This is the final part in the 2 part series in the Uverse Vs Comcast debate. If you didn’t read the first part, I suggest you do so now. Part 1 for the lazy ones who don’t want to find it yourselves.
So, where were we? Let’s recap in small detail as to what happened so far, shall we?
- There was a bad thunderstorm last Monday, causing the Uverse main box to crap out, therefore having no service in the house; no TV, no internet, and no phone.
- After many attempts at troubleshooting, a phone call was made to tech support who had me do the same troubleshooting, determined the box was bad.
- A new box had to be shipped out and it would take between 2-3 days.
- A friend who works at Uverse was contacted and he let me meet him to pick a box up the next day, which was on Tuesday.
- I plugged the box in I picked up Tuesday and everything was working except for the phone. After a call to another Uverse tech was made, he said I needed to wait for the other box to get here for the phone to work. When the box arrives, it may take an additional 1-2 days for the phone to work AFTER the box is received.
- Because of this nonsense of waiting around and the service still not working, even after getting another box, I decided this was it and ordered Comcast online.
- A Comcast man showed up Wednesday at around 6PM and got everything hooked up, only to realize, in the end… the TV box he brought over was not a DVR.
- The bitch-fest volcano erupted in the house and that’s where I was left with in Part 1….
Thursday morning, I unhooked the crap TV box and went to the Comcast Store near Bayshore to swap it out for a DVR. Easy enough, I thought. It sure was. After waiting in line for about 10 minutes because, in case you didn’t know, there is ALWAYS a line at the Comcast store just like there is ALWAYS a line at the post office and ALWAYS a line at the DMV. That’s just how it is, get used to it. If you can’t stand standing in lines, you won’t make it so get someone else to do your dirty work for you. Unfortunately, you have no choice at the DMV.
After waiting in line, I went up to the counter and told the employee my situation. He said it would be no problem to swap the box out, even though the douche who was at the house the night before setting everything up said it may mess up the promotion. Of course, the “fancy” DVR box, came with a price of another $19.95 a month. I had to choice but to make the people happy so I agreed to the charge and grabbed the box. I took it home and plugged it in and everything has been working great!
Now, we are in business; the house has internet which is faster than Uverse’s internet, phone service through Magic Jack which is called a VoIp (Voice over Internet Protocol) service such is what Uverse and Comcast’s phone service is. And… TV service with the DVR capability. After going through all this bullshit now, you may wonder… was it worth it? Is Comcast worth it or is Uverse better? Well, here is what it all boils down to…
The results are going to be in Part 3! AHAHAHAHA!!! SIKE!! This is the last of it and it’s not much longer…
Having Uverse for a little over four years, I haven’t really had any serious issues until this past Monday. The internet, TV, and phone worked just fine. Sometimes the main box would restart itself at random times during the night because it was updating or just being stupid. Other than that, I had no issues with the service going out. There were a couple times when I spoke to a Uverse rep in the online chat and requested a newer main box and another TV DVR box and they sent a new one with no problems. Of course, they aren’t really “new” but newer “refurbished” ones which is typical for any company such as Uverse, Comcast, Direct TV, Verizon, etc. I just got Comcast last week so I can’t compare the reliability and such yet so I can’t give this one a side….
Round 1 – The set top boxes and boxes needed for the services to work –
Uverse requires a main “hub” which has the wires for the TV, phone, and internet. This box is also a wireless gateway which means it functions as a modem and router as well with wireless and 4 LAN ports in the back to hook up 4 additional computers. There is a approximate $3 a month charge for this main hub, which is about $36 a year. Another box, a TV DVR box is needed, of course to watch TV. This box is included with the service. However, it cost another $x amount for additional boxes for each additional TV. This is understandable and usually how it is.
Comcast, like Uverse, provides TV, phone, and internet services. However, here is where it gets different. If you want their ‘Triple Play” service which is what I just mentioned, you need to either lease or purchase (at some locations) the Arris Xfinity Residential Gateway & Router for around $8 a month or purchase it for, oh, about $199. See Newegg for what it looks like and the specs. This provides the internet and telephone services. It’s essentially like the Uverse hub mentioned above but without any TV function, just internet and phone. If you don’t want the phone service through Comcast, all you need is a cable modem or cable gateway (cable modem with router built in). If you have just one PC in the house (such as a desktop) and no other computer-type devices, a cable modem will be all you need. You can get one of those for about $80. However, if you have multiple computers in the house and need wireless, you will need to purchase either a cable gateway or a router for the cable modem. A cable gateway is about $135. Here’s one at Best Buy or if you already have the cable modem, you can purchase a wireless router for about $40, depending on the strength of the wireless signal you need determined by the size of your house. If you want a DVR with your Comcast service as well as receive HD channels, that will be another $19.95 a month. Not sure if you can opt out yet (didn’t inquire) of the $9.95 HD service and still lease just the box for $10 but, no matter how you look at it, you have to pay for the DVR function of which Uverse does not charge for.
Round 1 verdict on the boxes – Uverse because they DO NOT charge for the DVR set top box most people want these days. Also, they only charge around $3 a month and not close to $10 for the hub which is needed for all of the services versus Comcasts’ lease charge for the modem or gateway which is required for the internet and/or phone service.
Round 2 – Internet speed because, well, internet is all about speed –
Uverse can only go so fast because, even though they say it’s “fiber” technology, that’s true to an extent. I can go into the technical specifics here but this isn’t what this post is about. In most areas, such as where I’m located in the Treasure Coast area of Florida, Uverse tops out at about 25-28Mbps. There are faster speeds at other locations which is shown in this wiki. However, that’s only in “certain”markets.
Comcast, on the other hand, because of their technology, goes up to, according to the packages shown on their website, 105Mbps. With my current promotional plan, mine is rated at 75Mpbs but with the test on speedtest.net, it goes up to about 88Mpbs.
Round 2 verdict on internet speed – Comcast. It’s just, well, much faster. Now, unless you are a gamer or download a bunch of stuff, you don’t need it to be that fast. 25 will suffice. But if you have a bunch of people living in the house who go on the internet a lot and you stream a lot of content on the TV, 75mpbs will be best.
Round 3 – Pricing
Each company has their own promotions which include all three services. After the 12 or 24 month promotion ends, that’s where the prices get jacked up, as usual. Uverse has 9 bundles right now which ranges from $79.99-$129.99. Price is dependent on the speed of internet service and how many channels you get in the TV service. The higher the price, the faster speed and more channels, of course. Comcast…. Comcast… is having trouble loading the site for the packages right now! Ain’t that just something? Here we go…. their “Triple Play” which is TV, internet, and phone like Uverse pricing ranges from $109.99-$139.99 at the time of this posting. These promotions change every month or so. As you can see already, the price for Comcast is more expensive. Also, you have to add on another $7.99 for 12 months if you want to use the DVR. After that, it’s about $20 more a month. Uverse includes the DVR. Depending on your needs, Uverse may be best but has slower internet. Comcast may be best because it has faster internet. As for channels, who knows. I don’t watch TV to care much to compare that side of things. Comcast does claim more channels and such though.
After the promotion ends, let’s say with Unverse first, the total for all three goes up to about $195 a month which includes the taxes, broadcast fees, and renting the hub. This is from looking at my invoice I’ve had for the past 4 years or whenever the promotion ended.
After the promotion ends for Comcast, explained on their site under “Pricing and other info,” it’s $149.95 a month thereafter for the three services. If you want to continue to use the DVR, it’s an additional $19.95. Add another $13.75 of the taxes and other fees, according to my invoice so far, you’re looking at $183.65. Also, if you want the phone service, which is what I was comparing, you have to lease or buy (for $199) the Arris Xfinity Residential Gateway & Router for $8 a month or whatever the heck it is. So, if you add that in the mix, the price is a tad less than Uverse but not by much.
Round 3 verdict on pricing – Comcast. Even if you have to lease the boxes you need to get the services, the price is a tad less than Uverse but not by that much. I wouldn’t really call this a complete accurate price because I was using my last Uverse invoice and Comcast’s site with my current Comcast invoice but it’s pretty darn close.
I can add more rounds and such but those are the main ones I wanted to get into. If you want more thorough comparisons, you can do a quick Google search and find more comparisons with more details such as with TV channels and such.
Here is the gist and what it all boils down to:
- Reliability If you want to go with something more reliable with more options and such, I would probably go with Comcast from now on, coming from having Uverse for around 4 years. Maybe I would change my tone if Uverse offered the hubs to get at their store but that’s not the case. Sure, they can send a tech out (even though they DID NOT offer me that option, causing my service to be down for 4 days!) but it will still be the next day or day after for a tech to show up. That’s just the hub too. What about the TV DVR boxes? What if that crapped out? Another 3 days or so to watch TV again? With Comcast, if you need a box, you can buy it yourself at an electronics store or order it online or pick one up to lease from a Comcast store. Electronics stores are open from 10am-9pm which is enough time to buy one (except the DVR boxes, don’t think you can buy one of those) or lease one at a Comcast store which is open from 10am-6pm or thereabouts. Until Uverse can offer that option, I can’t trust them for my in home business anymore nor for continued and uninterrupted TV service in the house. Sorry, not going to happen.
- Internet Speed Comcast is the winner here too, hands down. The numbers, obviously, don’t lie when it comes to the speed of their internet service.
- Pricing It turns out, the pricing is very competitive. However, you do get more bang for your buck with Comcast.
- Simplicity Although I don’t watch TV to really give my opinion on here, they both have some good features. I do think Uverse has the better guide where you can see the guide towards the bottom of the screen while you are watching the video above. You can also see previews of the video as you are looking in the guide. I haven’t really seem this with Comcast unless I just don’t know what the heck I’m doing. Ha! One cool and simple thing Comcast has with their DVR boxes now is the ability to talk to the remote and have the box do what you want. Say, “record Knight Rider” and it will pop it up on the screen and all you have to do is hit “OK” on the remote. You can also say, “watch Knight Rider” and it will turn to it and you can start watching it. So, instead of going through the guide or pressing the record button when you want to record a show, you can talk to the remote and the box will do the rest. That, is pretty, pretty, pretty neat.
There we have it, the final and long part 2 to the debate. So I lied, is was a bit longer than expected, as always. As much as I’d hate to admit it for a bunch of reasons I need not get into here, Comcast FTW (For The Win). I do hope this helps you decide somewhat as to the TV, internet, and phone service or one or the other of services you need for your home or, maybe more importantly, your home-based business.
Until next time,
Justin “Dragon” Rocque