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


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143 replies to this topic

#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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#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.
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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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#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 ONLINE   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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#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.

#76 OFFLINE   Newshawk

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Posted 16 June 2009 - 06:19 PM

I know I'm late to the party, but I noticed that no one addressed the question of local channels.

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 see you're in Los Angeles. When it comes to local HD channels, both Dish and DirecTV will give you the Big 4 (KABC, KNBC, KCBS and KTTV/FOX). Dish also has KTLA/CW and KCAL/Ind. DirecTV has KTLA/CW, KCOP/MNT, and two PBS stations, KCET and KOCE. DirecTV also has a third PBS station (KLCS, Ch 58) that provides its -2 subchannel (the agreement between DirecTV and the Asssociation of Public Television Stations is that each station can opt for either HD carriage or carriage of one of its subchannels.) So it ends up that DirecTV has 9 HD locals and one subchannel in LA to Dish's 6.

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#77 OFFLINE   jimmymiko

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Posted 16 June 2009 - 06:30 PM

Dish is like the AOL of satellite. Enough said.
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#78 OFFLINE   Milkman

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Posted 16 June 2009 - 06:38 PM

I am a DirecTV subscriber, but I will try to keep my responses objective.

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


I think Dish has more HD Programming, but I thought D* had more HD PPV channels. Could be wrong on this though.

2) PQ


I have not viewed Dish programming on a comparable TV to say either way.

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


Check the website (both Dish and DirecTV) for your local geography, as your results may vary. In the Tampa area I get all of those channels plus additional locals (Like CW for example).

4) DVR features, record time, and useability


I don't know much about the Dish DVR. I can tell you that the Dish DVR has a much nicer GUI then that compared to DirecTV.

DirecTV updates their software a few times a year. These updates have introduced a great deal of stability to the box as well as new features. Some of the newest features are the ability to broadcast 1080p as well as Quicktune (a neat little feature to quickly tune to your favorite channels).

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).


Dish and DirecTV both allow for expansion with external hard drives. Dish uses USB and DirecTV uses eSATA. DirecTV does not currently offer exporting to the computer, and I am not sure about Dish. Due to copyright issues, I am not sure if either will ever support this.

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?)


Since you are a new subscriber, both companies will give you a GREAT deal. I don't know if you can get a subscription to the Playboy channel (as I think it is PPV), but when you are pricing the packages you can ask them. I suggest you call both companies, and let them both know that you are pricing against their competition. Be very careful on what they tell you to try to get you to subscribe to them (as opposed to the competition). If you have any doubts of their claims, post in the appropriate forum here, and there will be more than enough people to help you.

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#79 OFFLINE   inkahauts

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Posted 16 June 2009 - 06:57 PM

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!


I am not going to rad any other posts, just going to reply to your first one..

1 & 2. Directv and Dish both have tons of HD. If your like me, there is a PQ difference today, with Directv winning. Dish is compressing more. In theory Dish has more channels. The problem with both those statements, is that Dish will get another sat up at some point, and therefore their PQ may increase to the level of Directv's at that point. Can't really say for sure. However, they tend to be cheaper, and will probably go for more channels than quality (see the tivo fight Dish is in). As for actual channel count.. Its to close to call either way. Both are comparable, both have a few stations the other doesn't, it just depends on what channels you actually watch. Directv has all the channels in HD I want, so they are great. Also Directv's next sat, to launch latter this year, will expand their capacity, which means likely more HD channels, where Dish will have to choose, more channels or better PQ, or a combination of the two.. No one knows what either provider will actually do in the future. Only where we are at now. (and lets face it, till the sats in the air, they don;t help. Dish lost a sat last year in flight, hence the position they are in now)

3. Directv has all the main LA locals in HD, (2, 4, 5, 7, 9, 11, 13) including 2 PBS stations, kcet, and koce.

4. I love Directv' DVR's. They are easy to use, and have some cool features announced that ARE coming. This was announced by the CEO a few months ago. Record time, if you want more with directv, all you have to do is add an external esata drive, up to 2tb.. which is what, over 400 hours.. I believe you can add a usb drive to dish, but its a one time fee, and its more archival based than just having a bigger hard drive, from what I have read...

5. No provider will allow you to archive recodings to a computer, ever. Directv will alow you to watch DVR'ed programs on your pc now, from any dvr in the home netowrk. Dish will have a sling player built into their boxes at some point, no one knows when.


6. Frankly, if you want everything, I would not make price an issue.. Get what you want, you already know its not going to be cheap....

Edited by Stuart Sweet, 17 June 2009 - 08:27 AM.


#80 OFFLINE   jerrylove56

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Posted 16 June 2009 - 07:19 PM

Have had both services.
1. Dish has the worst customer service ever invented.
2. Dish's receivers are killer buttttt when they go bad they go real bad.
3. Directs sports programming is amazing.
4. I never figured out what drug Dish programmers were using. (their channel lineup was so complicated.
5. I like HD over SD and Dish's premium channel line-up is much better than Direct's
If I had to recommend a friend on a service, Direct is by far the best sat. provider.




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