Looking for Advice on Satelite TV Services Vs. Cable

Updated on September 10, 2009
J.G. asks from Arlington Heights, IL
17 answers

We were going to get ATT U-Verse, but the signal is not strong enough in our area. We are now looking into Dish, Direct or any satelite providers. We were wondering about their daily performance and what reception is like during rain and snow storms. I heard at one time you need to cleam the snow off the dish! No Way. We would also consider cable but comcast is very expensive.We have never had cable only and antenna. We would stay with antenna but reception since the switch has been hit or miss for CBS.

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M.F.

answers from Chicago on

Got stuck in 2 yr contract with Dish and paid to get out of it. No service when it rained or snowed and that is when I want it most! Switched to Comcast and got a great deal with the bundle - cable, phone and internet.

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T.O.

answers from Chicago on

Soory to say... HATED direct tv. Lost signal ALOT! Especially during storms. snow rain, or even heavy clouds. We also lost signal in the fall from 3-4 or so, and they did not know why. it was goofy, and now that you cannot get regular tv signal anymore, we would never go without cable esp during storms!.. not to mention I need the high speed internet for my Business, and we do save a fortune using Vonage (using Voice Over IP (voip) It is phone via the internet connection. You need high speed, but it only costs 30.00 a month vs 80.00 with regular phone. Has EVERYTHING callwaiting, caller ID, free long distance etc.
Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful
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E.M.

answers from Chicago on

We have DirecTV and have had them for years. The customer service has been good. Occasionally we will get brief outages during really big storms, but with the DVR we always have something recorded that we can watch. I think there has only been 1 time (in the 8+ years that we've had it) that we've had to brush the snow off to get better reception. Our package comes with local channels as well. We had Dish Network in the past and had a lot of trouble with them. I would definitely recommend DirecTV.

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R.A.

answers from Peoria on

My husband works for Direct and we have Direct TV. When it rains hard the HD goes out but if you leave the double channels on you can still watch your show, just not in HD. The locals also go out when the HD does because they are on the same satellite. If the weather gets really nasty then you do loose your tv for a bit. I also know to get a good signal for Direct TV you can't have any trees in the way and they point the dish towards the south east.

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L.H.

answers from Chicago on

After multiple incidents of customer service problems with Comcast and their inflated pricing, I gave them the boot and switched to Dish Network. I have been pleasantly surprised as it has been much better than I'd anticipated. I had heard a lot of stories about folks' dishes going out in rain/snow storms. My FIL lives out in the boonies and they have this roof-like attachment that shields the dish from getting covered in snow, but in our suburb it's not necessary. Occasionally when a big rainstorm starts, we may lose the signal for 10-15 secs., but have not experienced it going out for any length of time. To us it was worth the savings.

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S.P.

answers from Chicago on

As far as cable, you would would get discounts on internet by having a small cable tv pkg. you might not necessarily need or want a large pkg with movie channels. family tier has good family programming at a lower rate. Basic cable pkgs give you reception for local channels at a reasonable rate too. Comcast does carry an economy tier which has about 50 or so channels. You don't necessarily need boxes on all tvs, usually basic is free on other tv's if you connect your main tv to a larger pkg. I use their economy tier internet, and although by number it is slower, for reading emails and sufing the web it does the job at a much lower rate I even use it for my on line classes. You can have them send you a channel line up and rate card or pick one up at a mall kiosk or one of their local offices so that you can compare their prices. I have used satelite, and it is fine if your area does not have a lot of inclement weather, also you have to have recievers for all the tvs which can add to the cost.

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C.M.

answers from Chicago on

We can't live without our DirectTV. We love it! It rarely goes out, and we've never needed to do a thing to the dish from the day it was installed many years ago.

The daily performance is great. It only goes out during the really bad thunder storms, when the electricity might go out too. During those times, we just watch what we've already taped on the DVR. When the extreme part of the storm passes, the signal comes right back. Snow has never been an issue.

I think people who have troubles with their dish, just have it in a bad position. I recommend DirecTV to anyone!

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C.F.

answers from Chicago on

I was told the same thing about U-Verse. I was 3100 feet away and the signal only goes 3000 feet. I told my god son that also install U-Verse and he said you can still get the signal up to 3400 feet away. The tech has to lower the peremeters to a level 9. He came out the day the tech came back to install my u-verse and showed him how to do it so that I could get a signal. So depending on how far you are from the box you may still be able to get u-verse. I was replacing my Dish because the signal would cut out on windy days, rainy days and definately snow. So check to see how far you are from the u-verse box. If you are less than 3400 feet you can get u-verse just tell them when you order that the perematers will have to be lowered and you need a tech that knows how to do that.

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J.K.

answers from Peoria on

We have DirecTV. I wasn't really that sure about it, but I'm happy with it now. We don't get service when it rains hard or when it snows really wet snow. And yes, we have to go outside and brush it off. Which is why I refused to have it mounted on the roof. Our first one was on a pole in the side yard and our new one is on the side of house where we can reach it easily. Don't let them tell you it has to be on the roof, it doesn't!! Cable in our area is iffy at best, so losing the signal once in a while is ok. We found some stuff to put on the dish that makes the rain and snow fall off, so the snow only piles up when we get a foot or more.

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T.C.

answers from Chicago on

We have had Direct TV for about 10 years and couldn't be happier. We really don't have a lot of black outs during storms and they customer service department could not be better.
Hope that helps.

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J.V.

answers from Chicago on

We have Direct TV. You don't have to clean the snow off the dish, you just need to buy a spray that prevents ice and snow from sticking to it. We rarely have problems with our dish in the winter.

We are happy enough with our service. We have some issues with trees, and yes, if there is a really bad storm we have no TV. However, during a really bad storm you probably shouldn't be watching TV anyway! Besides, with the DVR, you always have something to watch if the TV is out for a little while.

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C.T.

answers from Chicago on

We've had dish network for years and only love it because we find it better than our other options. It is the cheapest in our area and has the most space on the DVR to hold many shows. Comcast is way more expensive(there may be great deals for the 1st year, but after that the cost almost tripples). I have never had to wipe snow or anything off my dish, it goes out only in really bad snow or rain storms, which is only like 4 times a year. But when it goes out you can still watch any recorded shows on your DVR, so I just make sure I have some show recorded when I know a big storm is coming. Dish does have awesome prices for new customers, like free DVR receivers and stuff for the first year, and yes it goes up a couple dollars a year, but it will never be as expensive as Direct TV or Comcast - we've capped off at $50/month (started out $20/month).

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N.S.

answers from Chicago on

We have Dish Network for 7 years now and are very happy with them. We have compared them to Direct TV and Comcast and for what we get, they give the best value. During a thunderstorm, we have lost signal, but only for a matter of minutes. We have never had a problem in the winter with signal loss or having to clean snow off of the dish. I would also highly recommend the DVR with them also.

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S.H.

answers from Chicago on

Hi, J.! We've had Directv for a couple of years. I live with my sons, 26 and 23, in Andersonville. We live in a two flat on the first floor, and the dish had to be put on the roof; my landlord wanted it in the back as their dish is in the front-different company. Sometimes you do lose your signal in rain or snow, but I don't think my sons have ever gone up there to clean the dish. I have not kept up with the prices of Comcast but figure it's all a matter of the extras you get. If you want to use me as a referral for which both of us would get a discount, write to me off list. We have 3 receivers, my one son has an HD TV and I think our bill is about $125. Also, I was told you get a $5 discount or something through AT&T and that the Directv and phone bills will eventually be combined. Good luck.
S.
[email protected]____.com

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D.N.

answers from Chicago on

We have had Dish for almost 8 years and rarely lose the signal. If we do, it is a really bad storm (usually rain not snow)and I welcome the quiet. I have looked in the other options and Dish gives us what we want for the best price. We have never had to clean snow or ice off or spray something on it. Our neighbor also has Dish based on my husband's recommends and their dish is on top of their house. They also have had no problems with snow or ice sticking to it.

R.T.

answers from Champaign on

We left cable for DISH 3 years ago and havent looked back. Not only was the pricing better but I got more channels and the wonderful capability of the DVR. Weve only experienced a handful of weather related outages. Only 1 was more than an hour and we usually have so many shows piled up in our DVR que that we just watch those until the weather clears. My husband climbed up on the roof once to knock snow off the dish but I think we got like 7 inches in a few hours or something like that. They usually try to install on the ground but had to put ours on the roof because of the neighboring treelines.

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M.C.

answers from Chicago on

I have Dishnetwork and it is amazing. Go to my website www.marinac.acnrep.com and check out the pricing. I have saved myself and others alot! If you have any questions please feel free to call me:)
M.

Mom of two beautiful teenagers!

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