Originally Posted by jpsalerno
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.