DBSTalk Forum banner
Status
Not open for further replies.
1 - 20 of 35 Posts

·
New Member
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm currently a Dish Network customer, but I'm thinking about switching to Time Warner digital cable. I wanted to see what you guys thought. I am new to DBSTalk, so if I'm repeating something that's been hashed out before, I apologize.

I currently have one HDTV ready TV (a Philips 34" 16:9 TV) and one regular 27" TV. I have one Open TV receiver (can't remember which one, but I've had it for about two years) and one more basic receiver. I've thought about upgrading to a PVR model such as the 501, or the 721 once it comes out. I've also thought about getting a 6000, but I don't want to spend the money and more importantly, I (or more particularly, my wife) doesn't want to have a 2nd dish mounted on our house in suburbia. I have also thought about switching to Direct TV to get TIVO or Ultimate TV at the new subscriber specials. As far as I know, no one sells a HD/PVR product, but at least with Direct TV, I wouldn't have to have a 2nd dish mounted and I could maybe get one HD box and PVR box.

I've got Time Warner digital cable in my area, and they have offered me the following:
1) current availability of an HD box (rather than being put on a waiting list), with six currently available HD channels, including PBS, CBS, NBC, HBO and Showtime
2) their Digital Variety package (which has more TV and music channels I believe than the Top 100) including HBO and Showtime for 12 mos. for $42, as well as free installation for 3 outlets. I would pay an extra $8 for a second box, so a total of $50 + taxes for the two premiums plus a lot of channels for 12 mos. Regular pricing is $73 + tax.
3) I have the option of selling my dish and a receiver to them for $100.
4) they claim that in June, they will start offering view on demand services with their current boxes; they said it will start with classic movies, then HBO, then other channels, etc. for a relatively nominal fee, and I would be able to rewind and fast forward according to the rep (they have been testing this in two smaller markets in NC and once they work out the final bugs, they plan to bring it to Charlotte, NC)

I would love to get both the PVR technology and HD at a reasonable price, and I'm not very technical or handy (I'm not asking for a lot, am I).

A couple of questions:

1) Do you think I should switch?
2) How is the picture and sound quality on digital cable compared to Dish?
3) If I go with TW, should I sell them my dish and a receiver (my most basic one) for $100?

Your thoughts are appreciated.
 

·
Legend
Joined
·
217 Posts
My suggestion is for you to stay where you are at with Dish. Although the prices in my area are about the same with DBS and Digital Cable (with Digital Cable having 175 channels), you will be sorely disappointed with Digital Cable. The EPG looks terrible compared to the EPGs of DirecTV and Dish. Also....my observations with the sound quality of DC is subpar compared to Dish and DirecTV. The PQ is about equal though with digital cable and DBS, IMHO.

One more thing: if you do go with TW, you may end up getting locked in another contract. Insight Communications now has a deal such as TW where you trade in your receivers and dish for $100, but the catch is that you have to sign a one year contract (in some cases....2 years). So, if you do decide to change your mind and go back to Dish, you'll probably be hit with a big penalty for breaking the contract.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
11,498 Posts
Welcome to DBSTalk Mhorn :hi:

Wow, what a first question :)
If you are generally happy with E* I would say stay with them, Perhaps if a neighbor has digital cable and you could check out the a/v quality, since digial cable systems vary in quality. Personally I would try DirecTV before digital cable. And if you cant convice your wife to allow the extra dish DirecTV may be your only option along with cable, for HD offerings. Your cable system has a strong HD offerings but if you can recieve the locals OTA and sub to showtime and HBO on DBS that would negate the HD channel differences. Sorry I couldnt offer much guidence but this is a hard question to address, the best thing is to try out digital cable at a neighbors house to see if thats what you really want. If you do go with cable I wouldnt let them take and of you satellite hardware, just for future security but if you decide to stick with cable you can always sell your DBS equiptment down the road. Best of luck to you!
 

·
Godfather
Joined
·
265 Posts
I really like the HD offerings on your cable system. You didn't mention if there is installation fee or any commitment you must sign with the cable company. If there isn't, I would definately give them a try. As far as selling your dish to TW, you can put your receivers on Ebay and get around $100 each for them anyway after your up and running with TW if your happy with them and feel you no longer need them.
 

·
Your Neighborhood Liasion
Joined
·
12,527 Posts
I also really like the HD offerings that your local cable has available, and frankly, if mine had the same, or more HD channels than I get with Dish, I'd probably seriously consider jumping back to cable myself. But, as that's not the case, I'm pretty firmly entrenched in Dish. I think the bottom line really comes down to what you want in terms of programming. If your cable is decent in your area, you may end up with a better PQ than with Dish or Directv, but you really should try to see it before you commit to anything. And be sure to read the fine print everywhere - you don't want to get locked into a contract that you can't get out of.

As for selling the dish equipment to the cable co, I would recommend that you hold onto it until you are sure that you don't want to switch back to satellite. At that point, as has been mentioned above, you wouldn't have any trouble selling it for more than the $100 the cable co is offering.

That's my $0.02...
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
6,968 Posts
I hope Dish Network and DirecTV pay attention to this thread.

I origionally subscribed to Dish Network because of its HDTV offerings.

I called my cable company and asked about HDTV and they told me that yeah they have it, they then told me that their Digital Cable has lots of channels, all Digital. They had no idea there was a difference from HDTV and Digital Cable. Infact one time I called and asked about HDTV and was told "HGTV is on Channel 23"

Now I notice that cable TV is begining to roll out HDTV, they know they have lost some of their best customers to DBS because of HDTV. They will start working hard to try to get them back.

I must say that if they can give me more HDTV then I get from DBS including my locals, I would probably say bye bye satellite TV.

DBS lately has been too much of a headache, at one time having satellite meant you were going to get all the channels you can't get on cable, now it seems opposite, my cable company now has channels long before they are seen on DBS.

Something is wrong with this picture. DBS needs to take a step back and look. They have gone from great technoligy and programming providers to being just cable tv from the sky.
 

·
Hall Of Fame/Supporter
Joined
·
6,526 Posts
While some cable systems are reported to be superior to DBS, the majority of them still aren't. The best advice given here is to "try before you buy". This also is true for folks considering to switch from cable to DBS.
 

·
Hall Of Fame
Joined
·
2,027 Posts
Well. if the cable company is offering an HDTV box in that price, with $8 for a second box, that's quite a deal. With E* you would have to pay upfront a 6000 plus the HDTV module, plus pay for an additional switch and dish to see the 61.5 location, plus pay for a "complex" install (the installer is gonna be drooling as he writes up your estimate :) ), plus $5 a month for the E* receiver mirror fee.

I like my Dish network, but for HDTV, that's a lot of upfront costs to get HD from E* that would take years to recoup those costs versus cable's low up front price. And as long as the cable guys don't make you sign a long term contract, why not do it at least until the discount for the first couple of months is over....
 

·
New Member
Joined
·
8 Posts
I was just thinking about this, and there is a way to have your 61.5, and not add any extra structure penetrations. Wyngard and a few other companies make mounts that attach themselfves to the traditional dbs mount for use with ota antennas. They attach where the dish bolts onto the mast. I have used these mounts for about a year now and they work great for this purpose, and also if needed, could be used to add another dish without drilling any further holes into your house, roof, etc.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
11,498 Posts
Originally posted by Scott Greczkowski
Infact one time I called and asked about HDTV and was told "HGTV is on Channel 23"
Now that's pathetic
 
G

·
Originally posted by Steve Mehs


Now that's pathetic
I think that cable will destroy dbs in a few years. Cable has the bandwidth to eventually have ALL HD Locals in a DMA, and dbs will probably never have the bandwidth to have HD locals in all 210 DMAs even if there's a merger. This experiment of having locals on dbs is going to fail bigtime when cable companies have all HD locals in a DMA.
My cable company already offers 2 more HD channels than Dish does, and in 3 or 4 years, my cable company will probably offer all the HD locals in my DMA. I just don't see how dbs can compete after that.
People just don't want to put a rooftop antenna on their roof and that's why people get locals on dbs now when most of these people could easily get superior picture quality than dbs on their locals just by putting an antenna on their roof.
 

·
Hall Of Fame
Joined
·
2,027 Posts
Interesting comment about theory of DBS not having a business plan beyond the next couple of years. :) I wonder how HDTV locals will get to my area of remote eastern Oregon? Currently, there exists some sort series of "mad scientist looking" terrestrial microwave antennas that beam the signal from Portland over the mountains to us. Our over the air service consists of broadscast strengths that would more appropriately be measured in "candle" power. I can't imagine that a bunch of aged microwave towers will have the excess capacity to scale up to HDTV bandwidths.

So we might only be able to get digital locals off satellite...
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
11,498 Posts
I really do hope we never see a lot of local HD on DBS, Im still pissed about regular locals...
 
G

·
I have both digital cable (thru Time Warner) and the Dish System.... To be honest, the digital cable has a better picture than on Dish.... The digital cable offers all the sports packages (MLB,NHL, NBA, etc.) except NFL..... I'm thinking seriously of dropping the Dish Network.... When I got it a few years back, I was under the impression that my locals would be added because of the 500 system.... Well several years later and they still have no plans of adding my locals..... One more thing, last friday nite we had a tremendous thunderstorm, the dish went off for a while but the cable stayed on including the digital cable..... One more thing to consider, you do not have to buy any equipment when Time Warner updates it's system (HDTV,digital, or anything).... With the Dish, you will have 20 dishes on your roof in few years to get all the channels..... Just my thoughts.... Yes, I'm disappointed with Dish.... I keep hearing everytime they launch a satellite that the picture will improve but it seems to stay the same in my opinion.....
 

·
Icon
Joined
·
701 Posts
Originally posted by Keith4USC
With the Dish, you will have 20 dishes on your roof in few years to get all the channels..... Just my thoughts.... Yes, I'm disappointed with Dish.... I keep hearing everytime they launch a satellite that the picture will improve but it seems to stay the same in my opinion.....
You obviously don't understand that Dish and DirecTV only hold licenses for a few orbital slots 119,110, 101 all can be received by one Antenna a DirecTV Parados Dish. and the each side slot 148 and 61.5 would require a single dish for each slot. So at the most you could have 3 Dish's on your roof to receive every single channel if the DirecTV and Dish merger goes through. With that said it is extremely unlikely that both 61.5 and 148 would be required to receive core service or any other channels except for maybe more PI channels and extra cost Foreign channel services.

Since all Dish and DirecTV's proposed launches are to their current slots each company holds licenses why would we need any other extra dishes. Even if the merged company offers Broadband Internet service the proposed satellites are in the same arc viewable with the DirecTV Para Dos Dish.

JOhn
 

·
Mentor
Joined
·
46 Posts
I wish everyone would just be patient regarding PQ on Dish. Remember, E8 is launching very shortly and the PQ will improve. Frankly, in my opionion, I don't think the PQ is all that bad right now (at least on my 27" Philips TV), considering the compression rate. I don't doubt that it's much worse on large screen televisions but again, let's just be patient and it will improve soon.

In regard to digital cable, I have seen the PQ on Time Warner's digital cable here in Syracuse, NY and I'm not impressed, and the cost is rediculous, at $55.10 a month for basic digital service! A lot of people seem to forget about the almost annual cable rate increases that were always way above the rate of inflation. In my situation, the rate increases were the main reason I dropped cable for DBS back in '99.

Personally, I would rather pay $31.99 than $55.10 any day. Even AT150 is cheaper than TW! As for locals, in my area, I can receive them OTA just fine but, when they are on Dish (and they eventually will be) I'll add them to my service and still be cheaper than digital cable.
 

·
New Member
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Thanks for all the input.

At least here in Charlotte, Time Warner has special HDTV (not HGTV :)) representatives, who are regular customer service representatives for at least a couple of years before becoming HDTV reps. As far as the three that I have spoken with, two were quite knowledgable.

A coworker of mine is a D* and TW customer, but he is switching to TW completely as he just got a 16:9 Widescreen. At first, they weren't giving him any great deals for dropping D* (since he was already a TW customer), but with some cajoling, he has next day installation of an HDTV box, $50 some dollars for all channels (all the premiums) plus $8 for an extra box. No installation charges for up to 3 outlets. Not sure about whether there's a contract. I'll see how my coworker likes it. I will also be checking out the PQ on a neighbor's system this weekend.

When I signed up for E*, I was really impressed with the Program Guide, picture and sound (especially compared to regular cable). Cable (at least here) has come along way.

Thanks again for all the comments.
 

·
Hall Of Fame
Joined
·
1,660 Posts
A friend of mine switched from D* to Comcast digital cable and frankly I am not impressed. The pq on the digital channels are about = with E*, however many of the analog channels are grainy, of the non-premium channels 65 are these grainy analog channels and only about 30 or so are digital. I have an old E* 2000 receiver and it has a better epg then Comcast digital and no commercials on the E* epg. Comcast Digital Plus with the 65 channel Preferred analog service which is similar to AT150 but with less total channels will set you back about $55 per month. Finally Comcast around here seams to do a rate increase at least 2 or 3 times a year VS 1 rate increase every 1-3 years for E* and D*.
 
G

·
Originally posted by jmeluni
I wish everyone would just be patient regarding PQ on Dish. Remember, E8 is launching very shortly and the PQ will improve. Frankly, in my opionion, I don't think the PQ is all that bad right now (at least on my 27" Philips TV), considering the compression rate. I don't doubt that it's much worse on large screen televisions but again, let's just be patient and it will improve soon.

In regard to digital cable, I have seen the PQ on Time Warner's digital cable here in Syracuse, NY and I'm not impressed, and the cost is rediculous, at $55.10 a month for basic digital service! A lot of people seem to forget about the almost annual cable rate increases that were always way above the rate of inflation. In my situation, the rate increases were the main reason I dropped cable for DBS back in '99.

Personally, I would rather pay $31.99 than $55.10 any day. Even AT150 is cheaper than TW! As for locals, in my area, I can receive them OTA just fine but, when they are on Dish (and they eventually will be) I'll add them to my service and still be cheaper than digital cable.
I think that E8 will only be like throwing a few cups of water in a dry lake bed. It will not make enough difference in picture quality. The picture quality was very bad(much worse than my analog cable and ota) even before must carry, and it was at just unimaginably horrible levels after must carry. They did make slight improvements from going from 3/4 FEC to 5/6 FEC(at least that's how I think they say it).
E8 will be a start, but it should ONLY be the first step in a thousand mile journey, because that's how far the E's picture quality has to improve to be great.
E should have at least a laserdisc quality picture on standard def channels like they originally promised. E has an INCREDIBLY long way to go since on NBA games my analog cable has 6 times better picture quality than Dish in my opinion due to the INCREDIBLY low bitrate that all Dish standard def channels are running at.
I wish that the new dbs providers that are going to come out are going to be ALL about quality and not about having the most local DMAs they can. Echostar has become the Bose of the dbs world in my opinion.
The ONLY thing that can really make the picture quality good at this point is to drop ALL local DMAs period and have NO local channels on Dish. Dish obviously can't do that because they're stuck because they added too many local DMAs whey they didn't have the bandwidth to handle them. Charlie reminds me of people who buy hundreds of thousands of dollars of stuff on credit whey they don't have the money to buy that stuff.
Charlie does the same thing only with transponder space and bandwidth instead of money.
The LEAST Echostar could do to stop the bleeding is STOP adding new DMAs. My family must have Dish Network because of the exclusive channels that they have, but eveyone in my family says how bad the picture quality on dish is.
BTW, we use properly calibrated tvs, and thick S-video cables to connect out Dish receivers directly to our tvs. As soon as I'm on my own I'll probably try and get a C-band/4DTV system if it's legal in the county I live in even if costs me an arm and a leg to get the thing.
Watching ULTRA low bitrate garbage quality video in Dish Network is just now way to live in the 21st century.
Our grandfathers were getting better picture quality with their otas 40 years ago than what we do with standard def dish channels today in my opinion.
 
1 - 20 of 35 Posts
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top