Cable vs. Satellite

Page 1 of 2  
I have been using cable so far but it gets more and more expensive. So I am weighing options switching to satellite TV. I currently have Comcast, all but premium channels. I have very nice Sony widescreen HDTV with built-in HDTV tuner. So HDTV programs are very important for me including HDTV DVR. I checked DirectTV and Dish network web sites and I am now confused with their choices and pricing. Do they offer local channels in HD? Do they force to buy DVR or I can rent? How much does it cost to rent DVR? Can it record in HD? Are local channels included in packages or I have to pay extra for them? Is equipment free (Dish, receiver, etc.) or I have to pay rental fee as well? How do satellite and cable packages compare? I have now around 200 channels including about a dozen in HD from Comcast. Again I do not have HBO, Showtime, etc. How much would comparable package cost from satellite? Finally, how is satellite quality vs. cable? Does weather effect reception? I would like to hear from someone's experience who switched from cable to satellite. I live in central NJ.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Sasha wrote:

We tried satellite TV for a couple of months and were dissatisfied with the fuzzy picture quality whenever it rained. Since we live in the NW, it was pretty much all the time. We switched back to Comcast and are quite happy with cable now that we have had the bad experience with satellite TV to compare it with.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
tenplay wrote:

The 3-digit channel numbers for Dish were driving us batty. The channels are not in consecutive order, so you either had to memorize the channel numbers or always look them up in the channel guide. For instance, TBS might be #438 and TNT #076. The standard Comcast cable numbers, which we usually watch, are in consecutive order and only two digits.
Also in our area, the Comcast people are much more accessible and responsive. They always answer their phones and do service calls within a day or two. We had to order Dish through a small independent dealer, whose flakey receptionist gave us wrong information and who was backlogged with service calls to make.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I switched and sometimes wish I had not. The new service Direct TV has issues about picture quality sometimes in the early evenings. Some thunder storms will completely block viewing. Now I own the outdated boxes. Last time I dumped Dishnetwork I gave the whole set up that was 2 years old to a friend. When he tried to activate it they told him it was so ancient that he needed new converters and dish..... At least with the cable company I could take the boxes back once every couple of years and get the newer one for nothing, other than the monthly fee.. DTV charges for each converted connected.... Not TV. $4.95 a month. My installation was with 4 converters, on activation I immediately disconnected 2 of them.
I got TV, high speed internet and phone wrapped into one bill. About 10 bucks a month less than what I was paying before.
All in all is was a push.........
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 07/12/05 10:47 pm Sasha tossed the following ingredients into the ever-growing pot of cybersoup:

Don't know about Dish, but with DirecTV it depends where you are. Here in W. Michigan, I put up an antenna for the locals in HD -- but not all their programs are in HD anyway: mostly only the prime-time series.

DirecTV doesn't rent DVR machines, but our original 35-hr non-HD DVR cost only about $100. This is a TiVo, which many people claim beats the other DVRs, and costs $5/month for the "programming information."
We just got a 250-hr SD/30-hr HD TiVo for $350 with a 50%-off coupon at BestBuy.

If we are paying DirecTV anything at all for the non-HD locals, it must be only a dollar or two a month.

We had a 3-room installation (dish and 3 receivers) free after rebate. Now they commonly advertise a 4-room installation free after rebate. It costs $5/month per receiver.

No doubt depends on the company. HBO, Showtime, Starz, etc. are available with DirecTV at an extra monthly cost: $12 for the first, $11 for the second, $10 for the third, etc.

Weather doesn't Effect reception, but it sometimes Affects it. We've lost our signal 3 or 4 times in 18 months during heavy rain. But we sometimes lost our cable signal during heavy rain too.

We had Cablevision in NY, but when we moved to MI we went with DirecTV because we liked the available channels better than those available by cable from Charter.
Perce
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Sasha wrote:

I had DirectTV for a little over five years. When we got internet access via cable, I added TV and cancelled the DirectTV account.
Shortly thereafter (about ten days), I got a letter from DirectTV's lawyer accusing me of stealing DirectTV's signal via unauthorized signal decoding devices, demanding that I surrender all such devices in my posession, pay a penalty of $4,000.00, and forswear ever again stealing from their company. Further, the letter concluded, if they had to file suit, the minimum for which they would settle would be $10,000.00.
They fucked with the wrong dude - I didn't go to law school for drill.
I responded with a letter along the lines of "I suppose a blow job is out of the question?" Then I got positively mideval - pitchforks and torches time. I followed the letter with a petition for a TRO and injunctive relief in state district court. The roaches ultimately went back under the carpet.
I hope they rot in Hell.
The porn is better on satellite, though. Especially Dish Network.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
cable and satellite both suffer from digitization during action sports (NASCAR, NFL, etc) which gives you out of focus fast action, so there's that, (if the engineers of the companies are reading this, please FIX)
if you decide to go with a satellite dish, and if you are sick of the evil Bush administration, Rush Limbaugh, Fox "News" etc., then it might interest you to know that DirecTV is owned by Fox "News"
that is why I went with Dish Network at my beach house and not evil DirecTV
same reason I boycott Exxon/Mobil
still have not decided which is better between a better digital cable system and Dish network because they are at different houses so I cannot compare quality side by side.
there are pros and cons of each
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

interest
Fox News appears to be owned by Newscorp. http://www.cjr.org/tools/owners/newscorp-timeline.asp
Direct TV is owned by Hughes Electronics. " It's not known how much signal piracy costs DirecTV. On Wednesday parent company Hughes Electronics reported strong second quarter results, with $2.4 million in revenue, driven by DirecTV's subscriber growth. It ended the quarter with 11.6 million subscribers paying an average of $61 a month for service. " http://www.theregister.co.uk/2003/07/17/directv_dragnet_snares_innocent_techies /
If the two are intertwined I did not find it in my searching.
I only looked cause I worked on the LA broadcasting center for DTV. I spent almost a year there before they went on line. Never heard from anyone about Fox News. When the toping out party happened there were lots of suits from Hughes there.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
"if you decide to go with a satellite dish, and if you are sick of the evil Bush administration, Rush Limbaugh, Fox "News" etc., then it might interest you to know that DirecTV is owned by Fox "News" "
I figures some kook would turn the decision of whether to go with sat or cable into a "Bush is evil" thing. And is usual, it' based more on hatred than facts. Fox News does not own DirectTV. News Corp, the parent company of Fox News, owns about a third of DirectTV, which is a US public company. And what does Rush Limbaugh have to do with any of this? Last time I checked, he's on radio. Most of US who didn't like a particular channel just don't watch it, as there are hundreds to choose from. We didn't get all emotional about it.
As for OPs question about receiving locals in HD, with sat you need a seperate OTA antenna to receive the locals from wherevery they are being broadcast in your area. For central NJ, that would be either NYC or Phil. The only exception is, one of the two sat providers was offering CBS LA/NYC HD feed if you were qualified to receive it.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

If he decides that it is not appropriate to give his money to companies that air highly biased "news" programming, than more power to him.
Bob
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Bob, don't all satellite and cable companies carry ABC, NBC, and CBS? If so, then how can one subscribe without getting a company that airs "highly-biased" news programming?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Actually, the satellite companies do NOT carry ABC, NBC and CBS as part of their packages in this area. If you want the major networks you have to sign up for local stations, which then provide you with all of the locals, including PBS, Fox, Paxon, etc. And contrary to another posting, you don't need a special antenna for local stations -- Dish network converts them into a satellite signal and they're downloaded just like the other hundreds of channels.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
"And contrary to another posting, you don't need a special antenna for local stations -- Dish network converts them into a satellite signal and they're downloaded just like the other hundreds of channels. "
Converts HD signals into a sat signal and downloads them? What are you talking about? The HD locals are transmitted from the local stations transmitter, not a satellite. And if you get the HD eqpt package from either Direct or Dish, while they give you the necessary equipment, the locals have to be received via a seperate antenna, not the sat dish.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Bob wrote:

Uh, two recent studies, by the Pew Research Group and the Annenberg Foundation for Public Broadcasting, found Fox News to present the most balanced news reports (compared with the three major networks).
Fox News does have a couple of opinion shows (O'Reilly, etc.), but so do the majors (Ophra, Dr Phil, etc.). These shows are clearly labeled as such.
News vs. news, however, Fox is clearly more fair than the others.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

True, HeyBub.
O'Reilly is neither a Democrat or Republican. He's an independent and has often criticized policies of President Bush.
"Hannity and Colmes" - Hannity is conservative, while Colmes is liberal.
FoxNews features several liberal news analysts including Juan Williams, Mara Liasson, Susan Estrich.
Liberals Geraldo Rivera and Greta Van Susteren have their own FoxNews shows.
Those who state that FoxNews shows a high bias favoring conservatives obviously don't watch it. Instead, many let Hollywood stars do their research/thinking for them.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Sounds like smart capitalism to me. I congratulate him.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Good to know that. I may switch just to piss you off.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
arizona wrote:

We have satellite, lose signal when it storms. Neighbor's tree is almost large enough to block our signal.....I know there is hope for getting rid of Fox "News" :o)
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 07/23/05 08:37 am Norminn tossed the following ingredients into the ever-growing pot of cybersoup:

We have satellite (DirecTV), but there's nothing (besides air, clouds, etc.) between our dish and the satellites.
Nearby trees, tall buildings, etc. mean that satellite isn't going to work for everyone.
Perce
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Contrary to what they may tell you, Dishnetwork does not have local channels in HD. They told me they did and after getting a new receiver and a new dish antenna, I found out they did not have HD local channels. I must have asked the Dish person selling the service ten times if she was sure that Dish had local channels in HD. She assured me the did. I had had Dish for about five years up to that point, but cancelled it after all the lies they told me.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Related Threads

    HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.