Satellite (DirecTV)...pros vs. cons?

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by Grady Hollums, Mar 13, 2004.

  1. Grady Hollums

    Grady Hollums Second Unit

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    OK, I am about to take the leap into Satellite and I was wondering what exactly are the pros and cons to the Satellite (DirecTV).

    Some of what I have heard:

    Pros [​IMG]:
    • non-local HD shows (My Cable provider has no HD so this is a Pro for me)
    • Digital picture and digital sound even with Food Network!
    • lots more channels (Like TechTV that my cable don't have)
    • can take DirecTV with me where ever I move (I am a UM Pastor and move a lot!)
    • The installation is free

    Cons [​IMG]:
    • Heard bad reception in rain, snow, wind, etc... (Is this True? And exactly how bad is it?)
    • Have to sign up for a year at least (DirecTV)
    • Might not get local channels and/or w/wo HD local (But I already have an antenna for local HD)
    • Costs more money than Cable when you add the HD channels
    • HD channels are not full HD quality because of so many channels taking up bandwidth (is this true of Cable too?)

    OK, anyone have any answers to the stated questions?

    What about any personal testimonies?

    Any one switch from satellite to cable for some reason? (Very interested in knowing this)

    Thanks in advance for all your help and I apprecite all that this forum does for HT, HD, and DVD heh.[​IMG]
     
  2. Robert_J

    Robert_J Lead Actor

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    I tried Time Warner cable from Memphis for 29 days of a 30 day free trial. Hated it. The digital channels had constant break-up with drop-outs and macro blocking. The interface of the cable box was the worst I had ever seen. I put my Dish equipment back up and was happy. I switched to DirecTV for the DirecTivo and it's been the best thing I have ever done. I can't watch TV any more on the networks schedule.

    -Robert
     
  3. Grady Hollums

    Grady Hollums Second Unit

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    Thanks Robert!

    Ok here is a question... Can I TiVo even the local channels I am getting OTA with a DirecTiVo? I am assuming that I can not record HDTV local shows, but I understand that.

    I currently own the Zenith HD-SAT520. It is DirecTV and HD, and OTA w/ HD. I would love to record shows with a TiVo especially if DirecTV would give this TiVo to me fro free, but I still want to use my Zenith for the primary receiver. Is this possible and how? Also if I did want a TiVo device how much more would it cost a month for me to have it?

    So I guess what I am saying is, Does DirecTv give TiVo Devices to their customers or do they only come in receivers? Can the TiVo device be hooked up to my HD receiver and then use the DirecTiVo to record the shows only and use my Zenith to do all the hard work of receiving. If I only want one TiVo Device would they charge me extra ($5 per month)?

    Thanks Again!
     
  4. Brian L

    Brian L Cinematographer

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    No. DTivo's do not have OTA tuners or MPEG encoders; both would be required to do OTA recording. However, you may now (or in the future) be able to get locals via DirecTV, which would render that point moot.

    A DTivo is a one box solution (Tivo + DirecTV receiver). IIRC, they can be had for $99 at retail or via DirecTV. It would be about $10 a month extra to your bill, IIRC (about $5 for the extra receiver, and $5 for the Tivo service).

    You can not integrate the DTivo with your Zenith box. You could integrate a SA Tivo with your Zenith, however. But, as you pointed out, you will not be able to record the HD content.

    Putting all that aside, there will be an HD Tivo slated for 4/1 release. It will combine OTA Digital, DirecTV w/HD, and of course Tivo. It will lack standard (non-Digital) OTA, however.

    If you can get locals from DirecTV, it will have everything you could want. That said, its about $1,000, which is a bit steep. But you could probably get a few bucks for your Zenith to offset the cost of the HD Tivo.

    BGL
     
  5. Grady Hollums

    Grady Hollums Second Unit

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    No local channels can be on DirecTV here in Santa Fe, but I have heard they are available through Dish.

    Maybe Dish is the way to go with the HD TiVo think they have. Someone told me I could get it from free if I sign up through them. Maybe worth looking into if the receiver is free with the pkg. And I think the Dish is like $2 cheeper than DirecTV. (And now that they have made up with Viacom It might be an option that I would be interested in.

    Why can't DirecTV and Dish pick up some of the Cable HD shows that VOOM and Comcast has? (Bravo HD,INHD,INHD2)

    And are UPN and the WB considered local stations? I would love to watch Enterprise in Hd, but the local stations here only have ABC, CBS, and PBS, not even NBC is in HD, this is killing me,a nd I would love to know that some of these other channels will be in HD eventually on DirecTV, but I am just not sure.
     
  6. Brian L

    Brian L Cinematographer

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    I know squat about Dish, so others will need to help there.

    As for D*TV, local digitals are not likely to available via sat, but are available via the OTA Digital tuner that will be part of the HD Tivo.

    And no, NBC, WB, and UPN (at least in ABQ) are not doing HD, nor is there any plan to do so.

    Regular locals (non Digital) via D*TV are coming to ABQ in April, but I do not know if SF is also coming.

    BGL
     
  7. Grady Hollums

    Grady Hollums Second Unit

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    Who is the manufacture of the DirecTV HD TiVo? Is there a news article online about this anywhere I could read up on it? Thanks!

    (Thanks Brian, man we need to meet sometime, heh between this and the NM forum we should know lots about each other, ha ha)
     
  8. Robert_J

    Robert_J Lead Actor

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  9. Grady Hollums

    Grady Hollums Second Unit

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    Thanks Robert:

    I think
    i would like to learn more about TiVo, but still I am wondering how I will record on the TiVo with my Zenith HD-SAT520. I think I would have to change the signal on my Zenith to 480i and then record, but I am not sure that my Zenith will send the 480i through my component video out, and besides I wonder if the TiVo will reduce the quality of my picture going from my Zenith to the TiVo to the TV.

    Thanks for all the help!
     
  10. Robert_J

    Robert_J Lead Actor

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    Not familiar enough with the Zenith to answer this one.

    -Robert
     
  11. Gabriel_Lam

    Gabriel_Lam Screenwriter

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    Enterprise is HD. Yes, I am that much of a geek.
     
  12. Grady Hollums

    Grady Hollums Second Unit

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    So what you are saying is they will send you one box with the DirecTV receiver and the TiVo recorder inside it? Then the receiver that I have right now for HD would not even be used and I would just get the DirecTV HD receiver/decoder and TiVo in one box, and I would just put my Zenith HD-SAT520 to the side and not even use it?

    Is this DirecTiVo HD? But it does record OTA non-HD Digital signals?

    Or are they both sperate, and I could just ask for the TiVo part of the pkg and return the receiver/decoder since I already have the Zenith?

    Sorry that I sound like a knuckle head, I am just getting a little more confused.

    I am basically wondering if I can keep my Zenith HD-SAT520 DirecTV and OTA receiver/decoder and also get a TiVo device that will work with my Zenith so I can just pay the $5 a month for the TiVo and skip the cost of the DirecTV receiver/decoder. Thanks again Robert! Between these two threads we will be best friends, heh You should come to Santa Fe and let me thank you over a viewing of HD, ha ha. [​IMG]
     
  13. Robert_J

    Robert_J Lead Actor

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    Yes, two independent satellite receivers. I use both right now. A Hughes E-86 HD receiver for all of my live HD viewing and a DirecTivo for everything else. Both connected to a Mitsu 55411 TV.

    I've got to pay back the forum for the knowledge I'm sucking out of the DIY section. I've saved thousands building my own speakers and subs.

    -Robert
     
  14. EricTownsend

    EricTownsend Stunt Coordinator

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    Dish Network had a Hi-Def PVR but it had some bugs to work out, so right now it is not available. I have been bugging Dish for a while now, waiting for this to become available again. I won't give up my Dish PVR (standard) for an HD tuner until there is a PVR for it. One nice feature of the Dish PVR is you don't have to pay for a service, but the Tivo service is nice from what I have been told. Anyway, here is what Dish says of their HDTV PVR:

    DISH Player-DVR 921 is a dual-tuner satellite receiver that combines the power of digital video recorder (DVR) technology with the ability to receive and record high definition television programming directly from DISH Network and off-air digital broadcasts.

    FEATURES:

    Combined standard definition (SD) and high definition (HD) two-tuner satellite receiver that provides Picture-In-Picture (PIP)
    Includes DISH Video-On-Demand Service that allows you to pause live TV, play, stop, fast forward, fast reverse, skip forward... more >
    250 gigabyte hard drive
    Up to 180 hours* SD recording, up to 25 hours* HD recording, or a combination of the two
    "Platinum Plus" UHF/Infrared 4-component universal remote control.
    Up to 9-day extended Electronic Programming Guide


    PDF: http://www.dishnetwork.com/downloads...er-dvr_921.pdf
     
  15. Robert_J

    Robert_J Lead Actor

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    The biggest difference between the 921 and the HD DirecTivo is the number of OTA tuners. The 921 has one while the DirecTivo has two. Since most of the Season Passes on my current DirecTivo are for network shows and a lot of times both tuners are recording, I have to have dual OTA tuners.

    -Robert
     

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