far so good with DoD. Just keep em coming. I'd love to see a bit mor channels go active with DoD content....probably by the time it goes Live to the country perhaps. :)
     
  20. Nov 5, 2007 #80 of 129
    spartanstew

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    There's something wrong with your connection.


    2 weeks ago I downloaded one of the HD programs available. I don't know exactly how long it took, but I started watching it about 10 minutes into the download and watched the whole thing all the way through.

    For what it's worth, I've had no problems with the DOD service.


    Also, what's with the poll options? They're the exact same:

    1. Comcast is equal to D*
    2. D* is equal to Comcast.



    I'll also ask the same question I've asked before: What's your agenda jtn??? You join the forum and in one month spend every waking moment here (to the tune of 40 posts per day), either criticising Earl or D* or the equipment. What's your problem?
     
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