Cable v. Satellite

B

Barnaby

Thread Starter
New Member
Sep 19, 2006
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After reviewing many of the posts on this site for the last couple of hours I am somewhat confused. I currently have DTV with a DTV/Tivo box; an old one.

I am going to upgrade to an HDTV set in a couple of months, and I can't decide whether to stick with DTV, or go with TW Cable, or Dish.

Some of the issues are:

1. If I stick with DTV I will have to give up Tivo. The Series3 has the ability to receive Internet Radio, and I like that idea. If I had someway of coordinating the TV with the music on my computer that would be great.

2. Who has the most HD content

3. Whats all this talk about MPEG4, and why do I care?

4. The ability to run Dolby Digital 5.1 sound through my home theater system is very important.

I live in Los Angeles, and I am not interested in Sports coverage. Cost is not a major factor, although it is relevant. I will ultimately have 2 different HDTVs in the house.

Any thoughts on how to sort through all of this would be appreciated.

Thanks in advance
 
cobra2225

cobra2225

SatelliteGuys Pro
Jun 6, 2006
199
0
ky
i think dish has a better hd package, not 100% sure, but i am 100 % sure that
t/w cable should be your last choice,remember that do not quote the tax's in there price.
 
riffjim4069

riffjim4069

SatelliteGuys Master
Supporting Founder
Apr 7, 2004
35,213
287
SatelliteGuystonfieldville, U.S.A.
Depending on your length of service with D* you may quality for a free upgrade to their MEG-4 HD DVR. I have two long time D*/ST friends who ordered the HD DVR for $299, but after being informed of a thread here on SatGuys they were able to get two (2) new MPEG-4 HD DVRs for $0.

D* is currently way behind E* in the number of national HD channels (only 9 vice 30), and their overall HD quality is less than E* as well. Having said that, D* has no choice but to FINALLY deliver on their promise to deliver HD to their paying customer in 2007.

You will need an MPEG-4 receiver because the HD Locals (both providers) are encoded using MPEG-4, and the new channels coming (as in the case of E*) out have been in MPEG-4. Eventually, all channels (even SD) will migrated to using MPEG-4 vice MPEG-2 because it has to potential to deliver the same video resolution using the one-half the bandwidth.

Cable HD offerings vary by location based on your provider and the equipment at their cable headend. In my opinion, they generally offer excellent quality HD but far less channels than E* (6-20 by most estimates). They also tend to offer the local HD channels. Negatives: the HD DVRs are clunky and way less functional when compared to D* or E*, lots of cable infrustructure problems depending on area. However, some cable providers have implemented digital simulcasting which has dramatically increased available bandwidth for other things: high speed internet, VOIP, and (hopefully) HD.

If you give up D* and buy a Series3...first, it will cost $799 and you will have to pay to lease two cable cards in addition to a $13 DVR fee to Tivo each month...not to mention being subject to your local cable company.

E* seems to be a clear choice, but a lot is happening in cablecom so you may wish to take a closer look at your local provider. Plus, you do not have to purchase any equipment with cable (lease HD DVRs) and you can always cancel if you don't like the service and selection.

My opinion: if you got Verizon FiOS coming to your area then wait. Else, give cable a try and if you don't like their offerings then go with D* or E*.

Good luck...
 
branchbouncer

branchbouncer

Supporting Founder
Supporting Founder
Apr 5, 2004
1,205
4
Massanutten,VA
I second that try the cable(no contract) if you don't like it you can opt for D* or E*.We got Adelphia while we were moving into the new house because there was no contract,and then after things settled down would go back to D*,well that never happen-Adelphia offers us the national HD(ABC,etc)and 14 other HD channels,7000/1000 HSI at a cost not that much higher than we had with D*I have seen other peoples D* and E* here and Adelphia's PQ is much better
 
M

Mike_CA

Active SatelliteGuys Member
Sep 27, 2006
17
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I'll second that again since cable does not have a long term contract and you rent the STB/DVR instead of purchasing it.
 
I

igator99

SatelliteGuys Pro
Feb 16, 2006
569
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cobra2225 said:
except for the higher cable price.:)

It really depends on where you live. We have Charter and it really sucks. I've been with D* for 8 years and do not want any part of Charter. I might have to because of trees. Checkout what you want from TV and then see if sat is even an option.
 
B

bidger`

SatelliteGuys Pro
Apr 6, 2006
498
0
noyfb
It's HR20 and the people in MPEG-4 areas, applicable to Barnaby's situation, are the ones experiencing the most difficulty, especially when it comes to FF & REW.
The Series3 has the ability to receive Internet Radio, and I like that idea.
You mean the Live365? I have a S2 TiVo networked and I've used this feature about 3 times in all the time it's been enabled.

It wouldn't be worth $800 to me since it's available on a Windows Media Center Edition PC.
 
K

Kikkenit2

SatelliteGuys Family
Nov 12, 2006
63
0
I live in Redondo Beach, a suburb of LA and have HD dvr's with both Dish (VIP622) & Directv (HR10-250). All my units have toslink optical audio to my Yamaha receiver with 5.1 surround sound. All the channels sound great, especially the HD. Both offer a bunch of music channels. I don't think there is a way to get the internet intom the sat. receivers. I only watch tv but dish has a 24 hour HD concert channel called Rave. Content is limited but looks and sounds good just like all the old Voom channels.

LA has had locals in mpeg2 on both systems for awhile now. Directv has had problems with the new HR20-700 dvr but mostly with mpeg4 locals and hdmi connections. They are sold out and on backorder. I'm on the list and eventually will get 3 of them.

The D* feed requires 2 coaxial cables to each unit. Dish only requires 1. D* gets all their channels on 1 5lnb dish whereas my Dish lineup requires at least 2 and I still have 3 model 500's on my roof. I'm 31 miles from the OTA antennas on Mt. Wilson and over a hill so I can't receive them. At least I can see the ocean.

The main advantage of D* is the NFL Sunday Ticket. Including the HD feed (Superfan) it costs about $350 a year. Dish has a better HD dvr for skipping commercials. The dedicated 30 sec. SKIP is way better than the 30 sec. SLIP (approx. 6x fast forward) that the D* R15-300 & HR20-700 have.

Time Warner just took over all of LA. Their HD dvr has no commercial skip button at all. Triple fast forward works ok though. Their channel lineup and picture quality is similar to sat. Verizon FOIS is coming to Redondo Beach soon and is supposed to have huge bandwith for internet and uncompressed HDTV. Just their internet alone is $40 a month introductory rate. Their channel lineup appears to be similar to D* & TW.

Dish & D* are requiring a 2 year commitment every time I upgrade to their new HD dvr's. Price on all systems are pretty similar IMO.
 
NateCohen

NateCohen

SatelliteGuys Family
Jul 19, 2006
94
0
Time Warner is horrible. That's what's available here in Albany, NY. We're getting DirecTV today, and I never want to go back to Time Warner again. They don't even offer NFL Network!
 
cybrsurfer

cybrsurfer

SatelliteGuys Family
Oct 31, 2006
90
0
Springfield, MA
I returned to Comcast this week from DirecTV... I'm very happy now.

I'm glad that I returned to Comcast. Now they offer free OnDemand HD for premium movie channels like Starz & Cinemax. In addition they offer free HD OnDemand if you don't subscribe to any premiums. Many networks like CBS allow CSI in HD to be streamed right to your set top box. It's changed so much in less then a year. I'm very happy now with the service. Get my locals ABC, CBS, CW, FOX, NBC, and PBS in HD. I already had internet & phone service, so they gave me a great bundle to add cable tv for another 12 months of discounts.

I have to say DirecTV will be hard pressed to offer the OnDemand for free for many network channels and premium channels. You can watch any series at your convienience without having to use up hard drive space or scheduling. Everything is digital now in my market, in my neighborhood Comcast ended analog and transitioned to all digital, my stb only works with digital, not analog.
:up
 
T

Todd Humphrey

SatelliteGuys Pro
Oct 7, 2004
422
0
Don't worry about Mpeg-4, you have no choice. All newer model HDTV recevers are Mpeg-4 now.

What ever you do, use an HDMI interface.
 

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