Forum Thread

Cable TV versus Satellite TV

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  • Center Left
    Independent
    Central, FL
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    I was wondering if anyone had any comments about Satellite television. Too late now though, I just switched to Satellite (Direct tv) on Wed. I had been with cable for the last 30+ years. It was great. Only complaint is the price kept going up to the point where we were paying over 250.00 per month for Cable, Telephone, and Internet. That was with no premium channels. We kept Internet (broadband), got rid of the land line because we have 2 smart phones. Now Internet is about 20.00 a month, and Satellite is about 65.00 a month. Satellite has whole house DVR. 3 free months of all premium cannels, and this fall I get the NFL ticket for the NFL season for free. Of course, on canceling, Cable co. said we can lower your bill. KMA, we asked previously and nothing was offered.
    Not sure if others have price issues with cable television, but I think we were being overcharged even though we had "the bundle" of 3 services.

    We were unsure about switching because we've never had satellite and we weren't sure about losing the signal, with wind, rain, snow. So far no issues.
  • Liberal
    Other Party
    Llos Angeles, CA
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    Both monopolize their customers. We really don't have options and they know it
  • Democrat
    Missouri
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    I did the opposite recently and been enjoying AT&T UVERSE for the past 8 months. Previously, I had satellite, which I installed my self in the late 80's and I had to only update some receiver Amps, cable and box one time. Satellite went higher in frequency about 10 years ago. I only had missteps in service when a heavy cloud or storm went over. Although, cable suffers the same because cable providers get their programming by satellite also, so storm activity between ground and sky reception impacts both cable direct to residence and satellite reception to the house. I got tired of the satelliote service after Direct TV wouldn't vary the program selection and costs were going up. I just got tired of paying for the same shows over and over and over. I've enjoyed UVERSE for the time we have had it, but three months ago GOOGLE Fiber came into the neighborhood. I would have signed up for fiber, but I'm already locked into UVERSE for two years.

    My neighbor has cable and has calls for service about every two months. As an electrical engineer in communications on airports, I know where the problems lie in cable in the ground. It deteriorates in a few years from corrosion on the connections and aging of the copper. The temperature changes causes the copper (a metal) to compress and expand, which opens up signal breaks, especially at the connectors. The corrosion buildup contributes to higher resistance and makes good for releasing frequency spurs that can impact other communications. It was routine to locate interference in aviation, which the FAA (also the FCC) has documented examples of cable companies having cable that breaks the spectrum into other communications. Although, UVERSE is copper in the ground it is not signaled like the cable company. UVERSE is high speed digital over voice, which requires a 4 wire line to the home, just like a high speed modem. UVERSE runs TV, phone, Internet, and security all on one 4-wire connection. I was sold. Programming appears much better than the cable service I had.

    I do want to go to fiber one day, Since it's in the ground near the house, I'll switch in the future. I hear the speeds are awesome. I'm done with satellite, however, it was good when I had it and it was better service than cable. I did have to scrap the ice and snow off the dish. I also tuned the dish a couple of times locking into the satellite path at the horizon and I had to trim the branches off the trees. Satellite reception does not like ice, snow and trees blocking the signal.
  • Center Left
    Independent
    Central, FL
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    It's funny, I lost a few tree's (Ash trees) due to the Emerald Ash borer which killed a large number of tree's. The tree guy was scheduled (and arrived) the same time as the satellite guy so 2 tree's were taken out right before satellite was installed. Weird coincidence because they were exactly in the path of the dish.
  • Center Left
    Independent
    Charlotte, NC
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    The monopoly is getting much, much larger. Time Warner Cable and Comcast are in the process of a $45 billion dollar merger. The "choices" pretty much cease now.
  • Center Left
    Independent
    Central, FL
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    Clay and L.A.,
    You are both right. Time Warner has been my cable provider for years. We got cable in the 1970's and you were thrilled to have 14 channels.
    I think the whole "Monopoly" is why I doubt the merger will be approved. How could they ? What competition would remain out there ? AT&T is one. WOW, is a small player in this area. Problem is you have to run the wires or fiber optics to make an area possible. Once making that investment, you typically "OWN" that area. I would think AT&T would be pushing hard because the "Land line" phone business is absolutely dying, unless you have a home security system that requires a land line, there's almost no reason for it anymore. I guess some could still have dial up modems.... SAD.
  • Other Party
    Nebraska
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    ...and now some home security systems are advertising "wireless". So no land line needed.

    I do not care for Comcast, I cut them off years ago because of bad service and their customer service people lying to me over and over. You will lose satellite service for a few seconds or a few minutes during real bad weather but only a few times a year, and it is still more reliable than cable.
  • Democrat
    Missouri
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    Tony,

    I have AT&T Uverse and all that was required was replacing the old 24AWG wire from the TELCO pedestal to my residential box. Additionally, the large gauge wire matched the backbone TELCO running through the neighborhood. It wasn't much larger, but increased copper to 22AWG which supported the bandwidth needed for the digital signal. Since most all houses have 4 wires, audio only requires two wires, but with the new modem bandwidth and having 2TX and 2RX supports the common digital bandwidth. As 4 wire was installed, the house box needed replaced and was coupled to a in-house modem box. There is no dial-up because it is a consistent modem link, just like the big boys in business. However, the bandwidth is not in the Giga range, but is 100MBPS. I do desire to go to fiber, which I will get to approach the 1GBPS enjoyment.

    The single in-house modem provides TV, Internet/web access, phone (as usual) and may provide AT&T security enhancement. I have my own security so, I did not purchase the AT&T security option. To get TV access to any other set in the house, you need a wireless coupler, which is small and communicates with the main box. The main box provides access everywhere, it's just that adding access repeaters/couplers you can have TV select programming on any other TV throughout the household.

    Since there's no dial-up, Internet is always available whenever the computer, I-phone, I-Pad, or any other device that provides Internet/web access. There is even gaming available, many for free.

    I'm enjoying Uverse, but I have Google Fiber in the future, since having it installed throughout the neighborhood. My neighbors are signing up rapidly. I just jumped the gun to UVERSE too quickly. UVERSE has great programs and movies, just like the cable and satellite options, but UVERSE has more options and doesn't replay the same shows month after month after month. That's why I left satellite. An advantage to UVERSE is everything you use is through the modem. There's a small green light indicating successful handshaking on the link, that's all I need to know it's working as advertised.
  • Center Left
    Independent
    Central, FL
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    Hey AMC.
    I'm glad I switched because as I said, it's great service and it's saving me a fortune from what Time Warner cable had cost. I talked to my daughter and son in law over dinner tonight. They advised that they have AT&T Uverse also and they are happy with it. I'm glad it works well for you. Yes, fiber optics is the new thing..... Maybe eventually we will all try that.
  • Center Left
    Independent
    Denton, TX
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    I never watch TV. I have Netflix and a few other sights a I use to watch TV shows when they become available.
  • Liberal
    Independent
    Durham, NH
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    I have Comcast and I hate them! I mainly watch PBS and while they are the only stations I can get over the air where I live my wife likes to watch some of the other cable stations like Hallmark (which I can't stand) and we watch a few MSNBC shows at night, plus Colbert, that's about it. I would gladly get rid of cable TV in a second but they bundle it with broadband so it doesn't make much sense to get rid of the TV as broadband alone is only a few dollars cheaper.

    Comcast never ver should have been allowed to buy NBC and they should be regulated as a public utility as well so the can't rip us off any more. Of course, They own Congress so we don't have a chance. I'll be very surprised if the merger with TW doesn't go through although it's about the worst thing I could think of for the consumer.