Cable Packages

After getting jerked around one too many times by Comcast, I’m going to switch to something cooler. I’ve been getting by on expanded basic for too long. I do currently use Comcast for cable internet and might keep that, but my main question here is, what satellite service is best for the NFL? I’m so unschooled I don’t know the names. I do have a Tivo and love it, would want to continue to use that (I dislike other DVRs). I’ve got no need for the HBO type channels, I just want my expanded basic and more football coverage. Leave a comment if you have any advice!

6 Responses to Cable Packages

  1. Wendell says:

    I think that if you want Tivo and satellite that you need to go with DirecTV. DirecTV has been threatening to replace Tivo with their own DVR, but you can still get it with Tivo. I have been using DirecTV since 2000 and have always liked it more than cable. I think that you will need to get a new Tivo receiver, but it is worth it since the satellite Tivo records the direct signal from the satellite with no signal conversion noise involved. I don’t get any of the sport packages, but I think they have just as many as anyone, if not the most.

  2. Little Bo Peep says:

    Direct TV has NFL Sunday Ticket exclusively. But beware, this runs through 2008. It could swing to Dish (your only other option in the US), or it could stay on Dtv, or (less likely) it could go to both services. Don’t sign a long term agreement if you can get away with it.

  3. Dan Burgess says:

    DirecTV is incredible. The bottom line is you get more channels for fewer dollars. And, if you want to watch out-of-market games, it’s your only source.

    I personally choose not to pay for NFL Sunday Ticket for a number of reasons, but if you’re a die-hard NFL fan, it’s the only way to go.

    If you’re not going to buy Sunday Ticket, Dish Network is also very good, you’ll be far better off with them than with cable.

    Get a dish, sever the cable umbilical cord, and breathe on your own.

  4. dbs says:

    Yeah, DirecTV is the choice of sports-bars right now, for a reason.

    (Though I’m an enthusiastic evangelist of Dish, for having better HD choice, *enough* NFL games, better international, and very good customer service.)

    I just switched from Dish to AT&T’s U-Verse, and while I can recommend the change, I don’t think football programming is a reason to do that.

  5. Kenneth says:

    Definitely, if you’re going satellite and you want the NFL, you want DirecTV. You can get Sunday Ticket (which is a premium, $200 extra, alas), and it has the NFL Network, too.

    I thought that DirecTV was replacing Tivo, but if they aren’t, than that’s the way to go. I have a DirecTV Tivo and it works great. It’s integrated right in with the system and it has two tuners, so it can record almost everything you want. Much better than trying to hook up a stand-alone Tivo to the machine.

    The only thing I would say to worry about with DirecTV (really, satellite in general) is during inclement weather. It’s not so bad if it’s raining lightly, but during most storms I can’t get a signal at all. My receiver has an antenna, I think, because I can still get local channels most of the time, but if the wind is kicking and/or the rain is falling heavily, I’m out of luck. This isn’t so bad, you can just watch something Tivoed–but if you want to watch a game, or you need to record something that only shows at that time, it can be annoying.

  6. John says:

    The situation changes depending on whether you want HD, and whether you want Sunday Ticket. The TiVo could be a sticking point, too. DirecTV no longer sells TiVo receivers for their service, although you can find them used. But… (sorry, it gets complicated…)

    – If you want HD + Sunday Ticket: You _can_ get HD DirecTV TiVos (aka “DirecTiVos”) on eBay. In fact, the going prices have been plummeting, but there’s a reason for that: they are becoming obsolete.

    Here’s why. DirecTV is transitioning to MPEG-4 compression for its HD feeds. All those commercials you’ve seen bragging about 70 new HD channels? Those are MPEG-4 channels. Trouble is, the HD DirecTiVo receivers can only receive channels that use the older MPEG-2 compression. This year, Sunday Ticket is still broadcast in MPEG-2, but next year, it is likely to be MPEG-4 only. The writing is on the wall; there will be less and less HD content for the old DirecTiVos to record as time goes on. DirecTV is eager to complete this transition and pull the plug on MPEG-2.

    If you want all of DirecTV’s HD channels and a DVR, you have to use DirecTV’s unit. I grudgingly switched to their DVR from my HD DirecTiVo a few weeks ago so that I would be future-proof. The DirecTV unit is far better than the crap that cable companies offer. Still, it is different from TiVo. (Not necessarily a lot worse, just different.)

    – If you don’t care about HD but want Sunday Ticket: Get DirecTV and a vanilla receiver. You can use a “stand-alone” TiVo (i.e., a Series 2 or original TiVo) with this setup. Bliss. Standard-definition bliss, but bliss all the same.

    – If you don’t care about Sunday Ticket but want HD: Stick to digital cable and get a new TiVo HD. You cannot use any modern TiVo to receive HD content from satellite. TiVo’s product line is cable-only now.

    Hope that helps a little. It probably just confused the matter further, but the TV landscape is unfortunately very confusing right now.

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