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Old 01-12-2008, 08:16 PM
 
Location: Stillwater, Oklahoma
16,300 posts, read 13,787,407 times
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Because satellite offers much more in the way of HDTV channels, I've been thinking of switching from cable to satellite. At first glance satellite seems a better value than cable. My cable service only offers around 9 non-local HDTV channels. Satellite offers dozens more.

Has anyone tried switching to satellite and was well impressed with the results?
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Old 01-12-2008, 08:49 PM
 
Location: Jonquil City (aka Smyrna) Georgia- by Atlanta
16,248 posts, read 21,610,923 times
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I switched over 10 years ago. Was one of DirecTVs first 1000 customers. I am now with Dish but I am totally happy.
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Old 01-12-2008, 08:49 PM
 
312 posts, read 986,068 times
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I'm impressed with satellite. Well... kind of impressed. It's definitely cheaper than the cable available around here. I'm paying around $50 per month for all the channels I could have ever wanted, which, compared to $45 per month for just 40 channels on cable is a great deal. The signal does go out occasionally with the rain and snow but that's probably because the dish hasn't been properly aligned.

I don't know about US satellite TV providers; I haven't heard anything horribly bad about DirecTV or Dish Network, but I have Bell ExpressVu and other than problems with reliability (as I said above) and not so great customer support, I'm glad I went with satellite.
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Old 01-12-2008, 09:59 PM
 
Location: Blackwater Park
1,715 posts, read 6,434,759 times
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We had Dish Network until a year ago, and I wish we were still with them. We left because they didn't pay us a rebate we were promised when we signed on. It bothered my wife more than me.

We have Comcast cable now, and I just don't like it as much. The picture and channels are about the same, but I prefer the Dish interface.

Here's my generic thoughts on cable vs. satellite...

Cable pros:
- often good first year rates if a new customer
- no annual contracts
- cancel at any time without penalty
- On Demand service
- most people experience few outages (although we experienced more w/cable than sat)

Satellite pros:
- more HD channels (despite what cable commercials say)
- often better rates
- better DVRs
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Old 01-12-2008, 10:07 PM
 
Location: Fort Worth, Texas
10,739 posts, read 32,110,631 times
Reputation: 6803
I am with Directv and I have been for more then 10 years. I changed from cable.

If you count up the channels, you get more for your money with Directv. They also have the capability for more channels with the satelites they have in the sky at this time.

My Mother has dish and I don't like it.

I have had the same satelite dish up on my house right through 4 hurricanes and it never had a problem. Its not even really noticeable where it is either.

The only thing I HATE is that Directv no longer works with the new Tivo units. They have their own DVRS which are horrible in quality. I recently purchased a used Tivo unit over Ebay which will work with Directv. The programming of the Tivo is just superior to the DVRS that Directv now has.
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Old 01-13-2008, 06:39 PM
 
Location: East Tennessee
3,926 posts, read 10,412,011 times
Reputation: 5225
We currently use Verizon FIOS (bundled services for phone, internet, and TV). In years past, we had Directv and Brighthouse Cable for TV. I thought the cable television service was really the best for picture and reception, but that was two years ago. I think it depends on your location, too. Living in Tampa where storms are frequent, we often lost reception with Directv. We've had no problems with Verizon FIOS yet, though the charges for this and that are just ridiculous.
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Old 01-14-2008, 02:17 AM
 
Location: Ocean Shores, WA
5,081 posts, read 13,132,578 times
Reputation: 10691
We have Dish network.

We get about 280 channels, plus HBO, Showtime, Starz, and Cinemax which adds about 15 more. A lot of channels are HD.

The DVR quality is good, especially when you record an HD channel.
You can record one program and watch another one, or you can record two programs and watch a recorded one.

The DVR can connect to your computer via Ethernet. You can also connect an external USB HD to transfer recorded material from the DVRs internal drive.

I haven't tried it, but I expect that if you can transfer to an external HD, you could also burn to a DVD if you wanted to.

We pay about $115 a month.
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Old 01-14-2008, 08:05 PM
 
Location: Palm Coast, FL & Floral Park, NY
563 posts, read 2,338,246 times
Reputation: 211
I think it depends on your location. At the house my fiancee is renting in Queens, NY, we have Time warner cable. This service for cable stops at end of NYC jurisdiction and Cablevision picks up. A friend out on Long Island has Verizon Fios which is trying to make a push into the areas. I was not impressed with its quality, signal, etc. I am in Northeast FL and I have Brighthouse Cable. My parents have the dish. Dish was a better deal than Directv so they went with dish, although the prices have been climbing. I got sick of paying cable for nothing ever on tv so I pay them 15 bucks a month for basic local channels. If theres nothing on, the tv goes off. At first it was tough but I got over it. My neighbor had a problem with DirecTv. He wanted local HD channels (ours are Orlando stations) and upgraded his dish on DirecTvs recommendation. THen a third party contractor comes out to install it and after installing it, surprise surprise, he does not get local channels. The installer says they do not provide it. So my neighbor tells him to take it down and then had to figure out the situation with them.

My suggestion...if local HD channels are your main concern, go get an HD antenna and hook it up. THey are relatively cheap and pretty powerful. You can pick up all your local HD channels for free. If non HD channels are what you are seeking, keep in mind cable tends to manipulate/filter bandwith so this may affect HD quality, although most will not notice the degredation. It also could depend on your tv/set-top box combination. This could potentially also affect the channels they provide depending on where you live. Satellite may be the way to go for your HD needs.
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Old 01-15-2008, 12:00 PM
 
Location: Utah
5,032 posts, read 14,669,483 times
Reputation: 5069
Just got my cable bill.....$92 for the digital classic package. I compared the channels to that of Dish Networks 250 and Dish would be significantly cheaper. I have no premium channels, nor do I want any. I have a dual tuner DVR and my friend who has Dish loves hers, so switching from cable to Dish shouldn't be that hard of a transition. I'm leery about the signal making it through my trees. My backyard (south) is entirely tree lined. I wonder if you sign up in winter when the trees are bare if they'll let you out of your contract in spring if the trees block the signal. I need to look into this.

Thanks for your posts.
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Old 01-15-2008, 12:50 PM
 
Location: New Zealand
1,872 posts, read 5,838,614 times
Reputation: 5575
I used to hear vague complaints about losing satellite signals in any kind of bad weather, but have found out through first-hand experience (with DirecTV) that it's mostly a myth. If you lose satellite signal frequently, it may have more to do with proper setup/alignment than with the weather. We live in the mountains at 9,000 feet elevation, in a place that gets about 200" of snow every winter, immense mountainous thunderstorms in the summer, and wind gusts of 80+mph from time to time. Haven't had the signal go out once.
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