DirecTv vs Digital cable

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Gary Sedlack, Jun 9, 2001.

  1. Gary Sedlack

    Gary Sedlack Agent

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    I have a Mitsubishi WS55805. I currently have digital cable at $50 a month.
    I am thinking of switching to Directv and perhaps TiVo as a package deal.
    I would like to hear any pro's & con's for dish over cable or vise versa. There is nothing like hearing from those who use the product.
    Thanks in advance for your info.
    Gary
     
  2. Kevin Potts

    Kevin Potts Second Unit

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    Gary
    I've had DTV for two years and love it. Not only do you get a great picture and great sound, but it seems that the variety of programming packages is almost endless. You can configure your programming just about anyway you want it, whether you're into sports, movies or whatever. You also have access to 30+ music channels and 40+ pay per view movie channels.
    As far as cable goes, you couldn't pay me enough to go back to them. It really stinks compared to what is offered on sat. Even the digital cable systems are way below what sat has to offer. A good frien of mine had digital cable in the K.C. area and it was horrible. All kinds of pixelation problems, the picture was always static filled and the sound sucked. He finally gave up on it and went back to DTV. I think the price per channel is still lower for sat systems than cable and in my opinion sat just can't be beat.
    Good luck
    Death to cable.
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    "Would you fly with him"? "I don't know. I just don't know"
     
  3. Reginald Trent

    Reginald Trent Screenwriter

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    Gary, you might also want to check out this forum, they offer great info on your subject. www.dbsforums.com
     
  4. Bill Catherall

    Bill Catherall Screenwriter

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    I can't comment on the difference because I just ordered DishNetwork satellite. But I can tell you about my experience with AT&T digital cable.
    When we first set up cable in our new house they gave us a deal that we could get free installation and free equipment rental and the first month for only $35 if we tried the digital cable. Having the menu was nice, but that's available on satellite. The picture did look better than standard cable, but once in a while we'd get some pixelation. The receiver we had was a little slow at channel changing too. When you change the channel it would go black, then you'd get very large pixels, then the screen would build from the top down. It would take about 2-3 seconds per channel to fully build a picture. That made channel surfing rather cumbersome.
    We tried a couple pay-per-view movies and they looked absolutely horrible. U571 looked very bad. The dark scenes were very blotchy and colors were a little washed out. As I recall, the receiver had a DD logo on it, but there was no digital audio output! I was very confused by that.
    Well, we gave it all back when the 1 month preview was over. In order to keep what we had (just basic digital cable, no movie or sports package at all) would have cost us over $50/month. Or we could downgrade to standard cable for $39/month. I downgraded and will soon switch to satellite for the same monthly cost, better picture, and more channels. It's a no-brainer.
    Bill
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  5. Dale Rabeneck

    Dale Rabeneck Auditioning

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    I have a Toshiba TW65H80. I've had it for the last two years. Up to this point we've only had analog cable. I'd say the quality of the broadcast signal has been very poor.
    We're switching and here's why.
    Two weeks ago my wife told me she finally had enough. She said she has become sick of terrible looking cable. "It's bad on the 27" Denon, it's awful on the 65" Toshiba."
    "OK", I said, "I'll talk to AT&T and see if we can get better service with digital cable."
    I called AT&T and inquired about the digital cable service. The person on the phone was very helpful. "There will be no comparison between digital and analog. The digial picture will be much better..."
    I said, "Great, sign me up..."
    I arranged to work from home the morning that the AT&T installer was to arrive. I wanted to be around to make sure that the connections occured as I wanted - namely using my DVDO for the connection on the Toshiba.
    The cable installer arrived and went to work on the 27" Denon. In about 15 minutes, the new digital cable box was installed. The installer next went down the HT and started working on the Toshiba.
    Meanwhile, my wife comes down saying "gee, the quality of the Denon picture doesn't look any better for CBS, NBC, ABC, Fox, etc. Does the cable guy need to switch something to make it better?" I didn't know so I asked.
    "No, that's the quality of the signal" he says. "You see, the channels that were broadcast analog before are still being broadcast in analog. It's the new stuff that is digital.."
    Maybe I should have known. But I didn't. The cable installer finished the installation and said "you're going to love your new digital cable...."
    I went into the office after lunch for an afternoon meeting.
    Around 2:45 my wife calls. "I can't get the cable box on the Denon to work. What should I do?" I walked out of the meeting for a few minutes to explain how to disconnect the cable box from the TV, connect the cable back to the TV so she could watch the "old analog signal."
    By mid-afternoon she had become irritated enough with the turn of events that she removed the other digital cable boxes, piled them in the back of the car and drove them down to the local AT&T service center.
    The woman working behind the counter asked why she was returning the equipment - installed less than 1 day.
    My wife then attempted to explain that we purchased the digital service to get a better quality signal. Since more than 3/4 of all the channels that we would regularly watch were still analog it didn't make any sense to keep the digital service. The woman didn't understand.
    My wife then pointed at the TV in the back corner of the showroom with some afternoon soap playing - and said "Like that - look at red line around all the people in the picture. It looks awful. And you have that picture in here a demonstration of the quality of your product..."
    The woman then said "yeah, whatever"
    We're going to be installing DBS in the next week or two. I have not decided if it will be DirecTV or Dish (leaning towards Dish for the HD broadcasting.)
    Just my 2cents.
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    Dale Rabeneck
    [email protected]
     
  6. Lisa Menin

    Lisa Menin Agent

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    I agree with Dale 100%. I tried out Time Warner digital cable in NYC and returned to analog within 2 weeks. The picture quality for the network channels was definitely worse on the digital cable than on the analog. There was more picture noise and the picture looked grainier. The channels from 100+ looked better on digital cable than on analog but, since I spend most of my tv watching on the network channels (as well as all of my tape archiving), my prime concern was the PQ on the network channels.
    I am in the process of trying to convince my condo building to install Directv on the roof. The PQ on Directv is definitely better than the cable.
    Lisa
     
  7. JohnDG

    JohnDG Stunt Coordinator

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    Doesn't digital cable have a learning curve to go through?
    DirecTV/DISH have been compressing, tuning, compressing some more, tuning some more, etc., over the last five years to squeeze the most out of their signals. Many times to the detriment of the signal.
    Doesn't digital cable, and each cable provider, have to go through the same learning curve?
    By this logic, unless the cable providers are really over allocating bandwidth, they would deliver a poorer picture for some time to come.
    jdg
     
  8. Tony Pic

    Tony Pic Auditioning

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    Well, I had DirecTV for 18 months, and just switched to TWC Digital Cable. Here is why:
    I can get basic Digital for 31/month + 3 movie packages for a total of 50/month. These prices are for sat subscribers that swith to TWC. Currect DTV total choice HBO/Starz + local channels ran 58/month. Plus I save 10/month on Roadrunner if I go with TWC.
    The biggest reason was PQ. DirecTV has it problems of PQ varying daily... but I noticed the HBOs were not that sharp... and on TWC, HBOs are sharper. Starz was about the same for each service.
    Cable has its problems too, like pixelation, but so did DTV... maybe I am gettting old, and saving 18/month for roughly the same level of PQ (but more premium channels)seems appealing.
    My $.02
     
  9. Gary Sedlack

    Gary Sedlack Agent

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    I would like to thank you all for your comments. "Thank You".
    The guy from Direct TV was here yesterday and installed two boxes, one for the HT and one for the spare room.
    WOW!!! Make that double WOW!
    The clarity is so vastly superior to digital cable I can hardly believe my eyes. I did indeed make the right decision.
    When the guy from the cable co. came to pick up the digital box his comment to me was, " I see you finally got smart".
    Plus I am saving money along the way.
    Have fun with HT
    Gary
     
  10. Steve Bak

    Steve Bak Auditioning

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    I just had to reply to this posting. I tried Digital Cable and canceled it within a hour. The picture absolutely sucked! From total pixelization, to audio dropouts. Not to mention a fuzzy picture, limited channel offering, and the high price of subscribing to it. Time Warner--you suck! I would get Sat in a heartbeat if I could get permission from my condo association to install one.
     
  11. Larry Schneider

    Larry Schneider Second Unit

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    You'll be even happier if you get a DirecTivo box - it records the digital bitstream so that playback has exactly the same quality as the broadcast. Best $350 I ever spent.
     
  12. Tony Pic

    Tony Pic Auditioning

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    I have TWC.
    Sure, I have to admit that the analog cable channels are inferior to DTV, but the TWC digital channels are superior to DTV on my set (53xbr300), in my opinion.
    But here is why I am really following up: When I called DTV to cancel, I complained about HBO being "not sharp" compared to Starz. He claimed HBO needs a higher voltage in the receiver than other channels. Really.
    I also expressed by disatisfaction with the over-compressed signal. He then claimed that DTV receives non-HDTV signals as a digitized stream directly from the broadcaster, so DTV does not digitize the stream. Again, Really!
    What a lot of help. In any event, I know TWC digital Premiums are sharper on my set than DTV... of course, perhaps my receiver became flakey... it was 18 months old.
    Oh well...
     

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