Opinions: DirectTV vs. Dish Network

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wwhitby

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Does anyone out there have experience with both DirectTV and Dish Network?

I've had DirectTV for the last 8 years, and i'm about 90% satisfied with it. The dissatisfaction comes from not being able to receive local broadcast channels over the satellite. Every other metro area in the state, except for where I live, has the ability to receive the local broadcast channels. I've spoken to DirectTV about this over the last few years, and there response is usually like "we don't know when we'll get them."

Dish Network in my area will let me get my local broadcast channels, so i'm thinking of switching over to them. Both services have the same "cable" channels we watch, and both are comparable in price.

My question is how good is Dish Network's "picture quality" and their service?

Thanks,

Warren
 

chrismol1

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The thing with satellite, is that you need A BIG DISH in your backyard, no small dish like they give you, the ones they give you are too small to pickup signals during storms or clouds. I had satellite for about 10 years until cable came down out road, it was the best time of my life literally.
Whoever has the most satellites will provide the most coverage. They both say the same thing, and whatever other features you like go with that one. Signal is the number one, then features.
 

ryangassxx

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chrismoll said:
The thing with satellite, is that you need A BIG DISH in your backyard, no small dish like they give you, the ones they give you are too small to pickup signals during storms or clouds. I had satellite for about 10 years until cable came down out road, it was the best time of my life literally.
Whoever has the most satellites will provide the most coverage. They both say the same thing, and whatever other features you like go with that one. Signal is the number one, then features.
What's the deal with the big dishes anyways,.. How does it work? Who's the carrier? Who do you pay every month for the service?
 

gmclam

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Cable, DSS or ????

The dish actually "amplifies" the signal from the satellite. A larger dish will pickup and deliver more signal to the receive antenna element. Anything in the path between the satellite and the dish (incluing rain) will affect reception. So a larger dish will give you a better margin to not lose the signal. But this is separate from the original question.

The issue with "local channels" via either DSS company is that they need enough transponders on their satellites to be able to carry that many channels. Their priorities are the channels they make the most money from like HBO, Showtime and other pay channels. When it comes to local channels, their priorities are the TV markets where they have the most subscribers. So when it comes to a small market in Alabama, you're near the bottom of the list by BOTH DSS companies.

Some people want quality and some want quantity. Then I guess there are those who must have their MTV (or ESPN or whathaveyou). If you need the quantity of channels or one that cannot be received over-the-air, then I guess you are at the mercy of these companies. Seriously, roll the dice. On any given day either can be the "best" company or one you never want to deal with again.

But if you'd like the best looking pictures you can receive, and you don't need the huge quantity of channels, then I'd consider getting yourself an ATSC tuner, preferably HD (and an HD TV). Even if you're only watching in SD the picture quality is the best you can get and it is free. Save up from not having the monthly bill and upgrade to HD and you'll be amazed at just how good it looks. NO cable nor DSS company provides pictures that look as good.
 

gmclam

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ryangassxx said:
What's the deal with the big dishes anyways,.. How does it work? Who's the carrier? Who do you pay every month for the service?
You pay the same company as usual for your DSS service. I'm not sure how you would get a larger dish in your area, but I know they are out there. They are the default size issued for people in fringe areas like Alaska.
 

chrismol1

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ryangassxx said:
What's the deal with the big dishes anyways,.. How does it work? Who's the carrier? Who do you pay every month for the service?
You buy your own I think unless you want to stick with the one they give you, you will be out of signal most of the time when theres not clear, I mean CLEAR BLUE skies. The larger satellites just pickup the signal better and feed it to the receiver. You can basically use ANYTHING to recieve the signal to the box to get your TV
 

andrewccm

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Without going into a long story, let's just say I had to get the BBB, local law enforcement and threaten a lawsuit to get my situation resolved with **** Network. After wasting months and WAY too many hours of my life, I finally got it resolved by speaking with the corporate attorneys.

So you'd basically have to kill me before I would ever do business with **** Network or Echostar ever again. I wouldn't deal with them even if they PAID ME to have their service.

Sure a lot of people have good luck with them. I am not one of them.

YMMV.
 

prcguy

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DirecTV just won some award the best customer service of all the cable or satellite providers again. They keep adding local channels and if your in a really remote market it may be farther down the list to get the local channels included. If you are into HD they also have the market cornered with about 100 HD channels and more on the way. The current 5 LNB dish that DirecTV uses is larger than earlier models (about the largest to still qualify with FCC rules for CC&R) and less susceptible to rain fade.
prcguy
 

af5rn

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I remember when mini dishes first started becoming the rage in the mid 90s, DirecTV was king and you had to really search to find someone with Dish Network. In the last ten years, things have completely turned around, and now you play hell trying to find anybody with DirecTV, while Dish Network is everywhere. Not sure exactly why that is, but when I got Dish Network back in 96, there was a clear cost and programming advantage over DirecTV. I don't know anymore, but I am still very happy with Dish, and have had no problem with them. They have always been very responsive.

Programming wise, the conventional wisdom is that DirecTV is the choice for sports addicts who drive their wives insane with constant ball games on TV, and Dish Network is the choice for people who prefer more civilised entertainment choices like movies. Other than that slight distinction, there doesn't seem to be much difference anymore.

Both companies suck when the weather goes bad. Heavy rain and snow both shut you down. Both need an unobscured view of the satellite. Amazing how many people point their dish directly into a big blooming oak tree, then whine about how their satellite provider sucks.

Because of atmospheric uncertainty, I still have my televisions hooked up to the rooftop antenna, so when the storms roll in, I still have access to weather reports. If you depend 100 percent on satellite, you'll find that it fails to work when you most need it.
 

prcguy

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All of the DBS satellite providers are going to give something in the 99.97% availability, so rain fade is not a big problem with a properly aimed dish. Many people installed their own dish (incorrectly) in the past and thats a major reason for fade problems and its easy to fix with a professional installer. The current DirecTV dish is not intended for the consumer to install and it would be difficult without the proper equipment. How can Dish be everywhere and DirecTV be hard to find when Direct has 17million customers which is way ahead of Dish?
prcguy
af5rn said:
I remember when mini dishes first started becoming the rage in the mid 90s, DirecTV was king and you had to really search to find someone with Dish Network. In the last ten years, things have completely turned around, and now you play hell trying to find anybody with DirecTV, while Dish Network is everywhere. Not sure exactly why that is, but when I got Dish Network back in 96, there was a clear cost and programming advantage over DirecTV. I don't know anymore, but I am still very happy with Dish, and have had no problem with them. They have always been very responsive.

Programming wise, the conventional wisdom is that DirecTV is the choice for sports addicts who drive their wives insane with constant ball games on TV, and Dish Network is the choice for people who prefer more civilised entertainment choices like movies. Other than that slight distinction, there doesn't seem to be much difference anymore.

Both companies suck when the weather goes bad. Heavy rain and snow both shut you down. Both need an unobscured view of the satellite. Amazing how many people point their dish directly into a big blooming oak tree, then whine about how their satellite provider sucks.

Because of atmospheric uncertainty, I still have my televisions hooked up to the rooftop antenna, so when the storms roll in, I still have access to weather reports. If you depend 100 percent on satellite, you'll find that it fails to work when you most need it.
 

AZScanner

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I worked at one of Dish's uplinks (I live just down the street from it now, too bad I didn't back then). The service itself is adequate but having worked there and seeing the way upper management treats their staff I won't give them any of my money, nor will I ever work there again. I hear folks over at DirecTV (Hughes) are much happier and employ better technology because they actually invest money in it unlike Echostar who gets whatever is the cheapest available - again, I used to work there and heard plenty of gripes about crappy gear, crappy pay and crappy management.

-AZ
 

n4yek

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I always felt that asking this question of people was like asking them to recommend a Ford or Chevy.
You will get arguments over which is best and still wind up having to make the decision for yourself.
Both are good, I have had both.
 

andrewccm

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AZScanner said:
I worked at one of Dish's uplinks (I live just down the street from it now, too bad I didn't back then). The service itself is adequate but having worked there and seeing the way upper management treats their staff I won't give them any of my money, nor will I ever work there again. I hear folks over at DirecTV (Hughes) are much happier and employ better technology because they actually invest money in it unlike Echostar who gets whatever is the cheapest available - again, I used to work there and heard plenty of gripes about crappy gear, crappy pay and crappy management.

-AZ
That doesn't surprise me one bit. Full of lies and excuses when it came to me.

There are only a handful of topics that get my blood boiling and **** Network is definitely one of them. I had a business trip up to Colorado a few times right down the road from their corp headquarters. Can't tell you how many times I had to stop myself from making a visit. I figured I didn't want to spend the night in jail, so I passed.
 

af5rn

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prcguy said:
How can Dish be everywhere and DirecTV be hard to find when Direct has 17million customers which is way ahead of Dish?
prcguy
I wasn't quoting statistics. I was just making an observation. Maybe it's a regional thing, but in both areas of the U.S. that I maintain residences, that is simply what I see on peoples' roofs. Like a lot of radio geeks, I pay attention to what is on peoples' roofs, and I am always surprised when I actually see a DirecTV dish, because the Dish Network dishes so heavily outnumber them.
 

Piston52Heavy

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chrismoll said:
The thing with satellite, is that you need A BIG DISH in your backyard, no small dish like they give you, the ones they give you are too small to pickup signals during storms or clouds. I had satellite for about 10 years until cable came down out road, it was the best time of my life literally.
Whoever has the most satellites will provide the most coverage. They both say the same thing, and whatever other features you like go with that one. Signal is the number one, then features.

We have Dish Network and we have never had a problem. You don't need A BIG DISH!!!
 
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