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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am seriously considering switching to Comcast from Directv. I've had Directv for 4 years now and would like to upgrade to HD. I've had a High Definition tv for 2 years now and I have been waiting to see what offers exist out there to upgrade. Comcast seems to have more to offer for far less money while directv doesn't even advertise any deals for existing customers. I've heard about the $399 offer from Directv but it is not advertised anywhere. It is very frustrating!! With Comcast for $2 a month more you get a HD receiver and all the local channels as well as NESN and ESPN. Comcast would also give me a discount on cable internet service that I already have. My two concerns with Comcast are: 1. picture quality v. directv and 2. whether the motorola receiver Comcast provides has VGA connection, which is the connection I have on my tv. What do other folks think? Please help me decide!!!!!!!
 

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I am contemplating the same in Boston. They just added NESN for Red Sox and Boston Bruins in HD!!!!!! Anyone done this? I too was concerned about any possible disadvantages to sound and pic too. Is this HD signal compressed in any way? Comcast CSR not too helfpful in this , but said he's seen it and the picture is GREAT = )
 

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the hd is not compressed


the motorola 5100 does not have vga out. I use a key digital component to vga transcoder - (about $300) - the results are not perfect by any stretch.


maybe your system provides a different cable box
 

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I currently have both digital HD cable and D* with the HD pkg. I would never give up my D* for cable only. D* has more HD channels and also better PQ in HD than cable currently offers. Also the HD D* receivers on the market such as the Sony HD200 offer much more than any HD cable boxes I have seen.
 

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rstern,

I'm going through the same decision process as you. Have had Directv for about four years. Bought an HD plasma earlier in the summer and planned to upgrade to Directv HD when the HD Tivo unit is released late 2003 or early 2004. I also have Comcast cable internet access. Last month Comcast offered a special 2 month free trial upgrade to digital cable, 6 months free Showtime and rental of the SA 3100 HD box for $5/month. So, for a total cost of $10 I get to experiment with HD for 2 months. After that the digital upgrade package is $15 per month.


The results so far have been surprisingly good. Comcast cable in my area (Reston, VA) had always been poor with lousy picture quality and few programming options such as ESPN Game Plan and Full Court. Some observations:


1) The Comcast picture quality of non-HD digital channels is superior to Directv. (That could be explained by the fact that my sat box (Sony A-50) is four years old and connected by S-video compared to component hook up of the HD box)

2) Comcast has at least as many HD channels as Directv. Here we have local ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox(not really HD but better PQ than analog Fox), ESPN, local PBS, Showtime, HBO, InHD and InHD2.

3) Comcast has more channels broadcasting in DD 5.1.

4) On the negative side I sometimes have problems with audio/video being out of synch.


Bottom line is that I'm enjoying HD for a minimal investment for the next several months and there are no cost penalties if I decide to drop Comcast in the future. At this time I have no idea who will win my business. I may drop Directv temporarily and come back only if they can give me a good deal on the cost of the dish upgrade.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for all the feedback. I still haven't decided but I am leaning towards D because the Motorola receiver that Comcast provides does not have VGA connection. Buying a transcoder for $300 defeats the purpose. Also, if you look at the price of programming alone, D is much cheaper than Comcast. Total Choice + local channels + extra receiver + HD package + HBO runs about $68 v. about $87 for a similar package from Comcast.
 

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If you're thinking about dropping DirecTV, call the main number and ask to speak to customer retention. Tell them you are considering switching to cable and they will offer you all kind of incentives to stay. I was in the same boat about a year ago and when I talked to retention, they gave me two DirecTivo's for free, plus a $150 service credit. All I had to do was commit to Direct for a year.


Make sure you talk to customer retention because they have lots more latitude to make deals.
 

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I just visited a local high-end electronics store where several employees told me that from personal experience the PQ is much better with the satellite service. They said the HD cable boxes are of poor quality and that you'll see a major difference between the two. One of the owners told me he is currently in the process of dropping his cable service (Bright House) after having their HD service for about a year.


A friend of mine who just bought his first HDTV monitor is in the process of getting hooked up to Comcast. I'm curious to see what he thinks of the service and PQ.


Steve
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Golf19
BAJA ...........I am sorry to tell you that Comcast has more HD content then D or E ..............CBS,NBC,ABC,PBS,ESPN ,SHOHD,HBOHD.and 2 new station of indemand both in HD
Youre talking locals:rolleyes: I get all that OTA anyway. I can tell you that the PQ is also much better OTA than on those same HD locals via cable. I have both so I can compare;) Also the HD200 will convert all SD to 480p or higher and allow it to pass via component. This gives better PQ than having to view via S-video on cable.

You are forgetting about DiscoveryHD, HDNET, HDNETMovies, and PPVH. I get all those on D* plus HBOH, SHOH and ESPNHD. In total I get 7 HD channels on D* then all my locals OTA...ABC, NBC,FOX, CBS and PBS. If my math is right that gives me a total of 12 HD channels:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Well, you guys have helped me decide. I just called up Directv and I'm scheduled for installation next Friday. I can't wait! Hearing that OTA is so much better than locals on cable swayed me to D. I am finally going to see high definition tv in my own home. Wow! My only fear is if they ship out the Hughes instead of the Samsung. I hear the Hughes does not have vga and that's what i have on my tv. D can't tell you which receiver they'll send. I'll never understand the way they work. They can be so frustrating. Well, wish me luck and I'll let you know how it goes.
 

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You probably made the right choice based on the vga factor alone. However, I don't agree with the comments that the cable HD is not up to par, at least in my area. I have Comcast HD and the picture quality on the cable HD channels appears identical to OTA HD reception of the same channels. Could not make the same statement about SD channels throug the Motorola 5100 that is used here but HD channels are very good on Comcast.


Enjoy!
 

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I had Direct TV for years and I can say without hesitation that the HD signal on Comcast that I have now is every bit as good as on DTV. They broadcast 5.1 for the stations offering it. And the locals they offer me, both the PBS loop and my NBC affiliate looks as good as OTA, even better because the signal strength is stronger and I no longer get drop outs of sound and picture. Direct TV is endlessly calling me to come back. But seeing that I have 2 HI Def tv's now I would have to buy another Hi Def DTV Receiver. It's just not worth it, I'd lose the Sox and Bruins, and have to go back to the Antenna for my locals. Comcast is blowing DTV out of the water for HD right now.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by rstern
Well, you guys have helped me decide. I just called up Directv and I'm scheduled for installation next Friday. I can't wait! Hearing that OTA is so much better than locals on cable swayed me to D. I am finally going to see high definition tv in my own home. Wow! My only fear is if they ship out the Hughes instead of the Samsung. I hear the Hughes does not have vga and that's what i have on my tv. D can't tell you which receiver they'll send. I'll never understand the way they work. They can be so frustrating. Well, wish me luck and I'll let you know how it goes.
Hopefully your decision wasn't based on above statement that "OTA is so much better than locals on cable swayed me" This is a bogus statement as many will attest that the signals are identical. If cable has decided to include a local DTV signal then what they provide to customer is identical to OTA reception (1080i or 720p). In fact here in Montgomery Cty I even see the same breakup of signal when a DTV signal is weak -whether OTA on my computer MyHD card or via my COMCAST DTC5100. Where cable can be bad is on the analog stations below 100; the cable box can provide a much worse signal than what you can get directly off the cable, which can be overcome by bypassing the box for the analog stations. My understanding is that satellite is better than cable for these stations but I have never seen satellite and the cable is good enough for me in bypass.
 

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rstern,


I realize that you do you do not have to call Customer retention, but someone stated in a post above , that if you ask for that Dept and tell them you are thinking about switching they may offer a "incentive" to stay.

I called today and confirmed that. They offered me $100.00 credit on my bill, if I get the HDTV package
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by goldrich
I just visited a local high-end electronics store where several employees told me that from personal experience the PQ is much better with the satellite service. They said the HD cable boxes are of poor quality and that you'll see a major difference between the two.
Wrong.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by baja
I can tell you that the PQ is also much better OTA than on those same HD locals via cable. I have both so I can compare
You are in the extreme minority with this opinion. I would suggest checking how you have your system configured.
 
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