Thinking of moving from Comcast to Direct TV - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 8 Old 09-28-2008, 01:03 PM - Thread Starter
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I live in the East Bay, California (Pittsburg) and currently use Comcast. My main reason is for NFL coverage as watching our crappy local teams for 16weeks is no fun for me. I have a few questions though:

1. MPEG4. Is there a noticeable improvement in DTV's HD service? Comcast is a crapshoot (I assume due to bandwidth). Some programs will look good while others are painful.

2. DVR. My comcast DVR lets me record 2 channels at once. What are the limitations on DTV's top of the line DVR? My Harmony lets me do 30 second skips. Does the same go for the DTV DVR?

3. Service. Does weather or any such conditions effect coverage?

Any thing else you can add would be greatly appeciared.
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post #2 of 8 Old 09-28-2008, 03:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RobertR1 View Post

I live in the East Bay, California (Pittsburg) and currently use Comcast. My main reason is for NFL coverage as watching our crappy local teams for 16weeks is no fun for me. I have a few questions though:

1. MPEG4. Is there a noticeable improvement in DTV's HD service? Comcast is a crapshoot (I assume due to bandwidth). Some programs will look good while others are painful.

2. DVR. My comcast DVR lets me record 2 channels at once. What are the limitations on DTV's top of the line DVR? My Harmony lets me do 30 second skips. Does the same go for the DTV DVR?

3. Service. Does weather or any such conditions effect coverage?

Any thing else you can add would be greatly appeciared.

I switched last fall due to HD availability -- ~20 channels through Comcast and 85 national channels through D* (at the time of my switch).

There is a noticeable improvement with MPEG4.

The DVR is dual tuner, so yes, you can record 2 different things. The one thing I liked better about the Motorola DVR from Comcast, though, was that each tuner had its own buffer. D*'s DVR is a networked device. With it, you can access files that are in Windows Media Player 11. That's a nice feature -- to be able to play mp3s or view photos on your TV. You also have to have the DVR to be able to utilize Video On Demand. The 30-second thing is a function of the DVR, not the remote. You can have it configured for either 30-second skip or slip.

I get service interruptions with heavy rain/snowfall. Make sure your dish is installed in a location where you can easily get to it.

CIAO!

Ed N.
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post #3 of 8 Old 09-28-2008, 03:17 PM
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1) Depends on your local Comcast and if they are overcompressing channels. Check the local info section for a thread for your area to see if you can find anyone that can compare in your viewing area for you.

2) You can record two things at once and you can set up a 30 sec skip. You can find more in the HR2X series DVR's in the Recorders section and/or the Directv HD DVR section at dbstalk.com.

3) Heavy downpours can cause temporary outages.

Directv has been discussed pretty heavily here, some searching will turn up useful info to read also.

Matt
Please don't PM me with technical questions that should be posted in the forum.
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post #4 of 8 Old 09-28-2008, 03:19 PM
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1) mpeg4 is a compression method... doesn't really improve PQ per se. With D*... some programs look good and others can be painful. Yet another "crapshoot".
2) IIRC... DVR's are comparable. 30 sec. skip? Can't answer that.
3) yes... weather can affect reception. Depends on your location and line of sight.

Sign up with D* and be prepared for a two year commitment as well as an additional subscription fee for NFL ticket.
Make sure you know what you're getting.
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post #5 of 8 Old 10-09-2008, 03:02 PM
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I can't speak to the picture quality, only their lack of customer service.

Worst. Service. Ever.

Course I haven't had cable in years, so maybe they are both fighting it out to see who can be the worst.

Forever on voicemail/hold. Numerous disconnects. Set up HD install apointment, they don't have the work order right. They don't bring the proper equipment to install on the roof.


To be fair, once you actually get someone on the phone, they are frequently polite and try to be helpful. I got the local installers on the horn, too, and that guy was great. The problem is that DTV requires them to do the letter of the work-order, and if the installation becomes at all non-standard, your only option is to cancel, and start over via the 800 number. In my case, I will likely place the dish on a poll mounted in the ground now.

Looks like the way to go is to find the local DTV installers, talk to them first, then order from DTV.
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post #6 of 8 Old 10-10-2008, 02:44 AM
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My experience with the shift from CC to Direct was excellent, both in service and picture quality. A pronounced improvement. Also get more for less.
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post #7 of 8 Old 10-11-2008, 05:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tatersw View Post

Worst. Service. Ever.

Except. Comscat.

I've had D* since 1995, except for a brief stint with comscat. D*'s customer service is not perfect, and they've pissed me off a few times. But it's still better than comscat. That says a lot.

There is a 2 year commitment for HD service with D*. And like any other big company these days, don't believe a word they tell you about channels available, etc. Do your research on here before signing up with them or anyone else.

MPEG4 HD on D* is nearly always better than the MPEG2 they used to use.
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post #8 of 8 Old 10-14-2008, 01:00 PM
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My experience in Southern California is that Comcast, Adelphia and Cox have the worst HD boxes. Poor scaling, bad GUI's, and just plain old crap on standard definition. Time Warner cable is probably the best box out there, but that's not saying much as you can't utilize HDMI and Component ports at the same time. It's a tragedy if your only option is cable in these areas. 22 HD channels is seriously behind the times compared to Satellite.

iTunes search "Bmode" or http://cdbaby.com/cd/bmode
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