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Thinking About Switching to Dish but Have Questions?

Discussion in 'General DISH™ Discussion' started by Neil64, May 4, 2012.

  1. Neil64

    Neil64 New Member

    Apr 16, 2012
    I've been with Direct TV for 16 years and am think about switching to Dish for HD and the Hopper.

    1st, where can I find specific hardware prices - dvr fees, Joey fees, etc?

    2nd, where can I find how many Joeys come with a Hopper?

    3rd, when your 1 year promo ends, can you sign up for another promo or do you really have to pay the full normal price? I am considering America's Top 250+ for a promo price of $39.99 for 12 months and 69.99 after the promo. Would I really have to pay the $69.99 or could I switch to another promo pack and sign a new agreement? Verizon offer these types of deals or so they tell me.

    4th, Are all HD channels also simulcast on SD channels for recording by VCR or DVD recorders?

    5th, Is Dish's equipment - DVRs, etc. reliable? My Sony Tivo is over 10 years old and works just like it did day 1.

    6th, why are promo lengths different over the phone vs. on line? Seems like the folks on the telephone will haggle with me to try to sign me up??? I don't want to sign up with these folks and get billed something different.

  2. sregener

    sregener Godfather

    Apr 17, 2012
    1) I used the online system to get a price quote. You don't have to give them much information until you actually select the install date - I went through it many times before actually pulling the trigger on a deal.

    2) You can run up to 3 Joeys off a Hopper. I have 0. None "come with" it - you have to order how many you need.

    3) To get the promo, you have to sign a 24-month agreement, and you have to pay the second year at full price. Note that the package price you quoted doesn't include the DVR fees or the other costs associated with your account. With just a Hopper, my first year cost is around $56/month. The second year will be in the mid-80s. DirecTV has a habit of negotiating "promos" with customers who are off contract, to keep them from leaving. I have not read of people getting customer loyalty deals from Dish.

    4) Not sure what you'd gain by saving programming to a VCR or DVD, or why you'd record a lower-quality signal to begin with. The Hopper has composite (yellow/white/red RCA-jack) output for those types of devices, and would output an NTSC signal, even of HD material. You can also archive your recordings to external hard drives, which would retain the quality of your HD picture for recorded stuff. But most HD channels are also in SD - exceptions are special channels like HDNet.

    5) Dish's equipment is probably about as reliable as DirecTV's, which is to say that the most likely component to fail is the hard drive. However, lots of things can and do happen to satellite equipment over time and factors like cleanliness of your environment and temperature will have an impact on how long it lasts. Most modern electronics today do not last as long as they did a decade ago, but it's not impossible for something to last 10 years.

    6) Be wary of any deal offered to you on the telephone. Demand it in writing before committing. Some unscrupulous companies will tell you anything to get a customer, and then give you something less when they actually do the work. I know of at least one customer who was promised some specific channels in a specific package, in spite of the fact those channels were never part of that package.
  3. James Long

    James Long Ready for Uplink! Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

    Apr 17, 2003
    The DISH website ... the "XiP" forum we have here. We don't keep it a secret.

    No Joeys come with a Hopper. DISH installs them separately.

    A new subscriber can get one Hopper and up to three Joeys free (no equipment cost). The second Hopper is $199 and an additional Joey is $99.

    Monthly fee (plus programming package and taxes) is $7 per Hopper or Joey. The first Hopper is included in the programming package. There is also a $6 DVR fee and $4 whole home fee added per account if you have a Hopper.

    So a single Hopper will cost you $10 per month plus programming package and tax then add $7 for each additional Hopper or Joey. Simple math!

    Your two year agreement lasts two years so you will be required to pay the then current full package price when your promo period ends.

    You might be able to add a different promo (Blockbuster movies, a premium package) but the sign up discount ends.

    BTW: The promo is, as stated, a $$ discount off of the current price. If DISH raises their price (most years they do so in February) your first year discount will be off of the then current price. DISH is not promising a set fee for the first year, they are promising a discount for the first year.

    Most HD channels are also in SD. The Hoppers and Joeys have SD outputs for any channel, HD or SD. Some channels are protected by digital rights management software.

    More details in the XiP forum ... there always seem to be a few people who have more problems than others but in general the current equipment is reliable.

    You should be getting the same deal from DISH either way but some resellers offer their own discounts ... for which you will agree to a separate contract. If you are not dealing directly with DISH get everything in writing. Probably not a bad idea even if you are dealing directly with DISH.

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