View Full Version : NFBT: Satellite TV?

06-04-2001, 06:49 AM
Mrs. Gaz and I are contemplating a leap into the satellite TV arena. We would be interested in the opinion of those of you who have satellite. We particularly want to know the bad stuff [interruptions in service by storms, lost signal, installation horror stories, etc.]. Input from those living in DooDah or DooDahLite would be especially valuable.


Poised on the edge.

06-04-2001, 07:10 AM
Hey Gaz! I got DirectTV just so I could watch the Chiefs play. Living in Florida, we get ALOT of tropical storms in the late summer and early fall... right in the middle of Football season.. but it was very rare to get an interuption of service. Occasionally, the signal would weaken for half a second and I would get "digital static".. i.e. a portion of the picture on the screen would freeze for half a second or so.. Occasionally, the storms would cause "pixelazation," but all and all I found it very stable.

Not sure why else you would want DirectTV though. I never watch it except for Football and the IFC and Sundance channels. Everything else is pretty much just more Cable.

One thing to be careful about is to ask your fellow DooDahLiters about any blocked channels. Although they are in the airwaves, I am blocked from FOX and CBS since the cable industry in my area has a monopoly on those channels.


06-04-2001, 07:17 AM

My parents bought a RCA Direct TV dish several years ago and got along with that pretty well. The guy they bought it from installed it so that wasn't a problem. The biggest headache was as you mentioned, losing the signal during heavy rains.

My parents have since switched to the DISH network, primarily because the people at Direct TV were very uncooperative. My parents live out in the sticks in south central MO and the broadcast networks are not easy to pick up. Dad wanted to get the direct network feeds from the satellite company but because of Federal rules, couldn't do so without a waiver from the local broadcast stations. He went to all the trouble of doing that but still Direct TV wouldn't give him the networks. Finally he got fed up and switched to DISH network and now has all of the broadcast networks (ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX) via the dish.

Long story short, the two dishes are comparable, but we found the DISH network people easier to get along with.

Michael Michigan
06-04-2001, 07:37 AM

If you have no restrictions (price, HOA, etc.) a C/KU band set up with a 4DTV receiver is the best quality.

Programming is less expensive, initial investment is more.

You'll need at least a 7.5' mesh dish.

It's an analog/digital combination with a ton of channels.

Many are free and the wild feeds are great.

06-04-2001, 07:43 AM
directv's worked pretty good for me...sure, it's gone out a few times during storms, but according to the wife you're supposed to turn off the tv during storms anyway.

i think the snow's worse than storms...it slowly accumulates on that cone thingy on the dish which causes you to lose the signal. i just send the wife outside w/her little cobweb broom and she brushes it off and everything's fine again. she comes back in and brings me a beer and a sammich.

teamwork is the key...

Skip Towne
06-04-2001, 07:44 AM
Gaz, I believe we have talked about this before but since you remain interested I will add more info. I am a satellite tech for both Dish Network & Directv. In your case, Directv is the one since it has the Sunday Ticket. As for your local networks, cable has no say in the matter. You may apply to the networks (thru Directv) and each network may veto your request if you are in their "footprint", that is, if you are able to receive the signal with a rooftop antenna. You may be approved to receive one or more of these via dish. Each area is different so you just have to apply to find out. Also, the local networks are available via dish in major metrpolitan areas. You can call 800-730 4742 to check on this.( $4.99 per mo. for all 5 if available) Service interruptions ( rain fade) are minial. It is a direct function of how well your dish is aligned. A torrential downpour will curtail service for a few minutes on a well aimed dish. Most of the channels are the same as cable except are much clearer with a dish. You may call me @ 877-360 3222 (toll free) with any questions you may have.

06-04-2001, 08:21 AM
We have Kroger grocery stores around here and they have a promotion in which you can get a dual lnb installed for $39 and have an additional receiver for $99. The lady I talked said the best way to get 4 tvs hooked up was to split the signal from one of the boxes and run it to another tv. Of course the only draw-back is you have to watch what the other box is set on. I called to wife and told her about this and she said that would be my father's day gift. COOL.....

I am not sure if it is a different number or not but the number the Kroger store gave me was 800-523-7556.

06-04-2001, 08:26 AM
Direct TV is super. I've had it since it started-saves money compared to sports bars-just wish they carried preseason games. What's a storm? I live in SoCal. I do use a dish cover and have never had any signal interruptions, don't know how well they work for real weather though.

06-04-2001, 08:30 AM

I went with satellite when we moved to Houston mainly because of the money I would save avoiding cable. We have occasional weather problems, but nothing that lasts more than a minute or so.

Unlike gh4chiefs, all my problems were with Dish TV. Their customer service was so bad that I filed a report with the Better Business Bureau, and still nothing was solved. Right before I switched, I received a notice that they were raising my monthly charge due to the added HBO channels. I explained to them that I didn't have HBO. In the end, I was still liable to pay for the added HBO upgrade. Last time I checked, they had a bad BBB report due to their customer service and failing to follow up on customer complaints. I now have Direct TV and love it. Every month I get coupons for free PPV movie, etc.

Hope this helps

Joe Seahawk
06-04-2001, 08:48 AM
Gaz, C/ku band satellite like Michael suggested is the best IMO..

I had a c band setup that I unfortunately had to get rid of (it was an 11 foot dish) ..I now use direct tv I use the Direct tv digital receiver with optical ports, the audio quality is awesome if you have dolby digital stereo equipment. I prefer the C-band setup overall, but either setup blows the doors off of cable tv. The sound and picture quality is much better.....Joe

Skip Towne
06-04-2001, 10:48 AM
Hey, Joe, you didn't say why you abandoned your "C" band. I'll bet it broke ( they are notorious for that) and nobod would fix it for a reasonable price. Right? You have to find a dinosaur like me to work on them. They are known in the industry as BUDs. Big ugly dish.They are nearly extinct. Not only do they have moving parts but they have to be able to stop exactly on each satellite. Quite a feat for older equipment with worn parts. (See "All of them") They also may be banned from useby Home Owners Assn.'s, rental property owners, city ordinance, etc. Dishes under 39" can not be banned (Teecommuncations Act of 1996). You have to be a brave, patient soul to put up with them. They are great when working properly but the downside is just too great.

06-04-2001, 10:51 AM
LOL - I just noticed Gaz's avatar...

06-04-2001, 10:57 AM
Being a former satellite dealer/technician I can tell you a couple things.

Cband (big dish) is the best quality you can get as far as picture and rain fade...it takes 6" of rain per hour to knock out a C-band signal. But it does have its drawbacks. You have to wait while the dish moves from one satellite to another to change channels. You also have maintenance expenses you wont have with a mini-dish. A lnb for a big dish will run you $75 installed, an arm (moves the dish) will be over $100 installed, there are also polarity motors, reed sensors, the list goes on and on. (This is why I'm not a dealer anymore, there isn't any money in maintaining mini-dishes...and most of the big dishes are now bird waterers or big sleds.)

As far as little dishes, my experience has been that DishNetwork has better customer service than DirecTV. They have won the JDPower awards for customer service for the last 2 years I believe.

Another thing you might look into is STARBAND. It is a dish that gives you DishNetwork and Internet in one. This dish transmits and receives internet, at pretty good speeds. I believe it will download at 144K and transmit at around 60K. While this isn't nearly as fast as DSL, it is dramatically faster than dial up connections. This system costs about a grand.

Joe Seahawk
06-04-2001, 11:15 AM
Skip towne,

The reason I abandoned my BUD was the fact that my actuator arm went out (Von weise wouldn't replace it even though it was only one year old) Plus I wanted 4dtv..

Actuator arm...179 smackeroos

new lnb to support 4dtv...125 smackeroos

4dtv receiver.....1,000 smackeroos at that time)

That equals 1,304 smackeroos..


about 500 smackeroos for the installed digital direct tv receiver, plus Sunday ticket and 6 months of all the programming.

I do miss my BUD though.....Joe
saving smackeroos

06-04-2001, 11:38 AM
Thanks for the input, folks.

Let me give you all a more complete picture of where I am:

I started looking at TiVo, because I would love to have tapeless recording. There are still too many limitations in the system now, but it is definitely in my future. Maybe the next generation.

However, during my search, I had to check out satellite packages, availability and pricing. I discovered that I can have satellite [Total Service on DirecTV or Top 100 on Dish Network] along with basic cable [for those pesky local stations] for the same money I am paying for cable right now. I get a digital signal, more channels, the on-line program guide and the digital music. More stuff, same money.

I am almost sold, so Mrs. Gaz and I are looking for reasons why I should not go with satellite. Poor customer service, “rain fade,” interference with low-flying airplanes, bird strikes on the dish, so forth.

I have found some very attractively priced systems on-line. One place is offering the Hughes E1132 [dual LNB dish & receiver] with the E11 [2nd receiver] for $119. This includes free installation from DirecTV.


That is quite tempting. I would have DirecTV and basic cable on both TVs, so I can tape simultaneous programs.

Keep ‘em coming, please. This is very helpful and I appreciate it.

Firmly entrenched in research mode.

06-04-2001, 11:44 AM
i've never had to call cust service for my dish...but the guy who installed it was great. took his shoes off when he came in the house, took his time and explained everything real slow for me and showed me how to subscribe to the dirty movies.

you got a big screen to go along w/this new hookup, gaz?
(gotta have a big screen if you're gonna have a digital sig)

06-04-2001, 11:52 AM

Questions to ask yourself,

Am I really getting this for the NFL package (Rember only DirectTV has the package), if yes then no question get it.

Am I getting it to supplement cable for more entertainment, if yes then it is not really cheaper than buying extra channels on cable unless you want the NFL package.

Am I getting it to replace cable, be warned this is a recipe for unhappiness or spending a lot of money. Most places you do not get the major networks if they are available on cable (licensing restrictions) If you are a single TV home it is fine, but if you have two TVs then you must buy the expensive Dual LNB system with two separate receivers. If you have more than two TVs forget it, it is just too darn expensive to not use cable supplemented by the Satellite system.

Generally installation is either free or about $100 at least in California. The stores that sell the systems like Radio Shack run specials where the system is typically $50 and installation is free every so often.

Sunday Ticket for the NFL makes it worthwhile to me, the rest is fluff that is usually cheaper from Cable.

Gaz forgot reception,

Sunspots, at least twice a year sunspot activity will reduce reception quality creating digital signal breakups, kind of weird and the first couple of times I thought it was cool. Extended activity is annoying.

Rain, will make picture slightly fuzzy but really just an annoyance still easily watched.

We do not get lightning storms so I cannot comment.

Really strong winds can alter position of your dish causing loss of signal strength, to many dB down and bye, bye. Not an issue in CA but in DooDah it could become a hassle

I have never experienced a complete loss of signal but then again I am in CA.

06-04-2001, 11:53 AM

61" Hitachi Ultravision TV and a Kenwood home theater sound system.

Mrs. Gaz been berry, berry good to me...

Completely and utterly spoiled.

06-04-2001, 11:57 AM

The local station shows all the Chiefs games, so I do not need the Sunday Ticket.

The reasons I am considering satellite are the digital signal, more channels and the on-screen guide for slightly [very slightly] less money. The Engineer finds that a very attractive proposition, but also knows that there is a downside to everything.

I am looking for the downside.

Looking to the stars, or at least the southern horizon.

keg in kc
06-04-2001, 12:03 PM
The onscreen guide is a nice thing. Our cable provider actually has it here in KC (Time-Warner). We upped to digital cable when we moved to the new old house, and we like it much so far. Between the onscreen guide and tvguide.com, I haven't cracked an actual paper tv guide in two years, and surfing is made much easier (although I still do it of course...). ;)

06-04-2001, 12:04 PM
I went to the dish last year and will never go back. The picture and sound quality leave cable in the dust and it's cheaper to boot.

As for customer service, I've had no problems. A simple phone call quickly resolved the two inquiries I had. Now our Comcast customer service, that's a totally different matter.

The only downsides I can think of is we get rain fade when <b/>heavy</b> rains fall and it peeves me to pay $5 so the 2nd set can run independently, but that's all.

Check around with your friends and find one with a dish. Check out his/her reception, sound quality, etc. You'll never go back.

LD for KC
06-04-2001, 12:05 PM
Hello Gaz: I have been a C-Band user for 18 years. Now I have a Dishnetwork system for all signals, (except the Sunday Ticket), for that I have to keep the C-Band up and going.

Dishnetwork's 500 system is a capable receiver. I can say customer service is nothing short of nonexistant. I even resorted to writing a letter to their CEO. They know once their system is in your home, they got you.

They blame all their shortcomings on a Federal Judge in Florida, who apparently ruled that a customer can get New York, Dallas, Denver, Atlanta, but not Kansas City, under any conditions. In short get ready for ALOT of frustration.

LD for KC

06-04-2001, 12:06 PM
Gaz I revised my post below to add info on the technical limitation that I know about. You replied before it completed the editing process so if you re-read it you will find what I know about.

One other thing service calls to reposition your dis if you do not want to put yourself in peril are about 30 to 40 bucks. Well worth the price because they hit the satellite dead nuts and again who wants to end up in the hospital from endangering themselves adjusting the dish.

06-04-2001, 01:44 PM
Please excuse the self-promotion, but I am hoping that one of the night owls has satellite TV and a horror story to share.

Thank you for your indulgence.

Can hear his wallet screaming.

Skip Towne
06-04-2001, 04:17 PM
After reading some of the later posts I thought of a couple more things. First, digital systems do not produce a fuzzy picture. Analog systems do as the signal weakens. Digital systems freeze frame & pixillate as signal weakens. Then it goes off.If you see a fuzzy picture on a digital dish, the prblem is between the receiver & the TV. The sgnal leaves the receiver in analog form to accomodate the TV, an analog device. Don't worry about rain fade. You will only see it a couple of times per year for a very brief period. Sun fade is when the sun is directly behind the satellite & overpowers the signal. It happens twice a year & is very predictable as to time & duration. In Oklahoma, it is in early April & late September. At around 3 o'clock in the afternoon. When it happens you can see the sun's shadow on thecenter of your dish. Nothing to worry about. You'll be at work. Definately go with the Hughes receiver. It has features none of the others have. (Hughes is owned by GM ) Avoid the Sony receiver at all costs. It has a very hard to operate remote. Sony seems to be trying to make it tough. Theirpole is a different size from all the others. Handy, huh? The program guide (with the Hughes) lets you go clear into the next day to see what will be coming on. Most cable guides only show you an hour or so in advance. As for customer service, you have Directv & you also have me. I gave you both 800 #'s in an earlier post. Call me & tell me what it is doing & I will tell you where to look. You can then fix it yourself.

Skip Towne
06-04-2001, 04:23 PM
After reading some of the later posts I thought of a couple more things. First, digital systems do not produce a fuzzy picture. Analog systems do as the signal weakens. Digital systems freeze frame & pixillate as signal weakens. Then it goes off.If you see a fuzzy picture on a digital dish, the prblem is between the receiver & the TV. The sgnal leaves the receiver in analog form to accomodate the TV, an analog device. Don't worry about rain fade. You will only see it a couple of times per year for a very brief period. Sun fade is when the sun is directly behind the satellite & overpowers the signal. It happens twice a year & is very predictable as to time & duration. In Oklahoma, it is in early April & late September. At around 3 o'clock in the afternoon. When it happens you can see the sun's shadow on thecenter of your dish. Nothing to worry about. You'll be at work. Definately go with the Hughes receiver. It has features none of the others have. (Hughes is owned by GM ) Avoid the Sony receiver at all costs. It has a very hard to operate remote. Sony seems to be trying to make it tough. Theirpole is a different size from all the others. Handy, huh? The program guide (with the Hughes) lets you go clear into the next day to see what will be coming on. Most cable guides only show you an hour or so in advance. As for customer service, you have Directv & you also have me. I gave you both 800 #'s in an earlier post. Call me & tell me what it is doing & I will tell you where to look. You can then fix it yourself.

keg in kc
06-04-2001, 04:27 PM
The cable guide I mentioned having in my earlier post goes ahead about 36 hours (a day and a half), if I'm not mistaken. The guide I had at my old place only went forward a few hours, so apparently the guide with digital cable (what I have now) is better...

Skip Towne
06-04-2001, 04:56 PM
About digital cable. The cable companies lead you to believe that all channels are digital. In Tulsa, only a few of them are digital, the rest are what you had before, analog. To find out which are not digital, unhook the co-ax (coming in from outside) from the digital box & hook it up directly to the TV. The channels that remain are not digital. I've never seen a digital cable ad that mentioned this. BTW, all channels on Directv are digital & always have been.

keg in kc
06-04-2001, 05:04 PM
That much I know to be true because I have cable access on all my TVs below channel 66 (which is good since we have 5 TVs but only 1 box ;))

Above that, no idea, but my guess would be that the "digital tier" begins at channel 190, giving me about 85 digital channels, plus the 85 pay per view channels and the 50 or so music channels, to go with the 60 or 65 analog channels that normal cable subscribers get. Knew that much going in, though, since we initially asked about having cable on the rest of the tvs.

I don't have much to complain about, though, since I don't watch much TV and I get the football games I want by default...

06-04-2001, 06:40 PM
I have 3 dishes with DirectTV on 3 televisions. I received all my dishes for free, so having 3 is not a problem. I had the first one installed professionaly because it's way up on the roof. The other two I installed myself with my father. It's not too difficult. The most difficult part was finding a signal after we put it up, but once you get locked in just fasten it. I live in South Florida so we get a lot of tropical and thunder storms. Rain usually doesn't cause us to lose signal but storms with heavy rain and lightning can cause signal loss. I've never gone (except from a tropical storm/hurricane) more than an hour without signal. I love satellite. Cable is provided within my HOA so when the dish goes out I just switch to that, otherwise I never use it. I first got DirectTV just to watch the Chiefs because the price is much less than going to a bar every weekend and they never show the Chiefs in Florida. Down here the local channels (CBS, NBC, FOX, ABC) are available on satellite so I get them both on cable and dish. I find myself watching the History Channel, A&E, Discovery, etc. that I didn't receive on cable. The only downside is I have to pay $5 per satellite to get an open feed through each separate dish with the same programming. But I love my Chiefs football and the extra programs available through dish and wouldn't go plain cable again.

Michael Michigan
06-04-2001, 06:52 PM

I've had a BUD for 15 years and can never remember having trouble with it locking on a bird. Plus--you can just bump it over a few clicks to improve picture and sound.

I do miss getting everything for free, but still love the wild feeds.

C/KU with analog and digital---premiun picture and sound, can't beat it.

Stinking LSD's, they always try to sell me one as I pay for my programming.


Skip Towne
06-04-2001, 06:58 PM
Three dishes for three TV's? Never seen that before in six years with Directv. Each of those dishes, with multi switches, can run 64 TV's. So you are setto run 192 TV's. I can't see that it is hurting anything though other than being unsightly & keeping them all aimed.You could get a dual LNB for one of the dishes & that would allow you to take a dish down and use it elsewhere like an RV or a cabin. You could just take one of the receivers with you wherever and it wouldn't cost you anything. I forgot to tell Gaz about this extra feature of the dish. I can't imagine a customer letting me put three dishes on his house but to each his own.

06-04-2001, 08:11 PM

I am out here in CA and when I investigated getting more than 1 DTV hook up they wanted 31.99 per receiver. They said that I could hook up a large number of TVs to 1 dish but all would get the same channel. If I wanted more than 1 channel I need a receiver for each set and it would then cost the 31.99 per receiver.

1) Was I lied to
2) If so what would your recommendation be, I have six TV that are often going and on different channels at the same time.

3) They said that due to licensing with Cable companies I would not be able to get the network feeds (not just no local but no Network such as ABC, NBC, CBS, UPN, etc., any thoughts on this information?

Your help is appreciated as I have an offer on a new home and I will soon be making these choices again.


Clint in Wichita
06-04-2001, 10:40 PM

I've got Cox digital cable w/ every channel you can buy (about 275) for about $75.00 per month. A second digital box is another $5.00 per month.

Sunday Ticket aside, there is nothing you can purchase on satellite TV that you can't purchase on cable, including the NBA & NCAA football versions of "Sunday Ticket". You get about 60 movie channels and 40 PPV channels, along with all the ESPN channels, CNNSI, Fox Sports World, etc...basically all the channels any couch potato could want and then some. The picture & sound quality is indistinguishable from satellite so far as I can tell, having seen both.

Plus, customer service is a snap since Cox has offices here in town.

My cable bill is one of the few that I don't mind paying. I actually feel like I'm getting my money's worth.

While the cable guy's at your house, why not have him install a Roadrunner as well? They kick arse. :cool:

06-04-2001, 10:58 PM

I don't know too much about satellite systems but I think your new avitar kicks butt.

Ya know how you get a mental image of someone - well thats pretty damm close ;)

Michael Michigan
06-04-2001, 11:31 PM

Unless it's the fact that they want to bend you over because you live in paradise, then yes--they are attempting to rip you off.


If I have more than one receiver, do I pay a full monthly subscription for each receiver?

No. DIRECTV allows you to connect more than one television in a single household to our services. If your receivers are connected to the same phone line, we can 'mirror' your subscription.

In other words, the programming you request for the primary access card in your receiver is copied for all of the access cards in the other receivers and you are authorized to receive this same level or programming on these televisions. Instead of charging you a separate monthly subscription for each receiver, we simply charge a $4.99 monthly service fee for each additional receiver.

06-04-2001, 11:45 PM
Thanks Michael,

For now I will assume that since I got my service two years ago the policy has changed due to more competition with at least 5 services presently available. Nicer than thinking I got shafted. When I move I will get two Dual LNBs and the needed receivers and do this thing right. The Satellite digital is much superior to cable.

Skip Towne
06-05-2001, 05:10 AM
Logical, yes, it appears you were lied to. I find quite often in the large electronics stores many of the employees are kids. They hire them, give them little training and send them out to sell a hundred items they know little about.I like to ask them questions just to see what they are telling people. The cable companies, in this area, have no say whether you get networks. The networks are in the public domain & are free for the taking. There was a law that prevented satellite providers from selling network channels. That law has been changed. Now the problem is there is not enough room on the satellite for the hundreds of TV stations that want on. They are serving the largest markets first. San Diego(and Tulsa) are not yet served. We hope they get to us before they run out of room. Your best bet is to either put an off-air antenna in the attic (Or keep the cheapest cable service) & diplex that down the same wire as your dish.

06-05-2001, 06:41 AM

I checked into Cox Digtital. Not all the channels are digital. In fact, few of them are. The Discovery channels are digital, as are the premium movie channels and a few others that held no interest for me at all. The rest are analogue signal. That’s why I did not go for Digital Cable [which, if it really were all digital, would solve my dilemma].

I have Road Runner and it does kick.

Pretty much convinced about satellite, now shopping for the right hardware.

06-05-2001, 06:57 AM
Skip [or anyone else who knows]-

Does my hardware purchase lock me in to a specific service?

Let us assume that I buy Hughes hardware and DirecTV. Could I use the same hardware if I decided to switch to Dish Network?

Examining his options.

Skip Towne
06-05-2001, 07:48 AM
Good question Gaz. You really are very thorough. The dish is the same for both Dish Network & Directv. The receivers are specific to the Service. You can just change the elevation of the dish, swing it around to he new azimuth, hook up the new receiver and change services. We are selling complete single LNB Hughes systems for $49.95. Dish Network systems that are similar are around $100. It is possible to use Directv during football season then switch to Dish the rest of the time. Directv does not charge to start & stop service or change packages. Dish charges $25 to re-start service & $5 to change packages if you go down in price. If I had your zip code I could see if I could send you a system. I am only able to sell to Pegasus customers, a sort of franchisee of Directv.

06-05-2001, 07:57 AM

I am currently leaning towards DirecTV, but my mind is not made up yet.

I would be grateful for whatever information you can provide. I am an information junkie when I am in "research mode." Mrs. Gaz often has to knock me out of "research mode" and into "shopping mode." My zip is 67037. I am currently served by Cox Cable in Derby, KS. I will be keeping the basic cable service for those pesky local channels.


Jonesing for some hard data.

06-05-2001, 08:25 AM

IMHO Direct TV's online guide is better than the DISH network. Often times when trying to use the guide with DISH it will either simply not have the info available or else it will take an eternity to download. Direct TV on the other hand was always pretty much instantaneous and very few times did you get the "Info not available" message. But keep in mind, I haven't used Direct TV in a couple of years so that may have changed.

06-06-2001, 08:21 AM
Me again.

What advantage accrues from purchasing the elliptical dish? Since I am going to get local channels via cable, is there any reason to spring for the multi-satellite dish?


Uncovering more questions all the time.

Skip Towne
06-06-2001, 09:36 AM
The elliptical dish is being used for the Direct PC system. That is the interactive internet system being offered by Directv. I attended a class on this system and wasn't very impressed. They are very expensive upfront and carry a hefty monthly charge and 1 year contract. I opted out on buying the $1500 computer needed to install this system. We installed one at the office but haven't sold one yet. I'd pass.

06-06-2001, 02:46 PM
Gaz, as a fellow Doo-Dah-Liter, I too get the Cox Cable package. I've got the same setup that Clint has, the digital package with every channel they have to offer (plus Road Runner!). The dishes aren't going to offer you anything you can't get with the full-up cable, and the $$ are close. While all those channels might not truly be digital, it's still a great value, IMO. I've got a 58" widescreen, and while the cable isn't as clear as my DVD's, it is still impressive. My mom lives in rural KC where her cable options stinks, so she has DishNetwork and says she would much rather have our digital cable. And with the digital cable, you get the on-screen guide you mentioned earier. I've got a few friends with with Dish and DirectTV, and I just don't see the difference from what Cox provides. The one limitation I do run into, though, is that I can't take advantage of true widescreen capability with the Cox digital, since it's not a high-def signal. But if you don't have a widescreen, that wouldn't matter. The guy at Best Buy where I bought the TV says that capability is about a year away from Cox, could have been a sales pitch though. Anyway, the only reason I can see getting a dish living where we do would be for NFL Sunday ticket, or unless you're committed to the idea of having the high-def digital signal. I've considered it for the NFL reason, but I've got season tix, so I'm gone half the weekends anyway, hard to justify it!!

By the way, if you want to stop by and judge the picture for yourself, that's fine. I live south of 63rd on Woodlawn, email me...

06-06-2001, 04:00 PM
just bringing it up, for some reason my actual reply didn't bring it to the top!?

Skip Towne
06-06-2001, 06:48 PM
Hey cjderby- I'm glad you are happy with your cable. You are aong the minority but everyone gets an opinion. BTW, have you ever tried to take the cable RVing? Or to your cabin? Just wondering.

06-06-2001, 08:34 PM

I checked into this when I first considered digital. Despite the name, Cox digital is not all digital. Here are the channels that are digital [from the Cox site]


The rest of the channels supplied by Cox are the same analogue signal I am getting now. If Cox Digital Cable were all-digital, I would probably not be investigating DirecTV.

Right now, I have the basic, expanded and variety tiers [gotta have that SciFi and History Channels], so my cost is $37.48. The digital gateway receiver is another $7.95 per TV, which bumps me up to $53.38 per month.

DirecTV Total Choice is $31.99 for all these channels and more, with a 100% digital signal. The 2nd receiver costs me $4.99 per month, so my total is $36.98.


Since I have Road Runner, I will keep the Cox basic service so that I will get local channels. That costs $10.35 per month. Since Cox levies an additional $10 surcharge to Road Runner without cable television, those basic channels are effectively costing me $0.35 per month, but let’s go ahead and add that into my total. That brings me up to $48.33 per month for basic Cox cable and DirecTV. Still cheaper than Cox Digital, with more digital channels.

As you see, I can get more channels with a 100% digital signal for less money. I save $5.05 a month, which buys me a couple of comics.

Grinding the numbers.

Joe Seahawk
06-06-2001, 09:07 PM
Gaz, you probably already know this but, you can get a direct tv receiver with a digital audio port so you can enjoy some shows in DTS or dolby digital 5+1.

I bought the 6 channel digital receiver and found that very few programs offer that format. (mostly dolby pro logic)

The ppv and some certain movies on HBO are encrypted with the six channel surround..

I'm no home theatre techy, but I am very impressed with the Audio and video improvements over digital cable...

06-07-2001, 07:26 AM
Hi Joe-

The Hughes E45 is my target. It has the Dolby Digital capability. There is no point in having the Kenwood and passing on a receiver that can relay a Dolby Digital signal. That would be inefficient and we Engineers hate inefficiency…

Probably not quite as efficient as he would like to be.