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With Open Cable HD designs in the work, especially by TiVo for Scrambled and Unscrambled QAM decoding coupled with local HD material and what will likely be the availability of NFL Sunday Ticket on cable in 2006, Cable Co's will have a serious upper hand. For me, this combo is a killer as a consumer grade product will make cable equally priced with D* by eliminating what would be a $35 equipment rental fee for three rooms.


Any takers??? Also, how long before it's a reality? 2005? 2006?
 

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I like cable myself because of all the HD offerings, but I've talked to a lot of hardcore satellite folks. The subscriber base may go down a bit, but there's a dedicated minority who'd never switch to cable. They're sort of like Mac users....


Lee
 

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The thing you have to remember about "Cable" is that you are actually talking about dozens of companies and thousands of cable plants. Only a fraction of those companies and their respective plants are going to have all those capabilities for years and years.


For example, my home is located in a Charter area, but it's the backwater of all the Charter systems. Our system is the last to get any new stuff, only offers a fraction of the services, etc.


Sunday Ticket will be interesting - I wonder how many of the cable companies will actually be able to afford to pick that up. The big ones will have it, but that doesn't do you any good if you aren't served by one of the big ones.
 

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Cable's gonna have to get their rates under control as well... I pay nearly $20/month less with DirecTV for (mostly) the same channels that Comcast will give me with Digital Cable... And on top of that they just announced another rate hike in my area!! My DirecTV bill hasn't changed by more than $2 in the last 3 years, yet Comcast has gone up ~$10 (not including the latest hike) since I switched to D*... I'm not against cable, but I am against spending more than I have to for the same thing. Why should I switch back again?


--Paul
 

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You may be right, Skyboss.


However, cable's increasing sophistication and better offerings will only be a DirecTV killer if there is a quality and price difference. If DirecTV keeps their same pricing model and cable beats it and offers more choices (HD, programming on demand, Sunday ticket, etc.) I'll drop DirecTV in a heartbeat. But I predict you'll see DirecTV be VERY competitive and start to roll out more technology improvements by 2006. A LOT can happen in three years.


Now, if DirecTV would only stop over-compressing the SD channels...........


Dan
 

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There are many like me who don't want to go back to cable simply because of customer service and pricing issues, regardless of the offerings that cable has.


I got tired of a rate increase every year and really bad customer service so I dumped cable. Cable is a product that must compete in the marketplace and they've failed with me. I've had one rate increase in 7 years with satellite and that's good enough to keep me as a customer.
 

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Cable would have to do something really drastic to get me back like everyone else with satellite I have had no rate increases other than maybe 2.00 with another 1.00 increase starting this spring. I can live with that, and I am sure satellite will be more than competive with cable they really don't have a choice.
 

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I'm signing up with my local cable co just to get HDTV locals....but as soon as, or if DirecTV gets HDTV locals I'll dump cable again.

I'm not getting rid of DirecTV though...my TIVO rules.
 

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IF that were to happen, it would be nothing bad for consumers. Imagine how outrageous the price of cable would be today if there were no satellite services to compete with cable companies. With E* & especially D* removed from the equation, cable rates would go through the roof.


I'm not worried, though. DirecTV has a few things up their sleeves. They are well aware that they have to compete wth cable in the growing HD world.
 

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You also have to factor in the cost of STB's. In my area, TWC has nearly the same lineup of HD channels that the Sat services have. They're beta testing an HD-DVR even as we speak. Now why would I spend $1 grand for an HD STB/DVR from the Sat services (looking at the DISH 921, but the HD-Tivo will be priced comparably) if the cable company will rent it to me for $5/mo and replace it periodically with state of the art machines? That thousand clams will pay for a lot of nickel & dime rate increases.


Personally, I think Charlie (Ergin of DISH) blew it by waiting so long to roll out the 921. If cable gives me all the HD channels DISH does and rents me a HD STB/DVR for a pittance, I'm all over that and my current dish farm will become a piece of modern art on top of my storage shed. I see the Satellite services being reduced to serving rural areas where no cable is available.
 

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archiguy - in my instance cable charges $8/month per box and $5/month per DVR. So two DVRs will run me $26/month in hardware costs as opposed to $5/month from DirecTV. Now I am talking about me, as my DVR fee is waived for carrying TCP and I have two in the first place. So that is a $21 savings per month just in hardware, or $252/year... To top it off, comparable channels from TWC will cost me $8 more per month. $29/month or $308/year...


Now granted that is still almost three years to pay off each HD Tivo, but that is also taking into account that I will probably be able to upgrade my recording capacity of the Tivo, season passes, wishlists, OTA HD (reducing my D* bill by another $3/month), etc...


People keep acting like it is cable against DirecTV and Echostar.. the thing most people seem to forget is that TWC NYC is different from TWC Chicago, TWC Milwaukee, TWC Orlando, Comcast Seattle, Comcast LA.. etc.. (I don't know if any of those exist, just trying to make a point).


So is a particular regional deal a satellite killer? Possibly, but just because your region is offering those features and pricing, don't think for an instance that they are or will be offered anywhere else in the country.


Which has actually always been one of the comforts with satellite.. No matter where I've moved to, I always knew exactly what pay-tv service I would be dealing with.
 

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I switched to D* about 5 or 6 years ago. Since then I've lived for a while in a place where I couldn't get it (no line of sight), so I had to get cable. I also played around with it after I got my HDTV a couple of months ago. I ditched the HDTV cable after only about 1 month.


Basically, I found the cable pricing horrible, the service sucked, the HDTV (and regular) cable box sucked, and the programming sucked.


Cablevision here doesn't carry all the locals in HDTV (even though they are currently broadcasting), ESPNHD, Discovery etc.


Unless cable fixes these problems (or at least some of them), there's no way I'm going back to cable again unless I don't have a choice.
 

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I'm still holding out hope that we won't have to pay antything close to $999 for the HD-Tivo... After all it's only the MSRP... The Sammy SIR-TS160's MSRP is $599 and D* is selling them for $99 to qualified subscribers right now... If we use that math the HD-Tivo will be less than $200 :D


--Paul
 

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sigh.. when will people learn that averages and statistics mean nothing... Let me put it into perspective. The average price of cable is only $1 more than satellite.. In my area, my package on DirecTV from my local cable co would be almost $10 more. What does this mean? It means that somewhere out there some guy's cable co is giving him the same package for $8 less than what I'm paying... that's all...
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by leewcraft
I like cable myself because of all the HD offerings, but I've talked to a lot of hardcore satellite folks. The subscriber base may go down a bit, but there's a dedicated minority who'd never switch to cable. They're sort of like Mac users....

Lee
Some of those that are 'dedicated' to satellite are so out of existence, of lack thereof, in respect to pathetic cable operators in their area.


I am living proof that my local cable operator does not care to cnoduct H D T V anytime this side of the 21st century.
 

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Quote:
What does this mean? It means that somewhere out there some guy's cable co is giving him the same package for $8 less than what I'm paying... that's all...
More likely it's due to all the people with the ~$10/mo. limited basic cable package...


With HBO and digital cable it would cost me nearly $80/mo. D* is only a little more than half of that!


I think cable prices are a bit higher than average here though...


--Paul
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by kevinivey
The real DirecTV killer is a rental HD DVR with dual HD tuners.
Coming this spring to our Comcast market.


It really is no contest for me right now. Comcast's HD offerings are better than DirecTV's in my area (I have to do without Discovery and HDnet - I do miss HDnet :) ) plus using their internet service allows me to use a Voice-over-IP telephone service (Vonage) to completely eliminate my relationship with Qwest. You can use Vonage with a DSL product but alas DSL requires a relationship with a telco (AKA Qwest). Vonage offers unlimited voice packages that really cut costs (about $27 cheaper than Qwest similar packages when you include the fact that you don't pay traditional taxes).


If DirecTV really wants to grow, it needs to partner with a strong telco company. I'm serious - this is the one thing that prevents me from ever being a DirecTV customer again. It makes no economic sense to do otherwise, especially if you have a bigger long distance bill.


My two cents ;)


Michael.
 

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Tell me again why people are going to actually leave DirecTV? All it does is work and deliver.


And tell me how any of this is going to stop the deep-seated hatred that people still feel for their cable company...


DirecTV says they will add 1 million subs per year over the next several years. I am not betting against them.


Also, Fox and News hold the keys on whether Sunday Ticket gets on cable. If Fox says, we don't up our rights fee on the NFL unless you keep ST off cable, well, we'll see....
 
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