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Digital Cable vs. Satelite T.V. ... Please help

Old 01-16-02, 03:24 PM
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Digital Cable vs. Satelite T.V. ... Please help

Well, I guess I will throw my questions into the ring. I am debating on changing from my traditional cable service.

I have a Toshiba 55 inch HDTV ready TV and I am wondering what is my best bet and deal for service. What will give me better quality picture and sound and what is better on the pocketbook. I have 3 T.V.s that I would like to have service on. And I want to look into the future for ease of use, compatabilty, upgrade possibilities. Thanks. Here are some more questions.

1. What does everyone recommend, digital cable or satelite t.v.?

2. What do people pay per month for both of these, I mean with taxes, premium cahnnels, and local channels?

3. Does anyone actuall have the Oval dish to recieve HDTV?

4. Is my understanding correct about there being like only 2 channels that are in HD, HBO and Pay Per View I think. If so, what about when certain channels show programs that are "presented in high definition by Panasonic" or whoever.

Any info would help this confuse coonsumer out. Thanks.
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Old 01-16-02, 03:33 PM
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Cable HD available only in limited areas.

Yes, you have to have ther oval dish to get HD over satellite.

If go the satellite route then you will need an HD sat box to decode which will also decode terrestrial (airwave local broadcast HDTV) if your city broadcasts it and you have an antenna.

No, there currently is not much out there currently in HD - Superbowl will not even be HD this year like it was last year.

Satellite generally a little less expensive than cable per month but need more equipment (oval multi-sat dual LNB dish ~$150, combiner ~$70, HD decoder box $450-900).

There are better Internet forums to ask this question: avsforum.com, dbsforums.com, hometheaterspot.com to name a few.
 
Old 01-16-02, 03:37 PM
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Go with satellite.

Digital cable is a big dissapointment. For one, the only channels that are digital are the premium channels. The rest are the same old analog channels you are watching now. Two, 9/10 times you will get a crappy cable box that has no s-video or digital audio output. Three, no HDTV support. It also looks like a** on my 55" HDTV.

Satellite has much better picture and audio and you can get state of the art boxes(even with TIVO built in). The service packages are comparable to cable subsrciptions.
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Old 01-16-02, 03:47 PM
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I switched to Direct TV from regular cable nearly 5 years ago and have never regretted it. Although I do not have exact figures at work I believe my bill is about the same as I paid for cable except with DSS I have two TV's hooked up and I get many, many more channels.

Good luck!

Last edited by Brian Shannon; 01-16-02 at 04:10 PM.
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Old 01-16-02, 03:56 PM
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Thanks for the additional forums to check out. The reason I posted here is because I feel more comfortable with the people and I know that this has been a hot, talked about topic. Does anyone know what the difference is in cost between the two? I mean it sounds like wveryone would agree to get the dish, but I am curious. Please continue to comment so that I may gather more info. The more info, research the easier it is to convince the wife. Thanks.
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Old 01-16-02, 04:22 PM
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It's difficult to make a precise cost comparison because there are so many channels available on the dish; I initially switched from cable to DirecTV because the local cable channel wouldn't carry the History Channel. I had to have that channel. The thing to do is get a list of the various packages from cable and dish and mark the channels you must have. Then compare the prices of the various packages that include what you want.
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Old 01-16-02, 05:06 PM
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Originally posted by Mammal
The thing to do is get a list of the various packages from cable and dish and mark the channels you must have. Then compare the prices of the various packages that include what you want.

Is there a list somewhere out there that is a side to side comparison between digital cable, DirecTV and Dish Network?
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Old 01-16-02, 05:29 PM
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Dish = bad because only 1 HDTV decoder box on market
DirecTV = good b/c many HDTV decoder boxes available

Dish likely being bought out by DirecTV anyway

DirecTV costs minimum $31 per month, $5 per month extra for local channels but you will want to use an external antenna to get your local HDTV anyway.

DirecTV will throw in Showtime for 6 months free with 1-year contract

There are literally thousands of retailers selling DirecTV packages of equipment so you will have to shop around.

If looking for a package deal try to get the oval dual-satellite dish (necessary for HD) installed with as many rooms as you need, try to get a free install and cheap/free hardware if you can. Then you simply go buy the HD decoder box(es) of your choice.

There is HD available on AT&T digital cable but only in limited markets, not recommended.

Look at the links I showed you for more info.
 
Old 01-16-02, 05:45 PM
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DirecTV is adjusting their programming on February 1 - nothing earth shaking, but it will be a little different.
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Old 01-16-02, 05:52 PM
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Originally posted by Gomez


DirecTV costs minimum $31 per month, $5 per month extra for local channels but you will want to use an external antenna to get your local HDTV anyway.

So this means that I may have a use for that ugly unattractive 40 foot tall antenna and tower that is in my backyard, and a constant reminder on 1960s and 1970s T.V.

Thanks for the help, I will check out those other forums.
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Old 01-16-02, 05:57 PM
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Originally posted by Gomez
Dish = bad because only 1 HDTV decoder box on market
DirecTV = good b/c many HDTV decoder boxes available

Dish likely being bought out by DirecTV anyway.
Just a couple of corrections here. First, the fact that there is only one Dish HD receiver doesn't necessarily make it "bad". What matters is the quality of the unit (which, in the case of the Dish HD receiver, is very good). And second, you have your details backwards. DirecTV is not purchasing Dish Network. Dish Network (really Echostar) is attempting to purchase DirecTV.
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Old 01-17-02, 03:26 PM
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Originally posted by Skrulnik



Is there a list somewhere out there that is a side to side comparison between digital cable, DirecTV and Dish Network?

Here's a site with some good info and a comparison chart between DISH and DirecTV:

http://www.qtm.net/~trowbridge/DBSintro.htm
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Old 01-17-02, 03:38 PM
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Originally posted by Mammal
DirecTV is adjusting their programming on February 1 - nothing earth shaking, but it will be a little different.
huh? what are the changes going to be? More channels???
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Old 01-17-02, 06:05 PM
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From BuggyBoyCA at tivocommunity.com:

Total Choice w/locals $37.99 w/o locals $31.99

Total Choice Plus w/locals $39.99 w/o locals $35.99
TC+ contains everything in the Family Pak +
Discovery Home & Leisure
Discovery Wings

Total Choice Premier (replaces TC Platinum & includes former Family Pack + Sports Pack) $85.99 w/locals $81.99 w/o locals.

Premium packages
1 - $12
2 - $22
3 - $31
4 - $39
5 - $46
(The 5 premium tiers will be HBO, Cinemax, Showtime Unlimited, Starz/Encore superpak & sports regionals.)

Sports Pack (RSN's) will be considered a Premium package and go up to $12. If you want it better get it now & get grandfathered.

New Channels coming
371 - Church Channel (TC)
369 - Daystar (TC)
810 - Music Choice Body & Soul (TC+)
809 - Music Choice Classic R&B (TC+)
807 - Music Choice For Kids Only (TC+)
820 - Music Choice Rock Hits (TC+)
821 - Music Choice Showcase II (TC+)

SpeedVision changes name to Speed Channel.

This is a snip of the DBS Forums post: http://www.dbsforums.com/ubb/ultima...ic&f=1&t=001699
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Old 01-20-02, 07:38 PM
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Digital Cable prices vary greatly, especially if it's a new roll out. Right now I have Time Warner Digital Cable with every channel they offer and it is 76 bucks a month (multi-channel HBO-Showtime-cinemax-starz-encore), plus a hand full of other movie channels. All told about 30 I think.

Satillite: Some things to consider is that in a family setup (multiple tvs) you pay 5 bucks a month for every tv in addition to the primary. With digital cable you get standard (60 some odd channels) for free. Also the inital outlay of money for satillite is something else to consider (twc is all inclusive) but every channel will be digital whereas twc is a hybrid.

If you want a list of channels check out tv.yahoo.com they got almost every cable provider and their digital offering.
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Old 01-22-02, 04:56 AM
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You had asked for price...I pay 49/month thru DISH for the usual mess of channels + local network + 2nd TV + HBO. Local digital cable would be the same price for less..but my cable neighbor also has four TVs.
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