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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey folks.


I'm currently a DirecTV subsriber with strictly SD gear. I'll be making the leap to HD quite soon, just after I move to a new home.


I've read a number of contrasting opinions on the quality of SD and HD channels on the two networks. Would you folks say the following is true?


- Comcast has better HD quality.

- Comcast provides HD locals without an extra antenna.

- DirecTV has better SD quality.


I've been reasonably satisfied with my DirecTV service thus far, although all the stuff I've read about DirecTV's switch to mpeg4 later this year really has me wondering what the best choice will be going forward. In general, DirecTV's SD PQ is decent, although it certainly shows artifacting on my 35" SDTV. I am worried that a new 50" HD plasma will only make the artifacting on SD channels worse.


I mostly watch SpeedTV, football (just local channel broadcasts) and Showtime.


Any recommendations? I'm thinking about giving Comcast a try over the next 12 months and if it sucks switching back to DirecTV, since mpeg4 should be live and kicking by then...


Jake
 

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i would go the comcast route for 12 months.... you get HD-DVR's very cheaply through cable. Even with the lower price on a HDtivo its still not as cheap as most cable dvr's. And comcasts 12 month buypack program is a very good deal. You should ask local people to see what comcast in your area offers PQ wise.


I know comcast is a different cable system than mine but IMO my local (COX) has better HD and SD PQ than any of the DBS systems.... I had both and moved back and with all the bitching people do here about cables SD PQ its actually quite good (and some channels are far better than DBS)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yeah, that's the other thing. I currently have Tivo as a part of my DirecTV service and I'm seriously addicted to that functionality. It does seem like I can get HD + tivo-like service faily cheaply through Comcast, especially if I'm only looking at a potentially short-term test or sorts.


FWIW, I'm in the San Francisco bay area. I'll have to poke around and see what people around here think of the comcast PQ, overall.


I did manage to see a couple football games last year at a friend's house in HD (via comcast) and I was positively blown away by the quality of the picture.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by jagouar
...And comcasts 12 month buypack program is a very good deal..
What is that program exactly?
 

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yeah and if you end up not liking the picture after 12 months (when direcTV's mpeg4 stuff is sorted out) you can always go back.


The cable dvr's are overall pretty good (they work well and most of tivo's features are there and there are a few things it is much better at)... plus being able to record HD is very nice and easily offsets any lack of features IMO over the standard tivo. HDTivo is a different beast (and I would say is a little better mainly because of the extra hard drive space which is the biggest negative of any cable dvr currently.... but the latest generation of cable dvr's have sata outputs so you can add more drive space easily). It just takes some getting used to (like you did when you first got that tivo). The only thing it really lacks is the extra features when searching (you dont have as many options when searching but to me this is a non issue since all my recordings are series based)....


I know there are alot of huge tivo fans here but I like my cable dvr more than my dads directivo... mainly because of the speed factor.... my cable dvr is much faster responding and runs more smoothly than my dads directivo (something that really plagues the HDtivo)
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by lankford
What is that program exactly?
I'm guessing you're referring to the Dish Buyback program. FOr me here in Nashville, Comcast gave me a $50/month credit for a year to sign up for both cable and cable internet.


Can't beat that deal.
 

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I subscribe to both Directv and Comcast. I probably waste way to much money on multichannel providers and should just go OTA, but I digress. Back to the topic...


Doing side by side comparisons, I noticed that:


Comcast has better HD PQ by a lot. (Could vary locally)

Comcast has some of my HD locals in a small market.

Comcast has RSN's in HD now.

Comcast has a cheap DVR. (I currently do not own a Directv DVR/TIVO/ETC)

Comcast digital picture has less artifacts on some channels. (could vary locally)

D* has better SD quality vs. the analog equivalent on cable.

D* has NFLST. (I didn't subscribe however do to the increase in price and HD tax)

Comcast requires no 1 or 2 year commitment (unless you want a buy back program)

Also, the analog pq issue may not effect your Comcast MSO since they are rolling out digital simulcast in most markets. This will completely eliminate the analog pq issue when the transition is complete.


I hope this helps. You may want to look into your local area thread as well.


My Suggestion: Comcast for a year and then see how D* is doing.


Cheers,
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Awesome, guys! Thanks for confiming my initial thoughts.


Looks like Comcast for the first year is definitely the way to go. I just know that artifacts in HD from D* will get on my nerves.. not the way I want to begin life with a new Panasonic 50" plasma! ;)


Now I just gotta wrap up that silly "buying a home" thing and I'll be good to go! Heh.
 

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I'm not sure where you are, but my impressions with Comcast vs. D* are:


Comcast-Less digital artifacts on digital channels, but digital channels were soft and poor color saturation


D*-A few more artifacts, but I prefer the PQ in Standard Definition to Comcast overrall.


Comcast Analog-Could barely watch it.


Comcast HD-Currently the channel selection and PQ is much better than D*...


The $64,000 Question-Will MPEG4 level the playing field for D*. If the answer is yes, then I would stay with D*. Comcast is overpriced and Customer Service is the pits. Personally, I would wait till November depending on your location.
 

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I have both as well and the HD on Comcast is much better than that on Direct TV. I keep Direct TV solely for access to HD Net and Universal as well as NFL-ST. In my area, Comcast has completed in All Digitasl Simulcast of SD content and it has made a nice improvement in PQ of the SD channels. They are quite acceptable on my 50" Panasonic plasma and as far as I can tell, on par with what I have seen on Direct TV. Remember it is still SD and will not look great on any digital display.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by MJDore
I'm guessing you're referring to the Dish Buyback program. FOr me here in Nashville, Comcast gave me a $50/month credit for a year to sign up for both cable and cable internet.


Can't beat that deal.
The deal that they have offered in the past here (Atlanta area) was a $400 credit at the rate of $25 per month for 16 months. Don't know if that is still available or not but your Nashville deal is better by $200. Interesting.
 

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If Comcast were in my area, I'd go for it. No upfront cost for HDDVR, no commitment. Better HD PQ (Ken H has said again and again that Comcast does not additionally compress or downrez HD). What have you got to lose?
 

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If I switch to comcast in bay area from direct tv, what kinda promotions comcast offer?


My TV has cable card built in! Would I need additional equipment to get HD Cable? and HD DVR capability by cable?


Would I be able to spare my second HDMI that I am using for my HD TIVO?


Please advise?

thnx
 

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I have Comcast in San Jose, with the HD-DVR. Upgrading to add HD channels costs about $7 or so a month, and it costs another $5 to upgrade to the DVR box.


With this HD-DVR box, yes, SD analog cables look very bad. But I took advice from people on AVS and tried splitting the cable, and sending one line to the cable box, and the other to my TV's Antenna input (Samsung DLP). For analog channels, I try to use the Antenna input as I have found I get a much better picture with it. I can also zoom, do Panorama stretch, etc. with my Antenna input, something I can't do with the HD component input my cable box is on (good for zooming in on letterboxed Battlestar Galactica).


So that's something to keep in mind, if you choose to go with Comcast. You can't beat $5 a month for a rental HD-DVR. If you buy a HD-Tivo and it goes bad after the warranty runs out, I assume you'd be S.O.L. Renting from Comcast, you can go exchange it for a different box if something happens (I had to do this a few months ago when I started getting hard-drive playback issues with saved programs).
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by zoro
If I switch to comcast in bay area from direct tv, what kinda promotions comcast offer?


My TV has cable card built in! Would I need additional equipment to get HD Cable? and HD DVR capability by cable?


Would I be able to spare my second HDMI that I am using for my HD TIVO?


Please advise?

thnx
you should be able to use cable card (provided comcast there supports it) and keep that hdmi free for your Hdtivo but cable card doesnt include a DVR so you wont be able to record anything off cable card... if you want DVR and comcast you will need their dvr box.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by BradleyGreen
I subscribe to both Directv and Comcast. I probably waste way to much money on multichannel providers and should just go OTA, but I digress. Back to the topic...


Doing side by side comparisons, I noticed that:


Comcast has better HD PQ by a lot. (Could vary locally)

Comcast has some of my HD locals in a small market.

Comcast has RSN's in HD now.

Comcast has a cheap DVR. (I currently do not own a Directv DVR/TIVO/ETC)

Comcast digital picture has less artifacts on some channels. (could vary locally)

D* has better SD quality vs. the analog equivalent on cable.

D* has NFLST. (I didn't subscribe however do to the increase in price and HD tax)

Comcast requires no 1 or 2 year commitment (unless you want a buy back program)

Also, the analog pq issue may not effect your Comcast MSO since they are rolling out digital simulcast in most markets. This will completely eliminate the analog pq issue when the transition is complete.


I hope this helps. You may want to look into your local area thread as well.


My Suggestion: Comcast for a year and then see how D* is doing.


Cheers,


I also subscribe to both, and I agree with BradleyGreen with a few additions


Comcast has better sound quality

Comcast in my area has more HD channels

Comcast service is Awful

D* service is fair
 

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Here in Sarasota, Fl- Direct TV has a much better HD PQ than Comcast- Comcast HD picture is bland, not as sharp, the colors are washout- not only on my TV, I went to a couple of my friends with Comcast HD and the PQ is the same- I have two Samsung HD TVs- I use to be with Direct Tv, changed to Comcast and now I am planning to return to Direct TV-

G Ramirez
 

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It all depend where you live with Comcast. If your system hasn't been upgraded since the ATT merger then the piture quality will be washedout and probably not much bandwith.


I know in my town not one channel is compress and the HD is the best(local HD is carry via fiber direct to Comcast offices) ,even better then Dish. Even the international channels like RAI and RTPi are uncompressed.
 

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Does anybody know if Comcast transmit Programs that are not HD throughout the HD channels ?- Yesterday afternoon the football on ESPN HD was not HD, in the evening the football game was very clearly in HD- If they do they should say so when the programs are going to go.
 
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