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Dish HD vs Direct HD

Discussion in 'DISH™ High Definition Discussion' started by Rod Williams, Sep 14, 2009.

  1. Rod Williams

    Rod Williams Cool Member

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    Couple of quick questions:
    I just spoke to an local installer for Direct TV and he recommended Direct because: 1) They had 150 HD channels compared to Dish's 60.
    and 2) All Dish HD was 720p and all Direct HD was 1080.

    I would like to do a little fact checking from someone that knows.

    Thanks
     
  2. commodore_dude

    commodore_dude AllStar

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    The 150 number includes full-time HD RSNs, so you have to consider whether that's of value to you understanding that you won't get any pro sports games out of the sports pack (it would be to me and I really miss having them with Direct now that I have Dish, but I'm in the minority). Not counting those, they're really very similar, and I believe Dish has more HD premium movie channels. You'd have to go pull a full list of DirecTV and Dish HD channels and just compare line by line.
     
  3. BattleZone

    BattleZone Hall Of Fame

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    There are reasons to go with DirecTV over Dish, or vice versa, but neither of those two BOGUS "facts" are among them.

    1. Dish *currently* has the most HD channels, at around 140, while DirecTV only has about 130. But this is a pretty useless statistic anyway, for several reasons. The number changes reguarly on both sides of the fence. DirecTV was in the lead for a while, and now Dish recently lept ahead in the count. In another 6 months, DirecTV will leap ahead again. What's really important is WHICH channels are in HD. That should be a far more important factor in your decision, as there are some important differences between the channel line-ups. You can look at the channel lineups on both websites.

    2. Both companies have some channels in 720p and some in 1080i, and that's because both companies use the format that the respective networks send them. For example: ABC, Fox, ESPN, and Disney networks all standardized on 720p, and their channels are rebroadcast in 720p regardless of your provider (DirecTV, Dish, Comcast, TimeWarner, etc.). Most of the other networks are 1080i, and again, are rebroadcast using that format, regardless of provider.

    But... there is a small difference between the two companies. Dish down-rezzes their 1080i content slightly (from 1920x1080 to 1440x1080) and uses a bit more compression, where DirecTV does not down-rez (with the exception of the "soon-to-be-entirely-gone" MPEG2 HD duplicates, which have been available in full quality/MPEG4 for 18 months or more already).

    Really, though, it comes down to content: DirecTV is more sports-oriented, while Dish is more premium-movie-channel oriented. And there are differences in receivers and in their billing structures that you might take into consideration as well. But as far as what you were told; it was BS.
     
  4. Rod Williams

    Rod Williams Cool Member

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    I appreciate the quick replies. I figured the guy was basically wrong on both topics. I am not a big sports fan so I guess it would be a tossup between direct and Dish for other programming.
     
  5. Paul Secic

    Paul Secic Hall Of Fame

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    That installer is wrong. Dish, cable, Directv FIOS U-verse go to 1080i.
     
  6. lparsons21

    lparsons21 Hall Of Fame

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    Herrin, IL
    Yes and no. For most of the 'cable' channels, it is nearly a toss-up. But if you like the premiums, like HBO, Starz, etc; then Dish has more of them in HD than does Direct.

    But what wasn't mentioned is the HDDVR equipment itself. Currently the Dish models are head and shoulders above the Direct ones in both speed and remote response. Read a bit in the Direct HDDVR forum for the comments there.

    I have both at the moment because Dish doesn't have my locals in HD and getting all of them over the air is quite expensive because of the distance and direction. The day that Dish gets them in HD, then the Direct service will be turned off for me.
     
  7. jclewter79

    jclewter79 Hall Of Fame

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    E* has Travel Channel HD, WGN HD, Versus SD and HD, MSNBC HD, BETJ HD, WFN HD, Logo HD, and a few others I probably forgot that D* does not have yet.
     
  8. Jeff_DML

    Jeff_DML Legend

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    Feb 12, 2008
    are you sure they are still doing that?
     
  9. RAD

    RAD Well-Known Member

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    Dripping...
    I got out my old stopwatch, on the HR20-700 hitting guide until it displayed was in the 1.03 to 1.10 second range, usually about 1.08. On the HR22-100 and HR21-100 they were about .8 seconds longer, fastest was 1.52, slowest was 2.09 with average about 1.81. Just curious, how much faster are the Dish HD DVR's when you hit the guide button?

    There are a few things that the DirecTV HD DVR's currenty can do that Dish doesn't such as act as a media center to play certain content (music, pictures, videos) from a networked PC. You can also get the DirecTV2PC client from the DirecTV web site and on watch recorded content (not live) from a HD DVR on a properly configured PC. There's also TVApps, which as sort of like widgets, that you can access via the HD DVR on your TV, select from a list of available apps or you can write your own and submit it to DirecTV for publication. DirecTV has also said in 2010 you'll be able to view content recorded on other network attached HD receivers (multi room viewing).

    What the DirecTV HD DVR's can't do is record more the two channels at a time, Dish can do 3 or 4 depending on the model and if you have an over the air signal attached to it. Dish DVR's also allow for connecting a external USB harddrive to the DVR and to offload recordings to it and then move the drive to another receiver to watch the recording. DirecTV allows for the attachement of an eSATA drive that totally replaces the internal drive and can't be moved to another unit. Dish also will allow for a NTSC feed to a 2nd SD TV so one DVR can feed two TV's, but doing so eliminates the ability to watch live TV while recording another program since the 2nd DBS tuner go to the 2nd TV (IIRC).

    Hope that helps a bit.
     
  10. 47HO

    47HO Mentor

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    Rod,
    You didn't say what part of Alabama you are located, but in much of the state Direct does not offer local channels, if that is important. That's what initially drove me to Dish.
     
  11. cclement

    cclement Legend/Supporter DBSTalk Gold Club

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    Two huge points were brought up, which I think are the 2 biggest points. The hardware and locals availability. Look at the channels you want to watch, make sure it's on each carrier, do they carry your locals and then look at the hardware. Do you want a DVR? How many DVR's?

    When you are ready to compare hardware, ask those owners what they like and dislike about their receiver. Both carry pretty mature receivers, unlike the old Dish 921 days. I'm sure you'll be happy with either choice- any HD is better than SD!
     
  12. Justin23

    Justin23 Hall Of Fame

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    Doesn't cable for the most part upconvert their signal to 1080i, where D* has a true 1080i signal? Kind of like the way certain DVD players upconvert to 1080p versus getting a Blu-Ray for a true 1080p signal...? Just curious...

    J
     
  13. Jeff_DML

    Jeff_DML Legend

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    Feb 12, 2008
    no, same as satellite.

    Satellite guys also have to transcode the local channels while cable do not(for most of the time), transcoding reduces quality
     
  14. Stewart Vernon

    Stewart Vernon Roving Reporter Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    Kittrell, NC
    Not sure where that info comes from.

    Some receivers up-convert SD to "HD" for a common output... but I'm not aware of any provider up-converting SD channels to HD broadcasts.

    Some "HD" channels have very little HD, and are actually up-converting SD themselves (Cartoon Network comes to mind)... but this is not something done by Dish, DirecTV, or cable...
     
  15. inazsully

    inazsully Icon

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    FWIW you can get a lighted remote from "D" for $25. It's the one and only thing I miss after switching to "E"
     
  16. lparsons21

    lparsons21 Hall Of Fame

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    Herrin, IL
    The speed difference is very noticeable between my Vip722k and my HR21-700. I've not timed it, but I never wait for a change on the 722 and always wait on the HR. But frankly, it is the combo of slow/no response to the remote and the slowness that made me get so mad. Add in the skip-to-end bug and making the switch back to Dish for almost all of my viewing was a simple choice. My current Direct sub is family pack/hd/dvr. Costs me $46 a month which is basically $25 more than terminating early and is being paid for with money left over with the new sub goodies I got from Dish.

    I tried the streaming functions from my PC to the HR. I will say it worked, but it wasn't reliable nor was it as good as sending that same stream to my PS3.

    Although I didn't use those little widgets, I did test them out and liked them. And they seemed to work fine. And I never watched anything on my PC. Why watch TV shows on a 24" screen when I can watch it sitting in my recliner on a 61" one?? :)

    You mention things that are coming and that is all well and good. But if I've not learned anything else about either of the sat services, 'coming' can be a very long time. And that eSata drive solution is flakey and not directly supported by Direct. Some setups work, most don't. And if a DVR goes bad and needs swapped, then anything on that eSata you hooked up is lost which is not true of Dish's method.

    I've been pretty negative about Direct, but it is because they deserve it for the poor performance of their HDDVRs. Otherwise it is all PQ/AQ/channels. If i were a sports nut, Direct would be the one, otherwise Dish is the better of the two today. Tomorrow that could all change... :)
     
  17. BattleZone

    BattleZone Hall Of Fame

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    Yes.

    DirecTV used to have to do even more down-rezzing with their MPEG2 HD channels (1920 to 1280), but that's not necessary with the Ka-band/MPEG4 sats with the current channel count. But Dish has less usable space (they have more transponder space overall, but lose a lot of that to duplication to support both "arcs" of sats), and run more HD channels per transponder, so they had do downrez slightly, along with a bit more compression, in order to fit them all in.
     
  18. Jason Nipp

    Jason Nipp Analog Geek in a Digital World Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Gold Club DBSTalk Club

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    Northern...
    None of the above is correct information.

    Dish had 1080p VOD/PPV before Direct did.

    As for the rest of the HD lineup, while not all HD channels are 1080i, it certainly doesn't mean they all are 720p.
     
  19. RAD

    RAD Well-Known Member

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    Dripping...
    I was just pointing out what my HR2X's speed is and asking what you, or other Dish folks, actually are seeing, not just saying slow or fast to get a guage on how bad it is since folks keep saying it over and over, just wanting to see some hard numbers to make it clearer for a comparison.

    I totally agree with you that the PS3 is a better box for media serving. But if you don't have $299 laying around to but a PS3 here's something that you get for free with the HR2X's. Plus is you spend the $40 for PlayOn you can then also stream content from a number of internet site, like NetFlix or Amazon.

    The only 'coming soon' thing I mentioned is the multi room viewing function and I'd be willing to bet that it will be available sooner then later.

    Sorry your experience with DirecTV was bad, but you can also look through the various forums and see others that are just as unhappy with Dish and their hardware, guess it comes down to a YMMV.
     
  20. lparsons21

    lparsons21 Hall Of Fame

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    I'm sorry too! :(

    I started out with an HR20 and it was a tad slower than my previous dish dvr, but not enough to bug me. But I was plagued with 771(?) errors on tuner 2 and went through 4 of them with no fix until they swapped in an HR21. The one thing that caught me by surprise with the HR20 was that despite having 4 tuners, it could only record on 2 at a time. I thought that a completely assinine design decision on Direct's part. Still do.

    While I have used the PS3 for this, I found that none of the streaming between boxes in my house was satisfactory. I've since switch to a Dell Hybrid for internet viewing. But you are right, if you don't have a PS3, the HR isn't too bad at it.

    On MRV, I think you are right. You'll see it sooner than later, the question becomes is the HR series powerful enough for all the new stuff they are trying to add? I personally don't think so.

    Currently, the only way you see as many complaints on the forums about Dish as you do about Direct, is if you take out the slowness, remote response and skip-to-end but that is a bugaboo for Direct these days. There are a plethora of threads here and elsewhere about just those 3 things. And those are basic operation things, not something esoteric.
     

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