Few basic Dish Vs Direct TV questions - HDTV, etc

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by Aaron H, May 18, 2003.

  1. Aaron H

    Aaron H Supporting Actor

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    Hi everyone,

    I am getting fed up with our local cable company not offering the local station in HDTV. I have also heard that the picture quality on Direct TV is much better than the PQ of the analog cable channels.

    Could anyone give me a quick breakdown of which company is best to go with if you want HDTV? Locals, HDNET, Discovery HD, etc.

    Also, we have 5 TV's in the house, and will possibly be addding more. RIght now we rent 3 cable boxes from the cable company and use 2 as "cable ready sets" so they can only get the analog channels, but that's fine for those rooms. For some reason, I'm remembering that you need a satellite dish at each TV to view it. Is that correct? If so, I can't even imagine what 5 satellite boxes would cost.

    Oh, if it matters, we have the phone and coax runs in the house home-run'd to a single point.

    Thanks for any advice you may have.

    Aaron
     
  2. Dave Bennett

    Dave Bennett Screenwriter

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    DirecTV and Dish offer a different set of high def programming. I don't have a high def set so I'm not sure of the specifics. If you check out their web cites it should be pretty clear. It looks like both offer locals in your area. As far as boxes, you need a box at every TV you'd want to watch UNLESS you mirror the video from one box to another TV. This lets you save on buying boxes but you also can't watch different things on the two tvs. We've had directv since 1997 and recently got a new reciever and triple lnb dish to pickup our locals and I really love it. we'v had a great experience. Good luck with whichever option you pick and say goodybe to cable!
     
  3. Douglas*A*R

    Douglas*A*R Stunt Coordinator

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    Oh, it matters [​IMG] I know that the satellite companies advertise free installation, but that seems to be for a VERY basic, run a coax line straight from the dish to the TV going straight through the living room if necessary, type of setup. It's been a few years, but I think my install cost was about $300.
     
  4. Aaron H

    Aaron H Supporting Actor

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    Thanks for the info. Direct TV seems to offer HDNet, while Dish offers Discovery HD. What kind of programming is on HDnet? Are there any plans by either company to pick up additional HDTV channels? i.e. Dish getting HDNET and Direct TV getting Discovery TV?

    Thanks, Aaron

    Edit: Thanks Douglas. You posted a few seconds earlier than I did and answered quite a few of my questions. Thanks.

    Dish seems to have more channels, and even have a optional "plug-in" to their 6000 receiver to get the OTA HD locals. Pretty cool.

    Where are all of the bargain shoppers buying their Dish equipment from over the web?
     
  5. Douglas*A*R

    Douglas*A*R Stunt Coordinator

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    Here's the schedule for HDnet. They air alot of hockey during the season, too. It all looks phenomenal. DirecTV fiddles with the channel every once in a while, but they almost always leave it completely uncompressed (19.3Mbps).

    DirecTV keeps its new channel deals pretty close to the vest until right before offering them, from what I've read. There've been some signals that there'll be some new offerings in a few months. For what it's worth, I usually look over at the AVSforum for HD news.

    HDnet and HDnet Movies will be on Dish in a few months. You'll need the new "Superdish" (also available in a few months) to get them, though.

    Also, with DirecTV, you'll need the oval dish and all three LNB's to get all the HD programming.
     
  6. Douglas*A*R

    Douglas*A*R Stunt Coordinator

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    That's actually a hindrance put on the purchaser, not a benefit. All DirecTV HD stb's can display an OTA signal without having to plug anything else into the box except coax that connects to the antenna somewhere on the other end.

    If you do go with Dish, I think it'd behoove you to wait for the Superdish so you can get the HDnet channels. To get HD programming now, you'll need two circular dishes. Also, the next generation Dish STB's should be able to do OTA reception without needing a module.
     
  7. Dan Hitchman

    Dan Hitchman Cinematographer

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    Plus Dish will have a 921 PVR that can record two streams of HD programming at once. There will also be two new HD decoder box only models (one is for Mitsubishi TV's only).

    DirecTV is in the final stages of a deal with Murdoch to sell their company to News Corp (the devil). A scary proposition IMHO. We also know how much Murdoch's Fox affiliates love true HD content (hint: they don't).

    DISH will be launching a new satellite soon so their transponder space is set to increase by leaps and bounds over DirecTV. They also seem to be pushing a new AD campaign surrounding the SuperDish roll out with the potential for 50 new HD channels.

    There have also been rumblings over at the AVS Forum that DirecTV has been ramping up the compression on some of their HD channels. The quality has been all over the place lately.

    I'd go with DISH if everything they say pans out.

    Dan
     
  8. Douglas*A*R

    Douglas*A*R Stunt Coordinator

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    Dan, no offense intended, but I think you're being a little hyperbolic.




    The problem occurred for a couple days two weeks ago and it was only on HDnet. I believe that HBO-HD and SHO-HD have shared a transponder for quite a while and haven't been messed with since. I'd hardly call that "all over the place lately". Here's the relevant AVS thread.
     
  9. Stephen Tu

    Stephen Tu Screenwriter

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    Dan Hitchman said:
     
  10. Jeff Hoak

    Jeff Hoak Stunt Coordinator

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    Aaron,

    I live about an hour from Tampa so maybe I can answer "some" things a bit better than others.

    1.) Picture quality: With DirecTV it seems to vary by channel and by time of day. Locals don't seem to do very well most of the time. If you're looking to get a HD receiver (DUH!) it'll also receive local broadcasts. The locals we can receive here that are digitally broadcast simply blow DirecTV away.

    2.) Available channels: DirecTV has HDNet, HBO, & ShowTime. I think that there are some PPV HD channels but only in the weee hours of the morning. That's when I sleep. Dish has HBO, ShowTime, Discovery, CBS (if you qualify), & NBA.

    3.) Receivers: There are a number of choices in DirecTV HD receivers. There is 1 available DishNetwork receiver.

    4.) Multiple televisions. This could be a problem for you with either service. You can either add a receiver to each TV (@ $5.00 / mo. ea.) or use a smaller number of receivers and share them between a couple of TVs. The problem with sharing is that all of the TVs on a given receiver are forced to watch the same channel. You can't do anything like what your doing with your "cable ready" sets. You're also looking at a fairly sophisticated install. Not cheap. Ask me... I know. I'm running a single oval dish a 5X8 multi-switch, 3 DTiVo's (2 feeds each) and one basic receiver. I did it all myself and I still can't believe how much I spent on it.

    5.) DishNetwork VS. DirecTV. HMMMM... Tough call. Good arguments on both sides. Myself I dropped my DishNetwork account and went with all DirecTV. The reasons for me were... (a)DTiVo, (b)HDNet, & (c) only one dish on the roof (DishNetwork requires 2 seperate dishes to get HD)

    NOTE: Both compaanies are talking about "what's coming" in terms of hardware and programming. Frankly, none of it means much to me. Until I see a new channel show up on MY TV or a new piece of equipment in MY cabinet it's all salesmanship (and therefore BS).


    All things considered I've been pretty happy with DirecTV. Of course I was happy with DishNetwork too. I really don't see a major difference between the two services. I researched both, figured out the costs involved and made my choice based on what fit best in my house.

    As always... YMMV

    If you need any more specific info we can take this to private messaging or I can email you my phone # and you could call me. Happy to answer anything!

    Jeff
     
  11. Dan Hitchman

    Dan Hitchman Cinematographer

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    Good for Tivo on their DirecTV HD PVR, but I would much rather have a few less bells and whistles and instead some privacy. If I need TV listings I could always go online or look in the paper.

    Tivo collects viewer data that may or may not wind up to be safe and secure. There has already been one attempt by the Federal Government to make Tivo and ReplayTV hand over the type of "anonymous" data they collect on you (but with the names of their subscribers attached) to them. It was blocked in court by a Federal judge, but that may change if the Feds can get a friendly judge next time.

    Dan
     
  12. Douglas*A*R

    Douglas*A*R Stunt Coordinator

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    Jeff, good post. Just one thing though:



    D* has one full-time HD PPV station on channel 198. It also plays free NBA HD games (the same as Dish) whenever they're available. Also, channel 199 is HDnet during the day, but switches to HD PPV movies overnight. I think that's what you were thinking of above.


    Another thing I should have mentioned before is that with either DirecTV or Dish, the antenna will need to point in a southerly direction. So, if you have any large trees or buildings in the way, you might have trouble getting a signal.
     
  13. Jeff Hoak

    Jeff Hoak Stunt Coordinator

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    When I responded to this thread it was most certainly NOT my intent to "sell" TiVo. I apologize if it came across that way.

    I too have real concerns about the "data" that may or may not be being gathered about my households viewing habits. Honestly I can't think of anything less interesting than a printout of what get watched at my house. That said I consider TiVo's supposed data mining to be the "price of admission" to an otherwise VERY useful product.

    Fact of the matter is that if we want to turn this thread into a discussion of data mining versus individual privacy we need to move it to a new thread.

    The original thread was cable VS satellite. I've had both (or all 3, depending your point of view) and settled on DirecTV. In my case I did a VERY protracted cost to benefit analysis and made my choice accordingly.

    If asked again I would respond the same way. I'm about 95% pleased with DirecTV. Does it have warts? Of course... What paid service out there doesn't. Could it be improved? ABSOLUTELY... Dropping some channels to reduce compression would be my first suggestion. A few less "shopping" channels come to mind as the first to go. Are TiVo's policies regarding privacy an issue for me? Not at this time. I try to read enough and follow what's going on in the world of broadcast entertainment to be educated as to know when walk away if I need to.

    My $00.02... And overpriced at that!
     

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