Author Topic: Cable TV, Satellite TV, Internet TV... whatcha watchin'  (Read 1098 times)

Offline BrentS

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Couldn't find a separate Cable TV vs Satellite TV vs Internet TV thread to put this in so I figured I'd start a new one...

I'm a long time DirecTV subscriber (love the Sunday Ticket even if it is waaaay over priced these days, but I digress).  DirecTV just released their "Whole Home" technology upgrade that lets you watch DVR recorded programs on any TV in your house.  I know this is nothing new for U-Verse and the like; however, as I'm shackled to DirecTV (see above) this was a huge addition for me.  We just had this service hooked up and since we already had multiple DVRs in the house, we can now watch a recorded program anywhere on our three Televisions.  Ah, the joy of life, now my kids won't be fighting over the TV (Video Games vs the recorded Disney Channel shows) and my wife and I have the flexibility to change the locations where we watch our shows.  The biggest plus is now we can finally manage all those stinkin' shows at the same time and not be shackled to a single room!  TV plays a much too important place in my life, but thanks to the DirecTV Whole Room upgrade, my life just got a little easier to manage. 

Offline BillCable

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Re: Cable TV, Satellite TV, Internet TV... whatcha watchin'
« Reply #1 on: June 29, 2010, 02:43 PM »
I have FiOS.  It's cool.  Don't watch much football besides the Steelers, so once I moved back to Pittsburgh I got rid of DirecTV.  The HD on FiOS is significantly better (very little artifacting from compression compared to DirecTV).  Right now we have it hooked up to three TVs with three DVRs (one HD, two standard), but I plan to go to their whole house option probably next year.  Right now their storage capacity is a joke... just 20 hours of HD programming.  I'm waiting for a beefier model.
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Offline Morgbug

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Re: Cable TV, Satellite TV, Internet TV... whatcha watchin'
« Reply #2 on: June 29, 2010, 04:17 PM »
We're strictly old school cable.  I just haven't been able to bring myself to spend hundreds of dollars per separate receiver to make the switch to anything.  If I could get a single receiver for all the sets, then cool, but that's not how it works.  I'd be fine paying for one for the main TV but then what to do with the other three sets?  One is only a 12" set beside my computer in our den so I'm not springing for a receiver (or dish) for that.  The basement TV is the old 32" tube that only gets used a little.  I could see paying for one up in the master bedroom but even that strikes me as too much. 

I just like being able to plug into the wall and go from there.  Extra receivers, extra dishes, multiple PVRs just seem like so much of a cash grab to me.  Probably doesn't help that I watch so little TV anyway. 
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Offline Jesse James

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Re: Cable TV, Satellite TV, Internet TV... whatcha watchin'
« Reply #3 on: June 29, 2010, 04:42 PM »
HD Cable with a DVR through Comcast...  Same with net and phone.  It's a nice deal and rarely if ever have any problems (though ironically there was phone line trouble recently).
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Offline Matt_Fury

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Re: Cable TV, Satellite TV, Internet TV... whatcha watchin'
« Reply #4 on: June 29, 2010, 07:44 PM »
DirecTv....there's none better.
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Offline Nicklab

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Re: Cable TV, Satellite TV, Internet TV... whatcha watchin'
« Reply #5 on: June 29, 2010, 08:40 PM »
DirecTv....there's none better.

As a TV professional, I respectfully disagree.

Direct satellite services are always going to leave you at the mercy of the weather.  Unless you live somewhere where it never rains or snows (even the Southwest has monsoon season), you're probably going to have to deal with some kind of rain fade at one point or another.  It's just the way the technology works.  And when you actually need to know about the weather or news, there's a strong likelihood that it doesn't work.  That's what keeps me from going with any kind of DSS system for my own home.

There are also bandwidth limitations on what services like DirectTV or Dish Network can deliver when it comes to HD signals.  The HD signal requires a great deal of bandwidth for transmission.  Most HD broadcasts that you receive at home are going to max out around 720p.  So you will almost NEVER get the full HD resolution of 1080p on most broadcasts.

The systems that perform the best in terms of signal quality?  Those are the ones where fiber optic cable is being run directly into your home.  Verizon Fios is one of those services, but there are others out there.  The fiber infrastructure in your areas may vary.  Fiber does have finite bandwidth, but it's still far greater than any copper cable transmission can handle.  And fiber will not be susceptible to rain fade like a DirecTV or Dish network receiver.  I'm actually on a notification list to be alerted when Verizon Fios is available in my area.  It's a far superior system than regular cable.

My current provider is Cablevision, and they suck.  But they're a better option than DirecTV where I live.  And I'll ditch them as soon as Verizon Fios becomes available.  I'm also getting really tired of the hardware charges for a DVR.  $15 a month for a DVR receiver is just ridiculous.  It's basically standard equipment nowadays, but it seems like the cable providers are nickel & diming us for the hardware.

DVR's are a whole other issue, but I understand your frustration over the DVR capacity Bill.  Again, it's a bandwidth issue with the HD signal eating up a lot more disc space than standard def.
« Last Edit: June 29, 2010, 08:43 PM by Nicklab »
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Offline Matt_Fury

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Re: Cable TV, Satellite TV, Internet TV... whatcha watchin'
« Reply #6 on: June 30, 2010, 12:09 AM »
Nick...the only issue I've ever had was when we got a bad snow and I had to clean off the roof of the shed because it was blocking the dish.
Peacekeeper, when it absolutely, positively has to be nuked in 30 minutes or less.  Or the next nuke's free!

Offline BillCable

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Re: Cable TV, Satellite TV, Internet TV... whatcha watchin'
« Reply #7 on: June 30, 2010, 07:43 AM »
It depends on if you have an HDTV or not.  DirecTV's HD is crap.  FiOS is gorgeous.  Normal broadcast DirecTV is fine... even though I did lose signal during heavy rain or snow.
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Offline Rob

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Re: Cable TV, Satellite TV, Internet TV... whatcha watchin'
« Reply #8 on: June 30, 2010, 10:24 AM »
I had DTV for a few years and I loved it.  I lost signal when a really really bad storm would blow through, but only during the heaviest parts of it, and usually for 15 minutes tops.

Offline Chris M

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Re: Cable TV, Satellite TV, Internet TV... whatcha watchin'
« Reply #9 on: June 30, 2010, 10:33 AM »
We use Dish Network.  The only problems we've had was during a big snow when the dish was covered and occasionally a nasty thunderstorm will jack up the signal.
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Offline Rob

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Re: Cable TV, Satellite TV, Internet TV... whatcha watchin'
« Reply #10 on: June 30, 2010, 10:36 AM »
We use Dish Network.  The only problems we've had was during a big snow

I doubt you'll have to worry about that any time soon.   :)

Offline Chris M

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Re: Cable TV, Satellite TV, Internet TV... whatcha watchin'
« Reply #11 on: June 30, 2010, 10:55 AM »
True.  Just the good ol' thunderstorms.  You remember those don't you?
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Offline BrentS

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Re: Cable TV, Satellite TV, Internet TV... whatcha watchin'
« Reply #12 on: June 30, 2010, 11:17 AM »
It depends on if you have an HDTV or not.  DirecTV's HD is crap.  FiOS is gorgeous.  Normal broadcast DirecTV is fine... even though I did lose signal during heavy rain or snow.

I've been pleased with the DirecTV HD.  Granted, I've never seen the FiOS offering but comparing it to Comcast (which my parent's have) and I've been real happy.  I wonder how much influence the TV has on how well the HDTV looks.  I've got a very nice Sony Bravia LCD in my family room and the picture quality is stunning.

Offline BillCable

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Re: Cable TV, Satellite TV, Internet TV... whatcha watchin'
« Reply #13 on: June 30, 2010, 11:25 AM »
I have a Sony Bravia as well.  Used the same one with both services.  DirecTV just has tons of artifacting.  During NFL games, if they centered a shot on a player running back to the huddle after a play, everything around him would be extremely blocky.  And I remember a number of episodes of 24 where if the shot was dark (night time) that the colors would get severely compressed and blocky.  FiOS holds up much better.  There's still some occasional blockiness during fast action shots, but it's way better than DirecTV.
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"Cable is incapable of contributing anything positive to this world" - cstoj

Offline BrentS

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Re: Cable TV, Satellite TV, Internet TV... whatcha watchin'
« Reply #14 on: June 30, 2010, 12:18 PM »
I have a Sony Bravia as well.  Used the same one with both services.  DirecTV just has tons of artifacting.  During NFL games, if they centered a shot on a player running back to the huddle after a play, everything around him would be extremely blocky.  And I remember a number of episodes of 24 where if the shot was dark (night time) that the colors would get severely compressed and blocky.  FiOS holds up much better.  There's still some occasional blockiness during fast action shots, but it's way better than DirecTV.

Well due to my dependency on DTV for the Sunday Ticket, I'm unlikely to change anytime soon.  However, I am going to start paying attention to this and see what I can observe.  I have seen some artifiacting in the dark shots so I know what you refer to there.