From Dish Hopper to DirecTV Genie :
For those contemplating making a switch to DirecTV from Dish, here’s a few things that you’ll notice.
1. The HD PQ on Direct is better, but the difference is slight to most eyes and certainly to mine. Noticeable, but hardly earth shatteringly different.
2. With the HR44, D*’s SD now is watcheable. Wasn’t on previous HRxx models I have had at different times. It is very channel specific, with some being very good and some not so good at all. That channel specificity is there with Dish too, but Dish’t SD is better overall by a fair amount.
3. The user interface. For all the blathering that went on in the Direct sections of the forum, the current user interface is nearly identical to the previous non-graphic one, certainly in the layout and how you do things. The GUI reminds me of 80’s era MS-DOS ‘graphics’. Functional, but not very graphic at all.
Well, there is one place I suppose the GUI got a boost, and that is in the ability to stuff lots of ads in the channel guide. IMO, not much of a benefit to the user, but I suppose it makes the marketing guys at D* happy.
One of the biggies IMO, is that the guide width on D* is only 1.5 hours vice the 3 hours on E*. I’ve never understood the reasoning behind not changing that when they went to a HD GUI. Seems a horrible waste of space. And because of that, the guide screen and most other screens are really in your face on big screens. It would take some really horrible vision to not be able to read that screen from very far away.
Dish definitely did their homework on their Hopper UI.
That said, the D* UI is very functional and if you had never had the Hopper, would remind you of all that older equipment we’ve all had over the years.
4. Search - Both D* and E* have excellent search abilities these days. D*’s is very flexible, and if you take the time to learn the boolean searches, some amazing series links can be setup. It is a little more complicated to use, but can be worth the effort for some. My only beef with D*’s search is that it is ‘fiddly’ to get to it. No one button to search with D*.
But overall, I’d have to say that right now the power and flexibility of search is pretty equal, with the difference being mostly in how you get to it and interact with it.
5. Programming - For the most part the basic, non-premium programming channels are mostly all there on each service. Each service packages differently though, so sometimes you can come from Dish with a fairly high end base pack, and go to a lower pack on D*. That can be a dollar saver. Note that both services structure their base packs so that there always seems to be one more channel you’d love to have and it is just an upgrade away.
6. Premium Programming -
While Dish has a wider selection of movie channels because of the Epix channels, Direct has more movie channels in HD. It is just that simple. While it is nice to have Epix, Epix is probably the worst premium movie channel when it comes to incessant repeats IMO. I had Epix as part of my Dish subscription for most of the time, but finally cancelled it out as it seemed they just didn’t have enough new movies to make it worthwhile.
7. Sports - we always say that if you want lots of sports, D* is the way to go, especially if you want them in HD. It isn’t that Dish is horrible for sports fans, it is just that D* is much better for them.
Even for lesser sports like Boxing. I can and do get many more boxing shows on Direct that just weren’t available at all on Dish.
8. Speed - It used to be that D*’s equipment was doggedly slow compared to anything from Dish. And that is still true up through the HR34. But the HR44 Genie is faster than the Hoppers by a little bit for virtually all interactions. Never thought I’d be able to say that about D* equipment.