Thinking of switching from DISH to Charter Cable

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Andy Young, Jan 8, 2003.

  1. Andy Young

    Andy Young Stunt Coordinator

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    I live in Medford and we have no locals and probably never will (too small of a market to warrant locals and not close enough to any other major markets).

    After 2 years of switching between antenna and satellite, I've just about had it. It also has made running signals through the receiver (HT) much more difficult ... and difficult to operate. And the OTA signal is often barely watchable.

    I looked up the broadcast towers and, relative to my house, CBS & FOX are nearly overlaid AND 176 degrees out of phase with NBC & ABC, which are nearly overlaid. You can nearly draw a perfectly straight line that intersects all 5 points with my house in the middle, equidistance (~35 miles) from all stations. The result is that there is no universal antenna position. I've tried everything: large roof mount antennas, circular dish mount antennas, side-of-house mounts, in-line amplifiers, diplexed lines, non-diplexed lines and nothing works as well as the rabbit ears that came with my 1984 19" TV inside my house. The laws of physics don't exist on my roof.

    Finally, the video quality of DISH is getting so bad -- pixelation is horrible on moving pictures (esp. during sports -- e.g., look at the field behind the football player).

    On top of that, we pay $5 extra for the other box and $5 extra for NBC (the only network to grant a waiver).

    With digital cable, I get the networks without having to switch between tuners, HT setup & operation is easier, and I don't lose any channels.

    It costs a bit more, but I also get a break on the internet service, which I'm going to get anyway.

    Does anyone have any experiences with Charter? I had Adelphia back when I lived in Virginia (1996-2000), so I already know about the general atrocities of cable companies (poor customer support, cable outages, etc.).

    Thanks.
     
  2. Chris_HD

    Chris_HD Agent

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    I just got the 3100HD and HD service from Charter. I've had it for about two weeks now.

    They only offer two channels today - HBO-HD and Discovery HD Theater. The HBO-HD cost is rolled into the cost of renting the settop ($9.95/mo), and when they eventually start serving up the locals there will be no extra charge. DHDT is $4.99/mo by itself, which is high, but it is all-HD all the time, most of it filmed with HD cameras. The picture quality is stunning. The 3100HD does not scale, stretch or zoom so unless you don't mind watching all of the SD channels in 4:3 letterbox you have to use the composite or S-Video output along with the analog audio for SD channels, and switch inputs to watch the HD channels with digital audio. PITA. New settops are supposed to be rolled out "in the Spring".

    So far the picture quality has been great and the service reliable in my area.
     
  3. Malcolm R

    Malcolm R Executive Producer

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    I've had Charter cable (non-digital) for about 4 years and Internet service for about a year. I've been happy with the quality, service and reliability. They're just rolling out some new packages for digital and digital/Internet combos, so they may have some deals for new subscribers (just got a mailing, but can't find it right now).

    I know they also have a dish buy-back program if you own your dish. They'll give you $150 for it if you stay with Charter for at least a full year.
     
  4. Andy Young

    Andy Young Stunt Coordinator

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    $70/month for Expanded Basic Digital (no HBO or other premiums) and 256K download internet access + free modem lease and guaranteed rates through 2004. I think 768K is anthother $6/month.

    That's only $8/month more than I pay for DISH and dial-up internet access.

    They didn't answer any of my questions about AV connections on their boxes. That will be a deal killer if there is no S-Video, as my Pioneer Elite VSX-26TX receiver cannot handle different types of connections.
     
  5. Chris_HD

    Chris_HD Agent

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    Andy,

    The 3100HD has component, S-Video, and composite video outputs. It has L-R RCA analog audio and RCA coaxial digital audio outputs on the audio side. Outputs are driven simultaneously.

    Chris
     
  6. Alan Benson

    Alan Benson Stunt Coordinator

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    I understand, and sympathize... I too live in an area where satellite TV means "unwatchable OTA networks only." I'm seriously considering taking up DirectTV and lying about my address.
     

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