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Direct TV of Local Cable-what should we get.(15 posts)

Direct TV of Local Cable-what should we get.MB1
Jan 29, 2003 6:36 PM
They both have OLN and the Weather Channel so that is not an issue. Can anyone tell me about their experiences with Direct TV?

As long as TV doesn't interfere with riding time...Fez
Jan 29, 2003 6:46 PM
I never even had cable until I got the high speed internet connection. I could have specified internet only, but the cable tv channels run just a few bucks more.

There's plenty of garbage even on basic cable, but I get OLN, ESPN, and a decent helping of NBA games throughout the week.

Satellite will give you tons more channels, but I'm not so sure its a good thing.
You and Ms. M have time for TV?mickey-mac
Jan 29, 2003 6:56 PM
Do you have time to do anything but check the Weather Channel to find out what to wear on your 400 mile trek the following day? ;-)
local channels?DougSloan
Jan 29, 2003 8:06 PM
In most areas satellite does not give you local channels. You must get rabbit ears or pipe it in from an antenna next to the dish, then do some switch every time you want local or cable. That's the big drawback.

Cable gets you the possibility of cable internet, too; definitely a good thing.

Number of TVs?Brooks
Jan 31, 2003 8:53 AM
It used to be, and maybe still is, that DirectTV could only be hooked up to one TV or only one channel could be watched at a time on different TVs. As house with more TVs than really necessary (4- kitchen, bedroom, workout room and family room) for two people it is nice to watch ESPN when wife is watching Oxygen or Lifetime. And now At&T cable has added OLN to the lineup - sweet!
good point nmDougSloan
Jan 31, 2003 9:00 AM
Local channels and better picture with Direct TVcritmass
Jan 29, 2003 10:27 PM
D.C. is one of many areas you can get local channels with Direct Tv. The digital signal from direct is much better than a cable signal. My direct receiver has A/V component outs which gives an even better picture and it has tivo built into it. Never had any problem with the company or service in 3 years. I don't have my phone line into the receiver like they want and have never heard anything from them about that. In my area the price difference between direct and cable is negligible to me and the much better picture alone would be worth it anyway.
Local channels and better picture with Direct TVFez
Jan 30, 2003 6:43 AM
how much is direct tv in dc area?

why would they want the phone line in there?

any channels that cable has that you don't get?

i certainly have to loyalty to cable - i wouldn't be getting it at all if not for the high speed internet.
Local channels and better picture with Direct TVcritmass
Jan 30, 2003 9:40 AM
In the L.A. area the cost difference is less than $2. The phone line is needed to order pay per view movies or events and I suspect for direct to get figures on what is being watched. I get more local channels on direct than cable offters. You can probably get as many cable programs on either. I did a viewing of direct and cable coming in through S-video and directs digital signal was much better than cables. Using component video outputs it's DVD quality. Much better sound with direct too. One test to do is call your cable and direct tv customer service numbers and see which one you get to talk to a human first. Cable here has terrible customer service,
Local channels and better picture with Direct TVFez
Jan 30, 2003 10:45 AM
You wrote:

"One test to do is call your cable and direct tv customer service numbers and see which one you get to talk to a human first. Cable here has terrible customer service."

LOL! Any interaction with a human at the cable company is worse than dealing with a menu! The cable co. is TERRIBLE. The combination of incompetence, misinformation, lies, don't care attitudes is overwhelming.

It took 20+ phone calls, 4 visits, and over a month for me to successfully get a live cable internet connection. And my building is already prewired for cable. All it took was a person to open the cable closet and flick the correct switch.

As far as the bill goes, they charged me for a rental modem every month, (even though I bought my modem from Best Buy) and in order to take the charge off, they asked me to provide proof of purchase! I told the operator to go pet himeself.

And a month after I subscribed, they changed the rate for internet access from $40 to $55. Nice bait and switch.

I wish I was in a business with little or no competitors.
we used to get weather related problems thoughColnagoFE
Jan 30, 2003 7:05 AM
sometimes heavy snow and such can scramble the picture. Never really noticed much difference in picture quality overall, but then again we don't have any kind of super great TV.
re: Direct TV of Local Cable-what should we get.eyebob
Jan 30, 2003 7:10 AM
If that's the case, look to see what "on-demand" movies that your cable operator offers. I've had Direct TV for about 7 years and I've not had any issues. I like the selection of movies, it's reasonably priced and it sticks it to my local cable operator, who's the only one in my area. It bugs me that we don't have choice in my area of which cable co. to go with (see my earlier rant about how much my cable internet access costs). When I lived in the Southwest, it was also nice to buy the NHL package and the extended sports station package so that I could follow my local NHL and college hockey teams while living out there.

One other thought. I know that in my area the cable co. can bundle internet, tv and phone to save a bit for you. That would be a serious option if it were up to me....

Jan 30, 2003 7:26 AM
The Weather Channel on DirecTV is a national feed, which makes their updates "on the eights" pretty useless. On cable you'll get localized weather.

That said (and now more than ever), I love DirecTV. I switched mainly because I wanted more channels like OLN and also because cable companies suck (especially AT&T). I've found it to be 10 times more reliable, too. The only drawback is that heavy rain will affect reception for some reason. If you live in an area that gets heavy rain, you can get dish covers that claim to eliminate this problem.

My brother, who is a technical guy at a major network, claims that the picture you get off cable is generally better than the picture you get off satellite, at least in Burbank, California, but most people will never notice.

One thing I love about my system is that it has an digital optical output for Dolby Digital 5.1 sound. I run it into my home theater system and watch letterbox pay per view movies in their full splendor. One of the HBO channels does Dolby Digital, too. It's nearly as good as DVD, and I don't have to return a rental. Most of the PPV movies are just Dolby Surround, not Dolby Digital, however. Right now there are just three: K-19: The Widowmaker, Sum of All Fears, and Spiderman.

I highly recommend getting a Tivo system, too. Tivo will change your life. You should be able to get a box with all the bells and whistles, including a two-tuner Tivo, optical out, and component video outputs, for about $100.
receptionJS Haiku Shop
Jan 30, 2003 7:32 AM
the reason we went from cable to direct tv was for OLN. all other stated reasons were justifications to get something with OLN. i was sick last year with flu and couldn't get off the couch or even raise my head upright, but miraculously sat vertically and remained conscious while the direct tv guy installed the dish, all so i could get OLN.

if you already have OLN and the weather channel, sounds like you're set. the only other things i'd wish for (if they weren't on cable) are educational or documentary programs ("non-fiction tv"), found on TLC, discovery, nat'l geo channel, and others.

downside of dish is reception: clear view of the satellite area. we have problems in the summer (heavily wooded back yard, leaves), and in bad weater or extreme cold (wind/rain moving dish or ice prohibiting dish movement).


re: Direct TV of Local Cable-what should we get.jaybird
Jan 30, 2003 11:57 AM
Dont forget the picture journal of your first "couch potato century" If you need any technical advice (i.e. clothing to wear, warming up the fingers for the remote, nutrition etc..) let me know.

by the way when is the next ride report? We dont have to wait til monday do we?