Internet service

Re: Internet service

PostBy: Devil505 On: Sat Jul 26, 2008 9:05 pm

We presently have Comcast Cable here in Plymouth, Mass. & I'm paying almost $200/month for cable TV, internet & telephone through them. My wife is a TV watcher but I typically only watch news & CSPAN.

Verizon FIOS is almost ready for this area & I want to check them out. Can you get HiDef TV, internet access (at cable speeds) & telephone through FIOS?

If so, anyone know their price compared to Comcast? (who nickel & dime you to death)
Devil505
 
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Re: Internet service

PostBy: Adamiscold On: Sun Jul 27, 2008 9:11 am

Can you get HiDef TV, internet access (at cable speeds) & telephone through FIOS?


They have a lot of different rates for their Internet http://www22.verizon.com/content/consumerfios/packages+and+prices/packages+and+prices.htm, which I hear is good for gaming but have no experience with them. They start at $43 if you have their phone service. Has far has their channel's go their base package seems to start at $48 a month http://www22.verizon.com/content/fiostv/packages+and+prices/packages+and+prices.htm, which is steep. Their site says they have over 20 HD channels, which news reports say they will be increasing over the next two years in two step increments. A package price for the first year will be your best bet, but watch out after that. I guy had comcast and was doing their $99 a month for the first year and it just ran out on him and he got a bill for $180 for just one month and he didn't even have all the extra channels.

We have direct tv with all the bells and whistles, over 95 HD channels for $109 a month. Comcast Internet second tier with basic channels for like $59 a month and use Vonage basic 500 minute service for $19 a month with tax's. For $187 a month we have every thing under the sun.

Comparing Fios to Direct TV it seems like you could get all the premiums channels with dvr for $89 a month plus tax's what ever other fees they might include. Their Internet is about the same if you don't use their phone service and go with Vonage. The only real difference is that come September Direct TV should have close to 120 HD channels if they are available from the tv stations.

I know Comcast's phone service is about $45 a month so I would think Verizon is a little under that for unlimited calling?
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Re: Internet service

PostBy: Devil505 On: Sun Jul 27, 2008 9:18 am

Thanks for the info Adam. I contacted Direct TV & was led to believe that I would need a box attached to every TV in the house, if I wanted to be able to watch different programing on each. Since we have probably 8-10 TV's, this would be a real pain & expense.
Devil505
 
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Re: Internet service

PostBy: Adamiscold On: Sun Jul 27, 2008 10:05 am

Devil it's the same with Comcast or Fios, if you want a DVR or an HD set top box you have to pay for each one. Unless you are using straight coax cable for right now for an analog tv set, but come Feb of 2009 you'll either need to have a digital tv set or buy a digital box for each tv set. One of the nice things about my Direct TV hd dvr is that both my hd out puts are live (HDMI, component) so I can watch the same hd programing on two different tv's through out the house.
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Re: Internet service

PostBy: Devil505 On: Sun Jul 27, 2008 10:42 am

Adamiscold wrote:Devil it's the same with Comcast or Fios, if you want a DVR or an HD set top box you have to pay for each one. Unless you are using straight coax cable for right now



I do have most of my TV's connected directly to the cable wire (no box ) & my understanding is that, since all my TV's are digitally tuned, that they will work fine since the cable companies will be feeding them the correct signals from their office.
Right?
Devil505
 
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Re: Internet service

PostBy: Adamiscold On: Sun Jul 27, 2008 1:12 pm

I do have most of my TV's connected directly to the cable wire (no box ) & my understanding is that, since all my TV's are digitally tuned, that they will work fine since the cable companies will be feeding them the correct signals from their office.
Right?


From my understanding the only tv's that where digitally tuned over the past few years are HD tv's. Which are plasma's, LCD's, dlp's (newer ones), Sxrd's (Sony). The regular CRT's non HD digital mandate didn't kick in to this year and anything older then a couple of years (analog) or so doesn't qualify. As long as there digital and not analog you should be all set.

Edit; for anyone else looking for information on it http://www.dtv.gov/whatisdtv.html
Adamiscold
 
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Re: Internet service

PostBy: Devil505 On: Sun Jul 27, 2008 9:19 pm

Unless you have the ancient rotary tuned, analog set you should be fine with any cable TV system. The cable companies take the digital signal & convert it so that it's watchable on any electronically tuned TV. HiDef, Plasma, LCD etc doesn't matter as long as it has an electronic tuner.
Devil505
 
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Re: Internet service

PostBy: IceDog On: Mon Jul 28, 2008 9:36 am

Devil is correct.

If you have cable you WILL NOT have to worry about buying a new digital tuner TV. Cable companies will be required to still provide an analog signal. They can do this by running both analog and digital signals, or they can provide you with a converter. Each company may choose a different option, but you will not have to get a new tv. If you are watching TV from an antenna (not a dish) the old fashion antenna you will need a converter (the government is giving out vouchers to help offset costs for them), or you will need a new digital tuner tv.

As far as cable companies and internet speeds. Each cable company has what they call a UBR where all of the traffic gets to. The UBR has cards and upstreams. The cards are very expensive and "you guessed it" the more customers you have on a card the less cards you need. You could have a thousand customers on and if only 100 of them were using the internet (and not pegging it with downloads) it would be fine. If you only had 200 and all of them were trying to download huge files or movies at the same time it could start bogging down.

Most companies tell you there service is "up to XXX megs". The frustrating part here is where is the bog down if you have one? Is it at the cable company, the internet provider, the website your hitting, or somewhere along the way. The problem with the "speak easy" testing is you are going out of your companies network. To truly test any companies network you must stay withing that network. We used to have a 1 meg file our guys could download from our head end. This would give us a pretty accurate measurement of our network (less the customers equipment i.e. modem, router, computer). Most companies will not allow anyone to "ping" directly into the brains of the network because of security issues.

What is truly amazing is that about 10% of customers use 90 % of the bandwidth. Most doing illegal downloading, or have some kind of virus that keeps sending BS out over the internet. Our company monitors the useage of the bandwith to allow us to see if we are maxing out and need to upgrade, and to find the customers who may have viruses and be bogging down the "highway". Those people are sent letters informing them they need to correct the issue, or we will be forced to shut down the modem until it's corrected.

I think Yanchie said it best. You need to know what you want and need, as questions on how that will be provided to you, and if your not happy with the service report it and hopefully the company will respond to your issues. If not, and you have other choices you may want to move on.
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Re: Internet service

PostBy: CapeCoaler On: Mon Jul 28, 2008 11:38 pm

True, with Comcast you do not need to have a digital converter box to receive regular programing.
The problem is they are moving some of the regular programs into the 'digital box required' range of channels and will probably do so until only the crappy channels are left in the non digital box range.
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Re: Internet service

PostBy: Adamiscold On: Tue Jul 29, 2008 9:17 am

Cable companies will be required to still provide an analog signal.



I think you're missing something here, unless I am completely way off base here. The whole point of making a mandated conversion to digital is so that there is no more analog channels. The cable companies big push for digital is because of the huge bandwidth that an analog signal takes up. I believe it's a 1/3 ratio for every 1 analog channel they could fit 3 digital channels. In some areas cable companies have given out a digital box to it's customers so they could shut off there analog signals. The whole point of a digital converter box is for it to convert the digital signal from the cable company to an analog signal that the older tv sets can read.

The only service providers that are given an extension to continue to receive an analog signal from a TV station is the satellite companies which have had their dead lines pushed back because of the all the work needed to switch all the local channels over from analog to digital.

Cable companies need to drop all of their analog channels so they can catch up in the HD channel race and until the mandate happens in February their hands are tied. Even though most experts say that even with the freed up space it's still not going to be enough for the cable companies to compete with Fios and the satellite companies.
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Re: Internet service

PostBy: Richard S. On: Tue Jul 29, 2008 11:10 am

AFAIK the cable companies aren't required to do anything, they are a private entity and can do what they wish however the full conversion to all digital channels is inevitable. I could be wrong though, the digital push is to free up the airwaves that the public owns from my understanding.

Many of your channels on cable are digital now hence the need for the cable box, if you hook your cable right into your TV you can still receive the non-digital channels. The box is only required for the digital ones. This box is also basically what you'll need to receive broadcast channels once they switch them, the box takes a digital signal and converts it to analog. This is also why you can't directly hook a directv satellite feed into a analog TV because the signals are all digital.

The reason for the switch to digital for broadcast is because they use public airwaves which have a limited amount of bandwidth. I forget the exact number but they can fit many HD streams into the same amount of bandwidth required for a single SD analog channel. By switching the airwaves to digital they are freeing up a huge spectrum of space for other wireless devices like cell phones etc. Simply put they airwaves are running out of room and analog is hogging a lot of it.
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Re: Internet service

PostBy: Devil505 On: Tue Jul 29, 2008 11:20 am

Richard S. wrote:Many of your channels on cable are digital now hence the need for the cable box, if you hook your cable right into your TV you can still receive the non-digital channels. The box is only required for the digital ones.



Question for you: If the cable companies can convert the analog signals to a format that is viewable on an electronically tuned TV ,without a cable box, why can't they do the same for digital stations? (make them viewable without a cable box by just assigning them an electronically tuned station number)

At the risk of Greg accusing me of popping more "Conspiracy Pills" :D , I'm thinking that they probably could but just want to rent everyone more cable boxes!!
Am I wrong?
Devil505
 
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Re: Internet service

PostBy: Richard S. On: Tue Jul 29, 2008 11:24 am

IceDog wrote:Most companies tell you there service is "up to XXX megs". The frustrating part here is where is the bog down if you have one? Is it at the cable company, the internet provider, the website your hitting, or somewhere along the way.


Good point, what a lot of people don't realize is the speeds being offered by Comcast generally will never be met by the server you are using. Typically most will be in the 300-500kiB/s(this is the speed your browser will report) which equates to about 3000kbps to 5000kbps(this is the speed your ISP uses). This server I've maxed out at about 1200kib per second. :D

Note that kiB is kilobyte and kb is kilobit... 10 bits to a byte...or 8 bits to a byte depending on where you read it...

To put that in perspective a typical hollywood DVD movie is encoded at 6000kbps, Technically you should be able to stream DVD quality video using your home connection because they are offering speeds in excess of 16,000kbps but that's not going to happen because finding a server that will consistently offer speeds like that are few and far between. To stream HD you'll need somewhere in the neighborhood of 24,000kbps.
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Re: Internet service

PostBy: Richard S. On: Tue Jul 29, 2008 11:30 am

Devil5052 wrote:
Richard S. wrote:Question for you: If the cable companies can convert the analog signals to a format that is viewable on an electronically tuned TV ,without a cable box, why can't they do the same for digital stations? (make them viewable without a cable box by just assigning them an electronically tuned station number


I don't understand what you mean Devil, the channels viewable on a analog only TV over cable are an analog signal. Digital is 1's and 0's. you need a digital tuner to receive it. If you have a analog only TV you need to get a box to convert the digital signal to analog so the TV can display it. They can't even manufacture TV's anymore without one and the ones still in stores will be prominently marked as such if they don't have one.

The bottom line is this will only effect people with older TV's that are getting their signal from an antennae.

Edit: just tao add yes it will also effect you if you have analog only TV's and your cable company switches to a all digital format.
Richard S.
 
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Re: Internet service

PostBy: Devil505 On: Tue Jul 29, 2008 1:01 pm

Richard S. wrote:I don't understand what you mean Devil, the channels viewable on a analog only TV over cable are an analog signal. Digital is 1's and 0's. you need a digital tuner to receive it.



I'm probably making things more complicated than they need to be. :(


Let's try this question:

In our kitchen I have a 6 month old Samsung LCD wide screen TV


that we watch Comcast's analog stations on without a cable box. The TV has a digital tuner & while I can watch all of Comcast's analog stations, (Channels 2-99 are analog stations in our area & we can view them just via the bare 75ohm coax cable wire) we cannot receive Comcast's Digital stations on it, without one of their cable boxes. (Comcast's digital stations are assigned channels 100-199 in our area, but just come in blank w/o a cable box)


My question: Why can't Comcast reformat their digital stations & simply assign them a number that we could view on this TV, without the need of a cable box?



Does that question make sense??
Last edited by Richard S. on Fri Dec 13, 2013 5:46 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Devil505
 
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