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Hardware obligations?

rode2005
07-28-2005, 10:17 AM
Hello:

Does anyone know whether or not a subscriber - after fulfilling his/her 1 year obligation with DirecTV owns the dish, receivers, and access cards?

The reason I ask is because the local cable company is offering me a $300 "Dish Buyback" incentive to switch back - all they need for me to qualify is to get from me the receivers and the access cards.

I have fulfilled my one-year commitment (I've had the service for about a year and one half).

Reasons for switching back to cable: (1) frequent signal outgages during storms; (2) bought an HDTV and to get programming w. DirecTV I'd need to shell out $350 (for a different dish and receiver) AND pay $11.99 per month for the programming - with cable, it's merely a $7.05 per month payment (for the rental of the HD receiver - the HD programming comes free with digital cable service).

For the record, when the weather was perfect, I had a good, strong signal and the picture quality was excellent. It's a shame DirecTV requires a hefty upfront outlay $350 and non-competitive monthly HD fees.

I don't want to provide the cable company with the receivers/cards and then find out I was required to return them to DirecTV.

Many thanks for reading this and replying.

pstedman
07-28-2005, 11:15 AM
Since you paid for them they are yours to do with as you please.

I have to say that is D*'s biggest drawback - having to up-front the hardware costs.

rode2005
07-28-2005, 11:30 AM
Thanks for the reply.

The 3 receivers and free installation were part of the deal in subscribing to DirecTV - I've read all the fine print in the contract and there is nothing that states that upon cancellation of service (after the 1 yr. commitment) anything has to be returned.

I don't want to ask DirecTV since their response might be anything to make it difficult to leave - I"m going to have the cable installed, if the picture looks good, I'll give the cable company the receivers then cancel my DirecTV service.

Someone told me that Dish Network offers HD without upfront hardwarte costs (just like cable) - my reason for not going to Dish Network is that the pitch of their dish is too low to clear some neighbor's trees.

It's a shame that DirecTV requires a signifcant cash outlay for HD service. It's sort of like buying products at a supermarket (DirecTV's product is really their programming) HOWEVER, to shop at this supermarket you have to layout big bucks to buy the shopping cart to handle the goods you're buying. Furthermore, I heard that all HD hardware one buys today (to use DirecTV) will be obsolete once they switch over their HD service (to a more expanded one). If this is correct, seems like their HD subscribers of today will have to shell out more money.

For satellite service they're good - marketingwise, they sem to be lacking.

holtzd
07-28-2005, 12:14 PM
The money for the hardware has to come from somewhere. I suppose they could charge us all more per month for the programming to cover the cost of the equipment. That is what the cable companies do if they “give” you the hardware. You pay for it one way or the other. No one goes into business to lose money.

chazmataz
07-28-2005, 02:00 PM
"I suppose they could charge us all more per month for the programming to cover the cost of the equipment. That is what the cable companies do if they “give” you the hardware. You pay for it one way or the other. No one goes into business to lose money."

This is true. At least you own the HD box, where the cable company rents you theirs and you end up with it after a year and they still own it. You may want to reconsider cable with HD, because a friend of mine bought a new HD tv and uses cox cable which is rated best of the cable companies by J.D. Powers. The HD channels are fine but any from 2 through 100 are really fuzzy (analog) Digital begins on a tier program (more money) and is ok. But all local channels etc are very bad,

rode2005
07-28-2005, 02:48 PM
I will carefully check out the picture quality (analog as well as the digital and HD channels) before the installer leaves. If the picture is grainy or otherwise not of the same quality as my "average day" DirecTV picture, I'll not go ahead with the install.

Someone (who has published articles re: digital TV and HD) actually shared with me his opinion that analog signals (on standard definition channels - as is the case wiht cable tv for non-digital channels) actually could be a "blessing" since on many HD sets, the digital signal carrying SD broadcasts show lower quality than analog signals (into an HD set) carrying SD broadcasts. Something to do with artifacts or some other esoteric thing. Not sure I understand this explanation, but he stated it wiht firm conviction.

The new set i have is a Sony 50" LCD rear projection Grand Wega - the picture is excellent. I"m really looking forward to seeing it carry HD. I'm no technician but I think (hope) that the Sony set will do a great job of processing/displaying the signal even on analog channels.
Opinions????

This HD is all quite new to me. Not to change the topic, but I"m still trying to figure out why on some DVDs (usually older ones listed as widescreen) the picture still has horozontal bars on the top. Is there something wrong with my set or with my DVD player? The picture does not have the SD vertical bars but has small horizontal bars on the top and bottom.

I look forward to participating in this forum and getting all the "answers to life" addressed.

Many thanks!
Rich

holtzd
07-28-2005, 03:32 PM
Not all wide screen movies are on the format of 16:9. Some movies have a wider aspect ratio which don’t fit the 16:9 screen on your TV exactly so hence the bars on top and bottom.

chazmataz
07-28-2005, 03:51 PM
The new set i have is a Sony 50" LCD rear projection Grand Wega - the picture is excellent. I"m really looking forward to seeing it carry HD. I'm no technician but I think (hope) that the Sony set will do a great job of processing/displaying the signal even on analog channels.
Opinions????


I really think it will not happen. I have been shopping for a HD TV for about 3 weeks and finally bought a Samsungs HL-R5067W 50-IN Widescreen HD. Every store (about six in all) had a live feed from Cox in high definition. I asked each of them to switch channels to analog and each time it was bad. when you get to the 50'' size I think it really makes a difference.(grainy) Your right it would be wise to actually view analog while the techs are there. Don't let them stall either, like I will be back the next day etc. My friend had 3 HD cable boxes in two weeks, and finally demanded that a supervisor come out which he did and he is still unhappy.

MC2
07-28-2005, 04:53 PM
I also have the Sony 50" LCD Grand Wega. The RCA DTC210 HD receiver that I have provides an excellent picture on both SD and HD channels.

If you set the DVD player on its menu option so that it knows it is feeding to a 16:9 ratio tv, it will automatically adjust most newer movies to fill the screen, however you will find that older widescreen movies give a black bar across the top and bottom.

hoorta
07-29-2005, 01:32 AM
This HD is all quite new to me. Not to change the topic, but I"m still trying to figure out why on some DVDs (usually older ones listed as widescreen) the picture still has horozontal bars on the top. Is there something wrong with my set or with my DVD player? The picture does not have the SD vertical bars but has small horizontal bars on the top and bottom.

I look forward to participating in this forum and getting all the "answers to life" addressed.

Many thanks!
Rich

Nothing wrong with your set or DVD player. A 16:9 TV gives you an aspect ratio of 1.78:1. There are lots of movies (most notably Lord of the Rings) that were shot in 2.35:1 anamorphic, hence the bars on the top and bottom. You can stretch it to fill the screen, but everyone looks sort of tall and thin. Same deal viewing a 4:3 picture on 16:9 screen- stretch it to fill the screen and everyone looks short and fat.

Jimbos
07-29-2005, 05:14 AM
rode2005,

You sound like you are already convicted to leaving D* for cable.
If this is so, then go ahead, ....

However if as you mentioned , D* has an excellent picture when it comes in , then CALL D* and have them send a tech out and refocus your dish.

The only reason you should lose your signal if installed correctly, is if there is a extremely bad storm coming soon.. thats it !!!

I only lose signal once in a great while, the dish needs to be pointed for the optimum signal strength, some installers find a decient signal and run...

I personally like it, because if I am starting to lose signal I know in about 20 minutes I will have a da*n good storm to watch.

Also, I get signal back long before the storm arrives ...

Keep in mind, when you rent the equipment from the local cable company, that $ 7 you were quoted will ALWAYS be there, and going up with every price increase, the local in my area charges for the equipment monthly and $15 for HD programming.
Did you inquire as to how much your cable company charges additional for the HD tier.
This is actually why I don't have cable, because over the long haul, D* is cheaper.

I will have the cost of equipment for D* paid off and you would still be paying..

Also, rumor has it D* will upgrade for FREE or a very reasonable price so the HD receiver you may buy WILL NOT be obsolete.

I am looking forward to the MPEG 4 technology :) I just wish it would be here before the football season.

Bring on the equipment , my Sony 60 XBR is waiting to see D* programming that looks simular to my OTA.

Anyways, think it over before you jump and make sure you get your dish aligned .


Jimbo

AirCav
07-29-2005, 07:54 AM
I have DirectTv and a TIVO, OTA HD and Comcast Digital Cable with HD. Quite frankly, I choose Comcast due to the wide vareity of HD available and the cost which is reasonable in my view, Yes I pay a monthy fee but I do not have the upfront costs and can change at any time if and when DirecTv comes out with a reasonably priced and solid HD offering, or some new technology comes along. By solid I mean quantity and a clear direction for equipment and broadcast standards.

As to PQ, I agree that overall DirecTv has a better picture, but Comcast is close. For me the enhanced Tivo I have is the main reason I stick with DirecTv, plus I have subscribed for many years.

rode2005
07-29-2005, 09:20 PM
Thanks for the replies and the information and suggestions!

For the record, according to Adelphia (the cable company), the HD programming is FREE (if one subscribes to the digital cable). The $7.95 monthly fee is ALL I'll have to pay for HD. No cash outlay for equipment and NO monthly programming fee. Even the monthly RENTAL fee is less expensive than the monthly programming fee from DirecTV.

An added benefit of renting versus owning (in my opinion) is that if something goes wrong with the receiver, I merely call the cable company and they give me another free. Sort of like a lifetime warranty.

As I wrote earlier, I WILL carefull check out the picture once the cable is hooked up (even before the technician leaves). If the pic is not excellent, I'll cancel the install and resume my DirecTV.

I'd like to start a new thread soliciting advice as to what to watch for when the cable pic is first displayed - there must be some tricks or tips people could share to help me check out the image or signal quality of the cable.

Many thanks to all!