What's new

Dish Network, DirecTV and "HD Ready" TV help needed! (1 Viewer)

Chad Sunderland

Stunt Coordinator
Aug 22, 2002
Hi, I'm having a problem choosing which satellite system I should go with, and I'd really appreciate some input.
I just bought a Panasonic PT-53WX42 53" Widescreen, "HD Ready", Rear projection TV. I actually don't even have it yet, it is being delivered tomorrow. My first qusetion is this...I know I need a tuner to recieve HD on this TV, but I'm not familiar with any tuners. If I buy a satellite system with a HD compatible reciever, is this my tuner? Or do I need something else, if I do could you please direct me to where I can get the tuner I would need?

Also...I'm having a lot of trouble deciding between DirecTV and Dish Network. I live in a very small town, and none of the retailers around here have a side by side comparison. My first question is this, are the standard DirecTV and Dish Network dishes able to transmit HD signals, or would I need to upgrade to a more expensive model? Also...what recievers would you reccomend from either DirecTV or Dish Netwok. In the future, if I want to upgrade a reciever, is it as simple as buying one, and bringing it home and hooking it up, or does it need to be programmed by a dealer?

Is there really a better choice between DirecTV and Dish Network? To me Dish seems to have a nice package selection...but I am most concerned about picture and sound quality. Any advice would really be appreciated, I am very new to all of this!

Lee Petty

Stunt Coordinator
Jun 1, 2002
i believe that you can get a satellite receiver with hdtv decoding built in. whether you go with dish or direct, you will have to upgrade your dish with one that can receive hdtv signals. your current receiver will most likely not decode the signals, so you will have to upgrade to a new one. im not too sure about direct tv stuff, but i use dishnetwork at home. you can get the whole package of hdtv dish for $700 at sears.com. that includes both dishes and the hdtv receiver. yes, in the future you can just buy another receiver and add it on.
as far as pic and sound quality, i have not seen a difference between the two on standard tv, but i have yet to see hdtv on the direct tv setup, so i cant comment on that.


Senior HTF Member
Aug 22, 2000
Real Name
Both services offer HBO-HD and Showtime HD. D* adds HD-Net (sports) while E* adds Discovery HD, CBS (if you qualify) and a demo channel.

The model 6000 is E*'s current HD receiver. You can add the optional 8VSB module to decode OTA HD signals for about $150. You will need the optional 8PSK module to decode Discovery HD. It is "free" with a year's commitment to Discovery HD for about $95. You will need two satellite dishes, one pointed at the 110 and 119 satellites for standard programming and one pointed at either the 61.5 or 148 satellite for HD programming. D* has more receivers to choose from (Hughes, Sony, Zenith, RCA, etc.) and it only needs an 18"x24" to pick up all of the programming. You will have to order a Sat-C kit for Showtime HD ($8.08) and bolt it onto your dish. Either way, it will be $500 to $700 for a complete setup.

From what I've read, picture and sound on the HD channels are identical. The quality of the SD channels varies by channel by day. They both tweak the signal all of the time. E* just launched another satellite and subscribers are hoping the picture quality will improve when it goes into service.


Steve Schaffer

Senior HTF Member
Apr 15, 1999
Real Name
Steve Schaffer
HD-capable DirecTV receivers will tune standard DirecTV, HD DirecTV channels, analog local tv signals, and digital local tv signals (HD or SD, whatever the station is broadcasting).

You will need the oval dish with Sat. C kit to get all of the satellite HD channels, as well as a regular tv antenna to receive the local analog and digital channels. This antenna can be as simple as a set of rabbit ears or the indoor bowtie UHF antenna sold by Radio Shack for about $15 if you are close enough to the transmitters, or you may need an outdoor antenna.

With DirecTV you won't need any extra modules or other add-ons.

Alternatively, cable companies in some areas offer both local HD and HBO, Showtime, and other premium HD channels.
They provide the HD-capable box, for which you pay a monthly rental fee as you would for any other cable box.

Users who are viewing this thread

Sign up for our newsletter

and receive essential news, curated deals, and much more

You will only receive emails from us. We will never sell or distribute your email address to third party companies at any time.

Forum statistics

Latest member
Recent bookmarks