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Bright House Review: Why It’s Much Better Than Comcast

By Erik Folgate

The cable industry is one of the most baffling industries in this country. It is still one of the only industries that allows companies to monopolize a territory. There are alternatives such as satellite TV which is getting big, but I live in Florida and I see my mother-in-law’s satellite go out every time there is a thunder storm. If you’ve ever lived or visited Florida, you know that there is a thunder storm almost every day. When we lived in Jacksonville, Florida, Comcast was our only cable option. It was the first time that I was hooking up an HDTV to cable, so I didn’t have any other experience to compare it with. We just moved to Orlando, and Bright house is the cable dominator here. I now have something to compare it with, and I must say that I am much more impressed with Bright House’s services.

Comcast Problems

  1. The box they gave me was a regular HD box, not the DVR version. It had no HDMI port in the back, and I really wanted to use HDMI, because it’s one cord for video and audio and it’s a better picture. So, what I ended up doing was getting a DVI to HDMI cord, but then I found out that only plays video. So, I had to hook up the big red and white audio cables to get audio. It was a mess.
  2. The cost with Internet came out to be $127.92 after the promotional rate period. This seemed insane to me at first, but I figured it must be more because of the HD and On-Demand channels that we had.
  3. Their analog signal looked absolutely horrible on an LCD TV, and there was no feature to automatically stretch the picture to fit the entire screen. The HD channels looked good, but there were times when it would freeze up or look really choppy.

Why Bright House is Better

    1. The customer service has been excellent. They have had to come out twice since we got the service, and they came out well within the time window.
    2. Their standard HD box has an HDMI port which I was very happy about. I got their HD DVR box as well, and the first box they gave me didn’t work well. It wouldn’t work with HDMI and the component cables made it looked like everything was red and green. However, they came out within a couple of days and switched out the box with no questions asked.
    3. I pay $92 bucks, rather than $127. That is always a beautiful thing. They have more HD channels, but I don’t get on-demand channels. I didn’t even get premium on-demand channels with Comcast, so this wasn’t much of a loss to me. But, this price DOES include use of their DVR, which I didn’t have with Comcast. The $30 savings is well worth it.
    4. The HD picture seems more crisp, and the analog channels look much less blurry than the Comcast channels.

I know there are many of you out there who have had a bad experience with Bright House, and I would not be surprised. Cable companies can really be a pain. But, in comparison with Comcast, my personal experience is that they are worlds apart. The problem is that you are stuck with the cable company that offers services in your area. What can we do to get more options for cable?

Erik Folgate
Erik and his wife, Lindzee, live in Orlando, Florida with a baby boy on the way. Erik works as an account manager for a marketing company, and considers counseling friends, family and the readers of Money Crashers his personal ministry to others. Erik became passionate about personal finance and helping others make wise financial decisions after racking up over $20k in credit card and student loan debt within the first two years of college.

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  • http://www.TheDickWard.com Dick Ward

    I’ve never used Comcast, but I just wanted to point out a few things, as I’m currently deciding between the two.

    Over a year, Comcast and Brighthouse rates are very comparable. Comcast has a lower initial promotional rate, but it only lasts six months. The promotional rate for Brighthouse lasts 12, but is higher.

    Your television should have the option to ‘auto-stretch’ channels, though I don’t know why on earth you’d want to do that.

    The HD looks crisper because you’re going HDMI instead of DVI with a converter. It’s likely that if you called Comcast you could have gotten the appropriate box.

    I’m not saying one is better than the other, but I think it’s important to consider everything to the fullest before calling a winner.

  • Tom

    One area where Comcast beats Bright House is placing the local channels on their channel numbers. In Orlando, Bright House only has channel 13 (their own station) on channel 13. All other broadcast stations (2,6,9,35) can NOT be found on their channel number. This same situation exists in Tampa as well. In South Florida, Comcast has channel 4 on 4, 6 on 6, 7 on 7, and 10 on 10. Not being able to put local channels on their designated number just isn’t Bright.

  • Dickjones209

    Why Bright House is worse than Comcast:
    Bright House will not allow the privilege of ESPN 3 to be viewed on XBOX live if users ONLY have internet. They want you to subscribe to their bundle package which in my area runs $120 a month. XBOX has raised the price of its Gold membership to accommodate the new ESPN features offered currently. If you have Bright House internet only and pay for a gold membership you will be paying extra for a service you won’t even have. Bright House is the ONLY cable service doing this. With COMCAST you can watch ESPN 3 on your xbox with internet services alone.

    • Retired411

      Who cares about ESPN3 on XBOX? Not enough people to make it happen and whining about it is absurd.

  • George

    It’s not possible for digital media, when viewed from the same TV, to change in quality as a result of the cable provider. As as you receive a functioning signal, digital transmission standards guarantee that the signal you are viewing on your digital television is identical to any other digital signal originating from the same source media.

    “Seems more crisp” is a misconception shared by many, a carryover from the analog days. Analog signals can degrade and lose detail during transmission or conversion. Say, the difference between 124 and 125 (loss of precision, increase in noise). Digital signals are strings of bits – 125 base 10 = 01111100 base 2. If any of these bits degrade to the point of flipping to an incorrect value, the correct number 124 is just as likely to change to 61 (0011100) as 125 (01111100). Communication standards have ways to catch this and know when bits have been corrupted in transmission.

    Long story short, you’re either getting exactly what you should be getting, or your signal will be recognized by your TV as totally garbled and unintelligible.

  • Peter

    I am disappointed to hear that Comcast is worse than Bright House since BH is by far the worst utility provider that I have encountered in my 35 adult years. BH has been my cable provider for the past 18 years and I would gladly pay more for reliable service.

    In the past 20 years I have made 2 to 3 call per year to Bright House, one to the water company, and none to any other utility. When service interruptions occur they are slow to respond and their subcontractors do not have access to information that would allow them to help you understand the extent of the problem and likely time to correct.

    When BH service techs finally show up they may not have the tools or parts they need to perform the service or repair. You may have taken time off from work or changed family plans on a weekend to accommodate their schedule only to find out that they will have to come back later.

    The set top boxes (I’ve had several) require frequent rebooting and will often lock up for a minute or more while surfing. Another annoyance to any parent is the menu system that displays the raunchy titles of show on channels that are parent locked.

  • Chris Carr

    1. How old is this article? I’ve never seen a cable box with only DVI. We had Comcast at the last place I lived and [as of July 2011] all the HD boxes (Tuners and DVRs) came with HDMI.
    2. I’m paying $140 for BHN. Even if I went down to basic cable, I would only save $20/month. BHN has a complete monopoly of this area (No Uverse, No Prism, only other option is satellite IF you have the correct orientation/view of the sky) and they price accordingly. They also have alot fewer bundles, which is probably why there is no real way to reduce my cable bill and keep the internet service that I want.
    3. Who watches analog cable anymore – apparently many BHN customers given the number of complaints when they FINALLY started to go all digital. Comcast went all digital a few years ago and even before that only had 13 analog channels left. I was dumbfounded when I hooked my HDTV to BHN and it found 60+!!! analog channels [along with the Digital ClearQAM channels] when performing a channel scan in 2013!!! It’s 2014, can we finally put Analog down for good?
    From my experience, Comcast seems to be better for Power Users like myself —

    1. They only mark premiums as “Copy Once”. All other channels are “Copy Freely” meaning I can transfer recordings (made on a TiVo, WMC HTPC, etc…) to my laptop and watch them while I’m out. I cannot do that with BHN, because they mark EVERYTHING except the locals [and few channels no one watches like C-SPAN and HSN] “Copy Once”, mandating WMC to add highly restrictive DRM that can cause you to lose all your recordings if Windows has to be reinstalled or your HDD crashes and you have to restore from backup.

    2. They do not use SDV (Switched Digital Video), so I don’t have to have an ugly eyesore of a box connected to every Cablecard device [and wasting electricity.] I’m hoping they will drop SDV once they finally put the final nail in Analog cable’s coffin, but I’m not holding my breath on it.

    3. Now this is both a plus and minus. I suspect this goes back to #1, but I was able to simply move my Cablecard when my first TiVo went bad to a new TiVo [and later to an HDHomeRun Prime on a WMC HTPC] and was able to get everything but the premiums. The minus, I was never able to get it re-paired [to get Encore which Comcast included in my package] by Comcast’s customer service. I gave up after a few calls since I don’t watch Encore anyways.

    BHN is probably better for the average person who just takes whatever equipment their cableco provides. For Cablecard users, BHN is generally one of the worst Cable companies. Comcast and Verizon (it is kinda hard to find an area with FiOS, though) are the best Cable companies for Cablecard users for all the reasons mentioned above.

  • Guest

    Like most have said, it’s laughable that bh is better than anyone. They exploit the fact that they monopolize the areas they service, as far as cable goes. The only competition they have is Uverse and… that’s just jumping from one cesspool to another. Seems like no matter where you live, the customer is always the loser.

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