10 Year Customer Looking at Switching, Few Questions? (1 Viewer)

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adam61

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Family
Jul 19, 2006
56
2
I've been with DirecTV for over 10 years and had almost no issues. But it seems like the bill has really gone up and I'm now paying over $125 for Just Preferred XTra+HBO. I recently bought a 4K TV and was looking to possibly get an HR54 and 2 Genie 4K Minis to replace my current HR44 and 2xHR24, but was quoted $300 up front ($200 for HR54 $99 for 1 Genie Mini other Free). I asked about bill credits to compete as has been suggested here and $7 off HBO for 6 months and $10/mon for 12 months was the best offer.

This still leaves the total all-in price about $45 higher than the cable package I reviewed, and the up front $300 cost, AND a new 2 year agreement. The cable package I reviewed included about 30 more channels than now (but I lose Viacom, Comedy Central being the only one that hurts), all equipment is included for free, installation fees are being waived, and they are giving a $200 gift card for signing up, in addition to locked pricing for 2 years and no contract.

Provider is Suddenlink if anyone has specific knowledge of them. They include a 6-Tuner Tivo and 2 Tivo Minis so it would be similar to my current setup.

This is in no way a troll or bait question, DirecTV has been great to me over the last decade, but saving $300 up front, gaining a $200 GC, not having to sign a contract, and gaining channels just seemed like too much of a slam dunk. That's along with the $500/yr savings in monthly cost to boot.

Please give me your thoughts, I'd certainly appreciate it.
 

raoul5788

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Since you already have a genie, an hr54 isn't considered an upgrade. You may be sol.
 

maestro7

SatelliteGuys Pro
Feb 7, 2008
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I'm somewhat surprised they met you with those fees. But, then again, as raoul5788 suggested, you might have to wait for a bit more time to pass between the time you first got your HR44 and when you'd be able to "upgrade" to the HR54. It may also depend on how far you can push DirecTV on things, and what they're willing to do for you at any given time. My own mileage in this department proves this true.

I know that a lot is said about DirecTV's upgrade plans, but I also know that if you're patient enough, you'll get exactly the same abilities to upgrade for next to nothing if you simply wait long enough. However, with 4K, keep in mind that this tech is on a slow ramp-up. As I've mentioned many times on this forum before, as one who has contacts in the industry, you can be confident that you won't be getting 4K, say, over the air anytime soon.

The long and the short of it is that local affiliates (or any shop, for that matter) would have to invest a significant amount of sunk cost in upgrading almost every piece of equipment they have in order to fully broadcast, end-to-end, in 4K. This is also the reason why you're not seeing locals broadcasting in 1080p, only in 1080i or 720p, because it would take more investment just to make that upgrade.

Therefore, if you're upgrading because you think you're missing out on much, I'd recommend that everyone is still on the very bleeding edge of this resolution. In fact, for those who think they're getting a full-fledged 4K stream when downloading video on demand, they'll have to think again. An uncompressed stream of 4K is 12GB; not even Google Fiber is going to handle that easily on a consistent basis.

Our family is somewhere around the 20-year mark with DirecTV, and we're not switching anywhere anytime soon. I believe we're getting the best tech and deals in the business (in spite of the fact that we have to negotiate every so often so that prices don't freakin' skyrocket), and I know that, within the next 3 - 5 years, tech will have matured enough for us to make the splash. Maybe sooner if we think the investment is worth it to us.

I hope that helps!
 
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Jimbo

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Jul 14, 2005
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Adam, Like Maestro mentioned ....
If your changing to the 4k stuff JUST for the 4k.
Theres not much out there, is it really worth the investment to see a few channels to you ?

I like to have the most current equipment as well, but I'd much rather have my HR44, than put out the money to watch a few channels in 4k.

Yes, I'd like to see the NASCAR in 4k upcoming race, but I'm not gonna spend the extra money to do it.

Like many others, I will wait till there is a one piece recvr out there that does the 4k and record, vs the HR54 and a Client/ RVU TV requirement that is currently the situation.
 

adam61

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Family
Jul 19, 2006
56
2
I'm not really switching for the 4K, it was more the fact it drew my attention to how high my bill had gotten and the fact I could switch to cable for no up front cost, no contract, and save $500/yr. Satellite used to be the cheaper or better option based on plan choice, now I can't seem to see where it provides more value, but honestly inertia/loyalty is stopping me right now. I'm not sure how the Tivo Bolt compares to the HR44, but they seem similar in both HDD space and tuners.
 

osu1991

SatelliteGuys Master
Sep 4, 2004
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Broken Arrow, Oklahoma
IMO, Bolt or Roamio and Mini's blow the Directv equipment out of the water. Nothing to lose, put Directv on Pause and have Suddenlink setup and try it for a month. No contract, so don't like it cancel and have Directv taken off pause. After 17 years with Dish, I made the switch last year to Cox with Tivo and Mini's. The cost savings that can be had, from bundling internet and tv, are too great to ignore anymore.

The only problem might be whether Tivo has the correct lineup for the cable system in your area. Some have had that problem, since Tivo was bought by Rovi and switched to Rovi guide data. Those problems are being corrected slowly when reported to Tivo.
 

adam61

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Family
Jul 19, 2006
56
2
Great point, but the prices are locked for 2 years, but without a contract, so they have an incentive I would think to keep them reasonable. I also don't have the upfront cost I've eaten if they spike me with a big increase. The non-promo pricing seems about 18 a month higher from a quick glance which is still $27 cheaper than DirecTV on as close as I could get to an Apples to Apples comparison.
 
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Marcingak

SatelliteGuys Pro
Feb 5, 2015
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NJ
No reason not to switch. You will save tons of money and after 2 years if you decide to come back to DirecTV you will get all the 4k equipment free along with new customer discounts.
 
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texasbrit

SatelliteGuys Pro
Pub Member / Supporter
Apr 12, 2006
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IMO, Bolt or Roamio and Mini's blow the Directv equipment out of the water. Nothing to lose, put Directv on Pause and have Suddenlink setup and try it for a month. No contract, so don't like it cancel and have Directv taken off pause. After 17 years with Dish, I made the switch last year to Cox with Tivo and Mini's. The cost savings that can be had, from bundling internet and tv, are too great to ignore anymore.

The only problem might be whether Tivo has the correct lineup for the cable system in your area. Some have had that problem, since Tivo was bought by Rovi and switched to Rovi guide data. Those problems are being corrected slowly when reported to Tivo.

Although the TiVo hardware is nice I think you are grossly underestimating the scale of the issues since the Rovi acquisition. Go and read the posts at the Tivo community forum. There are people there saying they will never buy a TiVo product again.
 

osu1991

SatelliteGuys Master
Sep 4, 2004
9,905
2,340
Broken Arrow, Oklahoma
Although the TiVo hardware is nice I think you are grossly underestimating the scale of the issues since the Rovi acquisition. Go and read the posts at the Tivo community forum. There are people there saying they will never buy a TiVo product again.

Not underestimating anything. I am on TCF with same username and have 4 Roamios and 4 Minis. Well aware of the problems and the problems are now grossly exaggerated. For most users TiVo work fine.

Like with anything there is a vocal minority complaining about any little thing. I've complained about a few things and I've worked with TiVo and they have been fixed.

There are some lineup problems with a few cable systems and there are data issues with some channels. That being said the data is very much improved over what it was when the switch was made from Gracenote to Rovi. Is it as great as it was when Gracenote (Nielsen) provided the data? No, but it has improved to a point I would say it's 90% there.

There are still some shows on local subchannels that just have generic episode info and there are still some movies that have incorrect info because they have the same name as some older movie. The guide still shows To Be Announced on some channels out past 7-8 days. One Pass still takes a while to index search info from Amazon and Netflix. One Passes for sports doesn't work as well as it did with Gracenote data but Wishlists fix a lot of that.
 

zidanetribal17

SatelliteGuys Family
Dec 16, 2015
35
36
United States
I used to have Suddenlink for cable their service is not great. HD picture is awful btw, in the majority of their areas they use TiVo Premiere Q 500 GB model with 4 tuners. Your area must be lucky to get the 6-tuner box :) My mother was looking into getting Suddenlink again and in her area they still have the 4 Tuner Q Model.

While their new customer price is low their website isn't very clear on what will be charged. Be aware that you will be charged a Broadcast Station Surcharge which in my mother's area is $10.00 on top of your regular price and also if you are getting SL200/Expanded Basic you will have a Sports Programming Surcharge in my mother's area its $5.15. Now if you go with them and get installed if you see a tech trying to install two main TiVo units and 1 TiVo mini stop the tech because the techs are known to try to use older equipment first (at least in my mother's area) and if they install two main TiVo units that's $17.00 per unit where the mini is only $7.

If you have a contract with D* I would advise calling them once the contract ends for better discounts my mother did this as a last ditch effort before switching back to Suddenlink and she told me they gave her a good deal out of contract. With my own personal experiences with Suddenlink and having to call in for my mother I would strongly recommend taking a look at Dish before switching to SL for TV heck I would even recommend Comcast over SL just because of all the bad/lying reps I've dealt with over 9 years of service.
 

adam61

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Family
Jul 19, 2006
56
2
Thanks for the feedback. I'm curious about the picture, is it well worse than DirecTV? They did have a 4-Tuner Q Model Tivo, but said if you have a 4K TV you get the 6-tuner 4K ready model as they plan to add 4K channels by Q3. The price they quoted me that I'm using for comparison I was told included all fees taxes and surcharges, of course they could be lying. Broadcast was included free, the sports surcharge was only if you added the Sports Tier or did SL300, not SL200 according to the rep.
 
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