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Posted: 12/11/2003 7:17:52 AM EDT
I've finally decided to get satellite tv over cable and need help deciding which dish company to get. Here's my situation:

I have regular non-HD tv sets.
I want to hook up 2 tv's.
I'm looking for a basic package with at least one dedicated sports channel.
I want local channels.
I don't want to spend a lot.

Thanks in advance!
Link Posted: 12/11/2003 7:29:23 AM EDT
Make sure you're comparing apples to apples when you compare the price of cable vs. the dish. If I had the same package on cable as I do on DISH it would cost about the same. Also, dish TV doesn't work too good in the rain. For me, rainy days are EXACTLY when I'd like to be watching TV. If it's bright & sunny out, what the hell would I be doing inside? Between DISH and Diretv, I don't really see much difference. I know Direct was easier to steal from, but since they just started suing people for that (including members of this board) I'd advise against that.
Link Posted: 12/11/2003 7:32:34 AM EDT
Everything except the last one will be covered by DirecTV. If you like Football go DTV they have an exclusive on the NFL package. I keep hearing ads for a free multi-room system with a one year sign up including installation. That's a good way to go. If you have a home theater system be sure you get receivers with a digital output so you can get the 5.1 or DTS soundtrack for movies you watch on the Satellite.
Link Posted: 12/11/2003 7:35:17 AM EDT
I had Dish Network before and now, because of a move, Direct TV. No big difference in prices, but I like Direct TV better: there seem to be more channels, their channel surfing menus and options are superior, and it seems that pic quality is better and less affected by bad weather. YMMV.
Link Posted: 12/11/2003 7:36:13 AM EDT
I have Dish Network and like it fine. My brothers and mother have Direct TV and like it fine. Other than the packages they offer and the cost, there probably isn't much difference, depending on where you live. My sister is looking to get Dish Network for Christmas. There are many good deals being offered right now. A dual dish can handle two receivers or two TV's. The second receiver will allow you to watch different programing on the two TV's at the same time (additional monthly charge = $5/mo). You can also get the local channels (additional charge =$5) Personally I think my SAT TV has a much better digital signal/picture than my friends digital cable service, and he agrees! Good luck with your choice. I'm sure you'll enjoy either.[beer]
Link Posted: 12/11/2003 7:47:52 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/11/2003 7:48:45 AM EDT by HardShell]
I've never tried DirecTV, so I can't compare. I've had Dish Network ever since I moved to the "sticks" (Read: no cable service available) and I've been very happy with it overall. One suggestion: If you record stuff at all (shows, movies, whatever), spring for one receiver with the optional DVR (digital video recorder). (Dish Network calls theirs a PVR [PERSONAL Video Recorder]; I don't kow what the DirecTV equivalent is, but I'm sure they have one) In my humble opinion, the PVR is the best thing since sliced bread... [:D]
Link Posted: 12/11/2003 7:55:41 AM EDT
I've had a Dish system for a year and a half now, my parents use DirectTV at their house. I like Dish just fine, and have never had the picture drop out in the rain for longer than 5 or 6 min. That only happens in the spring/early summer when we are doused with rainstorms. DirectTV has nicer menus, but the response to button clicks is slower. They also seem to have more "interactive" channels, but I have not had a chance to play with it since I only visit them. I think you would be happy with either system. I don't regret getting Dish over DirectTV, much like my parents don't regret getting DirectTV over Dish.
Link Posted: 12/11/2003 8:00:06 AM EDT
Originally Posted By M4-guy: I want local channels.
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Oh... there's the stickler. I live in SW WI, and am not "allowed" to get local channels. It seems the Milwaukee stations do not have an agreement with Dish, so I can't get them on the Dish, and they will not allow me to get Chicago stations on the satellite. I had to call, beg, and plead with every Milwaukee station manager to get my local channels. The NBC and ABC station said OK to me getting Chicago stations, FOX and CBS will not allow me to get Chicago stations. In order to get FOX or CBS I have a set of rabbit-ears in my front-room. Both come in pretty crappy, so I just never watch those stations. It’s a pretty crappy deal, so CALL FIRST to find out if you REALLY get the local stations. Av.
Link Posted: 12/11/2003 8:04:05 AM EDT
You ought to add a poll to this post. I liked DirecTV.
Link Posted: 12/11/2003 8:05:51 AM EDT
Had both...DISH is the one.
Link Posted: 12/11/2003 8:08:46 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/11/2003 8:09:32 AM EDT by cyanide]
I have Dish my son has Direct TV, I have looked at both Dish wins, and not just because I have it, if I wanted I could switch for free.
Link Posted: 12/11/2003 8:08:51 AM EDT
DSS setups work just fine in the rain, wind and all manner of bad weather *if* the person who put the dish up spent the time to aim it right. Check your signal strength meter on the setup menu. It should read in the 80's at least. If not then there's your problem, bad aim. Not the systems fault.
Link Posted: 12/11/2003 8:16:30 AM EDT
DISH NETWORK (capped on purpose. DirectTV can suck my @#$%. Customer service is non-exsistent at DirectTV and the guy who hooked up my Dish Network system says they never rain fade. Now I will take that with a grain of salt but if it got cloudy I lost reception with DirectTV and I have already had some pretty good storms with no problems yet on the network.
Link Posted: 12/11/2003 8:18:15 AM EDT
I live in Washington state (rain) and I have DirecTV and I have yet to lose a signal due to rain. I am pulling a 93 off of the sattelite. Go with the dual system. I went cheap and bought the single system and package. It gets old not being able to watch and record. I had just ordered a dual system with DVR (which is Tivio) and upgraded to the package that gets me Wings. DTV let me cancel the entire package at no charge (lost my job), so to me DTV is the way to go.
Link Posted: 12/11/2003 8:31:20 AM EDT
I've never had a problem with DTV's customer service. I don't know if it's still the case (I haven't looked), but the options for Dish receivers just plain sucks, and VERY few places carry them. With DTV, you can just go to your local electronics store and grab another receiver (HD, DVR...whatever). Right now, DTV has a nice package deal which includes a DVR receiver. Check it out under "packages" on their site.
Link Posted: 12/11/2003 8:46:45 AM EDT
I have Dish Network. In a torrential downpour or in a very light rain, it goes out. Maybe it's bad aiming, or whatever other nonsense, I don't really care. The fact remains that you don't have to "aim" the cable.
Link Posted: 12/11/2003 9:35:21 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/11/2003 9:42:18 AM EDT by M4-guy]
Originally Posted By jvic: You ought to add a poll to this post.
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Poll coming...
Link Posted: 12/11/2003 10:02:06 AM EDT
i gots dish like it way more than direct not sure if direct got better menus than the one i used, but i like dish menus much better
Link Posted: 12/11/2003 12:46:10 PM EDT
Definatlely go with Dish, and when you do ca11 1-888-920-4438 and use this promotion code CDL053095321 2165399. You get up to three free receivers (satelite) and$50 off your first bill. Even better, it gets me $5 off a month my bill for a year! The gift card was sitting next to the computer when I read the topic, and I couldn't resist. I do like Dish alot better. I can surf the channel list while still watching a current program. My brother-in-law has Direct and I don't like the whole menu system It is a PITA.
Link Posted: 12/11/2003 1:09:38 PM EDT
DishNet rules! Only advantage I see with DirecTV is the NFL sports package. DishNet doesn't have that. I live in Colorado, and the only time I have lost a signal was when I had a lot of ice and snow on my dish.
Link Posted: 12/11/2003 1:30:07 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Donith: I can surf the channel list while still watching a current program. My brother-in-law has Direct and I don't like the whole menu system It is a PITA.
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Every receiver is different in the way the menu system works. With my DTV RCA receivers (the cheap freebies), I can surf and watch my program at the same time.
Link Posted: 12/11/2003 1:49:09 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Donith: Definatlely go with Dish, and when you do ca11 1-888-920-4438 and use this promotion code CDL053095321 2165399. You get up to three free receivers (satelite) and $50 off your first bill. Even better, it gets me $5 off a month my bill for a year!
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LOL! I was just about to say, you sound like a damn flyer! If I decide to go with Dish (which looks likely at this point) I'll try to remember you. Email me your name in case they ask.
Link Posted: 12/11/2003 3:41:33 PM EDT
Anyone use Dish/Direct TV connection for internet access (is this even possible)? How well does that work?
Link Posted: 12/11/2003 4:07:07 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Astrogoth: DSS setups work just fine in the rain, wind and all manner of bad weather *if* the person who put the dish up spent the time to aim it right. Check your signal strength meter on the setup menu. It should read in the 80's at least. If not then there's your problem, bad aim. Not the systems fault.
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Just checked my signal, it's at 88, and it goes out all the time in the rain.
Link Posted: 12/11/2003 5:18:06 PM EDT
I switched from DirectTV to Dish because there always seemed to be some issue with DTV. The Dish system works just fine.
Link Posted: 12/11/2003 5:26:38 PM EDT
I have had direct tv since 1999 with no issues. Great picture - only loose the signal maybe 10 times a year for about 5-10 mins if a big thunderstorm gets between my dish and the sat.
Link Posted: 12/11/2003 5:31:27 PM EDT
I have DirecTV and have a signal of 94 per the receiver. The only time I lose signal is when a HUGE thunderhead cloud is directly between me and the satellite. It doesn't even have to be raining yet - but then again, the heaviest downpour will not make it drop out unless the cloud is in exactly the right place. That said, last year we had that huge blizzard in Feb and my signal never went out. In fact, due to power outages, the entire regional cable system was down for days. I watched in comfort the whole time on generator power. Same thing during the hurricane in September - no loss of signal except for one 5 minute period. Cable all over the area was out for days. Also, I can take my receiver, a spare dish, and a TV and have it at the cabin, including local Baltimore stations. Another thing: If you live in an area where they do not offer local stations, especially if you're CLOSE to an area that does, you can trick them into selling you the local channels. I did it by simply going online and changing the service address to my dad's house (where they offer local), but keeping the billing address at my house. Then I called them and had them turn on the local channels. Been doing it for about three years now without problems. And it's not theft - I pay for the local channels.
Link Posted: 12/11/2003 5:43:18 PM EDT
I work at the world's largest broadcast television network (AFRTS-BC) and my best friend works at DirecTV and I use Dish Network! At the command we get both. Aboard ship we use DirecTV. In side-by-side tests unless you're use to looking for MPEG artifacts you'll not often see the difference. Dish Network runs a bit more band width so the picture is a bit better but I'm convinced that 99% of you don't know the difference. Hell, most of you think that digital television looks better than analog [rolleyes]. If you're there I can't help you! All Ku band receivers are subject to rain fade as it's a function of the rain drop size and wavelenght of the signal. Aiming means everything and there are maps which will show you the amount of rain fade you should get - if you live in Hawaii it's very high, if you live in Southern California it's zero. A poorly aimed dish will suffer more rain fade than you should get. BTW - by rain fade I mean rain failure. Unlike analog fade where the picture goes snowy with digital either you have enough bits to make a picture or you don't. The edge between the two is razor thin. I ended up with Dish Network because of the free channel guide and the PVR deal. I got one PVR for free and the second one costed me $150. I don't watch enough TV to dream about a dual receiver system. I use RF modulators to send the boxes signals into my homes cables so the two PVR's are watchable on any television in the house. The remote controls are RF so they work though the walls. My house is pretty big and I can control the downstairs PVR from the upstairs bedrooms without issues. I actually did a spread sheet and mapped out what channels I wanted to watch and into which of the packages they fell into. I managed to get three months of "America's Top 150 channels" with all the movie channels for three months for free because the local installer didn't show up on the day promised. Remember I do this for a living so I spent an hour and put my own dish up and ran the cable better than any dish monkey could.
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