Dish Network or DirecTV?

reagentmelAugust 1, 2006

I am getting ready to move to a new home. We will have a home theater downstairs, and a plasma upstairs. We have everything set up to be centralized, so that we will have a media closet that houses all of the equipment, and distibute the signals from the satellite receivers to the whole house (bedrooms in addition to the 2 main tv's). I have had Dish Network for sevral years, and have been mostly happy, but with the move I have considered trying DirecTV. Anybody have experience with both, and have an opinion on which is better? If you have one of these companies and are happy or unhappy, I'd also like to know about that. I'm also specifically interested in Tivo vs. DVR. How are they different, and anyone know the status of Dish being able to provide DVR without infringing on Tivo? I think I had heard something about Dish having a problem with that. TIA

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Dish has more HD channels at the moment. DirecTV has better sports packages.

They are both adding locals in HD around the country. If you want HD and can't get it with an antenna, check with both to see who provides service for your area.

DirecTV uses Tivo for it's PVRs while Dish has a home built system. DirecTV is moving away from Tivo, to it's own home built system. The latest Dish PVRs work with HD. The homebuilt DirecTV PVR is still just SD, so you need a DirecTivo for HD. The HD DirecTivo cannot handle MPEG4, so it will not work with locals anywhere accept LA and NYC.

In my experience TIVO's have a vastly superior user interface compared to the satellite and cable providers boxes. I haven't tried the latest Dish one, but I have never heard good things about their PVRs since they dropped their Microsoft based unit about 5 years ago. I recently tried switching from DirecTV to cable because of the locals over HD problem and had to switch back because I liked the Tivo box so much better than the horrible cable PVR.

Of course, it would be foolish to switch to DirecTV just to get a Tivo based receiver when DirecTV will be dropping Tivo later this year.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2006 at 6:50AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Never had the Tivo, but just based on customer service, I have had both Dish and DirecTV, and DirecTV had better customer service and channels hands down, IMO. I HATED Dish!

I got cable TV now, and I like it best of all. Never goes out when we have a storm, the satellite was ALWAYS down.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2006 at 9:05PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Had DirecTV, but that was a couple of years ago, only drawback was that they did not offer locals in the market I lived in a couple of years ago and wifey hated that aspect of it. Have cable now and hate it because it is way overpriced. Moving hopefully in a few months and hope to get DirecTv, because of NFL Sunday Ticket (only offered on DirecTV). And they do have pretty good customer service.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2006 at 4:54PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Just wanted to thank you guys for the replies...still not sure what I'm going to do, but the feedback is helpful in considering.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2006 at 8:02PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I liked the Dish Network DVR & remote control setup better, but their customer service is horrible. Dish Network sent installers to our home that did not speak any English (except curse words). The installers spoke Portuguese. They butchered our walls and installed the system even though they did not have a good angle for the signal. We switched to DirecTV. We haven't had any problems with them.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2006 at 10:56AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Consider whether you even need TV service. I rarely watched anything after the few shows I followed were canceled, so I canceled the service. I have a nice DVD collection of movies, plenty material to watch. Even basic cable TV is $40+ per month, and a DVD box set of TV series season is about that much. Why pay $500 per year just to watch a couple favorite shows?

    Bookmark   August 18, 2006 at 5:46PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I have cable and always have (starting in about 1986). The price has gone the way of most monopolies, way up, UP!

I'm think of going to satellite, Dish or Direct... don't konw, the only concern I have is the issue of reliability. I live in north/centra New Jersey and we have a good bit of overcast skies and high humidity. Will I have a lot of trouble getting a useable signal from a satellite? If so how much, 5% of the time, 20%, anyone got a meteric? And are outages long term, like all night, two or more days in a row?

    Bookmark   August 28, 2006 at 8:08PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

We've had Directv since 97.
If the dish is properly aligned for maximum signal from all satellites, and all connections are good, so that no moisture can get inside, you should have little or no problem with either Dish or Directv.
The only time you will have any problems is during very heavy rainfall and then only for a few minutes.
During the winter, wet snow may build up on the dish and could cause some problems. So you should have the ability to get to it and clean the dish off in case that happens.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2006 at 7:59AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo


Thanks for the experience and tips on satellite t.v. The problem with rain is to the point at the present, we've had rain and heavy cloud cover for the last 4 or 5 days and still have one or two more to go before a break of a day or two. I read your note to say this should not interfer with reception, that exists only when there is heavy rain, which I add can last for more than a few minutes here in NJ.

I have a two story house and a need to have access to the dish suggests it not be mounted at the top of the building. I seem to recall seeing dish mounts on the vertical trim of a house, perhaps 10' off the ground. But, I'd expect high is better.

Thanks again, and look for other/more experience. It is time the cable franchise has competition. My t.v. cable, with no premium channels, is now over $50 per month, DTV seems to be about half that much.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2006 at 9:36AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

It doesn't matter whether the dish is mounted on the roof or on a pole at ground level. All it needs is line of sight to the satellites. No trees or tall buildings.
Our Directv bill, with two receivers, locals and no Premiums is $55 a month. I believe we have Total Choice. I think there is a package around $30, but I can't remember what it'a called. They don't really advertise it.
We went with Directv because of the crappy cable signal provided by Comcast. They kept telling me that the signal level, at the drop coming into the house, met their specs.
If you go with Directv, they'll probably install a 5 LNB dish which has 4 outputs. I would recommend that cables from all four outputs be run into your house.
With this setup, and a multiplexer, and cables to each of the receivers, you can feed several TVs.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2006 at 6:56PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

In the last sentence of my post, I should have said 'multiswitch' instead of 'multiplexer'. Sorry.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2006 at 8:43AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I also live on the east coast & have had satellite for a couple of years. The signal almost never fails. We've only had it fail when the rain is very, very heavy, which you only usually have for a short period of time (e.g., raining so hard you can't see 10 feet ahead of you). The picture is the same on every channel, perfectly clear. When I had cable, some of the channels were fuzzy. I think satellite is superior to cable.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2006 at 8:53AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Jerry - We just moved to north/central Jersey and after getting cable, realized they don't offer several of the channels we watched. Duh, I never even *thought* about checking the channel layout because these particular stations are very popular.

So we'll be switching to satellite. In our three previous homes, our cable almost always went out in bad weather, so we're not used to perfect reliability there either.

We're also debating DirectTV vs. Dish.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2006 at 10:01AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

It's rainy season in Florida. All my friends and coworkers with dishes have been complaining about signal loss. I stuck with cable because of this. I have never lost cable because of a thunderstorm, unless all the electricy goes out in which case I can't watch TV anyway.

For a DVR, I have always used a Replay TV unit. I have one in the bedroom and one in the family room and they are networked together. I can record different shows that are on at the same time, then watch them later on either TV. We paid a one time flat fee for service, so there is no monthly bill. Service has been good, too. We bought our first unit in November 2000. That unit has been replaced, but we did not have to pay another fee.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2006 at 7:22AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Annette Holbrook

I have Dish and have had it since late 1997 (or early 1998?).
My old house had cable that went out constantly for hours at a time, I couldn't wait to get rid of it.
I have Direct at work, I don't watch it much since we have it only to keep on a news channel, but I have played with it a bit. I like Dish's guide better. Direct has much better sports offerings. I have no problems with my DVRs on any of my TVs, all work well and have for the last 4 years since I got the DVR units.
For most people, I think that Direct is best if you have family members who like to watch alot of sports, other than that I think it's a toss up.
Good luck,

    Bookmark   September 28, 2006 at 10:58AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I have Dish. Installed it October 2005. While I have a new large screen HD TV, I decided not to get the HD Dish receiver because (at that time) they carried primarily sports shows in HD, and I wasn't too crazy about that. That situation is changing daily as more and more shows are coming onto DISH in HD. Within the year, I will undoubtedly exchange the receiver.

By the way, you no longer buy the DISH receiver -- you rent it only, so it's very easy to change it.

What I really like about this DISH, as oppposed to older DISH set-ups, is the ease of operation of the whole system. I love, love, love the DVR feature -- never dreamed I'd use it as often as I do. And, a HUGE surprise...when I bought the expanded DISH package (not premium chanels like SHOWtime, HBO, etc -- just the expanded package), I get Sirius satellite radio over the TV.....many, many fabulous stations!

Since I had my house whole-house wired, including the satellite TV system, I can play the Sirius radio stations throughout the rooms of my house. And, since I have 2 satellite receivers which control different rooms of the house, I can play different Sirius radio stations in different rooms of the house. What a bonus feature that has been!

Finally, just like everything else you read on these forums, my experience with the DISH installer was first class. Very competent and thorough, he hooked up the systems, ensured they worked, left the house in perfect order, and trained me on how to use all the features before he left. Whenever I've had a question, I've called the local DISH store and they've been super helpful. So, customer service probably depends upon which part of the country in which you live.

    Bookmark   September 29, 2006 at 9:58AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I am using DirecTV for more than a year and I am more than happy with the service.
I received installation of a 4-room DirecTV system along with the subscription, there was no need to buy any costly equipment.
The picture & sound quality is very good. The signal is also up during rains and I have not experienced any major technical snags so far.
The most important benefit is that my bills have reduced.
DirecTV also has many packages to select from, I was looking for Indian channels, NDTV 24x7 (news channel) in particular.
DirecTV had all the channels on its list that I wanted.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2008 at 5:25AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Local installer previously installed for both Dish and Direct. Direct started paying installers later and later, or only partially, sometimes not at all. Now he does Dish only. My thought is that if Direct treats associates shabbily, imagine their attitude toward customers.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2008 at 5:55PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

These dish companies must offer different rates throughout the country because by our experience, they way overcharged. We had Dish Network via ATT but we had to cry uncle and switch back to cable because our bills were incredibly high. AT&T made shady promises that went unfulfilled and I cannot stand the dishonesty. We now have Charter cable and are very satisfied with the price and service.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2008 at 10:45AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Dish network or direct TV both is useful. This system is useful not only city but also in rural area. Dish is good rather then others.I would like to prefer dish tv.
Addiction Recovery New Mexico

Here is a link that might be useful: Addiction Recovery New Mexico

    Bookmark   July 19, 2008 at 11:39AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

We have Dish with the HD DVR. My favorite feature is the 30 second forward button. Instead of forwarding serially through ads, you just press that button 6 times. Unless you're watching a basic cable channel or late at night. Then you press it 8 or 10 or even 12 times! We never watch anything we don't DVR first.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2008 at 9:31PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I have had Dish for two years. It works great so far and I love the HD channels. Dish has a lot more HD channels if you like watch in HD.

Here is a link that might be useful: Disk Network Equipment

    Bookmark   September 21, 2008 at 12:14AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I've had both. I hate DirectTv, they are real deceitful. Don't believe anything the sales people tell you. Get it in writing before you sign. I bet they won't do it. I switched because Dish was getting expensive and I got a real good deal with Directv. I am counting the days my contract is up. I don't even care the cost is almost half. Also, Dish has more HD original programs. I'm not impressed when they offer HD that is just the same programing as digital. Also, if you DVR them, you get less time with HD.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2008 at 3:33PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I have been a Directv subscriber for about 16 years now and have had the opposite experience with Directv. With the exception of a bit of a glitch in our last move when we upgraded to the newest technology, they have been great. In the last upgrade, the original tech offered me a deal that turned out to be a mistake. It was not a huge deal and Directv compensated me for my touble and offset the cost by giving me a discount off of my monthly fee. Net net, I was made whole. My experience with service issues has been great as well. In all but a few cases, they are able to resolve any problems I have have had over the phone while watching the set.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2008 at 11:37PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Suzi AKA DesertDance Zone 9b

I hate Dish! Worst service and reception I ever had! I LOVE Direct TV!!

    Bookmark   December 16, 2008 at 2:08PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I have had wonderful service with Direct TV. Recently they upgraded my HD satelite dish and the HD receiver at no cost to upgrade. Now we get a ton of HD channels. They made appts within a few days of calling, arrived on time and were very helpful.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2009 at 10:09AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I really hope you stayed with DISH. In comparison to Directv the programming is cheaper with DISH, DISH offers some packages with a price guaranteed until 2013 whereas Direct only has this for a year. On top of that, since you have nice TV's you want to stick with DISH because they have more channels in HD. I do work for DISH and I know that they still have a promotion going on where you can get HD free for life. If you made the switch, I'm sorry I read this so late, but it's not too late to switch back to DISH.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2011 at 12:45AM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
TV over gas fireplace
We are mounting a 65 inch over a gas fireplace , the...
plasma tv opinion
i'm thinking of a big screen plasma for my next tv....
Upgrading speakers in FR -- stick with Bose?
We do most of our TV viewing in our Family Room. Recently...
Smart Home - Need Help Keeping It Simple
We are roughing in our new build. A little late to...
Am I required to use in wall speaker wire?
Hello, I've read that some jurisdictions require that...
Sponsored Products
La Brasserie Large Round Tray
The City Farm
Elkay Kitchen Signature Drop-in Stainless Steel 33x22x8.25 4-Hole Double Bowl
Home Depot
Wells Sinkware 18-gauge Double Bowl Topmount Stainless Steel Kitchen Sink
Chablais 18 1/2 Inch Outdoor Hanging Lantern -Black Gold
$47.31 | Bellacor
Zinc Frame Chalkboard - Set of 2
$19.99 | Dot & Bo
Denby Imperial Blue Cast Iron Shallow Casserole - CII-581
$129.99 | Hayneedle
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™