HDTV - DirectTV or digital cable?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Peter D, Dec 14, 2002.

  1. Peter D

    Peter D Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2000
    Messages:
    232
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I'm going to be moving soon and in my new place I'll be able to choose from DirectTV or AT&T Digital Cable (which has hd available). Outside of the not insignificant cost of a HD-capable receiver for DirectTV, is there any big difference in quality and/or programming between the two?
     
  2. Dheiner

    Dheiner Gazoo

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2001
    Messages:
    2,918
    Likes Received:
    158
    Trophy Points:
    4,110
    Location:
    'skonsen
    Real Name:
    John Dhein
    I don't know about your cable company, but mine carries (some) of the local HDTV, while I know that DirecTV does not.
     
  3. Peter D

    Peter D Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2000
    Messages:
    232
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I was under the impression that with DirectTV's HD receiver you can get OTA HD with it? My local cable company currently only offers HBO & Showtime, but they are promising to expand their lineup in the next few months.
     
  4. Brent_H

    Brent_H Second Unit

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2002
    Messages:
    366
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    i am going to hold out and go with the cable company....you gotta like not having to BUY a digital tuner box.....Plus, I fear dropout issues with satellite..I just do.
     
  5. Seth Paxton

    Seth Paxton Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 1998
    Messages:
    7,585
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I use DirecTV HD, though I do not have the dish for HD stuff. I only watch HBO HD (which is currently on the regular dish position) and the locals.

    For the locals it's just a regular antenna. Drop-out is not an issue with the over the air locals, unless something crazy happens I suppose, because they are not coming in via dish. You are going to get ALL the local HD stations (for free, no extra cost) that are within normal antenna range of you. Same as putting an antenna on a regular tv except that the picture is crystal clean noise free as long as the signal is strong enough to receive (which doesn't take that much) because it is digital broadcasting rather than analog.

    DirecTV also offers a couple of other HD channels if you have the dish to hit both satellite positions.

    The biggest thing to consider between digital cable and dish is the COMPRESSION. Most digital cable I have seen just doesn't look as good because the compression is higher to get all the channels within the bandwidth.


    In fact, you could buy a OTA digital receiver (even the dish one) and pay for NOTHING, no dish, no cable, and you would still be able to watch your local digital/HD stations with just an antenna.
     
  6. BruceSpielbauer

    BruceSpielbauer Second Unit

    Joined:
    May 27, 2002
    Messages:
    275
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    This is a tough choice. Here are a few thoughts.

    1.) DirecTV means you purchase a set top box, for $450 to $700. And, you need the oval dish, and are probably best advised to get the oval dish with the third LNB (necessary for Showtime, but also will probably be necessary for all future high definition additions to DirecTV's line-up). The cost of the Dish can be almost negligible, if you do a bit of research. You can order (through Blockbuster & some others) the Paratodos package, and they bring the oval dish, and do an install, for next to nothing. (Then, when you order the service, you do not subscribe to Paratodos. You simply order the package YOU want. They do not mind at all. This way you get the correct dish for HDTV.) You only get three HDTV channels right now with DirecTV, but that set top box will let you throw up an antenna, and you may then get a lot more HDTV channels for next to nothing. (I got 10 digital locals, with five broadcasting some HDTV right now. This is in addition to my HBO-H, my Showtime-H, and my HDNet from DirectTV.) Your major cost would be the set top box. The other costs (dish, and an antenna) can be done for very little investment, with a bit of shopping and research and work.

    2.) The Cable side means you save on the purchase of the box (but you rent a box from AT&T, which will evenually add up). Also, MOST of the Cable TV boxes will not let you do off-air antenna stuff. The one used by AT&T for their HDTV pilot in the Chicago area definitely does NOT do off air antenna -- I confirmed this with people who were in the pilot program.

    Other related issues -- multiple sets. Do you want a box for every set? That Blockbuster deal above has a two- room install option. The dish discussed usually has a multiswitch which allows for up to four rooms to be run off the same dish. You can expand, later, with a different multi-switch. Cable TV... you can keep one of your sets high def, and run analog to the others. Or, run so-called "digital Cable" to the others, with boxes for each.

    Decisions, decisions...

    -Bruce in Chi-Town
     
  7. Dan Stone

    Dan Stone Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2001
    Messages:
    221
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
     
  8. Dan Stone

    Dan Stone Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2001
    Messages:
    221
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
     

Share This Page