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emodspitfire
emodspitfire New Reader
8/22/10 11:21 a.m.

Folks,

I am about to dump comcast cable tv due to high cost and crappy service.

However.......I have heard that Direct TV and Dish network can be dicey as well... (These are the only 2 alternate providers in my area)

Has anyone else done the value search on these providers?

What was your conclusion(s)?

Thanks,

Rog

wcelliot
wcelliot Reader
8/22/10 11:30 a.m.

I went the other direction... from Dish to Comcast. About 5 years ago... so some of my Dish info may be outdated.

The picture quality and flexibility is much better and my Comcast boradband has been great.

The main thing that I missed was the great Dish DVR... about 2 years ago Comcast released a DVR that's even better. They haven't been overly reliable (I'm on my 4th set) but great performing until they break.

Comcast has been very aggessive with HD programming and has a huge selection of free on demand tv shows and movies... as well as PPV on demand stuff.

Yes, the cost is pretty high, but I'm satisfied with the value proposition.

I would not be as happy with basic Comcast (which I think is way too expensive for what you get).

Bill

ignorant
ignorant SuperDork
8/22/10 11:31 a.m.

I had DirecTV and loved it. I only switched when comcast came in and gave me a years worth of service @ 50% off to trade in my dish.

They're service and quality was always better than than cable. Prices were much better as well.

integraguy
integraguy Dork
8/22/10 11:56 a.m.

I got Dish for my folks a few years ago.

So far, the biggest problems have been the result of my father hitting the wrong button(s) on the remote and losing the picture, and moving service from 1 address to another. In the case of getting the picture back, when we had to call customer service....well, it was "hit or miss". Sometimes you get a person who's 2nd or even 3rd language is English, sometimes you get "other" help. When my folks changed addresses this year, the guy who installed the original dish and wiring "moved" everything BUT Dish would not move the actual service because I hadn't requested/approved the move.

So, Dish...their customer service rates a 7 on a scale of 10, the picture? as good as cable and doesn't go out as often....at least where my folks live, and costs less....for basic. However, the BASIC Dish is very basic, so costs may be nearly equal for programming.

ComCast....these folks don't seem to know the meaning of customer service, no matter what their tv ads say.

Toyman01
Toyman01 Dork
8/22/10 12:08 p.m.

Had comcast until they pissed me off. Now have Direct TV. Works good. Price is OK. The only thing I wish they did is a-la-carte programing. Of the 200+ channels I watch about 6. The only issue is losing service during bad thunderstorms. Usually for less than a few minutes, but can be annoying at times.

DILYSI Dave
DILYSI Dave SuperDork
8/22/10 1:27 p.m.

Currently looking at voting "None of the Above"

Phase 1 was netflix on Wii. That is working well. Phase 2 is OTA locals and a HTPC. I really wish there was an easy button here, but I'm not finding it.

Hocrest
Hocrest Reader
8/22/10 3:06 p.m.

Another thing to keep in mind on pricing is with both Sat providers there is a $5 charge per TV. Even if you have a TV that doesn't get used much and you just want basic channels. I was helping my step mother price out the switch to satellite for her place in Florida, with cable they have one HD box that gives them everything and 5 TV's with no box and just basic channels.

With satellite, that would be another $25 for those TV's...

Now some cable providers are requiring a box for each TV, so that would eliminate that difference.

f86sabjf
f86sabjf Reader
8/22/10 3:41 p.m.

Satisfied Dish customer here for about 12yrs after a major customer service issue with our local cable company. the technology is getting better every year . I bet i dont lose my picture more than 5times a year . Usually thats a pretty bad t-storm. A tech once told me that the cloud had to be over 50,000ft tall to block a signal.

integraguy
integraguy Dork
8/22/10 4:25 p.m.

With REALLY bad storms, you MAY lose the signal no matter who provides the programming. However, when "the cable goes out" you are usually in for a wait of several hours or days. When the satelite loses the signal, and it does happen, you can sometimes get A PICTURE, by changing channels, plus it never usually goes out for extended periods.

VanillaSky
VanillaSky HalfDork
8/22/10 8:07 p.m.

What about other options? Are you in Verizon or ATT territory? Does one of them offer TV service? I have ATT U-Verse, and it costs only slightly more than cable for significantly more channels, a DVR, and 3 times the internet speed.

I was actually the first house on U-Verse in my town when they lit the fiber. I don't have fiber all the way to my NID, but it's fiber up to about 1700 feet away. Service has only gone down once in the 8 or so months we've had it. That was because they didn't remove all of the bridge taps prior to my first install. They pulled that bridge tap out and the tech came over and tested, and told me that I had the highest sync rate he'd ever seen.

So anyway, what I'm getting at, is are there options other than just Dish, Direct, and Comcast?

emodspitfire
emodspitfire New Reader
8/23/10 5:10 a.m.

Folks,

Thanks for all the input.

My only choices are Comcast, Dish and DirectTV.

Probably gonna switch to Direct TV...

Rog

ddavidv
ddavidv SuperDork
8/23/10 5:48 a.m.

I've been with DirecTV for a long time. I'm one of their best salespeople now, I think. I dumped cable years ago and couldn't be happier. The picture quality is a hundred times better, even with older TVs. The storm outages are only minor annoyances; 5-15 minutes at most which I've learned to live with. Cost (without added movie or sports channels) is almost the same as Crapcast cable where I live. Customer service has always been excellent the few times I've needed it and they speak English. I too wish you could pick channels ala carte but I don't think the technology or demand is quite there yet. I don't care about HD channels since all my TVs are too old. By the time I care HD will probably be standard on every channel.

VanillaSky
VanillaSky HalfDork
8/23/10 7:26 a.m.

DirecTV has a customer service support center in Durant, OK. I'm not sure if it's pure sales or if they tech there as well, but if they tech there, then you'll get pretty alright tech support. I worked for the company that contracts out to them under a different account in a different call center. The were pretty anal retentive that you got your issue resolved the first time and that you didn't HAVE to call back again.

I would probably go with DirecTV if those were my options. I'd have to cut down my neighbor's trees in order to get service with any satellite provider or I'd potentially consider them. Shame ATT doesn't offer their U-Verse internet service separate from their TV service, because I'd think about cutting some old trees down :p

failboat
failboat New Reader
8/23/10 8:00 a.m.

I don't blame you, I hated comcast when it was my only cable option too.

Now Fios is available all over my area and its much better than Comcast in my experience.

When I buy a house in a few months though, I think we are going to see if we can live without cable and satellite and just utilize netflix and other services like hulu to get our programming fix. If I get the desktop computer hooked up to the tv it just might work fine.

DoctorBlade
DoctorBlade Reader
8/23/10 9:06 a.m.

See, now I haven't had a problem with Comcast here. Dish Providers, on the other hand, while having great CSR's universally stink when it comes to actual reception. In Louisville, KY we'd have it go out in all types of weather: from just a windy day to massive thunderstorms to light drizzle. Techs came out three or four time and eventually gave up. Back in MS, we've had both Dish and DirectTV and lost signals in anything above a light drizzle. The only concern for Cable here is if the guy a couple of yards over is going to cut the cable again. :)

We are on the verge of getting U-Verse, but I'm not going back to AT&T for anyone. I'd love FIOS, but we're not on the list for that until after the Second Coming I imagine.

VanillaSky
VanillaSky HalfDork
8/23/10 9:18 a.m.

Are your problems with ATT service related or customer service related? If it's service related, do consider that even in a non-FTTH area, your loop length is gonna cap out around 2,000 feet for service. Your VRAD will likely be literally on your street, maybe on the street over. It isn't DSL where you have to hit a CO or a boundry box with a DSLAM installed. My internet speed is provisioned as 18Mb/s. I regularly see 2.5MB/s in actual usage, which is closer to 25Mb/s. And that's not dealing with the speed boost that cable companies will give you for the first bit of a download or when you're running a speed test. That's actual, usable speeds. I've hit that in torrent downloads. I've never had anything better than .5MB/s on cable.

joey48442
joey48442 SuperDork
8/23/10 9:21 a.m.

I'm happy with directtv, mainly cause it's not comcast, whom I hate. So many tines comcast promised a discounted bill for troubles but never delivered. I lost cable monthly. Haven't lost satellite yet and had it about a year. My dvr is now much smaller than the one with comcast, but it's still full of stuff I will never get around to watching. Picture is ok. Price is 2/3 for double the channels.

Joey

fastEddie
fastEddie Dork
8/23/10 12:10 p.m.
DILYSI Dave wrote: Currently looking at voting "None of the Above" Phase 1 was netflix on Wii. That is working well. Phase 2 is OTA locals and a HTPC. I really wish there was an easy button here, but I'm not finding it.

Same here. We ditched DirecTV last month and haven't watched anything other than the occasional movie from the library since. Of course its summer now and there isn't much on so I'm in the middle of installing an OTA antenna right now and eventually will add a nettop device for streaming and DVR'ing for the coming fall season. When I get my antenna install done I'll post the results.

friedgreencorrado
friedgreencorrado SuperDork
8/23/10 1:39 p.m.
fastEddie wrote:
DILYSI Dave wrote: Currently looking at voting "None of the Above" Phase 1 was netflix on Wii. That is working well. Phase 2 is OTA locals and a HTPC. I really wish there was an easy button here, but I'm not finding it.

Same here. We ditched DirecTV last month and haven't watched anything other than the occasional movie from the library since. Of course its summer now and there isn't much on so I'm in the middle of installing an OTA antenna right now and eventually will add a nettop device for streaming and DVR'ing for the coming fall season. When I get my antenna install done I'll post the results.

And another. Haven't had cable or sat for about 5yrs now. XBox talks to Netflix, computer talks to tv networks. Weird side affect-SHMBO & myself both find our favorite TV shows are actually from overseas. She likes "Bleach" and "Naruto Shippuden" (Japan), and I like Top Gear. She can usually find the new episodes subtitled within three or four days of the Japanese air date, and I can usually find Top Gear the following morning after it's been broadcast in the UK.

Only thing I miss at all is TCM.

poopshovel
poopshovel SuperDork
8/23/10 1:55 p.m.
I really wish there was an easy button here, but I'm not finding it.

Light your TV on fire and throw it out the window.

mtn
mtn SuperDork
8/23/10 9:49 p.m.
lizard wrote:
poopshovel wrote:
I really wish there was an easy button here, but I'm not finding it.
Light your TV on fire and throw it out the window.

Gets difficult to justify if one spent $2k (or more) on one of them hugemongous ginormous flat screens...

Sell TV, buy miata. Done.

neon4891
neon4891 SuperDork
8/23/10 11:02 p.m.

I'm gonna really love my dvd colection when I move out and lose sat-tv.

z31maniac
z31maniac SuperDork
8/24/10 8:30 a.m.

Ditched cable all together back in May, we use the crap out of Netflix/web/etc, we built an HTPC for the living room.

Spend a lot less time endlessly flipping through the channels like a zombie. That's worth it right there, instead of sitting in front of the TV, mrs z31 and myself will make an adult beverage and sit on the patio.

Only thing I mss is F1/WRC, but if I'd just start using my account at a certain torrent site I could alleviate that.

Still a bit iffy on using the torrents since I never have before and am worried I'll get busted by Cox for excessive bandwidth or something.

1988RedT2
1988RedT2 Reader
8/24/10 11:18 a.m.

Comcast service has been good here in Central VA. TV and Internet. It never breaks. I understand that other areas are not as fortunate.

My neighbor has Direct TV and loves it. My only quarrel with Comcast is price.

Do this before you switch: Call Comcast and tell them you are considering switching to Direct TV and ask them if they can offer you a deal to keep you as a customer. Worked for me!

HiTempguy
HiTempguy HalfDork
8/24/10 1:32 p.m.

Wait, people still watch TV?

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