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Input needed D* vs. Comcast (long sorry)

03-03-2006, 02:18 PM
I posed this topic in the Cable Providers section and only got 1 response, so I am going to try this side. I have been a faithful D* customer for 4 years now. I recently made the leap to the HD world. I currently have an SD Tivo and our family, like so many others here, have gotten quite attached to it. I get all but 1 of my locals in HD OTA. In order to get that pesky Chicago CBS feed, I will need to go to the roof with a new antenna once the weather breaks a bit. I was going to go for an HR10-250 to be able to record my OTA HD and get the HD package from D*. I am just choking on the idea of spending $500 on a peice of equipment that I will not own. So I have been considering the jump to Comcast. I will have no upfront $$ and with bundling thier internet, TV, and phone I will also be saving $30 a month compared to what I would be paying with D*, and SBC. I have read that both the Moto 6412 (Comcast) and the HR10-250 (D*) have their share of problems. Has anyone made the swith from Comcast to D* lately. What are your opinions? PQ on HD and SD? Please help, I am really on the fence on this. I am the first one on my block with HD, and most of my friends aren't their yet either. So I am looking to the people of this board who have helped me in the past. I appreciate ANY input.


03-03-2006, 03:54 PM
I am acutally making the opposite move, switching from Comcast back to D*. We just got the H20 & R15 on the last day of the rebate and are having the 5lnb installed in 2 weeks. We had switched to Comcast year & half ago during construction on our house(suspended our D* account) and the fact that Comcast was cheaper(ie no need to buy the hardware) and had more HD channels.
I too am in the Chicago area & w/ the D* and the current SBC DSL combo, I think I will save close to $25/month. My wife & I hate the Comcast DVR, extremely slow to switch channels and do most functions. The Comcast HD is pretty good, can't compare to anything yet, though. Plus, Comcast always seems to be raising their rates. I will miss the local WGN & Comcast Sportsnet HD channels when I switch in 2 weeks, but the cost savings and better overall product, think D* is the way to go. I hope!

03-03-2006, 04:02 PM
With a good OTA antenna WGN HD broadcasts are excellent.

03-03-2006, 04:31 PM
Thanks for the quick responses guys. Yes, I have read the complaints on the slowness of the Comcast HD DVR. Plus it has about 1/2 the storage capacity of the HR10-250. And I get good OTA reception for all the local HD's except CBS. So basically I am down to is dealing with the Moto 6412's deficiencies compared to shelling out $$ up front and more each month. :confused: Anyone else have any input?


03-03-2006, 07:48 PM
I was in the same position. I've been a D* customer for 7 years and was hooked on Tivo. When I got HD in the fall, Comcast offered more channels and I couldn't justify paying $500 for 7 HD channels. I signed up for Comcast's new customer promo at that time - 6 months for $30/mo + $5 for HD with free HBO - and switched between my SD Tivo and my Comcast HD. I didn't get their DVR. This setup cost about $10/mo more than it would have been to add a "free" H20 to complement my SD box. I never seriously considered getting the HR10-250 without info about upgrading to the HR20 and the huge up-front fee.

Now, my Comcast deal is about to expire. It would be going up to $85/mo. I ordered an H20 before the end of February (owned equipment) and scheduled a March install to wait out info about the lease. When the lease info was released earlier this week, I was able to get some answers.

I called the standard 800# and the retention 800# (800 824-9081) and was able to find out from both reps that a leased HR10-250 will be upgraded for free when the new mpeg4 dvr comes. There was no info about upgrading H20's or owned equipment. I spoke with the rep in retention and explained my Comcast situation and mentioned that I might cancel. The deal that I got was $150 off the lease of the HR10-250 plus $10/mo off HBO for 6 months. Leased equipment comes with free installation, so $349 for the box with a free upgrade the HR20 when it comes out was palatable. I also didn't have to deal with rebates and install charges. I'm not too concerned about ownership, especially if the monthly cost is the same and I plan to stay with D* - I'm also hooked on NFL Sunday Ticket. There may be better deals out there, so be sure to ask.

Some immediate benefits of the HR10 are that the box has Tivo software and it will get more locals. I've seen the D* DVR software on their SD DVR and it did not appear as intuitive as the Tivo software. I will pull in more OTA channels than I would have received with the mpeg4 locals. I'm close to the towers so I shouldn't have your reception issues (I'm getting 6 locals with rabbit ears, only PBS is iffy). You might want to think about getting a good roof antenna if you donít mind the aesthetic issues. My folks have had a nice sized one for years and pull in locals from 3 or 4 different markets.

This is probably a lot to swallow. Just do a cost analysis - my break-even for the up-front costs vs. Comcast's higher rates is about 18 months. I'll know more about PQ once my box is installed tomorrow. If you're not a football fan, the jump to Comcast might be a very easy decision.

03-05-2006, 09:44 AM
With a good OTA antenna WGN HD broadcasts are excellent.
How much would a good OTA antenna cost & will the H20 tune OTA HD? I live in the northern suburbs of Chicago and would prefer not to spend much $$$ and don't want to hang an antenna for 1 or 2 locals(mostly WGN).

03-05-2006, 10:10 AM
How much would a good OTA antenna cost & will the H20 tune OTA HD? I live in the northern suburbs of Chicago and would prefer not to spend much $$$ and don't want to hang an antenna for 1 or 2 locals(mostly WGN).

Go here to find out what type of antenna you need. http://www.antennaweb.org/aw/welcome.aspx one of the better antennas cost around 100 dollars im not sure about the cheaper ones ive seen them cost as much as 150+ for the really strong ones. The H20 will tune OTA locals as long as it is activated with D* it doesn't have to have the D* HD channels just the regular SD package.