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post #1 of 21 Old 06-29-2014, 11:07 PM - Thread Starter
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Question DirectTV vs Comcast

Hi everyone, i'm been trying to do some research tonight on whether to get directv or comcast as my cable provider.

I currently use comcast for internet and that isn't going to change because there is nothing that comes close to comcast for internet in my area.

I will want the service connected in 2 rooms (the family room and a bedroom). I don't know where cost will come in with having it installed in an additional room.

I don't plan to get a movie package (unless they are bundled with) but do plan to get some type of HD package.

I do want some type of full house dvr. I've been researching on comcast x2 but haven't found a way to see if its available in my area. Also anyone know if the comcast dvr (x1/x2) is easily upgradable (say like by usb)?

It seems from my research that directv still has the better HD channel lineup and their dvr seems a lot better. Here is my worries about directv. First i recently got my house re-roofed and don't want them to bolt the dish to my new roof. So they probably will have to mount the dish to a pole in my back yard? If they install it like that and i ever get rid of directv service it almost be impossible to remove the pole? Also in the past i can't say ive been impressed with their installers.

Hopefully the install prices of comcast aren't to crazy either.

Anyways any help or advice would be appreciated.
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post #2 of 21 Old 06-30-2014, 05:30 AM
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Easy call, sounds like you don't want a dish, get cable. I prefer the dish and have one on my new roof.
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post #3 of 21 Old 06-30-2014, 06:51 AM
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I have had Time Warner Cable & Direct TV, and to me Direct TV wins hands down on content, picture quality, and equipment. The only main problem with Satellite is that you may lose reception due to heavy rain ( at least on HD channels, not as sensitive on SD channels ). I have mine installed on a new roof, and have had zero problems.
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post #4 of 21 Old 07-01-2014, 08:50 AM
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With Comcast there is no contract, just month to month so it is easy to try first. Check into the Video On Demand feature of cable, I find I use it a lot. Also since you are using Comcast for Internet there will be a small discount when you add the Video service to the package. For the best DVR you might want to check out the TIVO that you can use with Cable, many choices of number of tuners.

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post #5 of 21 Old 07-02-2014, 08:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ncage View Post
Hi everyone, i'm been trying to do some research tonight on whether to get directv or comcast as my cable provider....
From what you posted, your best bet probably is to go with Comcast, but since everyone seems to be pointing that out, let me counter some of that on the DirecTV front just so you get both sides.

I actually have D* along with Comcast for my internet. It works well and I'm happy with the setup. Your experience would likely be similar. Sure, I could probably get my cable modem cheaper if I also got TV service from them too, but to be honest, bundling really only saves you anything significant when you get all your services in a bundle. Short of that, we're likely talking a few dollars on what will be over a hundred dollars a month total for TV and internet service, regardless of provider.

Now, you said you want two rooms. Do you want two independent tuners in those rooms or just access to TV in two rooms? There's a big difference there and regardless of who you choose, one avoids a second box and the other requires it on either service if you want HD. With pretty much every service now, you can get "dumb" boxes that use the main box as a mother ship to get recorded programming and tune to channels. This means you can avoid having a full blown DVR in every room and those little boxes are more and more becoming wireless.

Now, if all you want is to be able to watch TV now and then in the bedroom or catch the late show while you get ready for bed, you can do what I do: I ran the second output (component) from my DVR to my bedroom TV. I have a second RF remote in the bedroom that lets me control the DVR from there. I don't need to have different programming in the bedroom, so this saves me a decent amount on second box fees and whole house DVR fees. I also have an antenna in my attic running to both TVs, so I could use that if I needed a second tuner.

As far as installing the dish, there are a lot of mounting options. Since the installers aren't really supposed to be leaving the ladder (even a dish on the roof has to be in reach of the ladder), they probably would prefer something not on the roof, like a pull, a wall or something else. They can bolt/clamp a pole onto the the side of the house, making it removable, but you'd likely have to supply the parts since the installers generally don't have stuff like that on hand. If you do have a dish placed on the roof and discontinue the service or move, the best thing is to leave it there. It does less harm that way, you'll eventually forget it's there and if you move, they'll give you a new one. One point: The dish can be disassembled, so if you don't want the dish to be there should you cancel the service, just remove the dish and arm parts and leave the mounting points that actually bolt onto the roof. Presto - no dish, but the mounting hardware is still there should you want to resubscribe later.

For what it's worth, I've had a dish on my rook for several years and never had an issue. They have all kinds of sealers and weatherstripping they can use to prevent leaks. A pole in the yard is likely your worst option due to elevation and distance issues. However, if you have a porch with a sturdy railing, that's another option. I had my dish on a balcony in my last place.
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post #6 of 21 Old 07-02-2014, 08:33 PM
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Where do you get internet access from?

Comcast internet is great...
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post #7 of 21 Old 07-03-2014, 09:22 AM
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yeah,you are using Comcast for Internet there will be a small discount when you add the Video service to the package. For the best DVR you might want to check out the TIVO that you can use with Cable,[IMG]http://*******/xGWw1O[/IMG] many choices of number of tuners.
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post #8 of 21 Old 07-03-2014, 04:25 PM - Thread Starter
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So ya i keep on waving back and forth. Its easy with the array of choices they have. I have ordered comcasts X1 package which from seeing some reviews on youtube looks actually really good. See this very detailed review:

With the package i'll be getting i'll get all the movie channels (260+ Package), upgraded internet (i currently have 50 and they are going to increase it to 105), and phone (which i won't use) for $159.99 + (10 for an additional receiver in the bedroom). With comcast i love that i have a dish. Some people don't mind if they have a dish mounted to their new roof well good for them. I don't want one mounted to mine. Also another set of cables that will have to be routed throughout the house.

I know the genie system is supposed to be awesome too unfortunately no thorough youtube reviews like the one i posted.

What i concerning myself now is the difference in HD quality. I know Directv is supposed to be better because they use mpeg4 vs mpeg2 that comcast will be using. You would think comcast would have switched by this point but who knows. Anyways how BIG is the video quality going to be in the end? I think satellite providers will be disadvantaged in the end to be honest you because the bandwidth they can push compared to what a cable company can push with direct wiring but as of today is the difference in quality that big? (i might create a seperate post for this so this one doesn't get too messy)

Oh yes and i'm not that concerned with it going out in stores. I had all of them in the past and never remember having any big outages during stores and it was only during major ones that i noticed anything.
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post #9 of 21 Old 07-04-2014, 08:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ncage View Post
What i concerning myself now is the difference in HD quality. I know Directv is supposed to be better because they use mpeg4 vs mpeg2 that comcast will be using. You would think comcast would have switched by this point but who knows. Anyways how BIG is the video quality going to be in the end? I think satellite providers will be disadvantaged in the end to be honest you because the bandwidth they can push compared to what a cable company can push with direct wiring but as of today is the difference in quality that big? (i might create a seperate post for this so this one doesn't get too messy.
D* is probably a little better than Comcast at this point, but it's not as much of a difference as say, with D* and AT&T UVerse. Bandwidth is no more an issue with D* than with any other provider. It's the number of channels that are squeezed into each set of frequencies that determines the video quality a provider can have, not the way it's sent. D* has quite a few birds and the new ones are very efficient. Further, you could say that D* isn't constrained by wires. Satellite isn't like WiFi where the more people use it, the less bandwidth everyone gets. Each channel is assigned a frequency and certain amount of space in that frequency. That remains the same whether 1 or 100,000 people tune to it. Think of it like radio: it's out there and always sounds exactly the same whether you are listening or not and the number of people listening has no impact on the sound quality. Satellite is the same principle, only done from space.

Internet via satellite would obviously be a difference story since the bandwidth needed would be user dependent: more people downloading big stuff would use more bandwidth. That's one of several reasons (along with cost and latency) while satellite internet isn't more widespread. It's really only for places where there's no other option.

Each has their own logistics when it comes to expansion: Comcast needs to run miles of wiring and upgrade hundreds of routing devices to expand their system when it runs out of space, while D* needs to build and launch another bird when they do. Either way, it's a massive undertaking. Both can take years to accomplish.

As far as the MPEG4 verses MPEG2 thing, it's meaningless without considering compression. A lot of stations are still using MPEG2, particularly broadcast networks (CBS, ABC, etc.). So, if Comcast passes them along without doing any extra compression, they'll look identical to the original source. On the other hand, those channels would have to be re-encoded to MPEG4 on D*. If they compress it too much in that process, they'll look worse. In my market, they look pretty much identical. All MPEG4 does is allow the same channel to use less bandwidth for the same quality using MPEG2. It doesn't mean it will look better - and it won't if it's squashed too much in an effort to save more bandwidth to fit in more channels.

Having said that, MPEG4 does help D* maintain a quality product while using it's satellite bandwidth more efficiently.

Last edited by NetworkTV; 07-04-2014 at 08:50 AM.
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post #10 of 21 Old 07-04-2014, 12:28 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NetworkTV View Post
D* is probably a little better than Comcast at this point, but it's not as much of a difference as say, with D* and AT&T UVerse. Bandwidth is no more an issue with D* than with any other provider. It's the number of channels that are squeezed into each set of frequencies that determines the video quality a provider can have, not the way it's sent. D* has quite a few birds and the new ones are very efficient. Further, you could say that D* isn't constrained by wires. Satellite isn't like WiFi where the more people use it, the less bandwidth everyone gets. Each channel is assigned a frequency and certain amount of space in that frequency. That remains the same whether 1 or 100,000 people tune to it. Think of it like radio: it's out there and always sounds exactly the same whether you are listening or not and the number of people listening has no impact on the sound quality. Satellite is the same principle, only done from space.

Internet via satellite would obviously be a difference story since the bandwidth needed would be user dependent: more people downloading big stuff would use more bandwidth. That's one of several reasons (along with cost and latency) while satellite internet isn't more widespread. It's really only for places where there's no other option.

Each has their own logistics when it comes to expansion: Comcast needs to run miles of wiring and upgrade hundreds of routing devices to expand their system when it runs out of space, while D* needs to build and launch another bird when they do. Either way, it's a massive undertaking. Both can take years to accomplish.

As far as the MPEG4 verses MPEG2 thing, it's meaningless without considering compression. A lot of stations are still using MPEG2, particularly broadcast networks (CBS, ABC, etc.). So, if Comcast passes them along without doing any extra compression, they'll look identical to the original source. On the other hand, those channels would have to be re-encoded to MPEG4 on D*. If they compress it too much in that process, they'll look worse. In my market, they look pretty much identical. All MPEG4 does is allow the same channel to use less bandwidth for the same quality using MPEG2. It doesn't mean it will look better - and it won't if it's squashed too much in an effort to save more bandwidth to fit in more channels.

Having said that, MPEG4 does help D* maintain a quality product while using it's satellite bandwidth more efficiently.
I want to thank you for your very detailed and thought out explanations. I really appreciate it. I don't know how much about uverse but apparently they have had issues with their quality but in terms of D* & Comcast both are going to look great and there isn't going to be maybe a dramatic difference right? Maybe comcast would look a little softer?

I'm leaning towards comcast definitely at this point. There HD lineup i think use to be a lot worse but at this point i think its pretty good. Also there 260+ package that gives you the movie channels is pretty good (especially considering you get all the movie channels). IF i want the same type of package with directv its going to end up costing me probably about $150 a month after the first years (included all the misc charges they will add) and of course that wouldn't include high speed internet like comcast would.
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post #11 of 21 Old 07-04-2014, 04:49 PM
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The thing with cable is it varies so much by market. Depending on where you are, it could look as good or better or a lot worse than Directv. At least you can usually try it, and cancel if you don't like it. In my area, cable is equal or better on HD quality and far better on SD quality, HD channel count and price.
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post #12 of 21 Old 07-05-2014, 07:56 AM
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Comcast (when it works) is an incredible network with so much to do and see. However, when it does not work. , it is sometime exceptionally difficult to find the correct employee to fix problems. It is a huge beast and the parts are loathe to communicate with one another. Once discovered the helpful employee will do everything within their power to resolve issue but oft times the slumbering beast will prevail. You must remain calm and forge ahead. Don't scream or curse, don't give up. I find I can go years without calling for help, but when I do , it takes a while for resolution.
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post #13 of 21 Old 07-05-2014, 08:11 AM
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For reliability and useable service go with Comcast, the anyroom dvr should be available inyour area. There is also a new TiVo unit on the market that will everything the digi box will do including indemand and ppv. The bixes arent expandable but we also have the cloud dvr available, that im not sure if your area has that yet but its sure to be along shortly. The x2 platform will also be along if not already where the additiinal boxes are wireless the only wired location is the main box, the others are wirless.

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post #14 of 21 Old 07-05-2014, 08:17 AM
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Each has their own logistics when it comes to expansion: Comcast needs to run miles of wiring and upgrade hundreds of routing devices to expand their system when it runs out of space, while D* needs to build and launch another bird when they do. Either way, it's a massive undertaking. Both can take years to accomplish.



This was the case years ago, the same process wont take years to accomplish nowadays. Very easy now and not as time consumming for the cable side.

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post #15 of 21 Old 07-05-2014, 12:41 PM
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Quote:
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This was the case years ago, the same process wont take years to accomplish nowadays. Very easy now and not as time consumming for the cable side.
I'm not sure why you would think that. When infrastructure upgrades take place, like upgrading neighborhood wiring, nodes and repeaters, that truck role takes just as long today as it did years ago. In fact, with fiber, it can take longer due to the handling of the lines because of how easy it can be to damage it compared to older copper.

Capacity upgrades are still long term projects.

Internal infrastructure can often be done with software upgrades now, but that applies to satellite and the telcos, so cable has no distinct advantage once hardware outside the broadcast centers is involved.
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post #16 of 21 Old 07-05-2014, 01:45 PM
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I'm not sure why you would think that. When infrastructure upgrades take place, like upgrading neighborhood wiring, nodes and repeaters, that truck role takes just as long today as it did years ago. In fact, with fiber, it can take longer due to the handling of the lines because of how easy it can be to damage it compared to older copper.

Capacity upgrades are still long term projects.

Internal infrastructure can often be done with software upgrades now, but that applies to satellite and the telcos, so cable has no distinct advantage once hardware outside the broadcast centers is involved.
Youre right I forget there are some systems out there that have less than 750 mhz. Newer systems are for less intrusive to update like we mentioned earlier a few software upgrades and youre done for the most part.

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post #17 of 21 Old 07-06-2014, 08:25 AM
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I switched from D* to Comcast last year after over a decade.

Got Tivo and will break even on equipment costs over two years.

Got nicer DVR features, all premiums and much faster Internet.

One thing I miss from D* is having east coast feeds of the cable channels. Means 9 or 10 PM shows have to be watched the next day or later.
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post #18 of 21 Old 07-07-2014, 11:57 AM - Thread Starter
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Thumbs up finally made my choice

Well i finally made my choice. I ordered DTV (Premier package) along with the genie whole home dvr system. It was a really hard decision to be honest there was a long list of pros/cons for the each but in the end directv won me over. One of the last decision making factors was having to have the phone (triple play) to get the x1 system. Yes the phone really doesn't add much to the cost of triple play but the taxes on the phone do which i would be required to pay twice (~$15) which for something i won't use is a total waste of money. Also i found out you couldn't review/pause/fast-foward live tv in the other rooms (unless you use the workaround of recording what your watchin).

Like i said i will be staying with comcast for internet and if i want faster internet i will just have to pay for it.

On reliability i had DTV about 7 years ago in the same house and didn't have any reliability issues. The only difference is it won't be mounted to my roof like it was in the past. It will be installed this Saturday. I'm very excited .
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post #19 of 21 Old 07-07-2014, 12:23 PM
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I work for DirecTV's Advanced Troubleshooting department and would be happy answer any specific questions that you might have. Also, be aware that the further south you live, the better your signal strength. DTV experiences far more interruptions in service from places like Minnesota, Michigan, Wisconsin, etc. than anywhere else. The farther north you live, the more level the dish must be to align with the Sats on the equator which means you've got more sky to penetrate and hence, more weather. It could be clear above you, but if it's storming 100 miles south, you will probably be affected. You're a little further, too, so additional distance will further weaken the signal.

I'd also be interested in the equipment you ordered and what you are installing so I can make recommendations or give some guidance based on your needs. Once it's all activated, you're stuck for 24 months so get all of your questions out of the way and don't trust the sales staff to answer them 100% truthfully.
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post #20 of 21 Old 07-08-2014, 09:01 AM
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Welcome to the club ncage. You should love DirecTV. If I had Comcast and had the same package with them as I had with DirecTV, I'd be paying at least $30 more a month.
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post #21 of 21 Old 07-10-2014, 07:52 AM
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If you want to compare a D* promo to Comcast's rack rate, sure. But I challenge you to get D* + HSI cheaper than a Comcast double play package (even with a D* promo) - it's easy to get all channels (w/free HBO) + 50mbps HSI on Comcast for $90/month.
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