Direct TV Satellite Cable- any objections?

2

Comments

  • Reply 21 of 48
    trumptmantrumptman Posts: 16,452member
    Well we have DirectTV working with three seperate televisions in our house. All three TV's can get different channels if they need to do so (We only have one dish and they said it could handle 4 tv's if need be). We also subscribe to two premium channels so the cost is (YIKES) $75 a month.



    The lag between channels did take a little getting use to but from what I see it is the same with any digital format.



    I switched from cable because cable also charges you for additional sets used with digital. We had gotten by for years with just basic cable to all three sets for like $32 a month. However Adelphia kept taking channels we enjoyed off of basic cable (Deal breaker was when they removed HGTV) and kept replacing them with things like public access channels showing city council meetings.



    The difference between going to all digital cable and DirectTV was like $5 but DirecTV offered like 50 more channels for that $5.



    I haven't had any drop outs of any kind in service.



    The pluses for me are as follows...



    1) A crapload of channels....more than I can watch or even care to watch



    2) No service problems.... with cable, work in a construction area or service upgrade could take out the whole neighborhood. Now the only thing between me and my service is the air. No construction, no neighbors, no nothing.



    3) PPV movies... I know this would seem lame but I am the worst with returning videos. Also when you have little ones it is a pain in the butt to return a video or DVD. I get the movie with perfect digital quality for the same price I would have rented it for. No trips, no rewinds, no availability issues, just press a button. They also give "freeviews" to keep you turning to those channels. Mostly semi-decent concerts or things like a Vege-tales special to keep you sniffing around the ppv channels.



    4) If you get an extra dish (They are everywhere) you can just grab one of your boxes and take it with you when you go vacationing. I know this may sound odd but I go to the Colorado River for long stretches and it is a nice thing to have along.



    Negatives...



    1) A bit expensive, especially with multiple televisions



    2) Some installers are dicks... you have to watch them like a hawk with regard to dish location because some of them are lazy and will just try to install it wherever.(like on your front porch or something stupid like that)



    3) To heavy a sports emphasis.... I know for most guys this would be 100% cool but I have heard Dish Network includes more movie channel options. DirectTV has NFL Sunday Ticket and the same thing for the NBA as well. I think they even have it for college hoops, etc. I am not a sports-a-holic so having a few more TNT/USA type channels showing more "new classics" would be nice.



    Just a few thoughts...



    Nick



    [ 03-07-2003: Message edited by: trumptman ]</p>
  • Reply 22 of 48
    cubedudecubedude Posts: 1,556member
    [quote]Originally posted by Randycat99:

    <strong>Is it really true you need 2 dishes (as well as 2 boxes, of course) to tune 2 channels simultaneously? That is a real bitch! If they can multiplex 70 channels or so in analog, why is it so tough for them to do something remotely close to that in digital? All these digital advantages seem to foreshadow the lack of "basic" capabilities/flexibilities that analog seems to handle just fine. It's a damn Eminence Front, I tell ya!



    Seriously though, is this really true???



    [ 03-05-2003: Message edited by: Randycat99 ]</strong><hr></blockquote>



    I have two dishes in my setup, one is for local channels and one is for everthing else(TechTV, Discovery, etc). BTW, I have dish network.
  • Reply 23 of 48
    randycat99randycat99 Posts: 1,919member
    Well, it appears I am cockblocked at the moment. The "clamp" they spoke of that would allow attachment of the dish to the balcony railing evidently no one has ever heard of one now. Not allowed to screw mount the hardware to any part of the apartment structure, of course. Mounting a dish to a tripod setup that sits recessed in the balcony is not recommended for appropriate reception due to the large roof overhang of the apartment.



    Oh yes, and !



    So now I have been casing the complex for the few other people who are apparently running dishes in their balcony. Got to see how they approached it, and if they have experienced a negative performance impact due to the recessed positioning of the dish. I found one guy, but either he is never home or he is too afraid to answer the door for some reason. BASTARD!!! Do I look like I have a bomb strapped to my chest? I just want to ask you a few questions.



    [ 03-07-2003: Message edited by: Randycat99 ]</p>
  • Reply 24 of 48
    fellowshipfellowship Posts: 5,038member
    [quote]Originally posted by Randycat99:

    <strong>Well, it appears I am cockblocked at the moment. The "clamp" they spoke of that would allow attachment of the dish to the balcony railing evidently no one has ever heard of one now. Not allowed to screw mount the hardware to any part of the apartment structure, of course. Mounting a dish to a tripod setup that sits recessed in the balcony is not recommended for appropriate reception due to the large roof overhang of the apartment.



    Oh yes, and !



    So now I have been casing the complex for the few other people who are apparently running dishes in their balcony. Got to see how they approached it, and if they have experienced a negative performance impact due to the recessed positioning of the dish. I found one guy, but either he is never home or he is too afraid to answer the door for some reason. BASTARD!!! Do I look like I have a bomb strapped to my chest? I just want to ask you a few questions.



    [ 03-07-2003: Message edited by: Randycat99 ]</strong><hr></blockquote>



    I am so sorry this trouble has come your way with this new venture of all things dish. I hope you find a way to make it work. It will all be worth it.



    I love my dish. I can't imagine cable ever again. You will see what I mean when you get it all setup.



    Fellows
  • Reply 25 of 48
    randycat99randycat99 Posts: 1,919member
    -
  • Reply 26 of 48
    randycat99randycat99 Posts: 1,919member
    OK, finally got everything running.



    One thing- for apartment balcony users, a wooden barstool is your greatest friend when it comes to mounting the satellite dish. That's what my neighbor was doing. Clever, clever idea!



    For my initial foray into digital TV, I have to say I'm not that impressed with the quality. My eye is drawn to the banding, blotchiness/graininess, and compression artifacts fairly easily w/o me trying to pick them out deliberately. ...and the sound! I've only been watching Fox News Channel for the time being (sound quality has always been a professional affair there for as long as I've ever tuned in with regular analog cable), but did I just step into MP3-sound land? It sounds like the sound is being bandlimited at less than 10 kHz with that "passable" MP3 sound (indicating unnecessary over-compressed data rate). I've tried the sound with the regular coax hook-up and the stereo RCA hook-up (sorry, I don't have digital link equipment, but that shouldn't be a necessity for the sound quality level in dispute here- analog covers it just fine and more). The sound compromisation is fairly obvious. I even compared it to my (still running) analog cable feed. That sound quality runs circles around the satellite feed, from what i can tell so far. It's like comparing CD to FM radio, except ironically the analog cable feed is the CD and the satellite feed is the FM radio (and it sure as hell isn't like DVD-quality movie audio). Damn you greedy digital bandits!!! Damn you!!!



    Well, that's all I got for now. I'm sure I'll be bitching more later.



    UPDATE: It just seems to me that there is just no regulation in place to ensure utmost levels in quality for what you are paying. You can be guaranteed it will work, but I remain unconvinced that these guys have any concept or concern over "quality". Like I said, everyone who has a satellite subscription should exercise due diligence in riding their a$$ on "quality". Even if you personally don't perceive any quality issues to deal with, please holler anyway. It can't hurt to instill that "quality" should be on their mind if they are to genuinely deliver on their claims when they sell you the service.



    For the DirecTV subscribers:

    http://www.directv.com/DTVAPP/glb/Form_Feedback.jsp
  • Reply 27 of 48
    I have had dish for a while now, over a year and at 2 locations(apartment, and a house), and it is great, some of the info that some people posted in here is wrong, you DON'T need 2 dishes if you have more than 2 tv's. also, the picture and sound is better than most places with digital cable, I have never seen a good looking digital cable. Also, even the basic rca boxes do coaxial, composite, dual channel rca out, and svideo as well. most digital cable boxes dont even do that. for me, its cheaper, better, and I have not had a problem with drop outs of lost signals. also, about the person complaining about needing the phone line, that is on the box, if you decided to get one, and then complain later that you needed a phone line, you shouldnt have gotten it at all and then complained about it later... that would be like buying a car, and then complaining later "I didnt know I needed a starter for the car to start"
  • Reply 28 of 48
    randycat99randycat99 Posts: 1,919member
    Yes, it should be noted that the newer system allow dual-heads to be mounted to a single dish, but you do still need 2 receiver boxes. The big catch is that you can use this in a 2 TV setup (different rooms), but you can't use it in the case you wish to maintain dual-tuner capability in your TV (for PIP, simultaneous VCR use, etc.). Normally it would work just fine, but these satellite box makers haven't quite caught on about making the remotes "addressable". You can't select different frequencies, so if you had 2 receivers sitting there, there's nothing you can do to the remote to control each individually. It will just change channels on both boxes. Doh!



    As for the other stuff, take it from a "practical-minded" audiophile, the sound is sub-par (though that can vary from channel to channel). Not that "sub-par" is not necessarily bad, just not reasonably up to the level that should be commonly available today (especially for a "superior" digital-based dish/cable system). It doesn't matter if you have a fancy digital surround link or not, if the basic sound quality is weak, that's not acceptable. The video quality can vary, but at it's weak points, it can look as bad as a movie you download off the Internet that looks "decent", but also just a tad hokey (in a digital way).
  • Reply 29 of 48
    Ooops, let me say I have directv,noticed I put that I have had dish, I meant generically saying digital sattelite... duhh. sleepy javascript:smilie('')
  • Reply 30 of 48
    randycat99randycat99 Posts: 1,919member
    My long-ish term impression- video and sound just don't consistently keep on par with the better analog cable system (Why is that a big deal? Because it took so long for analog cable to reach this level of performance, so it is frustrating to give this level of standards up for the "alternative" who claims they are "superior"). There may be a moment in a given TV show where the scene looks "digitally perfect", but for that moment there are numbers of moments where you see the digital shortcomings in scenes of the same TV show. Overall, I put it somewhere between analog cable and a good VHS playback and no where near a decent DVD playback. It's not the same noisy-ness you see in VHS, but I view it that analog noise is no more objectionable than digital noise. If you do see digital noise, but no analog noise, you are still seeing noise and that is not quality video then. Moral- don't believe the hype of "digital clear" reception.



    The audio I have found to be generally lacking no matter what channel I choose. The high end frequency response always seems restrained to varying levels accompanied with varied subtle levels of digital distortion from low data rate. Not even the dynamics can be counted on (which you would hope would make a decent trade for the bandwidth given up). I have found it to be varied in quality, but nothing near what you get with DVD playback (or even HiFi VHS playback, for that matter). Overall, I put it a notch below analog cable for the stuff it gives vs. what it takes. If you happen to favor a full bandwidth and low distortion over freedom from broadcast dynamics compression (like me), I would rate the sound quality as clearly substandard to analog cable. Moral- don't believe the hype of "digital quality" audio.



    Overall, the service is cheaper because you literally get what you pay for (slightly less quality and considerably less flexibility), despite the additional channels (which aren't exactly ground-breaking, btw). 60-ish channels on my "plebian" analog cable service was quite sufficient, I assure you. If you are paying "more" than before (with comparable channel service package), then you are getting ripped off. Given that, I would still say it is overpriced. Maybe $25 vs. $39 would seem fair to me, taking into account the quality issues.



    I have to add, that the video output quality for RF and composite isn't so hot on this Samsung receiver box I'm using. All of my other AV components that utilize composite blow it away, and the RF feed from analog cable blow it away. So this isn't a case of RF and composite being inadequate for the job, either. Moral- don't count on decent video quality unless your system is equipped to handle S-video pervasively. (Actually, I can't really confirm if S-video would be better, but I assume it has to be better since it doesn't have to deal with the filtering/modulating issues that appear to be handled poorly here for RF and composite output.)



    Finally, there's the issue of doing your pay-per-view ordering online. One would think that if they are going to surcharge $5 for doing phone-ordered pay per view, they should make their website bulletproof (since that seems to be the "encouraged" route to go about it). Not so, from what I've seen so far. Accessing their site is sluggish, and sometimes it just leaves your browser hanging. That's what it is has been doing for me earlier today- not very confidence building. Anybody else get online at www.directv.com frequently and find it utterly sluggish?
  • Reply 31 of 48
    Wow, do you have a clear signal or crappy tv's? or something, I have been with DirecTvat two locations with the same equipment,and it blows the doors off of At&t(now comast) digital and analog cable. it looks and sounds good. On one tv I use the regular coax connection,on the other it is hooked up to sony wega using Svideo and surround sound receiver and it blows the doors off of it.

    8)
  • Reply 32 of 48
    randycat99randycat99 Posts: 1,919member
    It's a clear signal and my TV is decent (not a Wega, but good). If I was having reception problems from an unclear signal, I would certainly be complaining about that. If it was my TV, I would have noticed these problems long ago on anything else I was using. This is ALL about that damn infernal digital box they call "TV service".



    What maker is your receiver box, btw?
  • Reply 33 of 48
    randycat99randycat99 Posts: 1,919member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by The General

    On one tv I use the regular coax connection,on the other it is hooked up to sony wega using Svideo and surround sound receiver and it blows the doors off of it.

    8)




    Mind you, I'm not comparing the quality of regular coax and S-video. I'm comparing the quality of analog cable through regular coax vs. digital satellite through regular coax. It wasn't objectionable for me before, so there is no reason it should be now on this digital setup.



    As for your situation, if you are comparing a "Sony Wega" to "one TV", it is entirely dependent on what that "other TV" is. Those Wega's are unquestionably "sharpness monsters". I would argue that their tubes work too well for what NTSC can muster. They are literally "ahead of their time" (or maybe NTSC is way too old in the tooth, but that kind of goes w/o saying).
  • Reply 34 of 48
    fellowshipfellowship Posts: 5,038member
    I replaced my television cable service with Charter Communications here in my area with DirecTV and I can say DirecTV with my Sony equip blow away the Cable it replaced. I have a RF remote Sony receiver with optical output for the audio and s-video for the picture to my Sony 46 in HDTV and I have no complaints. I have great picture and great sound. Sure the sound is not CD quality but I can not complain. The sound over my cable was not even close to DirecTV. I am very happy with my DirecTV and I have only had it 2 to 3 months.



    Fellowship
  • Reply 35 of 48
    trumptmantrumptman Posts: 16,452member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Randycat99

    It's a clear signal and my TV is decent (not a Wega, but good). If I was having reception problems from an unclear signal, I would certainly be complaining about that. If it was my TV, I would have noticed these problems long ago on anything else I was using. This is ALL about that damn infernal digital box they call "TV service".



    What maker is your receiver box, btw?




    If you go within your menu's on your directTV box, there should be an area that measures signal strength. On my box it is never below 96 on a scale of 100. To me, it sounds like you have some signal issues. I have had DirectTV on three tv's at two different locations now and again I haven't had any sound or picture issues.



    Nick
  • Reply 36 of 48
    randycat99randycat99 Posts: 1,919member
    I knew there would be somebody coming on here saying, "I got a higher signal than you, so bleh!" ...and yes, I know about the menu to test signal strength. The point is, it doesn't matter if you have 87, 95, or 100%. This is digital, not analog. Either you reach the threshold and digital works or it doesn't. There is no gradual signal degradation with signal strength (outside of intermittent signal drops which would give very obvious blocks). AFAIK, that threshold is down in the 40-50% area. If you are well above that, you should be clean running, period.
  • Reply 37 of 48
    randycat99randycat99 Posts: 1,919member
    Please people, when you post in, please do indicate what is the brand of the box you are using- at the least, say if it is or isn't the Samsung box (the tidy, small-sized looking one).
  • Reply 38 of 48
    randycat99randycat99 Posts: 1,919member
    Evidently there is a considerable history leading all the way up to present day regarding questionable video/audio quality on DirecTV/Dish setups. Wish I had the bright idea to check Google before jumping aboard.



    Google knows...



    This is the sort of thing that the "casual user" typically won't notice or even care about, but to the discerning user, it is a travesty given the optimistic claims of those who market the formats.
  • Reply 39 of 48
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Randycat99

    It's a clear signal and my TV is decent (not a Wega, but good). If I was having reception problems from an unclear signal, I would certainly be complaining about that. If it was my TV, I would have noticed these problems long ago on anything else I was using. This is ALL about that damn infernal digital box they call "TV service".



    What maker is your receiver box, btw?




    My boxes are the stock RCA's that come with directv. The digital cable ones that are used in my area, and the area I moved from use those big hulking Motorola boxes, the ones that say Dolby Digital on em, but dont actually do Dolby Digital. 8)
  • Reply 40 of 48
    As for your situation, if you are comparing a "Sony Wega" to "one TV", it is entirely dependent on what that "other TV" is. Those Wega's are unquestionably "sharpness monsters". I would argue that their tubes work too well for what NTSC can muster. They are literally "ahead of their time" (or maybe NTSC is way too old in the tooth, but that kind of goes w/o saying). [/B][/QUOTE]



    that was only one tv, the other tv I have it hooked up through coax, and going to a 27" GE tv. and it looks good there too(both of these tv's previous had analog & digital cable).
Sign In or Register to comment.