Dish Network, DirecTV or Comcast?

Discussion in 'TV Shows' started by John Madia, Aug 27, 2005.

  1. John Madia

    John Madia Second Unit

    Joined:
    May 13, 2003
    Messages:
    259
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    It seems that our local cable company (Adelphia) either went bankrupt or was bought out by Comcast. Since we'll probably be changing over to Comcast pretty soon (if it hasn't happened already) I've been thinking about switching over to satellite. Which is a better choice, Dish Network or DirecTv? Basically, I'd like three rooms with two DVR's.

    What about baseball games? Are all non-local games blacked out? Is that only FSN or does NESN black out games too? What are considered "local" games. For example, living in norteast PA would I still get Pirates games?

    What does installation consist of?
     
  2. Bob_L

    Bob_L Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    May 19, 2001
    Messages:
    891
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Real Name:
    Bob Lindstrom
    I've never owned Dish but, based on informal comparisons, the video quality of DTV and Dish looks comparable.

    The functionality and interface of the DTV TiVo, however, is superior to the Dish DVR. That opinion is based on my ownership of DirecTiVo and using the Dish DVR -- as well as the comments of two friends who formerly had DirecTiVo and went to the Dish DVR. They like the Dish DVR and have stayed with it (it works just fine) but frankly tell me, "It's no TiVo."
     
  3. PaulHeroy

    PaulHeroy Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2001
    Messages:
    186
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    You might want to head over to TivoCommunity.com and check out threads on the HD-Tivo, DirecTV is apparently blowing them out cheap because their deal with Tivo is ending. Their new DVRs will be out sometime in the next several months with the ability to use the new MPEG4 sats, which the Tivos won't. Note that this will only be for locals initially, so may not affect you for a while. DTV is also likely to give a good deal on upgrading to the MPEG4 DVRs when the time is right.

    Anyway, to the original question, DTV has traditionally been more sports oriented than E*, so I suspect you'll be better off there, though I can't speak to your specific questions. But blackout rules are generally not dependent on who the carrier (Comcast, DTV or E*) is so I doubt you'd see a difference there.
     
  4. Scott-S

    Scott-S Cinematographer
    Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2001
    Messages:
    2,217
    Likes Received:
    80
    Trophy Points:
    1,610
    Location:
    The Land of Zion
    Real Name:
    Scott
    I have been watching Dish Network for the last 6 months. I know that when I get the opportunity to change, I will NOT get satellite TV of any kind.

    Here is why:

    1. Can't watch when it rains, snows.
    2. Takes forever to change channels. (I like to surf)
    3. Typically, they install the Receivers in a place close to the dish. Then the RF remotes don't work worth a darn. Every night I am doing Yoga to change the channel.
    4. Absolutely terrible compression artifacts. On almost every channel, you can see the compression. It is almost impossible to watch a dark/night scene. Watching something as simple as Golf, drives me nuts. When the camera is showing the putting green, you can see the pixlation.

    If I were you, I would go with Comcast Cable. In most major areas (large metro areas) they have HDTV channels, PVR etc. Everthing you would need.
     
  5. RAF

    RAF Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 1997
    Messages:
    7,061
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I had cable for over 25 years and when I was able to get DISH I jumped at the chance. I'll trade a couple of minutes of lost DISH signal a year (at least here in the Northeast - I know it's different in parts of the country more susceptible to rain storms) to the frequent outages - sometimes for days, and the variable quality of cable. When someone or something knocks down a pole or a tree, or when someone makes adjustments "up the line" the cable quality either suffers or is non-existent. You couldn't give me cable for free.

    I have DISH for most of my needs -- including HD, and DirecTV for the YES network (one receiver, one set). In a very unscientific comparison (since there are two completely different installations and all the variables that this entails) I much prefer the quality of DISH over DirecTV.

    And, yes, DirecTV has TiVo (for now) but the DISH PVRs are not as bad as everyone makes them out to be. I have 3 PVRS: a 501, a 721 (2 tuner) and a 921(2 tuner HD) and am satisfied with the quality and the functionality of these units. Yes, they don't have the TiVo name-based capability (yet, even though DISH keeps promising that feature) but I've been recording quality HD for a long time - often two programs at a time.

    Whether DirecTV loses the TiVo or DISH gains that capability in their units is shortly going to be a moot point when the MPEG4 boxes roll out. I'll see how each company handles upgrades to customers and decide which of the two satellite services to go with when that day comes (probably within a year but I'm not taking any bets.) Maybe I can find out more at CEDIA.

    One thing's for sure - cable will never enter my house again. At least in my area Cablevision is a technical nightmare. You are at the mercy of the cable network. At least with satellite it's between you and the birds in the sky. (Of course if you don't have line of sight or other issues this doesn't apply to you).

    And don't get me started about Cable Modems. They can't do cable right so I'm not surprised they can't do data transfer right either. I'm not giving up my DSL (zero down time in 4 years).

    My 2 cents.
     
  6. Scott-S

    Scott-S Cinematographer
    Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2001
    Messages:
    2,217
    Likes Received:
    80
    Trophy Points:
    1,610
    Location:
    The Land of Zion
    Real Name:
    Scott
    Robert, Haven't you noticed all the compression issues on Dish?
     
  7. Eric_Connelly

    Eric_Connelly Second Unit

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 1999
    Messages:
    460
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I've had DTV, Dish, Voom, Comcast, and now Millenium Digital cable.

    DTV's PQ across the board leaves alot to be desired as of November of 04 when I last had it.

    Dish had far better PQ and yes there was some artifacting on blacks but no where near as bad as DTV.

    Dish's DVR was fantastic. I hate Tivo because of the pause and that annoying noise. Dish's DVR works instantly when you push a button. I had no problems at all with the RF remotes.

    I switched to Cable because Dish was not budging on a HD DVR. My cable company offered me 2 HD DVR's, which suck feature wise compared to Dish, but hey they are HD DVR's and they gave me 2 of them plus internet, plus all the channels for $30.00 a month less than my Top 120/no premium/HD/DSL combo I had.

    I can say my Cable has zero artifacting on like colors on the screen, although the analog signal blows, the rest of it is pretty good.

    Cable I think is the way to go if Internet access is important to you. Bandwidth wise they will beat up all over Sat until the new birds go up.
     
  8. RAF

    RAF Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 1997
    Messages:
    7,061
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Scott,

    No, compression isn't a problem for me with Dish. I don't know if it's because of a strong signal, my location or something else. All I can tell you is that I don't see compression artifacts. Dish provides me the best signal of anything I've ever owned over the past 50 years (OTA, cable and satellite) and the Dish DVRs produce a picture indistiguishable from the original.)

    And in case you're wondering, I'm not exactly using low end equipment for my viewing. I watch HD satellite on my 110" Stewart Studiotek screen, projected by a Runco CL-710 DLP projector at 720p (I can use either 720p or 1080i and I prefer the 720p with my setup). To me the HD presentations, including movies, look better than my DVDs which aren't exactly shabby looking at all.

    I keep reading about people having compression issues with satellite and I'm not disputing that you have them. I'm just stating that not everyone has these issues so there has to be a reason. My eyesight is 20/20 (actually it was tested as 20/15 recently since I get yearly examinations as part of my 6 year old Lasik Surgery) so I'm not looking at this through rose-colored glasses.

    [​IMG]

    And on the RF remote situation, I've never had any problem as the majority of my Dish equipment uses UHF remotes that will work through walls. (I use different addresses for the three units to avoid interaction).
     
  9. John Madia

    John Madia Second Unit

    Joined:
    May 13, 2003
    Messages:
    259
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Thanks for the information.

    About the Dish DVR, can you watch a show and tape a show at the same time? Can it tape two shows at the same time?

    What about the switch to digital? Is the converter from digital to analog built into the receiver or will I have to get a converter?

    Also is most of the stuff (DVR, extra receiver, etc.) free when you subscribe? If I sign a contract can I still upgrade/downgrade channels at will?

    If I decide to purchase a Dish am I best off getting one from radio shack or should I just get it from whoever has the best deal?
     
  10. MikeM

    MikeM Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 1999
    Messages:
    1,203
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Ask yourself this question: Are you ready for some football?? [​IMG]

    If so, get DTV and the Sunday Ticket with an HD Tivo (now $199). There's nothing else that comes close.
     
  11. Marc Bax

    Marc Bax Second Unit

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2003
    Messages:
    306
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I love my DirecTivo's wouldn't trade em for anything. Cable shouldn't even be considered if you can install a dish. Either way you go, DISH or DTV is far superior. For me NFL Sunday Ticket made the choice easy (only available on DTV).
     
  12. nickGreenwood

    nickGreenwood Second Unit

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2004
    Messages:
    494
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I have DTV, I like it, I got a ton of channels (local channels also) including HBO (for Entourage mainly) for less then $60 a month.

    I like the variety and such that you do get with the DTV for channels and such, and they call once in a while just to check up on everything, make sure the box isn't busted or if you like your service, which is nice.

    That being said, I do notice some compression issues... But, BUT, only on certain channels and it's mainly local stations, like in my area UPN38 is horrible when it comes to watching Friday night Red Sox games, NESN is far better quality wise. WMUR Channel 9 has issues and is mostly washed out, though that seems to have for the most part gone away. Now, as is my understanding, the biggest issue when it comes to that is the Dish that's sending out the data from the Channel itself. Like WMUR had their Dish in the wrong location so everything was set off and washed out, I think UPN may have the same issue. I don't have an issue with Boston's Channel 5 (ABC) nor any other local channels, if you like PAX or some of the really small local stations then they come in like crap all the time.

    I also have no issues with any other channels that I own. But then again I don't have HD. Which I hope to upgrade soon.

    I've never really heard anything major about Dish Network, I just know that they were more expensive for packages when I looked into DTV and DISH Network. I think Cable tends to be cheaper for the HD/DVR stuff in the long run, DTV is at least $300 for the reciever and such.
     
  13. RAF

    RAF Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 1997
    Messages:
    7,061
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0


    With my 921 and 721, which are 2 tuner models (the 921 being an HD recorder as well) I can record two different shows on each box and watch a third previously recorded show at the same time. Or, if you want to watch a live show (using up one of the tuners) you can record a second show at the same time. And, of course, you can also record two shows simultaneously and watch either of them while the recording is taking place (including pausing the program that's being recorded and even going back in time to earlier parts of that recording in progress.)

    Hope that what I wrote makes sense to you.

    And on the Digital/Analog issue - Dish provides all digital signals and the boxes include enough different outputs so you can display either digitally or analog. I'm not sure exactly what you are asking.
     
  14. John Madia

    John Madia Second Unit

    Joined:
    May 13, 2003
    Messages:
    259
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I would like to note that my television set up is nothing special; I'm not sure of the specific sizes but I probably have around a 27" upstairs, a 20" downstairs and a 15" in my bedroom. Would I even have to worry about compression issues with this setup?

    Football isn't a selling point for me. Does the Dish Network have YES or do you only get it with DirecTv? I'm actually a Red Sox fan but I doubt I would get the games on NESN (I'm in northeast Pennsylvania) so with the YES network I could still see the Sox/Yankees games.
     
  15. John Madia

    John Madia Second Unit

    Joined:
    May 13, 2003
    Messages:
    259
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0


    Won't cable switch over in the near future to all digital? You can see from my above post that my television set up isn't anything special so I was wondering if I'd have to get a converter box or something for the switch.

    Also, if I get a new television for my bedroom am I better off with a conventional or flat panel tv? If I'm watching mostly cable (and space isn't much of an issue), would it be worth the extra money for a flat panel?
     
  16. RAF

    RAF Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 1997
    Messages:
    7,061
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    John,

    I believe the compress issues are related to the specific installation. As I stated, I don't see any compression artifacts with my DISH installation. And, no, I don't think that compression artifacts would show up on your sets even if they did exist in your installation with the display units you mentioned.

    As to the YES network and DISH - you've hit a sore spot with me and the only one that might make me abandon DISH for DirecTV when the MPEG2 -> MPEG4 transition takes place (and we have to replace all our boxes). I actually have a single box/set DirecTV installation for the sole purpose of being able to watch the YES Network (at a little under $40/month). When DirecTV and even the local cable networks came to an agreement with YES, DISH, for some reason, refused to give their customers an option to get YES. I wasn't expecting to get it for free but they wouldn't even let us pay for it while droning on about "not wanting to force customers who don't want YES to have to share in the cost." This is ridiculous since other video providers have been able to work out the details of carrying YES. DISH and Charlie Egan, the CEO, consistently avoid this issue and keep their head in the sand. I have too much invested in DISH to switch completely to DirecTV (besides DISH offers more HD options and, in my case, has a slightly better signal) but, like I said, if YES still isn't available on DISH when we have to switch to the new equipment I'm 75% sure I'll drop DISH for their ridiculous non-YES policy. I'm paying almost $500 for what is essentially one station. Yes, it's still probably cheaper than a couple of tickets and a couple of beers at Yankee stadium a few times a year, but it's incredulous that they haven't worked this out.

    And if the RedSox games are important to you, you could always subscribe to DISH's Major League Package which carries all the NESN stuff and all the other teams. I'm going to look into that next year for my Yankees games (watching their opponents' channels). The only possible fly in the ointment is that YES might have exclusive NYC area rights and even the Major League Package might be blacked out for the Yankee Games in my region.
     
  17. RAF

    RAF Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 1997
    Messages:
    7,061
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0

    Although space isn't an issue with me either, I'm got a sturdy almost 20 year old 27" SONY XBR (obviously non-HD) set hanging on a wall mount in my bedroom and I'll be replacing it with an HD-capable set this coming year. I'm getting a little tired of such a big unit up in the air (sort of "hospital room style") and am looking forward to an HD flat panel mounted on the wall on an articulated arm. It definitely will be a wide screen unit (I'm thinking a widescreen 42" panel will fit nicely in the space available) but I haven't decided yet on all the particulars. There's plasma and LCD and a few other things out there or being introduced in the next couple of months. And 1080p units will be coming out that would allow this new unit to serve me for the next 20 years so I'm not in any rush. Most likely I will time my purchase with the release of the new Satellite receivers and base some of this on the output capabilities of the HD boxes.

    One thing for sure - conventional (tube) sets are still the best buy (and can be the best picture) for the buck if space is not a consideration. I'd just be sure to get an HD capable one with a widescreen format if you plan on using it more than 3-5 years. If it's essentially a stopgap set, then you can get whatever appeals to you in picture and price.

    Hope this helps.

    Note: This discussion has taken a decided turn toward Hardware rather than Software so you might want to address any future such questions in that section. I'll leave this discussion here since it started as a programming thread.
     
  18. Jim Dalton

    Jim Dalton Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2003
    Messages:
    187
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I HATE COMCAST!

    Absolutely hate them. Their customer support sucks, so when I had the ability to get DTV, I jumped at the chance.

    I get more channels and they are better quality. Also, Comcast was CONSTANTLY going out on me. I live in the northeast and yes, DTV will go out every once in a while, but it is not nearly as bad as when I had cable.

    I will never go back to cable.
     
  19. JeremySt

    JeremySt Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2001
    Messages:
    1,770
    Likes Received:
    14
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Real Name:
    Jeremy


    Scott, this may be your experience, but I would not make that a generalazation of ALL dish setups.

    Some recievers have better picture and sound quality than others. Some remotes work better than others.

    Where I live, our local digital cable fits your problem list. It has to be a SEVERE thunderstorm for me to loose signal.
     
  20. Kevin Hewell

    Kevin Hewell Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2003
    Messages:
    2,227
    Likes Received:
    123
    Trophy Points:
    1,610


    I'm sorry to hear that but I've had nothing but good things to say since Comcast took over the cable system here. Good service, great picture with little to no artifacts and it doesn't go out on me in the thunderstorms that we have frequently here. My neighbor has Dish and it's been going out regularly during the storms.

    Plus, I like Comcast's high speed internet much better than the DSL that I used to have.
     

Share This Page