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DirecTV vs. Dish?

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DirecTV vs. Dish?

Old 12-19-10, 02:33 AM
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DirecTV vs. Dish?

OK, I know this has been asked before but I can't seem to find a recent thread on it. I am moving to a new house in the mountains (4,000 feet) and cable will not be an option. I'm left with the decision choosing of which satellite company to go with. DVR and HD are important but I'm also wondering about the ability to watch different programming in 2 different rooms as well as recording on one set and watching it on another. Right now I'm looking at two separate TVs for now with maybe one or more later down the road.

I'm leaning towards DirecTV so far based on the latest deals and my research but wanted to know what my fellow Talkers thought.

One thing that sucks that I did not realize until talking with my new neighbors is that there is no high speed internet available unless you get satellite internet like HughesNet. Ah well, we close in three days, too late now.
Old 12-19-10, 03:17 AM
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Re: DirecTV vs. Dish?

I've had both Directv and Dish.....currently with Directv going on 7 years now and I've been pretty happy with them. I really can't comment on Dish's pricing/equipment since the last time I was with them was in 2002 and obviously technology and pricing has changed alot.

If your a sports/NFL, obviously one of the major perks on Directv is the NFL Sunday Ticket Package with the Red Zone channel. And the longer you stay with Directv, the more deals/perks they offer you. I upgraded my old creaky standard def DVR's this past summer and got 2 new HD DVR's for free (but obviously the catch is the 2 year contract) and I asked their customer service a few months ago if they could offer me any additional free/discounted channels and they gave me the Showtime package for 1 year at $2.99 a month.

I'm not crazy about Directv's HD DVR as it's not as user friendly as Tivo, but it does it's job and it stores roughly 100 hours of HD programming.

One of the major disappointments right now with Directv is they are missing a few HD Channels, mainly AMC HD (uhhh hmmm Mad Men, The Walking Dead)
Old 12-19-10, 08:59 AM
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Re: DirecTV vs. Dish?

I use a Tivo with cable. I've been thinking about satellite, but Tivo doesn't work with satellite any more, at least in HD. One of the features that I really like about Tivo is the ability to transfer shows from your Tivo to your PC with TV Desktop (TivoToGo) and then burn them to a disc for storage and later viewing or just transfer them to your laptop for viewing on the go.

As far as I know, neither DTV's nor Dish's dvr's has this ability, do they?
Old 12-19-10, 09:16 AM
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Re: DirecTV vs. Dish?

I've been a loyal Directv customer for 15 years. I've been a bit disappointed in them lately as I moved a few months ago and they promised me a DVR upgrade. They define upgrade as any receiver other than a regular receiver. I define upgrade as receiving a newer model DVR with faster response time a larger hard drive than the one I currently had. They shipped me the same model that I already had (complete with the flaws I already knew existed). In my opinion I didn't receive an upgrade, in theirs I did. Technician didn't set up the system right and getting someone out to correct it was a major hassle (they cancelled twice without telling me and I was sitting at home waiting for them). Customer service used to be excellent, but it has gone to shit.

The Directv DVR interface is as Djayra says not user friendly. (Hopefully, there will be a new Tivo HD DVR for DTV soon). Other tings to consider. DTV on demand is not true on demand. It downloads to your receiver and is not instant. You select and it may take up to an hour for the program to download. For some reason, DTV does not have HBO or Cinemax on demand, but they have it for the other premium channels.

Ican't say how this compares to DISH, but these are just some thoughts based on recent experience.
Old 12-19-10, 10:04 AM
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Re: DirecTV vs. Dish?

I can't comment on Dish either, but as a 15+ year DirecTV subscriber, I've never been more annoyed with them than in the past year. As others have said, customer service has gone to shit (at least compared to where they used to be), it's been rumored AMC HD was coming for a couple years now and it's still not here.

Unless something changes, I'm probably going to leave them and go to Dish when my contract is up next spring. They might jerk me around just as bad, but I figure it's time to give them a chance.
Old 12-19-10, 11:04 AM
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Re: DirecTV vs. Dish?

This may be location-specific, but my parents had Dish for a year, and the quality of the HD was horrible compared with DirecTV. Customer service gave them a heck of a time getting out of their "contract" and they eventually went to the state attorney general, which did the trick. They're back with DirecTV and still can't stop talking about their horrible experience with Dish.
Old 12-19-10, 01:50 PM
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Re: DirecTV vs. Dish?

^ Interesting. I've been with both and prefer Dish. DirecTV is good for those whose primary interests are sports (they have superior sports packages than Dish). However, I think Dish edges DTV out in the following categories: pricing, HD selection, HD DVR.

One other thing DTV has going for it though is the 101 network (i.e., able to watch Friday Night Lights and the final two seasons of Damages).
Old 12-20-10, 02:50 AM
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Re: DirecTV vs. Dish?

I haven't had either for the past year and have not used HD programming with either, but based on my 11 years between the two of them I can say that DirecTV is better if you like sports, Dish Network is better if you want to save a few bucks per comparable package each month.

And Dish Network is also better for international programming.
Old 12-20-10, 08:40 AM
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Re: DirecTV vs. Dish?

I have been very happy with Direct TV for over 13 years. I have had hardware replaced, technicians sent to my home and spent time on the phone several times and never had any issues at all.

I would recommend them to anyone
Old 12-20-10, 09:15 AM
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Re: DirecTV vs. Dish?

We're very happy w/ Directv for the most part. Are they perfect? NO.
My sister has Dish and after playing around w/ her dvr, I would never get Dish.
For me, Dtv's dvr is very user friendly. Dish, not so much.
Old 12-20-10, 09:57 AM
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Re: DirecTV vs. Dish?

The current ad running for DirecTV talks about this one feature which allows you to pause something you're watching and resume it on another connected TV. I've not seen anyone else advertise this feature if that's important to you.

I have had DirecTV for 11 years and like their service (despite the TiVo debacle a few years back).
Old 12-20-10, 01:35 PM
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Re: DirecTV vs. Dish?

I've had both, currently Dish, and have had issues with both. But when push comes to shove, I slightly prefer Dish, largely because I always feel that flipping through channels with DirectTV is slower. Also because on occasion when you call Dish's customer service, you get a native English speaker.
Old 12-20-10, 04:16 PM
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Re: DirecTV vs. Dish?

Originally Posted by mgbfan View Post
Also because on occasion when you call Dish's customer service, you get a native English speaker.
I almost always get a native English speaker when I call DirecTV...but more and more, they're assholes, so I'd prefer having an Indian on the other end.
Old 12-20-10, 04:19 PM
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Re: DirecTV vs. Dish?

I've never had a problem with Directv's Customer service. In fact the 2 different people I spoke to, who were based in Idaho and Oklahoma were awesome and tremendously helpful with me setting up my HD DVR's this past summer.
Old 12-20-10, 04:24 PM
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Re: DirecTV vs. Dish?

HBO and Cinemax On-Demand launched today on DirecTV, though no HBO HD On-Demand until "early in the new year".
Old 12-20-10, 04:38 PM
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Re: DirecTV vs. Dish?

Been with both and prefer Dish because of the hardware. I very much like being able to add an external HD to my DVR. I wish I could get the NFL package that Direct has, but it is probably for the best.
Old 12-20-10, 05:56 PM
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Re: DirecTV vs. Dish?

I've had both. I had Dish for about 10 years, until they dropped GolTV from their lineup. Switched to DirecTV, but got rid of them a few months ago because of direction issues (asshole neighbor won't cut/trim his trees.)

Honestly, no complaints about either. Customer service was fine with both. Tech problems are tech problems. It's how they resolve them that matters. And I've had good and bad installation with each.
Old 12-20-10, 06:08 PM
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Re: DirecTV vs. Dish?

Originally Posted by kvrdave View Post
Been with both and prefer Dish because of the hardware. I very much like being able to add an external HD to my DVR.
You can do that with DirecTV also.
Old 12-21-10, 02:10 AM
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Re: DirecTV vs. Dish?

I have been with DirecTV for a year and about a month ago i was upgraded to HD for free, i got a refurbished HD box (no DVR) and free instillation because I called and asked about getting my local channels and they said I would need to upgrade and they would do it for free and not extend my service contract. They call me occasionally and offer me Showtime/HBO/Cinemax and all those for like $10 for 3 months. I do have my service through AT&T if that means anything. I would say that DTV gets a solid 9/10 rating from me. I had cable for YEARS before going to DTV and I would rate Suddenlink a 2/10, very rude and lieing assholes
Old 12-21-10, 03:05 AM
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Re: DirecTV vs. Dish?

I've been with DirecTV so long now (about ten years) that it feels weird to dump them for Dish, but...free HD for life, local channels in HD (DTV doesn't offer HD locals in our area, and no signs of them adding them on the horizon), AMC and Turner Classics in HD, no "leased receiver" fee and no DVR service fees...seems the time to jump is now. Especially with the first year of service being practically half the cost of what we're paying right now for Direct.

I'm just a little worried if the Dish DVR sucks compared to Direct, or if the HD signal is choppy or unreliable.

The big down side of making the jump? Losing our East Coast CBS and FOX channels. Grandfathered in from way back when, we've been pretty spoiled on having two of the big four early. Decisions, decisions.

EDIT TO ADD: I called up DirecTV this morning and asked if we had any chance of getting our locals in HD in the upcoming year. I was told that our area was not on this list for HD locals upgrades at this time. I did mention that locals in HD were available on Dish Network, and was told, quote, "Yes, that is true, but the HD local broadcasts that Dish Network states that they carry usually are not in true high definition, and often come across either fuzzy or blurry."

Hmmm. Anyway with personal experience with Dish Network care to chime in about the quality of their HD local channels??

Last edited by parker63; 12-21-10 at 11:25 AM.
Old 12-21-10, 03:42 PM
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Re: DirecTV vs. Dish?

I seem to be no closer to deciding. I was hoping for an overwhelming concensus. Closing on Thursday and I was hoping to make a call.

So DTV charges extra for HD and you pay a fee for the receiver and DVR? On pricing alone that makes more sense.
Old 12-21-10, 04:42 PM
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Re: DirecTV vs. Dish?

For DirecTV, I have the HD-DVR package so the HD and DVR are included in the price. Now each receiver or DVR on top of the 1st one is an additional $5. Frankly, I much prefer the DTV HDDVR to a TIVO (I have an old D10 model DirecTIVO and don't like the interface).

I've always figured the main difference between the 2 is sports. If you want sports packages, obviously the NFL one, DirecTV is the way to go. Otherwise, I'd just look at the various packages, figure out which channels (particularly in HD) are a must for you, work from there, and go with the better value.

And keep in mind what the price for the various packages are once you get through the discounted promotional period that they usually start you out on with these things.
Old 12-21-10, 05:31 PM
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Re: DirecTV vs. Dish?

I've been looking into both DirecTV and Dish this last week as well. We've been Comcast subscribers for years on the basic plan, which used to mean more channels than it does now. When we moved a few years back the Comcast installer told us we would be picking up a lot of things we weren't supposed to be getting and they could be there one day and gone the next. A few months back we stopped getting the cable channels on the TV, but were still getting them through the Tivo with the cable card. Last week the cable channels went goodbye.

Looking at Comcast's packages I can't justify raising our cable bill by 50 bucks, but I know that there will be a revolt if there's no more Cartoon Network, AMC, HGTV and I'll miss ESPN, Comcast SportsNet & Comedy Central. Not really a fan of Comcast's monopolistic practices either. I'm not totally sold on U-verse either.

If we make a switch, I'm probably leaning towards DirecTV, but that means the Tivo we have and like would no longer be good for anything, right?
Old 12-21-10, 11:50 PM
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Re: DirecTV vs. Dish?

The DVR/HD/Box fees can be misleading. With Whole Home DVR DirectTV charges $10 for HD and DVR, meanwhile Dish gives your "free HD" but charges $6 for DVR plus $2 more per extra box.

For their second tier packages Dish is offering a $15 credit for 12 months, but DirectTV is offering $34 for the first 12, $15 for the second. I think if you go to their sites and price out a 2 room HD/DVR package Dish will be more expensive. Even with a 1 HD/DVR + 1 HD only Dish setup you'll be paying more.
Old 12-22-10, 08:08 AM
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Re: DirecTV vs. Dish?

I have Dish. But don't do the HD. I still have the dinosaur DVR that sounds like an airplane taking off when it warms up. I only keep Dish because it has NFL Network, and Dish was part of the phone/internet package. It goes out when it rains (cloud coverage)? I want the new version DVR, ViP 922 Slingloader so I can watch tv on my phone. Otherwise, I just suffer and I hate calling their customer service.

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