I'm considering switching from cable to either DirecTV or Dish, but I'm a complete novice when it comes to satellite. Does anyone here have any advice about things to watch out for, ways to save money, etc. before signing up for a 24-month contract? In addition to your general advice, here are a few specific questions: 1. DVRs: I've got 3 TVs. I want to be able to watch recorded HD programming on 2 of them. I'd like to have at least 3 streams, preferably 4, so that I can watch 1 live show upstairs, a different live show downstairs, and also record 1 or 2 entirely different shows all at the same time. For the third TV, DVR would be nice, but isn't necessary. It's just a SD TV in the basement for the kids. What's the most economical way to accomplish this with DirecTV and Dish? 2. Is paying extra for a "protection plan" a good idea? What's it do? 3. I hate how clunky and slow the my DVR menu system and channel guide is with Time Warner. Are folks generally satisfied with the speed of DirecTV and Dish's menus? Does one have noticeably better performance? 4. How about channel lag? Are there long black spaces when switching channels? Is DirecTV or Dish noticeably better in this regard? Finally, I've heard Dish is cheaper, but the 2-yr average price for DirecTV's "Choice" package, with HBO and DVRs (assuming I picked the right units), only seems to be about $1.50 more per month than Dish's "Top 200" package with the same extras. I've got neighbors with both services, so I'm working referral credits ($100 for DirecTV, $50 for Diish) into those prices. AND, comparing those packages, DirecTV has a few more channels, plus 3D programming like ESPN 3D, which Dish doesn't have. This would seem to make DirecTV a better choice. The only significant advantage to Dish is the Hopper thing that I hear allows you to easily skip commercials. Am I missing something? Thanks for your advice!