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The W - Movies & TV - Direct TV vs Comcast
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XPacArmy
Frankfurter








Since: 13.5.03
From: Woodbridge, VA

Since last post: 297 days
Last activity: 294 days
#1 Posted on | Instant Rating: 3.89
I have a question for anyone that might be able to help, I have Comcast Digital Cable (and basically been a Comcast loyalest all my life, that counts when I had Jones cable which Comcast ate up) and Direct TV has been calling making some of what I think are some pretty good deals to have me switch over to them. SO I wanted to know if their is any reason I should stick to Comcast and not switch over to Direct TV. My Mom wants me to switch so when she comes over I will have Soap net, which Direct TV has and my local Comcast does not.

P.S. since I am a wrestling fan is their any extra wrestling that I would be able to get with switching over to Direct TV?





03-08, #4 in NFC East
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Since: 12.1.02
From: Fresno, CA

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#2 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.04
I'd stick with cable unless you're a big football fan and want to get the Sunday Ticket packaged every year.



Battlezone
Potato korv








Since: 27.2.03
From: Seattle, Washington

Since last post: 2090 days
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#3 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.24
That WWE OnDemand thing isn't on DirecTV, but is on Comcast (I think).

I hatehatehateHATE Comcast with a passion, so I'm biased, but for the most part, I've been happy with DirecTV. Of course, I had to have the NFL Sunday Ticket, so that decision was pretty much made for me, since it's not availble anywhere else.

But since I'm sure Guru will be in here shortly to tell why cable rules the known universe, let me tell you why I prefer DirecTV:

Better picture
Better sound
NFL Sunday Ticket
Massively superior customer service. And I cannot stress that enough. Really. Comcast's customer service PALES in comparison to DirecTV. Yick.
DirecTV with TiVo. Yes, I know Comcast offers a DVR system, but I am maddly addicted to my TiVo, and you should get one regardless of who you wind up with.

I will ask this, though-how does that OnDemand service work? I assumed it was something available on cable only, but Starz has recently started offering it on satellite, so I'm curious how it works...





"It's the four pillars of the male heterosexual psyche. We like naked women, stockings, lesbians, and Sean Connery best as James Bond because that is what being a [man] is." -Jack Davenport, Coupling
I was kidding about that whole "Fire Jim Tressel" thing. Really. I was.
XPacArmy
Frankfurter








Since: 13.5.03
From: Woodbridge, VA

Since last post: 297 days
Last activity: 294 days
#4 Posted on | Instant Rating: 3.89
    Originally posted by Battlezone
    That WWE OnDemand thing isn't on DirecTV, but is on Comcast (I think).


Doesn't really matter to be. I emailed my local Comcast about if they were gonna carry WWE 24/7 and they said "..at this time we don't plan to make any changes to our OnDemand service."





03-08, #4 in NFC East
BWT
Boerewors








Since: 27.1.04
From: Philly

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#5 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.76
We would have switched over to Dish years ago if it wasn't for Comcast Sports Net being cable only.
Guru Zim
SQL Dejection
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Since: 9.12.01
From: Bay City, OR

Since last post: 21 days
Last activity: 8 hours
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#6 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.81
I would recommend that you not switch to DirecTV. Of course, it is well known that I work in the Cable industry, so I am biased.

Still, knowing my bias, I think I can recommend a few things to you.

The local company (Comcast) will always have the ability to customize local content at a level that DirecTV will not. The reason for this is that your local system controls all of the channels that go to you, whereas DirecTV has a limited number of channels that they have to provide to their entire user base.

Basically, this means that local content like: 24 hour local news channels, local sports, public access television, community government, county access channels, etc. will not be available. Additionally, while local broadcast channels are generally available in most markets, there is no guarantee that smaller broadcast channels will be available. I don't have specifics on this - I don't use Satellite - but I don't think that they carry every UHF channel for every city in the country. Please correct me if I'm wrong on this.

Satellite is more likely to be affected by weather conditions than cable TV. If you live in a system that has HFC (Hybrid fiber/Coaxial) you will experience very good uptime for your services with Cable products. Satellite TV can experience rain fade or other signal issues due to birds, planes, heavy clouds, etc. Many satellite owners on this board have said this is minimal - I have heard from others that there is a real impact. From what I remember, if snow (frozen water, not snowy picture) is an issue where you live, it can cause issues with the reception pretty badly.

Dish may currently have channels that you can't get locally, but you have more chance of your local community getting something added to your cable system than you do getting the satellite company to add it to every customer. Remember, these systems are still relatively new. We'll see what happens in the long term - the bigger you are, the harder it is to change - corporate inertia. I think that over the long term cable companies will be better able to adapt to local needs.

If you like Movies on Demand or Video on Demand, right now Cable is your only choice. Currently we can get to a large library of On Demand movies through our local cable system.

Finally, some cable system include a local news data channel or video games. Right now the company I subscribe from has a channel with Solitaire, Video Poker, and something else - where they run a TV channel in a PiP sized window while you are playing. It's a pretty cool feature!

Channel line-ups are always different between local systems, but if there is something that you want to see that you don't have, make sure to call or write your cable company to request it. I would recommend writing in, because letters are easier to route to the correct people than phone calls - many times a call center rep is held accountable for talk times, so it may not be in their best interest (personal, not professional) to take the extra time to fill out a form. That's human nature though - not necessarily anything to do with any industry specifically. I always recommend a letter over a phone call.

Ask me anything you want to know about cable and I'll try to find the answer for you.

As a final note, while you may or may not be leaving a company I work for, you would definitely be joining a competitor. It's in my best interest to ask you to avoid getting satellite because each customer they get makes them stronger in the fight against my company (which as you notice I will not ever name).



Willful ignorance of science is not commendable. Refusing to learn the difference between a credible source and a shill is criminally stupid.
pieman
As young as
he feels








Since: 11.12.01
From: China, Maine

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#7 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.62

We love the DirecTV. When we built our house, cable was not an option as there was none on our road in the country. We now have had the dish for three years and have no complaints. We had previously been cable consumers for many years.

We had many, many more outages with cable than we have ever had with satellite. In three years, we may have been without the dish for a total of 15 minutes (and we live in blizzard country, USA). With cable, we were without service for a days at time. This may have changed within the last three years, but service with our cable provider was not good.

We get all the local channels on the dish (even though we live in East Overshoe, Maine), though we don't get the cable access local channel. No great loss from my standpoint.

Though Guru has lots of good reasons to tout cable, his is an admittedly biased view. My view, while of course biased, only comes from experience as a consumer.

Good luck in your choosing!




Gabba gabba hey!
Whitebacon
Boudin blanc








Since: 12.1.02
From: Fresno, CA

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#8 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.04
My limited experience with cable companies in Maine is that they mostly suck. But that was in Monson, Maine, a place where even lifelong residents of Maine have never heard of.



Battlezone
Potato korv








Since: 27.2.03
From: Seattle, Washington

Since last post: 2090 days
Last activity: 142 days
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#9 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.24
To be completely honest, had I not had such repeatedly bad experiences with cable companies in the past, I'd probably still be a customer. But I swore a couple of years ago that if I had a choice, I'd never go back. And as long as I do, I won't.

    Originally posted by Guru Zim
    If you like Movies on Demand or Video on Demand, right now Cable is your only choice. Currently we can get to a large library of On Demand movies through our local cable system.


How does this technology work? Is it content downloaded to your cable box (ala Tivo) so that you can watch it whenever? Or is it a special signal that allows for pausing/rewinding/whatever? I don't order movies on PPV, but before I got the TiVo, I was always was intrigued by the possibilities of the service,especially with the HBO OnDemand. Now that Starz is offering OnDemand for DirecTV, I might have to check it out, even though all they offer are movies at the moment.



"It's the four pillars of the male heterosexual psyche. We like naked women, stockings, lesbians, and Sean Connery best as James Bond because that is what being a [man] is." -Jack Davenport, Coupling
I was kidding about that whole "Fire Jim Tressel" thing. Really. I was.
brick
Bockwurst








Since: 17.1.02
From: Pittsburgh, PA

Since last post: 484 days
Last activity: 480 days
#10 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.14
I made the switch from Comcast to Directv about a year ago. I had Comcast Digital, they had just hiked my rate again and I wasn't getting as many of the channels that i wanted while paying about $15 more a month than Directv. Throw in Sunday ticket and it was an easy choice for me.

I have noticed a couple weather problems but they seem less frequent than on my parrents old directv system (they got it almost as soon as it came out). So that seems to be improving.
XPacArmy
Frankfurter








Since: 13.5.03
From: Woodbridge, VA

Since last post: 297 days
Last activity: 294 days
#11 Posted on | Instant Rating: 3.89
There is another topic I would like to bring up, my area Comcast is like 10 minutes from me, it is inside my local shopping center where I get my paycheck cashed and where my Giant Food is. So if I have to visit all 3 on payday they are right there. If I order Direct TV, where would they come from, I see no Direct TV store or anything around me. Do they have local buildings like Comcast or what?





03-08, #4 in NFC East
A Fan
Liverwurst








Since: 3.1.02

Since last post: 3502 days
Last activity: 3502 days
#12 Posted on | Instant Rating: 1.52
Switch to Direct TV. I just got hammered by a Comcast deal, so I am a bit bitter towards them. Direct TV does have some disadvantages, but I don't think they could be as bad as the current Comcast customer support. I would wait to see if they offer any year deals though with free installation. Just make sure you tape the conversations you have with the customer support, so when they say one thing and do the other, you can nail them. I wish I had. Also, I wouldn't expect WWE 24/7 on their service list anytime soon.



"All faith reguires is giving into the possibility of hope."
odessasteps
Scrapple








Since: 2.1.02
From: MD, USA

Since last post: 73 days
Last activity: 39 days
#13 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.41

Certainly the number one reason to get Directv is the NFL Sunday Ticket, which I believe will be exclusive now until 2012.

Personally, while I have no qualms with my cable at the moment and am happy with my cable modem, I wish I had the Dish again. If I had to rank the five channels I would most want in an a la carte universe, I do not have on my cable and would have on the dish (Boomerang and Galavision).

And this is just me, but I do not give a rat's ass about local programming. I don't care about my local government, I don't like the local sports teams, etc. In fact, I have the "local access" channels deprgrammed on my TV (along with the religious and shopping channels).

In a perfect world, I would have a cable modem and satellite TV.





Mark Coale
Odessa Steps Magazine
The Affirmation, Baby Blog
The Thrill
Banger








Since: 16.4.02
From: Green Bay, WI

Since last post: 134 days
Last activity: 22 days
#14 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.25
Catch The Thrill on "Pick of the Week": taped Tuesdays at Planet Magic in Denmark, WI; on the air Sundays @ 1 am on WB-14!

In a perfect world, I'd have DirecTV HD, DirecWay satellite Internet service...and Margaret Easley, their pitchwoman, in my house. Yeahhhhhh.

I've been w/ DirecTV for years, and have loved it. They've been carrying local channels in the Green Bay/Appleton market for about a year or so...although sometimes the video is slightly brighter than it oughta be (but that's just the picky professional in me talking.)

However, one advantage cable will have over satellite TV for the immediate future will be HD availability. Cable is more flexible in adding HD content to their lineup, and at least in the case of Time Warner cable, I think it only requires one new box or something, as opposed to hundreds of dollars of new equipment.

Plus, if your local broadcast affiliate starts offering content on multiple paths, as is possible with HD broadcasting, your cable company can deliver that to you. With satellite, you'll have to switch back to your HD tuner's antenna, and get it over-the-air...just like the cavemen did.

Of course, nobody ever thought local channels would come to satellite TV...but they did. It'll be awhile before DirecTV and Co. work out the bandwidth issues, I'll bet, but it'll come in time...too much money on the table not to.

But if you're like me and haven't gone HD yet, go Dish. But cable's better in the HDTV realm right now.



Star wipe, and...we're out.
Thrillin' ain't easy.



THE THRILL
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Guru Zim
SQL Dejection
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Since: 9.12.01
From: Bay City, OR

Since last post: 21 days
Last activity: 8 hours
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#15 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.81
    Originally posted by XPacArmy
    There is another topic I would like to bring up, my area Comcast is like 10 minutes from me, it is inside my local shopping center where I get my paycheck cashed and where my Giant Food is. So if I have to visit all 3 on payday they are right there. If I order Direct TV, where would they come from, I see no Direct TV store or anything around me. Do they have local buildings like Comcast or what?


Is it possible to pay cash for DirecTV? I'm not sure. I don't want to misstate their offerings. I know my company has local offices that you can pay at.

Remember that with cable, the local operation is the important one. I can have a wildly different experience with my local brand x cable operator than you can have with yours. The best way to find out about your local cable company is to talk with people in your community - at work or at school. In general the most vocal people are the ones that hate the cable company Well, maybe not the most vocal but the most voluminous. Someone who is happy with their cable service will have 1 minute to talk about it - someone who hates it will go on for 30 minutes. I'm not sure if this is everywhere, but it is that way here when people find out where I work.

The OnDemand technologies for Cable and Satellite are very different. I was reading up on the satellite on the other day - I'll have to try to find a link about it in a while. I don't want to misrepresent their offering, but it does not work like Cable's does.

The OnDemand service that we have is basically a client interface to a huge library of content stored at the local cable office on hard drives. I'm paraphrasing this a little, I don't know exactly how it works so look at this as a high level description only and don't treat it as authoritative. I'm sure I can find an industry link that will bore you to tears in a while. Anyway, the content is stored at the cable company - you send a communication via your box to us and we send the movie down to you. This is because cable systems are capable of two way communication. This is how you get send your PPV requests to us without needing a second phone line.

I believe that the satellite OnDemand option uses the local hard drive on your TiVo setup, and only bills you if you decide to watch the content that they are putting there. The limit to this is that you can probably only have a few movies on the TiVo part at a time. With our setup, you can choose from anything that is available in our library - we are the storage limitation, not your small hard drive. So, while they are both OnDemand, you are seeing a much smaller option on the Satellite side. Again, this is from memory and I am not an expert, please call them and ask how it works if you want to know from an authority.

Currently, the company that I subscribe from offers the following OnDemand channels with free content:

HGTV, DIY, Food Network, Comedy Central, Biography, BBC America, Cartoon / Boomerang, Golf, Oxygen, Fine Living, Court TV, National Geographic, Animal Planet, PBS Kids, Adult Swim on Demand, Speed Channel

The following Subscription Video on Demand Channels are available: HBO, Cinemax, Showtime, Starz, The Movie Channel

Finally, the following other services are available on Demand:

Music Videos On Demand (although the guide lists it as Great American Country on Demand, hmmm...), Movies on Demand (PPV), and Adult on Demand.

I don't think the satellite version will have anywhere near that amount of content available OnDemand, but I could be wrong. Please, correct me if I am. I am not an expert on what they offer by any means.





Willful ignorance of science is not commendable. Refusing to learn the difference between a credible source and a shill is criminally stupid.
Leroy
Andouille








Since: 7.2.02
From: Huntington, NY

Since last post: 3 days
Last activity: 26 min.
#16 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.63
I recently switched from Cox cable (who I DESPISE - I think their name is a deliberate misspelling on their part) to DirectTV, and I miss cable terribly. I lost a lot of local channels, plus we have regular interference problems that just drive me nuts.

About the only thing I like is that we get east coast air times for the basic cable channels. Raw airs at 6pm instead of 9pm, The Daily Show airs at 8pm and 9:30pm, etc.

I'd go back in second EXCEPT I pay considerably less with DirectTV, and frankly I watched too much TV with the cable.

(edited by Leroy on 3.12.04 1542)


"On [Election Night], the voice of the people was heard. I promise not to repeat what they said out of respect for the mentally-retarded."

--Lewis Black
Tenken347
Boudin blanc








Since: 27.2.03
From: Parts Unknown

Since last post: 3 days
Last activity: 8 hours
#17 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.36
I hear that there can be some instalation problems with satalite if you have a house. And if you have more than one t.v. in the house, you get reamed on the price of the extra reciever.
Packman V2
Bratwurst








Since: 16.3.04
From: Albuquerque, NM

Since last post: 10 days
Last activity: 19 hours
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#18 Posted on | Instant Rating: 3.46
I prefer DirecTV. But it's all preference, again Sunday Ticket is a big factor, plus we have the Tivo unit, which is awesome...the only drawbacks on DirecTV, are that a real heavy rain will break up the signal, and if you live in a rural area outside of the Neilsen markets, you don't have any access to local channels, without a cable connection or antenna. You do have the ability to get the 4 big networks, but UPN and WB aren't available yet, so I don't get SmackDown!.





GO PACK GO!!!
drjayphd
Scrapple
Moderator








Since: 22.4.02
From: Long Island

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#19 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.73
You wanted the best, you got... Out of Context Quote of the Week.

"...others say my mom sucked 3,000 dicks." (Nag)


Personally, when I move out, if I can afford to go with DirecTV and the local company's Cox, I'd go with the dish. If only for Cox's anti-satellite ads (mind-numbing at BEST)and prickish stance towards customer service. There's been a huge dust-up over their choice in sports channels (Cox swapped MSG out for YES and charged us, then used the whole "don't want to pass the expense" rationale to not give us NESN, despite the fact that out of 19 towns that Cox services here, only three DON'T get NESN... some customers have taken the fight to the Red Sox organization itself), and for some reason, they think Providence is local for central Connecticut. Most of that nifty stuff Guru gets? We don't. On-demand? Nope. DVR? Only way we get one is if we go buy one ourselves, because they ain't offering it. Reception's probably about on par with what you'd get with satellite, and oh, by the way? Should we switch, we'd cut our bill at least in half.

However, my beef's with our company, not cable in general. Different circumstances (namely, non-dickbag cable provider), maybe I'd be more satisfied. But such is the problem with not making these decisions in the household.



DEAN's Nuggets of Wisdom:

"I don't want him to die. I just want him to NEED my PEE." (as seen here)
bash91
Merguez








Since: 2.1.02
From: Plain Dealing, LA

Since last post: 744 days
Last activity: 3 days
#20 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.10
Personally, I can't envision ever going back to cable from the dish. Our personal experience over the last 8 years is that DirecTV is substantially more reliable than cable and their customer service is light years ahead of that offered by any of the cable companies with which I've had experience. Plus, DirecTV is honest, which is definitely more than I can say about our last 2 cable providers.

Tim



Vocatus atque non vocatus, Deus aderit. -- Erasmus
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