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High Definition TV (DirecTV, Dish Network, or Metrocast ?)

Post in 'DIY and General non-hearth advice' started by cncpro, Sep 30, 2008.

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  1. cncpro

    cncpro New Member

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    Anybody have advice for the best HDTV package out there ?

    This summer my 15 year old 27" Magnavox started smoldering while I was watching it and has been replaced with a 46"1080P Samsung which nearly brought tears of joy the first time I saw a Blu-Ray movie on it.

    So anyway, I've been procrasintating upgrading to High def programming but my eyes are just about bleeding when I try to watch regular cable tv on this HD television.

    So...

    Who has the best package ?

    I don't buy premium channels (like Cinemax or HBO) or PPV. I just want to have a great selection of regular channels in the best quality possible.

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  2. corn4myheat

    corn4myheat New Member

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    I get a much better picture on my DLP Mitsubutshi 50 " from Direct than from Dish Network or Comcast Cable.
    But for a realy great HD picture I get a much better picture right off the air if it is broadcasted locally.. ;-)
  3. gpcollen1

    gpcollen1 Minister of Fire

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    DirecTV has the most HD channels. Only problem is that installation is usually backlogged a bit early in football season due to everyone wanting it installed for the football package. TV is also expensive these days for sure...
  4. FatttFire

    FatttFire Member

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    This is kind of funny, b/c my buddy is going through the same thing! He just got Direct TV, then his TV took a dive. SO he went out bought new TV, the picture makes your eyes bleed with out HD signal. SO he called Direct TV, they told him atleast a month if not longer, and the new HD box that he will need is $250.00! So after all the hassel he wishes he just stuck with cable. Cable is also cheaper in the long run that any satilite. Hope this helps you out!

    Also in my opinion................. I hate the dish on the roof, looks like crap. Also they need to run a different wire for sat. so I see them running on the outsides of houses. If I ever got satilite and didn't know they ran it through my wall and on the outside, then came home and saw that I would be fumming! >:-(
  5. Adios Pantalones

    Adios Pantalones Minister of Fire

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    Ever see the comercial gameshow: "You might think that Direct TV has mor HD programming than Comcast, but you're wrong"


    I dunno who has more. I have Comcast and am happy with it.
  6. jbroich

    jbroich New Member

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  7. Redox

    Redox Minister of Fire

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    We ended up replacing the 'ol 27 last month with a new Samsung LED DLP set. WOW, whatta' picture... Now that FIOS package is starting to look attractive. Anybody try FIOS yet? I hate paying for TV...

    Chris
  8. bluefrier

    bluefrier Feeling the Heat

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    Directv has more HD channels (atleast in the baltimore market), Better picture, more package options, and Best of all # 1 in customer satisfaction.
    Yeah, it goes out in a major thunder storm every now and then but that's the way satellite technology works. I had the option to get "free" cable
    but chose to pay for directv. Dish Network is OK too but Directv just have more options (nfl ticket, nascar hotpass, etc....)
  9. ScottF

    ScottF New Member

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    I have over the air free signal. Antenna in the attic. One of the best quality HD pictures of all the options. The cable and satellite companys compress the signals and they are not near as good. And I hate to pay for tv.
  10. lobsta1

    lobsta1 Member

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    I've had FIOS for two years. One thing to remember about Verizon is that they will charge you for EVERYTHING. If you sneeze, they will find a way to
    charge you. I don't have HD as I refuse to pay extra for the HD box. Last I checked it was $12.95 per tv. Their video on demand menu is the most awkward
    to maneuver through. One thing that we really hate is that when you look at their tv guide or look for info on a show, most of the time the cast is not included
    in the listing. C'mon, that is basic info. If I want to find out who is in a movie, I have to google it. I don't have their DVR, but have heard that it is a joke.
    Al

    P.S. I am a Verizon retiree.
  11. Redox

    Redox Minister of Fire

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    The deal killer for me and FIOS was that they want to get rid of your copper and there's no going back. Right now, if I were sufficiently motivated, I could move my DSL and voice to another provider. If I get FIOS, I'm stuck with Verizon till the end of time. Just imagine if your cable company forced you to move your phone service to them and then took the copper off your house. I won't do it! Those that have tell me the TV is great, but still....

    Rant off

    I'm still using C-band (big ugly dish) digital. The picture is great and works in the worst of storms, but I don't have HD. I would have to buy another box and still only get Discovery and a few premium channels in HD. It's not worth it to me. I have found that my BUD digital is a LOT clearer than Scamcast's digital, probably due to all the compression.

    I did watch the Olympics in HD and that was nice.

    Chris
  12. granpajohn

    granpajohn Minister of Fire

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    Scott, can you compare the analog/digital signal availability? I explain/expound:
    - I have had a digital radio for about a year. It offers very poor reception compared to the analog signals coming from the same tower/antenna. As you've been told, the signal is either in or out. No scratchy fuzz, etc. This is very annoying. When it works it's great.
    - If DTV is at all similar, my family has seen their last football game. (And, since I hate TV, there will be no cable/sat in my budget. Wife hates being Amish, but this is one place I put my foot down.)
    - My analog reception is very poor even with my outdoor antenna. I would be willing to install a different antenna if it would work. I believe that the problem is RFI because it varies so much.

    -So the question: Did you have good analog pictures before you tried the digital? Or, did the digi signal actually improve the situation? (This would bust the GranpaJohn doctrine: "nothing ever gets better")

    edit: BTW, I do recommend the HD Radio for the programming, at least for the time being. e.g. in Balto I like 98 Rock HD-2, all classic rock, no commercials (for some reason). In DC it's always Blugrass Country on 88.5-2. The reason I, and many others, bought into HD
  13. ScottF

    ScottF New Member

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    Grandpapa John, Overall to answer your question I would have to say that your doctrine is absolutely true in this case. The analog signals are much stronger and more consistent than the digital signals. We are about 40 miles as the crow flies from the major Boston antennas in Needham MA. Some rugged terrain in between. Of the 10 stations that we get total analog with decent reception, I would say that about 6 come in digital. However they are not always the same stations. It depends on the weather. Some nights we get a station digital and some we dont. Some times they are on strong and 15 minutes later they pixelate. The excetption is about 3 stations which we always get irregardless. I called all the major stations to see if they are going to turn up the power and they are not. They are at full capacity. I guess the analog signals are able to bounce around obstuctions and the digital are not. So you are completey correct the digital change will overall be for the worse and not for the better. I have tried bigger / better/ higher antennas, boosters but nothing improves our situation. For us we only watch the 3 major networks. ABC ,CBS . NBC so this is not a problem. Of the 3 we get 2 all the time and 1 on a different antenna. The digital signals go in layers and we have a 2nd antenna at a different height . I use an A B switch. For most this is a P I T A but for me it is like heating with wood. I dont care how much work I have to do as long as I dont have to pay the oil man.

    If you have bad analog signal you will not get digital. If you have great analog signal you might get digital. I did lots of work and research to make this better and could only improve it marginally. Hope this helps
  14. granpajohn

    granpajohn Minister of Fire

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    One thing I should mention about the power output is that the radio stations have, in fact, improved their signals in the past year.

    On some other radio/tv forum, it was posted that the TV stations often drop the power to their digi signal in order to make alterations or repairs. They say they expect to keep this up almost to the last minute.

    WRT both the radio (which will remain analog in the future), and TV (which will not), I intuitively felt that power into the analog side generally means less so to the digital side.

    My actual distance to transmitter isn't that bad; 25 miles +/- so I would like to get a digi receiver and play around with it.
  15. Redox

    Redox Minister of Fire

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    I have been playing around with the outdoor antenna and rotator on our new TV and basically, if you can't get a decent signal on analog, you will not get anything on digital. Some TVs are better in the OTA department than others, but if you are used to a snowy picture, then forget it on digital. From where I sit outside the beltway, I can get the powerhouses (11 and 13, 2 is a little difficult because of the lower frequency) but you have to be pointed directly at a UHF station to pull it in. I could probably make do with rabbit ears, but that would look funny on a 50 inch TV :roll:

    There's a cool tool on http://www.antennaweb.org/aw/Welcome.aspx that lets you find out where the transmitter is and your bearing in relation to it. Just punch in your ZIP code; you don't need to put your address and pnone number, unless you want to be put on a spam list. It ranks the stations by the expected signal strength and helps you pick an antenna for the channels you want to get. All disclaimers apply, of course; I haven't found all of the stations I am supposed to be getting.

    Sorry to derail the post, CNC!

    Chris
  16. cncpro

    cncpro New Member

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    No worries.

    Thanks to all who have weighed in on this.

    We decided to give the cable company a shot at it since there is zero risk/commitment/investment.

    Paying an additional $24/month for DVR box (had no box at all before) and their complete HD digital package.

    If it doesn't work out I think DirectTV is next on the list but so far so good with cable.
  17. bluefrier

    bluefrier Feeling the Heat

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    Friends don't let friends watch cable.
  18. Murphy

    Murphy New Member

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    We have signed up for Time Warner Cable which includes the box. With cable we get the phone service and three phones, internet and HD Digital Cable TV - about 25 stations, some are music. They run specials all of the time. Our cost for the three is $107.00 but can vary depending on extras you may want.
  19. Cazimere

    Cazimere Member

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    I called directv about getting HD added to my service 3 weeks ago. They said $200 for new dish, receiver and installation.
    I said no. 2 weeks ago my tv died so i bought a RCA hd flat screen tv. Called directv again. I was told no installation fee,
    just 9.99 a month. I said do it. The tech is supposed to be here this am : )
  20. Cazimere

    Cazimere Member

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    Still waiting ............
  21. Cazimere

    Cazimere Member

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    Still waiting..............
  22. Doing The Dixie Eyed Hustle

    Doing The Dixie Eyed Hustle Minister of Fire

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    I hope your not waiting for the Geek Squad on that install :smirk:
  23. Cazimere

    Cazimere Member

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    I was scheduled for 8 to 12 am. They called at 11:30 to say they were running late. They would be here between 12 & 4.
    3:45 i get a call. They will surely be here by 6 pm. Tech arrived at 8 pm. Didn't have the proper pipe fittings to mount the new dish.
    Tells me i will have to reschedule. NO ****ING WAY !!! I find a pipe in my shed that with a little cutting, drilling and grinding will attach
    to the existing pole and accept the dish. 9:30 the dish is up and the receiver is installed. 9:45 i am towing aforementioned tech's van
    out of soft ground i had previously warned him not to drive through.
    I lost a day of work for nothing. HD is nice but they need to work on their scheduling.
    I wonder. Should i send them a bill ?
  24. stee6043

    stee6043 Minister of Fire

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    I picked up the DirecTV service with an HD-DVR back in February. I've been very pleased with the service and the price is much better than our local cable company. I'm not sure we'll ever survive without a DVR from here on out.

    Contrary to others experience I found the DirecTV installer to be very good. He launched himself up about 30 feet to my roof to install the "massive" HD dish in the middle of winter. I was pretty impressed. Took him about two hours...
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