I'm in the Philly suburbs. I have had DishNetwork for over 6 years. I have
been very happy with their service. Make sure you get DVR receivers, at
least one for your primary viewing location. I have a model 721 and model
Make sure Dish has a programming package that is to your liking. DirecTV may
be better for you if they have a channel Dish doesn't and its one you really
want. DirecTV has NFL Season Pass or something like that, gets you all NFL
games. Dish does not. Dish has NHL and MLB season passes. (Not that NHL
matters right now). Make your decision based upon programming then look for
the best deal for that vendor.
I have used www.dishdepot.com with good success.
I'd also figure out how HDTV fits into your plans. Currently, many
cable providers offer the
local networks in HD, while the sat providers, do not. With Sat, you
still need to use an antenna
to receive the locals in HD. The sats do have an assortment of 8 or so
other HD channes, eg Discovery,
HBO, etc avail in HD as do many of the cable companies.
And don't forget internet access. By bundling that into the deal,
cable becomes more attractive.
Phisherman, we don't yet have an HDTV set. We have ordinary ones as we're not
into TV features that much. We're interested in content and number of channels
available because of 3 people with diverse TV interests. We're going to look
over the offerings as well as cost and service. Hope we don't have a conflict
because of differences within the household. :/ Thanks for your reply.
trader4, We're happy with AOL, just because of instant messaging with friends
who have it and because of it's own forums and member contact/info
accessibility. Just a matter of offerings, quality, service, cost, etc. If we
can get better with dish than we get with cable, we'll switch. It's beginning
to sound like we may have to lose some of the channels we've enjoyed. We'll
find out what we can get for how much. Thanks for your reply. Sherry
Brikp, what would be missing without a DVR receiver? As you can see I'm
totally ignorant regarding dish viewing. Do you have to ask for particular
models? Are some better than others? I put dishdepot.com into my favorites
for now. More research to do. Thanks for your reply. Sherry
Without a DVR receiver you lose the ability to record now and play back
later *with the same picture quality*. You could still record to a VCR,
but you won't see the same quality on playback.
We have a combo DirecTV receiver and TiVo PVR/DVR that offers features
ike "Season Pass" that will automatically record all episodes of a
particular program (with or without repeats) without us having to worry
about scheduling each episode individually and worrying whether it's on
at a different time or whether it's a 2-hour episode instead of the
usual 1-hour one.
On 12/09/04 11:57 pm PaNjDeFemale tossed the following ingredients into
the ever-growing pot of cybersoup:
And, I should add, our combo DirecTV receiver and TiVo PVR/DVR has dual
tuners, so we can record two different program simultaneously, and even
watch a pre-recorded program at the same time as these other two are
Someone else had complained about not being able to use the
picture-in-picture feature with satellite systems, but since this thing
has twin tuners I assume that we could also get PIP if our TV had that
I have used both cable and DirecTV. I rarely encountered weather
related problem with cable (when I was in New York City and in Fort
Lee-New Jersey). Since I have switched to DirecTV, I have weather
related problem whenever there is mild-to-heavy rain. This may have to
do with the fact that my house is not tall (2 floors, relatively flat
roof), and there is a not-so-short tree south of the house.
The other thing is that DirecTV requires a decoder box at each TV. If
I remember correctly, each additional decoder box costs additional
monthly fee. I used cable basic service and I didn't need a decoder
box. The use of decoder box not only costs more but also causes some
inconveniences. For example, I cannot use picture-in-picture any more
because that would require 2 decoder boxes in one TV, and I cannot
watch TV in more than 2 locations in my house because I am restricted
to 2 decoder boxes (and I don't want to pay extra). Of course, this
point is irrelevant if you want to watch premium channels in cable or
if you want to subscribe to HDTV cable service or your local cable
requires you to use a decoder box even for basic cable service (such as
in New York City); in these three cases, you will need a decoder box,
and cable will not be better than DirecTV in this espect.
I am still staying with DirecTV because a family member wants to watch
a channel that cable doesn't carry. Otherwise, I would have switched
back to cable.
Jay, looks like your experience shows how bad weather can affect the dish,
which is one of our concerns. We have a 2-story (front to back) split and
neighbors have large trees although we don't. We also seem to be in some sort
of wind gust plane here. Everyone's leaves, everyone's everything seems to end
up on our property, so we could be very vulnerable. I don't expect a dish
company to tell us our location would be problematic. Appreciate the details
about your location with the dish. Location may be very important with this.
Also we don't know if cable would have to remove their wires and dish install
theirs. We expect also to move in 6 mos. so we don't know if it's worth it.
One offer we read about said "no contract" so we wouldn't be stuck for a year
or any amount of time beyond I suppose a month. We have a lot of
investigating to do before we put in the energy for this kind of change.
Thanks for your reply. Sherry
Last time when I switched from cable to DirecTV, the installer didn't
remove the existing wiring. He simply ran new wire using a different
route. This was a good thing because local squirrels like to bite the
wire of the cable service that was put in a way that squirrels have
easy access to the cable.
Probably not. You will lose a vacation day just to sit in your house
waiting for the installer to show up.
On 09 Dec 2004 03:18:27 GMT, firstname.lastname@example.org (FreespiritedFem)
Love digital cable, broadband internet and DVR's on every TV. For
$140/month I get a bazillion channels, 3 DVR's and screaming internet
If you go wwith Satellite, make sure you have an unobstructed view to
the satellite(s) in question. No tall trees or buildings or hills in
the direction of the bird. I think both direct and dish have aiming
info on their websites. In Philly it will probably be southwest.
Dan, basic cable here is probably a little more than your cost but our issue is
3 viewers with diverse TV viewing interests. I don't care about Court TV, for
example, but mom would miss not having it. Also she loves the home decorating
shows and my husband watches dopey shows like "favorite TV bloopers" which mom
and I would never watch. :) Necessary -- large package to satisfy all of us.
:) Thanks for your reply. Sherry
Paul, guess what's to our southwest?????!!! Next door neighbor's HUGE sycamore
tree! Leaves are up to 14" across and many end up in our yard due to
mysterious wind gusts isolated on our property. Maybe this will all be moot
for now as we're moving in about 6 months. We have comcast and doubt we could
get a deal like yours. Where are you from, BTW? We tried to get digital on
one TV set, a very basic Sylvania VCR combo and they couldn't connect digital
to it. We have a newer TV now but the others are all older and maybe none are
compatible with digital. So we do have many questions for the dish companies.
Thanks for your reply. Sherry
On 10 Dec 2004 05:22:13 GMT, email@example.com (PaNjDeFemale)
I'm in Northern OH. (Adelphia--much maligned, but other than a few
glitches when they started up in the area, I've no complaints) Tree
may be a problem, but often there is a spot on the house that has a
clear enough view to work; the installer can check your site ahead of
time. (I hate those wind gusts that only ever seem to blow leaves
*onto* your property!)
Digital cable usually requires a STB (set top box) or a cable DVR/PVR
(digital/personal video recorder) for anything other than the basic
cable channels. They generally have both video and RF outputs so they
should connect to any TV except the few units that have no antenna or
video connection at all. And the dish won't be able to connect to
Regardless of which you go with, I highly recommend (as have others)
the DVR/PVR. It completely changes the way you watch TV, and for the
better. The ones supplied by my cable company allow you to record two
different shows while watching another prerecorded show, or watch one
show while recording another. I think the units provided by the dish
companies have similar capabilities. Good luck with your choice. Paul
I am on digital cable TV/Internet combo.
I know dish is affected by weather conditions.
Some does not provide local programming.
I have over 400 channels of HD digital video, music, pay per view, etc.
On 09 Dec 2004 03:18:27 GMT, firstname.lastname@example.org (FreespiritedFem) wrote:
The only thing cable is good for is internet. I'll never pay their exorbitant
fees again for TV. Thank god my company is paying for my internet, or I
probably wouldn't use them.
People talk about "rain fade" during rainstorms and satellite dishes. In New
England, I've never had this problem. 5+ years of satellite. I've never had
a snow problem either. I have, however, had rain fade with cable TV. In my
old house, me and my entire neighborhood would get static on the screen in
varying severity depending on how much rain was falling. I lived there for 4
years and it never improved. Most of us called during every rain storm, and
quite often we were told "that's normal"!!! We all know that's BS, but this
is the customer service I had.
Price was the main reason I decided to try satellite. After I got it, I knew
I'd never have cable TV again. Price is still an easy $10 cheaper than cable
in my area and I get more channels with far better quality.
Keep in mind that if you have a large screen TV, digital cable (in many areas)
is so over compressed because of all the services they are pushing down the
same cable, that the picture looks very pixelated (like a video clip on your
Pixelating (or artifacting) on satellite services is far less noticeable. On
both Dish Network and DirecTV, you'll find that the local channels for your
area are generally the worst quality (but still far better than anything
digital cable has). Next in quality are the mainstream channels that all
providers offer (comedy, food, court, espn, nik, etc.). These are great
quality and you'd be hard pressed to complain. Next in quality are the
premium channels (HBO, Cimemax, etc). And the best quality is reserved for
PPV. These rival DVD's.
Now, to compare quality between Dish and DirecTV, I've found Dish to be lower
in quality. There was a time that Dish's quality was so bad, it made cable
look good! They've since launched another satellite to help bandwidth and
their quality has improved quite a bit. But side by side, DirecTV still has a
better quality picture all around. Keep in mind this is on large screen sets
and anything under 50" you'll probably never notice the difference.
Dish and DirecTV offer a little different base packages and depending on what
you want, one may be a better deal than the other. You'll have to shop them.
For both, you can usually get free equipment if you are a first time
subscriber. Especially if you call and tell them you're thinking of getting
cable, but want to know why satellite is better - they'll do whatever it takes
to sign you up!!
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