hdtv directv vs cable?

Discussion in 'Beginners, General Questions' started by paul dock, Apr 19, 2004.

  1. paul dock

    paul dock Auditioning

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2003
    Messages:
    14
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Which is better, hdtv with directv or comcast io cable? I live in New Jersey and used to have cable, I switched over to directv about 3 years ago. Now comcast is calling to try to get me back, they said their io cable is much better than cable use to be. I know going thru cable will be much cheaper than directv for hd. (no buying a receiver)Sometimes saving money is really worth it, if the picture isn't as good. Is one of these brands hd quality better than the other? Any help would be great.
     
  2. Ed Moxley

    Ed Moxley Cinematographer

    Joined:
    May 25, 2003
    Messages:
    2,701
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Eastern NC
    Real Name:
    Ed
    I don't have HD yet. But when I do go to it, it will be satellite. I hope I never have to deal with cable again. Don't you remember what it was like dealing with the cable company?
     
  3. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 1999
    Messages:
    16,738
    Likes Received:
    129
    Trophy Points:
    0
    There also is the issue of cable providers "bit grooming" the HD signals in order to be able to fit in ever-increasing numbers of dubious channels. Depending on your provider, your HD signal over cable may not have as much resolution as the same signal from your DBS dish.

    And, as Ed notes, when have you ever been satisfied in your dealings with your typical cable provider?
     
  4. raymond caputo

    raymond caputo Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2003
    Messages:
    106
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    it was one of the happiest days of my life, when i cancelled cable!! i love my directv
     
  5. paul dock

    paul dock Auditioning

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2003
    Messages:
    14
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I hear what you guys are saying about cable really su*****, but the info. they mailed me made me think they were trying to compete with directv. It seemed like they were saying "We know we screwed up, but this is what we will give you now" instead of their " take it or leave it, what other choices do you have?" The io cable sounded like a good idea...thats why i wanted to know if anybody ever saw this form of hdtv. Maybe I can just chalk this one up to another urban legend. Anyone? Anyone, ever see it?
     
  6. paul dock

    paul dock Auditioning

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2003
    Messages:
    14
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Hey Raymond, Did you work for NDB?
     
  7. Steve::Weaver

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2004
    Messages:
    34
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Over-the-air HDTV will give you the best picture out of all of them, with the right antenna and a good signal.

    My cable HDTV looks great, but it does indeed appear to be re-compressed from the original HD feed (Time Warner cable). Does DirecTV allocate enough bandwidth for HD channels? I do recall some of their non-HD channels looking pretty pixelated in the past.
     
  8. Derek1

    Derek1 Agent

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 1999
    Messages:
    26
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Well having seen Almost every variation of HD signals I would have to say this.

    Off air signals are indeed some of the highest resolution feeds available (but do obviously require a set top box that you must purchase. Unless your TV has a built in decoder)

    DirecTv has some spectacular HD feeds available with no trace of pixleization problems. Again you need a box but the bonus is that they will also decode the above mentioned off air signals. I would highly recommend the Sony HD-300 (Sourced from Zenith) Off air tuning ability is superb and the menu and graphics are well laid out. Also it includes a RF capable remote and composite and S-Video out are active along with the component jacks so you can still record to a VCR,DVD-R/RW,or PVR. Something that is not easily done with some other boxes or previous Sony Models. DVI is also available if that's your thing. from an install standpoint it's as easy as satellite tv gets. One dish supports up to 4 receivers without adding anything else. If more than four are required you can add a multi-switch that can provide 8 or 16 independent feeds to boxes.

    Dish Network also has several beautiful HD feeds but I simply cannot endorse a product with the most archaic graphics and user interface. It hasn't changed since Dish Network started years and years ago. Not to mention the collection of dishes and switches required to make it happen in all of it's glory. Installation is substantially more complex and so is the ability to add additional boxes.

    Cable HD, while being by far the easiest to set up (they do it all for you) it also offers the lowest quality HD feeds in my opinion. It will certainly still look good (it is HD after all) but not quite up to what is available from the satellite providers. There is also the question of their ability or eagerness to add additional HD channels to the lineup. (more on this below)

    As with all HD discussions one must bring up the actual programming it's self. It dosen't really matter how many channels are available and from whom if they don't fit in with the type of programming that you watch. From the Locals you should be able to obtain much of the prime time lineup and various sporting event specials (ie the Superbowl etc.) in HD from the above mentioned antenna. From other providers such as Cable DirecTv and Dish you will see the requisite HBO, Showtime, Discovery channel, ESPN. Specialty HD networks like HD Net and HD Net Movies I believe are currently only available on satellite. I would look for the satellite companies to outpace their cable competitors when it comes to adding HD channels to their lineup. (more of the infrastructure is already in place).

    Well theres my 2 cents....ok so maybe it was a buck fifty's worth.

    Hope it helps.
     
  9. Martin_Dean

    Martin_Dean Auditioning

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2003
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I do have comcast HD cable and it's definitelly cheap, I'm paying $5/month for it. I've had it for a year along with my cable internet and haven't had a single problem so far.I can definitelly see the difference between regular and HD but it's not what I expected it to be honestly. Obviously my TV might be the problem here, it's a Panasonic 47" widescreen projection HDTV (PT-47WX42 I believe). I get local channels, 2 INHD channels (strange programming on those 2) and I subscribe to HBO so I get HBO HD. I'm waiting for a day that all will be in HD, but that's probably far far away.

    I'm off the topic here but can someone explain to me what do they do in stores (BestBuy, Circut City....) that the HD or DVD programs they run on the display TV's look so damn amazing????????? That's what I expected to see in my home but it's nowhere near that.
     
  10. Herschel

    Herschel Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2004
    Messages:
    94
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Ok, I'm not the biggest fan of the cable company, but aren't there other factors here also?

    There's no way to get hidef local channels from satellite yet, right? You'd need to be using an antenna to get those with satellite, as far as I know.

    Comcast also has a HDTV PVR available. While I haven't heard very many good things about their PVR, it will do HDTV. You also used to be able to copy the HDTV recordings off of the PVR; I don't know if that's still a possibility.

    Satellite definitely has a lot going for it over cable, but it's not quite that one-sided. Unless I'm completely wrong on some of these things.
     
  11. Robert_J

    Robert_J Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2000
    Messages:
    8,310
    Likes Received:
    62
    Trophy Points:
    9,110
    Location:
    Mississippi
    Real Name:
    Robert
    DirecTV's HD PVR powered by Tivo is starting to roll out to the public. Record 2 HD shows while watching a previously recorded show. Yes, it's a little on the expensive side but I'd pay for the Tivo features before going with a stripped down model from a cable company or Dish.

    -Robert
     
  12. Chuck Mullen

    Chuck Mullen Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2004
    Messages:
    111
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Does anyone know if the new VOOM service is doing any "bit-grooming"? It is my understanding Dish and DTV use some, though not as much as some cable providers.
     
  13. Anthony_J

    Anthony_J Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2001
    Messages:
    242
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0


    I'm using Comcast HD (in the Central NJ area), and I can say that true HD still blows me away every time I see it (Panasonic PT53WX53). I've been watching the hockey playoffs and baseball a ton lately, and they're simply spectacular.

    Are you sure your set's set up and calibrated properly? Every person I know who's seen HD (even cable based) has been amazed at the PQ. The problem is that HBO, Showtime, INHD, and the rest of the channels tend to broadcast way too many older movies on the HD channels. The higher resolution really brings out the poorer quality of the source material, but it's not a reflection on quality of cable sourced HD.
     
  14. Robert_J

    Robert_J Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2000
    Messages:
    8,310
    Likes Received:
    62
    Trophy Points:
    9,110
    Location:
    Mississippi
    Real Name:
    Robert
    Not sure but they have all of those channels (HD and SD) on 11 transponders. They are using a more efficient modulation method but even Dish with their 8PSK modulation has a hard time with 3 HD channels per transponder.

    -Robert
     
  15. paul dock

    paul dock Auditioning

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2003
    Messages:
    14
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Thats what I mean about the extra expenses with directv... buying a receiver, having a antenna put on my roof, (pain in the butt) not to mention that hd package w/ directv is something like 3 times more money than cable with less channels... All this being said, I really like directv, if the picture for hd was better than io cables hd i would probably go for the extra cash.
     
  16. Chuck Mullen

    Chuck Mullen Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2004
    Messages:
    111
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Paul-
    I don't know if your in a metro area but you may be able to use an indoor antenna depending on how strong a signal you get at your house. That having been said, you will most definitely need to lay out $$$ for DTV HD equipment.
     
  17. Allen Hirsch

    Allen Hirsch Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1999
    Messages:
    532
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I'm agonizing deciding between an upgrade to HD w/ my cable company (but not be able to Tivo HD programs, and have to buy standalone Tivos, b/c my local cable STILL dooesn't offer a DVR), and the outlay and conversion pain to DirecTV w/ HD Tivo.

    I have 2 HDTVs that are underutilized without HD signals, and 2 standard TVs (one's actually an LCD flatscreen computer monitor that can take a HD signal, but I don't have the physical space for a receiver, and it's a "backup TV" anyway, in the kitchen).

    If cable didn't treat me like they were a utility AND a monopoly, AND if they had a DVR now, I'd probably upgrade to HD cable, give up the Tivo-ability to record HD on DirecTV and stick w/ cable. Anyone with more insight?
     
  18. garyPalombit

    garyPalombit Auditioning

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2004
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    DirecTV and an outside antenna is the way to go. All the best programming comes in HD over the Air for FREE. All the NFL games, world series, playoff, basketball, CBS everyday .
    Sports was the reason HD was invented anyways. The OUtside ant is integrated into the DirecTV reciever, so just punch the channel you want and bingo HD.
     
  19. shaneOneill

    shaneOneill Auditioning

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2004
    Messages:
    10
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I am not in the HD world yet so my opinion is limited to just cable vs. satellite...although my buddy has a DirecTV indoor antenna for HDTV local channels that is unobtrusive and works perfectly (DC metro).

    IMO cable is no match for DirecTV in cust svc. My rates have gone up exactly one time with DirecTV and when I've called cust svc (albeit very rarely), they have fixed whatever problem instantly. They send me free PPV movie rebates all the time. When DirecTV bought TIVO, they REDUCED my TIVO charge from $10/mo to $5/mo. When has a cable company EVER reduced the price of anything?

    Additionally, cable has continued to "package" channels to force you to buy a package instead of a la carte channels. The NFL ticket on DirecTV is a showstopper too.
     
  20. Robert_J

    Robert_J Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2000
    Messages:
    8,310
    Likes Received:
    62
    Trophy Points:
    9,110
    Location:
    Mississippi
    Real Name:
    Robert
    DirecTV does not own Tivo. They have a contract with Tivo to provide DVR software.

    -Robert
     

Share This Page