Good Morning Michiana!
I have just found this regional sub-forum and appreciate all the interaction / explanations. I have a few observations and questions ... hoping some more in the know will take the time to help with answers.
Right now I have the std Dtv package (with owned equipment, both 18" dish and antiquated RCA receiver). I've been with Dtv since 1997. We almost made it to our ten year anniversary, but separation / divorce is pending
. After buying a HDTV, like so many others at the Holidays, I decided to upgrade to H20 and the 5lnb dish. During the process I got badly jerked around, so have completely lost faith in the company. Frankly, on principle alone, I'm planning to shut off their service.
I use Comcast for Bband so also have basic cable. That's been handy to route to another room (without getting another sat. receiver), and for the occasional signal fade due to rain / snow between us and the bird
. On setting up my LG-37LC2D the internal tuner found WAY more channels than basic, including quite a few HD signals. But, as most here would know, there's not much order to it, no proper guide, and some of the better HD offerings are not available (such as Discovery HD, etc.).
Over the last few weeks I've looked at HD packages from: Dtv (holding my nose), Dish, and Comcast. At this juncture, with rapidly changing hardware / software and similar provider packages, lighting up the cable seems best. Above all else, I like how it presents a monthly option v
long term contractual arrangement. This seems to provide some flexibility to upgrade DVR hardware as opposed being locked in to a HR20 (which has a bad rap) or the Vip622.
irt: Money, it looks like a wash. Add: Comcast digital plus ($40 for the 6 month promo), HD package ($7) and a leased DVR ($12). Subtract Dtv basic ($40), Comcast basic ($13). Then adjust for the additional cost to upgrade and get HD from Dtv. There's no way to calculate the cost of being locked in to a contract ... but it's an issue to consider / include.
irt: HD offerings, Dish has the most in their package, followed by cable and Dtv. The latter, Dtv, is trumpeting the additional birds for 2007, and lots of additional HD programming. But, unless I misunderstand, lots of that will be more locals and regional sports, so has no bearing on national feeds.
irt: total package, it looks like digital plus is pretty comparable to what I have on sat. (though what the HDTV found during basic cable scan plus sat. is amazing; we must have well > 250 channels right now). I printed out the channels on Comcast and don't see many, if any, missing. And, there are some that aren't on sat. basic.
irt: install, it seems easier. No huge dish nor arguments about wanting it where the old one is. The cable is run, so just a few odds and ends. It's my understanding there are hoops to jump, per the site and CSR on phone. But, an associate just picked up his box from the Comcast outlet. Think I'll do that too and pay for a service call (if) instead of initial install fees.
I think when my Bband was installed they planted RG-6 cable from the pole to house(www is digital packets, right?). There is a splitter in the line, but maybe I could upgrade that? A weak link seems to be in the final mile
, where I have a few feet of the older cable, RG-45?, running from the exterior splitter to TV (right now the HD channels my HDTV found look great, maybe they will get better?).
After disabling the dish I may use the pre-fed RG-6 to put up an exterior antenna just to compare OTA v
cable HD signal. I'm within a few miles of the towers. Right now my dish is on a couple sections of TV tower I saved instead of cutting it down. This also provides easy access to the roof, no ladders required. It made for a nice dish mount (elevates and kept it tidy).