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Question about Dish Network: HD and general

Old 12-03-07, 09:04 PM
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Question about Dish Network: HD and general

I currently have DirecTV (SD on three sets, DVR on one of those).
Just bought an HD set, so I'm looking at upgrading my service. DirecTV wants $299 for their HD DVR (which I've heard sketchy things about), so I started looking at Dish.

Tonight I called Dish was quoted about $85/month for the same setup (3 rooms), with dual tuner HD-DVR on one, and SD on the other two (some kind of shared receiver ) America's 250 channel plan. 18 month committment. No charge for the HD-DVR. Local channels included, four of them in HD.

What's the downside with Dish, if any?
I'm in the Chicago suburbs, if my area matters at all.

Are there any major differences in available channels between Directv and Dish? I was trying to find a channel listing for Dish on their site, but couldn't.

Why am I not switching over right now?
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Old 12-03-07, 09:10 PM
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The biggest downside is Dish doesn't have nearly as many HD channels as DirecTV. As far as the HD DVR is concerned - I have 4 of them, and all work fine. I have had the occasional issues, but I have never used a DVR that worked perfectly all the time.

If you can afford the $300, I would stick with Direct - also, not sure if you have tried, but you can call them to see if they will work out a deal with you.

For HD, you can't beat Direct.
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Old 12-03-07, 09:29 PM
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Looks like Dish doesn't offer WGN in HD WTF?!
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Old 12-04-07, 08:24 AM
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Actually, Dish doesn't offer ANY of my locals in HD, which is fine since I get them with an antenna for better signal.

Dish has quite a few HD channels since they have the Zoom network too.

I have the ViP-622 DVR, it isn't bad, but alas, it is no TiVo.
I sometimes have sound synch issues, but I don't know if that is with the incoming signal, or the DVR.

Were you looking for the 250 channels:
http://www.dishnetwork.com/content/w.../packages.aspx

or the HD:
http://www.dishnetwork.com/downloads...nel_Lineup.pdf


No of the 250 channels, it seems like 100 of them are music (why Sirius and regular music channels?) or shopping, but you can see for yourself.

Last edited by jonw9; 12-04-07 at 08:27 AM.
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Old 12-04-07, 08:29 AM
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Originally Posted by 12thmonkey
Looks like Dish doesn't offer WGN in HD WTF?!

I don't think the line card is up do date, since they recently added channels. I will check when I get home. I think WGN was one that was recently add, but not positive.
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Old 12-04-07, 08:32 AM
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Originally Posted by jonw9
Actually, Dish doesn't offer ANY of my locals in HD, which is fine since I get them with an antenna for better signal.

Dish has quite a few HD channels since they have the Zoom network too.

I have the ViP-622 DVR, it isn't bad, but alas, it is no TiVo.
I sometimes have sound synch issues, but I don't know if that is with the incoming signal, or the DVR.

Were you looking for the 250 channels:
http://www.dishnetwork.com/content/w.../packages.aspx

or the HD:
http://www.dishnetwork.com/downloads...nel_Lineup.pdf


No of the 250 channels, it seems like 100 of them are music (why Sirius and regular music channels?) or shopping, but you can see for yourself.
I thought the 250 included both SD and HD channels. As as HD, I'm mainly interested in things like the main commercial networks and things like Discovery, Nat Geo, and Chicago baseball.

Maybe I should scope out Comcast, too...
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Old 12-04-07, 08:33 AM
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Originally Posted by jonw9
I don't think the line card is up do date, since they recently added channels. I will check when I get home. I think WGN was one that was recently add, but not positive.
Thanks. As a diehard Cub fan (in Chicago) I especially want that in HD. Plus, WGN is a CW station, and Supernatural in HD would be nice...
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Old 12-04-07, 08:38 AM
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I don't think I get WGNHD on Dish Network. I am 99% sure I don't unless it was recently added and I haven't noticed it (unlikely).
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Old 12-04-07, 08:39 AM
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I would also ask around about compression on the HD channels. I used to have DIrecTV and the compression was horrible. It might be better now.

Dish's compression is so bad that most HD looks like 480p except HDNet Movies and ESPN.
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Old 12-04-07, 09:15 AM
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Originally Posted by 12thmonkey
I thought the 250 included both SD and HD channels. As as HD, I'm mainly interested in things like the main commercial networks and things like Discovery, Nat Geo, and Chicago baseball.

Maybe I should scope out Comcast, too...

But Comcast doesn't have Big ten Network!

The 250 is SD, then you add the HD package which adds a few station, and the HD counterparts of many SD channels.
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Old 12-04-07, 10:13 AM
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I've had both the DTV and Dish HD-DVR's (H20? and VIP-622) and can say that Dish blows away the DTV model. I assume DTV has a newer DVR now that may be better.

You can also waive the Dish 18 month commitment but you will have to pay a $50 connect fee. If you know someone that already has Dish they will waive that fee as well.

The downside for me is Dish doesn't have Spike and FX in HD, which DTV now has.
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Old 12-04-07, 10:18 AM
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Originally Posted by johnglass
I've had both the DTV and Dish HD-DVR's (H20? and VIP-622) and can say that Dish blows away the DTV model. I assume DTV has a newer DVR now that may be better.

You can also waive the Dish 18 month commitment but you will have to pay a $50 connect fee. If you know someone that already has Dish they will waive that fee as well.

The downside for me is Dish doesn't have Spike and FX in HD, which DTV now has.
Hmm. I watch a few shows on FX already. Point for DirecTV...

It's that upfront $300 HD-DVR "lease" from DirecTV that's my snag.

Last edited by Pointyskull; 12-04-07 at 10:23 AM.
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Old 12-04-07, 10:29 AM
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Originally Posted by 12thmonkey
Hmm. I watch a few shows on FX already. Point for DirecTV...
With both of these networks just recently being launched in HD, I'm not certain how much of the programming is actually HD content. I'm sure someone else here can answer that.
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Old 12-04-07, 12:10 PM
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I called DirecTV and told them that DISH was offering me a free HD DVR and asked if they could match it. The first person I talked to said no. I called again and was able to get $179 of the $299 credited back to my account and a $10 a month credit on my account making the $299 - $0.

The installation guy couldn't get a signal through my neighbor's trees, but that's another story.
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Old 12-04-07, 03:05 PM
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What I was concerned about with DTV is that even after you pay the couple of hundred to "lease" their HD DVR, I'd heard that you also get put on a 2 year contract? I've been a DTV customer for a while and was thinking about going to the new DVRs because I wanted the more HD channels and the HD locals (OTA reception is so-so on some channels for me), but I wouldn't want to get locked down for that long again because I may move in the next year and there's no guarantee that I'll be able to use it at the next place.
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Old 12-04-07, 03:06 PM
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I was a DTV cutomer for the past 5 years. I suspended my service this summer becasue we moved across the country.

I started comparing DTV and Dish. I talked to 5 different people at Direct TV yesterday and they would not give me any deal for the HD receiver and package because I'm an existing customer even though they have sent me a mailing every week to reactivate my account and they would give me X off of an upgrade anad a movie package for 3 months. They said that was a mistake and that I am an existing sustomer so no deal for me. I was polite, told them I was shopping prices, what I could get, what I would like from them, etc. and they just wouldn't budge.
I finally had it with them, cancelled the account and subscribed to Dish. They didn't seem to care. I hope I don't regret it.
I read somewhere that Dish has a superior HD package. Based on this thread that appears incorrect.
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Old 12-04-07, 04:26 PM
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Dish has Monsters HD. Nuff said!
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Old 12-04-07, 06:13 PM
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Originally Posted by DamingR
I don't think I get WGNHD on Dish Network. I am 99% sure I don't unless it was recently added and I haven't noticed it (unlikely).
I am also in the Chicago area and recently signed up with Dish and have DishHD with the locals.

Definitely no WGN (Channel 9) in HD.
Also, no WTTW (Channel 11/PBS) in HD.

... but on the flipside, the HD-DVR boxes from Dish will accept an OTA antenna signals and record them in HD. Although I have not tried, I have heard that you can actually record 3 HD channels at once with the VIP622/722 (2 from the Dish and 1 OTA).

I need to run a new cable from my attic antenna to the DishHD box this winter ... since the Dish technician hijacked it for the dish.
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Old 12-04-07, 06:24 PM
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Originally Posted by flix1
I am also in the Chicago area and recently signed up with Dish and have DishHD with the locals.

Definitely no WGN (Channel 9) in HD.
Also, no WTTW (Channel 11/PBS) in HD.

... but on the flipside, the HD-DVR boxes from Dish will accept an OTA antenna signals and record them in HD. Although I have not tried, I have heard that you can actually record 3 HD channels at once with the VIP622/722 (2 from the Dish and 1 OTA).

I need to run a new cable from my attic antenna to the DishHD box this winter ... since the Dish technician hijacked it for the dish.

This is correct. I record 2 from the dish and 1 off the antenna regularly. I am not sure exactly how it works, but it does. Any or all of them can be HD.
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Old 12-05-07, 08:37 AM
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Originally Posted by lysander
I read somewhere that Dish has a superior HD package. Based on this thread that appears incorrect.
This was true up until just a month or two ago, now I believe DTV has more channels, and are adding more every day. I've seen no announcements from Dish about adding new HD channels any time soon. They've stated that the bandwidth is not available on their current satellites, so I guess until they launch a new bird I'm stuck with what I have (which really isn't all that bad, with the exception of missing FX and Spike).
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Old 12-05-07, 01:17 PM
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I don't know if DirecTV does this, but, for a one-time fee (I think it was $30), Dish Network will activate the USB ports at the back of the vip622 (high-def pvr) and you can connect a USB hard drive. Then you can archive high-def programming (or regular) onto the hard disk...It's a great way to be able to keep more high-def content, since burning high-def shows onto DVD/Blu-ray/HD-DVD isn't really available...I've been archiving Heroes Season Two, for example; and movies from some of the movie channels...Someone at Dish claimed they could record purchased Pay-Per-View movies, too...I haven't tried that yet...
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Old 12-06-07, 06:36 PM
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I personally think the Dish vip622 is a fantastic DVR and very stable. OTA reception was better on it at than either of my previous dedicated OTA receivers if you need that.

I've got a few buddies on the SD DVRs moving back to Charter again and they're not happy about going back to the Charter DVRs.

DirectTV has a few more popular stations right now in HD, though.

All of the HD channels IMO suffer from bitrate starvation which causes a lot of pixellation if there's a lot of objects & action on the screen. Some worse than others. Planet Earth on Discovery was a big offender here - a screen full of birds start flying and it turns into a pixellated mess. I only really watch HDnet and HDnet movies (and Universal HD sometimes) anyway.
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Old 12-06-07, 07:54 PM
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Originally Posted by aeron
Someone at Dish claimed they could record purchased Pay-Per-View movies, too
You can. I do it all the time (well, whenever I purchase a pay-per-view I record it and then archive to external).
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Old 12-06-07, 08:47 PM
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Originally Posted by aeron
I don't know if DirecTV does this, but, for a one-time fee (I think it was $30), Dish Network will activate the USB ports at the back of the vip622 (high-def pvr) and you can connect a USB hard drive. Then you can archive high-def programming (or regular) onto the hard disk...
I haven't done it myself, but you can attach an external hard drive to the DirecTV DVR - no extra activation fee. However, the external hard drive actually replaces the internal drive. It's one or the other - you can't actively move programs, or pick which drive a program will be on. You have to power up with the external connected. If you want to go back to the internal drive, you have to re-start the receiver without the external connected.
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