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Guest Message by DevFuse

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Looking for advice on switching to DISH from DirecTV


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28 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   JayVee

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Posted 28 November 2011 - 07:58 PM

I've been a DTV (D* I guess?) customer for a little over two years, and I really like the service, but I'm getting tired of paying $90 a month. So I'm looking at switching, and I was hoping I could get a few questions answered.

First of all, we only have one main TV. The kids have a TV where they watch DVDs, and I have a TV upstairs in my office that I hardly ever use. How much would I save on a monthly basis by only having one HD DVR vs. 2 (or 1 HDDVR and 1 SD Box)? Is it worth it? Should I use a Duo box? (I'm not really sure what that is...)

Also, I'm confused by the lease vs. own debate. I'm not sure if I have to pay anything up front for a box, or just a monthly fee.

I've heard some people say that MLB network is not available on DISH, is that right? Or is it just Extra Innings?

HD is free for life (with paperless billing)?

I just saw a Amazon $200 credit for new DISH customers, is that a good deal, or is it pretty standard? Any better deals out there?

How's the service? Is it any better/worse than D*? Opinions are welcome.

Local networks are extra? Do they come in HD?

Sorry for what must be a repeat thread (though I DID search). Thanks in advance for the help, I'm sure I'll have more ?s later.

Edited by JayVee, 28 November 2011 - 08:07 PM.


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#2 OFFLINE   joshjr

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Posted 28 November 2011 - 08:12 PM

One thing I wanted to say before you make the switch is that if you call and ask to speak with someone in retention and let them know you are thinking of switching to save money I bet they would give you the $20 off for 6 months deal just for asking. Dont hesitate to ask for it specifically if you want it. Just be sure you get retention. Call the 800 number and say cancel at the voice prompt. Hope this helps.
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#3 OFFLINE   Matt9876

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Posted 28 November 2011 - 08:31 PM

I have a monthly Dish bill of $59.61 and have been with Dish HD for more than two years after leaving DirecTV HD because of the $90+ a month thing.

I have the 120 package with the HD platinum package.
I have one 211k receiver with and external hard drive that cost $75 and a one time $40 fee to activate and have a one tuner HD DVR (Two tuner HD DVR with an off air antenna.)

The HD platinum package allows you access to the Dish Blockbuster streaming service.

I use a 80s tech video rabbit to distribute the TV and remote control to multiple rooms and one main HD plasma in the living room.

This is the most economical way to have HD DVR service with Dishnetwork, Me and the wife are not really into sports so things are good with Dish.

#4 OFFLINE   mdavej

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Posted 28 November 2011 - 09:40 PM

Main duo HD DVR is free and serves one HDTV plus one or more SD TVs. So that's $9/mo less than an equivalent D* (DirecTV) setup ($6 lease + $3 MRV for second box).

Lease vs. own works about the same as D*, meaning no benefit to owning in terms of monthly cost. Because Dish offers some lower cost packages than D*, I'm saving quite a bit, like the previous poster. The equivalent higher cost packages are about the same price on D* and Dish. The difference is Dish offers some cheaper packages with fewer channels than D* offers.

There's a sticky thread in this forum with a list of locals, so look up your city there to be sure. I get the same HD locals I did with D*, and they are included in my package for free. I also use OTA just like I did with D* to get my local sub-channels.

HD is free for life with paperless or upfront one-time fee.

Dish has MLB Network, but not Extra Innings.

Quality of service is about the same. HD picture quality is technically better on D*, but not really that noticeable IMO. SD picture quality is definitely better on Dish. My leased equipment (722k HD Duo DVR) and install was free. That Amazon deal sounds pretty good. You can add referral discounts on top of that.

The main reason I switched to Dish besides cost was because they had a lot more basic HD at the time and still do. That was over a year ago, and I've been very satisfied the whole time. Since I travel a lot, I also like being able to stream live TV and my recordings anywhere in the world.

#5 OFFLINE   RaymondG@DISH Network

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Posted 28 November 2011 - 09:44 PM

Should I use a Duo box? (I'm not really sure what that is...)

A Duo receiver controls 2 tvs.


Also, I'm confused by the lease vs. own debate. I'm not sure if I have to pay anything up front for a box, or just a monthly fee.

The monthly receiver fee is the same for leased or purchased equipment. The benefits to having a purchased receiver include being able to deactivate when you want (with leased equipment the receiver would need to be returned after it has been deactivated). Purchased receivers can be sold at a later time if you chose. You are not required to agree to a 24 month agreement with purchased equipment.

I've heard some people say that MLB network is not available on DISH, is that right? Or is it just Extra Innings?

MLB Network is available through DISH Network, however the Extra Innings is not.

HD is free for life (with paperless billing)?

You can get HD Free for life when you sign up for auto pay and paperless billing. This saves you $10 per month and $120 per year.

Local networks are extra? Do they come in HD?

Local channels are included in the price of the channel package.

If you have 3 TV's in your home you could get set up with an HD Duo DVR that connects to 2 TV's individually. The price of your first reciever is covered by the channel package you would subscribe to. If you wanted an additional Solo Non-DVR receiver to control the 3rd TV it would be an additional $7 per month.

#6 OFFLINE   JayVee

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Posted 29 November 2011 - 10:46 AM

If you have 3 TV's in your home you could get set up with an HD Duo DVR that connects to 2 TV's individually. The price of your first reciever is covered by the channel package you would subscribe to. If you wanted an additional Solo Non-DVR receiver to control the 3rd TV it would be an additional $7 per month.


So connecting to 2 TVs with one box is included in the price. How do you control the receiver from the other room?

Also, according to the DISH website, local networks are only available in SD. Why are they available in HD on D*? Do I have any other options to get HD locals?

#7 OFFLINE   JayVee

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Posted 29 November 2011 - 10:52 AM

You can add referral discounts on top of that.

What are the referral discounts?

The main reason I switched to Dish besides cost was because they had a lot more basic HD at the time and still do. That was over a year ago, and I've been very satisfied the whole time. Since I travel a lot, I also like being able to stream live TV and my recordings anywhere in the world.


How do you stream live TV? Is that the slingbox receiver, or something else? Does it work pretty well?

#8 OFFLINE   mdavej

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Posted 29 November 2011 - 03:29 PM

How do you stream live TV? Is that the slingbox receiver, or something else? Does it work pretty well?

Yes, via the free (after rebate) sling adapter with the 722k or the integrated one in the 922. It usually works well. They've been monkeying with the website recently and broke it for a while, but it's working better now. It's best for small screens unless you have really fast internet upload speed.

HERE's the referral deal which is very similar to DirecTV's but with a better chance of success IMO.

#9 OFFLINE   Jim5506

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Posted 29 November 2011 - 07:34 PM

So connecting to 2 TVs with one box is included in the price. How do you control the receiver from the other room?

Also, according to the DISH website, local networks are only available in SD. Why are they available in HD on D*? Do I have any other options to get HD locals?


Many DMA's are carried in HD by Dish, even if your local DMA is not carried in HD by Dish you may be able to attach an antenna to your receiver and receive HD local programming through the OTA tuner in most Dish HD receivers (check specifications of your model).

You can input your zip code at the Dish Network website and it will tell you if your local channels and which of them are HD.
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#10 OFFLINE   butters

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Posted 29 November 2011 - 09:57 PM

So connecting to 2 TVs with one box is included in the price. How do you control the receiver from the other room?

Also, according to the DISH website, local networks are only available in SD. Why are they available in HD on D*? Do I have any other options to get HD locals?


You control the 2nd tuner in the receiver with a RF (radio frequency) remote. I watch TV in my garage from a receiver in my basement 80 feet away and it works fine.

#11 OFFLINE   JayVee

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Posted 29 November 2011 - 10:05 PM

Many DMA's are carried in HD by Dish, even if your local DMA is not carried in HD by Dish you may be able to attach an antenna to your receiver and receive HD local programming through the OTA tuner in most Dish HD receivers (check specifications of your model).

You can input your zip code at the Dish Network website and it will tell you if your local channels and which of them are HD.


DMA? What's that?

Yeah, I entered my zip code, and it says they're all in SD, not HD.

Which model box should/do I get? Is there a link to the pros/cons of each model?

#12 OFFLINE   mdavej

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Posted 29 November 2011 - 10:13 PM

DMA? What's that?

Yeah, I entered my zip code, and it says they're all in SD, not HD.

Which model box should/do I get? Is there a link to the pros/cons of each model?

According to THIS list, every market in IN has HD locals on Dish.

Since your primary receiver is free (and 922's are currently unavailable), you should get the best model you can, which is the 722k.

The Dish website lists all receivers and their capabilities.

#13 OFFLINE   JayVee

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Posted 30 November 2011 - 11:44 AM

every market in IN has HD locals on Dish.


Not Lafayette. Unless I'm reading it wrong.

#14 OFFLINE   mdavej

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Posted 30 November 2011 - 03:13 PM

Not Lafayette. Unless I'm reading it wrong.

Doh! Can't believe I missed that. You're absolutely right. Can you get them OTA? If so, ask for an MT2 module (equivalent to DirecTV AM21) when you get your 722k.

#15 OFFLINE   JayVee

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Posted 30 November 2011 - 04:21 PM

Doh! Can't believe I missed that. You're absolutely right. Can you get them OTA? If so, ask for an MT2 module (equivalent to DirecTV AM21) when you get your 722k.


I have no idea... hmm. How would I find out if I can get them OTA?

Is there any chance DISH will offer them in HD soon?

#16 OFFLINE   RaymondG@DISH Network

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Posted 30 November 2011 - 04:51 PM

So connecting to 2 TVs with one box is included in the price. How do you control the receiver from the other room?

The first receiver is included in the cost of your channel package, so if your first receiver is a Duo receiver then yes the cost would be included. Any additional receivers would add an additional monthly fee.

Also, according to the DISH website, local networks are only available in SD. Why are they available in HD on D*? Do I have any other options to get HD locals?

Some of our receivers have the ability to connect with an external OTA antenna. This is an alternative for some customers, especially those who want the subchannels that are broadcast locally.

I have no idea... hmm. How would I find out if I can get them OTA?

You can check AntennaWeb.org to see what local stataions you can pick up Over the Air.

#17 OFFLINE   JayVee

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Posted 01 December 2011 - 11:33 AM

I have no idea... hmm. How would I find out if I can get them OTA?

You can check AntennaWeb.org to see what local stataions you can pick up Over the Air.


Thanks for the link, but I'm not sure if the stations would be in HD or not. Does anyone know how I can determine this?

Also, it says I'll need a large directional antenna w/ a pre-amp. This would be mounted on the roof, I guess, and the feed would go directly to the DISH receiver?

#18 OFFLINE   mdavej

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Posted 01 December 2011 - 03:41 PM

If you are getting HD locals on DirecTV today, then the same OTA channels will also be HD. The antenna feeds directly to your Dish receiver.

Make sure you are interpreting those results correctly. It could be that only a few distant stations require a large antenna. See what you can get with just rabbit ears or a small outdoor antenna and determine if those stations are all you actually want. Mine is mounted on my Dish.

If it turns out you need a big antenna to get anything at all, and HD locals are important to you, then you're better off just sticking with DirecTV.

#19 OFFLINE   JayVee

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Posted 02 December 2011 - 03:09 PM

Most of the station towers are ~50 miles away... I think a large antenna is needed.

#20 OFFLINE   Wolfpanther

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Posted 03 December 2011 - 07:31 AM

I pick up a couple of stations that are 57 miles away with a TERK HD indoor antenna. One of the stations is showing a strength of between 95 - 97.




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