One of the difficult decision to make when you move into a home for the first time is whether to go with cable or satellite TV. Usually when you live in an apartment, its difficult to get satellite, and there is also a contract which isn’t always the best thing if you are leasing an apartment unit.
Cable also provides the added advantage of triple play bundle, which makes things easier if you are shopping for high speed internet or if you prefer combined billing. But if you a bit confused on which provider to go with, in this article we will compare two big pay television providers, Bright House Networks and DIRECTV.
Most people know a little bit about DIRECTV, as they are the largest satellite company operating today with more than 18 million customers. BrightHouse is a medium sized cable TV company with a big presence in the Florida market, particularly Tampa and Orlando. They also have cable franchises in other areas including Indianapolis, Alabama, and California.
With DIRECTV, you can get video service but for internet and home phone service you will have to go to one of their telecom partners like AT&T. BrightHouse packages offer you a one stop shopping solution, and of course they want you to subscribe to one of their triple play bundles so they can make more money off of you.
One of the main considerations when you compare Brighthouse to DIRECTV is the way the signal reaches your TV set. With Bright House you get your signal through at traditional coaxial cable TV connection which runs to the back of your house or a central location in an apartment building. DIRECTV satellite TV is of course delivered from outer space, and you have to have your own small satellite dish in order to receive the signals.
That can be a problem for those who live in an apartment and don’t have their own private balcony, or if you live in a high rise you may not have any satellite TV options. But if you do have the ability to get either DIRECTV or Bright House, you need to also keep in mind that there are contracts associated with satellite television providers, while cable companies usually offer month to month service.
When people are shopping for a pay TV provider, they usually want to go with a bundled deal so they can deal with just one company for billing and customer service. Here is where there is a slight edge by selection a Bright House package. Cable television providers can easily set you up with your digital cable service, and also provide you with high speed internet and home phone service as well. The Bright House Combo Plus package offers all three services for an introductory price of $99.95 a month, which is good for 12 months.
Therein lies the catch with most cable triple play deals, they are great for one year and then the price jumps up on you, usually to the tune of 40% or more. There is also the Bright House Combo package, which drops the price to $84.99 a month and you can choose either phone or internet service along with your cable TV service. Prices vary depending on your franchise area, so it is a good idea to check in directly with them so they can give you an accurate Bright House price quote for your neighborhood.
Now things work a bit differently if you are trying to get a DIRECTV bundlethat also includes internet service. Because DIRECTV doesn’t offer their own internet or phone service, you will have to go with one of their partners if you want a DIRECTV triple play. They have agreements in place with all of the major telecoms in America, so you will actually get your high speed internet through a DSL or fiber connection, and then have a DIRECTV package for satellite. DIRECTV deals are somewhat similar to Bright House, in that you do get a nice drop in price during the first year as a new subscriber, and then the regular price kicks in during the second year.
Another factor to look into when comparing Bright House to DIRECTV is the number of HD channels available. This has been a contentious issue between the two major satellite TV companies, as Dish Network and DIRECTV have both tried to claim the title of HD King. But cable companies are now starting to gain ground in the battle, as companies like Xfinity and Time Warner have invested millions to upgrade their networks and carry more high definition content. How does Bright House stack up against satellite when it comes to high defnition?
Right now, Bright House networks is offering around 100 HD channels in the Tampa market, and you will find a similar number in the other major markets they serve. DIRECTV claims to offer more than 160 HD channels, though this number is not exactly accurate. The satellite TV provider counts dozens of pay per view movie options as HD channels, and customers do not watch pay per view movies all day long.
Another thing to remember is that many of the HD options are movie channels from HBO, Starz, and Showtime. Unless you subscribe to one or all of the premiums, you really will not have 100 HD channels to pick from. Overall, the two providers are just about equal when it comes to HD channel content.
One good thing about both DIRECTV and Bright House is that they now offer Free HD. With DIRECTV will have to agree to be on Auto Bill pay, while with most Bright House deals you do not have to have automatic payment set up.
Now if you are a sports fan, you will want to pay close attention to this information. Nothing is more frustrating for the die hard sports fan then going to watch their favorite team and not being able to find them on the channel lineup. With DIRECTV and BrightHouse you will find all of the popular sports networks like ESPN and ESPN2.
But where you will find a difference is with some of the NFL content that DIRECTV carries and Bright House does not. The main exclusive to DIRECTV is of course the NFL Sunday Ticket package, which will remain on satellite through at least the 2014 season. But in addition, DIRECTV has carried the NFL Network for several years, and once again Bright House has yet to reach an agreement to carry the 24 hour football channel. Money still seems to be the problem, as Bright House and Time Warner cable are the two big cable companies that still do not offer the NFL Network to their customers.
Bright House and DIRECTV both carry the other three major sports packages – NBA League Pass, MLB Extra Innings, and the NHL Center Ice package. Pricing on these is set at around $200 per season, so you won’t pay more with either provider. You may find more games in HD though on DIRECTV as they generally have greater capacity when it comes to high definition.
Finally, if you have multiple TV sets in the home you may want to consider the DIRECTV Whole Home DVR. This new DVR which just came out earlier this year can offer you access to all of your recorded DVR content throughout your home. The monthly fee on this unit is $10, and you will pay $5 for each additional receiver in the home with the ability to use the Whole Home DVR. Bright House charges $9.95 for each HD DVR and $8.95 for each standard definition digital video recorder.