I currently have BOTH, Direct TV and Dishnetwork going on my 65" RPTV Sony. It has Twin view so I can display both on the screen at the same time. I have also freeze framed the same picture and then compared. I did this on about 10 Top 60 type channel and HBO. The Locals were not compared that much as I have found that Pic quality varries from day to day (almost like the local receive points are using Antennas and pic quality varies with the weather). TEST RESULTS: 1. Both Direct TV and Dish are the SAME IF and only if: You tweak the TV. I have found that Dish and Direct need different settings. Dish seems softer than Direct. With the Sonys you get 4 video modes to tweak in the User menu. Dish seems to look better in Standard mode and sometimes Vivid mode. Direct seems to look better in Pro or Movie mode. I tweak all modes based on the source and the content. I started with DVE and AVIA as the base line. How to Tweak: Pick some shows. 1. the Stars in Star Trek- can you see them all in all? 2. News channels Dark Suites, can you see the buttons or folds? 3. Brava and the West Wing- is it too dark or grainy? Conclusions 1. Both will look bad if you do not tweak the TV. Both look good if you tweaked it. 2. HBO always looks good 3. Direct TV has about a 2 second more delay. They must have more or slower conpression on the SD Tivo -vrs- the Dish 501 4. Locals- always changes- compared Denver, LA (and Superstions on Dish). 5. You can get DVD like quality if you tweak the TV. It just takes time. Both Direct and Dish have the same good Pic Quality (minus Locals which we all know have issues).