Possibly switching from AT&T U-Verse, some concerns and questions (1 Viewer)

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codejunkie83

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Oct 26, 2011
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Tuscaloosa, AL
Hello everyone,

I have done a little research, and read through some of the articles here, but have not really found the answers I am looking for. This seems like a great community, so I figured you guys would be my first stop.

I currently have AT&T U-Verse in Tuscaloosa, AL. The quality of the HD during motion scenes is finally getting under my skin, to the point where I don't even want to watch football. Also, the compression is very apparent in dark scenes, with lots of black colors involved. From the few folks around here I know, with DirecTV, they say that their HD is quite clear. And from what I've read of U-Verse, the compression issues are not fixable.

The deal DirecTV has going right now is sweet - I can get everything I have now, plus NFL Sunday Ticket, for about $80 cheaper for 3 months, then about $40 for next 9, and then a bit cheaper for the next year. This all sounds fantastic.

Now, my concerns:
  1. I have never had satellite television, except for when I was a kid maybe 18-20 years ago. The one with the huge black mesh dishes that had to rotate to change channels. Needless to say I don't remember much about it. :D My concerns are with loss of signal. Having never dealt with this issue, I am not sure that I can handle service where I consistently lose signal. I would get a professional install, which is imperative from what I've read.
  2. I live in an apartment complex. My apartment is on the top floor, in the middle of our "row". The balcony faces ENE, but almost directly E. So, I think that LOS would not be an issue for a southern sky. But, what I have read, I will need actually a LOS to the SW sky - I think this could be achieved by mounting on the balcony, as I noticed on one of my neighbors' balconies, but they live on the top on the OTHER side of the building (i.e., facing WSW). So I think they have a better shot than I do. Still, this is something the tech would look at first, correct?
I suppose the LOS concern falls into the concern about the quality of service part. Can anyone assuage my concerns (which, as we all know, are really my wife's concerns :) )?
 

mdram

SatelliteGuys Pro
Aug 24, 2005
4,025
770
Md
Hello everyone,

I have done a little research, and read through some of the articles here, but have not really found the answers I am looking for. This seems like a great community, so I figured you guys would be my first stop.

I currently have AT&T U-Verse in Tuscaloosa, AL. The quality of the HD during motion scenes is finally getting under my skin, to the point where I don't even want to watch football. Also, the compression is very apparent in dark scenes, with lots of black colors involved. From the few folks around here I know, with DirecTV, they say that their HD is quite clear. And from what I've read of U-Verse, the compression issues are not fixable.

The deal DirecTV has going right now is sweet - I can get everything I have now, plus NFL Sunday Ticket, for about $80 cheaper for 3 months, then about $40 for next 9, and then a bit cheaper for the next year. This all sounds fantastic.

Now, my concerns:
  1. I have never had satellite television, except for when I was a kid maybe 18-20 years ago. The one with the huge black mesh dishes that had to rotate to change channels. Needless to say I don't remember much about it. :D My concerns are with loss of signal. Having never dealt with this issue, I am not sure that I can handle service where I consistently lose signal. I would get a professional install, which is imperative from what I've read.

    loss of signal only usually occurs during VERY heavy cloud cover, such as fast moving thunderstorms
    the longest i can remember losing it is @ 15 min
  2. I live in an apartment complex. My apartment is on the top floor, in the middle of our "row". The balcony faces ENE, but almost directly E. So, I think that LOS would not be an issue for a southern sky. But, what I have read, I will need actually a LOS to the SW sky - I think this could be achieved by mounting on the balcony, as I noticed on one of my neighbors' balconies, but they live on the top on the OTHER side of the building (i.e., facing WSW). So I think they have a better shot than I do. Still, this is something the tech would look at first, correct?
    check out Satellite Finder / Dish Pointing Calculator with Google Maps | DishPointer.com for a start, then maybe ask for a site visit and analysis
I suppose the LOS concern falls into the concern about the quality of service part. Can anyone assuage my concerns (which, as we all know, are really my wife's concerns :) )?

also make certain you get the proper permission from the apartment building.
will the dish be on a balcony?
can it be roof mounted? ground mounted ect
 

codejunkie83

Thread Starter
Member
Oct 26, 2011
9
0
Tuscaloosa, AL
I looked at the DishPointer site, and it appears that the satellites I would most likely need (99, 101, 103?) go at an angle over the apartment building. It would almost have to be mounted on the balcony, although it could maybe be mounted on the ground between buildings. I'll try and get a screen cap from dishpointer and post that in a minute.
 

coinmaster32

SatelliteGuys Pro
Sep 25, 2010
916
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USA
1. The larger slimline dishes do not fade out in the rain as bad as the smaller 18" dishes did.
I will loose signal during a straight downpour, but nothing else. You won't loose signal constantly unless it's a lousy install.
I think Directv states you will only loose signal 1% of the year.

2. The tech will do a site survey to determine where the best location for a dish will be. Yes a view of the southwestern sky is needed.
I think for most installs, you will need a "permission slip" from your landlord.


Any other questions please ask.
 

codejunkie83

Thread Starter
Member
Oct 26, 2011
9
0
Tuscaloosa, AL
dishpointer.PNG

Here is the snip of the complex. The question mark denotes where I may be able to place the dish on the ground - not a big fan of this though, as the local kids play football in that area. The green line is satellite 101. Again, I'm on the top, so it may be able to clear the roof.
 

codejunkie83

Thread Starter
Member
Oct 26, 2011
9
0
Tuscaloosa, AL
does anyone else have a satellite?
if so where are they mounted?

Yes. If you look at that photo, the line of apts directly east of mine have Directv and Dish both at a number of them. They are all on the ground, but on the east-facing side. I kind of feel that if they are on the ground and receiving signal, I will probably be okay. One guy's looks as though it is pointing directly at the building :p
 

codejunkie83

Thread Starter
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Oct 26, 2011
9
0
Tuscaloosa, AL
Will do, and thank you for all of the great information.

So, I really shouldn't be concerned with signal loss? I may seem like I'm being a bit ... overcautionary, but as I said, never been here so I want to cover all bases.
 

andrewj0781

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Pub Member / Supporter
Feb 28, 2009
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Altoona, Pennsylvania, United States
So far I only lost signal with Thunder storms and very heavy rain. Over all doesn't happen too often. It just sucks while you lose it but out of the 8,766 hours in a year I'd say maybe you'd lose a hour of tv viewing all year. But this Depends on your weather conditions where you live.

Sent from my iPhone using SatelliteGuys
 

mdram

SatelliteGuys Pro
Aug 24, 2005
4,025
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Md
last time i lost mine, i dont know how long it was out
it was during a hurricane, and power was out for 24 hours
directv was out for 15 min before power
 

lern4483

SatelliteGuys Pro
Jun 6, 2004
2,021
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Pompano beach, Fl
codejunkie83 said:
Will do, and thank you for all of the great information.

So, I really shouldn't be concerned with signal loss? I may seem like I'm being a bit ... overcautionary, but as I said, never been here so I want to cover all bases.

Good that your asking these questions.
I know exactly what your talking about with Uverse. I have uverse, Direc and dish.
I live in south Florida and passing summer storms can be an issue.
I lose signal very rarely. Even when I do lose it it's not for long.
Direc for Hd sports is the best around.
To me the best HD picture out there
Clean and can handle anything on the screen.
Uverse in my area has improved but Direc Is still better.
 

bobvick

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Jul 20, 2006
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I am in Marion County, two counties above you to the north. I only loose signal when it is raining REALLY hard or in a pretty bad thunderstorm. Most of the time that is only on the Ka band satellites (those are the ones at 103W and 99W that broadcast HD). The local HD from the spotbeam rarely ever goes out. It really is not a big issue at all. If the HD feed does go the SD feed from 101 is nearly always there.
 

lern4483

SatelliteGuys Pro
Jun 6, 2004
2,021
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Pompano beach, Fl
bobvick said:
I am in Marion County, two counties above you to the north. I only loose signal when it is raining REALLY hard or in a pretty bad thunderstorm. Most of the time that is only on the Ka band satellites (those are the ones at 103W and 99W that broadcast HD). The local HD from the spotbeam rarely ever goes out. It really is not a big issue at all. If the HD feed does go the SD feed from 101 is nearly always there.

Exactly! Rain fade is not an issue. Even when we get the storms Direc usually works through it.
 

codejunkie83

Thread Starter
Member
Oct 26, 2011
9
0
Tuscaloosa, AL
bobvick said:
I am in Marion County, two counties above you to the north. I only loose signal when it is raining REALLY hard or in a pretty bad thunderstorm. Most of the time that is only on the Ka band satellites (those are the ones at 103W and 99W that broadcast HD). The local HD from the spotbeam rarely ever goes out. It really is not a big issue at all. If the HD feed does go the SD feed from 101 is nearly always there.

Sweet, that's what I like to hear! I have the appointment set for install on Halloween. Was hoping for sooner, but that'll do. At least the Raiders are on a bye week.

Thank you all for your help and information!
 

DS0816

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Jan 24, 2006
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Hello everyone …I have never had satellite television, except for when I was a kid maybe 18-20 years ago.…

Getting your cable-television service from a minidish satellite provider is beneficial for one reason: picture quality. Signal is pure, rather than shared with a community (as a cable operator is with wired systems throughout a given community in which it is franchised).

AT&T U-verse intrigues me. But I know people have problems with it. And Comcast. And other cable operators. But there are people who have problems with Dish Network. And DirecTV. I've been with DirecTV since the late-1990s, and my complaint with them is that they have spent the last two years having strategized around bringing in non-premium HDs -- like Turner Classic Movies HD; BBC America HD; H2 HD; Lifetime Movie Network HD; E! Entertainment Television HD; Style Network HD; TV One HD; Outdoor Channel HD; Sportsman Channel HD; HSN HD; QVC HD; The Hub HD; Investigation Discovery HD; Oprah Winfrey Network HD; Fuse HD; IFC HD; Nat Geo Wild HD -- that are being carried by Dish Network. And other cable operators. As well as Comcast. And, yes, AT&T U-verse.

I wish you well on this. But you don't have long to respond if you're wanting the NFL Sunday Ticket package for the remainder of this 2011-12 NFL season. (This weekend is the half mark.)
 

codejunkie83

Thread Starter
Member
Oct 26, 2011
9
0
Tuscaloosa, AL
Unfortunately, I do not have LOS at my apartment, so it looks like I won't be able to join the satellite crowd at this time. I will be looking for other options for television, as I almost broke the television from having to look at blocky, compressed HD during football and Grimm last night. Thanks again for all of the information!
 

JerseyMatt

SatelliteGuys Pro
Sep 17, 2010
1,193
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Midwest
Getting your cable-television service from a minidish satellite provider is beneficial for one reason: picture quality. Signal is pure, rather than shared with a community (as a cable operator is with wired systems throughout a given community in which it is franchised).

AT&T U-verse intrigues me. But I know people have problems with it. And Comcast. And other cable operators. But there are people who have problems with Dish Network. And DirecTV. I've been with DirecTV since the late-1990s, and my complaint with them is that they have spent the last two years having strategized around bringing in non-premium HDs -- like Turner Classic Movies HD; BBC America HD; H2 HD; Lifetime Movie Network HD; E! Entertainment Television HD; Style Network HD; TV One HD; Outdoor Channel HD; Sportsman Channel HD; HSN HD; QVC HD; The Hub HD; Investigation Discovery HD; Oprah Winfrey Network HD; Fuse HD; IFC HD; Nat Geo Wild HD -- that are being carried by Dish Network. And other cable operators. As well as Comcast. And, yes, AT&T U-verse.

I wish you well on this. But you don't have long to respond if you're wanting the NFL Sunday Ticket package for the remainder of this 2011-12 NFL season. (This weekend is the half mark.)

First of all, in terms of digital TV, it doesn't matter one tiny bit if the signal is shared by 2 houses or 20,000. It's digital. It's either there or it's not, there is no in between. The number of houses has zero impact on the picture quality. What affects it is the same thing that gives Dish and Uverse their crappy PQ - compression. They have a finite pipe to squeeze their content through, and when the video has to be excessively compressed to fit through the pipe (due to carriage of dozens of niche channels that nobody gives a crap about) the PQ suffers.

Second of all, WILL YOU GET IT THROUGH YOUR THICK SKULL THAT NOBODY CARES ABOUT HSN OR QVC IN HD??? So stop using them to pad your stupid list. Will you also stop using channels that AREN'T CARRIED IN HD BY DISH in your Directv bashing? Such as Fuse and IFC? Hell, Dish doesn't carry Fuse at all - that's part of their dispute with MSG.
 
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