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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I live and work here on Long Island, selling and installing home theater systems. The local cable company now offers 6 HD channels plus FOX480P. More to come soon I'm told. They use the SA4200HD box. Not great but it works. DirecTV used to have a technical advantage in performance and more programming to offer. That gap is narrowing. Throw in the fact that my customers will not need an dish and antenna on their expensive homes and cable looks more and more attractive. Plus they will have less hardware to buy. The monthly costs are a wash. All of them are cable customers already because they use it for Internet access. Where do we go from here?
 

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Is Digital Cable that much better than Satellite? HD aside, I am unsure if it is a better deal pricewise.


In my area, Adelphia PQ sucks on SD channels....and they do not offer HD yet... I am sure there will be competition in the future with a bigger pipe for HD in the short term... however, there is a lot that needs to be upgraded to get as many channels from a dish.... they launch another satellite and we have more HD bandwidth, the cable infrastructure is harder to update, especially with a company strapped like Adelphia.


Another point is OTA, I get all my OTA HD signals without a problem using a small antenna (all stations are 40 miles away), I won't need to pay the local fee to the dish with the ability to pick up locals on the same box...


One weakness is the extra receiver fee..I am not sure if cable does this, I assume they might since the HD/PVR boxes are similar in stature to a HDTV sat box...


For me and many, there are no options other than OTA and Satellite at this point, until that changes, I am saying Satellite is the best deal going! :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
theedge,


If I lived next door to you I'd feel the same way. I'm concerned with my area and other places like it.


I must repeat though. People with expensive homes ( like around here) do not like having a dish & antenna on their house. If cable is equal to DirecTV in performance and content it's no contest.
 

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Well you already have your particular answer...it's a no contest. It's also a no contest in many other less upscale areas too I'm sure for many people now fixing to get into HD. Especially if the local channels are available in HD over the cable co.


If you've switched to DBS at some point over the last few years you're likley to tend to stick with that for HD. Though not always because if they havent yet upgraded to an HD receiver they might feel that cable is a better deal for that if it's recently been launched in their area. But for those that never did get around to going with DBS, but have some interest now in HD, if their cable co is doing much of anything in HD now, theres even less reason to consider buying into DBS.


Hell, the DBS co's still arent even done rolling out new Local channel packages in SD (yet touting each new addition as if it were a godsend) much less getting around to offering them in HD.
 

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No matter how expensive the home, your neighbors or your homeowners association can't prevent you from putting up a mini dish or antenna. If you don't want to have a dish or antenna on your home, that's your choice.


Depending on your location and what's around you, you may be able to get perfectly acceptable signal strength for OTA HD with an indoor antenna or an outdoor antenna place in your attic.
 

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Consider this ...


A friend of mine has had D* for a couple years, and - after seeing my TV - he decided to make a jump into HD.


He called D* - and they told him he'd have to buy an HD receiver, new dish, antenna, etc ($500-700). and that he'd have to pay another $10.99/mo. for HD channels (He already had TC - so $50/mo.).


I told him to call TWC - and they are giving him the equipment for free, installation for free, and digital cable + 2 premium channels (HBO, Showtime) for $39.95/mo. And, as it turns out, they accidentally left the all the channels viewable on the HD box, so they're also getting Cinemax, Starz, Encore, etc.


Through TWC, he gets PBS, ABC, NBC, CBS, INHD & INHD2, Disc, Fox, HBO, Show HD channels.


What would you choose!
 

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I think it all depends on the customer. I have a few upscale customers here in Orlando that despise cable and stick with either directv or dish (one is the president of the famous area here). Here in Orlando (especially in the summer) violent storms an hour a day is the norm. If cable goes out here it goes out for a while. At least with sat. when the storm passes the signal is back at full strength.

I know my father has sat. and loves it (he lives in Glen Cove, LI). The choices he says he has is much more than what cable provides (sat does have many non-english channels, which I rarely see on cable).
 

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My Time Warner cable is competitive with DBS on HD and pricing, and the picture quality on the SD channels is much better. Never had an outage, even in the fiercest storm.


DBS cannot compete on overall bandwidth (hence their desire to use PVRs for VOD) and on local HD channels.


DBS, as it exists today, would get its ass kicked if HD were driving the consumer market. They had better get their act together.
 

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We've had cable for 20 years with a total of 2 different companies and then canceled it this year and have had DirecTV now for nearly 2 months with the HD package. Differences: During those 20 years from beginning to end we had nothing but numerous channels off and on having poor PQ; and then to top it off Adelphia CSR's mission in life was to bad-mouth HD. These past 2 months we've had nothing but great satellite PQ on all digital channels with a fantastic HD package to boot. Need anyone ask where we stand?
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by deArgila
I told him to call TWC - and they are giving him the equipment for free, installation for free, and digital cable + 2 premium channels (HBO, Showtime) for $39.95/mo. And, as it turns out, they accidentally left the all the channels viewable on the HD box, so they're also getting Cinemax, Starz, Encore, etc.


Through TWC, he gets PBS, ABC, NBC, CBS, INHD & INHD2, Disc, Fox, HBO, Show HD channels.
The one that is honest about their prices and won't change the rules in a few months.


It won't be long before Time/Warner won't be able to give him just the HD versions of Showtime and HBO. Actually, they will, but HBO and Showtime will charge TWC as if they are delivering all of the channels, so TWC will have to either cut him off or raise his rates.


Likewise, TWC will eventually get around to fixing his HD box so it only gets the SD channels he pays for.


Then, once they have him truly hooked, they will start raising the rates by charging for the HD package, etc. This is the very well documented pattern for cable companies everywhere.
 

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When and if digital cable gets the NFL ST and digital cable is offered in HD my area, then and only then will I even consider digital cable. I know several people with Digital Cable and they constantly complain about not having NFL ST and they also complain about unannounced prolonged service interruptions.


Stephen
 

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I'm on LI and because of I/O (internet access) I enjoyed some HD over the past 2 or 3 years (HBO/FSN/MSG).


The picture quality is first rate. It is bulletproof and can not be knocked.


That said, we'll see if after adding the locals they're up to the next leg of the journey. ESPN/HDNET/Discovery etc. These guys have a poor negotiating track record (YES network) and can make the customer feel insignificant.


How about a HDPVR? I know Dish/Direct are still vaporware but hopefully not for long.


The next leg of the journey is vertically steep for Cablevision. I hope they continue to impress.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by nabsltd
It won't be long before Time/Warner won't be able to give him just the HD versions of Showtime and HBO. Actually, they will, but HBO and Showtime will charge TWC as if they are delivering all of the channels, so TWC will have to either cut him off or raise his rates.


Likewise, TWC will eventually get around to fixing his HD box so it only gets the SD channels he pays for.


Then, once they have him truly hooked, they will start raising the rates by charging for the HD package, etc. This is the very well documented pattern for cable companies everywhere.
A few comments - the $39.95 is guaranteed for a year - in writing. As to what might happen after that, who knows for sure - but when I got the same deal (and it's only available to those switching from satellite) they assured me prices would not go up by more than $5.


And the package includes all the SD HBO and Showtime channels (and TMC) - not just HD.


They may or may not fix his box, but it's quite a deal without those channels - and it's just silly with it.


I can't speak for him, but, in my case, if they raise the rates - I'll get back on D* or E* or whoever - and it didn't cost me a thing. There's no contract, so I can toss them anytime.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Rates never go down, only up. Over time the month to month cost differences become a wash.


I repeat, when I go to a 2 million dollar house with an expensive slate roof and talk about mounting a dish and an antenna I get some mean looks. I have put them on the garage, on a pole in the ground, on trees, etc, just so it's not on the house.


There will always be some differences in programming, NFL package being the most obvious. I have one guy who keeps DirecTv only for the golf channel. But if the playing field gets level cable wins hands down.


Everybody hates the cable company. Always have. But we all use their Internet product because it's by far the best. People will use it for HD if they have the most programming. Human nature.
 
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