Based on programming need (including STREAMING), D* + cable internet vs cable for all - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 15 Old 06-16-2014, 08:11 AM - Thread Starter
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Based on programming need (including STREAMING), D* + cable internet vs cable for all

Hey all... I am brand new to the AVS forums and hope you guys can help me choose what to do here.

I will be moving to Atlanta from another market in a few weeks, and hope you can answer some questions I have, since right now I am not locked into any contract in Atlanta and have a chance to bolt down with the ideal provider(s) in the area.

First, a bit about me and my needs. Money is not a huge object in my search for the ideal cable/internet provider combination; I will have a job with a pretty good salary. That said, having both D* and cable TV would be a monumental waste of money and I am not up for this at all. I am also not interested in the Ultimate package from D*; I would probably have Plus or Extra. This should give you an idea about how budget/pricing matters for me.

As for internet, my wife uses the hell out of netflix and I am always a fan of higher internet speeds, not necessarily needing blistering business level speeds, but think that based on reading through some threads here that Xfinity blast! would meet my needs easily (functionally, 30-40 mbps is fine). Every single thing I have read on Uverse internet suggests that it is inferior to Xfinity. DVR capabilities are a plus but not a huge deal for us (really, just for my wife).

I am very sensitive to PQ and it makes a difference for me. My buddy who works for AT&T as a high level manager of course talks up Uverse, but after watching some football at his place last season through Uverse there was a massive noticable quality difference between his picture (bad) and my picture at my current home market with Cox (pretty good). Uverse is out for me as far as TV, but other providers are on the table.

I am one of those TV watchers who actually does watch sports, and LOTS of it. Particularly, college football, especially SEC football, pro tennis, and NFL football, along with some MLB baseball. One issue I have is that my wife will want to watch a show and I want to watch a sports event, which I currently am able to stream over on my computer through WatchESPN, tennischannel.com, or (insert name of network TV station here) for NFL games. I am able to do this because we have Cox internet and cable both at home currently. Because of this, high priorities for me include 1) ESPN3/WatchESPN, 2) SEC Network, and 3) tennischannel.com, etc. It is unclear to me if I would be able to access any of this sort of thing with Xfinity if I only had their internet service, without TV.

It seems to me that ideally I would be able to have DirecTV (really only for PQ and NFL Sunday ticket reasons, especially since I am a completely out of market NFL team fan) with Xfinity blast! internet service; except that perhaps(?) I would not be able to watch SEC network (only to be carried through Uverse and Dish locally)... however, I have a feeling that comcast will pick up SEC network - and perhaps DirecTV will - before the network launches. The chances of this I am entirely unsure of and would appreciate any insight. Alternatively, I could hop on with Comcast for everything and save a few bucks at the cost of PQ (being picky) and not having NFL Sunday ticket. Dish is out because of relative lack of sports programming aside from SEC network -- I would rather have Tennis channel and NFL Sunday ticket than SEC network any day of the week.

I guess if I really want to watch something on SEC network or an out of market NFL game I could continue to watch streaming on my computer in a less than savory way with horrible picture quality at wiziwig.tv ...

Do you have any thoughts on this? Any help you can give is greatly, greatly appreciated.
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post #2 of 15 Old 06-16-2014, 09:26 AM
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If you're that sensitive to PQ and want all the sports (including ST), you want D* in the ATL. You really answered your own questions here.
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post #3 of 15 Old 06-16-2014, 09:41 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by slowbiscuit View Post
If you're that sensitive to PQ and want all the sports (including ST), you want D* in the ATL. You really answered your own questions here.
I think I would be satisfied with either Comcast's PQ, assuming it matches what I get from Cox in New Orleans. I only mentioned it to help knock U-verse out of the conversation.

The only big qualm I have with DirecTV - and it is a big one for us - is what I mentioned with my wife. Many times she wants to watch a particular show that is on at the same time as sports programming that I want to watch, whether it be an NFL game, tennis tournament, baseball game, or college football game (or olympics, etc etc etc, depending on exactly when it is). Regardless of whether she can record something and watch it later, it also can be like torture to her for me to watch football all day Saturday and Sunday without her being able to watch anything... and this is totally understandable. Furthermore, we have a baby on the way who will be here in October and so a reasonable amount of TV time in about 6-9 months' time will be dedicated to kids' programming. We are not in the market for a new TV atm and won't be for at least a year. For all of these reasons, streaming TV on my phone or computer is quite important to me.

If I had DirecTV and Xfinity blast! internet (without Comcast TV service), if I understand correctly then I would NOT be able to stream the games to my TV (instead of hogging the TV). Is this correct? Also, I highly value ESPN3/WatchESPN's ability to watch 4 games at once, and if the statement I just made is true, then I wouldn't have access to this either without having Comcast's TV service. Is this right?

You are right, though, without this concern I think that DirecTV would be far and away the best for my needs...



EDIT: seems I've found a list of channels that I can stream through the internet if I have DirecTV service:
https://support.directv.com/app/answ...blet-or-mobile

There are some glaring omissions from this list, namely all ESPN stations, Fox, and CBS (for football reasons) and many other stations (for baseball reasons), though they do list Tennis Channel. To get all of the NFL games streaming on my computer I'd need the Sunday Ticket MAX package which costs some $100 more/year, and this would still omit Monday Night Football games which are aired on ESPN.

This is why I ask about the need for paying for Comcast TV subscription to get this stuff streaming. Probably a very simple question with a simple answer, but I just want to know for sure.

Last edited by Rossilius; 06-16-2014 at 09:50 AM.
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post #4 of 15 Old 06-16-2014, 12:50 PM
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Back when I had DirecTV, you could stream (or at least chase play) ALL DVR content to a PC. You can also stream most on demand content to a PC (sound quality is equal to a telephone though, in my experience).

I don't know about comcast, but my cable company just redirects you to Hulu or whatever pay TV site (HBO, etc.) for streaming anyway. So it doesn't matter who your provider is, as long as you have one at least. In any case, I don't think you'll need a cable TV subscription. If it turns out you do, just add it later.

Since you're going to be spending a couple of hundred/month on TV content, why not spend a little more and just get a second TV? That would solve all your issues.
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post #5 of 15 Old 06-16-2014, 01:31 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by mdavej View Post
Back when I had DirecTV, you could stream (or at least chase play) ALL DVR content to a PC. You can also stream most on demand content to a PC (sound quality is equal to a telephone though, in my experience).

I don't know about comcast, but my cable company just redirects you to Hulu or whatever pay TV site (HBO, etc.) for streaming anyway. So it doesn't matter who your provider is, as long as you have one at least. In any case, I don't think you'll need a cable TV subscription. If it turns out you do, just add it later.

Since you're going to be spending a couple of hundred/month on TV content, why not spend a little more and just get a second TV? That would solve all your issues.
If streaming/chase play is available through DirecTV to a PC from DVR, it would be good... though live events are most important here and my wife won't sit at my computer or use her laptop to watch these shows (picky and pregnant, and would rather be able to lay on a couch without a laptop on her belly for the foreseeable future). I wonder how short of a delay could be managed for a live event to be chase played/streamed to the PC through the DVR, if DirecTV still offers this sort of service...

EDIT: Just made a fool of myself. Already posted a link to the channels that are allowed to stream in my earlier post: https://support.directv.com/app/answ...blet-or-mobile - see the final paragraph in my last post for details... I will have to weigh this for a couple of days it seems and see what would work best for us. A second TV is a possibility but not for a while.

Last edited by Rossilius; 06-16-2014 at 02:25 PM.
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post #6 of 15 Old 06-16-2014, 07:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Rossilius View Post
If streaming/chase play is available through DirecTV to a PC from DVR, it would be good... though live events are most important here and my wife won't sit at my computer or use her laptop to watch these shows (picky and pregnant, and would rather be able to lay on a couch without a laptop on her belly for the foreseeable future). I wonder how short of a delay could be managed for a live event to be chase played/streamed to the PC through the DVR, if DirecTV still offers this sort of service...

EDIT: Just made a fool of myself. Already posted a link to the channels that are allowed to stream in my earlier post: https://support.directv.com/app/answ...blet-or-mobile - see the final paragraph in my last post for details... I will have to weigh this for a couple of days it seems and see what would work best for us. A second TV is a possibility but not for a while.
You're right about streaming the ESPN stuff for sure, and Comcast does have a lot better access to the major nets. You also have a good opportunity since you're going to be a new sub, you can get access to some pretty good deals on Comcast.

I don't think you need a very expensive pkg on comcast to get access to a lot of the live streaming you are interested in, and you definitely need their internet. Shop around and from my understanding you may be able to swing a pretty good deal for a limited time and have both services. I'd check into what Comcast will offer you and you might be able to get it all for practically the same price. A lot of the Comcast deals are for 6 months and possible you can stretch them out longer.

Overall I'd take Directv for their programming and PQ, even though the little bit I do watch Comcast, I can't really complain about their PQ, not lately anyway.
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post #7 of 15 Old 06-17-2014, 07:05 AM
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A second TV is a possibility but not for a while.
Like dave said upthread, you're going to blow $100+ a month on cable/sat but can't afford even $200 (or less, on sale) for a 32" LED? My wife is fine with that.

This basically solves your issue, then it's just a matter of whether you want to swing a bundle deal with Comcast for HSI/cable or go with D* and Comcast/AT&T HSI. Personally if you don't have to have Sunday Ticket on your TV, I'd get a double play promo with Comcast for $90/month or so (+ $10 for the extra STB). I have Comcast and watch tons of college and pro football every fall, don't see anything missing that I'd have to have. Comcast will pick up the SEC Network this summer, I have no doubt.

Comcast does have WatchESPN access and a ton of other streaming available, but the problem here is that they recently implemented a 300GB monthly cap for HSI so you have to watch how much you stream or pay overages. Yes, they suck. If you have an Xbox360 you can stream whatever you want from the Xfinity app and it won't count against the cap.

Here's a list of what they stream live, may or may not be complete (I don't use Xfinity Go too much but we do use their VOD app).

http://xfinitytv.comcast.net/watch-live-tv

Last edited by slowbiscuit; 06-17-2014 at 07:14 AM.
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post #8 of 15 Old 06-17-2014, 08:38 AM
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Originally Posted by slowbiscuit View Post
Like dave said upthread, you're going to blow $100+ a month on cable/sat but can't afford even $200 (or less, on sale) for a 32" LED? My wife is fine with that.

This basically solves your issue, then it's just a matter of whether you want to swing a bundle deal with Comcast for HSI/cable or go with D* and Comcast/AT&T HSI. Personally if you don't have to have Sunday Ticket on your TV, I'd get a double play promo with Comcast for $90/month or so (+ $10 for the extra STB). I have Comcast and watch tons of college and pro football every fall, don't see anything missing that I'd have to have. Comcast will pick up the SEC Network this summer, I have no doubt.

Comcast does have WatchESPN access and a ton of other streaming available, but the problem here is that they recently implemented a 300GB monthly cap for HSI so you have to watch how much you stream or pay overages. Yes, they suck. If you have an Xbox360 you can stream whatever you want from the Xfinity app and it won't count against the cap.

Here's a list of what they stream live, may or may not be complete (I don't use Xfinity Go too much but we do use their VOD app).

http://xfinitytv.comcast.net/watch-live-tv
I can't imagine not having a 2nd (or 3rd or 4th) TV. My wife and I are the only ones in our house and we almost never watch the same programs. Multiple TVs and a good DVR are a perfect solution for us.
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post #9 of 15 Old 06-18-2014, 02:00 PM
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From what I have read, DirecTV and ABC/Disney/ESPN are in the process of renewing their contract right now, which supposedly would expire this fall some time. Assuming that is true then streaming rights to ESPN, ABC, and Disney channels would all most likely be included in those negotiations and they should be added to the streaming channels/VOD offerings after the new contract is signed. (DirecTV supposedly includes streaming/VOD rights in all of their new contracts now).
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post #10 of 15 Old 06-18-2014, 06:37 PM
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From what I have read, DirecTV and ABC/Disney/ESPN are in the process of renewing their contract right now, which supposedly would expire this fall some time. Assuming that is true then streaming rights to ESPN, ABC, and Disney channels would all most likely be included in those negotiations and they should be added to the streaming channels/VOD offerings after the new contract is signed. (DirecTV supposedly includes streaming/VOD rights in all of their new contracts now).
I certainly hope you are correct, I cut my Comcast down to basic and internet and I did like to check out the streaming ESPN offerings on occasion.
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post #11 of 15 Old 06-18-2014, 07:44 PM
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2 TV solution

Does your wife watch a lot of shows not available on broadcast TV?
It seems the answer to your problems (except the "she can't stand me watching sports all day" which you'll have to deal with anyway) is to get a reasonably priced TV (or even a thrift store find and converter box) and an indoor antenna (<$20 for the antenna) and set your wife up with her own TV. She can still record her non-broadcast faves on the DVR attached to the main TV (I assume there is SOME time that you are not watching TV). Money will be saved and peace kept.
P.s. just reread this thread and saw that "my wife uses the hell out of netflix". What device do you use for Netflix streaming?

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Last edited by crabboy; 06-18-2014 at 10:52 PM. Reason: Additional question
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post #12 of 15 Old 06-20-2014, 05:44 AM
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Looks like the OP bailed on us, another drive-by shooter. Sometimes makes you wonder why bother.
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post #13 of 15 Old 06-20-2014, 05:37 PM
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Originally Posted by slowbiscuit View Post
Looks like the OP bailed on us, another drive-by shooter. Sometimes makes you wonder why bother.
It's only been 2 days since my last post. Unlike us, the OP may have a life...

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post #14 of 15 Old 06-21-2014, 08:07 AM
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But 5 days since his last, which was the point. You create a thread and want answers, participate. He did initially then bailed.
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post #15 of 15 Old 06-21-2014, 02:21 PM
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He probably already made up his mind anyway and didn't like our answers. Pretty common to bail when someone doesn't want to be talked out of a bad idea. I agree it's a waste of time for the rest of us and not cool to bail. He could at least say "thanks, I'm done".
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