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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Okay folks I'm in the process of a new article on US and Canadian satellite vendors.

So the question is what would you subscribe to if you had the choice.

Here's your choices:

ExpressVu


  • ExpressVu Family or Fan Combo - $45 per month
  • Movie Lover Combo - $64
  • Total TV Combo - $86
One of the above with HDTV for additional $10 per month.

DirectTV (prices converted into Cdn assuming 82 cent dollar)
  • Choice - $51 per month
  • Choice Plus - $56
  • Premier - $113
One of the above with HDTV for additional $13.50 per month.


The Rule in this thread is you gotta pick one or the other!



Basic things to consider and some points I'm unsure of so correct me if I'm wrong and I will update this post.


  • ExpressVu is considerably cheaper
  • ExpressVu has no multiple receiver fee
  • ExpressVu has timeshifting
  • ExpressVu makes east and west HD network feeds available
  • ExpressVu has CBC and Sportsnet in HD
  • EpressVu has Canadian local stations
  • ExpressVu is considerably cheaper
  • ExpressVu has a lot of HBO and Starz programming without having to sub to multiple movie networks.
  • ExpressVu has more French language programming
  • ExpressVu has smuttier porn (don't know if that's still true)
  • ExpressVu hardware is cheaper
  • DirecTV has ESPN, HDNET, HBO and Starz
  • DirecTV has a HD PVR with TIVO service
  • DirecTV has more international programming
Warning: Please Read this before posting on this thread.

  • Canadians can't subscribe to Directv so please don't go on about it on this thread or your post will be deleted.
  • Don't post about the evils of the liberal government etc etc, or your post will be deleted.
  • Don't go on about how Canadian channels suck and how the American ones are better etc etc, you're post will be deleted. A simple I prefer Bravo USA over Bravo Canada will suffice.
This thread is strictly designed to see which service Canadians would pick, IF they could.
 

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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
Okay, I'll be first. 5 to 8 years ago. DirectTv was a no-brainer for me.

Now I'm not so sure. I'm not big into sports ( I get all the NFL I need on the Networks although I might go for NFL Sunday Ticket if every game was broadcast in HD) and movie channels (got a DVD player) so that takes down Directv big time for me.

I don't watch that match US vs. Cdn type channels so, although I agree the US versions are generally better than the Canadian ones, I seldom watch them so its a moot point.

The big plus for me from Directv is the HD PVR.

ExpressVU on the other hand is cheaper, I get Canadian news, I get more HD channels and I get timeshifting. All the HBO and Starz programs I watch are on TMN or regular channels.


If I was deciding today, I'd probably go with ExpressVu Family Combo with HDTV for $55 a month and wait a few more months for the HD PVR.


Frankly, I was surprised at how difficult it would be for me to decide!
 

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If I had no contract with Bell.................because of the HD PVR and some wife channels.........I would go with the premier DirecTV $113 + $13.50
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I don't watch a lot of television so $146 a month ($127 a month plus taxes) would just be too much for me to spend. (guess its the scottish ancestry!)
 

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Hugh, you and I are very similar in our experiences/opinions as I do not watch sports and/or movie channels. A few years ago I would say DirecTv, no question, and in fact DirecTv was my only provider up until a couple of years ago. Even now it would be very easy for me to subscribe to DirecTV legally because I work in the US and I have a valid US address and credit card. But, as it stands right now, I think I would choose Bell (and have) over DirecTv for the following reasons:
1. Multiple receiver fees for DirecTv are killer. With bell I can add as many as I want (currently 3) and it costs nothing extra.
2. No timeshifting - I love teasing my US coworkers about how I can watch shows at various times through the evening!
3. Forced to have local networks if you are in a locally serviced area even though the locals may not have all the network programming available. For example, in Detroit, the local channel that carries Pistons basketball will subsim basketball games over regular network programming.

What I do miss about DirecTv is Cartoon Network for the kids and its original programming which doesn't always make it to Bell (SW Clone Wars Season 2) and the ease of integration with my ReplayTv's.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Holy doodle, I just checked! Directv is $6 a month for every extra receiver ($4.99 US)
 

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Hi Hugh,

Good idea for a topic! I would go for BEV because I have to have my CFL etc which is covered with TSN and CBC. I 'gotta have my Coronation Street etc with CBC. I have to say that once I lost my Direct TV BEV had most of what I was giving up along with my locals. I found that I really missed my CBC, TSN, and Sportsnet with Direct TV. Having TMN and the Superstations really narrows the gap between the two. By the time you add appropriate themes which give you A&E, Discovery, TLC etc there isn't that much that I am missing. Overall I would give the nod to BEV.

With your pricing structures I would go for the whole deal $86. Please note however that the Movie Lover Combo for $64 is not that great a deal. People should add one more theme and so for $2.00 get 6 themes instead of 5 (movie package is $19; but drops to $16 with 6 or more themes.
So for $66 you get 6 themes plus movies, a much better deal and what I would do if BEV forces me to give up my beloved Ultimate 7 package.

Of course I would add on the HD package (when I get my RPTV next year) which also seems to be a better value than Direct Tv.

My two cents!

Zoo
 

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hugh said:
Holy doodle, I just checked! Directv is $6 a month for every extra receiver ($4.99 US)
Yep, my buddy at work is ALWAYS complaining about that. To tell you the truth, when Bell introduced the new progamming back in the fall I was on the fence on whether to choose cable (Cogeco - who I hate), DirecTv or Dishnetwork, or Bell. The fact that Bell removed the multiple receiver fee clinched the deal for me.
 

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hugh said:
I don't watch a lot of television so $146 a month ($127 a month plus taxes) would just be too much for me to spend. (guess its the scottish ancestry!)

I didn't relise it would be so much....+ the receiver fees. I think it would be not be a good idea anymore.
 

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I would pick the DTV full package. I would simply want the original feeds of some of the stations available and not the watered down versions of those channels that are available on BEV or other providers. Channels like MTV and Spike TV come to mind.
 

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I have DirecTv's Opcion Extra Especial package (very similar to Total Choice Plus but cheaper) at $33.99 US plus the HD package (includes ESPN HD, Discovery HD Theater™, HDNet, HDNet Movies and Universal HD) at $10.99 plus the distant Networks which also include HD feeds at $6.00 for all four and one extra receiver at $4.99. Total is $55.97 US X 1.23 = $68.84 Canadian per month.

At one time, I had both ExpressVu and DirecTv and I can honestly say both my spouse and myself watched DirecTv ninety percent of the time.
 

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Hugh, some comments about your first post in this thread. Free hardware is fairly common for both Directv and Dish Network, this includes free PVR's. So, the cheaper hardware for Expressvu is questionable. Of course, you need to sign up for x number of years. But Bev has contracts as well.

In regards to HD: Even though Bell claims to have the most HD on the planet (or something like that) i would pick Directv's and Dish Network lineup over Bell's. Of course you can argue that Directv / Dish compress the hell out of the signals but HDNET at 75% quality is better than 0%.

It's hard to compare packages. You might have similiar channels in both packages but would you rather watch History Television over History Channel? (I can go on and with examples but i won't).

Directv may not have timeshifting (well it does for some who can legally watch NY and LA feeds but these people are rariites) but it does have local channels in over 100 cities (same as Dish Network) plus Directv is launching more birds so folks can see local channels in HD as well.

So a big advantage south of the border is the ability to watch the Networks from your own city and not one hundred of miles away.

Dish Network and Directv also have more interactive services. I know bell has interative abilitites but not to the same degree.

Basically south of the border you have more choices. For example you can have 2 dozen movie channels if you want (not PPV). You can have 2 dozen sports channels (blackouts apply). You have several children programs. Basically more of everything. Of course these things cost $$ but at least you can decide how much of each you want.
 

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james99 said:
In regards to HD: Even though Bell claims to have the most HD on the planet (or something like that) i would pick Directv's and Dish Network lineup over Bell's. Of course you can argue that Directv / Dish compress the hell out of the signals but HDNET at 75% quality is better than 0%.
I would think that DirecTV over Expressvu would be a no brainer for HD subs who have access to US nets ATSC OTA.

The ability of DTV hardware to download PSIP info for local channels (from local channels, not from satellite) + the ability to work without a satellite signal means all weather ATSC with a DTV HD receiver.

The big killer with DTV is those extra receiver fees. A 3 room setup costs $120usd/year, a 4 room setup $180/year in these fees.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
James, I appreciate what you're saying and your points are valid. Obviously, we don't have the choice but people always beef about Cdn costs yada yada yada and how much better directv so I just thought it would be an interesting "thought" exercise!
 

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HammerJoe said:
But if I was to choose between Bev and Directtv I would choose Bev... It's cheaper and as you said has the same shows as DirectTv... so why pay more?
It's cheaper because you don't get as much and it doesn't offer the same shows as Directv. Trust me, i've had US satellite since 1997.

The one you would pick depends on what you want to watch on tv. If you want Canadian sports and news, etc then you should pick BEV or SC. If you like sports, movies, children progamming, international programming and the "real" versions of US specialty channels then you should pick Directv or Dish.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Why isn't *c included in this article Hugh?
Because I'm just having some fun! If I include *C then I have to include DISH Network.

The point of the thread was just to take a look at what Canadian consumers are getting vs. U.S. Consumers.

What surprised me is that what is being offered in Canada stacks up quite nicely compared to the U.S. Both have their advantages but I think the days of Directv (i.e./ US options) winning hands down is over.
 

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A 3 room setup costs $120usd/year, a 4 room setup $180/year in these fees.

This is what gets me. I paid $750 for the Shaw HD-PVR. A big investment yes. But now it's free. I don't have to think about it or pay for it. I hate being nickle and dimed to death.....of course having said that I still feel a bit jealous leafing through US newspapers and seeing DirectTV 3 or 4 rooms for free + an unconverting DVD player + 4 movie packages + sports package all for signing up. I only run two TV's, so the multiple thing isn't that bad. But $5 extra for simply running a cable box seems too expensive.

Looking at DirecTV, I'd be going for the choice + 2 movie packages + HD as well as a 2nd receiver. Somewhere around $100/month cdn for TV. That's hard to justify no matter how good TV is. I'm priced out BEV and it would be $76/month. Both are more than the $54 I pay with Shaw for their Total Home Bundle.

I find that I watch and enjoy good TV in the wintertime so much more than in the summertime. But on the southwest coast of BC, wintertime isn't really that long. If I lived in a more remote location or a colder location, the DirecTV setup would be my choice. But as is, I cringe even paying Shaw $91 for TV and internet in the summertime. No way I could pay Direc and Shaw $130 or so for summertime stuff.

Looking at Direc vs BEV, I gotta go with Direc. Better HD, hockey in HD all year round, more boxing matches, Fox news, and HD Tivo. The only things that are holding me back are cost and lack of canadian local channels.
 

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Short answer following the rules strictly: ExpressVu

Long answer:

The HD networks (ABC, NBC, CBS, PBS, Fox, CBC - but not including CTV or Global) on ExpressVu is our main draw. If we switched to DirectTV we would lose access too many HD network programs that we enjoy, since due to geography we can't get any American stations OTA in our neighborhood, let alone HD stations. We have a hard time getting the local Vancouver analog stations OTA for that matter.

Dave
 

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Monobloc said:
Looking at Direc vs BEV, I gotta go with Direc. Better HD, hockey in HD all year round, more boxing matches, Fox news, and HD Tivo.
BEV could carry Fox News like other Canadian television providers have decided to do since the news channel was approved by the CRTC several months ago. BEV has chosen not to do this even though it is possible.
 

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Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
Short answer following the rules strictly: ExpressVu
You see that's the interesting part, the rule is a simple one, pick one or the other. I think many who go on continually about how wonderful Directv is forget what they would give up.

James can afford both but he is in a small minority and when push comes to shove, most "regular" Canadians could only realistically pay for one. My strict rule of this thread is the reality for most Canadians.

I think, if the opportunity presented itself most Canadians would take ExpressVu over Directv.

Some will argue that Directv is better (as I would) but a BMW is superior to a chevy. If you can't afford a BMW though, its a moot point.

Personally, I don't think I'd be prepared to give up my Cdn channels and pay the higher price for Directv especially those mult-receiver upcharges.

But everyone has a different pocketbook.

It gets me to the point of this thread though and that is, I honestly believe that, given a wide open market, more Americans would pick up BEV than Canadians would switch to BEV.

Now many of those Americans might be rich americans who can afford two systems but regardless, I honestly can't see how Bev (and *C or Cdn Cable etc) would be wiped out if it were open skies.
 
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