or Connect
AVS › AVS Forum › HDTV › HDTV Programming › Directv vs AT&T Uverse quality wise?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Directv vs AT&T Uverse quality wise? - Page 6

post #151 of 385
Quote:
Originally Posted by dishrich View Post

It has NOT been released for new subs yet, but there is a write-up about it here:
http://www.dbstalk.com/showthread.php?t=211822

Chris, since you still seem to be on the fence so much on switching - don't you have any friends that have DTV, that you could go play with it firsthand, & see what you're going to be getting yourself into for the next 2 years. (since you DO know you're going to be on a contract - unless you like paying large ETF's...)
And if you still decide on getting DTV, I would STRONGLY suggest NOT disconnecting your U-verse service, until not only your DTV is up & runing...but that you've had a couple days to play with it. I am not sure how long you have (or if you do at all) to be able to "back out" of DirecTV once the installer leaves your place.

I will tell you one thing I think you may be disappointed in...DTV's HD lineup is NOT as good as U-verse. (actually one of the few things that does impress me about it) Also, they have many SD channels that DirecTV (nor DISH nor Comcast here) carries at all - & at least their SD doesn't look totally like a VHS SLP tape.
While I'm sure some people will say "but I do NOT watch any SD"...what ARE you supposed to do when you have channels you DO like to watch a lot, but DTV IS (& had been) behind on getting in HD??? Pretty sad that common channels like HLN, H2, Cooking, etc. have been on DISH, U-verse AND Comcast here for almost TWO years in some cases...but DTV is JUST now spoon-feeding out to their subs? Pretty sad if you ask me, which was another reason I'm glad I dumped them.

Have you really done a channel-by-channel comparison between both providers, so that you know exactly what you're going to be getting (& loosing) by switching? I do not understand for the life of me, why people don't do this - then bitch & complain about "I didn't know about all the missing channels when I switched from provider X to provider Y".

Yes I've seen the articles on the HR-44, which is another reason I kind of want to wait. Not that its a big difference, but would rather have the newest box, if it means just waiting a bit.
I have compared the lineup, and overall the stuff we watch is available in HD on DTV and UVerse, there was one of my kids channels, SPROUT, that appeared to be missing but upon further review, she found it, so she's compared and she is ok with what is offered from either.
post #152 of 385
For what it's worth, I just switched from DirecTV to UVerse 10 days ago and couldn't be more disappointed. I'm calling DirecTV tomorrow to switch back. I really wanted to like Uverse (better on demand, wired connection), but as other posts have mentioned, there is absolutely no comparison in picture quality. It's not like the Uverse picture is terrible or unwatchable but there is a noticeable difference. If you've invested in a nice LED or Plasma, my suggestion is to go for quality. I know the picture quality my TVs are capable of producing and Uverse just isn't able to do the job. Also, if your TV is 3D ready, that's another reason to go with DirecTV. Uverse to its credit does have some on demand content in 3D but does not offer any 3D programming since it dropped ESPN 3D from its lineup last year. Uverse's DVR technology is also inferior to DirecTV in my opinion. As far as losing signal due to weather, it happened a couple of times per year when I was with DirecTV, and although it's frustrating, it would only last 5 minutes or so at a time. So not a big deal at the end of the day. They both have their pros and cons. If you don't care about picture quality (especially the older generation), you will be happy with Uverse. But if your looking for a superb picture and the latest in technology and programming, DirecTV's the answer in my opinion.
post #153 of 385
Quote:
Originally Posted by JTSmith View Post

For what it's worth, I just switched from DirecTV to UVerse 10 days ago and couldn't be more disappointed. I'm calling DirecTV tomorrow to switch back. I really wanted to like Uverse (better on demand, wired connection), but as other posts have mentioned, there is absolutely no comparison in picture quality. It's not like the Uverse picture is terrible or unwatchable but there is a noticeable difference. If you've invested in a nice LED or Plasma, my suggestion is to go for quality. I know the picture quality my TVs are capable of producing and Uverse just isn't able to do the job. Also, if your TV is 3D ready, that's another reason to go with DirecTV. Uverse to its credit does have some on demand content in 3D but does not offer any 3D programming since it dropped ESPN 3D from its lineup last year. Uverse's DVR technology is also inferior to DirecTV in my opinion. As far as losing signal due to weather, it happened a couple of times per year when I was with DirecTV, and although it's frustrating, it would only last 5 minutes or so at a time. So not a big deal at the end of the day. They both have their pros and cons. If you don't care about picture quality (especially the older generation), you will be happy with Uverse. But if your looking for a superb picture and the latest in technology and programming, DirecTV's the answer in my opinion.

Well, and this is exactly what I'm waiver for...I do care about PQ and the latest technologies and the DVR/Menu experience. Something is telling me that this TV has to be better than this, I mean I agree with you its not like AT&T is unwatchable or horrid, I can tell its an HD signal, but surely there is a better one than this! I know my Bluray movies show how crystal clear my TV can be...its just odd this UVerse isn't.

Does anyone know what makes a DTV install considered a "custom", because they told me I had a choice of standard or custom. So I'm curious.
post #154 of 385

Reminder (since Ken H isn't here anymore, and it's driving me crazy seeing it so much lately):

 

Official, standard AVS abbreviations:

 

DTV - digital TV (as in OTA)

 

D* - DirecTV

 

E* - Dish Network (Echostar)

post #155 of 385
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rammitinski View Post

Reminder (since Ken H isn't here anymore, and it's driving me crazy seeing it so much lately):

Official, standard AVS abbreviations:

DTV - digital TV (as in OTA)

D* - DirecTV

E* - Dish Network (Echostar)

Sorry. I'll just use the full words anyway, I hate acronyms especially when new to a site, the new comers have a hard time figuring out what they are, while the well seasoned people use them.

So I'll just use DirecTV and Dish and OTA.
post #156 of 385

That's fine. I don't mean to sound nit-picky, but it's been bugging the heck outta me, and that's always been the traditional way. It keeps things less confusing (it's not just your posts, in this thread, and it's not just been newbies).

 

(I really do miss Ken H, who was a moderator. Especially with the way people have been slipping snide remarks referring to their "political beliefs" into their posts since he left. He kept that pretty well under control. Now, it's like a cable news network or political comedy show around here at times - particularly in the "Hot Off the Press" sticky. Didn't used to be like that.)


Edited by Rammitinski - 1/20/13 at 7:10pm
post #157 of 385
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rammitinski View Post

That's fine. I don't mean to sound nit-picky, but it's been bugging the heck outta me, and that's always been the traditional way. It keeps things less confusing (it's not just your posts, in this thread, and it's not just been newbies).

(I really do miss Ken H, who was a moderator. Especially with the way people have been slipping snide remarks referring to their "political beliefs" into their posts since he left. He kept that pretty well under control. Now, it's like a cable news network or political comedy show around here at times - particularly in the "Hot Off the Press" sticky. Didn't used to be like that.)
Why did Ken leave? I thought he was a great moderator.
post #158 of 385
http://www.avsforum.com/u/355/ken-h

He shows last on 6 days ago. Looks like he is no longer wishing to participate in anything on here since June last year.
post #159 of 385
Quote:
Originally Posted by BoilerJim View Post

We had Comcast before U-verse. When U-verse became available, AT&T laid all new underground cable throughout our subdivision, including our yard. They did not use the existing Comcast buried cable. In fact, they had to tunnel under our driveway so they could route the cable around to the spot where it came into the garage to the "junction box" (or whatever it's called... sorry I don't know the proper acronym). Since our builder had previously pre-wired the house for cable in each room, AT&T did not run any interior wiring.

As for the type of wiring they ran through the yard, I can only assume it was fiber optic cable; however, I did not specifically ask. I know this is a thread specifically about U-verse vs. DirecTV, so I can't say that U-verse is better, but I do know it's a whole lot better than when I had Comcast. I also know that although I can afford a BMW, I've been very happy with the 8 Hondas I've owned since 1980. That's kind of how I feel about U-verse. With all of the dishes missing from rooftops in our area these days, others must feel the same.

Jim, do you think it would be fair to say that your very good U-Verse experience has a lot to do with the fact that you've got new cabling all the way up to your house vs other users who lack such a comprehensive infrastructure upgrade?

I haven't commented so far in this thread or in any other comparing terrestrial vs satellite providers for the simple reason that so much variation in quality from terrestrial providers is dependent on infrastructure that can vary tremendously in quality from place to place, while a properly installed satellite setup is much more likely to be consistent from market to market, leaving out local channels which still can be inconsistent.

ATT recently called us and tried to sell us on U-verse. I live in an older, less affluent part of town and saw no evidence of any ATT infrastructure upgrades in our area (no new cabling etc being installed anywhere in our area) so I'm fairly confident in sticking with DirecTV. There's every possibility that in parts of town with newer cabling etc, U-verse might be viable, but I'm not confident about my neighborhood.

I should say that I don't consider Dish to be acceptable here in Fresno based on personal observation of Dish pq where I work and at other demo sites vs what I see at home and at friend's homes that have DirecTV or even Comcast. I'm willling to put up with a bit slower dvr navigation vs overcompressed signals every time. I would add that I had DirecTV from 1996 (self installed) to 2009, went OTA from 09 to last summer, and am back with DirecTV. In the total 13 years with DirecTV I had less "rain fade" than I did in the 3 years of OTA reception. The critical factor in minimizing weather outages is a solid dish installation with careful dish alignment.
Edited by Steve S - 1/21/13 at 11:22am
post #160 of 385
Steve, ATT is not going to pull trunk lines, unless they find that the existing ones are beyond repair, or the older Lead/paper encased lines, then they will pull them. Our current infrastructure where I live is over 30 years old, and works just fine with our UVserse service. I have our internal wiring as Cat-5e from the two STB's & the DVR back to the RG.

Now ATT did have to pull a new drop from the pole to the house, and that was only because ours was previously destroyed in 2006 during the Ice Storm, and since we had CATV at that time, there was no need to have it fixed, so we just cut it up where it came off the ariel by the pole and that was it.

You starting running into problems, just like CATV, when you have poor internal wiring, people make changes to the internal system without knowing what they are doing, or the techs do not take the time to check the outside plant and fix things. Also, there is a limit for single pair, with UVerse, but with Pair bonding, those customers at 2500 feet to 3200 feet are able to at least get service.

The only difference between CATV & UVerse, is that with CATV, the outer shield is the return path, where as with UVerse, the Ring is the return. CATV also has its limits, and actually costs the provider more to upkeep because of equipment (nodes, amps, taps), than it does with UVerse, since it can be ran over the current existing infrastructure.

There are limitiations out there for anything that is brought to the consumer, or the consumer uses in their day to day.
post #161 of 385
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve S View Post

Jim, do you think it would be fair to say that your very good U-Verse experience has a lot to do with the fact that you've got new cabling all the way up to your house vs other users who lack such a comprehensive infrastructure upgrade?

I haven't commented so far in this thread or in any other comparing terrestrial vs satellite providers for the simple reason that so much variation in quality from terrestrial providers is dependent on infrastructure that can vary tremendously in quality from place to place, while a properly installed satellite setup is much more likely to be consistent from market to market, leaving out local channels which still can be inconsistent.

ATT recently called us and tried to sell us on U-verse. I live in an older, less affluent part of town and saw no evidence of any ATT infrastructure upgrades in our area (no new cabling etc being installed anywhere in our area) so I'm fairly confident in sticking with DirecTV. There's every possibility that in parts of town with newer cabling etc, U-verse might be viable, but I'm not confident about my neighborhood.

I should say that I don't consider Dish to be acceptable here in Fresno based on personal observation of Dish pq where I work and at other demo sites vs what I see at home and at friend's homes that have DirecTV or even Comcast. I'm willling to put up with a bit slower dvr navigation vs overcompressed signals every time. I would add that I had DirecTV from 1996 (self installed) to 2009, went OTA from 09 to last summer, and am back with DirecTV. In the total 13 years with DirecTV I had less "rain fade" than I did in the 3 years of OTA reception. The critical factor in minimizing weather outages is a solid dish installation with careful dish alignment.
Steve, I assume our new cabling has a lot to do with it. Indianapolis was one of the first cities in the midwest to get U-verse (we were hooked up in December, 2008) and AT&T started with the newer suburban areas where they could build from the "ground up" (so to speak). They buried all new cable throughout our subdivision and I'm pretty confident they did the same right up to where it goes into the house. I have a close friend from work who lives in an older section of town and he still doesn't have access to U-verse yet. My oldest son lives in a somewhat new subdivision as well and he converted to U-verse from Dish Network (not DirecTV) and couldn't be happier.

My youngest son lives in a southern suburb of Indianapolis in a huge, multi-level 15-year-old home that he just purchased about a year ago. He switched from Comcast to U-verse and, quite frankly, has not had a great experience with U-verse. His "gateway" (the box that is the brains of the operation for internet, TV, and VOIP phone service) is located in one corner of the finished walk-out basement where he has his new 60" Samsung TV. He has 3-4 other TVs in other areas of the house. U-verse works great in the basement and on the main floor of his house. However, as you go further upstairs, the signal degrades and he hasn't been a happy camper. Because he lives in a hugely wooded area, his only other alternative is to go back to Comcast. However, when U-verse came out to install his service, they did run all new cable just like they did at our house, so I'm guessing his negative experience comes from having two teenagers who are always using the TV and/or internet and, of course, the limitations of the service.

Conversely, my wife and I have a one-story home with no basement, and there are only two of us at home now that we are empty nesters. We have three HDTVs and one old analog TV that sees daily service in her sewing room. In the 4+ years we've had U-verse, we've only had one outage when someone knocked over a power pole in an auto accident on the main road outside our subdivision. My wife and I rarely watch the same programming and we both record a lot of shows in HD. Yes, there has been a time or two when we've overloaded the system, but those instances are so few and far between that it's almost never a problem. Because we were one of the first in the area to get U-verse, many (most?) of our perks & prices have been grandfathered in. We got three HD receivers "free" (including a DVR which we can program/watch from any room in the house) when we signed up and also a fourth one for an extra $7/month. We pay $10/month for HD service. Although the old Mitsubishi (1988 vintage) in my wife's sewing room isn't HD, the set-top box (STB) is. I keep hoping the stupid TV will burn out, but those old things are bulletproof so as long as she doesn't care, neither do I.

Believe me when I say I have nothing against DirecTV or any other provider. I just really like U-verse. It's all I need and it makes me happy.

If Comcast hadn't gotten so damned expensive, I probably never would have made the switch. However, I'm glad I did and I'll likely never go back. If I ever do decide to change again (which I can't see myself doing) I'll likely give DirecTV a shot. Thanks for your question, Steve. I always appreciate "talking" to you.
post #162 of 385
Jim, if you are stating that your son is having problems with getting Wifi in other parts of the house, it has nothing to do with UVerse at all, but has to do with that your one son needs to add Access Points on other floors to help cover the rest of the house. If he is not able to pull Cat-5e/6, he can use the plug in repeaters around the house to help bridge the signal.

The Netgear WN802Tv2 has a "Bridge" mode, and there are a couple of others out there. We use the RG to cover one corner, and also to help extend the signal where we cannot get the Wireless-N to reach. We use the Netgear in my son's room to cover that half the house, and in the front half, we use a Trendnet TEW-690AP.

With all three, we get a good coverage, and better speeds than Wireless-G could give, when moving files between the mobile devices in our home, and can take the load off of the RG, so that we can get better speeds and throughput.
post #163 of 385
Quote:
Originally Posted by gregzoll View Post

Jim, if you are stating that your son is having problems with getting Wifi in other parts of the house, it has nothing to do with UVerse at all, but has to do with that your one son needs to add Access Points on other floors to help cover the rest of the house. If he is not able to pull Cat-5e/6, he can use the plug in repeaters around the house to help bridge the signal.

The Netgear WN802Tv2 has a "Bridge" mode, and there are a couple of others out there. We use the RG to cover one corner, and also to help extend the signal where we cannot get the Wireless-N to reach. We use the Netgear in my son's room to cover that half the house, and in the front half, we use a Trendnet TEW-690AP.

With all three, we get a good coverage, and better speeds than Wireless-G could give, when moving files between the mobile devices in our home, and can take the load off of the RG, so that we can get better speeds and throughput.
Thanks so much for the info. I will pass it along to him because I really don't think he wants to go back to Comcast. smile.gif
post #164 of 385
Oh story of the day here, I TRIED to give AT&T a chance today, called them and told them we were considering a switch to DirecTV because they offered a 5 tuner option DVR that held 1TB but might consider a stay if we could upgrade some equipment.

They (AT&T) have a newer DVR than our VIP1225 its a VIP2250, I guess the real difference is the 250GB vs. 500GB drives in them, not sure what else? Anyway that is laughable considering DirecTV offers the HR-34/44 monsters and can add to that with external drives. Its quite laughable they won't accomodate a customer wanting to go from 250 to 500 for whatever reason, the CSR just kept saying he didn't have a way to upgrade us. Ok well whatever, so I guess losing a customer over it is worth that? Sure I understand they all have protocol, and maybe no true way of getting it to us but I guess my final battle will be when I call to cancel the service and by that time it will be too late for them.

I also wanted to see if they had a residential gateway (router/modem) that had wireless-n built into it, but nope, nothing. I had the newest gateway for my service, so...my other option of going to Cox with their 55 Mbps DOCSIS 3 cable modem and adding my own wireless n router is what I'll do to get the fastest I can for my devices.

Anyways, its just sad that AT&T had a chance, but its all but over for them. I tried and tried to give them a reason to keep me as a customer but now its too late.

I had really considered canceling my DirecTV install on Sunday, with hopes that AT&T would do good with me and my loyalty, but they didn't and so its all but over for them now.

They'll have my wireless phone for a while, I'm going to try to find a way to drop their home phone, its tied to my house alarm, surely there is something I can do with cellular there so I can drop as many AT&T services as I can...we'll see.

Its ok, the way I see it is sometimes "change" is good...it was a good change for us when we left Cox and went with UVerse, and now it will be a good change to move from UVerse to DirecTV. (I hope...lol)
Edited by chrisjmccord - 1/21/13 at 3:55pm
post #165 of 385
Quote:
Originally Posted by gregzoll View Post

BiggAW, they cap the Internet side, not the TV side. Also CATV systems are FTTN, just like UVerse, but with CATV, you are seeing a taking away to give more to the Internet side of things. Yes, with both Fios & catv, you can build your own dvr if you wish. Again, people choose what works for them, not what others want them to use. Right now I am seeing a 8-12meg stream for the game today on Fox. So, again what is wrong with UVerse?

The overall connection is provisioned, or capped at 25mbps on fiber. Copper can do up to 32/5 total, depending on how close you are to the VRAD, with actual unprovisioned line tests in the 50+ mpbs range. HFC is also FTTN, but the coax part has several gbps of bandwidth, whereas copper phone wire has 50mbps if you're really lucky. UVerse has horrendous picture quality, terrible equipment, and slow internet speeds, that's what's wrong.
Quote:
Originally Posted by BoilerJim View Post

I keep telling myself that I'm not going to respond to any more of your posts, but then you have to throw in the "dumb rich people" quote (directed at me... by the way, I don't consider myself rich, just a good money manager) on top of the previous "lying" quote. Then I get upset. I do my best in each of my posts not to try to say anything disparaging of a personal nature. It's just sad that others haven't learned how to do that. Ok, have it your way. Those of us who have U-verse and like it are all lying dumba$$es. There, does that make you feel better? I hope so because I realized a long time ago that other than my wife and family, I don't need the BEST of everything to be happy.

Have a great day! smile.gif

P.S. This will be my last post in this thread unless someone asks me a direct question.

Directed at your neighborhood. Because I've seen the same thing in my town with people still using Comcast's garbage service in the 2005-2011 time frame (actually earlier if you count how bad analog cable was around those parts).
post #166 of 385
Quote:
Originally Posted by BiggAW View Post

The overall connection is provisioned, or capped at 25mbps on fiber. Copper can do up to 32/5 total, depending on how close you are to the VRAD, with actual unprovisioned line tests in the 50+ mpbs range. HFC is also FTTN, but the coax part has several gbps of bandwidth, whereas copper phone wire has 50mbps if you're really lucky. UVerse has horrendous picture quality, terrible equipment, and slow internet speeds, that's what's wrong.
Directed at your neighborhood. Because I've seen the same thing in my town with people still using Comcast's garbage service in the 2005-2011 time frame (actually earlier if you count how bad analog cable was around those parts).

I am now officially a Cox Internet customer (55Mpbs+ down), and DirecTV customer, best of both worlds for me.
post #167 of 385
Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisjmccord View Post

I am now officially a Cox Internet customer (55Mpbs+ down), and DirecTV customer, best of both worlds for me.

+1, That's what I've had since 2008, DirecTV and Comcast Internet.
post #168 of 385
I don't know how/why I was so blind for all these years with AT&T UVerse...bundle smundle...whatever. I can't wait for my new services!
post #169 of 385
Quote:
Originally Posted by BoilerJim View Post


Why did Ken leave? I thought he was a great moderator.

 

Don't really know why. All I do know is that it was at the exact time of the big forum "changeover".

post #170 of 385
Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisjmccord View Post

I am now officially a Cox Internet customer (55Mpbs+ down), and DirecTV customer, best of both worlds for me.

That's probably about the ultimate... as long as you're willing to pay for it. I'm going the Windows MCE route, so I can bundle Comcast, save there, and not pay any box fees, but equipment and fees aside, DirecTV definitely has better programming every way around.
post #171 of 385
Quote:
Originally Posted by BiggAW View Post

That's probably about the ultimate... as long as you're willing to pay for it. I'm going the Windows MCE route, so I can bundle Comcast, save there, and not pay any box fees, but equipment and fees aside, DirecTV definitely has better programming every way around.
+1

Not only that, better DVR than DirecTV and better HD picture quality for a lot less money. $2/month in equipment and DVR fees is hard to beat.
post #172 of 385
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdavej View Post

+1

Not only that, better DVR than DirecTV and better HD picture quality for a lot less money. $2/month in equipment and DVR fees is hard to beat.

lol, wait? You think Windows Media Center Edition has a better DVR than DirecTV or Comcast? And better HD picture than DirecTV?
I'll be paying $0.00 a month in DVR fees and equipment with my DirecTV sign up, and from what I understand the best HD picture out there?
I'm confused...
post #173 of 385
Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisjmccord View Post

lol, wait? You think Windows Media Center Edition has a better DVR than DirecTV or Comcast? And better HD picture than DirecTV?
I'll be paying $0.00 a month in DVR fees and equipment with my DirecTV sign up, and from what I understand the best HD picture out there?
I'm confused...
Sorry, but that's the way it is. Measure your bitrates. Mine peak around 18Mbps on some channels. DirecTV typically peaks at 12-14*. DirecTV is very good, but Fios still beats it, as do many cable systems (perhaps not yours). The only thing you can claim for certain is that DirecTV beats Dish and Uverse.

Media center works with any number of extenders for free, and has a nicer looking interface than anything I've seen on cable or satellite. I've got channel icons, 11 lines per page in the guide, 8 tuners, integration of other services like netflix and hulu, and can stream my recordings to almost any device anywhere, not just inside my house. I also get all my locals without having to use OTA. I never had any of that on DirecTV. The only thing I really miss is dual live buffers, but I can easily work around that.

Your DVR and equipment fees may be $0 for a year or so, but after that, they really stick it to you. Your DVR fee (advanced receiver fee I think they call it now) will jump to $20, and each client is going to be $7 or so. Mine stays at $2 for the DVR and $0 for each client forever.

Not trying to rain on your parade or anything, just agreeing with the previous poster that MCE is another good option for many.

* Note: I realize bitrates don't tell the whole story due to different compression and encoding methods, but does give some clues about relative PQ when the differences are hard to detect by eye. I honestly can't see much difference between satellite, cable and OTA, but the numbers tell me there is a difference.
Edited by mdavej - 1/23/13 at 6:42am
post #174 of 385
Comcast generally has as good a picture as D* on many HD channels - a lot of the PQ variances revolve around how much your local channels are multicasting anyway.

As mentioned, with Cablecard you can get either a Tivo or a WMC HTPC and have a much better setup than the provider's DVR. But sat has come a long ways with the Hopper and Genie whole-home DVRs, even if the UIs and features are not as good as on third-party setups. Tivo still hasn't released their 'Mini' extender, frex - you have to buy a Tivo for every TV (and pay for service) right now. You can do this a lot cheaper with WMC + extenders, and as dave said only need to rent one Cablecard (which is included with service at no charge on Comcast).
post #175 of 385

Windows Media Center pretty much blows away any DVR out there UI wise or functionality.  Even DirecTV.

post #176 of 385
I don't have Comcast in my area, its Cox Communications or UVerse if you don't go satellite, so not sure what Cox has bitrate wise?
And while Windows Media Center might be a good alternative for DVR for you all, I don't care for it. I don't own a single windows machine in my house, all Mac.
I used to believe heavily in Windows Media Center since way back in 2005 when it was pretty new, it was buggy and glitchy, and I'm sure its advanced since then, but my opinion is that its not as good of of UI or functionality, we all have our own opinions. You can have Microsoft, I'm not going there.

My two year contract for DirecTV is $63 for first 3 months (with discounts for Premium channels), then $105 for the rest of first year. I pay $108 for UVerse right now with no premium channels in the mix.
Then my second year is going to be $124 a month, which is probably the fees mentioned but still yet not that bad considering all the programming I am getting.

After that if they want to resign me I guess they'll offer me more discounts or I'll bolt.

So my guess is since my choices for HD TV are Cox or UVerse or Dish or DIrecTV in my area, DirecTV is probably the better option of those?
post #177 of 385
I totally understand where you're coming from. MCE certainly isn't for everyone. I avoided it for years myself. The technology only very recently became a viable DVR replacement. For me, M$ is a necessary evil in order to get my cable bill down to $50 ($85 after all discounts expire). Otherwise cable would cost much more than any other alternatives in my area. I imagine it's a similar story with Cox in your area. If I could do a Linux solution, I would, but I'm not tech savvy enough to pull it off at this point. But now that I have my HTPC set up properly, I'm very happy with it. It's a little ironic that I control everything, including MCE, with apple devices.

From a purely monetary standpoint, it's best to switch providers every 2 years anyway to get the best deals. DirecTV is a very good system and will give you better PQ than Uverse, especially when there is a lot of motion. And you're getting a lot more value, considering the premiums. As I've said before, I liked DirecTV overall most of the time I had it. If DirecTV had a good HD lineup a few years ago, I never would have left them. Their lineup is a lot better now, so they'd definitely be one of my top choices today.

Now to your install. One time I got DirecTV (I've probably had it installed 3 or 4 times over the years), the installer immediately cut my incoming cable line, killing my internet and cable TV. So keep a close eye on them. I assume you'll be keeping Uverse internet or switching to cable internet, so you'll need to tell them the line to your gateway/modem is off limits.

You may also want to consider changing your home phone service while you're at it. Ooma and similar services are essentially free if you buy a gateway.
post #178 of 385
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdavej View Post

I totally understand where you're coming from. MCE certainly isn't for everyone. I avoided it for years myself. The technology only very recently became a viable DVR replacement. For me, M$ is a necessary evil in order to get my cable bill down to $50 ($85 after all discounts expire). Otherwise cable would cost much more than any other alternatives in my area. I imagine it's a similar story with Cox in your area. If I could do a Linux solution, I would, but I'm not tech savvy enough to pull it off at this point. But now that I have my HTPC set up properly, I'm very happy with it. It's a little ironic that I control everything, including MCE, with apple devices.

From a purely monetary standpoint, it's best to switch providers every 2 years anyway to get the best deals. DirecTV is a very good system and will give you better PQ than Uverse, especially when there is a lot of motion. And you're getting a lot more value, considering the premiums. As I've said before, I liked DirecTV overall most of the time I had it. If DirecTV had a good HD lineup a few years ago, I never would have left them. Their lineup is a lot better now, so they'd definitely be one of my top choices today.

Now to your install. One time I got DirecTV (I've probably had it installed 3 or 4 times over the years), the installer immediately cut my incoming cable line, killing my internet and cable TV. So keep a close eye on them. I assume you'll be keeping Uverse internet or switching to cable internet, so you'll need to tell them the line to your gateway/modem is off limits.

You may also want to consider changing your home phone service while you're at it. Ooma and similar services are essentially free if you buy a gateway.

I am planning on switching my internet to the Cox internet, I pay $65/month for UVerse's top package, 24Mbps down, and Cox has their Ultimate (55Mpbs down) for $65/month for 6 months, but then it goes back to $99/month. Not that big a deal since my employer pays $50 of my internet bill.

Have you ever played with MythTV? A geek friend of mine says he loves it as his DVR alternative, uses it D*, but I bet it works with any service. Just thought I'd mention it.
post #179 of 385
Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisjmccord View Post

lol, wait? You think Windows Media Center Edition has a better DVR than DirecTV or Comcast? And better HD picture than DirecTV?
I'll be paying $0.00 a month in DVR fees and equipment with my DirecTV sign up, and from what I understand the best HD picture out there?
I'm confused...

MCE is the best DVR, and costs a lot less than D*.

D*'s picture quality and programming options are a lot better than Comcast.

FIOS is the trump card, at least in the picture quality department, although with some channels being distributed in MPEG-4, and now converted to MPEG-2 by Verizon, some people are saying that it's a toss-up. DirecTV also has direct fiber feeds of local channels, and compresses directly to MPEG-4, so they can actually beat antenna/cable there. It is my understanding that cable takes the OTA local channels and doesn't re-compress them, just re-modulates them, although based on what I've heard about PQ, I'm starting to doubt that, and I'm thinking they do their own MPEG-2 compression starting with a fiber feed.
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdavej View Post

Sorry, but that's the way it is. Measure your bitrates. Mine peak around 18Mbps on some channels. DirecTV typically peaks at 12-14*. DirecTV is very good, but Fios still beats it, as do many cable systems (perhaps not yours). The only thing you can claim for certain is that DirecTV beats Dish and Uverse.

Media center works with any number of extenders for free, and has a nicer looking interface than anything I've seen on cable or satellite. I've got channel icons, 11 lines per page in the guide, 8 tuners, integration of other services like netflix and hulu, and can stream my recordings to almost any device anywhere, not just inside my house. I also get all my locals without having to use OTA. I never had any of that on DirecTV. The only thing I really miss is dual live buffers, but I can easily work around that.

MPEG-4 on DirecTV is about 2x as efficient as MPEG-2. It's also qualitatively different, in that MPEG-2 has a lot of macro-blocking, while MPEG-4 is much smoother but looses sharpness a lot quicker than MPEG-2.

I should have MCE up and running tomorrow, right now Windows 7 is installing on my new PC!
post #180 of 385
Quote:
Originally Posted by BiggAW View Post

MCE is the best DVR, and costs a lot less than D*.

D*'s picture quality and programming options are a lot better than Comcast.

I don't agree with the MCE thing but thats your opinion and I respect it.
D*'s PQ is probably better than Cox or UVerse as well, thats what I'm banking on.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: HDTV Programming
AVS › AVS Forum › HDTV › HDTV Programming › Directv vs AT&T Uverse quality wise?