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
Is equipment free (Dish, receiver, etc.) or I have to pay rental fee as
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
Finally, how is satellite quality vs. cable? Does weather effect
I would like to hear from someone's experience who switched from cable
to satellite. I live in central NJ.
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.
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
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.
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 Now I own the outdated boxes.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
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.........
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
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.
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.
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
Fox News appears to be owned by Newscorp.
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
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
"if you decide to go with a satellite dish, and if you are sick of the
Bush administration, Rush Limbaugh, Fox "News" etc., then it might
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.
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?
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
"And contrary to another posting, you don't
need a special antenna for local stations -- Dish network converts them
a satellite signal and they're downloaded just like the other hundreds
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.
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.
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
FoxNews features several liberal news analysts including Juan
Williams, Mara Liasson, Susan Estrich.
Liberals Geraldo Rivera and Greta Van Susteren have their own FoxNews
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.
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.
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
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