61" TV - Satellite or Digital or Analog cable

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Dan Kolacz, Jun 19, 2002.

  1. Dan Kolacz

    Dan Kolacz Stunt Coordinator

    Dec 9, 1999
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    I am contemplating getting either satellite or digital cable.

    I know NOTHING about satellite.

    Our local cable company, Adelphia, offers a package for $79.95. This includes broadband internet and digital cable service. The digital cable service consists of channels 2-70 (analog) and then 30 or so additional digital channels. No HBO, or SHOWTIME, or other premiums are offered in this package, which is fine with me, since I do not want them anyway.

    Satellite is the other option. It looks like there is a varity of different providers to choose from. Is one much better than the other?

    Someone had mentioned that satellite may not look that great on big screen TVs because of the high compression. The gentleman from Adelphia also said satellite is prone to losing signal because of rain and snow. Is this a big problem? He said it is not uncommon to have to climb up on the roof to "dust" it off.

    As far as programming, it seems that satellite gives you more choice.

    If anyone has experince with both of them, I would love to hear from you. Any other comments appreciated as well.

  2. John_E

    John_E Stunt Coordinator

    Oct 4, 2001
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    Hi Patti,

    From a fellow Buffalonian...I have the Adelphia Advantage program for $79.95, and I think that it's great. Both the picture and sound are very good. We can't get the local Buffalo channels on the dish so I decided to stick with cable. The internet connection for me in Tonawanda is very fast too. FYI--The rate is going up to $82.95 next month.
  3. Jim FC

    Jim FC Stunt Coordinator

    Feb 5, 2001
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    Satellite has a number of advantages over digital cable, and the biggest one is picture quality. Cable - even digital cable - is limited to about 330 lines of resolution, while satellite can go up into the 440 line realm. Doesn't sound like much, but that's 33% more picture quality than cable is capable of. On a big screen TV this can make a huge difference. Even the digital channels on digital cable are limited in this way, although they do look better because they are not subject to static, ghosting, and other types of interference-related picture problems.

    Your typical sat package from DirecTV or Dish Network runs about $40 a month, for the same 100-or-so channels you'd get from your cable company. Broadband internet is a different story, and is one advantage cable has over sat. The other major advantage cable has is the ease with which multiple rooms in a house can get TV -- in a sat system, more than two rooms gets pretty hairy from an install point of view, and pretty expensive as well. Cable is a piece of cake by comparison.

    The Adelphia guy was trying to sell you his product, and while he didn't lie to you he might have blown things out of proportion a bit. A properly installed dish doesn't have many problems with snow build-up -- although I admit in Buffalo you probably get more snow than I do in Colorado -- and if it is a problem, you can spray the thing with PAM or something. Sat TV does lose signal during bad weather, but it has to be a real black sky to interfere. My sat goes out probably 1/10th as often as cable did the last time I had it. As far as the compression artifacs goes, I've seen that also, but very rarely.

    Finally, do you have, or do you plan to get, a high-definition TV? Many cable companies carry some HD content, but most do not. For many people, the only way to get HDTV content is through satellite. If Bufaflo locals were on either satellite system, I'd lean that way, but without locals and factoring in the internet thing, it's a close call. For picture quality, satellite is the way to go, but with everything else factored in cable looks good for you also. I have a cable modem, pay about $45 a month for it, and I can't believe I ever surfed without it...
  4. David Hicks

    David Hicks Stunt Coordinator

    May 5, 2002
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    I currently have Adelphia and pay $99 for their "all-you-can-eat" package. Every channel they offer (including multiple HBO's, Showtimes, etc...) plus cable modem access. I absolutely hate it. The quality seems ok, until you view someone else's sattelite feed. Apples and oranges. Even the digital channels on cable are crap compared to DirectTV. The convenience for a multiple TV household (I have 7) is extremely nice. However, the tradeoff in quality is not worth it (at least not to me).

    So, I am currently searching for a dish solution (including a multiplexor to distribute to the whole house). It won't be easy or cheap, but I'm tired of sacrificing quality for simplicity and value. Considering the money spent on the rest of our systems, it doesn't make much sense to skimp on one of the main sources of content!

    Looking forward to all digital channels and, especially, to HDNET!!!!
  5. Robert_J

    Robert_J Lead Actor

    Aug 22, 2000
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