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Dish or Direct? PVR, Tivo or UltimateTV?

Discussion in 'DIRECTV General Discussion' started by curiosidad, Jul 29, 2002.

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  1. curiosidad

    curiosidad Guest

    I am contemplating getting satellite, but before I make the leap and perhaps buy some 'extras' for the system, I wanted to see if any of you had suggestions.

    I read that Dish bought DirecTV


    Regulators are still reviewing the purchase, but it would appear that the deal will go through. (Assuming that the FCC defines DBS's competitors as cable & broadcast, not another DBS system)

    Does anyone here have any insight as to what the new 'merged' company's strategy will be WRT hardware? Whose system will rule?

    At this time, I'm leaning more towards the Dish Network option with the PVR. What would all of you do if you had to do it today (or, in other words, before college football starts ;-))?

    Some of the other news that I've found interesting:

    http://news.com.com/2100-1033-941615.html - FCC denies EchoStar license. This could derail the merger, because the new satellites were going to provide signal for the new 'merged' systems.

    Bottom line: Would you buy a Dish PVR now? Or, would you go with a DirecTV system with Tivo? What about UltimateTV from Microsoft for DSS?

    Here's the ratings, Tivo out-performs in all categories:


    But, UltimateTV is in a whole 'class' by itself, according to users:


    Thoughts? Suggestions?
  2. Karl Foster

    Karl Foster Hall Of Fame

    Mar 23, 2002
    The decision to go Dish or Directv is a totally personal choice. Where do you live? Are locals available to you on either Dish or Direct or both? Here is the setup that I have and you can take it for what it's worth:

    Two RCA Ultimatetv PVR receivers, one hacked to a 120GB hard drive, one in our Family Room, one in the Master Bedroom.

    One RCA 420 basic receiver. It is in my computer room.

    Here is what I pay per month:

    Total Choice Plus w/locals - $39.99
    Ultimatetv - $9.95
    2nd receiver - $4.99
    3rd receiver - $4.99
    Fox east/west - $1.17
    Total - 61.09

    Here is what I paid for my equipment:
    1st Ultimatetv - $299 (I know I got ripped)
    2nd Ultimatetv - $39
    120GB hard drive - $123
    RCA receiver - $49
    2X6 multi-switch - $49
    Total: $559

    Right now, www.orbitsat.com has an awesome deal for new subscribers for a RCA ultimatetv receiver and dish for free which includes a free installation kit. If you are wanting a second receiver, they have a deal for one UTV receiver, one standard receiver, dish, and multi-switch for $119. It is a great deal if you are somewhat handy. The UTV specials change often, hence the difference in price between my first and second receivers.

    Ultimatetv is a great system. It is very easy to use and extrememly reliable. I have never had a problem with either of mine.

    A DirecTivo is $99 for new subscribers. I don't know much about them, other than they have gotten rave reviews by everyone that owns one.

    According to the Dish website, a two tv system is $199 (includes installation), and if you want a dual-tuner 721, the price for that is $549. Remember that there is no monthly fee with the 721. The 721 is a new piece of equipment and there is a lenghty review in the Dish PVR thread.

    This is what my monthly cost would be if I had Dish:

    AT100 (not quite as many stations as TC+, but close) - $31.99
    Locals - $5.99
    2nd receiver - $4.99
    3rd receiver - $4.99
    Fox East/West - $4.99
    Total: $52.95

    While this is $9/month cheaper than what I am paying now, the initial cost of $549 for ONE Dish 721 PVR makes it worthwhile for me to pay the $9.95 monthly free for the UTVs. The Dish subs will point out that the 721 has a 120GB hard drive, while the UTV has a 40 GB hard drive. I upgraded mine in about ten minutes with a 120GB hard drive I bought for $123. This is still way under the price of a 721, even with the monthly fee.

    Now about programming. The programming is pretty similar for the most part. If you are after sports programming such as NFL, NBA, MLB, or NHL packages, you have to go with Directv. Dish does not have these special sports packages.

    If the merger is approved, E* has pledged to replaced equipment with eqivalent equipment from whichever platform is used, so that shouldn't be a big worry.

    Hope this helps. I am a very happy Directv and Ultimatetv customer. You need to decide what is best for you. BTW, the link about Ultimatetv in the original post is old. There has been a new software upgrade that added many new features that aren't in the review.
  3. Karl Foster

    Karl Foster Hall Of Fame

    Mar 23, 2002
    Here's some differences between the 721 and the UTV and DirecTivo that I forgot to mention.

    The D* PVRs (D*Tivo and UTV) have slow motion and frame-by-frame advance

    The D* PVRs can follow a show no matter when it is on. D*Tivo calls it Season Pass and UTV calls it AutoRecord.

    The D* PVRs have a fifteen day guide

    The D* PVRs don't need to be reset (see 721 oddity thread in the Dish PVR section).

    UTV has a wireless keyboard available for easy searchig and WebTV functions.

    The 721 can record what is in the buffer (what is always recording), UTV can't - don't know about D*Tivo.

    Dish Network allows recording of audio channel. Directv does not.

    These are a few of the differences I remember. I'm sure there are many more.
  4. The Old Wizard

    The Old Wizard Legend

    Mar 24, 2002
    I have a D-Tivo & it does record from the buffer, like the 721 does. You can't go wrong with DirecTV PVRs. They are way more stable than Dish PVRs.:)
  5. curiosidad

    curiosidad Guest

    Thanks to all for the info. I'm probably going for the UltimateTV deal from orbitsat.
  6. Karl Foster

    Karl Foster Hall Of Fame

    Mar 23, 2002

    you can't go wrong with free. :)
  7. Aug 1, 2002 #7 of 12

    raj2001 Guest

    Which is why we should all oppose a merger if we want to keep our great PVR's!
  8. Aug 1, 2002 #8 of 12

    ramcm7 Legend

    Aug 1, 2002
    I am in the same boat as curiosidad. I am considering buying a DirecTiVo or a UTV receiver, but am concerned they will be replaced by unaffiliated PVRs when (and if) post-merger swap-out takes place, given E's current business model. Has anyone seen assurances that services with TiVo and UTV will continue post-merger?
  9. Aug 1, 2002 #9 of 12
    Scott Greczkowski

    Scott Greczkowski Banned User

    Mar 21, 2002
    A little birdy has told me that this feature will be added to the 721 soon. :cool:
  10. Karl Foster

    Karl Foster Hall Of Fame

    Mar 23, 2002
    Where I come from a free bird in the hand is worth two in the $549 bush :)
  11. markh

    markh Hall Of Fame

    Mar 24, 2002
    DirecTV has a deal with TiVo(I think it's 5 years) and the most likely thing to happen is New E* will have to honor all contracts that D* made. UTV, I'm not sure about, but I personally don't think that the new E* would want to replace PVRs already out there. Either from a cost or customer satisfaction standpoint. If you've been here much you know that TiVo and UTV owners will fight to the death to keep their PVRs.

    BTW, DirecTivos are grtting hard to find but there are great deals on UTVs out there.
  12. HarryD

    HarryD Icon

    Mar 24, 2002
    I believe you can get a DirecTivo at Orbitsat.com for less than $100.00 if you're a new sub...
    Also RCA UTV units (the 70 hour version) for $179.00
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