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Discussion Starter #1
I know that the answer may vary greatly depending on geographic area, providers available and the like, but I was curious what my fellow AV lovers use to watch their favorite TV programs.

  1. Cable (provider)
  2. AT&T Uverse (or competitor)
  3. Satellite (provider)
  4. Screw 'em all! (downloads or internet)

Didn't create this post to bash anyone in particular, just wondering what folks have found to provide the best picture and sound. HD service is really the focus here. Love to hear your thoughts!!
 

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Currently have Cox, however with the installation at my new home took them almost three months to install. Talk about internet withdrawls.

I had them awhile ago and purchased their "digital tier" which was supposed to be all digital channels. Only a hand full of them were actually truly digital, the rest were all regular channels that they upconverted. Waste of money in my opinion, so I canceled them.

I'm seriously considering switching to Direct TV.
 

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AZ, what do you mean by "truly digital?" What is more digital about DirectTV than what is on the digital tier on Cox?

I use Cox. The quality is generally better on the digital and HD channels than satellite providers, but analog still varies of course. There is more HD on sat, but for me, the availability of the analog channels for use on older sets is more useful than having to have another sat receiver for each room.
 

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The Dish Network... We Just have the HD DVR ( 2 rooms ) and the standard HD box in my daughters Room... Got the Mid package at about 59.00 per month.. I get my sports and my wife gets her lifetime movies.. Daughter gets the N Network... So everyone is happy.. PS>>>> Dont you love NFL in HD?
 

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I've got cable as well with an HDPVR. Its simply a convenience issue for me as I have my internet and phone through them as well.
HD is better over cable all be it less channels, but I have better things to do than sit and watch TV all day.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for weighing in all! I started this thread out of frustration and looking for other opinions. AT&T Uverse has been great from a customer service standpoint, but I am just not happy with the picture we are getting - regular or HD.

After it was first installed and I watched some NFL, it blocked (my term for when the image looks like a low quality bit mapped image) significantly. Called them up, they ran some tests and sent someone out to drop a new line to the house. Now it is significantly worse. The TV even blocks on the Food Network when someone hand-stirs ingredients! Watching Heroes in HD last night, the colors were awful. It's not my TV because I have taken the time to calibrate it and other sources looks great. :foottap:

Anyway, I think I will give AT&T one more shot to fix things and see what happens. Maybe a new HD box is needed? Not sure, but I am paying way too much $$ for a picture this inferior.

Sounds like folks are pretty happy with satellite. Maybe I should consider that rather than going back to cable.

For those of you with satellite, do you really have difficulties with picture quality in rain or wind?
 

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AZ, what do you mean by "truly digital?" What is more digital about DirectTV than what is on the digital tier on Cox?
Cox advertised that their digital tier was all digital, to me that meant all the shows and channels would only provided content that was truly all digital. What was happening was they were taking shows that were filmed in 480i and upconverting them to either 720 or 1080, depending on your HD tv, and labeling the show as high def.. For example: Judge Judy would be on the regular channel, but I could watch the same episode on HD on the digital channel with a slightly better picture.

I upgraded this back in 08 specifically for the Olympics and Shark Week, which were amazing in HD!
 

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I use Cox. I only use it for convenience because I get my internet through them and phone service as well. Really not had many problems with them.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I use Cox. I only use it for convenience because I get my internet through them and phone service as well. Really not had many problems with them.
We thought we'd do the same with Uverse. My wife needed to use a VPN phone for telecommuting and the time warner cable modem wasn't providing a consistent enough signal, thus the reason for our switch.

I think "bundling" for us at this point is not much of an option as it doesn't work either way
- TWC (insufficent internet, decent TV)
- Uverse (good internet, poor TV)
 

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Yeah, our normal television watching habits are very slim so, quality of television is a non-issue for us. Internet quality and phone service were more the kickers. Cable TV was an afterthought for us.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Yeah, our normal television watching habits are very slim so, quality of television is a non-issue for us. Internet quality and phone service were more the kickers. Cable TV was an afterthought for us.
I would say we are slim TV watchers vs. very slim. I have considered just going with a regular antenna and cancelling all the other stuff, but the wife does like watching the Food Network and some other cable channels. She doesn't care as much about quality so maybe I should just drop the HD channel pack, go totally basic with Uverse and hook up a good ol' antenna for HD.

Anyone else using good 'ol OTA antenna for their TV watching?
 

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I probably would, but my home just gets terrible reception. I am in a 1-story house with lots of tall 2-story houses around me.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
As an update, I hooked up an old OTA indoor antenna and it's picture was FAR superior to the Uverse HD picture. The only thing I noticed was a little motion blur on faster movement, but then that is to be expected on a 720p 60Hz tv. As things stand right now, I may just go to the basic Uverse package, cancel the HD serivce and call it good. Not for sure yet, but one time investment of $10 or so for a quality HD picture vs. $10 per month is a no-brainer.
 

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I'm using Cable and am very satisfied. I also have phone and internet with them (just like Tony) and I've yet to see any difference with people that have satellite here in Canada.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I will probably consider going back to cable one we've had uverse for 30 days. That way we won't loose our $250 incentive to sign up. Just a pain in the butt to keep switching around. I appreciate all the input!
 

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Right now I have dish and I am not all that impressed I would say it is a little better than cable difference is negligible and the cost I find isn't really lower but YMMV

Jim
 

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Discussion Starter #18 (Edited)
Sound like everyone is having a little different experience (to be expected). I will say that my brother has ATT and while visiting him this weekend, I saw the same blocking or what have you that I see on my TV. My brother said that it was not much better (if at all with cable), so we began chatting about why they (service providers) can't seem to provide a picture that would rival OTA?

I have heard that the picture breaking up (pixelation, blocking) is a result of the information not being delivered fast enough to the TV and therefore when the TV tries to create an image, it has to fill in the gaps of the missing information - kind of like a stretched too far computer graphic.

I have also heard (from service providers) that they are just delivering the signal they get and can't do much about that. I buy into that explanation more when the image is just poor quality (up-converted signal), but not with the blocking.

What say all of you? Chance to wow us all with your knowledge and understanding of the current state of TV provider technology :D
 

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Folks,
I can't believe that nobody has chimed in in favor of FIOS by Verizon. IMHO, the best of ALL worlds EXCEPT their billing dept!!!!!!!
 

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Most of us are not fortunate enough to have FIOS, though much of the Cox network here is now replaced by fiber.

With respect to the blocking or tiling problems, the answer varies. If it is one channel among others that work well, it is likely the content source. If it is more than a small portion of channels it is in the distribution network (i.e. cable system or the network in the home) and can be related to signal level. Too little or too much signal can create these problems.
 
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