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


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#51 OFFLINE   Cyphernaut

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Posted 16 June 2009 - 12:51 PM

You can get 2 612's for free and if you decide to pay $99 up front you can have E* without any contract.


Is this a standard online deal or something special?

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#52 OFFLINE   barryb

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Posted 16 June 2009 - 12:52 PM

Its akin to trying to get a drink of a fire hydrant Cyphernaut.

First off: :welcome_s to DBSTalk!

Do you know of anyone in your area that you could see Dish Network in action?

I -believe- you could go to a Best Buy (or Costco) and try out DirecTV.

I have been a DirecTV sub since 1997 by personal choice. If you can try both hands-on it might really help with your decision.
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#53 OFFLINE   jclewter79

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Posted 16 June 2009 - 12:53 PM

The main reason I do not predict that D* will take the lead in HD premiums is because they don't even have the lead in SD premiums. E* has led premiums as a whole for quite a long time.
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#54 OFFLINE   Cyphernaut

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Posted 16 June 2009 - 12:55 PM

Its akin to trying to get a drink of a fire hydrant Cyphernaut.

First off: :welcome_s to DBSTalk!

Do you know of anyone in your area that you could see E* in action?

I -believe- you could go to a Best Buy (or Costco) and try out D*.

I have been a D* sub since 1997 by personal choice. If you can try both hands-on it might really help with your decision.


thx for the warm welcome! i've been lurking here for a bit, but wanted to get in the action today :)

#55 OFFLINE   harsh

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Posted 16 June 2009 - 12:57 PM

I give Directv a slight edge right now, and expect the lead to grow significantly when the new satellite (D12) launches later this year to expand HD (nationals, premiums, etc).

It is dangerous to look too far ahead when it comes to getting what you want. It may come, or it may not. It is probably best to go with the service that has what you want now rather than assuming you'll eventually get what you want some time down the road.

Directv has better customer service,

They both suffer and each has their victories and failures.

and doesn't get into have public negotiating battles with local affiliates where a network can get pulled w/o notice for six months (i.e. Fisher/ABC).

While the battles may not be public, the've DIRECTV obviously has had some difficulties coming to agreements with stations and channels as well.

The remote recording feature on the DVR is fantastic

The DISH Remote Access feature is considerably more advanced.

and if you're a Tivo fan, they are currently developing a new HD-DVR for Directv that should be out early next year.

For those who are familiar with TiVo this is the one point we agree on (assuming it comes to pass).

So if you don't see much of a difference right now, you very well could see a significant one by early next year in Directv's favor.

Why wait?

#56 OFFLINE   barryb

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Posted 16 June 2009 - 12:58 PM

thx for the warm welcome! i've been lurking here for a bit, but wanted to get in the action today :)


I feel you are going about it the right way... especially where you make it clear you don't want to start a flame war. ;)
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#57 OFFLINE   jclewter79

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Posted 16 June 2009 - 12:58 PM

Is this a standard online deal or something special?


This is a standard deal, all new customers with E* can waive the 24 month commitment by paying $99 up front. You might be able to get three 612's for free but, I do not think they would lease you 3 of them unless you had three HDTV's to hookup at the install. If you think that you will be needing the third TV soon it might pay to go ahead and get it now because any upgrades with E* will result in a 24 month contract. The only way for an exsisting E* customer to add or upgrade receivers without a contract is to buy them outright which is more expensive. If you can find a local retailer, that is sometimes the best way to go because you have brick and mortar business to take your problems to if you have any.
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#58 OFFLINE   harsh

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Posted 16 June 2009 - 01:04 PM

thx for the warm welcome! i've been lurking here for a bit, but wanted to get in the action today :)

Understand that either way, you'll be entering into a 24 month commitment so it pays to be diligent in your evaluation.

DIRECTV charges $20/month of unfulfilled commitment and DISH Network charges $12.50/month.

#59 OFFLINE   oldfantom

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Posted 16 June 2009 - 01:04 PM

OK, this reply will win me some friends. Check the channel lineups on both, that is the only thing in your list that matters. This covers items (1) and (3)

PQ, not an issue, the fact that there is a debate should tell you that both have acceptable PQ and unless you compare both, on you TV in your living room, with your tv tweaked like you like it, you will never get a good answer on PQ.

Hardware, not an issue. Both get you there. I loved my Tivo, I can live with my HR-xxx boxes. As with most hardware, it only matters in as much as it supports the software (or programming) you want. Who really cares if the UI is pretty if all you want to watch is a channel you can't get.

As to price, if you are paying for the full boat, are you really going to worry about saving $5 on $130 dollar bill?

Like others, I would also say that the answer at this second is probably DISH. The answer in six months may be DIRECTV. Of course in another 3 months after that it might well be DISH again.

My advice, find the programing that best suits you right now. Pull the trigger then be happy. In the end, TV is hard to mess up.

#60 OFFLINE   RAD

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Posted 16 June 2009 - 01:08 PM

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



Since Dish is the nickel and dime with fees company I wonder if they will end up asking for a one time or monthly feed to use the Sling capability? Since Echostar bought Sling does it make financial sense for them to 'give away' a feature that normally would cost you $180 (or $299 for the HD) for the standalone product?

See post My Setup for configuration info.


#61 OFFLINE   jclewter79

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Posted 16 June 2009 - 01:33 PM

Understand that either way, you'll be entering into a 24 month commitment so it pays to be diligent in your evaluation.

DIRECTV charges $20/month of unfulfilled commitment and DISH Network charges $12.50/month.


Not if you pay $99 upfront with E*
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(The installer had me sign an exsisting customer 18 month agreement!)
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#62 OFFLINE   harmil2

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Posted 16 June 2009 - 01:37 PM

I went from E to D about 3 months ago. I lost trust in E after 3 months of no ABC while E was in a dispute with Fisher Broadcasting. They just got ABC back last week so it took nearly 6 months. Since D hasn't left customers in the lurch, I lurched to them. All that said here are my opinions after 8 years of Dish and 3 months of Directv:

1. There really are short term differences but overall it is a wash. Both are good but not perfect. As I am an HDTV addict I found more shows that I actually watch were in HDTV on D than E.

2. D has the best hdtv picture, at least on my HR23 700 dvr compared to Dish 622dvr. This is on a 108" screen from an Epson 1080ub that really shows any artifacts or problems. This difference is small but noticeable.

3.E hardware equipment seems a bit more sophisticated and reliable in spite of D's picture advantage. I especially miss E's well thought out external usb hdd system which beats esata D by a mile.

4. D has better customer service if you can get through the robo phone to a real person. Then they are great compared to E.

5. A new sat (d12) going up for D this fall and then they will likely jump ahead of E until they put up another Sat. This leapfrog game will go on until everything is hdtv in a few years. Overall no difference, but at any given time one or the other will be ahead for a few months. Don't let short term differences bother you. I bet both will end up almost identical.

6. In the pacific NW where I live D only requires one sat on the roof for full hdtv, E requires at least 2, at least this was true last March when I left.

7. Overall each has some strength and weaknesses. Don't lose any sleep over this issue. Longterm I experience little difference. I will consider changing again when my contract runs out just to score new receivers unless D retention services are cooperative or I see consistant reports of one actually pulling out in front...which would surprise me.

The above are my opinions and not meant to feed into any arguements. Good luck.

#63 OFFLINE   coldsteel

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Posted 16 June 2009 - 01:45 PM

This is a standard deal, all new customers with E* can waive the 24 month commitment by paying $99 up front. You might be able to get three 612's for free but, I do not think they would lease you 3 of them unless you had three HDTV's to hookup at the install. If you think that you will be needing the third TV soon it might pay to go ahead and get it now because any upgrades with E* will result in a 24 month contract. The only way for an exsisting E* customer to add or upgrade receivers without a contract is to buy them outright which is more expensive. If you can find a local retailer, that is sometimes the best way to go because you have brick and mortar business to take your problems to if you have any.


Nope. Only the first HDDVR is free. Additional 612s are $100 each.
DISH 625 dvr

The opinions posted on this site are my own and do not represent DISH Network's positions, strategies or opinions. Unless I decide to be bad or call out an idiot...

#64 OFFLINE   jclewter79

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Posted 16 June 2009 - 01:56 PM

Nope. Only the first HDDVR is free. Additional 612s are $100 each.


Yes, you are correct I checked if you want 2 612's it would cost $100 up front. You could go with a 612 and a 211 all for free after you get the 211 hooked up you could a hard drive and call E* and have DVR service added to it for a one time $40 fee. After that you would never pay for DVR service on the 211 ever again althought you would only have one tuner on the 211. So if you wanted dual tuner DVR's on both HDTV's it would cost you $100 up front with a 2 year contract or $199 without any contract at all. This is what the website said.
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Leased 722 DVR (Under contract until 08/02/10?)
(The installer had me sign an exsisting customer 18 month agreement!)
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#65 OFFLINE   clyde sauls

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Posted 16 June 2009 - 02:27 PM

also dont forget with dish you have 2 tvs connected to 1 receiver and control and watch different programming with the 1 receiver with D you cant do that. It will require 2 receivers plus add $5 for lease the 2nd receiver.

#66 OFFLINE   RAD

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Posted 16 June 2009 - 02:32 PM

also dont forget with dish you have 2 tvs connected to 1 receiver and control and watch different programming with the 1 receiver with D you cant do that. It will require 2 receivers plus add $5 for lease the 2nd receiver.


That is a good option when TV2 is a SD set, not if TV2 is a HD set since the TV2 output is only SD, not HD.

See post My Setup for configuration info.


#67 OFFLINE   jclewter79

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Posted 16 June 2009 - 02:35 PM

That is a good option when TV2 is a SD set, not if TV2 is a HD set since the TV2 output is only SD, not HD.


This is why I have not even mentioned the 722. He has HDTV's only so there is no need to even bring them up.
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#68 OFFLINE   WestDC

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Posted 16 June 2009 - 02:41 PM

D* is way better than E* because I have D*--That is all the information you need after all your not gonna have either product installed.

#69 OFFLINE   Aztec Pilot

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Posted 16 June 2009 - 03:27 PM

I will offer my opinions. I am a Directv customer. As you can tell everyone here has a bias to there provider. But hopefully this gets back to topic.:lol:

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).

I find that every chanel I watch is now HD (Comedy Central was the last holdout) on DirecTV. Don't care who has more HD, because if I am not watching it, it does not matter. I subscribe to Directv's premium package with all the premium channels, so all of the primary movie channels are HD.

2) PQ

I have seen both ( my friend has Dish) HD is good on both. Most posts on DBSTalk have a bias towards Directv having better HD PQ. SD quality is, well, Who Cares.:)

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

Do a zip check on each website, this varies by geography.

4) DVR features, record time, and useability

Directv's DVR has come a long way, and keeps getting better. Dish's has been better, but I think things are getting more equal. Dish has a new one with Sling built in. Directv's CEO anounced that MRV is coming at a conference recently.

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).

Both are expandable with external drives. Dish allows the external to be an extension. Directv makes the external the primary, not using the original. No HD comes off either DVR.

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?)

Check their sites for package pricing. They are diferent depending on your taste.

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?

No not yet.

Thanks in advance!


Hope that helps
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#70 OFFLINE   rkr0923

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Posted 16 June 2009 - 04:16 PM

I've had D* for many years, around 10 I would say, and hated it for the last 9. Many reasons that all these D* _ _ _ kissers would still _ _ _ kiss about so I won't get into it.
IMHO Dish is what you are looking for.

#71 OFFLINE   djrobx

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Posted 16 June 2009 - 04:20 PM

I'm with DIRECTV. I'm generally very happy with it.

E* is probably a better choice for you if you're into premiums. I'm not sure what happened with DirecTV and HBO+Cinemax, but DirecTV does not have the full HD lineup. Also, the HD quality of those particular channels is not very good. It's HD, but it almost looks as if they have a low quality MPEG-2 source at times, and it is noticeably inferior to Showtime, TMC, and Starz. Really all other HD channels on DirecTV have outstanding PQ.

The DirecTV HR2x DVRs are nice enough, but they're a little clunky and slow. They have lots of capacity and most of the important features. The Dish DVRs seem nicer.

My problem with E* is horrible customer service. I had them for a very short period of time a few years ago. Once I got my equipment, I found I needed to exchange one of the receivers they sent, but they woudn't do it unless I sent the entire dish+lnb back with it (they came boxed together). The person in customer service I spoke with had to the most unpleasant person I've ever had the misfortune of dealing with. He absolutely did not care. I ended up cancelling and E* made absolutely no effort to keep me. DirecTV's customer service has always been outstanding for me.

DirecTV is definitely a sports-centric provider, but that doesn't seem to take much away from the rest of their offering.

Either way I don't think you'll go wrong.

#72 OFFLINE   Juppers

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Posted 16 June 2009 - 04:22 PM

For what you stated in your original post, Dish would be the better service for you. Dish has more HD premiums, MUCH better equipment, and is generally lower cost. Downside to dish is they occasionally get into spats with channels and those channels go dark until they work out their differences, typically during contract negotiations.

DirecTV's HD DVR is horribly slow and very buggy. The only reason I would recommend DirecTV to anyone is if they don't want a HD DVR or they are a BIG sports fan and need a ton of RSNs showing basically the same thing and season ticket type packages.

#73 OFFLINE   jclewter79

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Posted 16 June 2009 - 05:14 PM

I'm with DIRECTV. I'm generally very happy with it.

E* is probably a better choice for you if you're into premiums. I'm not sure what happened with DirecTV and HBO+Cinemax, but DirecTV does not have the full HD lineup. Also, the HD quality of those particular channels is not very good. It's HD, but it almost looks as if they have a low quality MPEG-2 source at times, and it is noticeably inferior to Showtime, TMC, and Starz. Really all other HD channels on DirecTV have outstanding PQ.

The DirecTV HR2x DVRs are nice enough, but they're a little clunky and slow. They have lots of capacity and most of the important features. The Dish DVRs seem nicer.

My problem with E* is horrible customer service. I had them for a very short period of time a few years ago. Once I got my equipment, I found I needed to exchange one of the receivers they sent, but they woudn't do it unless I sent the entire dish+lnb back with it (they came boxed together). The person in customer service I spoke with had to the most unpleasant person I've ever had the misfortune of dealing with. He absolutely did not care. I ended up cancelling and E* made absolutely no effort to keep me. DirecTV's customer service has always been outstanding for me.

DirecTV is definitely a sports-centric provider, but that doesn't seem to take much away from the rest of their offering.

Either way I don't think you'll go wrong.



Directv does not even have the whole SD HBO/Cinamax lineup
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Leased 722 DVR (Under contract until 08/02/10?)
(The installer had me sign an exsisting customer 18 month agreement!)
Owned 301 (Purchased at Wal-Mart 12/12/03)

#74 OFFLINE   Jhon69

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Posted 16 June 2009 - 05:56 PM

Well I now have DirecTV,before I had Dish guess where I am going to send you? DirecTV? Nope Dish! Why? because when you experience things first hand it leaves a more lasting impression.Good Luck! :)

#75 OFFLINE   hahler2

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Posted 16 June 2009 - 06:02 PM

I am currently a directv customer and will probably be switching to dish. I love directv and the picture quality is outstanding. However, I think the upcoming 922 HD DVR will be ten times better than anything Directv has right now. I'm going to wait until both the 922 and the new HD Tivo are out and then I will make a decision from there.




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