Dish Network vs DirecTV - any opinions?

I’m moving to a new house in the next couple of weeks, and I want to give Adelphia Cable the finger as I go. ($125 a month for non-digital cable, HBO and broadband? Get real.)

Since WOW cable doesn’t compete in the area where I’m moving, the only alternatives are satellite; specifically DirecTV and Dish Network. The programming packages on both seem comparable. Dish Network is a bit cheaper, but they don’t have Tivo, and their multi-room tuners seem complicated. DirecTV has higher up-front costs, and their monthly subscription prices are a bit higher.

So, any thoughts or advice before I call them up?

Don’t know much about either, but highly recommend Tivo.

My cable runs about $90/month for broadband, DVR non-digital cable with ESPN but no HBO. The broadband alone is $30 (normally $40, but I get a corporate discount through my work). DVR costs $10/month. Cable is ~$50.

I’ve investigated switching to satellite because I would love to give TimeWarner the proverbial finger as well. But by the time you add in the local channels ($2.95 per t.v. and I have 4 t.v.'s) and 4 receivers ($4 per tv) it ends up being about the same.

All I know is anything with a dish is to be avoided like the plague. Everytime it rains, you get static. Sometimes when you try to save a little, you end up paying more.

You don’t get static, because it’s digital.
You get signal loss.

I have Dish Network, but not their digital recorder. I am told that it works like the VCR timer Dish has; by the time slot, not by information about the program. If it goes a minute over, you’re screwed. If they change the program, it tapes the wrong program. Direct TV I understand records from information about the program.

Yes, their DVR is mainly a digital VCR, but they offer it free if you autopay through a credit card, so I’ll take it. It also records what you’re watching in a limited buffer, so you can pause it, move backward or forward. I’d get Direct TV if I could, mainly for the NFL Sunday Ticket.

As long as your dish is pointed correctly, you won’t get much signal loss unless it’s a severe rainstorm or a thunderstorm (mine goes out every time we have a thunderstorm - not much that we can do about that)

I don’t know much about Dish, but I know a lot about DirecTV - I work for them - feel free to email me if you want more information and some exact quotes. :slight_smile:

I have one of their PVRs. It is like a VCR’s timer. You can set the start and stop times just like a VCR. I always start and stop 3 minutes before and after a show’s scheduled time. You go to the program guide and “select” the program you want and then choose how the PVR is to deal with it: just change the channel, record it, or have it set to trigger a VCR to record it. You can then pull up a list of timer events and modify them any way you’d like.

Only stuff like news interruptions or last minute schedule changes will screw it up.

Same result, no watching TV.

I’ve found it to get screwy on windy days, and even light rain. Maybe the NY signal is weaker.

Dunno which service you have, but the DTV signal is in fact strongest in the southeast corner of the US - but they should still be able to improve your signal to prevent that, unless your line-of-sight is marginal.

Sounds better and better. If this free with credut card pay would just work with an existing account…:slight_smile:

Time Warner in NY. I don’t have it, but several friends hate it, and I’ve been on hand to watch it crap out once in awhile.

Probably a coincidence, not a servicewide problem.

There’s no charge for the use of the PVR. You may have to buy it though. I did after my old receiver went mental. I paid $200 about 3 years ago. Check out their website and see what their current deals are.

With DirecTV I can predict the weather.

The signal goes out.

“Well ma, I guess she’s gonna rain.”

The signal pops back in.

“well ma, I guess she’s gonna let up.”

Actually drop outs only happen when the weather is severe. But it does happen. The picture is excellent and the base package is good enough so we don’t use the premium services unless it’s the start of the account and they give them away.

I’ve asked several neighbors who have satellite about signal loss, and they’ve said that it takes a huge storm to knock out their signal. The sort of storm where you ought to take cover anyway. I wanted to get the dish but the DirecTV guy said I had too many trees. He did say he thought I’d be able to get Dish because of their satellite locations. I plan to get it when I have a real job again.


Outage occurs when weather is between the dish and the satellite. It might go out when it isn’t raining at my house.

I had DirecTV several years ago and my folks have Dish Network now. I can’t make a totally fair comparison since I haven’t seen both side by side but while both have lots of MPG compression artifacts in the images Dish Network seems much worse. I’m not a fanboy for Cox Cable but a digital picture from them is far better than either small dish system.

If your into sports, then I would say the Dirct TV is the way to go. NFL, MLB, NHL, NBA, NCAA football or basketball, etc. etc. special packages.

I got Direct TV for NHL Center Ice package and was totally happy with it (this year is another story :mad: ) the NHL package rocked!


My parents are very happy with their DirecTV service, FWIW. Northern New Jersey. Way cheaper than cable–for the difference in price, we pay the DSL bill.