HDTV Service smackdown

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by steve2112, Aug 29, 2010.

  1. steve2112 macrumors 68040

    steve2112

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    Location:
    East of Lyra, Northwest of Pegasus
    #1
    So, I finally joined the modern era and bought a shiny new HDTV. Sadly, I have not upgraded my Direct TV service yet. I'm trying to decide which HD service to use. Direct would be the easiest, but my signal isn't the strongest due to my neighbor's huge trees that are right in the path of the dish.

    My other options are Comcast and AT&T U-Verse. I already have internet service with Comcast, so I could get a bundle with them and save a bit of money. Their service looks OK, but they seem to have fewer HD channels than competitors. U-Verse seems to be reasonably priced and has a good HD channel lineup, but I have had issues with AT&T in the past, so I'm a bit reluctant to go back to them.

    So, any experience with said services would be helpful. If anyone has experience with more than one, I would love to hear the comparison.
     
  2. mscriv macrumors 601

    mscriv

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2008
    Location:
    Dallas, Texas
    #2
    We used to be with Time Warner Cable and made the switch to Uverse when it first became available in our area. I had some initial problems with signal drop, but got great customer service that resolved the problem (needed an ethernet install from outside to inside the house as opposed to coax) and quite the credit to my account as a sorry for the problems. Despite that initial speed bump our service has been great for both HDTV and internet. I try to monitor what's going on in my area to see if there is ever anything better (that I could call and bargain with or possibly even switch to) and so far nothing's come along.
     
  3. chrmjenkins macrumors 603

    chrmjenkins

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2007
    Location:
    CA
    #3
    If you switch to U-Verse, you may as well use them for cable too to get a bundle. I imagine that both them and Verizon are offering their packages fairly cheap as they are new and need a customer base. I would avoid TWC. We only use it because we have no other option where I live.
     
  4. steve2112 thread starter macrumors 68040

    steve2112

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    Location:
    East of Lyra, Northwest of Pegasus
    #4
    I called Direct, since they had some nice deals listed on their website, including free HD for life. However, much like cell phone companies, these deals were only available to new customers. They offered me $5/month off for 6 months, even after I threatened to cancel my service.

    I talked to Comcast, and they have two bundle types: Double Play, which has any two services, and Triple Play, which has TV, internet, and phone. I don't want the home phone service, but they don't offer the TV package I want as part of the Double Play bundle. Also, their prices weren't so cheap when I started added stuff. They charge $8/month for HD and $16/month for DVR.

    As much as I dislike AT&T, it looks like U-Verse may be my best bet. They offer similar internet speeds to Comcast (12Mb/s, my current speed), their channel selection is similar to Direct, and all their TV packages include DVR. Their prices are about equal to what I am currently paying for TV+internet service. If I can get over my burning hatred of AT&T, they may have the best deal.
     
  5. Tomorrow macrumors 604

    Tomorrow

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2008
    Location:
    Always a day away
    #5
    We switched to U-Verse this past spring with no regrets at all. Install was quick and painless, 18 Mbps internet, land line, and all of it (including iPhones) goes on one bill at the end of the month. Picture quality is excellent, too.
     
  6. steve2112 thread starter macrumors 68040

    steve2112

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    Location:
    East of Lyra, Northwest of Pegasus
    #6
    Wow, it appears lots of folks are upset with U Verse. This guy was really ticked off. Of course, the main gripe most people have with it (can't run more than 2 HD streams) wouldn't apply to me, since I only have one HD TV. But I still have that hatred of all things AT&T.
     
  7. iJohnHenry macrumors P6

    iJohnHenry

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2008
    Location:
    On tenterhooks
    #7
    Ah, the beauty of a digital signal is, as long as you can get better than 50%, the receiver can create a perfect picture.

    As for the rest, if they are wired cable, and not glass, they probably use some form of compression.

    I guess it depends on how "pure" you want your picture to be, for the dollars spent.

    Of course, as always, Teh Secretary™ will disavow all knowledge of this conversation, if it is totally farked.

    [​IMG]
     
  8. yg17 macrumors G5

    yg17

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2004
    Location:
    St. Louis, MO
    #8
    Every company is going to have horror stories. Regarding HD, with U-verse, you can get anywhere between 1 and 3 simultaneous HD channels depending on how far you are from the box outside. I'm lucky enough I can get 3 HD channels with my U-verse service. My parents can only get one but they don't care since they watch stretched SD content on their HD TV (despite me telling them many times about the wonders of HD, grrrr....), but I hear they are working on upgrades so everybody can get at least 2, but I don't know what the status is of that. Unfortunately you don't know what you're capable of until the tech comes out for the installation and runs a test on your line. But I have the service and it's great, much better than Charter, the cable company in the area.
     
  9. steve2112 thread starter macrumors 68040

    steve2112

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    Location:
    East of Lyra, Northwest of Pegasus
    #9
    My problem with Direct is that since the signal is weak, minor rainstorms and cloud cover can knock out my service. I have family and friends in town who have a clear shot and their service doesn't go out nearly as often as mine. That's the main reason I was even considering a land line service. Other than that, I love DirecTV and would keep it. I just get sick of it going out.

    My concern with U Verse (and Comcast, I suppose) is that one of the biggest gripes I have seen is that the HD picture quality suffers because of that compression. I'm also a bit nervous about U Verse, since I may be right on the edge of the service. The Max DSL speed they offer at my address is 12Mb/s, but I know they offer the 18Mb service elsewhere in town. I was also on the edge of their DSL service back when I had it. I know how good the quality is with Direct.
     
  10. mscriv macrumors 601

    mscriv

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2008
    Location:
    Dallas, Texas
    #10
    Here's a Uverse forum site I visit every so often for information. You might do some research there in your specific area since they have geographic forum sections.
     
  11. iJohnHenry macrumors P6

    iJohnHenry

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2008
    Location:
    On tenterhooks
    #11
    I guess you are precluded from moving the dish, and you are unwilling to wait for copper nails driven into your neighbours tree to "work". ;)

    Full time compression vs occasional outage? Only you can rank the negatives.

    It would help to know the occurrence rate of the rain/snow problem.
     
  12. steve2112 thread starter macrumors 68040

    steve2112

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    Location:
    East of Lyra, Northwest of Pegasus
    #12
    Yeah, their trees block pretty much the whole SE side of the house, which is where the dish needs to point. I moved it to a couple of different places in the yard and now on the roof, but the signal has never been great. I never thought about the nails thing, but then again that would take too long. And a chainsaw is a bit noticeable. :)

    Funny you should mention the signal going out, as it has cut out a couple of times tonight. As I type this, in fact. Oddly enough, it isn't even raining right now, though it is very cloudy and windy. It also went out the two times it snowed this winter, but that is a freak occurance around here. I know it went out during to different college football games last year, and a couple of NFL games which really ticked me off. Considering live sports was the main reason I even got TV service, it was really annoying.
     
  13. iJohnHenry macrumors P6

    iJohnHenry

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2008
    Location:
    On tenterhooks
    #13
    Sounds like a wire is your only "acceptable" option. :(
     
  14. cantthinkofone macrumors 65816

    cantthinkofone

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2004
    Location:
    Missouri, USA
    #14
    Have you asked them if they would mind cutting one of them down? Or having it trimmed.
     
  15. 87vert macrumors 6502

    87vert

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2008
    Location:
    Pittsburgh, PA
  16. samiwas macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2006
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    #16
    Comcast seems to get a really bad rap everywhere. I have them and have had no complaints at all. I've had them for almost 5 years now. I think the cable has gone out once for a couple of days after a large storm blew a tree down and took an entire pole down right down the street (amongst a LOT of other damages nearby). Outside of that, maybe once or twice for an hour or two max. As for internet, 22mbps down and 6 up. That's gone out very few times in the 5 years. About 100 HD channels, in addition to several hundred other.

    Yeah, I have no complaints. For expanded digital cable, internet, and two DVRs it's about $145 a month.
     

Share This Page