Help choosing HDTV source

Discussion in 'Home Theater Projects' started by CurtJ, May 8, 2006.

  1. CurtJ

    CurtJ Stunt Coordinator

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    I have a 100" screen, with a Sim2 Domino front projector that is being put in my new dedicated HT. I am trying to get opinions on what is the best source for HDTV. Dish, DTV or cable. I want the best picture quality for HD and SD.

    Thanks,
     
  2. Sami Kallio

    Sami Kallio Screenwriter

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    FIOS TV. [​IMG]
     
  3. CurtJ

    CurtJ Stunt Coordinator

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    What is FIOS?
     
  4. Jim Mcc

    Jim Mcc Producer

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    I have HD with Dish Network and I'm very happy with it. It looks great with my projector and 106" diagonal screen. From what I've read on Satelliteguys.us, the majority of people who have had HD with Dish and Directv say Dish has better picture quality.
     
  5. Marc L

    Marc L Stunt Coordinator

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    FIOS is a Verizon broadband product that delivers video via fiber optic cable to your house. www.verizon.com/fios
     
  6. David Noll

    David Noll Stunt Coordinator

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    Curt,

    I actually have cable. Here in central PA, Service Electric Cablevision offers a package that is superior to Direct TV. I get 20 HD channels, not including premium HBO etc., and they keep adding more. All of the local network channels are is HD. Also, most analog channels have been converted to digital. You'll have to compare the two in your area and see which is better for you.

    Good luck,

    David
     
  7. JeffCar

    JeffCar Agent

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    In my neck of the PA woods (Hershey vicinity), they have FIOS for internet only at this point. Good speed, etc. but I am reluctant to move to FIOS until they get TV included. There are a bunch of politics playing out, including Comcast lobbying the Commonwealth to make Verizon get approval on a locality by locality basis as they had to instead of getting approval to go statewide in one fell swoop. Gotta love it. What kind of program selection is Verizon providing elsewhere? Cost vs. Cable?

    Jeff
     
  8. Sami Kallio

    Sami Kallio Screenwriter

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    FIOS TV is actually cheaper than on my previous Dish account. The deal breaker however is the picture quality and reliability of the service. Not to mention that receivers are updated very quickly so there is always program guide available. Future bandwidth shouldn't be a problem either on fibre network.
     
  9. JeffCar

    JeffCar Agent

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    Sami, I am a bit confused. I believe you are saying FIOS is MORE reliable and has better picture quality than your dish. That is great news. What are the current prices for FIOS TV though? It seems that in comparison to Comcast cable, HSI is lower priced with higher bandwidth. Anyone else have a comparison to cable costs / quality?

    Thanks,

    Jeff
     
  10. BruceSpielbauer

    BruceSpielbauer Second Unit

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    Curt:

    The consensus on this forum and also at several others is as follows:

    If it is picture quality alone, the worst is DirecTV. This is because they are overly compressing their high definition channels, and also their standard definition ones, to try to cram more and more programming onto their limited bandwidth on the satellites. They have launched two new satellites, and plan on two more, but they seem to be only interested in adding new channels (local channels in high definition for almost every major market, which requires a TON of bandwidth -- and do not seem concerned at all about the degrading quality of the image. For further reading, do a search on the term -- HDLITE. or HD Lite, or HD-Lite. They are also now downconverting the resolution so that most purists have noted that it is no longer even "true high definition" by the ATSC and FCC designations.

    Dish Network is doing some of the same stuff, quietly, but not yet so drastically. They are using a bit too much compression. The amount varies from channel to channel. However, it is definitely not as dramatic in the amount of compression. Thus, it is (as a general rule) an improvement over DirecTV in pure image quality.

    Finally, we look at cable TV. A bit more complicated, so read carefully...

    -In MOST of the locales across the country, the image quality is the winner.
    -However, there are exceptions. If you live in the wrong town, or the wrong neighborhood, you may find that your cable company is doing the same sort of thing as described above, and sending out an overly-compressed signal. However, those are the exceptions, and most cable companies are providing less compression, and I know of none that are actually lowering the resolution.

    You specifically asked about image quality, and the above only addresses this. Obviously, some people also factor in other measures -- which one offers more sports, or which one offers more high definition channels...

    Too much compression tends to look like this:
    -Some pixellization occurs during very fast action scenes, with quick camera moves such as pans, or fast cuts.
    -A generally softer image.
    -Loss of detail.

    Hope that helps with YOUR question.

    -Bruce
     
  11. Sami Kallio

    Sami Kallio Screenwriter

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    Yes, FIOS is more reliable and has better PQ. With the bandwidth they have there is no need to further compress the signal. I didn't have HD with dish but even with SD you could tell the difference in PQ. Some channels have very nice HD, almost as good as HD-DVD.

    Prices with taxes included:

    $52.01 for 15/2 mbits internet
    $53.12 for FIOS TV with 3 receivers (will be higher now that I added HD DVR and extra HD receiver)
     

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