Thursday, September 17

Comcast vs DirectTV

Generally speaking, I'm one to go for the "good deal." Money matters, and I sacrifice what I really want to get the best value. When it comes to TV, however, I'm quickly changing my tune. We had DirectTV at our old apartment, but cancelled when we moved because we are paying for basic Comcast in our HOA. And obviously, I don't want to double-pay for TV I barely watch. I'm starting to think it's worth the money, though. Certainly once we're not so tight, I'll go back to DirectTV even if we're throwing money away to Comcast. Let me tell you just some of the multiple reasons the satellite is so much better:
  • Customer Service. My relationship with Comcast started badly right from the beginning, when I called to figure out how to turn on Closed Captioning, and the idiot Customer Service lady never bothered to ask me about my TV model, but gave me a 10 minute run-around of idiocy before I finally asked her "Ok, is there no way to turn it on through the cable box? No? Just through the TV? Ok I already tried that, it doesn't work, thanks for nothing."
  • The digital channel guide, as with most guides, shows every channel possible- not just the ones you get. And doesn't even try to indicate which ones you get. So if you try to scroll through the guide, looking for good shows, you're more than likely to find something great, try to go watch it, and see "You don't recieve this channel." Over and over and over again. DirectTV has a wonderful guide menu option, where the default channel guide is your list of favorites. It took a while to whittle the list down to channels I like and channels I get, but after that, TV watching was smooth as anything. Comcast has a difficult-to-use favorites guide, and you have to select the favorites menu every time you go to the channel guide, and then it starts over at channel 1. VERY irritating.
  • With DTV, when you fast forward through the commercials then hit play, it jumps back a few seconds to compensate for reflex delay. With C, you inevitably have to back up after getting to the end of the commercials, and several seconds into the show. Small, but irritating.
  • The DVR on C is almost unusable. Coming to the start of all the new seasons, I've wanted to throw my cable box out the window almost every time I try to set the DVR. When I try to set a series recording, there is no option to choose the channel. I had to go back and manually tell the DVR on at least 3 shows to record from the primary network, as opposed to some channel nobody's ever heard of that only plays reruns. We nearly missed a few season premiers that way.
  • It also likes to record reruns of new episodes. This is not a huge problem, but it got irritating after the 4th time I cancelled the recording of "Shawn has the Yips" and it decided to undo my cancel.
  • The instant memory on the DVR only goes back something like 30 minutes. That seems like not a big deal... and I guess it's not... but I'm used to DTV which had something like 2 hours of memory you could rewind to if you stayed on the same channel. It was nice, if I turned on the TV in the middle of a movie I wanted to watch, or wanted to go back and watch some shows that were just on. It was also nice because it would stay paused for a very long time.
There are several more reasons I hate comcast, but I'll stop there. I don't know who has the better deal or more channels, but when Brit starts working and we're rolling in the dough, I'll definitely be splurging to go back to DirectTV's easy and comfortable user interface. It just causes so much less irritation in my life.


The Boob Nazi said...

Ummm I agree on the not letting you know which channels you have thing.

ComcastCares1 said...

I apologize for the experience. The closed caption can be activated or deactivated by turning off the converter and then selection on or off on the menu.

I also appreciate the feedback. I will share it with the appropriate department. I also wanted to let you know, we are currently working on a better guide interface. I hope you will see the improvements soon!

I agree, using the regular forward and rewind buttons are not very helpful. What I find very helpful is using my 30 skip button on my remote. You can actually program your remote to skip commercials in 30 second intervals. Someone actually made a video on how to program it on your tube. I hope it will be helpful to you.

Here you go:

Mark Casem
Comcast Corp.
National Customer Operations