Stick with cable, or get dish network?

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Spames

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Feb 11, 2004
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I have regular cable (not digital) and was thinking of getting dish network with HDTV for my 51" ultravision hitachi TV.

Is this a good idea? I've browsed a few posts on this site, and I'm kind of scared of it now because of all the problems with the HDTV receiver. How is the reception? My wife says she'll throw me out of the house if there is all kinds of problems and loss of signals with dish network.

What kind of problems will I run into, and how reliable is the reception? Am I only asking for trouble if I decide to ditch Comcast?
 
rad

rad

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If you're generally happy with Comcast, and if they offer HD programming I'd say to go with them at this time and let the DBS HD picture come into a bit better focus.

My Comcast system offered HD for the cost of a $5/month converter box (vs $4.95 for a SD digital box) and didn't charge extra for any HD content I was eligable for(ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX, PBS, ESPN-HD, InHD, InHD2, HBO-HD, Showtime-HD, Starz-HD and Cinemax-HD).

The new Dish HD hardware has numerous problems that many have reported and the 921 is expensive and also has it's bugs.

DirecTV's HD boxes are a bit more stable (and IMHO have better EPG's) and the HD Tivo is supposed to be out in less then 2 months. D* has also said they'd be adding a bunch of HD content by the end of the year. At Dish nobody know's what Charlies plans are for HD after is we have all the HD worth having comment.
 
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RickCathey

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Dec 19, 2003
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Well one thing I can say is you have great taste in tv's.. ;)
I haven't stopped smiling since putting a new 65" Hitachi Ultravision in place in my living room back last November.

Does Comcast offer any HD channels in your area? If so then that would be the cheapest route to go from what I see that most cable companies charge for the HD box and HD channels. If not then your only choice would be either Dish, Direct or VOOM.

I will say that since you have a great TV you have got to get SOMETHING for some HD viewing but be warned it's addicting. Once you see any HD programming you will find yourself hating watching anything else.

I signed up for the VOOM service in late December and am giving it a try. I have until the last of April before the "trial" period runs out and I can get a refund. Currently there is no charge for the programming but only the equipment cost. So far I am pleased with the VOOM service as well as the picture quality is outstanding. They still haven't gotten all of their HD channels in place but they are coming. I think they have 31 now with an expected total of 39.

Regarding Dish, I bought a JVC 811 from Sears and installed it myself and am using the second connection of the VOOM LNB to receive the CBS-HD feed from Dish. What I really like about Dish, unlike Direct, is that you can order just certain channels and/or packages without having to subscribe to a "base" package. So if you only wanted Dish's 4 channel HD package you could do so without having to spend money for a "base" package to start off with. If I decide to cancel VOOM I will probably pickup Dish's HD package to go along with my CBD-HD feed.

There are many choice to be made regarding who to go with and the decision is not an easy one. Direct and Dish were started up with standard programming as their main service with HD as their secondary. According to what I am reading both Dish and Direct have been promising more HD channels for months now but neither have came through as promised. VOOM on the other hand is focusing on HD as their main offering and the standard programming channels as their second.

Good luck on your choice and your new TV :up

Rick
 
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Spames

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Comcast offers HDTV, but the total cost for me would be around 60.00 (hence the reason I only have standard cable now). Dish network has a nice deal going for $39.99 with no equipment costs... DirectTV doesn't offer any local channels in my area but dish network does.

Maybe I should call the cable company and threaten to completely cancel my cable and cable modem service if they don't come down a bit on their prices :D

I'm glad you mentioned VOOM... I'm checking them out now...
 
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mboy

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Dec 30, 2003
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I just got dish with HD and a 522. I am pretty happy with the 811 believe it or not. Lock up here or there, but nothing severe and I am real happy with the quality thru component cables. The guide could be MUCH better and of course, their could be more programming. Discovery HD is just to cool.
I live in cablevision's service area and had second thoughts about going with dish when I found out they had slightly more programming.
I spoke to a friend last night who just got the HD box for her Sony Rear proj TV and she said she is REALLY dissapointed with the HD box. She actually said it sucks. I am not having buyer's remorse anymore.
 
rad

rad

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Spames said:
Comcast offers HDTV, but the total cost for me would be around 60.00 (hence the reason I only have standard cable now). Dish network has a nice deal going for $39.99 with no equipment costs... DirectTV doesn't offer any local channels in my area but dish network does.

Maybe I should call the cable company and threaten to completely cancel my cable and cable modem service if they don't come down a bit on their prices :D

I'm glad you mentioned VOOM... I'm checking them out now...

Are you planning to get only OTA HD content, since for $39.99 all you'll get is the CBS feed (maybe) if you also have the LIL's. If you want the E* HD package of ESPN-HD, Discovery-HD Theater, HDNet and HDNet Movies, that's another $9.95. What about additional TV's? If you have analog cable, usually you can hook that up to how many TV's you want and not pay anything extra. For E* (or D*) you need a box for every extra set (322 and 522 allow 2 TV's from one box) you pay a $4.99 mirroring charge. It can start to add up.
 
nuts4scuba

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rad said:
Are you planning to get only OTA HD content, since for $39.99 all you'll get is the CBS feed (maybe) if you also have the LIL's. If you want the E* HD package of ESPN-HD, Discovery-HD Theater, HDNet and HDNet Movies, that's another $9.95. What about additional TV's? If you have analog cable, usually you can hook that up to how many TV's you want and not pay anything extra. For E* (or D*) you need a box for every extra set (322 and 522 allow 2 TV's from one box) you pay a $4.99 mirroring charge. It can start to add up.

I really get tired of the crap about you need another box and $4.99 charge with E* or D*. The channels I like to watch on E* are only available on digital cable where I live. If I want to watch these in my family room while my wife watches something else that is only on digital cable I will need another cable box. Insight charges 7.95 per box. So who is adding up faster?
 
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peteranton

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Feb 10, 2004
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rad said:
.... For E* (or D*) you need a box for every extra set (322 and 522 allow 2 TV's from one box) you pay a $4.99 mirroring charge. It can start to add up.

From what I understand, you would be paying $5 for the DVR menu content via sat (or is it the fact that it has two tuners, thus using two LNBs)....but not for the capibility to run a second line to another TV. Does that make sense?
 
DishDave

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I have comcast here for all of my local HD. I was able to order it with limited basic. And 9.99 for the HD package.
 
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CJMosca

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Feb 9, 2004
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RickCathey said:
What I really like about Dish, unlike Direct, is that you can order just certain channels and/or packages without having to subscribe to a "base" package. So if you only wanted Dish's 4 channel HD package you could do so without having to spend money for a "base" package to start off with.

Wait...do I understand this to mean that I could order JUST the HD package from Dish WITHOUT a BASIC package? What would the monthly charge be? Just the $9.99 for the HD???
 
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Spames

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Feb 11, 2004
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Hey... thanks for the tip! I called, and for 6.35/month I can have INHD/2, nbchd, cbshd, pbshd (wow...), and espnhd. She said they're adding more, but we all know how that goes.

They'll put it in Wednesday, I was a little ticked they want 18.95 for installation, but I guess you gotta pay to play :D

And thanks to everyone else for the info
 
rad

rad

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nuts4scuba said:
I really get tired of the crap about you need another box and $4.99 charge with E* or D*. The channels I like to watch on E* are only available on digital cable where I live. If I want to watch these in my family room while my wife watches something else that is only on digital cable I will need another cable box. Insight charges 7.95 per box. So who is adding up faster?

And I'm tired of posters who assume that just because they only watch channels on their systems digital teir or they get charged more then $4.99 for a digital box makes E* or D* the only right choice for everyone. I just wish folks would stop making assumptions that just because their system does one thing that everyone elses also does. :no

I'm sorry that Insight charges you $7.95 per box, my Comcast system charges $4.95 per SD digital box and $5.00 per HD digital box. Plus there was no extra charge to receive HD channels if I had them SD channel as part of my package, so I wouldn't have to pay $9.95 or $10.95 to get ESPN-HD like I would on E* or D*.

Now if you look at the last update from the person that asked the question he can get what he want's via cable for $6.95 per month, no hardware to buy or 12 month commitment to make.
 
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RickCathey

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Dec 19, 2003
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CJMosca said:
Wait...do I understand this to mean that I could order JUST the HD package from Dish WITHOUT a BASIC package? What would the monthly charge be? Just the $9.99 for the HD???

CJ,

Yep you read it right. There is an extra $5 surcharge if you don't have a "base" package so if you only wanted their HD package your bill would be about $15.

Now bear in mind you won't be able to get the 811 at the reduced price from Dish doing it that way and you will have to pay full price for it but you also won't be stuck in any year long contract either.

I got my JVC 811 in 5 days from Sears and paid $425 for it about two weeks ago while others are on a waiting list which seems to be getting longer as each day passes..

Rick
 

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