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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I currently have ATT&T broadband digital cable for my mitsu 65-909 and the pq is good (as good as can be expected) but the HD options are non exitant and the customer service has much to be desired.


I would just like to know about people's experiences with DirectTV and if they think it would be worth it to switch (PQ, channels, service, overall enjoyment). I live in MN so adverse weather conditions are pretty common. Will this be a major issue with satellite?
 

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DirecTV currently offers 3 channels of HD (HDNET, HBO, Showtime). HDNET comes with any package while HBO & Showtime are premium channels.


The major broadcast networks can be received via antenna (OTA) in major cities and via cable in some markets.
 

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> The major broadcast networks can be received via antenna (OTA)

> in major cities and via cable in some markets.


A bold claim indeed... Of the 10M people who live in the SF Bay Area I would be surprised if 20% can actually receive HD OTA. Too many hills and not enough HD towers sending enough Watts unfortunately :)


As one who doesn't value the content of HDNET, HBO, & Showtime, I'm in the same boat as Shubster...
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
OTA HD is available to me, as I'm only about 2 miles from the antennas :D. If I do get DirectTV soon I wouldn't bother getting an HD box yet since $500+ for only 2 HD channels that I would rarely watch is not yet worth it. But I would get a 3LNB dish so the upgradability is there.


I basically just want to know if switching is worth the trouble.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I would also like to know if anyone has had weather related problems with DirectTV and if so how often it happens.
 

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Im starting to get really [email protected]%d off at DirecTV. The compression artifacts are getting really annoying. Ive had then since 94, and getting worse.


Im in Southern California. If you are in MN who knows hoe much signal degradation occurs with the angle to the equator you will need???


I need to find a neighbor with digital cable and a decent HT system, so I can compare.


Weather??? Ive only had 2 blackouts due to rain, but those rains were 2 inches in 1 hour!!!!
 

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As a "Direct-for-years" subscriber for years I'm "thinking" of cable. My sister has the digital service from cable. Thank god I have a good antenna for local OTA. Cable reg (local)channels are a mess !!---It would be the other channels I'd be interested in.

Direct has done something to just the music stations. My Purcell will lock on to all the stations;but won't, for the music stations. Before I had sat. I had what they then called "DMX" radio. (As good as it gets)With enough $$ spent on digital equipment the music was "Cd quality" Not being able to use my Purcell has left a hole in the resolution. Cable's menu is easier and has MORE info. They have everything but NFL ticket;I don't do any sports packages anyway. Just wondering"how much for cable"? Geo.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
So far it doesn't look like there are too many advocates of DirectTV yet. I know that there are many people on this forum that have DirectTV. Does no one wish to defend their decision? If people want to list the advantages and disadvantages of DirectTV that would help a ton, and if anyone has had experience with both DTV and digital cable that input would be invaluable.
 

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as i see it the only advantage directv has for me would be HDnet. with Time Warner cable in NYC i can get HBO, Showtime, NBC, CBS, ABC, PBS, and Fox (480p) in HD. plus TWC now offers Video On Demand as well as the HBO, Showtime, etc. On Demand too. Yes i'm still waiting on HDnet but there has been talk about it being available soon when the other HDnet's launch.
 

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I have been a DirecTV subscriber for about 6 years. I have noticed the compression artifacts getting worse on the basic cable type channels. I am currently watching it on a 32" SD Mitsubishi direct view, so it's not as bad as you HDTV folks. As far as a comparison, I have not seen the latest cable offerings in MN. I was unimpressed with digital cable in the Washington DC area a couple of years ago. I'm sure it varies greatly by cable provider, though.


The dropouts with DirecTV are rare and seem to be weather related. Occasionally, a severe downpour will briefly block the signal. More importantly, SNOW is a problem up here. If you do go with satellite, make sure and install the antenna where you can actually reach it to brush off the accumulation. I know several people who put their dish at the apex of a tall roof and this poses a problem with heavy snow falls. Maybe someone offers a heating element for this scenario.


I will be moving to a bigger place soon and have been lurking here to get info on HD RPTVs. I would be interested in hearing about the HD side of this debate as well.
 

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I have been a DirecTV subscriber (Total Choice + Sports Pack) for about 8 years. I originally got D* to get Speedvision (not then available from TimeWarner cable) and because of extremely pi$$ poor customer service from T-W.


Initially I was very pleased with the signal & PQ. Weather related outages were rare. Lately I have become very dissatisfied with the PQ and the box looses signal whenever a storm is pending (ie. heavy cloud cover). Under normal conditions I have high 70's to low 90's signal strength on all transponders (D* told me this was very good for my location).


I currently watch on an 11 year old 29" Sony XBR. Pixelization and freezes occur even without bad weather. MPEG artifacts have become very annoying as well (I have probably become more critical as well thanks to being educated by this forum). Most annoying however are the D* promotions and commercials. These are broadcast at roughly twice the level as normal programming and even louder than regular commercials.


With a new digital HD set on the way (HLM507W) and faced with an investment of $600 + 3 LNB dish to receive HD signals I am having T-W digital cable installed Monday. I hate the thought of doing business with them again but they carry the 3 major networks in HD and I'm trying out HBO-HD for $5/mo. They do not have HD-NET but I have read where they are negotiating to carry it (undoubtedly for additional subscription $).


After installation I'll be able to A-B D* with Digital cable on all of the standard channels. I will be particularly interested in comparing Speed & ESPN.
 

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Have you thought about DishTV? They have an HDTV box as well. Currently I *think* they only have DiscoveryHD on the lineup, but I'd rather watch Discovery than anything else on DTV!


I've had DirecTV for a while now - about 2 or 3 years. Storms are rarely a problem, but that depends on what's around you and what kind of signal strength you're getting to begin with - I have around 95-98% strength, so I hardly ever have a problem with weather knocking me out. However, if you're in a coverage area that is closer to the edge of their useable signal, you're likely to not get nearly that good of a signal, and if you have storms of any kind of magnitude you'd likely get no picture while they ran their course.


I've actually considered getting Dish, but TimeWarner is about a month away from servicing my house now, so I might wait and see what their digital will offer as I'll be getting cable modem service from them as well.
 

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This is an interesting topic for me because I will be moving into a new home in Feb. Was looking at satellite vs Cox Digital Cable in the Phoenix area. After reading the above thread it sounds like satellite isn't all that I've been told (better picture, digital local channels, etc.) Cox is also starting HDTV in Phoenix, although they make you buy your own box. Might be worth checking out instead of a satellite system. Also cable gives you the "peace of mind" factor if repairs are needed. Basic digital cable starts under $40 per month. Basic satellite can be a bit cheaper...
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
It seems that there aren't very many people who've had too much experience with digital cable. Digital cable here does still have quite a few compression artifacts. So I'm not sure how DirectTV compares in that regard.

Quote:
Storms are rarely a problem, but that depends on what's around you and what kind of signal strength you're getting to begin with - I have around 95-98% strength, so I hardly ever have a problem with weather knocking me out. However, if you're in a coverage area that is closer to the edge of their useable signal, you're likely to not get nearly that good of a signal, and if you have storms of any kind of magnitude you'd likely get no picture while they ran their course.
Is there any way I can find out what signal strengths are like in my area?
 

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Hello,


I've had both TWC and DTV -- just swithched to DTV. I have a Hitachi 50' Multisystem RPTV (AN). I've found the DTV PQ to be a bit better throughout -- except local channels. Local channels are almost not watchable. Selection seems better on DTV and pricing is a wash.


I switched because of the cable outages -- continuous and very predictable. Not had a DTV outtage yet.


steve
 

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I have ATT digital cable and the PQ sux. Believe me, most channels have really poor PQ (regular HBO is OK. I think they compress it less). I have called them twice about the picture and all they did was put in some new splitters and connectors - to no real avail. I switched from analog to digital and there was only a small improvement in PQ. The onscreen guide is much better however. I have given up on cable. I plan to go to DirecTV with OTA supplement or maybe keep cable or just locals. I know I'll be disappointed but from what I have seen DirecTV is better than digital cable (except local channels). I think C band is the only real solution in the near term. I am considering it but I'll really miss my Replay machine.
 

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I'm on Knology Digital Cable and quality runs from good to terrible. I am considering DirecTV simply to have consistancy across all channels. With Knology "Digital", most channels are analog. The digital channels seem to be compressed at different levels (HBO good; Encore bad).
 
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