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DIRECTV vs Suddenlink Cable
October 7th, 2009

In this article, we will compare DIRECTV against Suddenlink cable service. Most people have heard of DIRECTV satellite service, and know a little about what they have to offer. On the other hand, Suddenlink cable is not as well known, unless you live in one of the areas served by the cable operator.

DIRECTV vs Suddenlink cable

Suddenlink serves nearly 1.3 million customers across the country, making it the 8th largest cable operator in the United States. Some of the states served by the cable TV company include Arkansas, California, Louisiana, Kentucky, Missouri, North Carolina, Ohio, Texas, West Virginia, and Oklahoma. With Suddenlink, you will find most of the channels and services that are available through big time cable TV companies like Time Warner and Comcast. Sudden Link also has the advantage of offering triple play bundles of cable TV, voice and high speed internet.

Alternatively, DIRECTV focuses on one product, video service, and has done extremely well in marketing satellite TV service over the past five years. Much of DIRECTV’s success comes from their exclusive NFL Sunday Ticket contract, which was recently extended through the 2014 season. Holding the exclusive rights to this package keeps it away from Suddenlink, Dish Network, and other pay TV companies.

With Suddenlink, you will find the common promotional pricing structure. By that we mean that you will get a Suddenlink deal for the first year of service, just be aware that the price can jump quite a bit after that first year is up. DIRECTV also runs one year discounts for their first time customers, that is unless you are going with the NFL Sunday Ticket promotion that includes five months of the Premier package for free when subscribing.

The current Suddenlink promotion offers digital cable with 200 plus channels for $45 per month. With the SL200 package, you can add one additional service for $35, and a third Suddenlink service for another $20 per month. For example, Suddenlink Digital cable would be $45, Suddenlink high speed internet would be $35, and if you wanted Sudden Link digital phone you could add that for just $20 if you bought the first two services. Overall, this Suddenlink triple play package would be $100 plus tax for the first year.

Now the Suddenlink website isn’t too user friendly in determining prices beyond the first year, so a prospective customer would certainly want to ask what charges will apply after the first year.

If you are considering a triple play bundle, here are few of the features available along with your digital cable package. Suddenlink high speed internet works through the same cable line, and of course delivers lightning fast internet speeds to your home computer or network. As mentioned earlier, Sudden link HIS 8.0 can be added for $35 per month for the first year when added to digital cable. You can expect download speeds of 8 Mbps, 10M webspace, and up to 10 e-mail accounts. Suddenlink will also provide you will with free McAfee Virus scanning software to keep your computer or network running smooth.

If you still want or need home phone service, you can also get the Suddenlink digital phone option. Only $20 for one year when added to Suddenlink cable and high speed internet, the digital phone option will give you unlimited local and long distance calling. Sudden link phone also include popular calling features like call waiting, three way calling, call forwarding, call waiting ID, anonymous call rejection and others. If you already have a home phone with your local company, you can transfer that same number to Suddenlink at no extra charge. Combined billing makes the triple play bundle easy to monitor and pay.

Now when comparing are comparing DIRECTV HD vs Suddenlink HD, you will certainly find more with the satellite TV option. Right now, DIRECTV has more than 130 HD channels, and while that now falls short of what Dish Network offers, it is more than you will find with Suddenlink. The numbers vary as far as what Suddenlink HD offers as far as channel count depending on the area you live in, so it’s a good idea to call them to find out what is in your neighborhood, especially if high definition content is important to you.

One area where Suddenlink has an advantage over DIRECTV is in the on demand area. Like Comcast and Cox cable, Suddenlink offers tons of on-demand content, which customers can access via their remote control. Right now, Suddenlink offers more than 150 On demand programs in HD, and more than 2000 hours of VOD content in their library. The main advantage of Suddenlink’s On demand platform is its ease of use and speed when compared to DIRECTV. You can use DIRECTV on demand as well if you have a high speed internet connection, but you often have to wait for some of the program to download before you can begin watching.

Installation of DIRECTV and Suddenlink is fairly similar. With DIRECTV you have to have a satellite dish mounted outside first, then the technician will hook up the receivers in up to four different places in your home. The first receiver or HD DVR is included in your monthly DIRECTV price, but each additional receiver incurs a $5 per month charge, which is similar to what Sudden link charges for additional cable TV boxes.

As far as DIRECTV pricing vs Suddenlink, you will find promotional prices for the first year with satellite service just like cable. DIRECTV offers a $21 discount per month on most of their packages for the first year before reverting to the regular price. What you will find is more flexibility, as there are several DIRECTV bundles to pick from, and you can move from package to package based on your budget or the types of channels you want to add or remove.

DIRECTV also has the highest customer satisfaction rating among all of the big cable and satellite TV providers. Suddenlink doesn’t have a specific rating according to the University of Michigan survey, as only the biggest companies are measured.

Finally, if sports are high on your list, you may want to avoid Suddenlink.  The cable company is still on the sidelines when it comes to the NFL Network, taking sides with big cable companies like Time Warner and Bright House networks in that dispute.  Suddenlink also does not carry the MLB channel, or the MLB Extra Innings package, both of which are available on DIRECTV.

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