Comcast vs DirecTV
I’ve been a Comcast subscriber since 2001. I have had Comcast at my current residence for almost 4 years, since we moved in. This December, I switched from Comcast to DirecTV. The reasons why are many. My top 5:
- Comcast is more expensive than DirecTV and would not give me any promotions until I called to cancel. I called several times, “Work with me…” And not once, even after threatening to leave would they offer any different pricing. The simple fact of the matter is I was paying $100/month for basic cable. (That does include the discount for having both TV and internet. But doesn’t include the $13 bucks for TiVo service) No pay channels. Just an HD tuner and two cable cards. That’s just crazy! Even after the year intro pricing, DirecTV is still cheaper than Comcast by $25 and I get more for it.
- Comcast video quality is terrible. Lot’s of pixelation and sporadic channel outages. I ordered a PPV once and every 5 minutes the quality would drop to the point where you couldn’t make out anything. I called to complain and they wouldn’t even give me a partial credit.
- Comcast receivers have the worst user interface this side of 1998. It is pathetic how little thought they put into them. The only reason I put up with it for so long was because of my TiVo Series 3. I didn’t have to use their receiver unless the wife kicked me out of the living room to watch Bad Girls Club. (Ugh)
- Comcast Video on Demand has terrible quality. Shows and movies are very pixellated and of much worse quality then the live “over the air” original. Pause, fast forward, and rewind are slow to respond.
- Outages. I had many on either TV or internet and many times, both. Over this past summer, internet would go out at least once a week for 1 – 6 hours. Unfortunately, the alternative to Comcast internet where I live is dialup. So I kept Comcast internet service. People say that you can loose satellite signal during bad weather. I’m pretty sure that I’ve lost service with Comcast more than I ever will with DirecTV. Only time will tell.
What does Comcast have that DirecTV doesn’t?
- CBC (A must-have Canadian channel for any self-respecting hockey fan)
- Professional installers and servicemen. Luckily, you don’t need them often. The independent contractor that installed my system was incompetent, unprofessional, and will never be allowed in my house again. A post will follow on that ordeal. You would think that if you schedule an appointment at 8:00 AM on a Monday, you would be able to make plans for 6:00 PM.
After being on DirecTV for just over a week now, I am very happy with the service. The picture quality is stupendous. I used DirecTV’s “video-on-demand” service and the HD movie we watched was indistinguishable (to me and my wife) from a Blu-ray disc. There was no pixellation.
The HD DVR receiver is great. I can say I actually prefer it to my TiVo Series 3. The menu system is very responsive and certain things are easier to do then on TiVo. (Everything is easier to do then the Comcast receiver.) Things like pulling up your recent recordings are one button away. The remote is also better in my eyes then the TiVo remote and head and shoulders better than the Comcast remote. The receivers don’t feel as hot compared to Comcast, especially when they are turned off.
So my final verdict?
- Comcast – Better technicians. Prompt, courteous, and knowledgeable.
- DirecTV – Better picture quality, better hardware, better software, better service.
DirecTV is offering Free Previews
The next week there are automatic free trials of HBO and Cinemax. That’s pretty cool.
Get $100 off your DirecTV Bill
If you are signing up for DirecTV, follow this link: http://www.directv.com/refer and when asked for an account number, use this code: 36702927 and my name: Mike Wille. You’ll get $100 off your bill and so will I.
You can also call a special referral number to make sure you get setup correctly: (866) 443-8869. Use the same account number and name above.
If you want to learn more about the program, go here:
Moving to or Staying With Comcast?
I highly recommend getting a TiVo. The Comcast receiver is something you may wish to do without. Unless you harken back to the good ole days of the 90s. The HD TiVo Premiere XL DVR is currently 50% off at Amazon.com.