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  1. #27
    BamaNation All-American 2003TIDE's Avatar
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    Re: DirecTV question...

    Earle this site should help you decide the path of least resistance.

    http://www.dishpointer.com/

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  3. #28
    Senior Administrator TIDE-HSV's Avatar
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    Re: DirecTV question...

    Quote Originally Posted by uafan4life View Post
    First, what are your issues with Comcast? If it's just the bill, then you need to redo your plan. Price-wise, for what you get, there's usually little difference between DirecTV and Comcast, once you factor in the cost of high speed internet and phone. Right now, in the Shoals, getting your TV, Phone, and Internet as a bundle through Comcast is the cheapest option available.

    Second, there are some advantages, and disadvantages, to satellite. I've had all manner of TV service, and DirecTV is probably my favorite provider, but what I get with Comcast makes it much more desirable. No one can touch the internet speed I'm getting with Comcast. One of the big advantages with DirecTV is the NFL Sunday Ticket, especially right now since it's free, but there's a catch. From reading about it online, it looks like agreeing to it for free this season locks you into paying for it next season. So, if you're a big NFL guy and would have bought it anyway, then it's a great deal, otherwise not so much.

    As for the installation, remember where the dish is pointing - at a satellite. I've seen a bunch of people with overhang problems pay hundreds of dollars to have trees cut only to have it not help because they had the wrong tree cut. The tree that was interfering with the signal was the one behind the dish, blowing over above the satellite. Check your azimith and elevation settings, and then go outside around the northern side of your house and figure out what that angle is. Odds are that you can mount the dish somewhere along the northern edge of your house without a problem. Those dishes look a lot higher up than most people think.

    As for the reception issues, there is a legitimate problem there. It seemed to me that, when we had satellite, the only time we lost the signal was when we needed it to monitor the weather situation. However, it's not as bad as a lot of people make it out to be. If you lose your signal in northern Alabama more than once a month, then you've got installation issues. Most installers don't work for DirecTV; they're independent contractors. And a surprisingly large number of them do an acceptabe job at best. Try to find someone who will give you references for their installations, and don't be afraid to pay for installation. You can get it free, but sometimes you do really get what you pay for. If you've got the room, you can build protection for your satellite, protecting it from wind and rain from the west, north, and east which will pretty much guarantee that the only time you lose signal is from dense storm interference.

    Like I said, though, the time you lose the signal is usually when you're watching the TV to keep an eye on the weather. However, there is a way, or two, around this. The first way, obviously, is to use an antenna for backup for local channels. There is another way, though. I can't survive on satellite internet, not the way I use it. So, even if I'm using satellite for TV, I'm wired for internet. If I could do distributed A/V with satellite the way I can with cable, then here is what I would be doing: Cable for Internet, Phone, and basic TV (like 10 channels) with DirecTV for main TV. The last time I chekced, having Comcast internet access gets you basic cable for free, which is basically your local channels and PBS, more or less.

    So, the question there is, what are you going to use for your internet if you move your TV service to DirecTV?


    Sent from my Asus Transformer using Tapatalk.
    I plan on keeping Comcast for internet. Modifying the package doesn't really help, because a lot of the channels I love - History, NG, etc., aren't in Comcast's basic package. Local, I don't need anyway, because I can literally throw a rock and hit ABC and CBS. Fox and NBC aren't really much further. I get an excellent air signal. The NFL package was interesting because it seems to be advertised to be free, but if I had to pay for the second year, I wouldn't take it. I don't pay anything to take trees down. I've done that for many years. I do have a friend who works for a satellite company who will shoot the azimuth for me...
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  4. #29
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    Re: DirecTV question...

    Like a couple of others have said, the only complaints I've ever heard about DirecTV was in regards to their customer service. (But hey, what TV providers customer service isn't horrible?)

    I'd love to make the switch, but my hands are tied. The trees in our LOS are owned by the city, and ATT U-verse isn't in our neighborhood. Comcast is our only option.

    Everyone I personally know who has DirecTV loves it and swears by it. If you do make the switch, be sure to put a friends name down who already has DirecTV, you and they get an extra $5 off per month. Not a big amount, but over a 2 year contract it equals a couple free tanks of gas.

  5. #30

    Re: DirecTV question...

    I have directv in the hsv area and I am happy so far. U will still have to get Internet from another provider, in my area comcast is only choice. Also movie channels r only free for 3 months and then bill goes up $45. Also NFL Sunday gameplan is free but I think u will pay the next year something crazy

  6. #31
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    Re: DirecTV question...

    Quote Originally Posted by TIDE-HSV View Post
    I plan on keeping Comcast for internet. Modifying the package doesn't really help, because a lot of the channels I love - History, NG, etc., aren't in Comcast's basic package. Local, I don't need anyway, because I can literally throw a rock and hit ABC and CBS. Fox and NBC aren't really much further. I get an excellent air signal. The NFL package was interesting because it seems to be advertised to be free, but if I had to pay for the second year, I wouldn't take it. I don't pay anything to take trees down. I've done that for many years. I do have a friend who works for a satellite company who will shoot the azimuth for me...
    Comcast will try to screw you over on your internet if you cancel the TV package. When we tried to get DirecTV (before we knew about our LOS problems) we told comcast we'd like to keep them for internet, but not tv service. I asked how much our bill would be for just the internet and when she told me, I almost fell on the floor. It was only going to drop from around $80 to around $50.

    We had been bundling them together and we were paying $60 for TV $20 for internet. If we took out our tv package, they were going to bump up our internet to $49.95!

  7. #32
    BamaNation First Team GA_Tide's Avatar
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    I have tall trees all around my house. I got the dish mounted on the NE side of my roof and get a great signal. You should at least have someone come out. Make sure to get the whole home DVR. Awesome.

  8. #33
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    Re: DirecTV question...

    I've had DirecTV for about 10 years. A refugee from Charter.

    DirecTV isn't perfect, but I'll go without before I go back to Charter.

    There are advantages and disadvantages both ways. In my experience:
    Advantages of DirecTV: Better picture, better sound, more reliable, better programming choices. I LOVE the Military, History International and Smithsonian Channels. I bet you would too.

    Disadvantages of DirecTV: It does go out in a bad rainstorm. But my experience is that it's out for only a few minutes at a time. Never had it out for longer than an hour or so, and that was in the remnants of a hurricane.

    But that's not nearly as big a disadvantage as Charter wants you to believe. My Charter was a LOT less reliable than that. Went out if it sprinkled. Went out sometimes for no apparent reason. And when it was out. it was out for a while. Forget about getting an adjustment on your bill. According to Charter, you're lucky they let you subscribe.

    Also, if you do lose signal on DirecTV, there's a little trick you can use: HD is a lot more sensitive to signal degradation than regular def. So if the channel you want has both HD and regular definition versions (and there are very few HD channels that don't have a regular counterpart), you can switch from HD to regular and often get reception. With Charter, if it's out, it's out and there are no options.

    I did have a bad experience with DirecTV's initial "free" installation. Turns out, the Charter coax in and around the house was corroded in spots. But the DirecTV subs couldn't identify that, even after multiple attempts. Got so bad I finally had the house re-wired on my own dime. No problems since.

    Advantages of Charter: You have a better chance of having reception in a storm. But as much as my Charter went out, it's not much better. I'm told it's good internet service.

    Disadvantages of Charter: World-class crappy customer service. Expensive for what you get. Programming options not so great. Signal not nearly as reliable as they'd have you believe.

    If I ever switched from DirecTV, it would probably be to Uverse. No way, no how, not ever, not even if it were free, would I go back to Charter.
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  9. #34
    BamaNation First Team bamadp's Avatar
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    Re: DirecTV question...

    I had Comcast for years, switched to Dish for a couple of years, then to Directv. Picture quality is excellent, Directv seems to have, IMO, better quality hardware (dvr's, receivers, etc.). Storm outage's for me anyway are practically nil, only lost picture twice in a year, and both times for less than 15 minutes. A couple of suggestions, especially if LOS is a question. If possible, deal face-to-face with a local satellite company that has been in business a few years and knows their stuff. When it comes to installation or any problems that may arise, they seem to be more customer oriented than calling an 800 number. Get the whole-house dvr, it's great. If you're switching from cable there's always some kinda deal. The highest tier of programing includes all the regional sports networks, and if they're offering NFL Sunday Ticket, you can watch football all weekend.
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  10. #35
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    Re: DirecTV question...

    We switched to DirectV a couple of years ago from our local small town cable company (ComSouth). The installers worked for about an hour to find the best installation point and set the antenna on a post in our back yard and ran the line underground back to the house. We've been very happy with the service. We do have problems when there is heavy rain to the SW, but its usually for a short duration. We had a problem the other night when for some reason one of our receivers wouldn't work, but when I called customer service at 9 PM Eastern, they reset the receiver and I was in business in 5 minutes.

    The funniest problem was in Feb 2010 when I went to watch the Opening Ceremonies of the Winter Olympics and couldn't get any signal! I looked out back and saw that our freak snowstorm had covered the dish with snow. A quick wipe job with my hand and we were back in business!

    I can't see ever going back.

  11. #36
    BamaNation Hall of Fame GulfCoastTider's Avatar
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    Re: DirecTV question...

    On the customer service issue with DirecTV: Maybe I've just been lucky, but I've found them to be quite helpful and responsive. I would rate their service a B- but that is still far and away better than any of the D- and F service I got from Comcast. If a major storm system passes through your area and both power and cable service are interrupted, you will get power first and cable has to wait until they are done. Trust me on this--one of the big reasons I went to DirecTV was because of having to go weeks without cable following Tropical Storm Barry in 2001. That was a weak storm but my cable was out for two weeks.

    Like I said back on Page 1, if I've got power, I've got TV. That's not true with any cable provider.
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  12. #37
    BamaNation All-American 230kv_barehand's Avatar
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    Re: DirecTV question...

    Earle to me you cant go wrong with DirecTv. To me their HD is second to none and I've seen or been around Charter, DTV, and Dish and DTV is the best hands down. Only thing I hate is that they encode the DVR programs and you have to have some programs to get them on your computer (I unluckily cant get them now so not sure on if they still do that or not).

    To me:

    1. DirecTv
    2. Dish
    3. cable

    Go with 1 or 2. You wont regret it after being on cable, trust me! I hate cable and will be glad when I can get dish back.

  13. #38
    Senior Administrator TIDE-HSV's Avatar
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    Re: DirecTV question...

    Quote Originally Posted by uafan4life View Post
    Well, you obviously couldn't put it there without some tree work. However, what about from the northwest side of your house, mounting it along the egde of the roofline?

    Sent from my Asus Transformer using Tapatalk.
    It really doesn't get any better. I'm just going to have to get it shot and decide which trees and cut them, if we need it. There are a couple which probably have needed to come down, anyway.
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  14. #39
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    Re: DirecTV question...

    I've had DirecTV for almost 13 years and have never had any major issues with them or their service. Well, once, but that was before I received and paid my bill online, and because I had forgotten to pay the bill. But I've never had any reason to complain about the reception or their customer service.
    I have never considered Comcast for cable because of an experience a former neighbor had with them years ago. He had Comcast and dropped them in favor of DirecTV. A couple of months later, he got a bill from Comcast for 'loss of profit', which amounted to 3 months of what his Comcast bill had been! He had to go to court over it, and he won, but that alone was enough to warn me away from Comcast forever.
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