DirecTV / Dish Network question

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by Clay_E, Nov 29, 2010.

  1. Clay_E

    Clay_E Stunt Coordinator

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    And possibly a stupid question at that...


    I'm currently a cable-TV subscriber and am considering switching to either DirecTV or Dish network. I recently moved to New Jersey, having lived for the last seventeen years in Southern California, where it never rains and the weather's usually great. I mention the weather because it's part of my question: will bad weather (snow, rain, etc.) adversely affect my reception if I switch from cable to satellite service? I'm particularly worried about this because I plan to get my internet and possibly phone service through satellite as well and don't want to be completely cut off if this does turn out to be a problem. (This is what I get for not being used to bad weather, I guess!)


    See? Told you it was a stupid question....
     
  2. David Norman

    David Norman Producer
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    Reception can be adversely affected at times though I wouldn't call it signficant. Heavy southern thunderstorms are more of a problem than

    typical snowstorms though heavy wet snow can cause some loss while drier snow is usually not an issue (the more water between you and the satellite the bigger the signal loss. ICE or wet snow buildup on the dish is a bigger issue particularly if the dish is located in a difficult to get to position -- there are covers which seem to be more trouble than they are worth, and dish heaters which are costly but seem to work pretty well to keep the frozen stuff off.


    Rain Fade is definitely more of a problem with the HD/MPEG4/Ka band signals than it used to be with the older type SD/MPEG2/Ku band, but still it's not a huge problem for me (admittedly in NC it's likely different the NJ). Over the years when I lose/lost CAble it was hours (even days) before it came back, my rain/snow issues it tends to be minutes or even seconds.



    Satellite Internet I don't think is nearly as useful unless things have changed dramatically. Slow, buggy, and expensive compared to even a medium speed Cable/DSL.
     
  3. Robert_J

    Robert_J Lead Actor

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    DirecTV bundled with AT&T or some other phone service doesn't use the satellite for internet connectivity. My parents bundle and their internet is AT&T DSL along with a standard phone (not an IP phone). You would only want satellite internet if you were in a very rural location. It is expensive, slow and has many other disadvantages.
     
  4. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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    You won't get internet through the Dish. I've had both DirecTV and Dish Network; I'm currently a Dish subscriber, and I'm extremely satisfied with it! Rarely do I have problems, the picture and sound is fantastic, and the price is lower than many other services. The hardware is easy as pie to use, and in some cases, the installation and hardware are no leased charge (similar to a Cable TV model). I use Comcast cable for internet.


    We lost the Dish in the Snowpocalypse last year for about a week, but 36" of snow is pretty rare in the mid-atlantic. In less than 10-12" I never really have a problem.


    If you're interested in Dish, email or PM me here, they have a referral program which could be advantageous to both of us.
     
  5. Jason Charlton

    Jason Charlton Ambassador

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    I had DishNetwork for three years when I lived in Salt Lake City, Utah. I made sure to have the dish mounted at an easily accessible location (I could reach it with a broom). I was glad I did because the few times I did manage to lose a signal during a snowstorm, I went outside and saw a good 6-10 inches of snow piling up on the dish. Swept it off and all was fine. Never had any other picture problems when I had the service.
     
  6. Dave Moritz

    Dave Moritz Producer
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    IMHO there are a few things that can cause issues with a dish signal.



    1. A big tree that in a storm might cause slight picture break up as a branches move back and forth in front of the dish.
    Granted usually not a problem.

    2. Weather could effect your picture especially if the signal strength was not set very well when installed!

    3. Weather can cause problems and more so the further north you live since the satellite will be in geo synchronous orbit
    around the equator. So a storm that may not cause any problems in Southern California may cause problems in Michigan or New York. And you need to be able to scrape snow off your dish if it starts to pile up to much.
     
  7. Grateful1

    Grateful1 Auditioning

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    I've had Dish. I really can't say anything positive about this network.

    I now have had Direct for about 5yr and am extremly happy. They also bundle with Centurylink. I get a great deal from them. Outstanding HD channel selection. I probably lost the signal 5-10 times in this 5yr period and it was for only for a few minutes. We both can save $100 if you subscribe using me as referance. email me if you interested
     
  8. Robert_J

    Robert_J Lead Actor

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    David,

    You have a few things incorrect on your post.

    1. Yes, branches/leaves will interfere with the signal but it is usually rain. The new satellite for DirecTV's HD channels broadcast at a frequency that matches perfectly with raindrops. They counteract that by using a slightly larger dish.

    2. You are correct and it is extremely easy to test your signal strength. You should also periodically test it. My installer didn't tighten the azimuth bolt and my dish turned a few degrees during a storm. Don't expect a free service call when this happens a year later. I spent an hour on the phone complaining while it only took me 10 minutes to fix the problem and that includes dragging my ladder out and setting it up.

    3. You are correct on the weather. Snow on the dish may or may not impact the signal. It depends on how wet the snow is. But it is usually snow in the atmosphere that causes the problem. 3" of snow on a dish is nothing compared to miles of snow in the air between your dish and a satellite 22,000 miles above the equator.
     
  9. ChrisALM

    ChrisALM Supporting Actor

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    I have Dish Network (with the 500 dish) and thunderstorms are the biggest problem for reception. When I get heavy rain, the picture will pixelate and the signal sometimes goes out. During the summer rainy season (in Southwest Florida) this occurs at least a couple of times a month. I have had heavy rain pass just to the southwest of my location (the direction I have the dish aimed), and while it was not raining at my location, the signal was briefly lost; probably a couple of times in the last ten years. I have also had lightning strike close by and disrupt the signal; probably a couple of times in the last ten years. The Dish 500 dish maintains a signal far better than the smaller original dish I had. I have had no experience with the HD Dish set up. The loss of reception with Dish over the years has been far less frequent than those outages I had previously experienced with cable.


    I have the Dish mounted on the side of the house into concrete masonry block. We took a direct hit from Hurricane Charley in 2004 (145+ mph winds), and when the power was restored after 12 days, the dish only needed a slight adjustment to restore the signal. The dish itself, the mounting brackets, cabling and grounding block were undamaged.
     

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