Need help!! Comcast vs Directv vs Dish - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 43 Old 11-28-2006, 01:30 AM - Thread Starter
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I recently bought an HDTV and quickly realized my current setup (directv tivo) wasn't good enough. After (painfully) realizing Directv no longer offered an HD Tivo (and even if it did, since it's not MPEG-4, what good is it?) I then went on a massive search to find what would be my best overall option.

Sadly, I'm still at square one. I'd appreciate anyone's advice to help me with this decision.

For what it's worth, I currently have DSL & Telephone through AT&T and am paying about $80/month for both. Including the Tivo & HBO, I'm paying about $70 with Directv.

Option A) Stay with Directv

My rate will go up about $10 and, up until earlier today, I'd have to buy an HD-DVR (the HR20) for $200 Now, they are willing to give me one for free.

Pros: Stick with the service I'm used to. XM radio Transfer the Directv Tivo to my other TV (no way I'd get what I feel it's worth so it would just collect dust if I switch to another option) Free HD DVR

Cons: While the HR20 may not be terrible, based on the reviews I've read, I'm definitely prepping myself for a bit of dissapointment compared to my Tivo. As many of you know, the HR20s are on backorder. I put my name on the waiting list but who knows? I'm hearing at least a couple of weeks. That, unfortuneatly, is the least of my problems since they can't get a tech out here until the 29th of December!! lastly, by opting for the free HD-DVR, I'm locking myself into anothe 2 year contract with them.


Option B) Switch to Dish

Since I have AT&T Phone and DSL (not to mention Cingular) after some analysis, I'd be saving about $10/month with this option.

Pros: The reviews I've read for the VIPxxx all seem rather good. CNET gave it their editor's choice and the 2 remote functionality seems intriguing. I only have one other TV (in my bedroom) so, having only one DVR (to rule them all) might even be better than moving my Directv Tivo upstairs. On top of that, they can get hear as early as tomorrow to install everything.

Cons: I need to buy the VIPxxx for $200 (this is money I could be spending on an xbox 360 hd-dvd player!) The thought of going to dish from directv doesn't overlly excite me. call it brand loyalty... i don't know. for the longest time, right or wrong, I've basically considered dish to be second class.


Option C) Switch to Cable (Comcast)

This idea came to the forefront when I heard about their deal with Tivo. Unfortuneatly, this has yet to materialize and nobody seems to know definitively when something tangible might exist. So, for now, it's all just speculation.

Pros: Can bundle my phone, internet and cable into one bill. Though they made it seem as if I'd be saving some dough, after some number crunching, it works out to be about the same as the other options. Still, one bill would be nice. Also, I've heard cable is faster than dsl. I've also heard some good things about the Comcast video email service that's bundled with their email. On demand I suppose is a plus. Don't need to shell out $$$ for the HD-DVR Also, they can come down this week and install everything

Cons: Making such a dramatic switch (phone, internet, tv) may be a chore. plus, it's cable. Even worse than my (perhaps false) perception of Dish Network, I've never really liked the idea of going with cable. It seems to conformist, too 80's to me. But the rational side of me needs to think about what's right and make the best overall decision. There's no denying that cable has come along way. To my knowledge, in terms of quality, there's no difference between their digital offering any any sat service. The DVR is also a concern. Unlike the aformentioned Directv and Dish HD DVRs, CNET didn't have a write up on the Motorola 6412. The reviews I've read online have been less than stellar but, with the hope of the Tivo software soon rescuing it from it's misery, these concerns may soon disappear. on top of that, unlike the 2 other options, my other tv would be left in the cold (unless I want to pay extra for a box) But again, since there's nothing definitive, I'd hate to rest my decision on mere speculation.


So you see my dilemna. I'm sure this is a dilemna that many of you have faced. If Directv could come and install everything a lot sooner and Dish was willing to give me their HD DVR for free, we'd essentially have an even playing field. Since I currently have Directv, I'd probably just stick with them. But having to wait an entire month is going to kill me! In the grand scheme of things, going to dish (and having to shell out $200 for a comparable overall service) just to have it a month sooner... wouldn't make much sense. So, I suppose, I can rule that option out for now. I'm hoping they might step up to the plate and offer that VIPxxx for free. Has anyone had any luck with this?

Assuming they don't, since neither option would cost me a dime upfront, I suppose it should come down to Directv vs Comcast. Though I hate the idea of having to wait a month, if the HR20 is that much superior to the 6412, it's probably worth it. Plus, I'd still get to use my Directv Tivo (albeit on another tv in my house) so it wouldn't be wasted.


Anyway... sorry for being so long winded. I just want to make the right decision for my family. Alll of this stuff is far too complicated and, with so many variables to factor in, trying to decipher everything can make your head spin.

Any help you guys can offer me would be greatly appreciated.
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post #2 of 43 Old 11-28-2006, 04:41 AM
 
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Comcast is very good in some areas - not so good in other areas. As you do not post where you are - its impossible to even begin to give you an answer.

You should go to the local sections for your market and read the comments and ask there what people locally find best.

Also, usually cable has free installs. You could have them install this week and run D* and Comcast side by side and see which suits you best. Then change over if you thought it was better in a week - pulling the D* plug and bundling the rest.
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post #3 of 43 Old 11-28-2006, 07:45 AM - Thread Starter
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That's tremendous advice. BTW, I'm from CT. I didn't think my region mattered because my issue wasn't with the service (I'm assuming the service is at least as good (and probably even better) than what I'm used to now with Directv) My issue had to do, partly at least, with the hd dvr. This is something, I'm assuming, isn't affected by region.

But thanks for the tip.... I'd hate to waste the installers time by having him come down and install cable (just so I can see how the dvr works) but... if that's the only way, I guess I have no choice.
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post #4 of 43 Old 11-28-2006, 10:19 AM
 
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What I meant by region is the PQ.

Directv has HDLITE. Comcast passes everything through at native resolution in many markets. The bigger your screen, the more evident it becomes. That is why I said compare.

Also, remember a new DVR will not work the same as your old one. That's the real bottom line - so you cannot make a judgement on the fact that something does things differently - as the HR20 will as well.
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post #5 of 43 Old 11-28-2006, 12:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jpsalerno View Post

I recently bought an HDTV and quickly realized my current setup (directv tivo) wasn't good enough. After (painfully) realizing Directv no longer offered an HD Tivo (and even if it did, since it's not MPEG-4, what good is it?) I then went on a massive search to find what would be my best overall option.

Sadly, I'm still at square one. I'd appreciate anyone's advice to help me with this decision.

For what it's worth, I currently have DSL & Telephone through AT&T and am paying about $80/month for both. Including the Tivo & HBO, I'm paying about $70 with Directv.

Option A) Stay with Directv

My rate will go up about $10 and, up until earlier today, I'd have to buy an HD-DVR (the HR20) for $200 Now, they are willing to give me one for free.

Pros: Stick with the service I'm used to. XM radio Transfer the Directv Tivo to my other TV (no way I'd get what I feel it's worth so it would just collect dust if I switch to another option) Free HD DVR

Cons: While the HR20 may not be terrible, based on the reviews I've read, I'm definitely prepping myself for a bit of dissapointment compared to my Tivo. As many of you know, the HR20s are on backorder. I put my name on the waiting list but who knows? I'm hearing at least a couple of weeks. That, unfortuneatly, is the least of my problems since they can't get a tech out here until the 29th of December!! lastly, by opting for the free HD-DVR, I'm locking myself into anothe 2 year contract with them.


Option B) Switch to Dish

Since I have AT&T Phone and DSL (not to mention Cingular) after some analysis, I'd be saving about $10/month with this option.

Pros: The reviews I've read for the VIPxxx all seem rather good. CNET gave it their editor's choice and the 2 remote functionality seems intriguing. I only have one other TV (in my bedroom) so, having only one DVR (to rule them all) might even be better than moving my Directv Tivo upstairs. On top of that, they can get hear as early as tomorrow to install everything.

Cons: I need to buy the VIPxxx for $200 (this is money I could be spending on an xbox 360 hd-dvd player!) The thought of going to dish from directv doesn't overlly excite me. call it brand loyalty... i don't know. for the longest time, right or wrong, I've basically considered dish to be second class.


Option C) Switch to Cable (Comcast)

This idea came to the forefront when I heard about their deal with Tivo. Unfortuneatly, this has yet to materialize and nobody seems to know definitively when something tangible might exist. So, for now, it's all just speculation.

Pros: Can bundle my phone, internet and cable into one bill. Though they made it seem as if I'd be saving some dough, after some number crunching, it works out to be about the same as the other options. Still, one bill would be nice. Also, I've heard cable is faster than dsl. I've also heard some good things about the Comcast video email service that's bundled with their email. On demand I suppose is a plus. Don't need to shell out $$$ for the HD-DVR Also, they can come down this week and install everything

Cons: Making such a dramatic switch (phone, internet, tv) may be a chore. plus, it's cable. Even worse than my (perhaps false) perception of Dish Network, I've never really liked the idea of going with cable. It seems to conformist, too 80's to me. But the rational side of me needs to think about what's right and make the best overall decision. There's no denying that cable has come along way. To my knowledge, in terms of quality, there's no difference between their digital offering any any sat service. The DVR is also a concern. Unlike the aformentioned Directv and Dish HD DVRs, CNET didn't have a write up on the Motorola 6412. The reviews I've read online have been less than stellar but, with the hope of the Tivo software soon rescuing it from it's misery, these concerns may soon disappear. on top of that, unlike the 2 other options, my other tv would be left in the cold (unless I want to pay extra for a box) But again, since there's nothing definitive, I'd hate to rest my decision on mere speculation.


So you see my dilemna. I'm sure this is a dilemna that many of you have faced. If Directv could come and install everything a lot sooner and Dish was willing to give me their HD DVR for free, we'd essentially have an even playing field. Since I currently have Directv, I'd probably just stick with them. But having to wait an entire month is going to kill me! In the grand scheme of things, going to dish (and having to shell out $200 for a comparable overall service) just to have it a month sooner... wouldn't make much sense. So, I suppose, I can rule that option out for now. I'm hoping they might step up to the plate and offer that VIPxxx for free. Has anyone had any luck with this?

Assuming they don't, since neither option would cost me a dime upfront, I suppose it should come down to Directv vs Comcast. Though I hate the idea of having to wait a month, if the HR20 is that much superior to the 6412, it's probably worth it. Plus, I'd still get to use my Directv Tivo (albeit on another tv in my house) so it wouldn't be wasted.


Anyway... sorry for being so long winded. I just want to make the right decision for my family. Alll of this stuff is far too complicated and, with so many variables to factor in, trying to decipher everything can make your head spin.

Any help you guys can offer me would be greatly appreciated.

You mentioned DirecTV offering you the HD DVR for free? How did you go about that? I'm facing the same DTV vs. Comcast vs. Dish dilemma -- but I'd much rather stay with DTV. I need an HD DVR (to replace an SD Ultimate TV) and one more HD receiver (to replace an SD receiver), but don't want to shell out $299 plus $100 to get those two boxes. Any thoughts would be appreciated.
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post #6 of 43 Old 11-28-2006, 01:48 PM
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Call directv and tell them you are considering cancelling service in favor of dish or cable, an perhaps the retention department will offer you a free HD-DVR to get you to stay.

The specific area you are in also affects your ability to get HD signals via OTA. They are incorporated seamlessly into the guide of an HR10-250 HD-tivo (for directv) and are of high quality. You can still get the HR10 via ebay and other sources. I love both of mine. They also record HD-lite via D*. If you already like the tivo interface, and can get your locals in HD via OTA, you may want to consider the HR10. It will not get any new mpeg4 channels, but I already have more content than I have time to watch. YMMV.

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post #7 of 43 Old 11-28-2006, 05:29 PM - Thread Starter
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Chris, thanks for the advice. I thought of that as well... but with them going for $250+ on ebay, even with the tivo, I'd prefer to get something "free".

I didn't realize the OTA channels were integrated into the guide.... Assuming some of these indoor hdtv antennas are as good as some of the reviews make them out to be, this type of setup (even with the additional cost) might not be so bad.

The question I have is... since the HR10-250 isn't mpeg4 compatible, what channels (other than locals) would I be missing out on?

This doesn't seem like the best longterm solution since i hear mpeg4 is the wave of the future so... the more I think about it, this probably isn't the option for me.
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post #8 of 43 Old 11-28-2006, 05:31 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swhelan1 View Post

You mentioned DirecTV offering you the HD DVR for free? How did you go about that? I'm facing the same DTV vs. Comcast vs. Dish dilemma -- but I'd much rather stay with DTV. I need an HD DVR (to replace an SD Ultimate TV) and one more HD receiver (to replace an SD receiver), but don't want to shell out $299 plus $100 to get those two boxes. Any thoughts would be appreciated.


I was a bit surprised as well... Talk to the people in the retention dept. I told them that Comcast was giving me a "free" hd dvr so they ponied up.
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post #9 of 43 Old 11-28-2006, 05:38 PM - Thread Starter
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Quick update...

Directv (or D* like some of you like to refer to them as) not only has their HR20s on backorder status (for at least 2 weeks... which tells me it's probably more like 3-4) but... they can't get an installer (in my area... CT) out until December 29th!!

This shouldn't be a dealbreaker... afterall, they're giving me a free $300 hddvr (with a 2 year committment) So I called Dish to cancel the install and told them why.

What did they say?

You guessed it! Even though I'm not even a customer of theirs, let alone a "A customer" as D* called me... they STILL decided to throw in the Vip622 for FREE!! (with an 18 month commitment)

So now I'm like.... I can't pass THAT up! (or can I?) afterall, they're willing to come in as early as tomorrow and install everything. since the various reviews say the vip is a slightly better overall solution to the hr20, I feel this might be the best way to go.

What do you guys think? I can always call to have them take everything back if I change my mind... something I'd feel kind've $hitty about... but, so far, it seems like I may be converting to dish.

Anyone care to talk me out of it?
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post #10 of 43 Old 11-28-2006, 10:12 PM
 
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I would not get locked into E* right now for 12 months or 18 months.

They are out of bandwidth and going downhill fast.

I would not have given you the same advice in July, so that shows you how the table has turned.

In a number of Comcast markets, Comcast will have the better PQ on HD - whether live or DVR....and MPEG4 is not ready for PrimeTime yet.
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post #11 of 43 Old 11-29-2006, 12:45 AM
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I would look at the HDTV Programming forum. There you'll see that Dish Networks has alot more HD channels if you purchase the Voom package. Yes, the ViP622 is a kick-ass DVR but what really matters is how much HD programming you can watch.

Neither Comcast nor DirectTV has equivalent for the Voom channels. I know alot of folks are arguing about down-rezzed quality for the Satellite vendors, but really the comparision is between down-rezzed HD on Dish versus Standard-Def from the other guys as you can't get these channels any other way. Even if Comcast has more bandwidth, the real question is when will it have the HD programming that you can actually watch?

MPEG4 has been working fine on Dish.
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post #12 of 43 Old 11-29-2006, 05:27 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dyl View Post

I would look at the HDTV Programming forum. There you'll see that Dish Networks has alot more HD channels if you purchase the Voom package. Yes, the ViP622 is a kick-ass DVR but what really matters is how much HD programming you can watch.

Neither Comcast nor DirectTV has equivalent for the Voom channels. I know alot of folks are arguing about down-rezzed quality for the Satellite vendors, but really the comparision is between down-rezzed HD on Dish versus Standard-Def from the other guys as you can't get these channels any other way. Even if Comcast has more bandwidth, the real question is when will it have the HD programming that you can actually watch?

MPEG4 has been working fine on Dish.

Unfortunately most newbies don't realize that the channels marked MPEG4 for the most part are not - but still actually mpeg2. StarzHD was one of the several (3 or 4) MPEG4 channels they tried to get up on the bird - and they could not even get working properly on both birds - so its in low rez MPEG2 on one though they claim its in mpeg4 both.

Again, bottom line - MPEG4 IS NOT ready for prime time yet - and Dish is out of bandwidth.

After 30-60 days of the Voom channels, there isn't anything left. They have enough material for 1 or 2 HD Channels - which really isn't much at all.
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post #13 of 43 Old 11-29-2006, 05:46 AM - Thread Starter
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Yeah, I'm not a big believer in VOOM. It looks like crap to me. So HDTVFANAtic, assuming my local comcast is stronger than most cable companies in the US, would you suggest going with them?

The downside in doing so is...

The DVR (I hear) isn't nearly as good as the ones both dish and directv offer. (though, there's hope that it might be capable of providing tivo soon... but who knows?)

I've also heard that the SD channels on cable aren't nearly as good as the SD channels on SAT. Not like that really matters since I'd probably only be watching HD anyway...

So, is cable the stronger option these days?
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post #14 of 43 Old 11-29-2006, 06:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jpsalerno View Post

It looks like crap to me.

Crap? Really? I disagree. Everyone visiting my home has been blown away by the concerts on RAVE and HDNET or the scenery on EQUATR or the games on ESPNHD for example. While it isn't the cheapest option I couldn't be happier with E* picture or equipment (two kick ass DVR's). I only have a 50 inch screen so maybe I'm just not seeing the problems you are but it damn sure ain't crap. I've seen crap.

No offence to anyone but I just think there are some folks with an ax to grind in regards to this provider or that provider and their not being objective.
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post #15 of 43 Old 11-29-2006, 06:52 AM - Thread Starter
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LOL I never said HD was crap... I said VOOM was crap! maybe I was being a bit harsh.... Since I've never watched a minute of it's programming, I can't say for sure. But, in reading reviews, it seems like all they play are a bunch of programs nobody would normally watch (if they were in SD) over and over. That's not for me.

You mentioned HDNET and ESPNHD... those are available to anyone and aren't through VOOM.
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post #16 of 43 Old 11-29-2006, 07:00 AM
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LOL I never said HD was crap... .

No I meant VOOM and dishnetwork in general. Is everything on VOOM a new blockbuster movie? Of course not. But it's alot of very good looking specialty channels and there is nothing wrong with the quality of the picture. The only people who aren't happy with the PQ are the one's sitting there with bitrate counters. Considering the dearth of programming just a few short years ago how can anyone justifiably complain?
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post #17 of 43 Old 11-29-2006, 08:05 AM - Thread Starter
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But we're not living in the past. The time is now and, for people like myself, we want to make sure we're getting the best bang for our buck. Don't get me wrong, Xoom MAY come in handy every once in a while (on a snowy saturday afternoon with nothing else on for example) but, I for one, didn't use it to factor into things one bit. For me, content is much more important than quality. Having both is obviously the best.
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post #18 of 43 Old 11-29-2006, 03:39 PM
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Errr, with Dish you don't get just Voom, you get most of the other HD channels that you would get Comcast or DirectTV. You just get an ADDITIONAL 15 HD channels. Again, the question is when will DirectTV or Comcast get another 15 HD channels that you can watch.

I don't understand the comment about material for only 1-2 HD channels. What other HD channels have interesting content 24x7 ? Hell, OTA is just prime-time mostly.
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post #19 of 43 Old 11-29-2006, 03:45 PM - Thread Starter
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you're right about OTA...

here's what it boils down to. would you watch voom if it wasn't in HD?

if the answer is no, you're only watching it because it's hd! that to me is silly! if all you care about is a clear picture, look out the window! haha j/k

for me and presumably most, i'm going to watch everything I normally watch. if it's in hd.. great! if not.... oh well. since I watch mostly news, sports and movies, I think I'll be all set. (2 out of 3 aint bad) but there's no way I'm going to watch some "crap" just because it's HD. Now if you the programs voom broadcasts aren't crap, then I can understand why you like it so much. to each their own
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post #20 of 43 Old 11-29-2006, 05:06 PM
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Actually, I watch the Voom channels quite a bit.

Voom's content isn't as good as say HBO's original content (like The Sopranos, Rome, Deadwood). But it's as good as basic cable channels - TNT, AMC, TMC, etc.. You can think of Voom that way - like basic cable channels but in HD. Well, probably better then that as R-rated films are shown.

Before pre-judging the content without seeing it, go to a friend's house who has those channels to check them out.
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post #21 of 43 Old 11-29-2006, 06:01 PM
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Do all satellite companies downsample? Are some worse than others?

I'm moving into an apartment soon. I live with my parents now and we have Comcast, which looks fantastic but has limited programming. The apartment is much, much worse, as their cable provider is Mediaworks, some no name company that services apartments with only 2 tiers of service (basic or ultra) and NO HD WHATSOEVER. HD programming matters a lot to me, as it is almost all I watch with the exception of the Military Channel and History Channel.

So given that I'm limited to IPTV (which I heard sucks any way you cut it) and satellite, what are my best choices if all I care about is HD?

Also, are the premium channels also downsampled? I heard that most HD channels are except the premium ones.
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post #22 of 43 Old 11-29-2006, 10:43 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NightHawk View Post

I just think there are some folks with an ax to grind in regards to this provider or that provider and their not being objective.

Its really quite comical when I see someone say I have an ax to grind with E* as up to several months ago I defended them with a lot of vigor - more so than anyone on this thread.

As they continue to limit bandwidth and finally killing off the high bitrate of HDNET Movies and HDNET, that was final straw.

I have had the Voom Channels since the first day they went on the air - so yes, I know what they look like and know the content well.

And as most people that aren't newbies know, any J6P that sees a mediocre HD Picture is blown away. That means nothing. If mediocre HD Pictures didn't blow people away, none of the sets would ever sell while being on display in the major retailers.

I hate to rate the reasons why I got HD.

The overwhelming reason was PQ - I did not get for a STB or DVR. I got it for PQ.

On the better Comcast Systems, here's the bottom line winner for PQ and bitrate

ABC - Comcast
CBS - Comcast
FOX - Comcast
NBC - Comcast
PBS - Comcast - not on Dish
CW - Comcat - not on Dish
MyNet - Comcast - not on Dish
INDIEs - Comcast - not on Dish
ESPN - draw
ESPN2 - Comcast
UNIVERSALHD - Comcast - Draw if on of the 20% using 61.5 instead of 129W from Dish for HD
DiscoveryHD - Comcast
TNT-HD - Comcast
HBO - Comcast
SHO - Comcast
STARZ- Comcast
CINEMAX - Comcast - not on Dish
HDNET - Dish - not on Comcast - looks horrible now
HDNET Movies - Dish - not on Comcast - but looks horrible now
NFL Network - Comcast - MPEG4 on Dish
National Geo - Comcast
Food - Comcast on the few systems its on - MPEG4 on Dish
H&G - Comcast on the few systems its on - MPEG4 on Dish
Voom - On Dish, not Comcast

So tell me if I am going for PQ, why Dish wins?

Now, if its one of the crappy Comcast systems, you probably don't have all the above and don't have a good picture. It would be closer to a draw then.
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post #23 of 43 Old 11-29-2006, 11:24 PM
 
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http://www.usatoday.com/money/compan...at_x.htm?ord=2

Struggling TiVo insists the sun'll come out tomorrow
Posted 11/29/2006 11:08 PM ET

By David Lieberman, USA TODAY
NEW YORK TiVo shares (TIVO) fell 5.7% in after-hours trading Wednesday after the DVR pioneer reported revenue short of its forecast for the quarter that ended in October.

It also said that holiday season marketing costs, including DVR rebates of as much as 100%, will push the current quarter's net loss to as much as $38 million.

"The company is burning a lot of cash and is showing little growth," says Oppenheimer's Alan Bezoza.

TiVo reported a net gain of 16,000 subscriptions in the quarter, for a total of about 4.4 million.

CEO Tom Rogers told analysts in a conference call to have faith in his efforts to establish TiVo as a premium alternative to cable and satellite in-house DVRs that cost less but have fewer features.

"We have all the pieces in place to be a leading force in the future of television worldwide," he says.

He has a lot of persuading to do.

"It's hard to be optimistic for them right now," says Jimmy Schaeffler, chairman of The Carmel Group.

TiVo posted a net loss of $11.1 million in the third quarter, compared with a $14.2 million loss last year, on revenue of $65.7 million, up 32%. The 12-cents-a-share loss beat the 14 cents forecast by analysts, says Thomson Financial.

Lack of subscriber momentum has taken a toll on its stock, which closed before the report at $6.29. That's off 27% since an April 17 jump when a court said EchoStar infringed on its patents.

Subscription growth fell dramatically last year after DirecTV began promoting its own DVR rather than TiVo service.

The hope was that deals with cable operators would make up the slack. But Comcast, which said last year that it would offer TiVo in most of its markets by the end of 2006, now says market trials won't start until the first half of 2007. Cox and Cablevision Mexico also plan to offer TiVo.

That leaves TiVo for now trying to attract customers on its own with ads and rebates. But it also raised subscription prices twice this year for new customers. Those who sign up for one year will shell out $19.95 a month up from $12.95 before this month and $9.95 before April. TiVo offers lower rates for those who prepay or commit to more than a year. About half of new subscribers sign up for three years.

Rogers says clouds should part next year as those payments flow in, along with revenue from cable subscriptions and advertisers. TiVo said this week that it will tack advertising onto the screen users see when they're done watching a show and must choose whether to save or delete it.
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post #24 of 43 Old 11-30-2006, 02:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HDTVFanAtic View Post

As they continue to limit bandwidth and finally killing off the high bitrate of HDNET Movies and HDNET, that was final straw.

What type of picture degradation did you notice? Are you certain your not simply obsessing over bitrate? I get my HD locals OTA and I don't see any difference between that and anything on Voom. I suppose if what your saying about the decrease in bandwidth is true, a critical comparison, on identical frames, with professional equipment, whould be able to detect some difference in resolution. How many others would be able to see it?

I'm not a mouthpiece for E* but I do think they provide a fantastic service for alot of people. In many rural and semi-rural and even suburban areas, premium cable service such as Comcast isn't available. The cable provider is often some fly-by-night third rate service with little to offer other than high-speed internet. In my area, just outside Washington DC the local cable company has changed names 4 times in 5 years.

When you decide what service to get you need to consider the whole package. That includes equipment, cost, reliability, number of channels (HD and SD), availability and PQ. Basing your entire decision on bandwidth and bitrate is silly IMO.
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post #25 of 43 Old 11-30-2006, 05:46 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HDTVFanAtic View Post

Its really quite comical when I see someone say I have an ax to grind with E* as up to several months ago I defended them with a lot of vigor - more so than anyone on this thread.

As they continue to limit bandwidth and finally killing off the high bitrate of HDNET Movies and HDNET, that was final straw.

I have had the Voom Channels since the first day they went on the air - so yes, I know what they look like and know the content well.

And as most people that aren't newbies know, any J6P that sees a mediocre HD Picture is blown away. That means nothing. If mediocre HD Pictures didn't blow people away, none of the sets would ever sell while being on display in the major retailers.

I hate to rate the reasons why I got HD.

The overwhelming reason was PQ - I did not get for a STB or DVR. I got it for PQ.

On the better Comcast Systems, here's the bottom line winner for PQ and bitrate

ABC - Comcast
CBS - Comcast
FOX - Comcast
NBC - Comcast
PBS - Comcast - not on Dish
CW - Comcat - not on Dish
MyNet - Comcast - not on Dish
INDIEs - Comcast - not on Dish
ESPN - draw
ESPN2 - Comcast
UNIVERSALHD - Comcast - Draw if on of the 20% using 61.5 instead of 129W from Dish for HD
DiscoveryHD - Comcast
TNT-HD - Comcast
HBO - Comcast
SHO - Comcast
STARZ- Comcast
CINEMAX - Comcast - not on Dish
HDNET - Dish - not on Comcast - looks horrible now
HDNET Movies - Dish - not on Comcast - but looks horrible now
NFL Network - Comcast - MPEG4 on Dish
National Geo - Comcast
Food - Comcast on the few systems its on - MPEG4 on Dish
H&G - Comcast on the few systems its on - MPEG4 on Dish
Voom - On Dish, not Comcast

So tell me if I am going for PQ, why Dish wins?

Now, if its one of the crappy Comcast systems, you probably don't have all the above and don't have a good picture. It would be closer to a draw then.


So, just so I'm clear, you're saying the overall quality of picture on Comcast is superior to that on Dish? Would the same be true with Directv?

Since you said Comcast quality varies, how could one possibly determine whether they live in an area where the quality is above average (before actually subscribing)? That's the situation I'm in now... I've schedule directv to come in on the 29th and Comcast to come in this Saturday. I was thinking about staying with Directv and canceling the the Comcast install... but your thoughts are now making me think otherwise.

Unlike you, the dvr is part of the equation. (though, if push comes to shove (if it's that much of a difference) I'd prefer to have higher quality HD than a better overall dvr)
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post #26 of 43 Old 11-30-2006, 10:09 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jpsalerno View Post

So, just so I'm clear, you're saying the overall quality of picture on Comcast is superior to that on Dish? Would the same be true with Directv?

Since you said Comcast quality varies, how could one possibly determine whether they live in an area where the quality is above average (before actually subscribing)? That's the situation I'm in now... I've schedule directv to come in on the 29th and Comcast to come in this Saturday. I was thinking about staying with Directv and canceling the the Comcast install... but your thoughts are now making me think otherwise.

Unlike you, the dvr is part of the equation. (though, if push comes to shove (if it's that much of a difference) I'd prefer to have higher quality HD than a better overall dvr)


Directv would also be worse quality than the good Comcast areas. Unfortunately, all one can do is go to the local threads on avsforum and try to get a sense of what the quality is on the local Comcast system.


As a rule of thumb I tend to think the all motorola stb Comcast systems are all built by Comcast and not inherited from another Company so those appear to have the better bitrate as a GENERAL RULE
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post #27 of 43 Old 11-30-2006, 11:03 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NightHawk View Post

What type of picture degradation did you notice? Are you certain your not simply obsessing over bitrate? I get my HD locals OTA and I don't see any difference between that and anything on Voom. I suppose if what your saying about the decrease in bandwidth is true, a critical comparison, on identical frames, with professional equipment, whould be able to detect some difference in resolution. How many others would be able to see it?

I'm not a mouthpiece for E* but I do think they provide a fantastic service for alot of people. In many rural and semi-rural and even suburban areas, premium cable service such as Comcast isn't available. The cable provider is often some fly-by-night third rate service with little to offer other than high-speed internet. In my area, just outside Washington DC the local cable company has changed names 4 times in 5 years.

When you decide what service to get you need to consider the whole package. That includes equipment, cost, reliability, number of channels (HD and SD), availability and PQ. Basing your entire decision on bandwidth and bitrate is silly IMO.

This has been discussed ad naseum in many threads.

I guess if you compare a bar full of Rosanne Barr, even she might look good, but anyone that would compare apples and oranges (Voom vs OTA).....
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post #28 of 43 Old 12-02-2006, 07:01 AM - Thread Starter
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Apple's gotten into this raquet too?
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post #29 of 43 Old 12-03-2006, 04:38 PM
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I get the major networks through both OTA and Dish. Yes, OTA is a little better in PQ but not so much that the Satellite picture isn't enjoyable.

As previously stated, a down-rezzed HD picture still lots a lot better then SD. I don't know why that point doesn't count for anything. If you are choosing only to watch full-bitrate HD, then you are limiting yourself to less content. Look at that list of Comcast HD channels, it's not that much. Even the Dish line-up could be better.

On the list of channels, it's fairer to list each Voom channel instead of listing them as just "Voom".

Rave HD - Dish, not on Comcast
Equator HD - Dish, not on Comcast
Gallery HD - Dish, not on Comcast
Animania HD - Dish, not on Comcast
Rush HD - Dish, not on Comcast
Ultra HD - Dish, not on Comcast
Kung Fu HD - Dish, not on Comcast
Film Fest HD - Dish, not on Comcast
Monsters HD - Dish, not on Comcast
HD News - Dish, not on Comcast
World Sport HD - Dish, not on Comcast
World Cinema HD - Dish, not on Comcast
Family HD - Dish, not on Comcast
Treasure HD - Dish, not on Comcast
GamePlay HD - Dish, not on Comcast

The point that I'm trying to make is that the amount of content matters. If next year Comcast, DirectTV or any other vendor suddenly has 60 channels of HD, I'll consider switching. But until that happens, Dish is a reasonable choice right now, again based on amount of content.

PS. How come in previous posts, MPEG4 was stated to be "not working", but then HGTV and Food are listed as MPEG4 on Dish?
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post #30 of 43 Old 12-03-2006, 08:10 PM
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If you like cable why not get a TIVO Series 3? That was my runnerup choice to the DISH 622.

I faced the same choice and went with DISH because I like the greater choice of HD channels that Dish offered compared to Brigthouse and DirecTv. Also I just hate cable companies. DISH also does not require a long term committment. D* has a 2 year minimum.

There have been major reliability problems reported with the D* HR20-700 in addition to its availabilty. Check the DBS forums for more on the DISH 622 and D* HR20-700. There is a link here at AVS.
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