Cable, Satellite and DVRs

Cable TV:  Most people don’t realize this, but all high-def cable subscribers are actually getting three different picture qualities.  They are analog, digital, and high-def.  For example, Cox cable has channels 2-99 as analog stations.  Channels 100 and above are all digital except for the 700s which are high-def.  Analog is gross.  The picture and sound quality is terrible.  I feel like I need to wash my hands after watching an analog show on an HDTV.  Digital is better- not great, but better.  HD is where it’s at.  Some HD channels and shows look better than others, but everything is still pretty nice in HD.  Cable has a lock on Padres baseball.  They also see very little downtime, meaning their system doesn’t usually go out.  The DVRs in cable boxes are terrible.  They are very low capacity and are infamous for missing recordings.  The cable boxes themselves are clunkers as well.  They need constant resetting and replacement which is usually easy enough to do, but annoying.  Cable is great for those that want easy and reliable.  Cable doesn’t go out in bad weather and can easily be connected to several TVs with no additional subscription fees (unless you want another cable box).

Satellite TV:  Satellite TV has only two picture qualities.  They are digital and high-def.  Everything is digital except for the HD channels.  That means you will have overall better picture quality.  You also have access to an almost limitless number of channels.  If you are a true sports fan, you don’t have any other option than satellite.  For an extra fee, you can see every sporting event happening anytime and in any place in the entire country.  The downsides of satellite are possible loss of signal in bad weather and the fact that you must have a box for every TV.  I guess you don’tHAVE to get a box for every TV.  If you have TVs sharing a box, they have to watch the same show.  Satellite boxes are also much more robust than cable boxes and almost never need maintenance.

DVRs:  If you’re not using a DVR to watch TV, you either don’t know what it is or you live in a cave.  I don’t mean to offend anyone- especially any Geico spokespeople, but seriously… get a DVR.  DVRs are not for people that watch a lot of TV.  DVRs are for people that don’t want to watch a lot of TV.  Let me explain.  A DVR is a Digital Video Recorder.  It’s like a VCR with super powers.  All you have to do is tell it what shows you want to record and you’re done.  It will find and record all the shows you want and you can even tweak the programming so you can skip re-runs or add 30 mins to live events.  Now you can sit down anytime and watch only the shows you want to watch with the added ability of fast-forwarding through commercials.  Do you want to watch the event at it’s normal time?  No problem, but make your life easier by starting it when it’s half-way over.  If you’re watching an hour-long show, you will have 30 mins of commercials you can skip through.

TiVo:  We sell TiVo because we LOVE TiVo.  If a DVR is a VCR with super powers, TiVo is a DVR with super powers.  TiVo never misses a show and has a fast and easy user interface.  That means, anyone can pick up the remote and be a TiVo genius in 5-10 mins.  You can use a TiVo with a cable box, but it can be a little bit of a hassle.  TiVo recognized this and made a TiVo with a CableCARD slot which eliminates the need to have a cable box.  If you connect it to your network, you can also stream Netflix and other cool media providers.  The only downsides to TiVo are the small fee to use the service and using it with a cable box is a pain.