Getting ready for Satelite HDTV?

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by Tim Kline, Apr 16, 2004.

  1. Tim Kline

    Tim Kline Stunt Coordinator

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    So, I'm planning to get a HDTV. I don't have specific models in mind as I'm still shopping around. But, in the meantime, I'd like to get ready to have the programming and all. So, right now my cable company (RCN) is offering HD boxes. I got one, and they set it to display on my normal TV (I wanted the optical audio for 5.1 movies and stuff on their digital chanels) and they showed me how to set it to work with a HDTV when I get one. That's great and all but I think I wanna go with a satelite system instead. It will be a little cheaper and from what I've read it'll be all or almost all digital. Right now on cable I have the movie channels as digital but most of the others are still analog (I can tell just by the quality)

    I was considering Dish Network but I didn't like that whole "You can't watch these channels right now" thing the did a little while ago and Comedy Central is one channel I watch pretty often. So, I figured I'd go with DirecTV and was all set to order it up with their multiroom deals they have going, and getting 1 "high tech" box for my HT area. I basically want to connect it to my regular 27" TV now, and when I get the new big HDTV, I just swap em and it's ready to go.

    But now I'm starting to see a lot of commericials for this Voom service. They're saying they have more HD channels than anyone. I checked out their site and they do seem to have a lot. But how to they compare to DirecTV? In quality and programming? Can Voom have local channels? If not, how would I go about getting local channels?

    Basically, am I better off with DirecTV or Voom?
     
  2. Steve Schaffer

    Steve Schaffer Producer

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    Many of Voom's HD channels are proprietary to Voom and are of questionable value.

    That being said, Voom does offer more of the HD networks than any other single service available. Their SD offerings are pretty slim compared to DirecTV, however.

    Voom cannot carry local channels on thier satellite, SD or HD. DirecTV carries local SD channels in most areas, and I'm sure a large market like Philadelphia is one of them but not HD locals as yet--takes up too much bandwidth.

    If the local CBS station in your area is owned and operated by CBS, you can get CBS HD on DirecTV, but not Voom.

    DirecTv has indicated that they plan to double or triple their HD channel availability by the end of the year, have a new satellite going up in May to carry new and existing locals and free up space on existing sats for more HD.

    Both the Voom and DirecTV receivers are also capable of tuning local over the air HD channels with a separate antenna. DirecTV's boxes will scan for channels, Voom's won't and depend on guide data from Voom so you may not get all that's available. DirecTV boxes will also tune local analog tv off that same antenna, and if your antenna's decent it will look much better than analog cable. DirecTV boxes will also tune analog non-scrambled cable channels. Voom's box won't tune analog local tv broadcasts, either over the air or from cable.

    If you want the maximum number of HD channels available from satellite, Voom is the way to go, but check their limited SD lineup to make sure none of your favorites are missing.
     
  3. Tim Kline

    Tim Kline Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks for the info, I guess I'll stick with DirecTV, they seem to have the best starter deals too.

    As far as the channels thing, a little while ago there was some problem where Dish Network stopped carrying channels like Comedy Central for a few days.
     
  4. Ken_B

    Ken_B Auditioning

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    I'm real happy with DirecTV (with Showtime and Starz/Encore packs). Just got the DVR with TiVo and run it through Sony GX7 DVDR then via component video to Toshiba 42H81. The picture is almost as good as the demo broadcasts of HDTV in the showrooms.

    FWIW, a friend of mine had Dish for a while and was quite disappointed by their customer service (or lack thereof).

    Just my two bits' worth.
     

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