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  #1  
Old 03-30-2011, 09:17 AM
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panteragstk panteragstk is offline
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Dish Network or DirecTV?

I have a decision to make. I'm going satellite and I need to choose between the two. I had dish before, but don't like their business practices (not that any company has good practices). Dish has cheaper packages, but DirecTV has sunday ticket and you can change channels over ethernet (a huge plus for me). I sold DirecTV for a while and their picture quality leaves a lot to be desired, but after viewing dish, uverse, and all forms of cable they all suck compaired to OTA. Plus to get the Golf Channel HD I have to get their highest package (not cool). I have the option to go Uverse, but their channel offerings are not too good. So do I pick between cheaper packages (and a company that has bunred me in the past) or sunday ticket/ethernet channel changing?

If you had to choose what would you pick?
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Last edited by panteragstk; 03-30-2011 at 11:31 AM.
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  #2  
Old 03-30-2011, 11:00 AM
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Skirge01 Skirge01 is offline
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Did you really need to start this fight?

I have DirecTV and love it. I have never had Dish. Things I like about DirecTV:

1. My bill rarely goes up. (Note that I have everything.)
2. Hardware seems to be quite robust.
3. Serial channel changing is perfect with my setup.
4. Customer retention has always been very accommodating and I've never had to resort to threatening to cancel.
5. PQ is quite acceptable on my 50" 720p set.
6. Picture almost never goes out (NJ), except under true blizzard conditions.
7. It seems that their STBs do not have HDCP on their HDMI ports.
8. Recording works great with HD-PVR.

What I don't like:

1. Still don't have DIY, AMC, or BBCA in HD.
2. Monthly bill is higher than I'd like, but I have no desire to give up everything above for a slightly lower bill.
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  #3  
Old 03-30-2011, 11:08 AM
ldw58 ldw58 is offline
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I've had DirecTV for 13 years (kept it for high WAF and HD-PVR content while I use SageTV) and have not regretted it.

I got HTTP channel changing going last weekend and am thrilled with its performance.

A while ago DirecTV came out with whole-home distribution and while it isn't necessary since SageTV does everything I want the fact that I could play content from one DVR on another DirecTV STB for an extra 3$/month for the entire household has been very reasonable and it has made the family happy.

Now the kitchen DVR (which was never hooked up to SageTV) records as many "Penguins of Madagascar" & "iCarly" as the kids want and the DVR my wife uses mainly has cooking shows and nobody is deleting anybody else's content but they can all play back their shows on any DirecTV STB/DVR they're using.

I & the older kids use SageTV on the other hand. It isn't very economical but everybody is happy.

I am not all that impressed with the DirecTV iPad app.

I am a fan of Slingbox and am closely following the plans to build it in to all of the Dish PVRs but am very unhappy with the way EchoStar/Dish has been segmenting the functionality of it in their latest software releases and making sure that each playback software release they provide contains less and less value for the hardware that I have.
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  #4  
Old 03-30-2011, 11:25 AM
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panteragstk panteragstk is offline
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Thanks for the replies so far. I'm not liking some of the channel options (or eliminations in this case) that directv has. I haven't looked at uverse in a while, but it seems their channel lineup is pretty good. Dish is by far the best when it comes to channels (unless you include NFL sunday ticket). I plan to max out the packages for all 3 considerations so the price is within a few $ of each other.

I guess it boils down to equipment. I know some dish and directv boxes have unencrypted hdmi. I wonder if uverse does? Ethernet channel changing is a huge plus in directv's favor though. Hmmmm...decisions decisions...

EDIT: I found the answer to my own question. Uverse does encrypt their hdmi signal, so uverse is out. Only a coinflip away...
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Last edited by panteragstk; 03-30-2011 at 11:31 AM.
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  #5  
Old 03-30-2011, 01:57 PM
bastafidli bastafidli is offline
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I used to had DirectTV. Then while on our honeymoon they cancelled our service because they received letter that my spouse passed away and we didn't needed it anymore. They were unable to produce the letter to show us and argued that even if they had it they were not allowed to share it with us (the supposed authors) and wanted to charge us to restart the service. We switched to Dish and never looked back. 6 years and counting.
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  #6  
Old 03-30-2011, 02:34 PM
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panteragstk panteragstk is offline
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That's awful. I had dish for years and ended up canceling because we had the first hd-dvr produced by dish. When it worked the box was great, but we had to get it replace 8 times in one year. When we asked for an upgraded box so we could view the mpeg4 channels they said we had to buy one. Told them that wasn't happening since we had so many issues with the previous box. They didn't even try to help so we canceled. I really liked their service while I was with them, but I'm now more concerned with quality equipment at this point.
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  #7  
Old 03-30-2011, 02:56 PM
Wakecrash Wakecrash is offline
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For me Directv customer service has been first rate. Their help desk is the best I have ever dealt with, its is the type of help desk many companies would do well to bench mark against.
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  #8  
Old 03-30-2011, 03:34 PM
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panteragstk panteragstk is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wakecrash View Post
For me Directv customer service has been first rate. Their help desk is the best I have ever dealt with, its is the type of help desk many companies would do well to bench mark against.
Have you gotten HDMI capture with 5.1 audio to work on your Colossus? That feature and ethernet tuning are really making me lean toward DirecTV.

However, Uverse is looking like it has all the channels I want. I may have to forgo HDMI input and ethernet tuning to have all services on my ATT bill since I'm getting uverse for internet. If DirecTV had some of the movie channels att and dish have (as well as G4 HD and DIY HD) it would be an easy decision.

It is now between DirecTV and ATT U-verse (if they can guarantee 4 HD streams at once). By by dish, you lack of certain HD channels (and my past experience) has eliminated you from the running.

Why must this be so hard?
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  #9  
Old 03-30-2011, 03:49 PM
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panteragstk panteragstk is offline
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I've decided to go to an ATT store to check out u-verse picture quality. I've seen it a few times and thought it was pretty weak. DirecTV isn't all that great, but I think it wins over U-verse. Will have to do more visual research.
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  #10  
Old 03-30-2011, 04:05 PM
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GKusnick GKusnick is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wakecrash View Post
For me Directv customer service has been first rate. Their help desk is the best I have ever dealt with, its is the type of help desk many companies would do well to bench mark against.
I wouldn't go that far. When I recently called to deactivate one of my receivers (an old, failing R5000 unit), it took the outsourced customer service rep about 15 minutes of continuous typing, plus several repetitions of the instructions ("Yes, deactivate the HIRD-E8 box. No, do not deactivate the H21 box."), and he still got it wrong in the end and deactivated both boxes.

On the flip side, when I called back later to complain, the actual DirecTV tech support guy was able to put things right again in about 30 seconds.

That said, I'm not trying to talk you out of anything. Except for this one incident, I've been pretty happy with my DirecTV service.
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  #11  
Old 03-30-2011, 06:07 PM
SWKerr SWKerr is offline
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I have had both and am currently with DirecTV. My brother has DISH and my dad left DISH to go to DirecTV recently because of the Deal they were running. I called not long ago and got $10 knocked off by bill so my guess is you can pay basically the same for either if you negotiate and let them know you know about the others deal current deals.

I have had DirecTV for awhile now and have the older H20 STBs and have been running one of them on a Colossus with HDMI without issue for a few weeks. I also use Direct Serial tuning so no IR blasters at all. I love this current setup and will probably dump the HD-PVRs completely and add another Colossus. The picture quality thru HDMI is noticeably better and close to the OTA from the HDHR at this point.

I am not sure that HDMI will work with the newer DirecTV boxes but if you can get one of the ones that does Ethernet channel changing and also supports HDMI on the Colossus I would do it. It would even be worth a few bucks extra a month.
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  #12  
Old 03-30-2011, 09:22 PM
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panteragstk panteragstk is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SWKerr View Post
I have had both and am currently with DirecTV. My brother has DISH and my dad left DISH to go to DirecTV recently because of the Deal they were running. I called not long ago and got $10 knocked off by bill so my guess is you can pay basically the same for either if you negotiate and let them know you know about the others deal current deals.

I have had DirecTV for awhile now and have the older H20 STBs and have been running one of them on a Colossus with HDMI without issue for a few weeks. I also use Direct Serial tuning so no IR blasters at all. I love this current setup and will probably dump the HD-PVRs completely and add another Colossus. The picture quality thru HDMI is noticeably better and close to the OTA from the HDHR at this point.

I am not sure that HDMI will work with the newer DirecTV boxes but if you can get one of the ones that does Ethernet channel changing and also supports HDMI on the Colossus I would do it. It would even be worth a few bucks extra a month.
I'm probably going to do just that. I'm reading that the newer boxes will work with HDMI and ethernet tuning so I should be good. The thought of component, spdif, and ir blasters is just too much to bear. If you saw my equipment closet you'd understand. No reason to make a bad situation worse.
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  #13  
Old 03-31-2011, 12:11 PM
Taddeusz Taddeusz is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by panteragstk View Post
I've decided to go to an ATT store to check out u-verse picture quality. I've seen it a few times and thought it was pretty weak. DirecTV isn't all that great, but I think it wins over U-verse. Will have to do more visual research.
Not sure about non-local channels but I was at a friend's house this past New Year's Eve and we were watching the ball drop on our local ABC affiliate through their U-verse. IMHO, the picture looked horrible compared to what I'm used to watching over QAM on Cox Cable. Maybe it would be acceptable for some people but not for me. The compression artifacting was very noticeable to me. I think what made it very obvious to me was the amount of distortion in and around the station logo. I don't see anything that bad with my cable. YMMV, but I was personally turned off of U-verse by the experience, not that it's available in my area anyway.
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Old 03-31-2011, 01:01 PM
Chriscic Chriscic is offline
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Personally I'd go with whomever gave me the cheapest deal for the channels I want. I'm quite happy with Dish now and the HD-only package (not sure if still available) I have.

DirecTV has really turned me off with their scummy "$X for first year" advertising with a 2-year contract where the price jums dramatically the second year. No consumer benefit to that; just a way to try to trick potential customers.
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Old 03-31-2011, 01:02 PM
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panteragstk panteragstk is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Taddeusz View Post
Not sure about non-local channels but I was at a friend's house this past New Year's Eve and we were watching the ball drop on our local ABC affiliate through their U-verse. IMHO, the picture looked horrible compared to what I'm used to watching over QAM on Cox Cable. Maybe it would be acceptable for some people but not for me. The compression artifacting was very noticeable to me. I think what made it very obvious to me was the amount of distortion in and around the station logo. I don't see anything that bad with my cable. YMMV, but I was personally turned off of U-verse by the experience, not that it's available in my area anyway.
That's what I remember when watching college football on FSN at a buddies house a few years ago. Massive artifacts. I've been looking around on the net and have found that u-verse as a whole doesn't get a very good picture. People say that Directv's is much better. I thought when I sold DirecTV that the picture wasn't all that great, but from what I can tell there really isn't anything that will compare with the OTA that I'm used to.
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Old 03-31-2011, 01:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chriscic View Post
Personally I'd go with whomever gave me the cheapest deal for the channels I want. I'm quite happy with Dish now and the HD-only package (not sure if still available) I have.

DirecTV has really turned me off with their scummy "$X for first year" advertising with a 2-year contract where the price jums dramatically the second year. No consumer benefit to that; just a way to try to trick potential customers.
Dish does the same thing now. Prices are the same for both and you get more channels with direct. I will note that dish does have certain channels that direct doesn't, but dish is missing FSN in HD and that isn't acceptable. The only thing missing from direct is G4 (no sd or hd) and DIY in HD (not that big of a deal). Dish also has quite a few more HBO channels, but I'm not too concerned with that.
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Old 03-31-2011, 01:39 PM
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Zippster Zippster is offline
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Ran my own sub contracting company for about 12 years installing both, from the install and equipment service wise, Dish always had more cutting edge and better working equipment while DTV had better programming, seems to still be that way today but all depends on what you watch.

One piece of advice I will give that is backed up by many of my long time customers is, DONT EVER use the autopay by CC option, have many customers who either quit or changed service legitimately only to still have month after month of service and charges still appear on their CC's, the CC companys seem to have a real hangup reversing charges on big companys like these guys so it became nightmares......just my 2 cents though.
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Old 03-31-2011, 02:28 PM
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panteragstk panteragstk is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zippster View Post
Ran my own sub contracting company for about 12 years installing both, from the install and equipment service wise, Dish always had more cutting edge and better working equipment while DTV had better programming, seems to still be that way today but all depends on what you watch.

One piece of advice I will give that is backed up by many of my long time customers is, DONT EVER use the autopay by CC option, have many customers who either quit or changed service legitimately only to still have month after month of service and charges still appear on their CC's, the CC companys seem to have a real hangup reversing charges on big companys like these guys so it became nightmares......just my 2 cents though.
Thanks for that. I avoid autopay for that very reason. Dish does have nice equipment, but I still have a bad taste in my mouth from the way I was treated years ago by their customer service dept. That and the horrific install that was done on my house (granted they use a sub contractor so that isn't their fault).

At this point I'm leaning very far towards DTV due to the fact that I can use ethernet channel changing. The need for a UIRT doesn't make me happy. I know people have had good luck, but I can't seem to find anywhere to buy one, plus I just feel that the ethernet route will be more reliable and less cluttered in my closet. Thanks for all the insight guys.
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Old 03-31-2011, 05:06 PM
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graywolf graywolf is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zippster View Post
Ran my own sub contracting company for about 12 years installing both, from the install and equipment service wise, Dish always had more cutting edge and better working equipment while DTV had better programming, seems to still be that way today but all depends on what you watch.

Been long time DirecTV (originally Primestar then DirecTV bought them).
Been happy since were "grandfathered" with COE (customer owned equipment) Sony SAT-B50s & SAT-B55s. Never charged a monthly leasing fee for the STBs, also have ABCW & ABCE (nationals) from way back in addition to Local Channels. And don't think we could get the same channels (package) we have for the same price, even though prices did recently go up.

WAF was HIGH for the Sony boxes and their UI. Recently had to replace one of the SAT-B50s boxes though since it gave up the ghost. In the past, we were able to just replace with another SAT-B50 or SAT-B55 picked up via e-bay and have them activate it with either the old card or maybe send out new card ($20). This time, NO GO. had to get one of their "new" STBs. WAF is extremely low on it. Don't have that one hooked to SageTV yet (bedroom).

Hates the AutoTune method and limitations. Other aspects also. As she said, had older equipment that had cleaner, easier, greater capability/features than the new "crap". Got them to credit us 1yr "lease fee" but after that, they got us.

oh well. Guess I'll need to get that one hooked up to Sage and an HD200/300 in there. Then it'll be all the same interface (Sage) and won't have to fool with the STB UI.
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Old 03-31-2011, 07:50 PM
FlyingDoc FlyingDoc is offline
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not to hijack the thread but i was hoping someone could also provide a comparison with FiOS from verizon. I put a premium on image quality and also ideally want to continue using firewire capture. Is FiOS any better or worse than the dish options wrt image quality and does anyone know if the FiOS channels are 5C'd. My location is (will be) Huntington Beach CA.

Thanks in advance
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