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  1. #1
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    Cable vs Dish Network

    I'm seriously thinking of making the switch from cable to the dish. I'm tired of the inferior picture/sound quality I get with cable. Too many channels look grainy or otherwise not clear/crisp. I'd love to get the boards' opinion of cable vs. dish. Should I make the switch? Will I notice vastly improved picture quality? Any downsides?

    Thanks in advance! This board has been a HUGE help to me and I appreciate all of the input!

    w

  2. #2
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    Definitely go dish

    I had digital cable for over two years. The two channels I watched most, "SciFi" and "Discovery", were consistently grainy and poor quality. In "digital cable" about 1/2 of the channels were still analog, (most under 100) .

    I switched to dish network and EVERY channel looks like watching a dvd. Crisp, clear. After a while, I bought a DVR, both because it had an optical out and was capable of receiving DD. Soon (hopefully, finally) I am going to get an HDTV and will get a dish receiver with a dvr and HD, and relegate the other DVR to the bedroom. I will tell you that the receivers they give you free (the 301 ) only has stereo outs, no digital out. Even so, it sounds pretty good in prologicII.

    A friend of mine still has digital cable and he claims it has improved, but when at his house all it appeared to me was that there were more channels than before but the quality was the same. Also, and I don't know if this is true of all cable companies or markets, the coax/optical connections on the digital cable boxes were not "there", as in a metal plate was screwed over them. He did ask the company for one capable of an optical/coax out for digital but was told there were none.

    All I can say is that dish has an overwhelming number of channels, the quality is superb. I am happy I switched.

  3. #3
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    How Does the Dish Signal

    feed into your TV/Receiver? Does it use RCA connectors for Video/Audio or does it use some other connection? Just curious as to whether it uses something like an S-Video in. I'm clueless, since all I've ever had is cable and cable obviously uses just your standard coax cable for everything.

    Thanks for the input!

    w

  4. #4
    Forum Regular N. Abstentia's Avatar
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    Dish/DirecTV uses composite or S-video on the standard boxes, or component video with optical audio on the higher end boxes. Using standard coax is one reason why cable always looks like sh*t!

    I'm currently on Dish, but I'm thinking about switching to DirecTV because they are giving out the DirecTIVO systems. Dish's PVR is NOT Tivo so it does not work as well. Plus I'm getting tired of all the mpeg compression with Dish. Plus with DirecTV I can save $8 a month PLUS get the DirecTivo with the Tivo service AND add a 4th receiver.

  5. #5
    Loving This kexodusc's Avatar
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    In my area the local cable co has all the channels in digital quality now. I'm thinking of switching back to cable because our area is notoriously poor for satellite reception.

    Honestly, I find some digital broadcasts too fake and prefer the slightly grainy look of analog to the little artifacts and poor compression of some digital broadcasts. The UPN affiliate and one of the Chicago networks I get are absolutely horrible.

    If your reception is good, though, I'd still recommend Dish over Cable.

  6. #6
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    I would check which carries your local channels. I have Dish and are able to get my locals but can not with Direct TV. Direct TV won't even give me the east or west network feeds. I not sure but I do not think Direct TV has upn either. All of which is keeping me with Dish and my 7200.

  7. #7
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    This is a no-brainer . . .

    Any DBS service (DirecTV or DishNetwork) is way better than cable.

    Whether to go with Dtv of Dish depends on your personal taste in programming, and the deaal you can get for the equipment . .

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by willx45x
    feed into your TV/Receiver? Does it use RCA connectors for Video/Audio or does it use some other connection? Just curious as to whether it uses something like an S-Video in. I'm clueless, since all I've ever had is cable and cable obviously uses just your standard coax cable for everything.

    Thanks for the input!

    w


    While my hookup may or may not be conventional or recommended, hahaha, here is what I have done.........

    The "F" type coaxial connecter (i.e., cable you already have) is hooked from the wall to the dish receiver and then to the tv. This is so that I can watch tv alone, without my home theater/stereo receiver.

    I also have the S-vid from the dish box, and the red/white audio outs from the dish box (OR the optical out on the other receiver) to the my HT receiver. The I have the receiver's video monitor out to the tv.

    This gives me the greatest options, in my opinion. I can watch tv through the regular cable connection. I can also turn on the receiver and watch and listen through the receiver in prologic II or DD.

    Hope that helps.

    This way

  9. #9
    AR Member JeffKnob's Avatar
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    It would depend on what your local cable company offers. I have Time Warner digital cable with the DVR they offer. My sound goes through a digital coax cable to my receiver along with an S-video cable for video. The picture on all channels is just as good as a DVD on my Samsung EDTV. I expecially like cable because of what the DVR service offers above what I can get with a Tivo and it is cheaper per month than Tivo. The OnDemand channels are great because you can choose a show to watch and it will start whenever you are read, same with the PPV channel. Some of the PPV movies also come in 5.1 DD and widescreen.

  10. #10
    Forum Regular gonefishin's Avatar
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    Hi there...

    Cable Vs Dish, eh?


    Currently, I'm a comcast cable subscriber and both my brother and father have the dish. I should add that my brother and father both have good lots for dish with a very nice line of site...they get excellent reception.

    However, if it rains...the picture starts to break up...if it storms, forget it. They've got no reception until things clear up. Excluding the loss of reception during storms or snow...the digital picture is better on the dish than comcast cable. But the HD picture actually looks equally as good on either cable or dish.

    Even tho the regular digital cable picture isn't as good as the dish, I still choose to go with cable because of the stability problems with the dish cutting out during storms or snow. Also, alot of my viewing is on channels that are offered in high-definition...in which case the picture is very good.

    I'm by no means a happy cable supporter. Their prices are ridiculous and they just keep chopping up their channels moving them from one paid tier to another. Someone really need to kick them in the a$$. But until I see things improving with the dish, I'm not likely to switch. Unless I do something like go with a VOOM HD reception on one Tv input then keep just the local channels thru cable (which you can do). This way I could still tune into my local stations during a storm.


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  11. #11
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    Cable vs Sat, the million dollar question.

    I had Cox Cable when it was analog, and it was terrible, I then switched to DirecTV. Enjoying it tremendously, however now Cox has gone digital, (I have Cable Modem now), and I am questioning whether I should switch back, my reason is twofold:

    1) When I switch to HDTV equipment, I have to purchase another Sat receiver and dish, this could be a cost issue (appox., $600.00 U.S., however prices are dropping), of course I could negotiate with Directv.

    2) Since I run a cable modem for my computers, the price is less expensive if I stay with Cox Cable for both ISP and TV services. I just need to check and see if the boxes provide HDTV capabilites and associated costs.

    I will have to futher investigate this issue (HDTV) before I make the switch. I certainly will retain my ISP services, since I don't want to return to dial-up (neither does my wife LOL, but that's another story).

    There are other issues (QOS, Downtime, etc.), but the aforementioned are the most pertinent to me.

    Regards,

    Azeke

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Azeke
    Cable vs Sat, the million dollar question.

    I had Cox Cable when it was analog, and it was terrible, I then switched to DirecTV. Enjoying it tremendously, however now Cox has gone digital, (I have Cable Modem now), and I am questioning whether I should switch back, my reason is twofold:

    1) When I switch to HDTV equipment, I have to purchase another Sat receiver and dish, this could be a cost issue (appox., $600.00 U.S., however prices are dropping), of course I could negotiate with Directv.

    2) Since I run a cable modem for my computers, the price is less expensive if I stay with Cox Cable for both ISP and TV services. I just need to check and see if the boxes provide HDTV capabilites and associated costs.

    I will have to futher investigate this issue (HDTV) before I make the switch. I certainly will retain my ISP services, since I don't want to return to dial-up (neither does my wife LOL, but that's another story).

    There are other issues (QOS, Downtime, etc.), but the aforementioned are the most pertinent to me.

    Regards,

    Azeke
    Azeke,
    It only costs $299 for a DirecTV HD receiver and they have been running a promo at some stores where the triple LNB dish is free with it. They also now have a Hughes HD receiver/TIVO unit. It will Tivo 200 hours of regular programming and 30 hours of HD programming!!! The only DVR currently that can record in HD. It goes for $999 but availability is tight right now.
    Yea you will pay $10 more a month on your internet since you don't have a Cox bundle discount, but Cox Digital Cable doesn't give that many true digital channels where DirecTV does. Also, you could always sign up for Cox Telephone to get their bundle discount.
    Good Luck!

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by gonefishin
    Hi there...

    Cable Vs Dish, eh?


    Currently, I'm a comcast cable subscriber and both my brother and father have the dish. I should add that my brother and father both have good lots for dish with a very nice line of site...they get excellent reception.

    However, if it rains...the picture starts to break up...if it storms, forget it. They've got no reception until things clear up. Excluding the loss of reception during storms or snow...the digital picture is better on the dish than comcast cable. But the HD picture actually looks equally as good on either cable or dish.

    Gonefishin;

    while I have heard people talk about the weather effecting their dish, that is not my experience. Only one time did I lose signal and that was when a SEVERE thunderstorm was over head. Even in that case the signal was only lost for 4 minutes. In contrast, when I had digital cable I would lose the cable just about every time there was a storm and it was for 2 to 12 hours at a time.

    Perhaps I just have good line of site or something.


    Take care

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