Satellite vs. Cable


I'm comparing my local cable company (Patriot Media) to the regional phone company (Verizon) for combined TV/internet/phone. Verizon resells Direct TV pending completion of fiber-to-the-home in my area. Surprisingly after negotiating the two offers are practically the same price (well below either company's published rates!) So I'm looking for a reason to favor one over the other.

1. Is HDTV over Direct TV satellite any better than CATV HDTV? On some CATV digital channels I've noticed compression problems and poor blacks & grey-scale, but I have yet to install an HD set to see if these problems occur with CATV HDTV.

2. Is Satellite TV still problematic in bad weather?

3. Is the phone company's dedicated DSL service at 3MB down/768MB up faster than CATV's advertised 3MB shared-media ethernet?

Any other considerations?

Thanks,

Dave

dgarretson
I can't comment on the HDTV issue but I've had DirecTV for several years and am very happy with them. Count me a very satisfied customer.

You can lose signal in certain weather conditions. Generally this is a thunderstorm situation directly south of our house. Any other direction and the signal is fine. Over the course of a year, the outage is less than I suffered with cable. Our local cable company is Charter Communications. They don't have a particularly good reputation for customer service however.

As for internet, I've got a solid 2.5Mbps down/512Kbps up from my DSL. (They have several packages available.) When I had cable at my other house, I did notice that DL speed would vary. Cable connections tend to be a shared resource at the neighborhood level so speed varies with what your neighbors are up to. With DSL, the "sharing" doesn't start until the CO so it tends to be more stable, IMO.

However, my suggestion is you ask users of each service in your local community what their experience has been. Your cable company may be a classier act than ours.
I have had DTV for 9+ yrs and have very few problems. They have been quick to resolve any issues. I had cable at another residence fro at least 12 yrs and had many problems. The only advantage I can see with cable is that if you have multiple sets and they are cable ready, you can save. DTV charges $5 per set box. I am using HDTV and find it extremely satisfying in both picture and sound. I wish they would offer more channels than they do but that is coming....so I am told. Cost I beleive is acutally cheaper with DTV than Conast. I live in Colorado and recently I had some weather related issues, not form overcast but snow build up on the dish. I have since coated it with WD40 and that seems to resolve it. As far as internet I use DSL.
Get the offers in writing, and make sure they are not for one year only.
You should throw Dishnetwork into the mix too. They have a decent HDTV lineup. Your local HD channels you can still get with a normal antenna or possibly from Dish. They also have decent DVR's for HD. The drawback though is they often can be buggy on newer models until they refine the software. The other thing is the greedy little bastards tack on stupid fees for every little thing. But even with that, still worth checking out.
I think it's local. In Santa Barbara it's a toss up; both are excellent. I have used Direct TV for over 5 years, because Cox Cable fumbled when digital first came out. But now Cox is fine. HDTV looks great with either satellite or cable. The decider for me is our TiVo/HD DVR, and Direct TV provides TiVo service with no additional charge. In our area weather is not a problem.

I use cable for DSL, because they have optical installed on our road, whereas Verizon doesn't, so very high speed connnection is available with cable. Verizon does have optical cable in the denser parts of Santa Barbara.

So the advice of the first replier is correct. Ask around locally.

db