At Wit's End With Cable - ?? about DirecTV

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by Patrick Larkin, Dec 19, 2003.

  1. Patrick Larkin

    Patrick Larkin Screenwriter

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    I'm ready to look into switching to DirecTV but first, wanted to check with experts. If this is the wrong fourm feel free to move...

    My cable company keeps increasing fees. I moved 8 miles last month and my EXACT same cable package is $9 more. Why? Oh, masked nonsense from the cable company. I have an analog converter in one room to get HBO and they said I needed digital in all rooms - of course the digital boxes are $4.95 month. They also got me with the dreaded "additional outlet" charge of $2 per outlet. They charge me for 3 outlets even though I have a structured wiring system with cable in EVERY room in the house! This is an additional $4 month. (I didn't used to pay for additional outlets because I signed on with a promotion years ago.)

    I called, bitched, and couldn't get them to budge at all. The digital channels that used to be free are now $2.95 month. There is another tier of digital channels (30 or so) thats another $6.95 month. These are all the same channels that come standard on DirecTV. Utter monopolistic bullshit. They say HBO/Cinemax is $14.95/month. What they don't tell you is to GET THE CHANNELS you need a $5/month converter box rental (FOR ONE ROOM). Aaaagh....sorry.

    Anyhow, I'm ready to switch and would like to know the following:

    1. If I get DirecTV, how can I work that into my existing structured wiring setup? Each room is home run to the basement where they connect to a distro block. The main cable feed plugs into that box.

    2. Is DirecTV good or does it suck? Never saw it.

    3. What about HDTV? The standard 3 room package isn't for HD I'm sure. Is there an HD deal out there?

    4. Would a dude come out and hook it up or do I have to get my butt up on a ladder?

    Thats it for now. I'll add more if anyone joins in. Thanks.
     
  2. StephenT

    StephenT Stunt Coordinator

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    This will probably be moved to some other forum, but:

    Wiring: If you could switch the box you currently have with a multiswitch for the satellite you'd have to run the 2 lines (round dish) or 4 lines (oval dish, must have to get HDTV signals) to the switch from the dish. So how you'll get them there from the roof you'll have to figure out.

    DirecTV is in most people's opinions better than cable. You get more HD channels (in most cases) and you can get a DirecTV/TiVo combo receiver. Definitely get one of these. They have deals with them. To use it best you'll need two lines of cable running into the room it's in from the switch. You'll need a separate HD receiver to watch HD. I think they have deal on them too. A lot of the deals you can get straight from web sites that sell the equipment. Hunt around.

    All the new customer deals usually include install, so you don't have to climb on your roof. The deals are really good for new customers. They practically give away the equipment to get you to sign a one year deal for their service. Again check out Amazon and electronics sites online.

    My roommate and I have DirectTV and we each have a DirecTiVo and we have an HD receiver with the big TV in our basement. We love it. And if your a football fan out of your team's town you gotta love NFL Sunday Ticket.
     
  3. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    This is where cable/DBS is discussed.
     
  4. Edwin-S

    Edwin-S Producer
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    I don't have Direct TV but I do have the Canadian version.

    I have seen the picture quality of the American system. The PQ is pretty good. In fact, I would say it is quite a bit better than the Canadian satellite system. The PQ of the Canadian system is a bit better than cable.

    The disadvantage, and I am assuming it applies to American satellite as well, is that you need to have a seperate receiver for each room if you want to watch different channels at the same time. That means your satellite pick up has to have more than one connection. Most satellite pickups are dual pickups, so you can run two receivers. You can increase the number of receivers by using a special one-in-two out connector which allows you to split the signal and add a third receiver. The splitter somehow allows the third receiver to be used to watch separate channels as well. The distro. block in your house may accomplish the same thing, but I highly doubt it.

    What you could do is connect the spltter in between the satellite pick up and the distro block in your house. Then connect your receivers in each room. Does your distro block have more than one input? If not you are screwed. You would have to have at least three inputs to run three receivers and two at the minimum if you want to avoid extra cable runs for the second receiver.

    Running extra receivers costs extra money just like the cable company.

    One problem I have with my system is loss of signal with heavy weather. T-storms, heavy rain and smow can cause picture fade. I'm don't think the American system is as vulnerable as the Canadian system. The American system uses "Death Star" satellites. They are pumping a lot more power than the equivalent Canadian system.

    Most companies have installers that can put the system in for you. It costs extra; however, a lot of package deals will include free installation. If you are near a Best Buy or similar type of store, check them out for package deals. A lot of these stores have regular sales on satellite packages.
     
  5. Robert_J

    Robert_J Lead Actor

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    For current customers, it's a single HD receiver, multi-sat dish and installation for $399. For HD locals, you would need an additional antenna and pay for installation if you are not handy with a screw driver.

    -Robert
     
  6. anthony_b

    anthony_b Screenwriter

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    As a former 8 year Directv subscriber I can tell you this :

    a)Recievers are $5 for each additional room (con)
    b)there basic digital package is a good value (pro)
    c)An HD Box is $399 plus tax and shipping (con)
    d)No local HD CHANNELS (con)
    e)LESS HD channels than cable (con)
    f)Customer service is good (pro)
    g)If your satelite or dish breaks down after warranty you're on your own (con)
    e)Only company with NFL ticket (pro)
     
  7. Stephen Tu

    Stephen Tu Screenwriter

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    Mileage definitely varies on this depending on area. With Sat you are expected to get locals OTA, which is free other than the cost of antenna (pro), and gets you all the channels you can pull in, rather than just the channels the company has a carriage agreement with.

    Satellite + OTA, in my area, would offer about double the number of HD channels as cable at this time. This gap will gradually close as the cable company reaches deals with broadcasters; e.g. Comcast just signed with CBS/Viacom so I'll finally get CBS-HD from my local CBS O&O station sometime in the next few weeks.
     
  8. anthony_b

    anthony_b Screenwriter

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    Most cable companies carry all locals in HD without the need to put up another anntena on your roof....I currently carry 12 HD channels without having to pay for extra programming. It's only going to grow more from there. This is how the cable co. is winning back customers...
     
  9. Patrick Larkin

    Patrick Larkin Screenwriter

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    Is there somewhere to go to talk to someone about DirecTV that actually knows the product? Thanks.
     
  10. anthony_b

    anthony_b Screenwriter

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    Go to your local circuit city or best buy, or call 1-800-directv...I was with them for 8 years, what other questions do you have ?
     
  11. MikeMeehan

    MikeMeehan Stunt Coordinator

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    Try DBSForums and DBSTalk for more info. Just my 2 cents, but i've never seen cable at anybodys house that looked better than satellite. You can get 4 rooms with a tivo for $50.00 from expertsatellite(installed).
     

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