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

Discussion in 'General Satellite Discussion' started by Cyphernaut, Jun 16, 2009.

  1. Jun 16, 2009 #81 of 144

    dreadlk Hall Of Fame

    Sep 18, 2007
    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.
  2. Jun 16, 2009 #82 of 144

    harsh Beware the Attack Basset

    Jun 14, 2003
    Salem, OR
    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).
  3. Jun 17, 2009 #83 of 144

    stuartrawling Cool Member

    Sep 20, 2008
    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:

    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.
  4. Jun 17, 2009 #84 of 144

    gphvid Godfather

    Jun 19, 2007
    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!
  5. Jun 17, 2009 #85 of 144

    smiddy Tain't ogre til its ogre

    Apr 5, 2006
    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.
  6. Jun 17, 2009 #86 of 144

    mkstretch AllStar

    Aug 11, 2007
  7. Jun 17, 2009 #87 of 144

    BudShark New Member

    Aug 11, 2003
    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.
  8. Jun 17, 2009 #88 of 144
    Gene Steinberg

    Gene Steinberg AllStar

    Jun 8, 2009
    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. :)

  9. Jun 17, 2009 #89 of 144

    xmguy Active Member

    Mar 26, 2008
    Middle, TN
    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.
  10. Jun 17, 2009 #90 of 144

    harsh Beware the Attack Basset

    Jun 14, 2003
    Salem, OR
    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.
    I think you would be impressed how much better the audio quality is for what turned out to be the same channels on DISH.
  11. Jun 17, 2009 #91 of 144

    TBoneit Hall Of Fame

    Jul 27, 2006

    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.
  12. Jun 17, 2009 #92 of 144

    tim99 Legend

    Sep 14, 2007
    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.

  13. Jun 17, 2009 #93 of 144

    dreadlk Hall Of Fame

    Sep 18, 2007
    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:

  14. Jun 17, 2009 #94 of 144

    mystic7 Icon

    Dec 9, 2007
    I wanna know how a guy with only 6 posts rates his own front page headline link! ;)
  15. Jun 17, 2009 #95 of 144
    Gene Steinberg

    Gene Steinberg AllStar

    Jun 8, 2009
    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.

  16. Jun 17, 2009 #96 of 144

    AtlHDTV AllStar

    Nov 12, 2006
    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.
  17. Jun 17, 2009 #97 of 144

    tim99 Legend

    Sep 14, 2007
    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' . . . :)

  18. Jun 17, 2009 #98 of 144
    Ron Barry

    Ron Barry 622 Tips & Trick Keeper

    Dec 10, 2002
    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.
  19. Jun 17, 2009 #99 of 144

    bidger Hall Of Fame

    Nov 19, 2005
    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.
  20. coldsteel

    coldsteel Hall Of Fame

    Mar 29, 2007
    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.

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