HI DEF: Any other satellite users choose "cheaper" digital cable for HD feeds?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Captain Spaulding, May 27, 2002.

  1. Captain Spaulding

    Captain Spaulding Second Unit

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    After exploring the costs involved with each, I decided to have digital cable installed in order to get the HBO and Showtime HD feeds. Time Warner is charging me just $50 a month for the first year to get all of their digital channels and all movie channels. The HD cable box is supplied without additional costs. In order to get HD from DirecTV, I would have needed to install a new dish and purchase a high def capable satellite receiver [at the least an $800 total investment]. One could argue that I'm just "renting" my HD service instead of buying, but its a good way to try out HD without the big initial investment. The high def channels look great, but none of the other channels look as good as they do via satellite [no surprise there!] Several people who do not have satellite and have seen the digital cable signal say the picture looks fantastic [its all relative, I guess!]. We are feeling a bit "indulgent" at our house, with both satellite AND digital cable! When the $50/special ends in a year, I'll again evaluate the state of HD technology. I'm sure that costs, programming and hardware will be different!
     
  2. Pete Jennings

    Pete Jennings Second Unit

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    Jay, I was in the same boat and tried to do the same thing last week. I was "supposedly" going to be able to get HD cable service from MediaCom. I ordered up the service, expressed REPEATEDLY that the ONLY reason I was doing so was to get High-Def, and insisted they include in the service order the need to provide a HDD-200 HD decoder with the installation. I was promised all of this by the rep, we even discussed their rollout of HD by 2006. Well, the knuckle-dragging, missing-link cable installer arrived within the proper time window. I asked to see the "High Definition" decoder box, and he gave me a scared, no speakee lingo look, and started to run back to his van! He actually said that I was "speaking Greek" to him. I asked to see the back of the "Digital" box he was trying to install, and found it had no component outputs, and no digital audio outputs. I explained to him that MediaCom had promised me he would be bringing the proper equipment with him the first time, and that the proper box had dolby digital audio outputs and a HDD-200 decoder box with component video outputs. I informed him that I would stick to my satellite service (DirecTV), and thanked him for coming out. [​IMG].
    After he left, I called MediaCom to bitch. I found out the phone rep was "supposed" to have entered my name on a whiteboard to receive the decoder box. They had grossly underestimated the demand for them, and were ordering them in lots after a predetermined number of users needed them. I told them no thank you, that I had taken off 4 unnecessary hours from work, and that their installer appeared to only know how to crimp coax! I cancelled my request and ordered a Dish Network system as a new user from the Satellite Guy. After selling my DirecTV stuff to offset my costs it will cost me about $250 for a Dish 6000 w/OTA module, a Dish 301 w/ 500 dish and free installation. I will be using my existing 18" DirecTV dish for the HD satellite.
    Moral of the story in my case? High tech TV = satellite. Low tech TV = cable. If the DirecTV/Dishnet merger goes through they are gonna mop the floor with the technically challenged cable companies. The only positive thing I have to say about MediaCom is they have good cable modem service, I have been really pleased with it.
    Save your aggrevation and stick with your DSS! It'll be worth it in the long run.
    My $.02
    Pete
     
  3. Todd Hochard

    Todd Hochard Cinematographer

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    I did this. I got rid of Dish Network, and picked up TWC, to get HD for less $.

    The monthly is competitive with Dish (about $5/mo better with cable, given the same package). The picture on TWC, both analog and digital, is much clearer on my Elite 510HD (53") than Dish ever was. AND, I get 8 (9 soon, with Discovery HD) HD channels (ABC, NBC, CBS, PBS, HBO, SHO, WB, FOX).

    On top of that, they knocked $10/mo off my cable modem. A total of $100/mo, including cable modem, HBO and Showtime.

    As you can see, quality varies according to region. I'm more satisfied with TWC than I ever was my Dish. I don't see myself going back.

    Todd
     
  4. Captain Spaulding

    Captain Spaulding Second Unit

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    Well Pete, it turns out that you were 100% correct! My expectations about cable service were low going in to this. I was pleasantly surprised how smoothly things went at first. But after a few days, the HD cable box died. I called to have it replaced but the "technician" showed up with a standard digital box and had no idea he was supposed to bring a Hi Def box. After several frustrating phone calls, a new Hi Def box was brought out...but it also died after only a couple of hours!!! Additional calls brought only frustration...so I had them yank the cable out! I'm getting my DirecTV dish upgraded this afternoon! I went shopping for a high def receiver yesterday. I wanted the Toshiba, but no one locally had them in stock. I came arcoss a Hughes "Platinum HD" for $499.00 and grabbed it. I was not familiar with this model and rarely buy electronics without reading some reviews, but the price was definitely right. Here's hoping for a much better satellite Hi Def experience!
     
  5. Michael Lomker

    Michael Lomker Stunt Coordinator

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    Jay, I assume your talking about the Scientific Atlanta 2000 series box. It is known to be a piece of junk. I got a 3100HD and haven't had a single problem with it. At first I had thought the upconverter in the box was cheesy but it turns out that after my set was ISF calibrated that it looks as good as the S-video output (on non-HD channels).

    The pricing is also great because of the discount for dish owners.
     
  6. MikhailL

    MikhailL Extra

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    Question to TWC HD customers:
    Does HD cable converter have a component output?
    What was the resolution on the HD channels (1080i/720p)?

    thanks.
    (TW promises to roll out HD in NY area by the end of the year, can't wait)
     
  7. Captain Spaulding

    Captain Spaulding Second Unit

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    Michael, it was two of the 3100HD's that went bad! We had them install a 2100 in the bedroom, and it worked fine the entire time.
    MikhailL, it DOES have component outputs and delivers 1080i [at least that's what I saw for about 10 minutes! before things started going bad[​IMG]
     
  8. Jeffrey R

    Jeffrey R Stunt Coordinator

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