Which is better? Digital Cable or Sattelite???

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by NickSo, May 11, 2001.

  1. NickSo

    NickSo Producer

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    Nick So
    I had a thread on the old new forum, but when they switched, it got delted, and i need it to show my dad...
    So, what gives you a better quality picture/sound??
    Which costs more?
    How bout ease of installation? Is there a way to hookup 4 TVs to Sattelite without a seperate reciever for each???
    Thanks
     
  2. Don H

    Don H Auditioning

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    It would be well advised if you first bought a dictionary.
     
  3. Wayne Bundrick

    Wayne Bundrick Cinematographer

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    So you're not going to answer Nick's questions because he spelled a few words wrong?
    Nick:
    I can't comment about quality or price of digital cable, as they will vary from area to area. But most comments I've seen about digital cable have been that the picture quality is not as good as satellite.
    For ease of installation, I'd give the advantage to satellite because you can install it yourself. It requires a minimum of handyman skills to mount a satellite dish and run the cables into the house, a minimum of boy scout skills to read a compass to point the dish in the right direction, and finally a phone call to activate the subscription. With cable you have to make an appointment for an installer, and unless someone else will be home during the day then you will have to make arrangements for time off from work, and then the installer may not show up at the appointed time regardless of whatever guarantee they may offer.
    Since there's still no such thing as a "digital-cable-ready" TV, digital cable is going to require a set-top receiver for each TV just like satellite, so neither one has the advantage when it comes to multiple TV sets. However, with cable some of the TV sets could forego the digital cable box and receive only the analog channels on the basic tier.
     
  4. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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    The Sat systems tend to be better.
    Often times your CATV company takes an analog signal and digitizes it for the trip through the coax. If they are lucky enough to get a digital feed from a local station, it is converted to Analog, then re-digitized for the trip through the coax. This gives you a generational loss.
    The dish systems tend to stay digital for most of their trip. And most dss receivers have svideo output which tends to give you a 20% better picture.
    And the selection on a DSS system is usually better.
     
  5. Matt Parsons

    Matt Parsons Stunt Coordinator

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    I've had them both and IMO there is no comparison. DBS has it ALL over Digital Cable. I get more channels, ALL in digital sound and picture instead of just channels 65+, and it's $12/mo cheaper (Dish Network Top 150). Good riddance Time Warner.....
     
  6. kevin oswald

    kevin oswald Agent

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    I have to agree with the above.. I have read more headaches with digital cable then anything else. I get every station but the PPV and I am paying.. $70 a month for 2 tvs.. or is 75.. If you don't like the idea of buying the receiver and so on.. I think dish is still running there dynamite package.. you rent the receivers same as with cable.
     
  7. TerryBlauser

    TerryBlauser Auditioning

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    On the other hand, here in Houston, I can get 11 channels of High Def via digital cable and only one on Direct TV. I have read of hassles with the installation, they just started HD installations a few months ago. I have also read lots and lots of threads about problems with sat. installations involving trees, faulty equipment, off plumb masts etc. The question for me is decided by bang for the buck. Buy a box and then pay $80/mo for full boat sat. or rent a box for $4/mo and pay $61 for full boat digital cable?
    If you have local HD broadcasts, they are not available through dishes while they shold be in the cable choices. You could mount an antenna and get them Over The Air yourself but again you're up against mother nature and signals from various directions.
    Your choice.
     
  8. Dave Morton

    Dave Morton Supporting Actor

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    I switched from cable to Dish Network when AT&T cable gave a "deal" for digital cable. It was going to cost be around $60 (about $15 more than what I already was paying) each month. I asked them how it was cheaper and they replied that I would be getting more channels and the price per channel would be cheaper. So now for $31 each month I get more channels with satellite.
    I'll NEVER go back to cable. My satellite has only gone out on me twice during a really bad rain storm and for at most 1 minute. Cable always went out on me for hours or days at a time.
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    ------ Dave ------
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    MY HT
     
  9. Wayne Bundrick

    Wayne Bundrick Cinematographer

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    The large number of HD channels on cable in Houston are an exception to the general rule, which is: cable systems want nothing to do with HDTV.
     
  10. Tony Pic

    Tony Pic Auditioning

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    I had Time Warner Digital cable (Orlando, FL) for 3 months, and had (still have, in fact) DirecTV for 18 months. I can honestly say that DirecTV quality and price really is better than TW Digital cable.
    Part of the problem was that the majority of TW's Digital Cable was plain 'ol analog. Only premiums, pay-per-view, and a handful of regular channels are digital. DirecTV offers 100% digital.
    Another problem was that the digital channels offered by TW were not that much better than their analog channels. DirecTV's channels vary by quality too, but all in all, DirecTV was higher in quality.
    Im my case, I did a rough cost-analysis. Turns out that by going with DirecTV, I saved enough money to cover the cost of my hardware in just 7 months. Every month after that, cash in my pocket.
    I am looking to go the HDTV route and I am re-evaluating the Cable vs. Satellite problem. I have not crunched the numbers yet, but I am willing to bet that Satellite is cheaper in the long run. And if it is cheaper, I'll have to decide if lower quality is worth the savings. Who knows, maybe TW in Orlando has gotten better since I dumped it 18 months ago.
    my $.02...
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  11. Damian

    Damian Agent

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    I hated ATT&T digital cable for the longest time. They kept uping their prices every year trying to make it seem like you were getting a bargain, when in fact you weren't. When my wife and I finally bought and moved into our house last December we went with Dish Networks. At first it was great. Lots of channels for a decent price. I can't honestly say the picture is much better. On both my Mitsubishi's the colors have a tendancy to fade in and out. For example, while watching Senfield last night. Jerry and George were standing outside the coffee shop talking. The name of the coffee shop that was painted on the window behind them kept changing from red to almost a brown and back again as the scene changed angles.
    Now I have two different receivers on two different televisions and it was happening on both of them. What could that problem be?
    Also, in my area Dish Networks has been in a fight with NBC this year, so we haven't had that channel all year. Basically it's been "Sorry...no Friends For You" all year. And they wouldn't approve a feed from a different location (like Dallas) in it's absense so I actually missed shows this year BECAUSE of Dish Networks.
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    -Damian
     
  12. Roy C.

    Roy C. Second Unit

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    I've had both PrimeStar and E* and now Digital Cable from TWC, and I must say that, depending on the area, quality is very much comparable. As to pricing, I will say that some of you are not comparing apples to apples.
    With cable I get a good (DD5.1, S-VHS, digital Coax) Pioneer receiver, a lot of friggin' channels (more than I care to watch) including all HBO's and Showtime's for about $65.00. This also includes standard cable on all my other 5 TV's. If I were to compare this to any satellite system, I would end up paying much more for hardware plus the addional monthly costs of running multiple receivers would kill me, probably over $100. Plus, cable gives me RoadRunner. This alone make's it worthwhile to me!!!
    My thoughts.
    Roy C.
    [​IMG]BTW - I AM NOT AN EMPLOYEE OR A SHAREHOLDER OF TWC OR ITS SUBSIDIARIES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! [​IMG]
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  13. Tony Pic

    Tony Pic Auditioning

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    Roy C. make a good point with respect to price, i.e. comparing appples to apples.
    In general, its extremely difficult to compare satellite to digital cable prices, mainly because digital cable offers the FREE analog cables to the rest of the home, whereas with satellite, you'll need many more receivers, and the $5.00/month charge per receiver, if you want a similar service to the rest of the home.
    The following issues place a distinctive advantage on satellite service (my opinion):
    - number of TVs requiring service is small
    - satellite offers scaled-down programming packages starting at $21.99/month, whereas Digital cable starts at $42.00/month
    *For argument sake, we'll assume the quality of TW digital cable to equal quality of DirecTV*
    Here is a quick cost-analysis I did for my parents. They required service to 2 TVs, and 1 Movie package. I compared DirecTV with Time Warner Digital cable in the Tampa area.
    Time Warner Digital Cable
    - Extended cable = 34.00/month
    - Digital Programming package = 7.95/month
    - HBO package (4 HBO channels)= 6.95/month
    - Charge for 2 set top boxes, with remotes (11.90/month)
    - FREE extended cable for TVs in bedroom and kitchen
    Total = 60.80/month
    DirecTV
    - 2 Receivers system = $150
    - FREE installation
    - SelectChoice Programming package (40 channels) = 21.99/month (contained all the channels thay wanted)
    - Extra receiver charge = 5.00/month
    - HBO package (7 HBO channels) = 13.00
    - Optional Local channel service = 5.00/month
    Total = 39.99/month without local channels from satellite
    OR
    Total = 44.99/month with local channels from satellite
    With this real world example, DirecTV is $15-20/month cheaper than TW... meaning the DirecTV hardware is free after between 7.5 and 10 months, depending on whether or not local programming is viewed via satellite. Every month after that, cash in the pocket!
    Me personally, I have one TV on DirecTV, and one TV in the MBR with rabbit ears. I will never again have cable service (or satellite service) to the kids' bedrooms, so satellite is definately cheaper for me.
    my $.02...
    -Tony
     
  14. Michael St. Clair

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    I have Time Warner digital cable. I am no advocate of the cable company. Where I live right now it is impossible to have DBS because of a giant tree canopy (yes, I'm serious...I basically live underneath trees in a historic district).
    I do see DBS at friends houses and in stores. I haven't seen enough to say which I like better for picture quality other than the Encore channels look bad to me from either source. Speedvision leaves a good amount to be desired.
    I must be fortunate that my analog channels are great quality. As an example, my analog 'Fox Sports Ohio' and 'Sci-Fi' channels look better than the DirecTV versions.
    Which tells me that DirecTV definitely compresses TOO MUCH.
     
  15. Paul_R_M

    Paul_R_M Auditioning

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    I've had ATT Digital cable and recently installed the DISH 6000 reciever. I had both systems running for 30 days to see what differences there are. Note: Comparisons were made without using the DISH 6000 upconversion and using composite video out.
    Cable Advantages:
    No brainer installation
    Multiple Local Channels (DISH carries only the Network locals)
    Easier multiple viewing locations.
    That's it for the Digital Cable advantages.
    DISH Advantages
    Sharper picture
    Less noise (even on the digital channels)
    Optical out on the DISH receiver provides superior sound on both video and music channels, not to mention Dolby Digital
    For non HD channels, DISH provides S-Video Y/C out.
    Finally, the accessory off air tuner allows me to receive the local channels and integrate them into my DISH menus.
    Right now I pay for the locals on Cable, route it into the 6000 8vsb tuner and have it all. Can't say as I'd ever go back to cable.
     
  16. Michael St. Clair

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    Hey Paul,
    When we move (later this year) I might switch to DBS. Do you have an opinion of SpeedVision on DISH? See lots of digital artifacts? I'd value your opinion.
     
  17. Christopher Cheadle

    Christopher Cheadle Stunt Coordinator

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    Michael:
    I can tell you that Speedvision on Dish looks better (to me) than on Directv. My parents have Direct and I do notice a few more artifacts on their setup than on my Dish system.
    Seems to be a crap shoot though in terms of which is the better system. Both companies are always monkeying with their compression, so I have good days and bad.
    What is the no-brainer for me is never going back to cable. Digital Cable in Dayton is a joke with most if not all the "digital" channels being converted to analog before conversion to digial and than back to analog (if that makes sense) making for a pretty noticeable quality downgrade.
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    Christopher Cheadle
    Dayton, OH
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    "I gave my love a chicken that had no bone...MMMMM chicken."
    - Homer
     

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