Posted 18 January 2013 - 05:14 AM
I switched from DirecTV to Dish back in April of 2012. I did so for a few reasons, but the primary one was that my HD DVR's response time was glacial. I had a few bad experiences trying to change channels away from "A Baby Story" with young children in the room - over 20 seconds of screaming or badly blocked video that I could not get off the screen because no matter what button I pressed, the DVR did NOTHING. If you're considering getting DirecTV, you owe it to yourself to read some of the threads about their slow DVRs.
DirecTV's HD is slightly better. It's subtle, though, and I can't say that Dish's is in any way unwatchable. I tend to be a very fussy viewer and can detect small differences in picture quality.
Dish's OTA module is single tuner. DirecTV's is dual tuner.
NASCAR HotPass and the multiple tennis channels during major tournaments are nice to have. DirecTV has them, Dish does not. No NFL Sunday Ticket on Dish, but no NFL Red Zone on DirecTV. Some of the other premium sports packages are also not available on Dish.
It varies by market, but I've never seen an event that was available in HD on my regional sports network be only in SD on Dish. Other than live events, I never watch my RSN anyway, so I don't care that it's SD.
You can disable PTAT if you want to. It doesn't have to chew up a tuner, and it only does so for 3 hours a night. The rest of the time, you have 3 full tuners available.
Other than initial cost, there is no advantage I can see to not getting 2 Hoppers instead of 1 Hopper and 1 Joey. The monthly costs are the same, and it would double the number of tuners. And two Hoppers can see each other, so you can watch recordings off the other one just fine. That would give you 6 tuners, which is 1 better than DirecTV.
I wanted to hate DirecTV and love Dish when I switched. I no longer think either one is better. I think they are different, and it is those differences that should guide you to select one or the other. Different people have different priorities, and that's why they choose what they choose. For me, I've had no real issues with Dish that haven't been resolved quickly, and I'm a happy customer.