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Switching to Satellite

Discussion in 'General Satellite Discussion' started by LivingItUp74, Jan 19, 2005.

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  1. LivingItUp74

    LivingItUp74 New Member

    Jan 18, 2005

    I currently have Digital Cable with Adelphia, and I have had some very bad experiences with them and their service.

    I have decided that it is time to make the switch to Satellite. But with that, I have several questions. I'm glad I found this forum. I hope that you can help answer some questions I have for everyone.

    1. Direct TV or Dish Network? I am not concerned about sports programming or even HDTV programming, so both systems are on an equal playing field in my eyes. Looking at both systems online, I have found that each has some advantages, and some disadvantages.

    2. Which system offers the best deal? Lowest price? (Both up front and ongoing?) I have heard from some people that you can pit the two companies againts each other and get a lower price. Is that true? Has anyone here done that? Someone I know went back and forth between Dish & Direct TV and wound up getting a lower monthly price with more services, etc.

    3. I have 7 cable outlets in my home at this time. Of these, only 4 actually need full satellite cabability, but I would like the others to have some basic channels if possible. My homeowners association dues actually include free basic cable, so I do not know if it is possible (because I don't know how the satellite is hooked up), but I could keep the basic cable connected to the outside box and continue to get basic cable on the other home TV's. But, how would I get the satellite signal then? :)

    4. Does one service generally get better reception than the other? I have spoken to several people who have Direct TV in my area, and several that have Dish. I've heard mostly positive about both systems. The people who have Direct TV have complained about losing the signal to the station when there is bad weather, but the people who have Dish told us that they don't seem to have that problem. Just curious!

    5. Where is the best place to purchase your service? Should you go through the companies directly, or should you go to an outside installer? If so, which ones are the best?

    6. Superstations / Other Station Questions - One thing that definitely attracts me to Dish Network is the Superstation package. I'd love to be able to see stations in Los Angeles, Denber, New York, etc. I checked online, and I am eligible for these services. I guess I had another question. If, for example, I wanted to receive the Boston independant (which is the only one that is not listed as "available" for a Superstation package in my area), would I be able to write to the station and ask for a waiver? (Or would I check with my own?) Also, how does this work? There are several stations I would love to get (i.e. - the NBC and CBS station in Philadelphia) - I am curious if I am able to request waivers from these stations in order to get these stations? (You should realize I have no idea how this stuff works). If I got a waiver, how do you get it set up on your TV and do they charge you extra for it? If I went with Direct TV - with no "Superstation" package - would I be able to request waivers to get these channels? If so, would they add them for me if they were permitted?

    7. DVR - well, clearly Direct TV wins on this one. They have a far superior DVR product (using Tivo). But how bad is the Dish Network DVR? One thing I like is that Tivo has 2 tuners, meaning that you can record 2 shows at the same time while watching another. (This is something my current cable company has - but I saw that unless you get the an upgrade, they do not usually offer this with Dish Network).

    8. No "usual" in-home telephone. I currently use Vonage for my home phone service - not a normal "land line". My phone goes through my high speed internet (which I will be keeping when I drop my cable). Is this an issue? I have heard some stories about not being able to use it in conjuction with one of the systems.

    9. If I went with Dish Network, I'd get either the America's Top 120 or 180 package. With Direct TV, I'd probably go with the Total Choice Plus package. I do not want any premium channels.

    I'm sorry for so many questions. I keep going back and forth between Dish and Direct TV. Before I make such a big decision, I'd like to make sure I weigh my options.

    Thank you for your time and effort helping me with this major decision!

  2. pomeroy

    pomeroy Legend

    Jan 2, 2005
    Hey Rob,
    I have been a Directv customer for 10 years now I did go with Dish for a year during that time just to get the Superstations then dropped them Big difference between the two, #1 Picture Quality Direct wins crystal clear on every channel, Dish on the other hand the picture is not as good digitizes alot with movement.

    Dish is cheaper than Direct but remember you get what you pay for

    Losing the picture due to rain yes for both but it has to rain real hard, It seems alot more worse if you have Directs new 3 lnb dish, Dish 500 not as bad

    If you go Directv you will have to sign a contract for a year, with Dish theres no contract, But becareful some of Dish ads you get in your mailbox are deceiving and make you sign up for a year or a certain package

    The Superstations package Dish has you better call them first and see if you can get it, because of the new law I thought they were going to stop offering those

    One thing you can't get local channels from different cities or cities you want, because of that law, which I think is a bunch of crap, The Superstation package is different and lets you get the channels they have listed one big reason people choose Dish

    Becareful about going with Dish & Directs offers for FREE 4 room hook up, They don't tell you but you will be charged each month for basicly leasing the equipment, Its like I think $5, with Dish you can buy it on the spot and pick which one you want to go with

    As far as where to buy, I would call them
    Dish 1-800-333-DISH
    Directv 1-800-531-5000
    and see what they will give you, might be a better deal knowing your a first time customer :)

    The best advice I can give you is go spend time at your friends houses that have Dish & Direct and pick the one you like the most
  3. lee120

    lee120 Legend

    Dec 2, 2002
    get directv dvr there are the best and with dish if you want to drop to lower pack you get hit 5$ fee and with directv the dvr fee is 5$ for all all dvr with dish they have a per dvr so if you have 2 have to pay 10$ + the additional receiver fee of 5$ and directvs receiver are stable dish you have to unplug the units every day!!!
  4. Mikey

    Mikey Hall Of Fame

    Oct 26, 2004
    Holy Cow!!! Did you ever hear of punctuation? Most keyboards DO have a shift key for uppercase. :D
  5. SimpleSimon

    SimpleSimon Hall Of Fame

    Jan 15, 2004
    Your best bet is to ALWAYS talk to a local retailer that handles BOTH D* and E*, AND does their own installs. Their income depends on their reputation - which depends on their quality of service. ;)

    Walk into the store with your questions. If the guy can't answer them, find another LOCAL retailer.
  6. BabaLouie

    BabaLouie AllStar

    Apr 2, 2004

    I've had both before, and I thought the picture quality with Dish was a bit better than Directv. That's just my experience. Maybe it depends on what receiver you get?
  7. Mike D-CO5

    Mike D-CO5 Hall Of Fame

    Mar 11, 2003
    More likely the locals you get.

    Some local cities look worse than others. These local channels are more compressed than the national sat channels. I have Houston and they look pretty sharp. I worked with the dishquality department to tweak and fix any problems with these channels and they look great.

    I have Little Rock locals on my second account and no matter of tweaking will fix some of those channels because in that city, it is the stations themselves that are bad. For example the Katv channel 7 ABC station sucks totally. It looks almost black and white at night. This is the same if you watch it on ota or satellite or even cable.

    As far as the rest of the national channels with Dish , I think they look pretty sharp. I had both services in 2003 and I perfered Dish to Direct on picture quality. But picture quality is subjective.

    You also have to adjust your tv picture controls for satellite tv. The same controls need to be adjusted different for Dish than Directv. Some people will have their tv adjusted for like cable or for Directv and then go to Dish or Directv satellite and remark how bad the picture looks.;)
  8. Mike D-CO5

    Mike D-CO5 Hall Of Fame

    Mar 11, 2003
    Oh yeah the hd receivers make the sat channels look good. They upconvert the sd stuff and it really improves the picture. IF you have a digital tv ,you have to have a hd sat receiver or you only get a flat picture .
  9. SimpleSimon

    SimpleSimon Hall Of Fame

    Jan 15, 2004
    "These local channels are more compressed than the national sat channels."

    Not always. Colorado Springs is on a spotbeam transponder with only 7 channels. That's less than the average cram of around 10.
  10. Mike D-CO5

    Mike D-CO5 Hall Of Fame

    Mar 11, 2003

    Okay, let me rephrase that one; MOST local channels are more compressed than the national sat channels. ;)
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