To dish or not to dish. That is the question.

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by John Alvarez, Nov 20, 2004.

  1. John Alvarez

    John Alvarez Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2004
    Messages:
    1,129
    Likes Received:
    0
    I'm trying to decide which company to go with. Dish or Direct. Which do you like and why? Voom is out because they don't have foreign language packages. I want to do 5 rooms. 4 rooms I don't care if it's S.D. but my 5th I want to have H.D. and possibly a DVR. How much does it cost in the beginning to get an H.D. box versuses a year after? I may want a 2nd H.D. box later.
     
  2. Dave Miller

    Dave Miller Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    May 9, 1999
    Messages:
    853
    Likes Received:
    1
    John,

    Three weeks ago I made the jump to D* and am really happy. I considered Dish and Voom as well b/c HD Cable is not available in my area and won't be for a while.

    I have a HDTivo in the living room and an SDTivo in the bedroom. I've been very happy with the stability, usability, PQ & sound of both units. I upgraded from basic cable and a vcr, so I'm a Tivo newbe and I love it. Yes, D* is cool, but Tivo is really amazing. The interface is simple and passed the wife test which was important to me.

    As far as the two companies go, since the install, I've made two phone calls to D*. I got one clueless CSR and one very helpful and informed CSR.

    As a new D* customer, I spent $899 for the HDTivo, SDTivo, Dish, and complete install. There's also a $50 rebate offered right now from D* for getting a DVR which brought my cost down to $849.

    Hope this helps.

    Peace,

    DM
     
  3. EricRWem

    EricRWem Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2004
    Messages:
    1,097
    Likes Received:
    0
    Real Name:
    Adrik
    If I go HD, but don't bother with Tivo, DVR, or what not, I hope I can get HD in three rooms for considerably less than that kind of money.
     
  4. Jim Mcc

    Jim Mcc Producer

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2004
    Messages:
    3,757
    Likes Received:
    38
    Location:
    Oconomowoc, WI.
    Real Name:
    Jim
    I've got HD from Dish Network and I'm very happy with it, NOW. The 811 HD receiver had a lot of minor problems initially, but with a few software upgrades it works great now. I even got a second 811 for my X1 projector in basement HT room. My 1 year commitment ends next month for my first 811(free with commitment) and the second 811 I am leasing for only $5.00 per month. You can't beat the deals with Dish Network. And picture quality is GREAT. By the way, I'm a former Directv customer of 5 years, but they refused to even come close to Dish Network's deal, so I switched to Dish when I was ready for HD.
     
  5. EricRWem

    EricRWem Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2004
    Messages:
    1,097
    Likes Received:
    0
    Real Name:
    Adrik
    It seems to be a real toss up, depending on who you're talking to. I can easily round up D* customers that will say the same things you're saying about DISH right now, Jim. [​IMG] It's always nice to see people pleased with what they bought. I suspect I could probably go either way and be happy. It seems to me that D*, with announcements of new satellites going up next year and such, seems to have more momentum behind them right now.

    I also don't expect VOOM to survive much longer, especially considering who the parent company is. If VOOM fails, I could see a serious shift happen if either E* or D* swooped down and bought and picked up whatever would be left of VOOM. It's an interesting scenario to consider.

    I really need to research this more. My biggest concerns are geography and environmental obstacles and overall reliability. I have to give cable this one credit: I've NEVER had it go out on me or watch a signal drop during a rainstorm, thunderstorm, or bad weather.

    I used to have that happen to me with D* all the time in FL. Some half-baked storm would come along, and I could just count on no service for the majority of the time that storm was around. Has satellite, as a whole, found a way to get past that yet?
     
  6. Dave Miller

    Dave Miller Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    May 9, 1999
    Messages:
    853
    Likes Received:
    1
    Eric,

    You can spend a lot less than I did. Part of the reason it took me so long to decide is b/c Dishnetwork's offers are so much cheaper. If that is a factor, the E* definitely has the advantage. I simply decided to make the jump into the product (HDTivo) and service (D*) that I felt had the fewest issues.

    I'm not an expert on rain fade, but I believe the new Phase III dish (which I have) is supposed to be more resilient to rain fade, but not immune. I'm in SW Florida and we've had storms since my install, but not serious. When the rainy season comes back, I'll find out if the Phase III theory is correct.

    Peace,

    DM
     
  7. Eric Samonte

    Eric Samonte Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 1999
    Messages:
    1,317
    Likes Received:
    0
    I have Dish and frankly got it because I don't have to shell out more than $50 for a 4 room install. I've been with them for over a year now and presently enjoying HD. I'll jump on the DVR thingy when a good deal comes out soon.
     
  8. EricRWem

    EricRWem Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2004
    Messages:
    1,097
    Likes Received:
    0
    Real Name:
    Adrik
    Thanks, Dave. And what I had was a D* install from the mid 90's. I'd like to believe things have come further in a DECADE's worth of advancements. [​IMG]
     
  9. Charlie Campisi

    Charlie Campisi Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2004
    Messages:
    1,620
    Likes Received:
    41
    The big cost on getting D* based on what you are looking for is the HD receiver with HD tivo. If you were willing to forego that part of it, you would save a lot. I went for the three room install, HD in one room, non-HD tivo in another, and basic in a third. Circuit City has free install and the guys who came out were good. If you buy your equipment through D* you might be able to do better. Here's the rundown on the upfront costs I paid:

    1. Install - free
    2. Basic receiver - free
    3. 40 gig tivo $50 (now, you can get 40 gig free and 80 gig for $100 and a $50 rebate, or $50 net.)
    4. HD receiver, no tivo - $300. (I went back to CC to price match on the 80 gig dvr a week after I bought mine, and rather than undo it, the guy just gave me $100 off my hd box, so I got it for $200). I think you can get them through D* for $200 or even $99.
    5. I also know I had to mail in a second rebate for $150. It might have been for the installation. If you are bad about following up with rebates you may want to take that into account.
    6. You also need a phone jack near each satellite box. It was a problem in one room, so I had to spend $45 on a wireless phone jack.

    That's about it. I am very happy with the product, though I saw red when I figured out the salesman had hidden the fact from me that my local hd needed to come in over an antenna. Nothing like watching $3k worth of picture and listening to $2k worth of sound knowing that it is all coming into your house on a $5 set of rabbit ears!

    PS- the HD dvr would be great. Tivo does change your viewing habits and if you like to watch network prime time HD, you would still have to make your schedule fit the broadcasting schedule. Saving the $900 for the HD dvr does have a price.
     
  10. Robert_J

    Robert_J Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2000
    Messages:
    8,288
    Likes Received:
    51
    Location:
    Mississippi
    Real Name:
    Robert
    That isn't a secret. It's documented on the DirecTV site and mentioned here every time someone asks about DirecTV HD.

    -Robert
     
  11. EricRWem

    EricRWem Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2004
    Messages:
    1,097
    Likes Received:
    0
    Real Name:
    Adrik
    What's the phone jack setup even for, really?

    I got some encouraging news from a DISH owner today that lives two blocks away from me. (I still think I'll go D*, but I think her information is valid regardless.)

    She lives in a house that's literally in the center of a forest! I'm talking 40+ feet trees on ALL sides. She has a dish on the ground (?!) and she got a second one on the roof to help her husband pick up Fox and Chicago Bears games.

    She said, even at that, she RARELY has interruptions and such, especially since getting that second dish.

    So, that's encouraging, because I don't have NEAR the amount of obstacles she has.





    I'm VERY good about this.
     
  12. Dave Miller

    Dave Miller Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    May 9, 1999
    Messages:
    853
    Likes Received:
    1


    That's the kicker. I've wanted to jump to HD for a while, but I'm never home. So I waited to make the HD jump with the ability to record.

    If Dishnetwork ends up being your choice, the 921 HD DVR has just dropped in price to around $550. It's not Tivo, but that is a significant price difference. FYI.

    Peace,

    DM
     
  13. John Alvarez

    John Alvarez Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2004
    Messages:
    1,129
    Likes Received:
    0

    I'm wondering if there is a diffrence in equipment other than the reciver that you need for H.D.? Currently I don't have an H.D. t.v. but will get one next summer. Would it be cost effective to wait until then to get the HD reciver?
     
  14. EricRWem

    EricRWem Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2004
    Messages:
    1,097
    Likes Received:
    0
    Real Name:
    Adrik

    Almost certainly, yes! Just the way this market has been going, a year is signifigant. HD will be a lot further along, in general, a year from now, imho.

    If you don't own an HD and don't plan on getting one for another year, there's simply no reason whatsoever for you to buy an HD receiver until that happens.

    All the way around, HD will be cheaper a year from now, methinks. [​IMG]
     
  15. John Alvarez

    John Alvarez Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2004
    Messages:
    1,129
    Likes Received:
    0
    If I decide to go with Dish can you record on a vcr? I know it's old tech but my wife records 3 shows a week and I don't want to pay the extra 5 bucks just to record.
     
  16. Charlie Campisi

    Charlie Campisi Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2004
    Messages:
    1,620
    Likes Received:
    41


    Like you, I thought Tivo was mostly a vcr replacement with some additional features, but it is a lot better than that. Your tv watching becomes much more efficient. You are free from the confines of the tv schedule. You do not worry about missing a show, etc. You control your own replays for sports. You don't have to organize videotapes or wait for them to rewind/ff. And the D* price of $5 a month is unbeatable. I would challenge you to find one person who has DirecTiVo and says it isn't worth the money. I bet to a person they will all say it is one of the greatest conveniences available.
     
  17. Charlie Campisi

    Charlie Campisi Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2004
    Messages:
    1,620
    Likes Received:
    41


    As with 99% of technology purchases, there is rarely a reason to buy before you have to. Prices always decline, or at worst are stable. This is especially true for HD equipment which is growing more commonplace everyday.
     
  18. EricRWem

    EricRWem Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2004
    Messages:
    1,097
    Likes Received:
    0
    Real Name:
    Adrik
    $5 a month for TiVo is pretty outstanding. I'm assuming that's not HD, though, but still... [​IMG]
     
  19. Dave Miller

    Dave Miller Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    May 9, 1999
    Messages:
    853
    Likes Received:
    1

    That's me. At the beginning of the week, I got interested in seeing some classic Thanksgiving sitcom episodes (see this thread) and man were they easy to find and record.

    Peace,

    DM
     
  20. EricRWem

    EricRWem Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2004
    Messages:
    1,097
    Likes Received:
    0
    Real Name:
    Adrik
    What are the two brand names I keep seeing for great OTA, if I need to go that route? I know TERK is not recommended in most circles.

    Also, I think D* looks the best. Ideally, I'd like HD. TiVo is a distant bonus. HD or SD, which are the best receivers?

    I also have a nice SD Hughes receiver that I'd just as soon use in a room vs. having it sit there doing nothing like it is now. Will they reactivate that box for me?

    What's the best SD receiver and HD receiver for D* currently? I've heard good things about this LG-4200a model and I know the Sonys are supposed to be good.

    How do you know whether or not you should go out and buy the hardware yourself vs. letting D* bring it when they do your install? How's that work?

    Here is the information antennaweb.com gave for my address, FWIW.

    The results say that I'd need a violet-uhf/vhf class:

    "You need a Large Directional Antenna.

    These large, multi-element rooftop antennas are used in weak signal areas for maximum possible TV reception. These antennas can be used in ANY LOCATION, but require an amplifier and roof mounting to receive blue and purple channels. Amplifiers are not recommended for yellow channels. "

    Care to steer me on that?
     

Share This Page