In other news, our current “promotion” for Comcast Cable was due to expire at the end of this billing cycle. A few months ago we looked into alternatives, and DirecTV seemed to be the way to go. My parents have it, and they’re quite happy – and the normal price for a comparable package to one we had already was cheaper than Comcast’s special price, whatever special that was (certainly one that we had to call back every 6 months and complain about the bill being too high so we could get it). So a week ago Saturday DirecTV came out to install the dish, and I helped run the coax through the side of the house into the basement and up to the TV since I wanted it to go a specific way – plus I could do that while the installer was mounting the dish, and it got done even faster (and if something got screwed up, I was the one doing it :> ). We ran both boxes together for a week while we copied over the series recording lists, told the Comcast box to stop recording new shows, and caught up on what was stored there (it was empty as of this past Saturday morning). One thing I definitely noticed, the DirecTV software is MUCH faster than any of the Comcast boxes we’ve had, even without a DVR in them. When you scroll through a page of channels in the guide, it just happens instead of thinking about it. Rewinding the DVR isn’t a matter of push the button and wait and see if it registered, it just works (sometimes too fast, you’re back where you started before you realize it rewound at all). The 30-second “skip” is no more – even though the Comcast box required that you program a key on the remote to do it, since they didn’t advertise that it was available at all – and instead you get a 30-second “slip” where the box goes into fast forward mode for 30s of recording time. I actually prefer this, because if you see a commercial that interests you, you can back up and watch it.
All the dish naysayers will talk about “losing signal in the weather”, but we’ve had two major storms since it was installed and only the latter showed any problems – for all of 2 minutes while the worst of the storm went overhead. I can deal with that no problem, considering all of the benefits this system has already shown.