Newbie wants to avoid mistakes: Help!

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Rob Roth, Feb 27, 2001.

  1. Rob Roth

    Rob Roth Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2001
    Messages:
    113
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I'm ready to go satellite. I live in a Baltimore suburb and I believe our house has acceptable Southern exposure. I figure I might as well put in one of those oval 'HD' antennae although I don't yet have an HD set. Our main viewing tastes are movies and music events. Public TV is a definite plus, my wife watches local channels for news. We only have two sets.
    Which service should I get? Is DirectTV the best way to go? How about associated hardware such as receivers, etc.? I would like to do this right the first time rather than 'spending to learn'. Someone told me to get 'upgraded' coax cable from the dish to the receiver box- is this an issue? Should I keep a basic cable package for local stuff (my reciever has enough inputs)?
    Any advice would be greatly appreciated. I know what I'm doing most of the time with audio and video playback but this satellite stuff is new to me.
     
  2. Jonathan Tuck

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2000
    Messages:
    26
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Both dish and direct have good packages - dish has more hdtv, direct has more sports. Movie packages are comparable. For hdtv you need 2 dishes - one for the main programming and one to aim at the sat with hdtv. Dish has some great deals where you get the system and installation for free/at a discount (depending on your system choice). I got my system thru dishdepot.com -- they are great at figuring out exactly what you want and what package is best for you. Dish has some new receivers coming out and perhaps direct may as well -- check both web sites and do a lot of reading -- then go shopping!!
    ------------------
     
  3. Eric John

    Eric John Auditioning

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2000
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I didnt get this out of the last post but with DishNet you need 2 dishes for HDTV. With DirecTV, you only need the DirecTV Plus dish. Its simply up to you if you want one or two dishes...but Dish does have one more station I believe.
    EJ
    P.S. Forgot to add...as Jonathan mentioned a retailer for DishNet, I'd recommend AmericanSatellite.com for DirecTV purchases. Great service and knowledgeable staff.
     
  4. Rob Roth

    Rob Roth Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2001
    Messages:
    113
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Thanks for the info.
    Do Dish and Direct have the same quality of video and audio? The audio is a big reason to go satellite. Are both digital output from the receiver?
    I'm less interested in saving money than I am in getting good quality.
    thanks
     
  5. Jon_T

    Jon_T Agent

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2000
    Messages:
    28
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    The general consensus is that DirecTV has a sharper picture but more pixelization while Dish has a softer picture with less pixelization. Both services are constantly "tweaking" the picture quality on various channels so I don't think there is a clear winner on picture quality. I think you just have to "pick your poison".
    I don't think I have heard or read anything on the differences of audio quality. I believe they have the same audio quality.
     
  6. TimothyP

    TimothyP Extra

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2001
    Messages:
    16
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I live in Towson also so I felt the need to reply. I recently upgraded from Comcast cable to Dishnetwork and am very glad I did. The picture and audio quality are a little better with DSS then cable but the biggest reason for the move was HDTV. This was also why I chose DISH over DirecTV.
    Dish offers four HD channels: HBO, Showtime, a demo loop channel, and a PPV HD channel. From what I understand, DirecTV has HBO HD, and a second HD channel that doubles as demo loop and PPV (hopefully others will correct me if I'm wrong). The Dish 6000 receiver also allows seemless integration of OTA signals into your menu, whereas I think you have to manually switch from the DirecTV receiver to the antenna if you're using the RCA DTC-100 (the most common DirecTV HD-capable STB).
    The general concensus seems to be that DirecTV has more sports offerings (NFL season pass, etc.) while DISH has more HD and is more committed to HD in the future. I think DISH has more satellites and thus more bandwidth. Their 61.5 satellite has "room" for more HD content as it becomes available. I'm not sure that DirecTV is planning to add additional HD content in the near future, perhaps due to limited bandwidth.
    DirecTV only requires one elliptical dish to get all programming (including HD) while DISH requires two dishes if you want HD. I'm not sure, but you may be able to get local stations through the satellite with DirecTV. You cannot get locals in Baltimore through the satellite with DISH. You can get locals with either with a rooftop antenna. The quality of locals through my antenna is equal or better than DSS for the most part so this isn't a big deal. One disadvantage of getting locals OTA is that the programming menu doesn't tell you what shows are on (it always says "Local programming").
    The one other advantage of cable over DSS is that you can feed as many TVs as you want. With DSS you'll need a separate receiver for each TV (if you want to watch different shows on different TVs) and you'll have to pay $5 per month for the additional receiver.
    Hope this helps to clarify the issues. Again, I'm happy with Dish but I watch a lot of HDTV so this seemed to be the best choice for me. Good luck with your decision.
    Tim
     
  7. Rob Roth

    Rob Roth Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2001
    Messages:
    113
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Tim,
    Thanks very much for your comments. They are especially appreciated since we are neighbors (I'm off Goucher Blvd.). I more of a movie guy than sports so Dish might be the way to go. However, Janice is adamant that she have seamless local station coverage for those morning morons on Channel 2.
    I stopped at Radio Shack to investigate the offerings and ended up teaching the sales guy!! You are right, the RCA HTC (?) 100 is the only 'advanced' receiver I've found. The RS guy was trying to tell me that the entry models had DD, etc. I pointed out the two RCA outputs and after 15 minutes he came back with a brochure on the 100. Evidently he's never sold one.
    Which brings me to my next question: Who is a good source for hardware and expertise, locally? Most of my HT gear is from Bryn Mawr and Gramaphone. But if I walk into Gramaphone again I'll be divorced!
     
  8. TimothyP

    TimothyP Extra

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2001
    Messages:
    16
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Rob,
    Glad I could help. Nice to chat with a neighbor. I live in Riderwood (next to Ruxton). In answer to your other questions:
    Seamless local channel (OTA) integration is not a problem with the Dish 6000 receiver but it requires an antenna. DirecTV may offer locals through the satellite. Again the only problem I've had with OTA locals is that the name of the show is not included in the program guide.
    I had the same experience with Radio Shack, and everywhere else for that matter (BB, CC, Sears, etc). Very few people buy HDTV stuff yet so the salespeople know far less than you and I do about the equipment needed to get it. I learned everything I needed to know off of the Internet. I ended up buying my Dish system from DishDepot.com. Mark there is very knowledgeable and helpful, and prices from the internet are MUCH lower. Also look at DBS-sales.com. (URL?)
    As far as other HT equipment, there are a handful of places in B'more that know what they're doing: Gramophone, Soundscape (on Cold Spring Lane), The Listening Room (Pikesville, sells PSB speakers and some SUPER high-end audio stuff), and Bryn Mawr. I ended up buying my audio stuff from Soundscape, and my TV and DVD from BestBuy. Unfortunately, none of these places knew much about HDTV/DSS. I've heard that Sears will pricematch any internet sales price - this might be worth looking into also.
    Good luck!
     

Share This Page