Cable or Dish?

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by David Parrish, Feb 19, 2004.

  1. David Parrish

    David Parrish Stunt Coordinator

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    I currently have Time Warner Cable in San Antonio, but am considering moving over to Dish Network. Anyone out there made the cable to dish move and regret it?

    My reasons for moving are twofold:
    1. Dish Network has all digital content, whereas TWC has around 60 or so channels that are analog converted to digital. I've also heard satellite has more data in their signal. Perhaps this means more lines of vertical resolution?
    2. Dish Network has a Hi Def DVR, and if I'm not mistaken, more Hi Def channels. Of course, the DVR is $1,000.00. Might need to run that one by the wife[​IMG]

    Also, any VOOM subscribers out there? What do you think of their content and pricing?( www.voom.com will link you to a new Hi Def only satellite provider)
     
  2. Robert_J

    Robert_J Lead Actor

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    1. It depends on your location. I tried TWC digital cable out of Memphis and dropped it at day 29 of a 30 day free trial. The APG of the box was horrible and I had pixelization of the digital channels. Went back to Dish and later switched to DirecTV.

    2. The number of HD channels carred by cable will vary. You can check Dish's site to see what they have. Right now Dish and DirecTV have the same. DirecTV will take the lead when they add Fox ED (at least it's 480p widescreen). DirecTV will soon have the HD DirecTivo. Pre-order price is $899 and it has dual OTA tuners and dual HD sat tuners. The 921 has dual HD sat tuners but only one OTA HD tuner. Both receivers can record two HD streams.

    Voom has way more HD channels and the price is good. They are constantly upgrading the software in the receivers to get rid of bugs. Buying Voom is like paying to be in a beta test. Same thing with the Dish921 right now.

    -Robert
     
  3. Dean_S

    Dean_S Second Unit

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    My vote got to either Dish or Directv. I've been on HD with Directv since last January...Cable in Dallas is just terrible (both picture quality and down time). When I had non-HD cable it would go out for a few hours every time it rained, Directv will go out for a few minutes during the hardest downpours but it always comes right back. I consider it a bad thing that I have the cable company's phone number memorized [​IMG]
     
  4. David Parrish

    David Parrish Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks for the inputs... I just know I'm sick of paying outrageous fees for cable that's average quality. I want to go digital.

    Has anyone gotten a deal on the Hi Def DVR with new subscription to Satellite TV?
     
  5. Robert_J

    Robert_J Lead Actor

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    Right now only the 921 is on the market in very limited numbers. Like I said earlier, it's really a round 2 of testing. You can pre-order the HD DirecTivo for $899 ($100 off MSRP) from Value Electronics. Delivery will be late March/early April. Voom has announced plans for a DVR but there are no dates.

    -Robert
     
  6. Joshua B

    Joshua B Auditioning

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    When I moved out of my parents' house and into an apartment 3 and 1/2 years ago, the one vanity I missed was my DirecTV (Sony brand) system. Comcast digital cable is slow to navigate and lacks the sophisticated preview system of my Sony DirecTV interface. Plus with cable, you never really know which channels are truly broadcast in stereo, and there is no audio or video normalization like with DirecTV, meaning each channel has a different audio level and a different picture quality. In May, I become a home owner and I'm most looking forward to setting up the Dolby Digital 5.1 or 6.1 system and playing it at a moderate volume, and if I'm really lucky, I might just be able to bring my DirecTV equipment over and attach the dish to the rear-facing deck of my townhouse. One of the other units has a dish set-up facing the same direction, so I'm praying I can get a signal even though it will be facing a fairly steep hill with trees behind my place. The condo association disallows mounting dishes to the roof.

    If my dish works I will forever forsake cable. [​IMG]
     
  7. Alan Wise

    Alan Wise Stunt Coordinator

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    One thing to remember when considering Direct TV versus Dish Network is that for HDTV viewing via Direct TV requires two seperate dishes. One for Digital, and one oblong shaped dish for HD signals.
    Dish Network does it all with one dish.
    This is definitely something to consider when attaching to a small deck area.

    Good Luck, Al. Wise
     
  8. Joshua B

    Joshua B Auditioning

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    Very good point and something I did not know. I have no plans to upgrade to a high-def tv set in the near future.
     
  9. Dean_S

    Dean_S Second Unit

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    "Direct TV requires two seperate dishes. One for Digital, and one oblong shaped dish for HD signals."

    Not True!!! You need one or the other, not both. If you have NO HD and NO Para Todos programming you only need the round dish. If you have HD or Para Todos you need an oval dish. The current 18x20 oval dish has three LNBs for three sats, but even better 4 outputs from the built in multiswitch. I had a round dish and did the change to the 18x20 myself...it's fairly easy if you follow the directions [​IMG]
     
  10. Alan Wise

    Alan Wise Stunt Coordinator

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    Dean,
    You appear to be more educated on the subject than myself.
    I was quoting directly from A/V magazines March-04 Buyers Guide, where last night I had read their article regarding Satellite TV. It was in that article that I learned of the need for two dishes with Direct TV.
    I stand corrected.

    Thanks, Al. Wise
     
  11. Dean_S

    Dean_S Second Unit

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    My best advice for new Directv installs would be to get the Oval dish even if you don't need if yet. It's should be a very small extra cost ($100 or less) and this will future proof the install until DTV changes the rules again [​IMG]

    I have nothing against Dish, I think the quality and service of both is excellent, but I like the hardware choices and guide on Direct better (this might change soon). Voom might be a good option in a year or two, if they last and if they can work the bugs out of the system (seems everyone right now is paying to beta test). The major difference right now between DTV and Dish on the HD side is the DVR functionality. Dish has theirs on the market already (I hear it's pretty buggy, but they will fix the software), I think it has two Dish tuners (a first for Dish, so you can watch something else while you record) but only one ATSC (OTA) tuner...the soon to be introduced DTV HD Tivo's will have 4 tuners: 2 each type, so you can record and watch different programming of either type at the same time. I hope this makes sense???
     
  12. David Parrish

    David Parrish Stunt Coordinator

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    Dean,

    I'll have to research the 4 tuners with DirecTV. If that's the case, then that's definitely the way to go. Thanks to everybody for the suggestions!
     
  13. Dean_S

    Dean_S Second Unit

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    David,

    I know for a fact the Directv will box will have 4 tuners (2 ATSC OTA and 2 Directv). What I'm not sure of is the tuner config on the Dish 921 STB. You can pre-order the DTV Tivo on a site called Value Electronics for $100 off retail, but I don't know the URL and have never visited the site (As much as I want this, I don't plan to guinea pig the HD TIVO. I'll wait for 6 months or more on this one since I already have a very good non-Tivo HD STB). I mention this site b/c maybe they have the details posted???

    I believe the STB is Hughes and might be made by LG (Zenith) for Hughes. I hope it is since I really like my Zenith 520 (same STB as Sony HD200). I also heard rumors at CES that Samsung will be making an HD Tivo. Both LG and Samsung are very good STBs IMHO and much better the older Hughes (non-LG).
     
  14. David Parrish

    David Parrish Stunt Coordinator

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    I found an LG HD DVR at this website:

    LG LST-3410A

    It's only got a 120 GB drive, though[​IMG]
     
  15. Dean_S

    Dean_S Second Unit

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    That LG is OTA and Cable only, no satellite.
     
  16. Robert_J

    Robert_J Lead Actor

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    Two sat tuners and one OTA tuner. It will record two HD streams.

    -Robert
     

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