Sunday, November 27, 2016

Our Continuing TV Adventures

We became unhappy paying for Suddenlink. High prices compared to what channels we got. The wife noticed Dish Network, which we'd been with before Suddenlink, had some teaser deal of something like $39.00 a month for a two year contract. Hadn't we done this before? I think we had and quit Dish when they kept raising their monthly rate. But, she seemed interested in trying it again we go.

I set up installation using the Dish Network web site. They told us the guy would be out Saturday between noon and 4pm to hook us up. I made sure to tell them we still had our old satellite dish up on the side of the house. I figured that might help speed things along unless that dish was considered obsolete.

We were notified Saturday, both by phone call and e-mail, the technician would be later than planned. They mentioned in the e-mail you could see what the installer looked like by going to their web site where there was a picture of him. I tried it and it worked. Good idea when there's so many people going around posing as service reps just to get into your house.

He showed up and said our existing dish should be fine but he had to see how well we received the signal with it. It worked fine which saved him some work and us some time.

I was surprised at how small their translator box was. That's what turns the satellite signal into a TV picture. Less than half the size our old Suddenlink box. They call that their "Wally" unit and have one that's even smaller but we didn't sign up for that.

He got us connected pretty quick but then it seem to take forever for the Wally, the remote and the satellite to connect with each other. Probably a half hour as we watched the whole thing take place on the TV screen. Interesting at first, but boring after not too long.

He finally finished up and left after giving the wife instructions on the remote control which I suggested as she usually does the channel controls. That thing makes me nervous, anyway, as the last time I managed to lose our satellite signal the day after installation by changing the TV channel and thus losing the input source. The tech guy didn't seem concerned and gave instructions on how to get out of any bad moves with the remote. I'm still uneasy about it.

It worked fine for the most part with only one problem, although it wasn't a big one: Their TV Guide that shows up on the screen is harder to read for me and it was hard for us to tell just what channels we had available. At last look last night it seemed as if we weren't getting MeTV, which in most circumstances would be a deal breaker, but in this case we do get TVLand which is another oldie network. That might be an acceptable trade off.

Now we'll see how long we can handle Dish Network, for the second time, before getting pissed off and quitting it...again, but seems ok so far.


At 9:35 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The translator box is a descrambler for the encrypted signal (so that other people don't 'steal' the signal for free).

Changing the channel shouldn't change the input source. You likely hit the 'input' button. This button tells the TV which input cable/cord to use for its signal -- Direct TV, cable, antenna, DVD player, Blu-ray player, game console, streaming box, etc.

For example, my TV has a Roku box, Blu-ray player, desktop PC and a game console connected to it. I switch between them using the input button. So, if you have the problem again, just keep hitting 'input' until you get DirectTV back.

At 10:43 AM, Blogger Henchman Of Justice said...


In the past year, it seems more "streaming" options exist, but the jury is still out on whether the service is good, spotty, or not receptive in rural topographies.

At 3:17 PM, Blogger gabriele gray said...

You might check to see if you get

Movies is old movies, the rest are a lot of great old shows. COZI is running Miami Vice which is great to revisit...don't know if your service offers any of these but you could check...
They're all high numbers channels here (1249, 1261, 1283...POP is lower, 175 so they're not premium channels.
Good luck!

At 5:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Streaming quality is directly related to your Internet speed. The slowest speed offered by Suddenlink is 50 Mbps, but only a 05 Mbps speed is needed for High Definition video, and 25 Mbps for Ultra High Definition.

Netflix, Prime and Hulu are rock solid in terms of stream quality. The issue is whether you like their video collections. All three are trying to turn themselves into HBO, pouring millions of dollars into original programming. Hulu also carries some current TV shows the day after broadcast. HBO Now and ESPN are rock solid standalone streaming options, too.

SlingTV and Playstation Vue (despite the name, no Playstation is needed) sometimes have had streaming complaints with their apps on some devices, but they're generally stable now. Those two services stream live cable channels, but some of the channels they carry offer some on-demand content (HBO for sure, their whole month's cable broadcasts can be viewed anytime you like).

Don't overlook the original programming of Prime, Netflix and Hulu. They each have some really great shows and miniseries you can't see anywhere else. Prime just debuted The Grand Tour this month, which is the renamed Top Gear after it was pulled by the BBC. It is wildly popular around the world, including in the US, among anyone who has an interest in cars and humor.

At 11:20 AM, Blogger Henchman Of Justice said...

Do you know anything about Sling tv or any other "streaming service", non dish reception?

Thanks for the informative response.

At 11:22 AM, Blogger Henchman Of Justice said...

Thanks for the info....

Do you know which streaming tv service works best in hinter hill lands?

At 11:25 AM, Blogger Fred Mangels said...

I looked into Sling TV but found it was an internet stream. In our house that would require wifi, or running a data cable under the floor to the living room so we could have the modem near the TV. I gave up on that.

For what it's worth, and as an aside, the guy who hooked up our satellite connection told me there was no way Dish could beat Suddenlink's download speeds. He didn't try to compare AT&T broadband with Suddenlink, but I'm getting the impression Suddenlink is superior when it comes to speed.

At 11:42 AM, Blogger Fred Mangels said...

Oh, and that Dish guy also pointed out, the more TV shows you stream, the bigger your bill for broadband can get, depending on the size of the files of the TV shows you're watching. If you go over your broadband agreement's limit, you could pay a penalty as well.

At 11:43 AM, Blogger Fred Mangels said...

Don't know which is best, but I've never heard anyone say anything bad about Roku or Hulu. Or Netflix for that matter.


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