Need advice - Dish Network vs. Directv vs. cable (Cox)?

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Need advice - Dish Network vs. Directv vs. cable (Cox)?

Postby Tomas on Wed May 31, 2006 5:22 pm

Which one should I go for? That is, which one is the cheapest/most error free? So far, I am subscribed to the expanded digital cable (includes Encore lineup, Sundance...) + all HBO channels.
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Postby Ron` on Wed May 31, 2006 7:15 pm

I'm not sure about prices as I only have Direct TV. I have not had a problem with it in over 9 years of subscribing. I like it because I have an extra dish set up at my camp and just take my receiver there on weekends. I have even made a portable dish rig for other camps. This allows me to get all my programing while away from home.

I used to have various cable companies over the years and despise them. Often changing my programing at their whim. Never seemed to give me the selection I wanted for sports. Worst case was in NY where the company decided to delete a Kingston Canada channel (hockey night in canada) and replace it with a religious channel. Imagine my reaction when I turned the TV on to watch a game and found out.

That was the straw that broke the camels back with cable for me and I went to Direct TV. I guess if you have to get your broadband internet through them cable might be an option.
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Postby Draftnik on Wed May 31, 2006 8:57 pm

I've had DirecTV for 11 or 12 years and would never go back to cable. I've never had any problems with DirecTV but in general it is probably a bit more expensive than Dish. Dish is always having disputes with programmers and ends up dropping channels during contentious negotiations. DirecTV never seems to have these problems.
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Postby Rychster on Wed May 31, 2006 9:42 pm

Tomas,

I have Directv and I will never change. However, depending upon what you like as far as HDTV is concerned, I would read up on what Directv will be doing in the next year or so regarding their move to the MPEG-4 format (HDTV) channels and their "renting" strategy with customers set top boxes. At the very least, I would wait until the newer version of their latest receivers hit the market (with MPEG-4 technology).

http://www.satelliteguys.us/forumdispla ... rune=&f=44

Basically, they are phasing out old HD Sat receivers (MPEG-2) (not sure when it will be turned off) and will force customers that want HDTV signals to move to the newer format. This will require a new Sat receiver that most likely will need to be "rented" from Directv and not owned (as it is now for legacy users/owners of their own equipment).

The key here is that they (Directv) don't want to use the renting strategy of cable companies (pay as you go month to month paying a rent fee with no obligation as long as you return your equipment when canceled). I've heard that if you are stern with them after buying your own receiver, they usually reluctantly give you the programming package without the tie to commitment cancellation fees. I would go to the Directv site and snoop around the programming package option's small print on what commitment is required for the type of box you want (SD, HD, HD DVR). The better equipment costs more up front and requires a 2-year commitment. Standard boxes are only one year. The kicker is that the money you spend on the receiver up front is having the privilege to use Directv and if you cancel, you are required to return the equipment back to them, losing the up-front cash investment and also forking over a prorated cancellation fee due to the commitment tie.

Don't let this scare you if you plan to use the equipment for the commitment period. You wont have to worry about a commitment cancellation fee and the up-front money (only the high end gear is pricey) 2-4 years from now will not be usable to anyone anyway to get your money back by reselling. The cost is high for HD DVR users due to the amount of people using them so far. The "rent" strategy comes with full support from Directv regarding upgrades to newer boxes when needed and is fully covered under a protection plan that will take care of any problems.

I have yet to dive into this because MPEG-2 HD programming is still offered and will be for the foreseeable future. However, I want HD DVR capability and the only way is to buy their brand receiver with the rent option. Hopefully, other companies will come out with a better receiver (faster interface/guide) before I pluck down my cash. I can afford to wait though.
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Postby Jim on Thu Jun 01, 2006 7:19 am

F' cable.

I have DishNetwork. I get the same programming for half the price. Signal loss has been very minimal and you tend to know when it is going to happen (right before a major rain storm) unlike with cable which can go out at any time. Loosing signal has more to do with bad instilation than anything else. Just have it professionally done (usually free with their packages now a' days). All those commercials about going up to adjust the dish and "there is my tree of shame" and all that reud... it all cable company BS. Just have it done right the first time and there are little problems.

I do not know about the HD options as I do not have a HDTV.

If you watch a lot of football you might want to opt for DirecTV. If not, DishNetwork is a bit cheaper.
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Postby Admin on Thu Jun 01, 2006 8:09 am

FiOS TV is the future. :lol:
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Postby Stoosh on Thu Jun 01, 2006 10:30 am

My wife and I used to have Comcast digital cable at our apartment, which was great (she loved the On Demand movie features, which made a whole bunch of old movies available at any time for no cost, on top of the pay-per-view movies they offered). The biggest drawback to the digital cable was the price. When we moved out of the apartment, we were paying more than $100 a month for our programming.

The house we bought in April of 2005 was previously owned by an elderly couple who didn't have any cable outlets installed (they had the big old antenna on the roof). So we had to start from scratch. DirecTV was running a promotion that gave us their top programming package (Total Choice Premier, which gives us like 185 stations or something, plus all local stations for free) and up to four receivers for $50 a month for three months. After three months, we could keep the package we had, but it would jump to its normal rate, which I believe is like $85-90 a month.

We've had it ever since and we haven't even thought of switching. We run into some problems with reception during thunderstorms, but those are few and far between, and they're almost always corrected within a couple of minutes. I can count the troubleshooting problems we've had on one hand, and every time I've had to call their customer service department, they've been fantastic.

We have like 25-30 different movie channels (HBO, Cinemax, Showtime, Starz, etc), plus they're pretty good with their pay-per-view selections if you like movies. I love the sports package...I've got ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN News, ESPN Classic, ESPN-U and CSTV (I'm a college sports junkie, so I love this...this is great for college hockey), NFL Network, a lot of the major market networks (YES, NESN, MSG, Comcast Sports). Plus, depending on what happens with our hockey team, I'm going to look into getting the NHL Center Ice package.

And, oh yeah, DirecTV carries OLN. When we signed up, Dish Network was not carrying it, and that was a big determining factor for me. I'm not sure if Dish Network picked it up.

I would HIGHLY recommend DirecTV.
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Postby Jim on Thu Jun 01, 2006 12:49 pm

On-Demand on Digital Cable was nice... but most of the stuff on there was stuff I had no desire to watch. Turnover was rather slow so you tended to watch everything you wanted in the first week and then you had to wait for the next month for a few new movies/shows to be put on.

On_Deman was nice for what it is... but not enough to be a real selling point.
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Postby Admin on Thu Jun 01, 2006 1:02 pm

Jim wrote:On Demand was nice for what it is... but not enough to be a real selling point.

My kids would kick me out of the house if we dumped On Demand.

FiOS TV has VOD. As soon as it's available and I confirm they have NHL Center Ice, we're dumping Comcast.
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Postby Jim on Thu Jun 01, 2006 3:30 pm

Well, if there are any kids in my house something is MAJOR wrong!!!
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Postby Tomas on Thu Jun 01, 2006 3:32 pm

Thanks for all your help! At the end, Dish Network gave me much more than I had for lower price.
One more question: how critical is the "clear view of southern sky" requirement? My house sits on the very top of the hill, but it is in a forested area with pretty high oak trees (it was actually one of the reasons I bought the house). Do trees matter for the quality of reception?
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Postby Mad City Mike on Thu Jun 01, 2006 4:57 pm

Tomas wrote:Thanks for all your help! At the end, Dish Network gave me much more than I had for lower price.
One more question: how critical is the "clear view of southern sky" requirement? My house sits on the very top of the hill, but it is in a forested area with pretty high oak trees (it was actually one of the reasons I bought the house). Do trees matter for the quality of reception?


Oh, yes, trees DO matter, very much. We have problems getting our local channels on the staellite in the summer because the leaves start interfering when the wind is out of the north. But it all depends on where in the sky the birds are compared to where the trees are. The Dish folks will have to figure all that out for you.
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Postby Jim on Fri Jun 02, 2006 7:00 am

Yes. But as I said, have one of their professional installers coume out and take a look. They know exactly what degree left and right and up and down you will need. Also, the dish does not have to be attached to your house. There are a few people around me that have the dish on a 5 ft pool in the corner of their yards so that they can get a clear signal. In other words, there are options.

If you do go with DishNetwork, let me know. I can give you a number/code and both you and I will get $5 a month off the bill for a year.
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Postby Tomas on Fri Jun 02, 2006 12:14 pm

Jim wrote: If you do go with DishNetwork, let me know. I can give you a number/code and both you and I will get $5 a month off the bill for a year.


Damn, as I have mentioned above, I have already ordered Dish (their people will come next Sunday to install it). $5 off would have been so sweet.... :evil:
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Postby ville5 on Fri Jun 02, 2006 1:44 pm

Tomas wrote:
Jim wrote: If you do go with DishNetwork, let me know. I can give you a number/code and both you and I will get $5 a month off the bill for a year.


Damn, as I have mentioned above, I have already ordered Dish (their people will come next Sunday to install it). $5 off would have been so sweet.... :evil:

Cancel your appointment. Then wait a few days and call back to set up a new appointment with the code Jim has. :twisted:
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