Help me get rid of "Digital Cable"

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Chris Brown, Aug 29, 2002.

  1. Chris Brown

    Chris Brown Stunt Coordinator

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    I have AT&T digital cable, and have had it for a number of years now. As I get more into HT however, I've come to realize more and more the limitations of AT&T's Digital Cable.
    1. Everything is shown in Pan & Scan
    2. 2 channel audio only (Really frustrating since it even says dolby digital on the box.)
    3. Lack of content. I only get a few HBO's, showtimes, starz, etc... while i've seen other people who have like 10 of each.
    4. $150 per month.
    I've tried looking into satelite, but i'm not sure where to start. Can someone point me in the right direction?
    My requirments are that I must have local channels, lots of other channels, lots of pay channels, digital out, play movies in widescreen, and be $150 or less a month with free install. I don't ask much, do I? [​IMG]
    Thanks for your help.
     
  2. Robert_J

    Robert_J Lead Actor

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    You have two choices: Dish Network or DirecTV. Go to their web sites and look at the programming and pricing. You will find that they are similar. If the differences in programming isn't enough to make a decision on, tell us your hardware requirements and we'll lead you in the right direction.

    -Robert
     
  3. Jay H

    Jay H Producer

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    You should also be able to see if you qualify for local channels at both Dish's and Directv's website. Sometimes you might only qualify for certain local channels however so make sure you look closely. You should also be able to get a bunch of stuff for $150 or less, I mean I have a subscription to DishNetwork's AtHome plan with AT150 (I'm renting the PVR501) and it's only $55 mo including the $5 extra receiver fee. I don't subscribe to locals nor any premium plan. You should easily be able to subscribe to premiums with the $95 leftover on either Direct or Dish.

    Check out the Audio/Video Sources forum for more information on the satellite hardware and options.

    Jay
     
  4. Carl Johnson

    Carl Johnson Cinematographer

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    $150 per month for cable tv? Wow, that figure makes me love my rabbit ears all that much more[​IMG]
     
  5. derek

    derek Second Unit

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    For about $45 a month I can get Adelphia digital cable (analog stations up to channel 70 - then approx 30 digital stations, 15 movie channels (Hbo,showtime etc), 10 in demand movie channels and 40 music channels. HBO,Showtime, Cinemax subscriptions approx $10 more a month. I've been pleased with the digital stations esp the subscription ones in regard to picture quality. Digital channels have had little pixellization as compared to what I've seen on satellite. Yes only analog audio. Yes most in pan & scan. But...unless you subscribe to a High Def channel most NTSC programming is in pan & scan. Thank God for DVD. Sometimes you'll see LBX (Fox movie channel, TCM & AMC etc.)
     
  6. Michael St. Clair

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    For about $70 a month I get Time Warner Digital Cable with more channels than I can count, including Speed Channel for auto racing, which is what prompted me to get digital cable.

    I also get five HD channels so far, in 5.1 audio when the broadcaster uses it. And the HD converter box doesn't cost me anything extra.

    HD-CBS
    HD-ABC
    HD-NBC
    HD-HBO (shows 1.85:1 movies in HD OAR)
    HD-Showtime (shows 1.85:1 and 2.35:1 movies in HD OAR)

    I have 14 HBOs, 8 Cinemax, and 10 Showtime standard def channels that I watch for original programming.

    I get OAR movies on IFC, TCM, and some on Fox Movie Channel and Sundance.

    I get 14 commercial-free Encore channels, which I don't use much but they do have some anime in OAR.

    Picture quality on my digital cable is better than DirecTV or DISH.
     
  7. Glenn Overholt

    Glenn Overholt Producer

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    The trouble with cable is that you're stuck with the provider for the area you live in.

    For Sat, you do have to have a clear view, so if you have trees, hills, buildings SE of you, you might not be able to get it. Check for dishes with your neighbors.

    As for Directv vrs. Dish, just look at their options and get what you want, as you're paying way, way too much now.

    Glenn
     
  8. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

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    Radio Shack, Best Buy, Circuit City and the rest have deals that provide discounts on the satellite receiver(s) and installation if you commit to a year with either Dish or DirectTV. This only applies to new customers, which appears to be you.
     
  9. Marty M

    Marty M Cinematographer

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    If you don't qualify to receive local channels through Directv or Dish, check out if your cable provider has a basic service with the local channels. Locally, we can get the local channels for $10 per month.

    If you want to look into Dish Network, Sears carries that.
     
  10. Greg Z

    Greg Z Stunt Coordinator

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    I was able to get my Directv dish, reciever, and installation all for free, as long as I subscribed for service for 1 year. I got my local channels for an extra $5.00, or close to that.. All through Blockbuster. Go figure.
     
  11. Patrick_S

    Patrick_S Producer

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    I also live in the Bay Area and since AT&T is basically forcing its' customers over to Digital Cable I just recently upgraded (if you can say that) to AT&T Digital Cable.

    I'm very dissatisfied with the over all quality. Channel surfing is terrible it takes several seconds for the picture to lock in. Until it does the picture is semi scrambled and for a habitual channel surfer it is very trying.

    I'm looking at moving to Direct TV within the month.

    Chris I know that local channels are available on Direct TV.
     
  12. Hanson

    Hanson Producer

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    A don't forget the dirty little secret no one tells you -- only channels above 100 are digital. All other channels are the same analog transmission you'd get without the expense. Personally, I don't need 50 different HBO channels and can live without Discovery Channel 4, so I find it to be a total rip-off.

    Hanson
     
  13. MickeS

    MickeS Producer

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    $150/month?? Are you sure your bill is correct?
    We pay about $80 (I think) and that includes the digital channels + the Encore channels + 10 channels of HBO (+2 spanish language HBO channels). The two reasons I have digital is becuase I like having the HBO east coast feed and the music video + Music Choice channels.
    What I hate is the terrible compression on some of the channels, but it's still worth the money, IMO.
    We are finally getting local channels on satellite though, so I might look into getting that instead of cable now though.
    Like someone mentioned, just go to an electronics store chain and they'll sell you a satellite packet incl installation in no time. [​IMG]
    /Mike
     
  14. GordonL

    GordonL Supporting Actor

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    For $86/month you can get DirecTV with all the channels (over 185) including premiums and locals. Sports packages are extra. If you go that route, go for the DirecTivo hardware and get the Tivo service for free.
     
  15. MikeAlletto

    MikeAlletto Cinematographer

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    This thread made me go look on directtv.com and my area. I can get local stations but no UPN (no buffy). I would get their super basic pack (the one with the movie channels) and the local so it would be $85, but then I gotta buy a dish and a box? And I need an extra box for each of my 3 tvs? And I always need to have a phone line connected to the box?

    Whats the difference between the ultimate tv box and the tivo box?
     
  16. Hanson

    Hanson Producer

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    Software, software, software. The Tivo software is the proven winner.

    Hanson
     
  17. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    I had both "digital" and analog cable coming into the house on two separate feeds. The analog always looked better, and many of the stereo channels were only mono on the overly compressed "digital" line. Finally, AT&T Broadband began migrating some of the few channels are I truly cared about over to "digital" only (Turner Classic Movies, among them).

    I said the hell with it, and dumped both cable feeds--all with a view to switching over to DirecTV.

    But I discovered something. Since most of my "television watching" is limited to PBS, and since I am in a good line-of-sight location, I was amazed at how much better my picture looked over the air. No compression artifacts, better, more saturated color, a crisper image, the works.

    Since I have more than one DVD player, and nearly 450 DVDs (just the titles alone, mind you--many of them are boxsets containing several discs), I have had precious little incentive to once again begin paying for television. And I hardly miss the only cable channels that once interested me (The History Channel, Discovery Channel, etc.), and I certainly don't miss the overly aggressive, more obnoxious station-bug logos on the cable channels. And don't even get me started on what TNN has done to its presentations of TNG.

    Except for not being able to catch a History Channel documentary on the B-29 Superfortress, I can't recall ever lamenting the absence of cable television. The hell with it.

    Why pay for mediocrity when you can get it for free?
     
  18. MickeS

    MickeS Producer

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    [​IMG]
     
  19. Dennis Nicholls

    Dennis Nicholls Lead Actor

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    Over the air rocks. I'm about 50 miles from the main DTV transmitter tower (Mt. Sutro in SF) but OTA looks great via my RCA DTC-100. Couple that with basic DirecTV for $24 per month and I'm happy. Our local PBS affiliate KQED-DT 30 comes in 5 x 5. I think cable operators are scared that the consumer will re-discover how good OTA can be. Most people haven't tried it for decades, and there's been lots of improvement in that time.
     
  20. Patrick_S

    Patrick_S Producer

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    Unfortunately I live over in the East Bay and OTA is very poor because of the hills.

    Back in the sixties when this community was built cable was a necessity if you wanted to watch TV.

    Of course Sat Dishes are now in play so at least you now have a choice. Besides I really like the idea of getting the net feeds from the east coast
     

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