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


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#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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The above comments are my own because I don't know if anyone would care about my opinions anymore.


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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.

#81 OFFLINE   dreadlk

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Posted 16 June 2009 - 08:17 PM

Directv has a more streamlined better organised uplink of channels and a better organised Satellite fleet. The Pic quality on DirectvHD IMO is better than DishHD.

That said the Directv receivers, expecially the DVR is not a very reliable piece of equipment, it suffers from random reboots, that then take a good 8 minutes to reload the guide data so that you can watch TV again. Also the Beta testing program for the HR2X series receivers seems to be endless, three plus years and counting and we still have almost monthly updates to fix bugs and add new features but every new feature seems to add in it's own set of bugs.

#82 OFFLINE   harsh

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Posted 16 June 2009 - 08:26 PM

I subscribe to Directv's premium package with all the premium channels, so all of the primary movie channels are HD.

Let's examine this as it seems to go to the heart of the question. Of those carried by either carrier here's the comparison:

DIRECTV           DISH
HBOE         Y               Y
HBOW         Y               Y
HBO2E        N               Y
HBOSG        N               Y
HBOFM        N               Y
HBOC         N               Y
HBOZ         N               Y
MAX          Y               Y
MAXW         Y               Y
AMAX         N               Y
5MAX         N               Y
SHOE         Y               Y
SHOW         Y               N
SHO2E        Y               Y
SHOCS        Y               Y
SHOEX        Y               N
TMCE         Y               Y
ENCE         N               Y
STRZE        Y               Y
STRZW        Y               Y
STREG        Y               Y
STRKF        Y               Y

  22         14              20
Please note that in comparing the top packages of each, DIRECTV includes the SPORTS PACK with many channels in HD ($12.99 ala carte). DISH offers Playboy (in SD) with the AEP package for $7/month ($15.99 ala carte).

#83 OFFLINE   stuartrawling

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Posted 16 June 2009 - 10:32 PM

A while ago when I was choosing a new TV service, I did quite a bit of research by contacting the customer service departments of Dish and DirecTv.

I think it is too long to post, so here is the link to my write up:
<http://www.geekybrit...s-comcast.html>

All in all I chose DirectTv, basically because of the customer service I received during my research was second to none. This still impresses me after I had a couple of teething issues and they sorted me out well. The only downside I would say is that the DVR's I have are not as solid as I would have liked, but are getting better.

Hope this helps.

#84 OFFLINE   gphvid

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Posted 17 June 2009 - 04:39 AM

I've been with DirecTV since 1994 and the old generation 1 receiverwith a dish that had an RCA logo on it. I've thought about moving to Dish a number of times over the years. I work in the TV industry and through the grapevine, keep hearing of Dish's instability in one way or an other and DirecTV's stability. With that in mind, I stayed and have even updated to HD with 2 HDDVRs.

And, as I see HD video every day in both 4.2.2 and 4.4.4, in 59.94 and 23.98, I like the pq on DirecTV. Even the 5.1 stereo on the HD channels is cool.

Granted, I have no experience with Dish, but these are the reasons I'm sticking with DirecTV. And I am looking forward to the new sat this fall!

#85 OFFLINE   smiddy

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Posted 17 June 2009 - 04:44 AM

I have never had DiSH and I never researched their services. I do have DirecTV and I couldn't be happier (I came from Adelphia and was courting Charter when I went with DirecTV)! I get all the HD I need, the PQ is spectacular, their customer service is great, the STB is ok (they continually work on them, bringing updates all the time), the price seems right for the value of the service, and I can't beat the sports programming where I can get everything I'm looking for.
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#86 OFFLINE   mkstretch

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Posted 17 June 2009 - 05:50 AM

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).



Check this out about exporting shows to an Archos PMP

http://www.engadget....-dvr-transfers/
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#87 OFFLINE   BudShark

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Posted 17 June 2009 - 06:34 AM

It really depends on what drives you. As far as channels/service of the main features they are the same.

Price: Dish
Movies: Edge to Dish
Sports: Landslide to DirecTV
DVR: I personally give the edge to DirecTV for a couple reasons. More active development AND pending competition from Tivo leads to more innovation and stability. Dish has 2 features DirecTV doesn't though: Harddrive movement/archiving and PiP.

Personal: I had Dish for many years. I found them to be a very frustrating company. The constant bickering with carriers, the loss of channels, and inconsistent/incomplete receivers with many broken roadmaps. The receivers are more stable now, but 5-6 years ago they were god awful IMO.

Personal #2: DirecTV is run more like a fortune 500 company. Dish is run like some frat guys hobby IMO. I say that about Dish because of the lawsuits, bickering with carriers, etc all out in the public. It turns me off to an extent and I'm willing to pay more to avoid that. Its all about what tolerance of risk/reward you are looking for.

#88 OFFLINE   Gene Steinberg

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Posted 17 June 2009 - 08:14 AM

My experience is primarily with Dish. I agree that they were flaky a few years ago. I even returned to our local cable provider, Cox, but when they broke all their promises about providing HD content in sufficient quantities, I reconsidered satellite.

I actually ordered a full DirecTV package. But their installers were jerks, and arrived not even prepared to do the installation properly, lacking equipment to work in an apartment/condo situation, even though they were given the proper information on our location situation in advance.

Even though we had a clear southward view, their two-second test showed that they couldn't receive a satisfactory signal or any signal, so I dismissed them. I called DirecTV suppoty, and they promised a local tech would call within 20 minutes and arrange an appointment to get a second opinion on our ability to receive their signal.

The call never came, so I cancelled the service order.

I phoned Dish. They were far more professional in checking to determine what they needed to make a proper installation, and claimed to already have customers in our housing development. In the two days before the scheduled installation, I got emails indicating how best to prepare, including a link to a permissions document for housing associations and/or rental offices to sign to give them approval for the installation. DirecTV never told me I needed such a thing (one of the installers only mentioned it after arrival).

In any case, Dish sent one of their own employees to perform the setup. He confirmed a strong signal, and configured everything neatly and professionally to our requirements.

Reception is exactly what we expected on our Panasonic 1080P 50-inch TV. Picture quality is clearly superior to Cox, and we've had no glitches whatever. It may well be that DirecTV, had we gotten it, would have had superior PQ, but I dare say most of that difference wouldn't be visible at a normal viewing distance. It's not as if regular people sit in right in front of the set looking for pixelation and other artifacts of excessive compression. :)

Peace,
Gene

#89 OFFLINE   xmguy

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Posted 17 June 2009 - 09:27 AM

DirecTV is the way to go. I NEVER thought about Dish/Echostar.

Since I only have SD I can't comment on DirecTV's or Dish's HD lineup.
But as far as an SD customer goes. I feel I get MORE channels for my money with DirecTV than Dish. Plus I wanted XM not Sirius audio channels (I know their one company now. When I signed up they weren't) With Dish they seem to charge more to get the same channels I can get on DirecTV for a lower price.

#90 OFFLINE   harsh

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Posted 17 June 2009 - 09:42 AM

DirecTV is the way to go. I NEVER thought about Dish/Echostar.

Going into something without considering all the options is generally not a good idea. In the long run, the SD quality that DISH delivers is arguably better and you ended up with an arguably inferior music channel situation.

Plus I wanted XM not Sirius audio channels

I think you would be impressed how much better the audio quality is for what turned out to be the same channels on DISH.

#91 OFFLINE   TBoneit

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Posted 17 June 2009 - 12:33 PM

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.



Well I'm happy with the Hauppauge HD PVR.

feed it 480p it records 480p. feed it 720p & it records 720P or feed it 1080i and it records 1080i. I did a Sundance channel movie SD out at 1080i (forgot to change to 480P and it looks really good. I did a HDNet Movie at 1080i and encoded it as DVD spec and it looks good. The recording play fine with the Western Digital Media player BTW.

With the Dishnetwork HD DVR I'm feeding SD via S-Video to a DVD recorder, Component to the HD PVR and HDMI to the TV concurrently.

I use several USB drives with the DVR for different uses. The smallest one is used to store SD video, the others store HD video broken up into TV Shows/Specials, Movies and Other. Switching them as needed all the while continuing to watch from the internal drive, not possible with the HR series DVRs from DirecTV right now.

Customer service is much better for me than when I had DirecTV previously. When I have had problems such as a bad switch or LNB on the roof it took one or two days for the service to Arrive. Phone Interaction has always been good with Dishnetwork.

Since I'm not a huge sports fan ans would never pay that kind of money for a season ticket......

I got the hump towards the Yankees when they started YES and haven't watched them since, Greedy Bleepers.

Both would probably be suitable. Reading reports here, The E* VIP series is better. The D* HRxx series work however are slower and do seem to miss the occasional recording.

If I were subscribing now I'd wait to get the DVR with Sling in it. OTOH I can already log in from work and schedule recordings and such right away.
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#92 OFFLINE   tim99

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Posted 17 June 2009 - 01:24 PM

Content is king, the only regret you're going to have here is not getting the channels you want. Even if one provider had a little better service, PVR and PQ you're still going to regret choosing them if the other provider has the content you'd rather watch.


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.


PVR user since the late 1900's . . .

#93 OFFLINE   dreadlk

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Posted 17 June 2009 - 02:37 PM

Do you actually own a Directv DVR:confused:

I like how you use the word "Innovation" , sounds just like what Microsoft always says! And we are pretty much in the same boat like Vista users:lol:

It really depends on what drives you.

--snip--
DVR: I personally give the edge to DirecTV for a couple reasons. More active development AND pending competition from Tivo leads to more innovation and stability. Dish has 2 features DirecTV doesn't though: Harddrive movement/archiving and PiP.

--snip--
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#94 OFFLINE   mystic7

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Posted 17 June 2009 - 04:33 PM

I wanna know how a guy with only 6 posts rates his own front page headline link! ;)

#95 OFFLINE   Gene Steinberg

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Posted 17 June 2009 - 04:48 PM

I did want to toss in a few more observations.

Although I realize that DirecTV is supposed to have better support than Dish, my own experience in trying to order the service shows the opposite. In addition, my sister-in-law has DirecTV, bundled by Qwest, and they run into interminable problems getting tech help when it's needed. A colleague said their support was, to him, flaky, although he liked the picture quality and channel selection.

A strange disparity indeed.

Peace,
Gene

#96 OFFLINE   AtlHDTV

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Posted 17 June 2009 - 04:52 PM

Content is king, the only regret you're going to have here is not getting the channels you want. Even if one provider had a little better service, PVR and PQ you're still going to regret choosing them if the other provider has the content you'd rather watch.


Not too long ago, DirecTV had more HD channels when compared with Dish Network. To Dish Network's credit, they have met and exceeded their competition.

DirecTV is launching a new satellite in September. Then who will have more HD channels?

For me, content and customer service both matter.

I have Direct. The primary issue I have with them is they do not allow you to purchase hardware without a two year commitment - even a remote control. I'd be willing to pay more money to avoid the commitment (within reason). If you run a google search on "DirecTV Early Termination", you'll find they are not likely to relieve you of your commitment - even in circumstances where someone has moved to a location where reception isn't possible or when they were dissatisfied with the service after an initial install.

Other than the two year trap, I've had Direct for 12 years with no concerns or desire to change.

I know people who feel similarly about Dish.

#97 OFFLINE   tim99

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Posted 17 June 2009 - 05:42 PM

Probably D* but by 'content is king' I don't mean the 'most' HD but rather the content that YOU (or in this case the OP) want. For example sports is by far the most important thing to me, esp football season. Dish could have 2x the HD channels but if they don't have NFL Ticket or the regional sport nets like D* then Dish just doesn't have the content that is important to me and it wouldn't matter what their service or DVR was like. By the same token if I didn't care about sports but did care most about premium movies what good would D*'s marginally better service do me if Dish has more premium HD movie channels?

I do agree that the other factors are important, but I think they're mostly a wash. Where I live we have 3 choices, Dish, DirecTv or no TV. Not once have I heard anyone lament their choice because of PQ or the PVR, instead its always 'when was that on?! #@#$ I don't get that channel'.

That said I have had D* about 12-13 years too, and as long as they have Sunday Ticket and a greater emphasis on sports than Dish I'll be a customer. But if say D* let NFL Ticket and the sport nets go and Dish picked them up then I become a Dish customer.

When I'm watching TV what matters most is what's available for me to watch, not who got it here.

Just sayin' . . . :)


DirecTV is launching a new satellite in September. Then who will have more HD channels?


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#98 OFFLINE   Ron Barry

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Posted 17 June 2009 - 06:17 PM

To Op.

In terms of PQ there are numerous threads discussing who offers better. I have read them all, have seen DirecTV and Dish (Dish Sub) and to me I personally feel it depends on the configuration, what channels you watch, and for the most part I would consider them equal.

On the DVR front, From what I can see here both are actively developed though DirecTV is more public about their development. Here is what I see as the main differences to consider.

1) D* definitely is more sports oriented in its offerings.
2) If you are in LA and can get OTA. Dish currently offers a receiver that can record 2 OTA and 2 Sat HD streams at one time. This comes in real handy during the network seasons. They all have a receiver that will do 3.
3) Dish does do external archiving, but it is a closed system. You can't move the files to your PC and watch them. You can however, move your EHD from DVR to DVR.
4) External Web Programming. Given what I know about DirecTVs implementation I would give the nod here to Dish.
5) DVR stability and functionality. General opinion is that Dish HD DVRs are better but it all comes down to what you consider must have. For me 3 HD streams at once, PIP, and Side by Side viewing are strong points in the plus category.

I do agree with the post above that content is king. Start there and if both meet your needs, then look at the features that separate the companies. That should help your decision.
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#99 OFFLINE   bidger

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Posted 17 June 2009 - 06:20 PM

I wanna know how a guy with only 6 posts rates his own front page headline link! ;)


I'd also like to know how much assistance is required in this. I made my choice over 10 years ago and it didn't take that long. It comes down to this, which provider has the most of what you want right now. It might take rocket science to launch the birds, but it shouldn't to choose a provider IMO.

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#100 OFFLINE   coldsteel

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Posted 17 June 2009 - 06:20 PM

Yeah, it pretty much boils down to the channels the OP wants to watch and who has them or more of them. He's already stated his (low) opinion of sports except the Lakers, so ST/EI or lack thereof doesn't matter a quid. Both have Fox Sports West, and both have Lakers games in HD.

Both have a 1-TV HDDVR. No clue how the DirecTV one operates, been off DirecTV too long. The vip612 works, but is missing PIP. Two 612 with Dish is $100 up-front, another $99 for no commitment.
DISH 625 dvr

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