Trying To Decide: Cable, DirectTV or The Dish Network? - FMVperformance.com : The site for all your Ford Mazda and Volvo needs
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post #1 of 35 (permalink) Old 08-30-2005, 12:54 AM Thread Starter
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Trying To Decide: Cable, DirectTV or The Dish Network?

After receiving my cable bill today of nearly $49/month, I've decided it is time to start shopping for a new service.

My wifey and I barely watch any TV from May to September, but it does get its fair use during the colder months.

We are not looking at the one that offers the best deals on PPV movies, premium movie channels (i.e., HBO, Encore, etc) as we too po' to have such channels. Anyway, we have like 90 DVDs if we want to watch a movie.

We are looking for the best service for the basic channels (including local channels). I would love to hear everyone's recommendations/suggestions for our new TV service. Thanks, in advance, to all who add their 2.


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post #2 of 35 (permalink) Old 08-30-2005, 08:32 AM
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Re: Trying To Decide: Cable, DirectTV or The Dish Network?

Really depends on your situation, don't even think of the dish if your yard is heavily wooded, it messes up reception. I've also known people who have had awful experiences with dishes. Apparantly, the reception really does suffer a great deal in bad weather (I thought the cable companies made it up, maybe technology was better than that, guess I was wrong.) I suppose that could be remedied by a giant honkin beam-signals-to-orbiting-alien-spacecraft dish, but who wants one of those anymore?

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post #3 of 35 (permalink) Old 08-30-2005, 09:08 AM
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Re: Trying To Decide: Cable, DirectTV or The Dish Network?

[quote author=Kodos link=topic=28294.msg388604#msg388604 date=1125405169]
Really depends on your situation, don't even think of the dish if your yard is heavily wooded, it messes up reception. I've also known people who have had awful experiences with dishes. Apparantly, the reception really does suffer a great deal in bad weather (I thought the cable companies made it up, maybe technology was better than that, guess I was wrong.) I suppose that could be remedied by a giant honkin beam-signals-to-orbiting-alien-spacecraft dish, but who wants one of those anymore?
[/quote]

It actually varies. My sister was a Direct TV customer for over 2 years, and service would go out during storms... and sometimes it would be find during storms. Very strange. However, the satellite companies (like the cable companies) constantly brag about "all digital" channels and great pictures... That's bullshit. The service providers benefit from digital service, not us. The digital form factor allows them to compress the hell out of everything - which makes room for their pricey HD service. Ever since everyone "went digital", picture quality has gone straight into the shitter. BUT, the cable providers are superior to the satellite providers. For years my sister denied that her picture sucked with Direct TV. She finally admitted it after she moved to Florida and got cable again.

If all you're really concerned about it is cost, Direct TV will probably save you a lot of money. The picture quality won't be as good as cable, but if you don't watch it often then it doesn't matter too much. I would avoid the Dish Network. I work with 6 people that had it... they hated it. Service would go out on sunny days and their customer service sucked.

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post #4 of 35 (permalink) Old 08-30-2005, 09:39 AM
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Re: Trying To Decide: Cable, DirectTV or The Dish Network?

I have cable at home, as well as cable internet from the same provider. Because we order both from them we get a discount, not a huge one but big enough. I think we pay something along the lines of 80-90 dollars a month for all our cable utilities. As far as service goes, it can't be beat. I think we have one of the best cable providers in the country, Optimum Cable. My internet is lightning fast and my features for the digital cable are sick. We also get around 50 or so premium channels which why our cable bill is so high, our internet bill is 40 or 45 dollars a month.

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post #5 of 35 (permalink) Old 08-30-2005, 10:31 AM
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Re: Trying To Decide: Cable, DirectTV or The Dish Network?

Cable providers all across the country are providing good service now. They're just scared shitless of the dish taking away all their business.

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post #6 of 35 (permalink) Old 08-30-2005, 10:39 AM
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Re: Trying To Decide: Cable, DirectTV or The Dish Network?

i have directTV and i havent had any problems... only when it stroms but thats normal...


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post #7 of 35 (permalink) Old 08-30-2005, 10:40 AM
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Re: Trying To Decide: Cable, DirectTV or The Dish Network?

no probs w/my cable when it storms :P

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post #8 of 35 (permalink) Old 08-30-2005, 11:16 AM
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Re: Trying To Decide: Cable, DirectTV or The Dish Network?

[quote author=Hexedit link=topic=28294.msg388661#msg388661 date=1125409142]
I think we have one of the best cable providers in the country, Optimum Cable. My internet is lightning fast and my features for the digital cable are sick. We also get around 50 or so premium channels which why our cable bill is so high, our internet bill is 40 or 45 dollars a month.
[/quote]

Sounds like Cablevision. Their service is ok, but their prices are rediculous for the basic package. They basically force to you get everything, the same way the movie theatre forces you to buy a large drink by making it 3 cents more expensive than the small. I hated their cable because they charge extra for every damn thing... and they didn't have the Speed channel. I also hated the way their "guide" was setup. Other than Optimum Online having one of the worst names, the internet service itself is tip top.

The most annoying commercials to hear were the plugs for getting "Optimum Online online"... Online has become the generic term for Internet access - thanks to the anus that is AOL.

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post #9 of 35 (permalink) Old 08-30-2005, 01:28 PM
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Re: Trying To Decide: Cable, DirectTV or The Dish Network?

Digital Cable is a misnomer...it should be PARTLY DIGITAL cable...most channels, probably the ones you'll watch since you don't want HBO, etc.., are analog. I moved recently and my old company (Sunflower Broadband in Lawrence, KS) had just converted their ENTIRE line-up to digital and the quality was outstanding. True digital sound and a fantastic picture. There were a few channels that the signal was really crappy on (fluctuating colors) but they claimed it was TBS and the others sending a weak signal and that they had complained to them.
Now that I have Time Warner, it's much cheaper but the picture quality on the lower tiers (2- ~70ish) isn't that great. Cable never goes out in a storm and there's no aiming of a dish or anything like that.
Sounds like you want basic no frills cable.

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post #10 of 35 (permalink) Old 08-31-2005, 05:34 PM
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Re: Trying To Decide: Cable, DirectTV or The Dish Network?

My two cents??

DirecTV.

You are in MD, so I'm sure that they have all of the big networks, plus some of the locals (hell, we get two PBS stations, plus every Mandarin, Chinese, Spanish, and Vietnamese UHF channel in the SFO/SJC/OAK area). You may get stuck with a substitute from a neighboring state, but it shouldn't be any different than you can pick up over the air.

HD Quality is actually better with ZooM Satellite, but you still have to have an over-the-air for your locals...

Dish will be identical to the DirecTV channels. The benefit with Dish is that you can receive Sirius feeds (all music channels, not talk) at no additional charge. And those are clearer than having a seperate Sirius receiver!

Cable depends somewhat on the provider. Comcast and TMI/Roadrunner are probably the best ones, but it all depends on the age of the original cable system, and whether it was an "update" or a fresh install of the pipeline. On that note, remember that a Cable Modem will suffer degration based on the number of users on a node (meaning how many people are tapping the line in your street/neighborhood) vs DSL, which is based on the tap at the DSLAM or CU - which will be dedicated between you and it. But that's off topic.

Reception is going to vary by all, and honestly - while you may get some bad reception on a dish when a big plane goes by (low flying of course, so you would be near an airport or airbase, like me) or even snow and rain - or overcast - can mess with the signal. However, I've never had a weather related outage on my satellite - both peronal install, or professional install. If you can get a signal that peaks over 80 (which in the US, most people should get 74 or better if properly aimed) you should be fine.

Plus, don't forget, Cable can go out too - I remember it going out all the time during thunderstorms in Atlanta - for hours at a time.

Quality will depend a bit on the receiver box for Satellite. If you use Tivo - you'll never see the quality for what it is. I actually relized how poor mine was when I switched from DirecTV to Dish (I moved to a new condo complex). I didn't have Tivo at first, but had the Dish receiver -- things were 200x clearer.

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