Which is the best cable or satellite television provider?

U

Unregistered

Guest
#1
We just moved and have access to the following pay TV providers:

DirecTV
Dish Network
Comcast
CenturyLink

It's kind of difficult to compare between all of them because they don't offer the same exact packages. Basically I have about a $100 a month budget for which ever TV service.

Who is the best cable or satellite provider?
 

nbound-au

The Graveyard Shift
#2
Decide what channels you absolutely need, and make sure they have them, remove from your list the ones that dont.
Compare prices.
Decide which channels it would be nice to have, and then compare extra added package costs any against each other.
Take into account any service bundling they may offer (phone, data, etc.) and see what you come up with...

You may want to take into account any contract lengths if you arent 100% sure by the end, so you can jump ship earlier if need be.

Asking people which ones better usually wont help, because everyone grades them on their own scale, according to their own needs. There will be plenty of people who have had good or bad experiences with every single provider on the market.



Of course, if you mainly watch the majors, ABC/NBC/CBS/FOX/CW (though there is much more available then that), an antenna is always worth looking into for free tv.
 

n2rj

Moderator
Staff member
#3
I'm going to assume HD service with a DVR and multiroom.

DISH is the cheapest, price wise, if you don't take into account bundles. However, they tend to drop channels and fight with networks. They are missing some basic channels. Could be a plus or minus since this could mean that you bill is kept stable because Charlie drives a hard bargain. Better international programming. Their DVR and multiroom is called Hopper and Joey and it offers some innovative features like auto commercial skip and deep integration with slingbox.

DirecTV is a close second, price wise. Has some channels that Dish doesn't have. Picture quality is slightly better in my opinion on HD. However that is subjective as Chevy vs Ford. Much more sports and the only place to get NFL Sunday Ticket (for now). Their DVR and multiroom DVR is called Genie. They also offer TiVo as a DVR option although in my opinion it is quite disappointing. They also have RVU which allows you to use a samsung smart TV as a client. I've tried it. It works but has issues. Maybe the next firmware release will be better.

Cable is good, pricewise if you plan to bundle triple play - phone, internet, TV. That's the only way the price beats the dish guys. Also if you are in an apartment or stuck with huge trees that block your line of sight you will need cable. That's how I went back to cable in 06, I lived in an apartment and had no view of the southern sky. You can also use your own equipment with cable such as a tivo or media center PC using cablecard. The biggest downside to cable apart from the price is that it tends to not work in a power outage. If you don't have a generator that's not big deal anyway. But if like me you're well prepared it really ticks you off that you have everything working in your house EXCEPT for TV...

Centurylink - I assume you mean prism? This is IPTV service over fiber/copper phone lines. It's like U-Verse from what I heard. Even though CenturyLink is our phone company here, I don't have it. I don't like IPTV services it but it's an alternative. CenturyLink also bundles satellite service with phone and internet in areas that don't have fiber/vdsl prism service.

Over the air TV is of course an alternative but you don't get popular cable only networks. For many people that's OK though.
 

dkreichen1968

Moderator
Staff member
#4
Centurylink - I assume you mean prism? This is IPTV service over fiber/copper phone lines. It's like U-Verse from what I heard. Even though CenturyLink is our phone company here, I don't have it. I don't like IPTV services it but it's an alternative. CenturyLink also bundles satellite service with phone and internet in areas that don't have fiber/vdsl prism service.
Prism is only available in limited areas right now, but it's rumored that there will be a major roll out soon. They use the same Motorola STBs (VIP 1200's and 1216's) as U-verse, so it is the same technology.
 

n2rj

Moderator
Staff member
#5
Prism is only available in limited areas right now, but it's rumored that there will be a major roll out soon. They use the same Motorola STBs (VIP 1200's and 1216's) as U-verse, so it is the same technology.
Seems like it.

Prism is available in Vegas and a few other places.
 
#6
I really like DirecTV a lot because of the channels that they offer. I also love Sunday Ticket, being a big NFL fan. Like another poster said though, I would research them all and come up with what you are really looking for in a provider and go from there.
 

FWAmie

DTVUSA Member
#9
I would actually decide what tv channels you actually want and then see which provider actually offers them. Then figure out (if there is a discount, if so for how long.) Then figure out what the price will be after that discount is over.
 

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