Sunday, October 10, 2010

Product Review: Cignal Versus Dream, Updated

This post is a continuation of this post of a year ago, in which I compared Cignal Satellite Television to Dream Satellite Television.

This past week, Cignal (website, wikipedia) finally did what they needed to do to become the leading... the only... choice for subscribers of satellite television in The Philippines. They more than doubled their high-definition channel lineup, and added a handful of very worthwhile channels in their standard definition as well.

Just a quick rundown of the channels that have been added:

In high definition, there is Discovery HD World, The Food Channel HD, Star World HD, and, as I mentioned earlier, ESPN (proper) HD. (There is also a holding spot for "Basketball HDTV" that is not broadcasting yet.)

In regular definition, CNBC, Fax Family Movies, Fox Television, Discovery Channel, Discovery Turbo have been added.

With the addition of these channels, Cignal has gone from a High-Definition hobbyist purchase (with standard definition added in) to a full and proper (but still small) program listing and satellite service.


So, new judgement: Cignal definitely beats Dream. That's no longer a discussion open for debate.

Against ground-based cable companies is where the real competition now lies. Cignal gives your local cable company a run for its money because of its high-definition offerings, picture quality, and on-screen menu, but still loses out in price and channel selection.

So, now it is no longer question of "Cignal Versus Dream", but a question of "Cignal Versus Everyone Else." And for that, the jury is still out.

Cignal is about either approximately the same cost as cable (if you don't have the high-defintion package), or twice as expensive as cable (if you do have the high definition package), for less than half the number of channels. But in my opinion, Cignal has a significantly higher percentage of "worthwhile" channels (versus channels I personally would never watch) compared to, say, Parasat Cable here in Mindanao.

The extra money I am paying for the high definition package is, in my opion, money well spent: The cost for Cignal's high definition package has gone from about 100 pisos per channel per month a year ago (with many of the channels showing an "upgraded SD" or 720-line HD signal) down to about 50 pisos per channel per month now (of full and proper 1080 HD content)... and nearly all of those channels are "worthwhile" channels.


Anonymous said...

How they do when there is high wind and heavy rain as that is when Dream becomes a nightmare.?

I look forward to the day when PLDT complete their infrastructure to get full on line world wide selection.

At this time the combined services of Dream, Cignal and Parasat would be the optimum but that is just never going to happen, to much like honest competition:))

Lhai Cruz said...

Thank u for the very informative post!