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Switching from cable to satellite questions....

Posted by caroleoh (My Page) on
Fri, Oct 3, 08 at 20:53

We have Time Warner Cable and have been having issues with picture quality for several channels and we are also paying alot each month.

I got an ad for DirectTV in the paper and am thinking about switching. This is probably a stupid question, but how do they install the system? We have cable run through the house to the rooms with TV's. Will they use this same cable? Right now I don't need a box for basic cable on a TV. With satellite do you need a box for every TV? We have 4 TV's in our house. Can I have all of them on one satellite dish?

I've been reading posts back to 06 about satellite reliability. Has it improved or gotten worse over the last two years?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Switching from cable to satellite questions....

Directv requires a box for EACH tv,(nless you get a wireless video sender from X10 or Radioshack or similar. but that option means the 2 tvs would have to watch teh same thing at the same time. you pay 4.99 for EACH additional RX so in your case it would be package prcie+4.99 for RX2+4.99 for rx3+4.99 for RX4.

Dish network sells RX that allows 1 box to feed 2 tvs and both watch different channels at the same time. this requires a cable run between the 2 tvs to work, or get the video sender and use it to wirelessly send video to teh second unit. from what i understand(i have directv not dish), you only pay per actual box so package price plus teh extra RX charge to do all 4 tvs.

either sat company can use the existing cable in teh house IF it is RG6 and not the cheap RG59, AND if it all goes to a suitable location for the multiswitch(sat version of a cable tv splitter).

we have 5 tvs in the house, and i have 1 in teh workshop. i have a RX on all but the one in the shop, and that one i am going to put teh X10 wireless sender on it to watch off our bedroom tv.


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RE: Switching from cable to satellite questions....

Reliablity is greatly related to the skill of the installer. A good installation will have minimal problems. I only lose signal for a few minutes when a severe thunderstorm rolls through (yellow or red on radar map). Probably 4 or 5 events per year with each event lasting 2-10 minutes. It is easy to incorporate a regular antenna with a satelite system, which I use as a backup and I never lose the local channels.


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RE: Switching from cable to satellite questions....

My neighbor's and I have discussed this subject very thoroughly. Between us all we represent every type of TV service and we agree, you can't beat cable. I personally use SBC (internet and phone), Cox and Multimedia Cable. At the present I have my phone, med level TV and cheapest cable internet for $106 a month and am satisfied with it all.

some of the non cable services make you sign up for 2 years and it ends up costing more than you were told.


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RE: Switching from cable to satellite questions....

We had cable (Comcast) for several years before we went to Directv.
Like the OP we had problems with picture quality on several channels. Some channels were great, others terrible.
I had Comcast out twice to check signal levels and they told us that it met their specs. We finally went with Directv 11 years ago.
Cable's argument is that every time it rains, the satellite goes out. Not true with a properly aligned dish. Only in a heavy downpour and then for just a few minutes.


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RE: Switching from cable to satellite questions....

Hi! Just happened to be browsing through this forum for the first time...you may have already made a decision by now.

We've never had cable and have been with DirecTV for over 12 years without any problems worth mentioning. Even here in rainy Seattle, we've not had satellite connection problems.

We did come upon an interesting issue recently. With the recent advent of HDTV, we asked DirecTV what it would take to get that service. We have old, standard-definition sets that are still working fine, but they won't last forever and any new set would most likely be HD. Interestingly, there is a consideration re satellite service. Our current SD service gets a signal from one satellite; HD gets signals from three satellites. (I may not be exactly correct, technically-speaking, but I think I'm on the right track, generally-speaking.) So in order for your dish to "see" three satellites in the sky for HD, you need a rather wide field of view. In our case, we live in a very wooded area with many tall trees. For us to receive HD, we will need to cut down many trees on our property (and probably some on our neighbor's property will need to come down, too.) We do have an open clearing on our property that would easily have the needed field of view, but the clearing is too far from the house. There is a limit on the length of the cable run from dish to the house. I don't remember what the length is; probably less than 200 ft. or so. And at this time, there is no wireless technology available to overcome the cable limit.

This all may not apply in your case, but thought I'd mention it just in case it might.


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RE: Switching from cable to satellite questions....

The 3 satellites mentioned in the previous post are the 99, 101 and 103 satellites and they are quite close together.
If you don't have any problem getting a signal from the 101 satellite, then you may not have a problem with HD.
According to Dishpointer.com, it looks like there's a total spread of about 4.5 degrees for the 3 satellites in Seattle.

Here is a link that might be useful: Dishpointer.com


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RE: Switching from cable to satellite questions....

jimisham: Thanks for your info. I will ask DirecTV to assess our situation again. A spread of about 4.5 degrees is way less than what that first tech described, which I would estimate as around 20-30 degrees.


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RE: Switching from cable to satellite questions....

That spread of 20 to 30 degrees is for the 101, 110 and 119 satellites which are still in use, but everything will eventually be moved to the 99, 101 and 103 satellites.
Direct is coming out with a 3 satellite dish just for 99, 101 and 103. They have been installing a 5 LNB dish for 99 through 119.


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RE: Switching from cable to satellite questions....

I have been thinking about getting Dish but have heard that over here it goes out all the time. We have pine trees but not that many. Maybe it is the installer. Cable is getting so expensive and get less channels and CS isn't good.


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RE: Switching from cable to satellite questions....

Losing the signal could very well be because the installer did not take the time to properly align the dish for maximum signal. We've had Directv now for about 12 years and seldom lose the picture. When we do lose it, it's usually because it's raining very hard.
It's a little late now, but there's a web site that will tell you if trees will be a problem or not. In the first weeks of March and October, you can use the sun to see if you will have any problems. At certain times of the day, in the afternoon, the sun is at the same location as the satellites.

Here is a link that might be useful: Using The Sun To Locate Best Spot For Dish


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RE: Switching from cable to satellite questions....

I didn't read all the other post so forgive me if this is a repeat. One time I had some issues with cable quality and it was due to too many TV's being hooked up so they put in a signal booster in the attic and all was well. I will tell ya I got suckered into the Direct TV from a slick salesman that said he was with AT&T. Well he made so many promises and they were all lies! After one week I got that equipment the hell out of here. Right after they put the equipment in we had a rainstorm and I lost the signal for 10 - 15 minutes at a time. This happened over and over. There were other issues too; like 2 of the boxes had to have a phone line hooked up to it or they charge you more. There were so many nit pick charges after 7 days I said come get it out of here I wasn't saving anything over Comcast. Also once they put that equipment on your house NO one comes and removes it. They went into my credit card and started posting charges after charges till I found out and shut them down. I had to go through so many idiots to get them to back off. They said I had a contract and for the 100 x I told them I didn't sign anything you have no contract with me! Plus I said I thought I had a 30-day trial, apparently not! There were so many promises made by that rep. He told me I could have my cable and TV for like 80.00 less then what I was paying now and it was all LIES! I sent all their stuff back and it was a huge nightmare. My suggestion DON'T DO IT! Get the signal booster.


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