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


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143 replies to this topic

#101 OFFLINE   gully_foyle

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Posted 18 June 2009 - 03:33 PM

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



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.


DirecTV has 2,4,5,7,9,11,13,28,50 & an SD school-room subchannel of PBS-58, so that's 10, or 9/12 anyway. KCAL-9 is the one you're missing. This represents all of the old-style "VHF" stations, plus all the PBS stations. Some of the other "UHF" channels may be carried in a foreign-language package. CBS,NBC,ABC,FOX,CW,MNT, 2 1/2 PBS and the independent KCAL.
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#102 OFFLINE   NaperDan

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Posted 18 June 2009 - 07:38 PM

Every Dish subscriber I've known has either switched away from it or wished they had.:)
D*tv'er since the beginning...

#103 OFFLINE   Gene Steinberg

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Posted 18 June 2009 - 07:39 PM

Every Dish subscriber I've known has either switched away from it or wished they had.:)

Well, they have 13.1 million left. :)

Peace,
Gene

#104 OFFLINE   somguy

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Posted 18 June 2009 - 11:54 PM

I've had both and had typed this up before and kept it to remind me about Dish. I copied and pasted it for you to view; I hope that I was able to help.

DISH NETWORK – ADVANTAGES VS. DISADVANTAGES

ADVANTAGES
1. Dual buffered tuners.
2. Picture In Picture.
3. You can see what tuner a show will record on.
4. When you hit record on a current show that you’re watching, you can choose how long to record it for.
5. You can see how much HD and SD record time you have left.
6. You can delete all upcoming recordings at once.
7. You can delete all Caller ID calls at once.
8. You can add an external Hard drive.
9. You can pay your bill using the DVR.
10. You have an All Subscription option using the guide showing only your channels that you are subscribed to.
11. You have the ability to use an off-air antenna (only CBS & ABC showed up for me).
12. You have the ability to see two and a half hours in the guide on the HD DVR.
13. Ability to use DISH Pass = Wish List for movies that you would like to see and have recorded.

DISADVANTAGES
1. You cannot search for a channel or a person.
2. Title search does not start to auto-populate.
3. You cannot auto record a show or a season pass using the guide.
4. You cannot set recording defaults.
5. You cannot set defaults to keep all shows until you choose to delete them.
6. You cannot choose a date and time when using the guide.
7. The guide only shows the next nine days.
8. Does not offer as much HD channels as DirecTV.
9. When you tune to a channel that you are not subscribed to, you have to hit channel up or down and cannot use the number pad to change the channel.
10. Pressing stop does not put regular tv back on.
11. When behind in a program, you have to choose Live TV first in order to change the channel.
12. The DVR must daily update in order to update the guide.
13. The hard drive is very loud.
14. Poor customer service.
15. When pausing, you cannot clear out the bar at the bottom of the screen.
16. Customer service is in the Philippines.
17. You do not have the ability to force a software update.
18. When you are fast forwarding a show and you press play, it does not skip back eight seconds.
19. Fast forwarding is way too fast.
20. Cinemax is not free.
21. You cannot hide SD duplicates in the guide.
22. Picture quality is worse in SD.
23. You have to use two satellites on your roof instead of one.

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#105 OFFLINE   NaperDan

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Posted 19 June 2009 - 07:43 AM

Well, they have 13.1 million left. :)

Peace,
Gene


And, last I heard, they continue to lose customers faster than they can sign up - via Investors Business Daily.
D*tv'er since the beginning...

#106 OFFLINE   harsh

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Posted 19 June 2009 - 07:47 AM

I've had both and had typed this up before and kept it to remind me about Dish. I copied and pasted it for you to view; I hope that I was able to help.

DISH NETWORK – ADVANTAGES VS. DISADVANTAGES

Like everything that is in print, your list is a little out of date. DIRECTV is addressing some of the advantages and DISH has addressed some of the disadvantages. Personal preferences may be different and a given individual may hold a different opinion about what is a plus or minus. Only a small percentage of satellite subscribers give the nod to DIRECTV's SD PQ.

#107 OFFLINE   harsh

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Posted 19 June 2009 - 07:49 AM

And, last I heard, they continue to lose customers faster than they can sign up - via Investors Business Daily.

I think you might be surprised if you look at the number of customers that each service has sent packing.

#108 OFFLINE   Gene Steinberg

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Posted 19 June 2009 - 07:52 AM

You have some factual errors in your disadvantage listing:

1. I have but one dish, not two and I have the "America's Everything" package and Gold HD.

2. Dish claims 140 HD channels versus 130 for DirecTV. For most news and entertainment channels, though, their offerings are very, very close.

3. Which DVR do you have? Our VIP-722's hard drive doesn't make excessive noise. That can also be a symptom of a failing drive, so you may need to contact a support person.

4. Picture quality is supposed to be worse in SD, my friend.

5. When I called customer support I got an English speaking person clearly located in the USA.

As to some of the rest of your "complaints," they are largely interface quibbles that some may agree with and others might not. So I'll leave them for others to discuss. Compared to the Scientific Atlanta setup from Cox, the Dish DVR is much, much better and independent reviewers have said it's the best on the market.

It may not be TiVO, but listen: Charlie may have to license TiVO to settle that lawsuit, which means you may end up with it anyway.

Peace,
Gene

#109 OFFLINE   somguy

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Posted 19 June 2009 - 08:15 AM

I had the VIP 722 I think for 10 days last July and went right back to Directv. At the time they told me that their csr's were located in the Philippines. When I said SD is worse, I meant worse than Directv's SD, of course SD is worse than HD, duh!! I also heard that all of their harddrives are loud; definitely louder than Directv's. Those were just my observations and have been happy with Directv ever since. I was upset with D* back then but compared to DISH and the price of cable I believe that Directv outways them all.

(Mensan) Russell B.
Tamarac, FL
Feel free to check out my blog @ http://TheMensaYenta.us
I welcome the comments and thanks!!


#110 OFFLINE   Gene Steinberg

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Posted 19 June 2009 - 08:17 AM

They weren't in the Philippines when I called, the hard drive on mine isn't loud, and I didn't see any material difference in SD reception between DirecTV and Dish. Both are better than my local cable provider.

Glad you're satisfied with DirecTV. I don't know anyone personally who has had good support from them. They blew the installation process at my home and lost an account, as I previously reported.

Peace,
Gene

#111 OFFLINE   bonscott87

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Posted 19 June 2009 - 12:27 PM

As noted, a bit out of date. I can't address the disadvantages as I don't have Dish but I can address the advantages.

DISH NETWORK – ADVANTAGES VS. DISADVANTAGES

ADVANTAGES
1. Dual buffered tuners.
DirecTV has this in testing so should be available soon.

4. When you hit record on a current show that you’re watching, you can choose how long to record it for.
Not sure I understand this one but you can certainly adjust how long you record something on DirecTV as well.

5. You can see how much HD and SD record time you have left.
DirecTV has a free space indicator.

6. You can delete all upcoming recordings at once.
You can as well on DirecTV. Unless I misunderstand the feature on Dish.

8. You can add an external Hard drive.
Same with DirecTV. It is implemented a little different in that it replaces the internal. Then again there isn't a charge to activate the external drive like on Dish either.

10. You have an All Subscription option using the guide showing only your channels that you are subscribed to.
Same with DirecTV although there are a couple bugs with it. You can also create 2 favorite lists of just what channels you want to see.

11. You have the ability to use an off-air antenna (only CBS & ABC showed up for me).
Same with DirecTV.

12. You have the ability to see two and a half hours in the guide on the HD DVR.
Same with DirecTV.

13. Ability to use DISH Pass = Wish List for movies that you would like to see and have recorded.
Same with DirecTV.



#112 OFFLINE   Gene Steinberg

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Posted 19 June 2009 - 12:48 PM

As noted, a bit out of date. I can't address the disadvantages as I don't have Dish but I can address the advantages.


This argument is largely boring. They are two highly competitive companies with similar pricing and similar feature sets. Sometimes one leapfrogs the other. From reading the information online and not just this forum I see that picture quality has also gone back and forth over the years as data is more heavily compressed in wait of new satellite launchings.

In the end, from a normal viewing distance, I doubt most people would notice a significant difference either way with normal reception.

I gather both have customer service problems, although mine are focused more at DirecTV, particularly when I talked to them on behalf of my sister-in-law to get simple information about simple solutions.

But if one service has the programming you want, and the other doesn't -- so long as you are able to get a clear signal -- I expect that's the service you get.

I wasn't given a choice. I have a clear southward view without obstructions, but the DirecTV installers were clueless and unprepared, and the company had no interest in following up to address the problem.

So far Dish is fine, but I haven't had them long enough to encounter software updates, monsoon weather here in Arizona and other potential ills. But they were decent the first time I used them at another residence years ago.

Peace,
Gene

Edited by Gene Steinberg, 19 June 2009 - 07:56 PM.


#113 OFFLINE   somguy

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Posted 19 June 2009 - 11:12 PM

First off, you cannot delete all recordings at once with Directv. Secondly, unless you buy the Am-21 you cannot use an antenna on the new dvrs. Also, using the Directv Guide, you can only see what's on for the next hour, unless you highlight the channel on the left and press info. so there's more work to be done. Of course the TIVO guides are the best but maybe one day!! Still all in all, IMHO Directv far outways DISH!!

As noted, a bit out of date. I can't address the disadvantages as I don't have Dish but I can address the advantages.


Quote:
Originally Posted by somguy
DISH NETWORK – ADVANTAGES VS. DISADVANTAGES

ADVANTAGES
1. Dual buffered tuners.
DirecTV has this in testing so should be available soon.

4. When you hit record on a current show that you’re watching, you can choose how long to record it for.
Not sure I understand this one but you can certainly adjust how long you record something on DirecTV as well.

5. You can see how much HD and SD record time you have left.
DirecTV has a free space indicator.

6. You can delete all upcoming recordings at once.
You can as well on DirecTV. Unless I misunderstand the feature on Dish.

8. You can add an external Hard drive.
Same with DirecTV. It is implemented a little different in that it replaces the internal. Then again there isn't a charge to activate the external drive like on Dish either.

10. You have an All Subscription option using the guide showing only your channels that you are subscribed to.
Same with DirecTV although there are a couple bugs with it. You can also create 2 favorite lists of just what channels you want to see.

11. You have the ability to use an off-air antenna (only CBS & ABC showed up for me).
Same with DirecTV.

12. You have the ability to see two and a half hours in the guide on the HD DVR.
Same with DirecTV.

13. Ability to use DISH Pass = Wish List for movies that you would like to see and have recorded.
Same with DirecTV.

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Feel free to check out my blog @ http://TheMensaYenta.us
I welcome the comments and thanks!!


#114 OFFLINE   RAD

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Posted 20 June 2009 - 07:03 AM

Secondly, unless you buy the Am-21 you cannot use an antenna on the new dvrs.
Scott


It appears that Dish is also going that route, their new HD DVR's also don't have built in ATSC tuners, you need to purchase an additional module to add that support.

See post My Setup for configuration info.


#115 OFFLINE   harsh

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Posted 20 June 2009 - 07:18 AM

At the time they told me that their csr's were located in the Philippines.

This sounds like hearsay.

I also heard that all of their harddrives are loud; definitely louder than Directv's.

This sounds like hearsay too.

Those were just my observations and have been happy with Directv ever since.

Don't confuse hearsay with personal observations. You don't have to own something to make an observation but you should at least have laid hands on it. Better comparisons come from a side-by-side audition.

Devices that have moving parts may be louder or quieter from the factory. Then there are the machines that are placed into home entertainment ovens that must crank up the fan to survive the heat.

The other side of the coin is that some machines seem to inexplicably behave differently than others. This includes picture quality. Finally, not everyone who speaks broken English is in a foreign country.

#116 OFFLINE   jsk

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Posted 20 June 2009 - 10:21 AM

I'm surprised that no one has posted this yet (unless I missed it), but you can compare the E* & D* HD channels at http://dishuser.org/dvse-HD.php.

If you don't count RSNs (which you can't get all of them anyhow), and PPV, E* has 79HD channels and D* has 70 HD channels. This number includes premium movie channels (E* has 22 and D* has 15).
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#117 OFFLINE   RAD

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Posted 20 June 2009 - 11:45 AM

If you don't count RSNs (which you can't get all of them anyhow)...


But where D* comes out ahead on RSN's is that they have many of them full time and when not they have game only HD feeds of the RSN's. With E* many of their RSN's are part time HD channels and even then there are a number of times where your local teams game is provided by the RSN in HD E* doesn't have the capacity to provide the game in HD so you're stuck with a SD version. This rearly happens with D*, if the game is in HD then there's a good chance you'll get the game in HD.

See post My Setup for configuration info.


#118 OFFLINE   bonscott87

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Posted 20 June 2009 - 12:36 PM

This argument is largely boring. They are two highly competitive companies with similar pricing and similar feature sets.


And your point? Was simply claifiing some of the advantages of Dish pointing out that DirecTV does indeed have some of the same features.

If you read my first response to the poster, I recommended that he get Dish. ;)

#119 OFFLINE   bonscott87

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Posted 20 June 2009 - 12:42 PM

First off, you cannot delete all recordings at once with Directv.


Specific example? Sure I can. I can easily blow a series link away to nuke the whole thing. I can also use "mark and delete" to easily mark several (or all) recordings in the playlist to all be deleted at once. I don't know how Dish does it but you can certainly do it on DirecTV as well, perhaps just in a different way

Secondly, unless you buy the Am-21 you cannot use an antenna on the new dvrs.


The HR20 has OTA built in. Otherwise yes, you need an AM21 (which most people get for free). And your point is again? The real point is that DirecTV can indeed do OTA which the post seemed to indicate that you couldn't.

Also, using the Directv Guide, you can only see what's on for the next hour, unless you highlight the channel on the left and press info. so there's more work to be done.


Not sure what guide you're looking at but I'm looking at my guide right now and it's the standard hour and a half. You can't change it to anything less (or more) then that.

#120 OFFLINE   harsh

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Posted 20 June 2009 - 03:13 PM

The HR20 has OTA built in. Otherwise yes, you need an AM21 (which most people get for free).

I don't think this is the case. Those who are upgrading from HR10s have been relatively fortunate but others have been paying. It seems reasonable that the AM21 an the DISH dual tuner module should be free as they are useless without their respective receivers.

Let's file it under the cost to the provider of shorting you on LIL.




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