Dish vs. DirecTV

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Mark_Thielen, Mar 10, 2003.

  1. Mark_Thielen

    Mark_Thielen Auditioning

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    I have done a ton of research on these two and can't come to a solution. My main concerns are the following:


    Is one picture better than another?
    Is there more artifacting on one or the other?
    Are there more technical problems (i.e. bad recievers, equipment, service, etc) over one or the other?


    Right now as of this posting this is what each is offering:

    Directv:
    2 rooms (2 regular recievers)
    dish
    install,
    HBO, Showtime for 3 months
    Cost: Free

    Dish Network:
    2 rooms
    dish
    one reciever is a PVR, other is normal
    Install
    Cost: Free (essentially) $50 upgrade fee to PVR, $49.95 refund
     
  2. Robert_J

    Robert_J Lead Actor

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  3. Richard Q

    Richard Q Auditioning

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    I've had DISH for over five years now, so I can give you my experiences:

    Equipment: I've had dual receivers (plain Jane model for the family, high end for me [​IMG] ) from day one. The plain one went wacko after three years and had to be replaced. The high end model (4000) finally started losing it in the past year so I upgraded to the 508PVR. So far I've been quite happy with the PVR. Once in a while, I'll get artifacting, but it seems to happen on one or two channels. Sometimes it happens, sometimes not.

    Service: I've always had to wait at least five minutes before getting tech support, but when I did, it always solved my problems. I've only had to call with tech problems maybe 3-4 times.

    Hope this helps.
     
  4. Mark_Thielen

    Mark_Thielen Auditioning

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    This is information is very helpful. I'm not one to jump in to unknown territory without as many answers as I can find. It's good to see that both systems seem to be about neck and neck. I suppose it's hard to compare since most people don't get both.

    I've never had satellite before because of apartment living and so I finally have an opportunity to do it in our new house.

    As for the PVR/Tivo thing....that's even more foreign to me and thought it would be a bonus to have it, but not necessary.

    Thanks,
     
  5. Michael Botvinick

    Michael Botvinick Stunt Coordinator

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    I would stay away from Direct (I've had it for a long time) until we know who will buy it. They may night spend the money upgrading the system. Right now, HD is a joke. In fact I will probably cancel and get Cox cable that has prime time now in HD. Customer Servie at Direct is good Though. I also had Dish for 5 years and had no problems with them either.
     
  6. Grant B

    Grant B Producer

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    I have been installing Dish systems since the begining of the year and I have had DirectV for close to 5 years so I am familiar with both.
    Very little difference between the two, since they are both national they have to compete like Hertz and Avis.
    They each have different selling points.
    Cable around here sucks big time and is a lot more expensive; but that varies from city to city.

    Decent stb have svideo and and digital audio and more channels than most cable systems.
    Generally free installation means you are committed for a year.
    Good Luck
    Grant
     
  7. Mark_E_Smith

    Mark_E_Smith Second Unit

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    Before you buy be sure to check out TiVo, now called the DTV DVR. It is the COOLEST thing to have. Do some searches on TiVo and PVR. The DTV TiVo can record 2 things at once, uses the TiVo software, records and plays back DD 5.1. It will change your life!!!! The reason I mention this is they usually discount these units for first time customers and it would be a shame to get the plain receiver and find out you want a DVR later. I have DTV and love it, my sister has Dish and she loves it, I dont care for their equipment and PQ, but I am biased. I have 4 DTV DVRs. I wont leave DTV unless they drop the DVR and I dont think that will EVER happen considering they moved 40,000 DVR units in December. My wife also loves the TiVos. Cant say enough about the TiVo[​IMG]

    It is really unfourtunate that DISH didnt add the TiVo system to its lineup.[​IMG]
     
  8. Stephen Tu

    Stephen Tu Screenwriter

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  9. RAF

    RAF Lead Actor

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    Well, there's two sides to every coin. I have both DISH and DirecTV. DISH is my main provider and I added a simple DirecTV package (one receiver) specifically to get the YES Network here in NY. I find that the DISH provides a slightly better picture in my case than my DirecTV (fed into the same monitor) but that might be a sample to sample and installation to installation difference and is hardly significant nor scientific.

    While both systems offer their own "pluses" the deciding factor for me was HDTV. I prefer HDTV on DISH (I've seen it on DirecTV and opted not to add a fourth dish [2 for DISH, 1 for DirecTV right now] since I'll drop DirecTV once the YES issue is settled and/or DirecTV is absorbed somewhere in the great race for TV space.) True, DirecTV has HDNet (for now - DISH has made rumblings about this) but it does NOT have any local stations, whereas DISH offers CBS HDTV and says it will soon add more. Remember, I'm in the NYC area so OTA HD ceased to be an option for me after 9/11 and who knows where that will go?!? And the HD Discovery channel, 24/7 is remarkable. DISH HD keeps getting better and better while DirecTV is a bit stagnant right now.

    And yes, DirecTV has Tivo, but the Dish PVRs (501 and 721 - both of which I current own) are not as bad as some make them out to be. In fact, I love them. The software keeps getting better and better and the 721 is a dual tuner model where you can record two different programs simultaneously (and even watch a different recording as you record two others.) Yes, it's not as full featured as Tivo, but, at no additional cost, it does an outstanding job. And the 721 holds about 90 hours of programming (the 501 holds 35 hours and the newer 508 about twice that).

    And the 921 DISH PVR has been announced. This will be a HDTV capable recorder (it also two tuners) and I'll be an early adopter, for sure. I don't want to go the D-VHS route for HD time shifting and HTPCs, while intriguing, are not something I choose to get into at present. I have too much on the table already.

    Ya makes ya choice and ya pays ya money. One thing is for sure (at least in my neck of the woods.) No matter what they try to tell you, Satellite TV blows away cable and all its B.S. (I'm even into Satellite radio now - XM to be specific) and I'm loving it more each day.
     
  10. ManW_TheUncool

    ManW_TheUncool Producer

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    Robert,

    Have you tried TWC lately? Just wanted to know how they compare for PQ since that's what I have now and plan to switch to DirecTV. I'd consider Dish if they get YES network on board, especially since they apparently will offer an HD PVR soon.

    One other thing. Can I get HD service and premium movie channels like HBO from Dish w/ their smallest (50-channel) package? I'd rather not pay extra for all the extra channels I don't need. Couldn't find any info on this.

    Thanks.

    Btw, not sure if you realized, but you already can get CBS HD OTA in NYC along w/ FOX's ED broadcast and PBS HD. Most of the others seem to be scheduled for return this spring.

    _Man_
     
  11. EricTownsend

    EricTownsend Stunt Coordinator

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    What is the least expensive way (out of pocket that is) to get the Dish HDTV? I understand both Dish and DirecTV are competitive at over $600 for the HDTV setup.
    Thanks!
     
  12. Stephen Tu

    Stephen Tu Screenwriter

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  13. RAF

    RAF Lead Actor

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    My only "option" for cable in my neck of the woods is Cable(ugh)Vision, not TWC so I can't do a comparison. But after switching from cable to a dish I'd never go back. There's something about being at the mercy of a physical cable and all that this implies (maintenance problems, frequent outages, inability to do major bandwidth upgrades quickly when a new technology comes out, etc.) have convinced me that I'll never go back to cable.

    Of course, if you don't have a line of sight to the birds (or live in a building where dishes are verboten) then you run out of options.

    My point on the availability of CBS HD in my area was not meant to suggest that this is universally available (of course it is not for some bureaucratic problems). The point was that in those markets where DISH can offer CBS HD (and soon other HD local stations as well) DirecTV does not provide this option.

    And while I like TiVo a lot (and would own at least one if compatible with DISH at the moment) I'm very pleased with the DISH PVRs. My 721 cost me some money but it is completely worth it and my 501 cost me nothing extra in hardware since it's part of a package where DISH provides the equipment. I anticipate that the day will come when I can "upgrade" my 501 to a 721 for a nominal fee (like ~$50). That day will probably be once the 721s become plentiful and the new kid on the block, the HD capable 921 hits the market.
     
  14. Todd_RIC

    Todd_RIC Stunt Coordinator

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    For me, the only selling point is the "NFL Sunday Ticket" which is ONLY offered by DirecTV. They are supposed to begin broadcasting the ticket in HD, although they haven't said when. Whenever they do, however, will be the day I upgrade all my TVs to HD capable. NFL Sunday Ticket... end of story.
     
  15. Robert_J

    Robert_J Lead Actor

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    Sunday Ticket will probably start with one game per week in HD. There's a lot of discussion about it here.

    -Robert
     
  16. Tim Holyoke

    Tim Holyoke Second Unit

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    In reference to the DirecTivo...I looked at BB and they have a Hughes DirecTivo receiver for $250 - is there an additional monthly fee for the Tivo or not? Just curious, thanks.
     
  17. Robert_J

    Robert_J Lead Actor

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    The monthly Tivo fee is $4.95 and that covers as many DirecTivos as you want to add to your account. If you are a Premier or Platinum or whatever subscriber that gets all of the channels, then DirecTV waives the fee. Remember adding more than 1 DirecTivo is still subject to a $5/month mirror fee just like it was a regular reciever.

    You can get a DirecTivo from DirecTV or an online store for $199. The information is here.

    -Robert
     
  18. EricTownsend

    EricTownsend Stunt Coordinator

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    DISH told me their PVR includes a Tivo (actual Tivo?) service for no extra charge, plus it was only $49 to upgrade to the PVR receiver.
     
  19. Mark_Thielen

    Mark_Thielen Auditioning

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    Dish's PVR is what Tivo is to DircTV. Dish just calls it PVR or Personal Video Recorder.

    Dish doesn't charge extra for the PVR service.
     
  20. Robert_J

    Robert_J Lead Actor

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    Everyone is now using "Tivo" to describe recording video to a hard drive. That's great that it gets Tivo's name out but the Tivo service is so much more that what Dish offers.

    Dish's PVR works like a VCR. Even though you pick a program to record from the guide, behind the scenes you are just setting a start recording time and a stop recording time. If it is a series you want to record, you can have it repeat weekly. What if it changes time slots? This is where Tivo shines. I set my Tivo up to record American Idol on my local Fox station using a Season Pass. Set it once and forget it. Now it records the competition on Tuesdays and the voting results on Wednesday. This past Tuesday it was two hours long. No problem, it recorded both hours. Another example was the CBS show Robbery Homicide Division. I set a season pass and it recorded all of the shows until CBS cancelled it. Hoping someone else might pick it up I canceled the SP and created a Wish List for RHD. A Wish List searches across all of the channels. After a few weeks, USA Network picked it up. Tivo recorded it automatically. You can set up wish lists by actor, director, key-word, etc. You have the option to limit them to movies, sports, comedies, etc. also.

    You get what you pay for.

    -Robert
     

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