Satellite or Cable?????

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Wil_J, Sep 9, 2001.

  1. Wil_J

    Wil_J Stunt Coordinator

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    Ok I have a question here. Currently I have no input to my only TV unless I choose to put on a DVD. I'm thinking it's now time to get some real TV going.
    My problem is that I don't know whether I should get cable, digital cable, or Satellite. I don't know anything about Satelite, or anything else. I haven't had cable TV in over 2 years (no, I'm not joking). That has always been my choice but now I think it would be a good thing to start.
    Anyway, my question is this: What are the advantages of a Satelite? Disadvantages? I want to start learning about this so I can make an informed decision about my TV input.
    I'm only researching at this point so I'm not worried about price. One other thing that disturbs me, I have always thought that with a Satellite I can't get local channels?
    Help?.........Wil
    ------------------
    "The rose petal floats on water,
    the kingfisher flashes above the pond.
    Life and beauty swirl in the midst of death."

    al'Lan Mandragoran,
    *******The Wheel of Time
     
  2. James Reyes

    James Reyes Stunt Coordinator

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    DBS generally offers better PQ (Picture Quality). In my experience, digital cable has too much artifacting, though satellite has it's share of artifacting as well. DBS is 100% digital, including locals, whereas digital cable may have only select channels in digital. DBS is generally less expensive and in the long run saves you more money. There is a greater variety of features when selecting a DBS receiver, with models that have interactive features, PVR/PDR options, AC-3 output that actually works, etc. My DBS provider of choice is DISH Network. Unless you are a die hard pro sports fan, I see no reason to go with DIRECTV, DISH has better rates on programming, i.e., DIRECTV's Total Choice Platinum is $84.99 and DISH's America's Everything Pak is $69.99. Do your homework and visit both provider's websites and visit http://www.dbsforums.com . It's an inexhaustible resource on the subject.
    The only advantage cable has, in my opinion, is the ability to run an analog feed to numerous TV's without additional converters. For me, this simply isn't worth digital cable's disadvantages.
    [Edited last by James Reyes on September 09, 2001 at 04:33 AM]
     
  3. James Reyes

    James Reyes Stunt Coordinator

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  4. Wil_J

    Wil_J Stunt Coordinator

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    Ok, so you are saying that Satellite is better than any type of cable?
    Lets assume that I want to go with Dish Network. I went to the website and looked at the different programing packages they have availible. But it doesn't say a thing about the hardware. Nothing about instalation, how much the hardware will cost, etc. What about that?........Wil
    ------------------
    "The rose petal floats on water,
    the kingfisher flashes above the pond.
    Life and beauty swirl in the midst of death."

    al'Lan Mandragoran,
    *******The Wheel of Time
     
  5. James Reyes

    James Reyes Stunt Coordinator

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  6. Keith Mickunas

    Keith Mickunas Cinematographer

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    Wil, which small town are you in? Which cable service do you get? A friend of mine there works for Comcast, and has their full services. I've seen his box, and it was the same as the one I had with AT&T. The AT&T service was really crappy compared to Dish. I can check on Comcast, but I don't imagine it will be very good either.
    AT&T and other cable companies will put a certain number of channels down the system in analog, and they'll look ok, but with their digital channels, they sometimes over compress. This creates a lot of artifacting, especially in dark scenes. With mine, the first 100 channels or so were analog, everything after that was digital, and I didn't enjoy watching the digital stuff. Even after I've been using the dish for two months, when I turn to channels that were on the digital side on cable, I keep being surprised at how good they look.
    As for Dish's equipment, they almost always are running a deal involving free equipment and installation. Plus they have a plan for moving, basically they give you a new Dish and have it installed at your new place for free. When I got mine installed, I paid for a higher end receiver (to get the digital output) and for a tripod since I live in an apartment. The cost for me upfront was less than $200 and all I'm obligated to is $40 of service or more for one year. I'm getting the 150 package, the locals, all the HBO's, and a UPN channel for $60 a month. If I dropped HBO, the price would be very comparable to or less than the digital cable, which gave me less and at much lower quality.
     
  7. Clinton McClure

    Clinton McClure Casual Enthusiast

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    I too am in the market for something other than cable. At this time last year, my basic cable cost $19/mo. With the addition of 3 new channels (none of them worth watching) in the past 12 months, the cost of basic here is now a whopping $30. If there were a couple movie channels thrown in, I'd be happy, but the movie channels are all $10ea. extra per month.
    So next month, I'm giving my cable company the old heave-ho and going to some sort of satellite network. I'll check out DISH and see what they offer.
    Thanks. [​IMG]
    ------------------
    http://us.f1.yahoofs.com/users/11519...vVP77AEjmWJInE
     
  8. Jerome Grate

    Jerome Grate Cinematographer

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    What coaxed me to change was the fct that cable was not sending a stereo signal to all it's channels, especially the premium ones. I remember my first HT system and I ordered Lethal Weapon 4 and recoded on my new stereo VCR. Well I got so pissed off when the VCR's stereo HI-FI light did not light up. Meanwhile all the local channels were in stereo. I have Dishnetwork now and each channel has beautiful picture quality and most important stereo surround sound.
    Digital cable is o.k. (my mom has it) but not all channels are digital. Usually you would have to go high in the channel numbers for digital.
    ------------------
    If loving Home Theater is
    wrong, I don't want to be
    right!!!
     
  9. Wil_J

    Wil_J Stunt Coordinator

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    I live in Knob Noster Mo, Whiteman Air Force Base. About 30 min outside K.C. From what I see, it looks like Satellite is the way to go, except for a few things. The first being even the cheapest hardware they have (shown on their website) is pretty expensive. If I go cable, I don't have to pay for hardware (do I?). But on the other hand, Satallite will give me many of the channels that I would like to have, for much less than a cable company. And while browsing their website (Dish), I didn't see any obvious deals regarding equipment and installation. Can anyone tell me why I should use Satellite over cable? Because if I'm gonna fork over that much cash, it had better be worth it.
    I didn't want to spend more than $70-$75 per month AT MOST!
    You see my problem. And with me being in the middle of @#!$in no where, it's not helping anything.........Wil
    ------------------
    "The rose petal floats on water,
    the kingfisher flashes above the pond.
    Life and beauty swirl in the midst of death."

    al'Lan Mandragoran,
    *******The Wheel of Time
    [Edited last by Wil_J on September 10, 2001 at 03:19 PM]
     
  10. Robert_J

    Robert_J Lead Actor

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    www.dishdepot.com has very good prices and great customer service. If you are handy with a drill and a screwdriver, you can install it yourself. If not, call Dish and arrange and install. I haven't checked lately but some new subscriber incentives have a free install. Also, the price for hardware is cheaper for a new subscriber so get the model receiver that you want. You will pay a lot more for it later.
    I have the America's Everything package. I pay 69.99/month for all of the regular channels plus the premium movie channels. I also have a 4.99 extra receiver fee. My montly bill plus tax is 80.23.
    -Robert
     
  11. Keith Mickunas

    Keith Mickunas Cinematographer

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    Hmm, Knob Noster, can't say I know a thing about their cable. Heck its been a number of years since I last lived at CMSU, ah the memories, so I don't know anything about that area now. But I digress. Take a look at : http://www.dishnetwork.com/content/p...ns/index.shtml
    They got some good promotions going on there, I don't see why you don't like them. You can either buy the equipment, get free installation, and pay $9 a month, or get the equipment and installation for free and and pay $35 or more a month, depending on your choice. Its been my experience that Dish is almost always giving away the equipment. As long as you plan to keep the service a year, and I'm sure you'll like it enough for that, you can't really lose.
    While Knob Noster isn't near as bad as say living in Kansas, I doubt its cable system is going to be that great. Give Dish a shot, its good stuff. Way better than the digital cable I get in Plano, which being a fairly wealthy town you'd think would have high quality service. But that's cable, and it generally sucks.
     
  12. RAF

    RAF Lead Actor

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    Having been a recent convert to the DISH Network from Cable (Cablevision, not digital) I can say, without reservation that DISH is far better and even less expensive for what you get.
    A few personal experiences (I live in the NYC suburbs):
    Just last night we had our first major thunderstorm since I installed my Dish network. Service was interrupted for about 15 minutes at the beginning and height of the storm, so I was a bit annoyed. However, after thinking about it, I realize that this was a lot better than the interruptions I have had from cable over the years when a storm or hurricane hit (sometimes up to three days!). Also, the signal on cable, since it is tied into whatever is happening down the line varies greatly from day to day. Every time someone has a problem in the neighborhood it would affect my signal.
    Advantage: DISH
    Today we all experienced the tragedy of the destruction of the World Trade Center and the massive TV antennas on the roof of one of the towers. As the building tumbled, most over the air local stations stopped working. On the Dish network I lost absolutely nothing. On my neighbors' cable sets they lost the local feeds and had to get ABC via ESPN.
    Huge Advantage: DISH
    'Nuff said.
    I could add to this HDTV, which is non-existent on my local cable network and won't be for many years. It looks amazing on my Dish Network.
    Case closed, as far as I'm concerned. If you can get a DISH signal this is a no brainer. No contest.
    ------------------
    RAF
    [Demented Video Dude since 1997]
    [Computer Maven since 1956]
    ["PITA" since 1942]
    My HT (latest update 02/05/01)
     
  13. David Tallen

    David Tallen Stunt Coordinator

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    Having been a cable subscriber and currently being a satellite subscriber I can say without reservation that you should spend your money on books and DVDs. There is not enough good programming on to justify the bother and expense of either cable or satellite, IMHO.
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    "If you set aside Three Mile Island and Chernobyl, the safety record of nuclear is really very good." Paul O'Neill, Treasury Secretary.
     
  14. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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    Wil: I strongly suggest you check out the introductory price on the Dish PVR501 unit. This thing has a built-in recorder that is second to none.
    I have backup cable, did have Digital cable, but most of my viewing is on Dish.
    The cable system has 2 major problems:
    - They are un-responsive to the customers programming needs
    - The quality depends on how good/old the wire is in your area.
    When I got Digital Cable, the quality was identical to normal cable due to a recent upgrade in the local wireing.
    But some of the local WB, and UPN stations had a lot of noise/snow/drop-outs even on digital. When I cancled the service, the CATV guy told me that LOCAL STATIONS arrive via an antenna. Then they are converted to digital for the trip through the coax.
    And "Digital Television" really only benifits the cable company. The digital signals are more robust so it looks better on older systems without the expense of changing all the coax.
    With DSS, all the signals are digital all the way to your home. Much cleaner/crisper.
    With DSS, you have a much larger selection. I have 5 HBO channels, but CATV would only give me 1. And the CATV company has several times taken away channels (like E! and others) and replaced them with home-shopping channels (which they get paid to send).
    And the ability to pause/rewind live TV is wonderful. Now we never have to shush family when they come into talk, or get frustrated at phone calls, door-bells, etc. We just pause the show and get back to it later.
    Of all my HT gear, the DSS recorder is the only one my wife really likes and brags about.
    Highly recommended: Dish PVR501
     
  15. Alan Markow

    Alan Markow Agent

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    Okay, guys, someone simply has to make a case for DirectTV as an alternative to Dish. I am not claiming objectivity because I do not have Dish, but I can tell you that thus far my new DirectTV with hi-def capability has been stunning, and the most stunning part is HDNet on channel 199. I believe that at this time HDNet is only available on DirectTV.
    Secondly, I like choosing equipment from among the major CE manufacturers. I selected the Sony HD box for DirectTV, and it has been outstanding. I know there have been discussions of problems, but Sony appears to have resolved them. The unit works flawlessly for me.
    Third, DirectTV provides a single oval dish with two LNBs that can see both the regular and hi-def birds at once. Neater solution for hi-def.
    Finally, I get HBO hi-def, including the 16:9 hi-def version of Band of Brothers. Between BoB and HDNet, the overall home theater system has gained immeasurably in value.
    My hi-def image is via a CRT projector (Vidikron Vision Three, which is based on an Electrohome Marquee 8101) on a 120" diagonal Stewart screen.
    Just wanted to make sure another point of view had been provided to Wil
    Alan Markow
     
  16. Wil_J

    Wil_J Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks for the advice guys. But due to the current situation, and me living on an Air Force Base, I just signed up for basic cable. Because all I'm worried about is the news right now.
    I'll look into it when I have the time to pay attention to it.........Wil
     
  17. Keith Mickunas

    Keith Mickunas Cinematographer

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    What do you do at Whiteman? I imagine things got pretty tense there on Tuesday to say the least. How much has security gone up there (not that I'm asking you to divulge confidential information or anything). I'm guessing that with the B-2s their being pretty careful.
     
  18. Wil_J

    Wil_J Stunt Coordinator

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    All I am allowed to say is that we are at a hightend security posture in order to protect personell and priority resources, and we stand ready to carry out any order given by the national command authority.
    As far as what I do, I am a system admin for certain sensitve computer systems.
    I am not allowed to say any more on the issue.........Wil
    ------------------
    "The rose petal floats on water,
    the kingfisher flashes above the pond.
    Life and beauty swirl in the midst of death."

    al'Lan Mandragoran,
    *******The Wheel of Time
    [Edited last by Wil_J on September 15, 2001 at 11:43 AM]
     
  19. Kevin Potts

    Kevin Potts Second Unit

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    Sattelite [​IMG]
    Cable [​IMG]
    ------------------
    [​IMG]"See the world on the wings of rock and roll"
     

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