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


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143 replies to this topic

#21 OFFLINE   steveken

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Posted 16 June 2009 - 12:00 PM

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



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.

Yeah, I just went back and looked at the chart. Didn't see the link before.

From what I can see on that chart, there are a LOT of HD channels that I have a hard time believing most people would give a crap about. FashionTV? Seriously? :)

Anyway, the only thing I will give them based upon the HD they do have is Travel Channel HD, WGN HD, and the few HD movie channels that DirecTV doesn't have yet for some reason. That would be the only selling point I can see in comparing the two. Whatever floats your boat though.

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#22 OFFLINE   RAD

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Posted 16 June 2009 - 12:01 PM

The OP mentioned that locals were important. He might want to check out some of the disputes that Dish has had with retransmission agreements, they've been known to pull stations off their service. Sometimes they're gone for only a hour, or a couple days but sometimes for months at a time (as in the recent Fisher dispute). They've also pulled regular 'cable' channels from their lineup due to pricing disagreements with the channel providers. DirecTV has also done this in the past but IMHO never to the extent that Dish does.

While Dish does have more HD channels now, they were trailing DirecTV for a number of months until they got a new satellite launched this year. DirecTV is also launching a new satellite this fall which is supposed to add capacity for 50 more national HD channels. Dish can also launch more and leapfrog DirecTV again, so it will depend on when the question is asked what service has the most HD.

As for the DVR's there a comparison chart available here, http://www.dbstalk.c...&highlight=dish. I prefer to say the DVR's from each provider are different, each can do some things the other can't. It's up to you to see what each receiver can do and see what's more important to you.

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#23 OFFLINE   archer75

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Posted 16 June 2009 - 12:02 PM

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


With dish you just go to the website. It's formatted for the iphone. Then schedule all the recordings you wish.

#24 OFFLINE   steveken

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Posted 16 June 2009 - 12:02 PM

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.

He has done this SEVERAL times in the past to try to get someone to work with him. Each and every time he asks for retention, they basically tell him "Fine, go ahead and leave! Who cares!"

Oh, another bad thing for Dish is the fact that in some locations, you have to put 2 dishes on your house to get all the local HD channels. My dad recently had to put up a second dish in order to get the local TV stations in HD on his account.

#25 OFFLINE   archer75

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Posted 16 June 2009 - 12:05 PM

He has done this SEVERAL times in the past to try to get someone to work with him. Each and every time he asks for retention, they basically tell him "Fine, go ahead and leave! Who cares!"

Oh, another bad thing for Dish is the fact that in some locations, you have to put 2 dishes on your house to get all the local HD channels. My dad recently had to put up a second dish in order to get the local TV stations in HD on his account.


My experience is you talk to retention and you get whatever you want. With both direct and dish.

I don't know that i'd call 2 dishes on your house a bad thing. My reception is FAR better than it ever was with direct as a result of having 2 dishes to get all the satellites. Also this only applies to the west coast.

#26 OFFLINE   steveken

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Posted 16 June 2009 - 12:15 PM

My experience is you talk to retention and you get whatever you want. With both direct and dish.

I don't know that i'd call 2 dishes on your house a bad thing. My reception is FAR better than it ever was with direct as a result of having 2 dishes to get all the satellites. Also this only applies to the west coast.

Little Rock, AR is in the middle of the country. Here we have to have 2 dishes to get all the locals as well as regular programming. 2 dishes on your house IS a bad thing if it detracts from the overall image of your house.

If you had bad results with reception on DirecTV, it is from poor alignment of the dish itself. I have to say that this is a common occurrence anymore because of the complex dish that is required currently to receive all the satellites on the one dish. They are supposedly working on bringing back a 3-LNB dish instead of the current 5 which should clear this problem right up.

I have found that in most cases if you have issues with alignment, a simple phone call within the first 60 or 90 days (I think, can't remember exactly) of installation and they will do it free. If you watch what is going on and insist that the installer work with the alignment to get the levels up into the 90's, you won't have any problems at all with reception in the future. I, personally, had to go out and manually realign my dish because the installer wasn't real bright, but since I did, I have had NO problems except for during the hardest rain when you couldn't possibly expect any signals at all to come through clouds that thick. :)

#27 OFFLINE   Maverickster

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Posted 16 June 2009 - 12:18 PM

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). . . .


"D*" is a common, albeit disfavored, abbreviation for DirecTV; it's some sort of play on E* and the deathstar, iirc.

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#28 OFFLINE   j2fast

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Posted 16 June 2009 - 12:18 PM

As far a pricing goes doesn't E* charge for each DVR where D* just charges a flat fee for DVR service regardless of the number of boxes?

I can say that I have little to no reception issues with D* save the odd thunder storm that would effect either. As far as how much HD each one has a better question would be which one has the channel YOU want in HD? I am more than happy with D* lineup in the HD arena.
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#29 OFFLINE   archer75

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Posted 16 June 2009 - 12:21 PM

Little Rock, AR is in the middle of the country. Here we have to have 2 dishes to get all the locals as well as regular programming. 2 dishes on your house IS a bad thing if it detracts from the overall image of your house.

If you had bad results with reception on DirecTV, it is from poor alignment of the dish itself. I have to say that this is a common occurrence anymore because of the complex dish that is required currently to receive all the satellites on the one dish. They are supposedly working on bringing back a 3-LNB dish instead of the current 5 which should clear this problem right up.

I have found that in most cases if you have issues with alignment, a simple phone call within the first 60 or 90 days (I think, can't remember exactly) of installation and they will do it free. If you watch what is going on and insist that the installer work with the alignment to get the levels up into the 90's, you won't have any problems at all with reception in the future. I, personally, had to go out and manually realign my dish because the installer wasn't real bright, but since I did, I have had NO problems except for during the hardest rain when you couldn't possibly expect any signals at all to come through clouds that thick. :)


Two different houses. Two different installers. Same reception issue with direct. Dark clouds, heavy rain, snow. Pixalation. Lost channels. Not so with Dish.

Though I will say that both have better reception than cable.

I don't find that w dishes on my house detracts from anything. We live in a nice neighborhood too. In a nice house. Dishes are on the side of the house. No biggy.

#30 OFFLINE   jclewter79

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Posted 16 June 2009 - 12:21 PM

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.


Which is what they do with the everything pack with E*, which would include everything he wants for a cheaper per month price than D*.
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#31 OFFLINE   smitmor

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Posted 16 June 2009 - 12:21 PM

My beef with Dish is their constant battles with the networks and affiliates. When I had Dish I lost all the Viacom (I think it was Viacom) networks for a time while they hashed out their contract. Then I lost my local NBC affiliate, and later they canned my local ABC affiliate for 6 months. While they were all eventually worked out, it was a HUGE inconvenience. They always say that they do this to keep their costs down, but for me -- out of contract -- the price difference of Dish vs. DirecTV is like $2 and I've never known DirecTV to do this. Perhaps they do but it just has not affected me.

Dish may have better receivers. Indeed, they do seem more stable. But I have been testing some of DirecTV's new features, such as remote scheduling, and DirecTV2PC and they are very very nice! I do have the occassional glitch, but that is to be expected in the beta process.

For me, not losing my channels every 6 to 12 months is worth the switch to DirecTV.

Edited by Stuart Sweet, 16 June 2009 - 02:07 PM.
Mod Edit.


#32 OFFLINE   j2fast

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Posted 16 June 2009 - 12:24 PM

With dish you just go to the website. It's formatted for the iphone. Then schedule all the recordings you wish.


Direct also has a mobile site for DVR scheduling that can be used by most if not all web enabled phones beyond just the specific iPhone app so it sounds like either provider meets the need/want of those that wish to do remote DVR scheduling.
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#33 OFFLINE   harsh

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Posted 16 June 2009 - 12:28 PM

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

I didn't see any mention whatsoever of sports programming.

#34 OFFLINE   barryb

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Posted 16 June 2009 - 12:30 PM

I didn't see any mention whatsoever of sports programming.


Look again Harsh:

I have very little interest in watching sports


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#35 OFFLINE   idigg

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Posted 16 June 2009 - 12:31 PM

I didn't see any mention whatsoever of sports programming.


Well he still pointed out the truth.
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#36 OFFLINE   idigg

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Posted 16 June 2009 - 12:31 PM

With dish you just go to the website. It's formatted for the iphone. Then schedule all the recordings you wish.


DirecTV has iPhone app and m.directv.com
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#37 OFFLINE   bonscott87

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Posted 16 June 2009 - 12:33 PM

For a simple answer, for you I might go with Dish if HD movie channels are your top priority. I think most of your other questions are a wash really. This coming from a DirecTV sub since 1996.

1) HD Movies and HD programming (i've been spoiled on hd and can't really stand sd anymore).


Look at the channel lists and compare for yourself on the channels you care about. Right now Dish has more HD movie channels. Then again, Dish has *always* had more movie channels then DirecTV. DirecTV has way more sports. I don't expect this to change a whole lot. As for "regular" HD channels Dish has some that DirecTV doesn't have and DirecTV has some that Dish doesn't have.

I could care less about channel counts. Frankly who has the most changes all the time. It's all about *what channels you care about*. So compare and go with who has the channels you want. But don't be surprised if the other provider leapfrogs with more channels 6 months from now. Just the way it goes.

2) PQ


All depends on who you talk to. However it's pretty well accepted that Dish right now is cutting the resolution on their HD channels to cram as many as they can up there. DirecTV's are at full resolution. If you can tell the difference or not is something only you can answer.

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


I know it sounds like a broken record but check with each one and see what they offer. Both offer web pages where you can put in your zip code and see.

4) DVR features, record time, and useability


Both are comparable and offer similar thing a different way. Which you prefer will be up to you. Both are good.

5) Ability to "expand" dvr with external harddrive,


Both offer this in different ways, as explained by the other posts above.

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).


Not going to happen due to DRM via HDMI. Assuming the channel isn't protected you can record off the Component outputs, and of course SD is available via composite or Svideo.

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?)


Go to both web sites, plug in what you need and they will tell you the cost. In general if you get the full boat package from both Dish will probably be a little cheaper but watch out for their monthly add-on fees which add up quickly. Again, just do a comparision and you'll get it.

#38 OFFLINE   archer75

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Posted 16 June 2009 - 12:33 PM

DirecTV has iPhone app and m.directv.com


Yes, they have an app. But no need when you can go direct to a site that looks like any app.

Same site with dish. Whether you use a mobile phone or your desktop computer. Just the format changes completely depending on what you are using.

And with the 922 receiver you'll be able to watch your DVR shows on your iphone anywhere you are.

#39 OFFLINE   Cyphernaut

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Posted 16 June 2009 - 12:34 PM

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?


I have two hdtv's and 0 sdtv's (not really interested in watching sd anymore :hurah:). Want dvr on both.

Someone else asked my area, I'm in west los angeles.

#40 OFFLINE   jclewter79

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Posted 16 June 2009 - 12:35 PM

You should be able to catch the Lakers in HD in your area all of the time. The only time that an HD game is not shown when it is availble is usually an MLB game and that does not happen that often.
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