lol, so much misinformation in this thread
First of all, FiOS has better picture quality than DirecTV. The reason for this is very simple. They don't re-encode anything. If the network sends them a 17 Mbps MPEG2 feed like HDNet does, they pass it on through untouched. If the network sends them a 7 Mbps MPEG2 feed like AMC HD does, they pass that on through as well. That is why there is a quality difference between FiOS channels: some networks just have crappy feeds. It's not Verizon's fault and if the channel looks like ass it's time to write complaints to that channel.
I can tell you that they shouldn't look any better on DirecTV. In fact, they should look worse. DirecTV re-encodes every feed they get to 5-7 Mbps H.264 due to the limited capacity of satellite. Assuming they're getting the same network feeds as Verizon instead of their own sweetheart feeds of 5-7 Mbit/s H.264 sent to them directly from the networks, they will look worse than FiOS. So let's re-cap: Verizon passes through everything untouched, including your local over-the-air HDTV channels like CBS, NBC, etc. They will look identical to the OTA broadcasts. Comcast varies by market. DirecTV always
Secondly, Verizon has 23 more HD channels
than DirecTV has so this claim that DirecTV somehow has this awesome HD lineup is false. DirecTV's HD lineup is actually rather pathetic these days, falling far behind every other one of the big cable/satellite/telcoTV companies except for Charter, Mediacom, Suddenlink, Insight, and CableOne.
You can get 25/25 Mbps uncapped
Internet access + Most HDTV channels on their system + Phone from Verizon FiOS for $85-$99 in most markets. For $115-$135 a month you can get that Internet connection upgraded to 35/35 Mbps and every single HD channel
on their system including all premiums like HBO, Showtime, Starz, etc. I fail to see how Verizon is not the cheapest option anywhere. Period.
Now as for Comcast, it depends on your area. They don't have a unified national channel lineup and video encoding standards like Verizon and DirecTV do. Some Comcast areas will have pathetic channel selection and will re-encode everything to lower bitrates to fit in more HD channels when they don't have enough capacity. Prices can vary dramatically. Asking if DirecTV is better than Comcast without telling us where you live is not helpful at all.
The last thing I will address here is the Internet connection. Comcast has bandwidth caps. That should be a deal breaker for everyone. Qwest does not have any set usage limits. So the answer on this one is simple: Get Qwest.
Originally Posted by mikeny
I've had D* for almost 10 years and they've been very generous with programming and hardware
comps. In my case I'm always weighing the switch to FiOS TV where I would pay more than I ever did with D* to get the 3 DVRS we use. I would likely have to give up multiple DVRs or possibly go to 2. Having more than 1 gives so much more flexibility.
Then it's time to get a CableCARD
and a CableCARD tuner
such as the Ceton InfiniTV 4. Paying $50 a month in rental fees for a bunch of DVR units? Time to ditch 'em. The Ceton InfiniTV 4 can record four channels at once and you can put it in a PC with unlimited storage capacity and a much better interface than any of the DVRs any of these companies put out. You can have a Ceton InfiniTV 4 paid off in less than a year with the amount of money you'll be saving by not having to rent expensive DVRs from the cable company.