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AllStar
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I currently have Digital Cable and DirecTV installed at my house. I have spent the last 2 days educating myself on Cable and D*. My local cable provider and D* make it almost impossible for you to compare services. Both companies stretch the truth when it comes to advertising the actual channels you will get. D* provides you with numbers including D* information channels. Cable gives provides you numbers including Music channels. I tried to sort through the crap and only listed true channels. If I over looked something from D* or Cable please feel free to provide additional detail. (Note: I'm sure this subject has been covered a thousand times before, as I needed to collect the information for myself so I could understand and compare the differences. I figured I would list the information in case someone else may find it useful?)

:eek2: = Service offered by provider, but not offered by competitor.
:mad: = Negative charges or service.
:) = Service that would be considered a very good deal.

What my Local Cable Provider offers (Insight Cable)

:eek2: Basic Cable (19 Channels)- ($11/per month)
Classic Cable (67 Channels & 3 Music)- ($33/per month)
Digital 2.0 (76 Channels & 49 Music) - ($46/per month) NOTE: This price includes the $5 lease of (Qty 1) cable box.
Digital 2.0 w/ DVR & HDTV (79 Channels & 49 Music) - ($54/per month) NOTE: This price includes the $5 lease of (Qty 1) cable box.
- includes ESPN2 HD, MHD, TNT in HD, ABC HD, CBS HD, NBC HD & PBS HD.
- must add a
Digital Choice (132 Channels & 59 Music) - ($58/per month) This price includes the $5 lease of (Qty 1) cable box. Each additional Cable Box lease are $8.
Digital Choice w/ DVR & HDTV (135 Channels & 59 Music) - ($66/per month) This price includes the $5 lease of (Qty 1) cable box.
- includes ESPN2 HD, MHD, TNT in HD, ABC HD, CBS HD, NBC HD & PBS HD.

add HD Pak (additional 5 Channels)- (add $8/per month)
- includes Discovery HD Theater, ESPN HD, HDNet, HDNet Movies & Universal HD.

add HBO -(add $13/per month)
add Showtime -(add $13/per month)
add Cinamax - (add $10/per month)
add Starz - (add $10/per month)
:eek2: add Karaoke - (add $7/per month)
:eek2: add WWE 24-7 - (add $9/per month)
- includes WWE, NWA, WCW, EWC and more

On Demand Movies (Over :) 3,000 titles)
- Movies ($3.99 each)
- New Releases ($6.99)

Interactive TV Features that cable provides at no charge (When you subscribe to Digital 2.0. and have a active cable box)
- Local/National Weather - View forecast, radar, and current conditions for local, regional and national weather.
- Local/National News - read local and national news
- Local Calender - Search for local attractions, Schools, Worship, Concerts, Events and more from your TV
- Local Dinning Guide - Search local area for restaurants and food
- Daily Horoscope - shows daily horoscope
- Soap Opera Schedule - Menu shows whats playing today
- Local Cinema Guide - Search local Cinema Theaters for movies and times
- Video Games - Play Trivia, Solitaire and Blackjack on your TV

Additional Charges
Add Digital Cable Box (add $5/per month/per Digital Cable Box)
- You must have a Digital Cable Box for every television to receive additional channels provided with the Digital 2.0 packages. If you do not add a Digital Cable Box to each television you will then only receive the service provided with the Classic Cable package (67 Channels). (Note: You do not have to purchace the Digital Cable Box, HD Box, Or DVR box. The only charges for this service are the monthly lease fee's.

:) - Customer may be elligable to recieve a ($8.33 per/month) discount on both Internet and phone service when services are bundled together.

*********************************************************

What DirecTV offers

Family Choice (47 Channels)- ($30/per month)
Total Choice (100 National Channels & 50 XM) - ($45/per month)
Total Choice Plus (114 Channels & 67 XM) - $50/per month
Total Choice Premier (192 Channels & 67 XM) ($100/per month)
- includes Showtime, Cinemax, Starz, Movie Channel, HBO, Comcast & FSN

add DVR - (add $6/per month)
add HD Package (7 HD National & 4 HD Local Channels )- (add $10/per month)
- includes Discovery HD Theater, ESPN HD, ESPN2 HD, HDNet, HDNet Movies, TNT in HD & Universal HD.
- includes (if avaliable in your area) ABC HD, CBS HD, NBC HD & Fox HD.

Add (1) Premium Movie Channel from below - (add $12/per month)
- Choose Showtime, HBO, Cinemax, Starz or Sportspack
Add (2) Premium Movie Channels from below - (add $23/per month)
- Choose Showtime, HBO, Cinemax, Starz or Sportspack
Add (3) Premium Movie Channels from below - (add $33/per month)
- Choose Showtime, HBO, Cinemax, Starz or Sportspack
Add (4) Premium Movie Channels from below - (add $41/per month)
Add all (5) Premium Movie Channels - (add $48/per month)
- Choose Showtime, HBO, Cinemax, Starz or Sportspack
:eek2: Add NFL Sunday Ticket 2006 Season- (add $174/per remaining weeks)
:eek2: Add ESPN Full Court: 2006-07 (add $99/per season)
:eek2: Add NBA LEAGUE PASS 2006-07 (add $199/per season)
:eek2: Add NHL Center Ice: 2006-07 (add $169/per season)
:eek2: Add ESPN Gameplan 2006: 2006-07 (add $129/per season)
:eek2: Add Setanta Sports (add $15/per month)
:eek2: Add PLAYBOY TV (add $16/per month)
:eek2: Add BabyFirstTV (add $10/per month)

Pay Per View Movies (only 76 titles)
- Movies ($4 per/movie)
:eek2: - High-Definition Pay Per View Movies, Channel 99 ($5 per/movie)

Interactive service is included with normal service (Requires a HR20, D10, D11 or R15 receiver)
- Weather
- Horoscopes
- Lottery results and Best Bets

Additional Charges
Add additional Receiver (add $5/per month)
- The first receiver is included in package price at N/C. Each TV requires a receiver to view programs.

:mad: Note: Requires a 2 years commitment with sign up or upgrade.

*********************************************************
DirecTV
:) Positive - 1) D* provides more Channels per package when compared to simular priced Cable packages, although the additional channels tend to be shopping, religious, and public interest. 2) D* offers a better selection of Sports Subscribtion Packages (including NHL CI, NBA LP & MLB EI) 3) D* offers more music channels than cable (so if you wanted NHL CI, NBA LP, or MLB EI you'd be out of luck.4) Better picture quality when there is a clear day and no clouds.

:mad: Negative - 1) Must have a receiver for each TV to view D*. To view Cable no Cable box is required, although you must have a cable box on each TV to view Digital Cable. Bothe Services charge ($5 per/month) for additional /receiver/box 2) Local cable provides more Interactive features including games, local news, calender of events ect.. 3) D* may provide a poor or no signal during extreme weather conditions, however newer dish's have been reported to be much better. 4) Cable offers real On Demand functionality. 5) D* DVR tuner (HR20) has been reported as unstable. The Cable DVR tuner (Motorola DCT6412) is reported to be rock solid.
 

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Legend
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Well, I guess it's good it is NEVER CLOUDY or RAINY in my area because I won't be able to watch TV. I guess watching Star Warz Sunday all weekend with it raining cats and dogs was my imagination. Get whatever wet's your twinkie, but don't spread untrue statements about clouds and signals. If you like your cable then stay with your cable and lose D*
 

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Beware the Attack Basset
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23,871 Posts
Depending on your cable provider and your programming requirements, you may from $9.95 per televison for a digital box.

When I did what you're trying to do, I made a table of the offerings of my local cable provider, DirecTV and Dish Network. With the new website designs it isn't quite as easy, but it was surprising to see the differences in packaging.

Suffice it to say that at this time DirecTV is not your High Definition friend.
 

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Hall Of Fame
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Daytoday, you are very fortunate to have cable that provides all that.

My wife's cousin got tired of the snowy picture on her cable, so she signed up for digital cable. Now instead of snow she gets a black screen.

I don't think cable will ever come near satellite in small towns and rural areas.
 

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ok with directv you will get DIGITAL service in every room so that means what ever package you pick you get that in every room, there is no analog so YOU GET MORE CHANNELS IN MORE ROOMS FOR LESS.

cable companies tend to brag because they can give you analog service w/o a box but then that limits the amount of channels you get. i don't know about your provider but my local cable provider charges $5.50 per digital receiver, with D* there is no charge for your first receiver, and $4.99 for the other receivers.

with a proper instillation you should have no "RAIN/WIND fade". last Sunday it was raining really hard and i lost no picture, i was getting 96% signal. its raining really hard right now and we have tornado watches all over the place and i still have perfect picture. so don't start with the rain/wind fade issues. (me personally i would recommend a pole mount instillation vs putting it on your roof.)

just look at my comparsions below of D* vs my local cable provider.

IF YOU INST RESTED IN ALL THE PREMIUM SERVICES TOTAL CHOICE PREMIER WOULD BE YOUR BEST PACKAGE. it offers ever thing and there is NO DVR service charge.

by the way what is your local cable provider and where are you located??


ATTACHED BELOW IS MY PERSONAL CHANNEL COUNT (**CHANNEL COUNT INCLUDES MY LOCAL LINEUP)
 

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Hall Of Fame
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daytoday said:
I understand that a the new dish's provide better reception in a heavy overcast. Can someone verify this to be true? Will a new dish eliminate the issue of losing a signal 100% when a storm rolls in and the sky turns pitch black?
No, there is no for-certain guarantee that you will not lose signal with heavy overcast. If you want clouds to NEVER be a factor, then satellite is not for you.

However, I had a 3LNB dish put in last July, which was replaced by a new 5LNB dish last month. The 3LNB dish occasionally would lose signal in its 3 months of use. In over a month, my family has never noticed the 5LNB losing signal. I know it CAN happen, but I don't think it happens as often.

In this area cable TV goes out during big storms anyway, and if it happens Friday evening, it is gone till Monday.
 

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Super Moderator
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A properly aligned dish, and good coax with no wet or corroded connectors, should give you service through almost all weather situations. I live in Seattle, and we are currently on track to have the most rain in one month ever recorded in the history of the city/state. I mean it has really been raining in this area the past few weeks (lots of flooding, etc.). I have not lost signal at all, even briefly, during even the heaviest of rain. That isn't to say that you won't experience a break in service in a heavy storm environment - it certainly can happen, but it should be fairly rare that it does.

As for weather alert/warning, if you live in an area that is subject to tornados or other fast developing severe weather, then you should probably have a separate weather radio with alert. I would not rely solely on my television service for adequate warning, but rather get it directly from the national weather service over NOAA radio.

As to comparing cable and satellite - I guess we all go through that exercise from time to time, I know I did. There are a number of variables involved - it's somewhat subjective. What serves your requirements best may not serve mine best, etc. Also, how many rooms you want service in, how many DVR's, etc., all will impact the price both from cable and satellite.

If you have specific questions regarding DirecTV service or equipment, the people on these forums will be glad to try to answer them.

Carl
 

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You may have forgot these. If you have an interactive directv box you can get:

1. 5 day local forecast, plus forecast for 5 other cities
2. Lottery results
3. Horoscope
4. Mix channels

Not really a big deal for me, but I guess some like these features.
 

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Legend
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A couple of other points:

Directtv makes you commit to 2 years when you sign up. With cable you can cancel anytime with no penalty.

The number of channels is not a good deciding factor; Look at the the cahnnels you will actually watch and compare the packages.

If you have high speed internet from the cable company, you may get a break in price with TV.
 

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AllStar
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
cariera said:
You may have forgot these. If you have an interactive directv box you can get:

1. 5 day local forecast, plus forecast for 5 other cities
2. Lottery results
3. Horoscope
4. Mix channels

Not really a big deal for me, but I guess some like these features.
This service looks simular to what Cable offers when you pay $5 extra for a Cabel Box. Can someone answer the following questions? Thanks!

1) Can someone explain to me what a interactive directv box? Is it something included on some receivers or is it a seperate box?

2) Is there an extra cost to receive this service from D*?
 

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the Directv ACTIVE service is included with the service the only requirment is the newest recievers. to my knowledge the following models are D* ACTIVE recievers

D10
D11
R15
HR20

for more specific information to go directv.com/manuals than click Directv models and see if you have any of these recievers.


 

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Banned
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The number of channels is not a good deciding factor; Look at the the cahnnels you will actually watch and compare the packages.
Ain't that is the truth! I don't get nearly as many channels with cable as I did with satellite, mainly because when it comes to shopping, religious, and public interest channels, in those three categories I get a grand total of 6 channels, as opposed to 20 or probably closer to 40 when talking about Dish Network. But I do get more HD channels with cable then DirecTV offers, I do get more premium movie channels, I do get real On Demand functionality, and I do get a rock solid DVR.

I live in a small rural town of about 2,000 households, and I had satellite TV for over 7 years, went back to cable this past winter and haven't looked back.
 

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Godfather
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306 Posts
Your a bit off on you assessment of weather conditions affecting satellite communications.

Otherwise, you have a win-win situation. Go either way and you'll be set.

You didn't put any sports subscription availability for your cable company, so if you wanted NHL CI, NBA LP, or MLB EI you'd be out of luck. Obviously NFL ST is exclusive to D*.

Good luck.
 

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Legend
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daytoday said:
dtv757,

Thanks for the input. Insight is our provider I live in the midwest.

Thanks!
insight suck ass, i had them here in columbus and the love to bash satellite all the while haveing numerious outages. I can even rember seeing a billboard on e dublin grandville rd (SR 161) saying, if you think its ugly now, just wait till it rain. then had their 866-4-insight number and logo.

btw to be bias i also had wow and they sucked too. some reason the cable providers in this area suck when it comes to price, reliablity, and quality.

i have had both e* and d* and have stuck with d* because its the better value, if you compare tc+ to insights digital service w/o and added packages you'll see d* is better. now with them rearranging stuff with Insight Digital 2.0 i dont know if that still remains the same.
 

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Legend
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125 Posts
jimbo09 said:
Your a bit off on you assessment of weather conditions affecting satellite communications.

Otherwise, you have a win-win situation. Go either way and you'll be set.

You didn't put any sports subscription availability for your cable company, so if you wanted NHL CI, NBA LP, or MLB EI you'd be out of luck. Obviously NFL ST is exclusive to D*.

Good luck.
not fully true except for nfl st. i had wow and they pushed the outher 3 heavely via their ppv ads for iNDemand Events.
 

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Hall Of Fame
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2,777 Posts
I have to chime in with the whole loss-of-signal thing. I'll echo what others here have said - it has to be a mother of a storm outside for us to lose our signal. Cloud cover doesn't do it... torrential rain doesn't do it. Heck a couple years ago we had something like 15 - 20" of snow in one storm (love them Nor'easters), my dish had an inch of snow laying in it, and we never lost our picture. I was truly amazed - and it's a good thing, too, since, unless I'm able to fly I ain't getting anywhere near my dish, especially with snow all over the place.

I can understand the concern, though. Around here, I had Comcast before switching to DTV. I had a concern with that as well - I asked a coworker who had DTV and her response convinced me "when you lose your satellite signal, it's gone for a couple minutes while the worst of a storm blows through... but when you lose a cable signal it's gone sometimes for days." She was right - we'd just recently had a cable outage that lasted something like 30 hours. I also love the "scare" campaigns from the cable companies - Comcast had a number of them, including a testimonial by a guy who swore off the dish after he had a battle with a tree in his yard and lost (the tree blocked the line of sight of the dish - so he chopped off branches). He referred to it as his "tree of shame" because it was totally denuded when he was done. Which got me thinking - the only way that stick in the ground could possible block a satellite signal is if the dish is directly behind it!

They also did a creative one - a guy stands next to a satellite dish. The voice over went something like this "This is what can happen when it snows..." You see the guy toss "snow" at the dish (cut out paper confetti), and the tv picture wigged out. "This is what can happen when it rains..." The guy spritzes the dish with water from a spray-bottle. The picture wigs out. "This is what can happen when it gets windy..." The guy is holding one of those small battery-powered fans... and the picture wigs out. "And this is what can happen for no reason whatsoever..." The guy just stands around with his hands in his pockets, and (you guessed it) the picture wigs out.

I also have to echo what others have said about comparisons - look at the channels you care about. See which offers the most of those, for the price your looking for. Also realize that if your cable company is like Comcast, it ain't fully digital. All of the most popular channels are still in analog - I'm amazed when I go over to a someone's house and they have "digital" cable - they'll put on ESPN and it'll look like crap. As for me - I have a friend who swears my 27" Sony Standard Def TV looks better than his HD with Comcast. The picture quality on that TV is surreal with DTV.
 

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Legend
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jpl said:
I have to chime in with the whole loss-of-signal thing. I'll echo what others here have said - it has to be a mother of a storm outside for us to lose our signal. Cloud cover doesn't do it... torrential rain doesn't do it. Heck a couple years ago we had something like 15 - 20" of snow in one storm (love them Nor'easters), my dish had an inch of snow laying in it, and we never lost our picture. I was truly amazed - and it's a good thing, too, since, unless I'm able to fly I ain't getting anywhere near my dish, especially with snow all over the place.

I can understand the concern, though. Around here, I had Comcast before switching to DTV. I had a concern with that as well - I asked a coworker who had DTV and her response convinced me "when you lose your satellite signal, it's gone for a couple minutes while the worst of a storm blows through... but when you lose a cable signal it's gone sometimes for days." She was right - we'd just recently had a cable outage that lasted something like 30 hours. I also love the "scare" campaigns from the cable companies - Comcast had a number of them, including a testimonial by a guy who swore off the dish after he had a battle with a tree in his yard and lost (the tree blocked the line of sight of the dish - so he chopped off branches). He referred to it as his "tree of shame" because it was totally denuded when he was done. Which got me thinking - the only way that stick in the ground could possible block a satellite signal is if the dish is directly behind it!

They also did a creative one - a guy stands next to a satellite dish. The voice over went something like this "This is what can happen when it snows..." You see the guy toss "snow" at the dish (cut out paper confetti), and the tv picture wigged out. "This is what can happen when it rains..." The guy spritzes the dish with water from a spray-bottle. The picture wigs out. "This is what can happen when it gets windy..." The guy is holding one of those small battery-powered fans... and the picture wigs out. "And this is what can happen for no reason whatsoever..." The guy just stands around with his hands in his pockets, and (you guessed it) the picture wigs out.

I also have to echo what others have said about comparisons - look at the channels you care about. See which offers the most of those, for the price your looking for. Also realize that if your cable company is like Comcast, it ain't fully digital. All of the most popular channels are still in analog - I'm amazed when I go over to a someone's house and they have "digital" cable - they'll put on ESPN and it'll look like crap. As for me - I have a friend who swears my 27" Sony Standard Def TV looks better than his HD with Comcast. The picture quality on that TV is surreal with DTV.
I have to agree with the above statement totally.

I live close to you and we have comcast, and besides the fact that if I wanted every single channel I have now with cable its would be much more expensive. Well let me correct that they hook you in for a few months and then the price jumps. I did apples to apples actually this year because I wanted to get howard TV and saw some of the triple play deals out there for cable/internet/voice.

I remember cable being $140 a month for everything I wanted with internet digital cable and voice. Which I pay $180 for all of that now. I thought that was a good deal but it was only for 6 months then I jumped up to $175 again which for $5 extra wasnt worth it to me to switch to comcast. Secondly I went back to D* told them I was thinking of switching and they gave me $20 off a month for 6 months so that was enough for me.

As for the signal now every cable provider is different, but with cable here they are the worse with outages. There was a power hit yesterday and I was out for 30 minutes on internet so I assume the TV was out to, but since my HT system is on battery backup I could still watch D*. And forget if the cable goes out on Friday after 5 pm, people want to talk about D*'s customer service, try calling and getting an answering service to log a problem in. I remember a while back watching the Stanley Cup finals and my Digital (which didnt look that good) cable went out for an entire day.

Sorry for the rant, I just have an inate hatred for comcast after being screwed by them for years mostly to do with outages which is funny because that is the thing they claim is better then D*.

Also picture quality, my friends HD on his cable looks great, but his SD channels leave very little to be desired.
 

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Godfather
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rirwin1983 said:
not fully true except for nfl st. i had wow and they pushed the outher 3 heavely via their ppv ads for iNDemand Events.
I checked your post, you didn't mention the sports subsciptions being offered by your cable company. If they do, fine. I'm not saying they don't , just that you didn't mention it in your original post. I only went by what you posted.
 

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AllStar
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71 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
jimbo09 said:
I checked your post, you didn't mention the sports subsciptions being offered by your cable company. If they do, fine. I'm not saying they don't , just that you didn't mention it in your original post. I only went by what you posted.
Jimbo09,

The cable service used was (Insight Cable) from the midwest. It does not offer the sports packages that D* offers. If a subscriber is a Big Sports Fan, then D* is the way to go. D* has a great selection of premium sports channels that you can pay extra for.

Thanks!
 
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