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DIRECTV vs. DISH (was: D* vs. E*)


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#1 OFFLINE   Cyphernaut

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Posted 16 June 2009 - 11:02 AM

Ok, not trying to start a flamewar here, this is not a direct vs dish question, for which there probably isn't a single uniform answer, but a direct vs dish for my specific needs, for which maybe there is.

I signed up for direct while at best buy the other day, but have postponed the install date since, to give me more time to really determine if that's the best for me. I'm having a really tough time sorting through the opinions and details of each, since there are nuances that are hard to compare, like the packages don't correlate exactly, etc.

My wife and I's interests in order are:
1) HD Movies and HD programming (i've been spoiled on hd and can't really stand sd anymore).
2) PQ
3) Local networks in HD (not sure if this has to be local, just like seeing my fav shows on ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox).
4) DVR features, record time, and useability
5) Ability to "expand" dvr with external harddrive, also *the ability to export shows off the dvr to my computer for archiving* (via firewire or whatever - I currently due this on time warner's box with a firewire driver - if it can be done, i can figure it out).
6) Price (knowing that I'll likely be getting a full package with every HD channel, special movie channels, dvr's for two tv's (maybe 3), and the playboy channel (is this in HD yet?)

That's about it. I would really appreciate any opinions based on these needs! I have very little interest in watching sports, save occasionally watching my home team, LA Lakers.

As a side note, does either system come with sirius or xm subscription? (as in you can use it in your car, etc.) Or just for the TV?

Thanks in advance!

Edited by Cyphernaut, 16 June 2009 - 12:38 PM.
typo


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#2 OFFLINE   turey22

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Posted 16 June 2009 - 11:18 AM

Ok, not trying to start a flamewar here, this is not a direct vs dish question, for which there probably isn't a single uniform answer, but a d* vs e* for my specific needs, for which maybe there is.

I signed up for direct while at best buy the other day, but have postponed the install date since, to give me more time to really determine if that's the best for me. I'm having a really tough time sorting through the opinions and details of each, since there are nuances that are hard to compare, like the packages don't correlate exactly, etc.

My wife and I's interests in order are:
1) HD Movies and HD programming (i've been spoiled on hd and can't really stand sd anymore).
2) PQ
3) Local networks in HD (not sure if this has to be local, just like seeing my fav shows on ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox).
4) DVR features, record time, and useability
5) Ability to "expand" dvr with external harddrive, also *the ability to export shows off the dvr to my computer for archiving* (via firewire or whatever - I currently due this on time warner's box with a firewire driver - if it can be done, i can figure it out).
6) Price (knowing that I'll likely be getting a full package with every HD channel, special movie channels, dvr's for two tv's (maybe 3), and the playboy channel (is this in HD yet?)

That's about it. I would really appreciate any opinions based on these needs! I have very little interest in watching sports, save occasionally watching my home team, LA Lakers.

As a side note, does either system come with sirius or xm subscription? (as in you can use it in your car, etc.) Or just for the TV?

Thanks in advance!


:welcome_s


The XM and Sirius is only for the TV so no using it in the car :(

I like the PQ and the HD programming but don't watch much TV since I have school and work. But I know someone here will anwser these questions for you.

Oh, you can add a External HDD to the HDDVR (and I think the R22, which is an SD DVR) but it has to be an eSATA drive.

#3 OFFLINE   archer75

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Posted 16 June 2009 - 11:28 AM

1. Dish has the most HD.

2. debatable, in the past I would say dish. However I have not had direct recently to compare and everything changes.

3. you'd have to check your area for both dish and direct

4. it's widely agreed upon that dish has the better receivers. I haven't had a direct receiver in years so the only reason for me why dish has better receivers is that with an antenna I can record 3 HD shows at once. Read up on the upcoming dish VIP922 receiver. I think you'll be impressed.

5. you can add external hard drives on both. With direct the external hard drive essentially replaces the internal. With dish the external drive is an extension of the original. Gettings shows stored on your computer would require hacking the receivers as this isn't supported on either.

6. you'd have to go to each website and compare pricing for the channels that you care about. For me dish is cheaper. For others direct is cheaper. It all depends. Dish has some HD only packages that saves money.

Neither service has a sat radio subscription you can use in your car. But they both have it to listen to via the tv.

#4 OFFLINE   jclewter79

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Posted 16 June 2009 - 11:29 AM

If you want the most national HD channels, and the most HD premium movies channels. E* is the one for you. How many HDTV's do you have and how many SDTV's do you have? Will all of these need DVR service?
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#5 OFFLINE   uscboy

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Posted 16 June 2009 - 11:30 AM

You're not going to get "export" functionality with either Dish or Direct.

Your best bet is a Hauppauge HD PVR:

http://www.hauppauge...data_hdpvr.html

Ripping via the Component outputs. I don't believe you'll find direct Firewire
like the cable boxes have.

Sorry I can't help with the rest really, not that much experience with Dish,
only a few folks I know have it. I think the HD content and PQ on Direct is
great though! And as already pointed out, an eSATA drive can be used
instead of the internal drives in the DirecTV DVRs.

Playboy is $12.99/month, not sure on HD, but I don't think so.
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#6 OFFLINE   joshjr

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Posted 16 June 2009 - 11:31 AM

If you want the most national HD channels, and the most HD premium movies channels. E* is the one for you. How many HDTV's do you have and how many SDTV's do you have? Will all of these need DVR service?


If you want Sports programming D* is the ONLY way to go. D* is miles and miles above E*!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

#7 OFFLINE   uscboy

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Posted 16 June 2009 - 11:33 AM

If you want Sports programming D* is the ONLY way to go. D* is miles and miles above E*!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


I have very little interest in watching sports, save occasionally watching my home team, LA Lakers.


Apparently not an issue as stated in the orignal post.
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#8 OFFLINE   lparsons21

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Posted 16 June 2009 - 11:35 AM

My wife and I's interests in order are:
1) HD Movies and HD programming (i've been spoiled on hd and can't really stand sd anymore).
2) PQ
3) Local networks in HD (not sure if this has to be local, just like seeing my fav shows on ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox).
4) DVR features, record time, and useability
5) Ability to "expand" dvr with external harddrive, also *the ability to export shows off the dvr to my computer for archiving* (via firewire or whatever - I currently due this on time warner's box with a firewire driver - if it can be done, i can figure it out).
6) Price (knowing that I'll likely be getting a full package with every HD channel, special movie channels, dvr's for two tv's (maybe 3), and the playboy channel (is this in HD yet?)

That's about it. I would really appreciate any opinions based on these needs! I have very little interest in watching sports, save occasionally watching my home team, LA Lakers.

Thanks in advance!


I snipped a bit to try to answer some of your questions.

1. Dish has more of the HD premiums and I think that they are on par with Direct for the others.

2. PQ is very subjective. I've had both and would say that they are different in small ways. Both enjoyable, and after a couple of days, you don't notice differences much.

4&5 - Dish lets you add an HD by your account and not by the DVR I think. I know that you can use more than one HD by swapping them once you've paid the 'enabling' fee. And it expands your storage.

Direct's approach is that the external drive replaces the internal one. There is no charge, but the DTV DVRs are much more picky about which HD and enclosure you get. That's because they are eSATA vice the USB2 that Dish uses

6. Price - after all the new subscriber discounts and such are over, the prices between the two are not far apart, and depends on which package you get.

Since you are not into sports much, Dish sounds like it would be a better solution for you.

All my opinion of course.

Lloyd
Receiver : DirecTV Genie HR44-700, Dish Hopper w/Sling & Super Joey
HDTV : Mitsi WD-73742 73" 3D DLP
Surround: Denon AVR-2113ci 7.1 Setup

 


#9 OFFLINE   steveken

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Posted 16 June 2009 - 11:39 AM

My wife and I's interests in order are:
1) HD Movies and HD programming (i've been spoiled on hd and can't really stand sd anymore).


Well, both *claim* they have the most choices, but from my experiences with DirecTV (not D*, there is no such thing as DirectStar, while there is an EchoStar), you will get a lot more channels in HD than I have seen on my dad's Dish setup. It's been a while since I looked at the lineup I guess.

2) PQ


again, in comparison with my dad's Dish setup, DirecTV has them beat in picture quality as I can notice a BIG difference between DirecTV and Dish. I say that because Dish has a very bad habit of cramming as many HD channels as they can onto a satellite at the expense of bandwidth per channel. This causes the picture to look bad on Dish in my opinion. Every time I have looked at Dish's HD channels, I have not been happy at all with it.

3) Local networks in HD (not sure if this has to be local, just like seeing my fav shows on ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox).


In Little Rock, AR, locals in HD is something that is severely lacking on Dish Network. You will have to check to see how many Dish claims to carry in your area. I am sure you will be disappointed. DirecTV has pretty much all of them usually in an area. Sometimes they will be missing one or two, but they try to get them all up.

4) DVR features, record time, and useability



This is something that people debate CONSTANTLY. I kinda like Dish Networks DVR, but its really a personal choice. No one person is going to say one is better than the other because of any one reason. To each his own kinda thing. I don't know how big the hard drives are in the Dish receivers, but DirecTV's are coming with 500GB drives now I believe.

5) Ability to "expand" dvr with external harddrive, also *the ability to export shows off the dvr to my computer for archiving* (via firewire or whatever - I currently due this on time warner's box with a firewire driver - if it can be done, i can figure it out).


With Dish Network, you have to pay $5 for the privileged of expanding hard drive size with one of your own. With DirecTV, you simply plug in an eSATA drive and you are good to go. This, however, disables the internal drive, so anything you had on it, you won't get to until you unplug the eSATA drive. As far as I have ever been able to tell, you can NOT at all hook up the DVR to a computer. The only way you are going to get the content off there is hooking it up to a VCR, DVD-Recorder, or something else that has RCA connections on it that you can record from. That is the ONLY way you can get content off the units. Its how they lock them down.

DirecTV DOES, however, have an application for your computer that, as long as they are networked up together, will let you watch DVR recordings on your Windows computer instead of sitting in front of the TV itself. This also allows your wife to watch one thing while you watch another. I don't believe Dish has this kinda thing.

Coming soon (not sure how long), they will have Multi Room Viewing where, if you have multiple DVRs or multiple receivers with network jacks on them, you can watch DVR recordings on those other receivers while someone watches something else on the main DVR that you are watching from. Its kinda like the pc app, but without the computer. I think Dish *might* have something similar to this in as much as you can watch stuff off the DVR in another room, but I am not real sure that is only if you have a coax from the DVR run to another TV in another room. DirecTV's solution is MUCH better from everything I have read and heard.

6) Price (knowing that I'll likely be getting a full package with every HD channel, special movie channels, dvr's for two tv's (maybe 3), and the playboy channel (is this in HD yet?)


I don't think playboy is in HD, but it is like $15 a month on DirecTV and Dish.
Price, well, you pay $5 for each additional receiver on DirecTV, but once for DVR (if you have more than 1 DVR, you only pay for the first one which is usually included in the rates). The full blown package for DirecTV is something like $110/month or so and includes all the movie channels. I think you still have to pay like $10 a month on top of that for the HD package.

I pay $105 a month roughly for the next to top tier of channels, sports pack ($12 or so a month, which I know you don't want), and $5 extra for the extra HD channels that aren't in the HD package. So, you can assume that premier will be more than $110 if you want to get HD or something like that. You can go calculate the price yourself at DirecTV's site. It's real easy. I assume Dish has something like that, too.

That covers it all I think.

#10 OFFLINE   clyde sauls

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Posted 16 June 2009 - 11:43 AM

I think that dish is probably the better for what you want. I have had both and the reason I stay with dish is the receivers. After the initial freebes are over for signing up. Dish is still cheaper on some plans. I just signed up my sister in law whom lives in a rural area after Fridays dtv transiton even with the converter boxes . She couldnt receiver any channels . She seems to be quite happy now.

#11 OFFLINE   steveken

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Posted 16 June 2009 - 11:46 AM

I think that dish is probably the better for what you want. I have had both and the reason I stay with dish is the receivers. After the initial freebes are over for signing up. Dish is still cheaper on some plans. I just signed up my sister in law whom lives in a rural area after Fridays dtv transiton even with the converter boxes . She couldnt receiver any channels . She seems to be quite happy now.

Forgot to say that Dish has a bad habit of telling their customers where they can stick it when they want to get a new or different receiver after you have been signed up for a while. My dad has been disappointed with them several times trying to get them to do things for an existing customer that they will do with a new customer. They just don't appear to give a crap about existing customers. DirecTV at least gives you a little working room if you are an existing customer.

#12 OFFLINE   archer75

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Posted 16 June 2009 - 11:48 AM

Forgot to say that Dish has a bad habit of telling their customers where they can stick it when they want to get a new or different receiver after you have been signed up for a while. My dad has been disappointed with them several times trying to get them to do things for an existing customer that they will do with a new customer. They just don't appear to give a crap about existing customers. DirecTV at least gives you a little working room if you are an existing customer.


depends on whether or not your contract is up. Both will work with you. Sometimes you need the right CSR on the phone. But you can bypass them and ask to speak with retention and get whatever you want.

#13 OFFLINE   archer75

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Posted 16 June 2009 - 11:49 AM

Well, both *claim* they have the most choices, but from my experiences with DirecTV (not D*, there is no such thing as DirectStar, while there is an EchoStar), you will get a lot more channels in HD than I have seen on my dad's Dish setup. It's been a while since I looked at the lineup I guess.


Dish was in the lead even before they added their last round of HD channels. Now they have a large lead.

updated June 1st:
http://www.avsforum....d.php?t=1058081

#14 OFFLINE   jclewter79

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Posted 16 June 2009 - 11:51 AM

As you can see there are differences, if you could tell us how many of each type of TV you have, we could tell you a little bit more about a monthly price. As you noted in your first post if you do decide to go with the highest package with E* that would be "America everything Pack" which includes all DVR fees for the whole account, so don't get sacred by what the D* guys say the "per DVR" fee would not apply to your account.
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(The installer had me sign an exsisting customer 18 month agreement!)
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#15 OFFLINE   Retro

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Posted 16 June 2009 - 11:52 AM

I've never had Dish, but i have had Directv since 1997 and have never had any major issues with it.. It's been very reliable through 3 hurricanes, lot's of rain (rare rain fade) and i've upgraded my receiver through the years as technology has changed with little bumps in the road..

The others can acknowledge the specific points you asked more so, but as far as reliability, NFLST and sports in general it's the clear cut best. If you don't care for sports as doesn't appear that is a major concern, then both services are probably pretty close elsewhere...

Of course, there are some people who will cancel one over the other just for a minor issue instead of working through it.. Either way they blow cable away!

#16 OFFLINE   steveken

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Posted 16 June 2009 - 11:53 AM

Dish was in the lead even before they added their last round of HD channels. Now they have a large lead.

updated June 1st:
http://www.avsforum....d.php?t=1058081

I believe that still is including in the count all the PPV channels they have. They have a lot more PPV HD channels that DirecTV. DirecTV, as far as I know, is only missing like 2 or 3 HD national channels that are out there. Dish has Travel HD I believe which a LOT of DirecTV customers want. So, except for the 2 or 3 HD nationals that DirecTV doesn't have yet, they *should* be pretty equal if the really do have all the HD nationals available.

You just simply can NOT count PPV HD's in the list of total HD's, in my opinion. That becomes VERY deceptive if you do. You should only count the HD channels that everyone gets by default with the packages and not that you have to pay a considerable amount extra for.

#17 OFFLINE   steveken

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Posted 16 June 2009 - 11:54 AM

As you can see there are differences, if you could tell us how many of each type of TV you have, we could tell you a little bit more about a monthly price. As you noted in your first post if you do decide to go with the highest package with E* that would be "America everything Pack" which includes all DVR fees for the whole account, so don't get sacred by what the D* guys say the "per DVR" fee would not apply to your account.

If you pay for one DVR on your account, you paid for them all. They only charge for it one time. And that DVR fee is included in most, if not all, their packages.

#18 OFFLINE   archer75

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Posted 16 June 2009 - 11:55 AM

I believe that still is including in the count all the PPV channels they have. They have a lot more PPV HD channels that DirecTV. DirecTV, as far as I know, is only missing like 2 or 3 HD national channels that are out there. Dish has Travel HD I believe which a LOT of DirecTV customers want. So, except for the 2 or 3 HD nationals that DirecTV doesn't have yet, they *should* be pretty equal if the really do have all the HD nationals available.

You just simply can NOT count PPV HD's in the list of total HD's, in my opinion. That becomes VERY deceptive if you do. You should only count the HD channels that everyone gets by default with the packages and not that you have to pay a considerable amount extra for.


Look at the chart, there are no PPV channels listed.

If you pay for one DVR on your account, you paid for them all. They only charge for it one time. And that DVR fee is included in most, if not all, their packages.


Dish has packages including the DVR fee. Not that it matters. It's in your package or you add it on. It's all the same.

#19 OFFLINE   jclewter79

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Posted 16 June 2009 - 11:58 AM

Forgot to say that Dish has a bad habit of telling their customers where they can stick it when they want to get a new or different receiver after you have been signed up for a while. My dad has been disappointed with them several times trying to get them to do things for an existing customer that they will do with a new customer. They just don't appear to give a crap about existing customers. DirecTV at least gives you a little working room if you are an existing customer.


While this really does not apply to this guy at this time because he would be new with either provider, I have found your statement to not be true. I was given a free upgrade to a 625 and then later replaced that with a 722 for free. Tell, you dad to tell the first person he talks to that he wishes to close his account he will be transfered to "retention", these are the people that will make a decesion as to what will be done. It is based on how much he spends per month and if the account has been behind very much. Good luck.
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#20 OFFLINE   djpadz

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Posted 16 June 2009 - 11:59 AM

I am currently a D* sub. I had E* for about eight years, and finally got fed up with them. Customer service is really where E* falls down, and D* excels. About the only channel that I miss, having switched from E* to D* is HBO Comedy.

Also:

3) Local networks in HD (not sure if this has to be local, just like seeing my fav shows on ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox).


Every year, E* gets into a contract dispute with one carrier or another, and the customers suffer the loss of certain stations during the dispute. The time can range from a few weeks, as was the case a couple of years ago with Turner (or was it Viacom?), to six months, which was the case this year with Fisher Communications. Seattle subs were without ABC on E* for half the year. E*'s response was a $1 credit for each month that they were without the channel.

4) DVR features, record time, and useability


I really like the iPhone app that D* has for DVR recording. Very convenient.

5) Ability to "expand" dvr with external harddrive, also *the ability to export shows off the dvr to my computer for archiving* (via firewire or whatever - I currently due this on time warner's box with a firewire driver - if it can be done, i can figure it out).


I know that E* offers (for a price) the ability to copy DVR content to an external drive. However, I don't think either of them offer a legal means for transferring this information to a computer. It does bear mentioning, however, that D* is rumored to be offering whole-home DVR, which will allow you to transfer recorded shows amongst your receivers. They also offer (free, I think) DirecTV2PC, which allows you to watch DVR shows on a PC. Unfortunately, no Mac version :(

6) Price (knowing that I'll likely be getting a full package with every HD channel, special movie channels, dvr's for two tv's (maybe 3), and the playboy channel (is this in HD yet?)


Playboy is SD on D*. I don't think it's HD on E* (or, at least it wasn't a year ago). To the general notion of price, E* appears to have D* beat, but, IMO, D* offers better value. I'll pay more, if it means that I can keep all of my locals.

As a side note, does either system come with sirius or xm subscription? (as in you can use it in your car, etc.) Or just for the TV?


Just the TV, unfortunately.

Anyway, as I mentioned before, I'm really happy with D*, if only because I know that when I call them with a problem, they'll fix it, and be pleasant on the phone. Such has not been my experience with E*. Of course, this is just my opinion, and I'm sure there's somebody out there who could say the same in reverse.

HTH,

--Dj




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