Kicking Verizon To The Curb

Discussion in 'Odds & Ends' started by Cindysphinx, Dec 28, 2011.

  1. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    OK, it's time to switch, and I need your help.

    I've been with Verizon for TV/Internet/Phone for years. It's been OK. But the bill is too high ($165/month!) for one phone line, slowest internet speed, four TV boxes including whole house DVR. Then Verizon dropped the Tennis Channel smack dab in the middle of the US Open, which is unforgivable, and they still don't have Tennis Channel.

    I can go to Direct TV or Comcast.

    If I went with Direct TV, my phone and internet would remain with Verizon, which is nice because then I can keep my email addresses. But Direct TV requires a two-year contract, and I am not a fan of those things.

    The big problem is Direct TV will come to my house and put a pole in my back yard with a dish on it -- which I really don't think I will like. If I can see it, I will be unhappy. If the neighbors can see it, they will be unhappy. This is not a neighborhood where folks put satellite dishes in their yards -- I cannot even think of when I last saw a satellite dish. If I install a dish with a 2-year contract and the neighbors complain, then what?

    Or I can go with Comcast. They enraged me a few years back, so I yanked my business vowing never to return. I do not like the idea of crawling back to them now. They have no 2-year contract, but they do have an installation charge of $70, which is annoying.

    Can anyone opine? How bad is the dish-in-the-back-yard thing?
     
    #1
  2. djokovicgonzalez2010

    djokovicgonzalez2010 G.O.A.T.

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    DirecTV. Incredible service, great tennis coverage (Of course, the real #1 reason to get DirecTV is this)
    Comcast is awful
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2011
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  3. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    How's the dish?
     
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  4. djokovicgonzalez2010

    djokovicgonzalez2010 G.O.A.T.

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    It's on the roof where it's not really visible. The biggest problem is it'll go out in a big storm. Which invariably happen on big points in Grand Slams. From what I can tell, there are more outages than cable, but signal returns as soon as storm clears out, so much shorter
     
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  5. Kevin T

    Kevin T Professional

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    I have DirecTV and probably live in a similar neighborhood with similar neighbors and similar concerns about a dish/appearances. Almost everyone has a DirecTV dish but all are discreet. Mine is connected to the side of the house, just under the roof line. It can only be seen from the back yard (unless you're really looking for it), as a tree hides it in the front and on the side.

    DirecTV service is top notch. We've been through some pretty tough weather and in two years, service has never gone out. The multi-court coverage during tennis events (also golf, rugby, etc., if interested) is fantastic. Like you, I've had issues with Comcast and would never go back. The only cable system I've ever been satisfied with is Cox (Time Warner was dreadful, even worse than Comcast). No land line, so no worries there. I have no choice but to go through Comcast for Inet, but oh well. :) I'm out of the whole rebate/new customer deals. I have an all-inclusive package with a sports pack (includes regional stations), two HD DVRs and HBO and my monthly bill is ~$103. During the first year, my bill as <$75 with rebates.
     
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  6. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    It's maddening, it really is.

    I called Verizon to see what their charges are if I drop TV but keep internet and landline. They want $90 for the slowest internet speed and their cheapest phone package.

    If I drop the landline completely, then they want $70 for just slow internet.

    It's infuriating when they advertise "TRIPLE PLAY FOR $99 A MONTH!!" and then they won't give me anything like that deal.

    I'll call Direct TV again. I think they said they have third-party suppliers who can do the internet and phone portions of it.
     
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  7. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    Living in the thunderstorm capital of the world, I was leery about getting DirecTV. In the heaviest storms, I lose the HD channels but the SD channels still come through which is good enough for me. Can't beat the Grand Slam coverage on DirecTV. I had a new born 3 years ago during the Australian Open and I didn't mind being woken up in the middle of the night with 5 matches to watch. :)
     
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  8. esgee48

    esgee48 Hall of Fame

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    Do you get ATT U-Verse? Their package deal includes all 3 services you currently have.

    BTW, telephone numbers are portable, so changing telecom vendors should not be based on keeping the old phone numbers. You can also change all your email addresses to gmail, hotmail or ymail once, then not have to worry about people losing your new email address. Gmail and hotmail support email clients, so I know a lot of people use them.
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2011
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  9. thug the bunny

    thug the bunny Professional

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    IMO Comcast may actually be the Worst Company in the World. You know a company sucks when they launch an ad campaign declaring their new-found dedication to customer service to try and mitigate the rage that people have with them.

    I have my dish on my roof, but as others said, I have seen dishes mounted on the sides of condos and townhouses, as long as you have line of sight to the southern sky. I recently upgraded to their premium package so I could get TC for only about $5/month more than basic.

    One cool thing about them is once in a while I forget to pay my bill and my service gets suspended and I just go online, pay (no late fees), and service turns on again instantly. This really beats having to call Comcast to have some surly rep telling you 'aw, that's too bad, now leave me alone and go pound sand'.
     
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  10. hollywood9826

    hollywood9826 Semi-Pro

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    You really wont see the dish in the backyard thing anymore. They usually get installed on the roof in an fairly inconspicuous place. Or under the roof. They are pretty small now so shouldnt really present an issue.

    I actually would recommend the location like Kevin is talking about. I dont like the idea of holes in the roof. It doesnt take much for water to get there and if you decide you dont want it anymore it would be easier to remove. Thats why installing it on the eave is the way to go IMO.

    [​IMG]

    As far as the internet and phone through Direct-TV go, they partner with companies to provide that service in thier bundle. The first thing they will try to do is probably get you to use Verizon for Internet and Phone as Verizon is a large partner of Direct-Tv and you are in Verizons area. So your slow internet will remain your slow internet I'm assuming your not in Fios area yet.

    I think they go through WildBlue now if a dish needs to be used for Internet. At which point becasue WildBlue is using a different band they probably have to install another dish. But, I'm not sure if thats still the case. Speed is probably slower than DSL for the base plan which gets you 512DL speed and 128UL speed with a 7.5GB DL and 2.3GB UL monthly limit before they nerf your speed even more at 128DL and 28UL.

    Not sure how Direct TV would do phone if you dont want to use verizon. You would probably not get phone through them and go with Vonage or something.


    Up here in Havre de Grace my only option right now are Dish (directTV and Dish network) or Comcast. Ive never had any problems with Comcast besides having to call them once a year to get them to hook me up with another package deal.

    When I check verizon I cant even get DSL though them, but they will let me package phone with Direct TV.
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2011
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  11. Dream_On

    Dream_On Rookie

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    I would get AT&T U-verse, I got it in america and even though the internet speed was **** for a while it was fine before Christmas. I cant imagine there being too much of a problem with storms cutting it out using a dish though, in the uk I use sky digital and it very rarely fails me.
     
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  12. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    I guess I will try Direct TV. They can get me TC and Golf Channel. All four TVs will be HD. Whole house DVR. All for less than I am currently paying.

    They swear they can put the dish in the bushes or someplace inconspicuous. When they show up, I will demand that they show me the location before they start unhooking stuff.

    The internet is Clear-something mobile 4G. Mr. Sphinx said that should be OK.
     
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  13. hollywood9826

    hollywood9826 Semi-Pro

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    Be careful of putting it in the bushes. If they grow and the wind blows they could interrupt your connection. But if you keep those bushes trimmed it shouldnt present a problem.

    Do you currently have sprint coverage for you wireless phone with 4G or do any of your neighbors or someone you know? Sprints 4G coverage actually runs on Clearwire's network so that would be a way to know if ther service is good or not. Still will not be as fast as cable but should beat DSL.
     
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  14. Seth

    Seth Hall of Fame

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    DirecTV is the real deal. Grand Slam Mix channels are incredible. I've had cable, Dish Network, and DirecTV over the years, and DirecTV is by far the best.

    I would also recommend sending a letter to your neighbors reminding them that there are far more important things to worry about than a damn two-foot satellite.

    Just (sort of) kidding.
     
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  15. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    My dish is on the roof but you can't see it from the street due to a few large trees. In hindsight, I would have had them install it as Hollywood suggested. No need to be deliberately putting holes in a roof but so far it has not caused any problems.
     
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  16. Fifth Set

    Fifth Set Professional

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    DirecTV is by far the best option.

    A couple tips on the dish business:

    1. Do not listen to the moron who wants to put the dish on a pole in the yard. If the dish can find the southern sky from the yard, it can find it from an inconspicuous spot on the eaves of the back or side roof. If he insists, call corporate and ask for another installer. Do not relent on this.

    2. Pay the extra $ for the heavy duty dish installation brackets. They charged me me about $80. Keep a close eye on the installer to make sure each piece of the bracket is securely attached to the eaves. Without this, there is greater risk of outages in windy weather. These outages can be a pain in the butt. Wind used to knock my disk out of alignment to a point of requiring a service visit. This cost more $ unless you buy the warranty. And, of course, it will happen during the Australian Open (2nd week, probably!). Avoid the whole mess with the heavy duty brackets - I haven't had ANY problems since I got them.
     
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  17. Maui19

    Maui19 Hall of Fame

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    CS, I just went through what you are doing. I am incredibly happy with DTV service--I wish I had switched years ago. I got MUCH more and cut my bill by about $90/month. Here's my advice, which is worth exactly what you are paying for it:

    1) Don't bundle services, because you lose all three when you have a service interruption.

    2) My Comcast service where I used to live was awesome. Down here in SC, Time Warner is indescribably bad. The people are very nice, but worthless. I switched to DirecTV and it is just plain awesome. The picture is better. The guide is better. The apps are better. The customer service is better. The documentation is better. And the price is WAY better.

    3) Your DTV installer could be great or worthless. If you get an installer that thinks the best place to put the dish is in the middle of the front yard, then get another installer. Many will want to put it in a visible location in the yard. I don't think you'll have any problem saying no to a bad location, but make sure you get what you want.

    4) Make sure you are getting the current best deals, which usually involve rebates and other promos. Your price will go up in year two, but your average price over the two years will be a bargain compared to cable.

    5) Use the online guide. It is a very helpful way to select programs to watch and record--moreso than the guid on TV.

    6) The smartphone apps are awesome. I have the NFL package, and have watched games while riding in the car, etc. The package was free for me this year.

    Bottom line: do it.

    P.S. "Rain fade" is an issue. I haven't seen it yet, but my friends have.
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2011
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  18. Fearsome Forehand

    Fearsome Forehand Professional

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    Look at Dish Network, too.

    The dishes aren't that big. Not like the huge ones they use to have 20 years ago. They might be 2 feet across. Usually beige or gray in color, not that bad and are commonplace now.

    The wind brackets sound like a good idea. If you draw a good installer, it is a fairly painless process.

    Would think your best price is whatever bundle deal you can get from Verizon. You might have to cancel your existing service to get the best price.
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2011
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  19. zapvor

    zapvor Legend

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    i just switched to verizon! i was hoping we can get unlimited mobile to mobile calls;)
     
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  20. hollywood9826

    hollywood9826 Semi-Pro

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    Did you read what you quoted? Or you too busy remebering that Ping pong whooppin I gave you.
     
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  21. West Coast Ace

    West Coast Ace G.O.A.T.

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    +1,000. Hard to put a value on being able to watch the better early round matches.

    The iPhone app for programming the DVR when away from the house is great too.
     
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  22. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    OK, I did it. I think.

    DirectTv is is about $70/month. Then I'm getting Internet/phone from Comcast for an additional $45/month.

    So I think I am saving about $40 over Verizon Fios and I get TC and HD on all of my TVs. I think they waived all of the installation charges, but Comcast would only come down on the activation fee by 50% (so $14). No long-term Comcast contract, so that's OK.

    The DirectTV vendor who tried to sell me internet and phone was a jerk. I told him from the outset that I had limited time to discuss things with him. When it was time for me to jump in the car, I told him time was up. He wouldn't take "I'm backing out of my driveway, so this conversation has to end" for an answer. So I had to hang up on him. He called me back, can you believe it? I ignored the call.

    The DirectTV guy comes on Monday. I hope this goes well. I declined their offers to buy insurance and other attempts to up-sell me. If anything goes wrong, I will not need the insurance because I will instead scream my head off.

    That usually works.
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2011
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  23. j00dypoo

    j00dypoo Rookie

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    I've had directv, dish network, charter, and comcast. Comcast was BY FAR AND LARGE the only tolerable of the group.

    Dish services were absolutely horrendous. Slight wind, slight cloud coverage, rain, any storm... any slightest thing and our picture went out. We had heavy duty brackets and 2 dishes installed on our roof for both dish services and that still do not help out. Plus the picture quality was crappy compared to digital cable.

    Now with Comcast we have flawless service. Never goes out. Customer service is actually really good too. Only problem is it's way overpriced. I'm probably going to cancel all TV service and never have it again. I don't need TV anymore.

    Good luck with your dish. Hope you don't have any of the problems I do.
     
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  24. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Verizon Fios was awesome. Never had a problem, ever.

    Then they dropped TC. I will go to my grave not understanding why that problem couldn't be resolved.
     
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  25. West Coast Ace

    West Coast Ace G.O.A.T.

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    You must work for Comcast. They are almost as hated as AT&T. And when did you have a dish? I've had DirecTV for over 10 yrs and only had 3 weather related outages - and we do get big winds/rains near the coast.

    Big egos. The providers want to package channels as they see fit. The owners of the channel want to get to the biggest audience, thus they want to be part of the basic package. Thank goodness Steve is no longer head of TC - it would be out of business by now.
     
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  26. j00dypoo

    j00dypoo Rookie

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    No. I do not work for comcast.

    I'm talking out of personal experience with all the other providers, bar AT&T. AT&T Uverse for some reason is still not available in my neighborhood, but it's available a few houses down in an adjacent neighborhood. Their regular packages are crap so I never bothered to use them.

    Let's see... I had dish network back around 2004-5. DirecTV after that for a year. Been with comcast ever since and while I do not like the higher prices, their internet and tv have been stellar. Any time I call their center they are always nice and patient with any problems that incur.
     
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  27. Nellie

    Nellie Hall of Fame

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    Verizon lowered my rate to the intro price when I called and threatened to quit.
     
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  28. hollywood9826

    hollywood9826 Semi-Pro

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    Where I live its comcast or dish. Since there is no other option worth anything for internet I just get the package.

    I persoanlly have never had a problem with Comcast either.

    And I did work for them for 90 days. Most of the trouble calls were due to contracted installers leaving the job unfinished or a cut cable in the yard or something. If the cable is ran underground be careful when working around the house on flower beds. A shovel will pretty much destroy the cable.

    My sister has direct TV because the price is better, and so far she has not had anycomplaints either.
     
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  29. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Go figure. I called several times. The best I did was a $10 price reduction on the price of internet/phone when I told them I was thinking of moving to DirectTV. $10? Not good enough.
     
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  30. zapvor

    zapvor Legend

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    HW i did read her post.....
     
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  31. Nostradamus

    Nostradamus G.O.A.T.

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    yes, direct TV is very high quality, all HD all the time. i also really like their salesrep girl
     
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  32. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Good grief.

    The Direct TV guy came, surveyed my elaborate estate, and declared that he couldn't do the installation. My back yard is dominated by a 100-foot silver maple tree. He said that the service might be OK when there were no leaves on it, but when it leafs out the signal would be poor.

    Unless I want to put a giant pole in the front yard tall enough to clear the tree, it was a no go.

    Back to the drawing board . . .
     
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  33. Fifth Set

    Fifth Set Professional

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    Probably a lazy installer who is not compensated the right way.

    Call DirecTV's 1-800 line and explain the situation. Ask if they can send out another installer.

    I realize this looks like a pain in the butt. It's only hard work on the front end. Once the dish is in, with the right locations, installation brackets, etc., you will love it.
     
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  34. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    I can't risk entering into a two-year contract if an installer is telling me I won't be happy.

    Just called Comcast. Gawd, those people are awful. Just awful. The first guy promises me a $100 gift card as a new customer and transfers me to the installation department. Then the installation department tells me they want over $100 in installation fees.
     
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  35. hollywood9826

    hollywood9826 Semi-Pro

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    Did you have comcast at some time before? If you have the lines already in the house you should just be able to get the equipment. Plug everything in and call the service number to get it activated.

    If not stick with what you got.
     
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  36. tenn23

    tenn23 New User

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    Forget TV service and get a nice high speed internet connection. You can get local news and streaming anyway from the internet so I don't see the point of having television anymore.
     
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  37. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Well, I'm done. These people are ridiculous.

    Called Fios again to see what they would do for me. The guy offered me a shiny new bundle with everything I need for "$110-$120." When I asked what the actual cost would be, he said he could not give me an exact price because I might hold him to that and expect to get it for that price. Then the line went dead. I swear, I am not making this up.

    Called FIOS back, talked to another rep for an eternity, got a $12 discount off of my current price, still no TC.

    Ridiculous.
     
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  38. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Yes. I told them I already had the wiring from a couple of years ago. It should be a simple matter to get the equipment and screw it into the wall.

    There's something seriously wrong with Comcast. Here they have a returning customer ordering a bunch of stuff with good credit and existing wiring, and they can't figure out how to reel the fish into the boat.
     
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  39. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    The point of TV is I don't want to watch the Wimbledon final on a 15 inch monitor.

    I streamed one tennis match, and I decided never again. I had to sit there, suffering through ads, watching the match and doing nothing else. With my DVR, I can move around the house, pause the action, skip commercials. Worth the money. If I could get TC . . .
     
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  40. Maui19

    Maui19 Hall of Fame

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    Maybe you can't get the sat signal, but it is definitely worth having a second guy out to make sure. As someone else said, some of the installers are dumb n lazy.
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2012
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  41. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    I dunno, Maui. If the second guy says it will work just fine, what then? If they had a money-back guarantee, it would be worth a shot.

    I went jogging around the neighborhood today, and I found exactly one dish on a house. This neighborhood was built in the 1950s, and the trees are pretty big. Oh well.
     
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  42. tenn23

    tenn23 New User

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    A dedicated service seems like a waste if all you want to do is watch tennis matches. Notice I said service not TV itself (you can easily hookup your laptop to your TV through HDMI or similar, or use a gaming system for streaming services; there are many options to use a TV without subscribing to cable, basically). I don't know what streaming service you used but I got excellent streaming from espn360 (now espn.go.com) and that was on the second slowest cable internet speed my ISP (comcast xfinity) offers.
     
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  43. Fifth Set

    Fifth Set Professional

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    I have three 100+ foot redwoods (expensive to remove) in my backyard between the dish and the southern sky. No problems, although I have been warned that problems could arise as the trees continue to grow (and they will, like weeds). I will need to trim soon.

    Have you considered trimming the tree, which is probably a good thing to do anyway?

    What can I do to get you into a new DirecTV system today? (Seriously, I'm not affiliated with the company, but just can't imagine watching television, especially tennis, ANY OTHER WAY.)
     
    #43
  44. Kevin T

    Kevin T Professional

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    Agree with Fifth. Sounds like you need to move. :)
     
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  45. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Trim the tree? Goodness. We cabled the tree when we moved in, and that cost $1000. Redwoods don't have a lot of foliage, IIRC.

    Here's a pic of a silver maple. Mine is much bigger than this one:

    [​IMG]

    I think if two adults and a child joined hands, they could encircle the trunk of my tree.
     
    #45
  46. Fifth Set

    Fifth Set Professional

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    Oh. Wow.

    Note to self: never plant silver maple. It's like a freakin' godzilla stuck in your lawn.
     
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  47. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Fun fact.

    Who has raked the leaves from that tree for the last 18 years?

    Me, that's who.

    Redwoods are evergreen, aren't they? Feel my pain, man. Feel my pain.
     
    #47
  48. Fifth Set

    Fifth Set Professional

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    Location:
    California
    Oh I feel it alright - every time I look at the trees destroying our lawn. Yes, redwoods are evergreen. And they are beautiful to look at.

    But, they grow ridiculously fast and have aggressive root systems. At the end of the day, our lot is too small for the number of trees we have had. It has actually been quite a nuisance.
     
    #48
  49. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2006
    Messages:
    15,092
    Trees are great, but they can drive you nuts. The prior owners of our house had what I will charitably call "a lack of vision." They planted everything too close to the house and too close to each other. The worst was the dogwood tree they planted about two feet from the foundation.

    We also had to take out a mature beech. This required a team of guys with chain saws swinging from ropes. Taking down a mature tree is quite an operation. I can only imagine the horror of trying to take down a redwood!
     
    #49
  50. zapvor

    zapvor Legend

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2006
    Messages:
    9,183
    Location:
    tennis courts
    cindy what about just streaming from your phone as a mobile hotspot? with network speeds on 4G it's fast enough. you can stream it to you tv
     
    #50

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