I have to agree with the above statement totally.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 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.