Moving which service do I go with?

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Joined: 21 Jan 2007
Moving which service do I go with?

I'm going to be moving out of comcast land(philadelphia) at the end of the month and moving into a house up in eastern long island on the north shore. Its a rental and the landlord told us that we have the option of choosing Cable (cablevision), FiOs, or satellite. I'm too far east to easily pick up NYC OTA, but I should be able to pick up at least some OTA from Connecticut if I try.

Here's that I've got currently:

SageTV driving the ship
HD-PCR connected to comcast box
HD-homerun (QAM, but could have also been OTA before the switchover)
pvr-150 (analog cable)
Fusion 5 lite (OTA)

If I stick with cable, I guess I'll be able to tune analog cable with my pvr-150 for a while anyway. I don't want to plan on relying on OTA initially as I'm sure it will require an upgraded antenna(which I may not be allowed to install on the roof or attic). I'm assuming that my hdhomerun will tune QAM via cable or fios, right?

I'm just not sure if there is an obvious choice here. I just read cgsheen's posting on getting his custom DCT system working and that sounds awesome! I'm a loyal Sage user, but something like this could be enough to convince me to consider the switch with Media Center. Does that tuner only work with cable, or can it also work with FiOs?

I could also pick up a second HD-PVR and have a second hd-box to handle the tuning. I'm not sure how I feel about relying on the HD-PVR for heavy duty important recordings. Mine locks up every so often and sometimes Sage won't tune via the irblaster without a reboot. If its my best option, then it might be worth it.

Of course, I'll also need internet and probably also a landline. Although I hate comcast for their monopoly on the philly market, the service I've gotten has been consistent and good enough. I've often desired to get FiOs for the faster upstream bandwidth, but my HTPC may be driving the ship on this decision.

captain_video's picture
Joined: 6 Jul 2007

Go with FIOS for their internet service if nothing else.  If one of the services provides clear QAM channels and your tuners can handle them then consider one of them.  Otherwise, you'll need to use a STB regardless of which service you go with.  Keep in mind that DirecTV will probably lock you into a 1 or 2-year commitment if you sign up with them.  That's not an issue if you'll be around for the long haul, but for may it can be a dealbreaker.

One option to consider is going with a Tivo HD and an M-series cablecard.  You won't need a STB and it will record everything you subscribe to.  I've got two series 3 Tivos in my home theater setup and they complement my HTPC with six ATSC tuners quite nicely.  Until cablecard PCs become the mainstream and not a rare oddity, a Tivo HD is your best option for recording encrypted shows from a digital service provider.  You'll also be able to use it for locals if you're in a poor reception area for antenna use.

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