Dish/Receiver cost vs. Cable


Original poster
May 16, 2004
San Diego
I apologize if this has been discussed before. I just read the complete offer details for my VoOm promotion. It says that I have to pay for a receiver for each TV that I have and also a $5 per TV charge.

I currently have cable and it feeds all three of my TV's for one price. In order to get a signal to each of my TV's I'll have to pay:
$9.50 x 3
$5.00 x 3

I have a DVR cable box as well as an HD cable box all for less than $80. Am I going to pay more to move to a dish?
The way to save with a Dish system is to buy your receivers and dish, not rent. Or take free promo package which Voom doesn't offer yet, where you own all your receivers and dish for a 1 year commitment to the service.
"I currently have cable and it feeds all three of my TV's for one price."-if you have anything above non scrambled analog cable this isn't true. You tell us you have a DVR and HD box, you are paying a rental fee on those.
mini1 said:
if you have anything above non scrambled analog cable this isn't true. You tell us you have a DVR and HD box, you are paying a rental fee on those.
Yes, I have DVR and HD on my main TV, and just a cable line to the other two cable-ready TV's. So, the cable box rental fee's only apply to for the one TV at the price listed above.

For me, the advantage of going to VoOm is gaining all the HD channels. I currently have only 2. Other than that, I guess I shouldn't expect a price break over cable.
yes that is true for now, but once cable starts to go 100% digital (which they will start in 2-4 years, 4 cable systems are already all digital in US) your cable ready TV's will no longer be able to tune the signal, so you either buy cable boxes or rent them per TV. this is when cablcos allow you to purchase your own cable box. I don't see $3.50 being a large rate hike, considering cable rates go up on average 70% and satellite goes up on average 20% over 10 year studies. That means that your cable bill will exceed $83.50 in no time, most likly before the year is up. do you want 2 HD channels? or do you want 20+ for a minimal fee more?
New TVs are starting to become digital cable ready just like they used to be analog cable ready. Watch for a bunch to come out this fall. Then once again you will not need a decoder box for each TV. They even have a smart card slot for premium, but of course I bet the cable companies will probably charge a rental on the smartcard.
Installer is here. He's charging $45/hr for pulling extra cable. Should I have him pull cat5 also? I'm going to need it for DVR to the other boxes, right?
which installer? one for Cable or Voom? The cablco's WILL charge a rental fee on smartcards. And you must have a smartcard on most cable systems because they scamble alot of the digital/HD channels to make you pay them extra money for the smartcard rental. you can't get around it.
Got Voom installed with a $45 extra fee. He almost got 3 coax cables and a cat5 up the wall using the current cable, but then hit a snag. He had to drill a larger hole, hence the charge.

Now my signal went from 52 to about 13. Not sure what the problem is. Poor guy has been here for 3 hours already.
Cable/Dish vs. Voom

I have been a long time subscriber to analog cable and Dish network. I have had an HDTV for several years and have enjoyed these discussions regarding the three providers. With the analog cable we are able to receive 70 channels on all of our tv's for one price ($46). I added an OTA antenna and rotor 6 months ago for $500 and receive all of the DC and most of the Baltimore HD channels. At the same time I was paying $75 per month to Dish for The top 180 and 3 movie channels plus $10/month for the HDPAK. This totaled $131 a month not including $43/mo for Broadband.

Comcast offered 6 months free for HBO,Showtime and Starz with a $5.00 a month charge per movie channel after six months(total $15). No idea when this will end. To this I added the HD-DVR 6208 for $9.95 a month and a second digital outlet for $5.95 a month The digital cable is $59.95 plus DVR $9.95 and 2nd outlet $5.95 for a total of $80/month including tax and franchise fee of 5%. I then downgraded Dish to the HDPAK and access fee of $5 for a monthly charge of $15. This combination costs $95/month total
and gives me HD to one outlet, 140 channels to two outlets and 70 analog channels to 6 outlets. This combination of Comcast/Dish now costs $36 less than the previous Comcast/Dish combo for $131.

The main loss from the Dish 180 was TCM, Lifetime Movies and Fox Movie channel which is not included with the local Comcast digital cable although I have found them to be available in other areas as Comcast Premier for an additional $5/month. In addition to the DC HD channels on Comcast, I also have access to all of the Balt HD channels thru the Dish 6000 OTA component. This combo gives me 12 OTA and 11 HD channels between Comcast and Dish and gives me both HDNET and INHD channels which is a combination that VOOM doesn't offer. Voom gives you in addition Bravo,TMC and Encore in HD which is not available thru Comcast and Dish. Voom would have cost me $80 plus two settop rentals $20 plus $5 tax for a total of $105 in addition to advanced cable fee of $46( if VOOM is adding Food and HGTV, I may have been able to go to Basic cable for $16. Momma wanted to keep
Food network) I also receive Comcast Sportsnet In HD which is not available from Voom or Dish. The Voom 21 exclusive HD Channels did not interest me.
The total install fee was $25 for DVR and second outlet. The install fees are a ripoff as it is no more than connecting an existing cable to a settop box.

I was then faced with how to hook this combo together. Only have one HDTV component input on the Mitsubishi. Aftter reading all of the advice rergarding the Audio Authority 1154, Inday and even the suggestion to just use a Radio shack A/V switch which I bought that also had remote capabilities for $45 I went with the Pelican System Pro For $90. The RS A/V switcher just didn't cut it. The Pelican 957 works great with no visible loss in quality between Dish and the Comcast DVR. I leave the Dish in SD mode and access the output on the SVideo input and if anything looks real good, I can switch to the HD mode and switch the output via the Pelican. The DVR can output to the SVHS recirder via Svideo connections and can be recorded either in LIVE mode or from DVR record mode. 1394 to a DVHS can be in the future although over the years I have archived thousands of VHS recordings and NEVER watch them. I imagine the ideal situaion will be when Comcast releases their 2 tuner with 120 gig or larger harddrive. In all of this
the Dish 921 and DirectHDTivo lost out due to their $1000 cost which would take 100 months to recoup vs $10/month Comcast or Voom rental rental. In addition there is no committment period, I can switch to DISH/DTV or Voom whenever I like.
If Comcast comes out with a newer and better model it's just exchanged and you haven't lost out on an initial purchase price of $1000 only to become obsolete in a short time. This is my story and I thank all who have posted with their solutions. This is mine.

I cancelled Voom shortly after I got it. Not because of the cost, but because of content. The 21 exclusive HD channels are very weak. They're certainly not enough for me to give up some of the benefits of my local cable provider.

Still waiting for them to uninstall the stuff. 3 weeks and counting...
The creation of the Sony Passage system will allow cable operators to offer multiple CA systems in their systems which no longer means only Motorola or Scientific Atlanta boxes. So, there will be fully compatible digital tuners with full channel availibility very soon in TVs, VCRs, etc. and bring in the era of Digital Cable Ready. Smart cards won't be needed as a box will either be authorized with the appropriate encryption keys based on its hardware identification or it won't. No easy descrambling unlike analog.

Meanwhile, DBS operators haven't been very forward looking, at least publicly, towards DBS Ready.

Maybe someday we will see a modular digital entertainment system which allows a simple tuner module to be plugged into your tv, cleaving the tuner side from all the bells and whistles, which you could then choose as tastes and money dictate.

I'm sticking with cable until DBS operators throw in some of the premiums that I want and some other things as well as improve box response time, i.e. decrease latency in guides and channel changes. But it's nice to have locals on both systems in my state finally. When SuperDish gets going here, it'll be hard to ignore.

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