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Old 08-22-2002, 05:19 PM   #1
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Dish Network vs Direct TV

I am considering satellite TV for both my home and my TT. I don't watch much tv but on ocassion I would like to see a NASCAR race or other sporting event that is broadcast over satellite. My question is: which one is best--Direct TV or Dish Network?? Has anyone had experience with either of these companies as to taking a receiver with you in the RV?
Thanks in advance for any information or experiences you would like to share.
Jerry
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Old 08-22-2002, 06:17 PM   #2
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Dish Network is negotiating to buy Direct TV. 6 months and it might not matter.

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Old 08-22-2002, 09:36 PM   #3
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Don't hold your breath regarding the Dish/Direct merger. Lots of opposition out there since Dish and Direct are the only 2 companies with sizable small dish service. Lots of concern in rural areas that Dish will raise prices if their satellite competion is gone.

I've had Dish for over 4 years and here are the salient points. Dish will probably be a little cheaper than Direct. Direct has more sports packages than Dish. Direct has more pay per view movie channels. Dish has upgraded the capabilities of its receivers through software downloads. Direct receivers in most cases need to be replaced to get new features.

You probably will be happy with either. If Dish is allowed to buy Direct, the jury is still out as to whose receiver platform will win out. I have heard that Dish will change its service name to Direct TV although the parent company will stay named Echostar.

I normally tell folks that if you want lots of sports and are willing to pay for the sports packages, go with Direct. Pick Dish if you want slightly lower prices and receivers that accept software upgrades through downloads.

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Old 08-23-2002, 09:05 AM   #4
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Jerry we have DishNetwork, 2 receivers in the house. The second one only cost 5 bux a month extra. When we hit the road we take the second receiver along with a spare dish that our dish dealer gave us. We have really enjoyed it. A couple of places that we like to camp have virtually no local tv so we also get network coverage off the dish.

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Old 08-26-2002, 03:03 PM   #5
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I have direct and a camping buddy of mine has dish....He usually always ends up hooking to my satellite because the angle that Dish's signal comes in at is much shallower than Direct. I have had no problems getting a signal with Direct , but he has had tons of trouble trying to get a Dish signal...If you like to camp by trees, you really ought to consider Direct. You can usually get a signal coming over the tops of the trees. Dish's signal always seems to be right in the middle of the trees....Just my .02
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Old 08-26-2002, 03:52 PM   #6
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JAG,

I just checked the elevation between Direct TV and Dish and in my location Direct is about 5 degrees higher in the sky than Dish. This is fairly minor although may be enough in some areas to cause Dish's signal to be interrupted by the tree canopy.

I remember reading that the satellites cruise in orbit over the equator which would mean that the further south you go the higher in the sky you point your dish. Trees give satellite users more problems, especially as you go north since the satellite "sits" lower in the horizon. Again as you have to lower the angle to the horizon, trees become a much bigger issue.

Dish Networks also use a multi satellite dish which allows you to pick up two satellites with one dish. That dish is labeled "Dish 500". Most new users and many old users migrated to this dish a couple of years ago. To successfully align this dish you have three settings to make. The additional alignment is called skew and tends to make the dish, which is somewhat eliptical, tilt to one side. This type of dish would be more difficult in setting up and if you don't hit the skew quite right could cause a loss of channels provided by one of the two satellites.

If your friend has a Dish 500 dish, this could be the cause of his aiming difficulities.

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Old 08-27-2002, 07:17 AM   #7
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I am very familiar with "Dish 500" and so isn't my buddy...I am just making an observation....I have set up more satellites than I care to count and it was plain and clear that Dish was harder to find....That is all I was saying....If I go camping and I am gonna watch TV it is gonna be Direct, and if somebody brings Dish, They are going to spend way more time trying to find a signal...I am in Alabma and it may have something to do with that....I am pretty confident that Dish is higher in the sky than 5 degrees....
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Old 08-27-2002, 07:31 AM   #8
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Jimmy,

I didn't check the zip codes in your local area so I'm not sure what the degree spread would be or if it changes as you go north or south.

I would agree with you in the respect that a Dish 500 is going to be a harder setup than Direct. I kept my original single satellite dish and LNB for travel purposes although I have yet to actually bring it with me.

It will be interesting to see what happens if the regulatory folks allow the Dish/Direct merger. At that point who knows what we will be aiming at.

Regards,

Jack
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Old 08-27-2002, 07:35 AM   #9
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No doubt!!! It could be interesting....I love DBS, but I live in a rural area about 50 miles from a metropolitan area, well if you call Meridian, MS. metro. They refuse to give me any Networks.....Oh well...There are ways around that!!!!HEHEHEHEHE!!!!! You know Antennae.
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Old 08-27-2002, 08:22 AM   #10
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Thanks to everyone for the information. I was told by Dish Network that I would need two seperate dishes if I wanted to receive the "local" channels. I'm not sure if the oblong dish won't work at my location or if they just didn't have any in stock at the moment. Anyway, I went with Direct. I actually contacted a third party on-line and they are sending me the dish, two receivers and a self installation kit free of charge. All I pay is $20 shipping and sign up for one year of service from Direct. I'll let you know how everything works out.
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Old 08-27-2002, 08:52 AM   #11
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Jerry,
Dependent upon the local city you want, the statement you got from Dish was true. Unfortunatelly each satellite has a limited capacity of channels that can be broadcast. Dish and Direct normally put the national services on the satellites that can be reached by a single dish. Dependent upon compression and space available, some local cities are also put on these same satellites.

My guess is that Dish puts the smallest local markets on the satellites that require the second dish. I know here in STL, the locals do not require a second dish.

One of the justifications of the merger stated by both companies is the fact that with more satellites available, duplication of signals would be eliminated from the main satellite positions thus freeing up more space for local channels. From what I am hearing the Dish/Direct merger will allow broadcast for up to 250+ local TV markets.

Hope that explains things a little better. Looks like you got a good deal.

Jack
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Old 09-05-2002, 06:33 PM   #12
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Last year we traveled from Tx to Pa and had Directv every night we camped, even at Racoon State Park outside of Pittsburgh. The ranger even came to check it out, since he never had seen anyone in the park with a dish.
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Old 12-21-2004, 04:39 PM   #13
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Home address is used for billing purposes, and to determine if you are eligible for local station feed. I brought an Ohio based DirecTV dish to Florida, thinking I could get the Cleveland locals, but it did not work down here. Now I have it based here out of Florida and still have no locals, other than the ones I get off air with a VHF/UHF TV antenna. DirecTV also has multifeed dishes just like Dish 500.
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Old 12-21-2004, 04:48 PM   #14
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dish vs direct

I currently use direct both at home and in our RV. Will probably switch to dish though because they give free receivers and hookup. I only have one receiver with direct and want to eliminate my cable connection and upgrade to three receivers at home. Then will carry the single standard receiver along with an antena/tripod with the Airstream. I think that Direct TV is probably easier to set up than Dish..

One BIG advange of Dish over Direct is that with Dish you can receive Network broadcasts when out of your home area-at no additional charge.. You cannot do this with Direct TV. You used to be able to for six bucks a month, but no longer! Now all the $6.00 gets you with Direct is local channels within your home area.

I'm with a previous poster in that I don't think the feds will approve a Direct/Dish merger. They have a @#%$-*& for cable and satelite companies anyway, so no way are they going to allow a monopoly.

Bruce
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Old 12-21-2004, 04:59 PM   #15
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two dishes?

Quote:
Originally Posted by gwsullivan
Thanks to everyone for the information. I was told by Dish Network that I would need two seperate dishes if I wanted to receive the "local" channels. I'm not sure if the oblong dish won't work at my location or if they just didn't have any in stock at the moment. Anyway, I went with Direct. I actually contacted a third party on-line and they are sending me the dish, two receivers and a self installation kit free of charge. All I pay is $20 shipping and sign up for one year of service from Direct. I'll let you know how everything works out.
Mr. Sullivan, I think someone gave you bad information about the "two dishes" required for local channels. I have a couple of friends with Dish and know for a fact that they receive local channels with one dish. Now with Dish network, if you subscribe to enought channels then you might need a special duel LNB antenna. But two dishes? No way. You may need a duel LNB because they only load so many channels one one satelite so you need to receive from two satelites. I have also been talking to Dish in depth about switching from Direct TV to their service and have not been told that I would need two dishes.

Bruce
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Old 12-21-2004, 05:58 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wallybyam
I have also been talking to Dish in depth about switching from Direct TV to their service and have not been told that I would need two dishes.

Bruce
In St. Louis you have to have two antennas to receive all of the local stations. This requirement varies from city to city.

One advantage that Dish has over Direct (at least the last time I checked) is that Dish continually upgrades their receiver software. I've been told that Direct equipment is pretty much locked into features and functionality when you purchase the equipment. One of my Dish receivers is over 4 years old and has gotten many capabilities beyond what came with the original unit.

Regards,

Jack
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Old 12-21-2004, 06:39 PM   #17
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Good luck getting a response from DirecTV either about RV use and packages. Three times I've tried and never never never got a response.
The HD stuff is great. Just not much content. There is another system out there as well but I don't remember the name.
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Old 12-22-2004, 06:28 AM   #18
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I've had both.

DirectTV is ok, but I recently switched to Dish. The packages I get with Dish, I get them for about $4 less per month than I did with DirectTV. Additionally, I got a free receiver that can display on 2 different TVs (different stations on both at the same time). One has an IR remote and the other uses a radio signal to change stations.....and the second TV has no additional costs, so really that makes it about $9 less than DirectTV since they charge for the second set.

Signal quality is the same, but the folks at Dish are just more friendly.
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Old 12-22-2004, 03:32 PM   #19
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We selected Dish because it was slightly cheaper, we didn't need to pay for shipping for the equipment. We paid $50 up front (credited to our next month’s bill), thus the dish, box (2 tuners in each box – runs two tvs in the house, 1 upstairs and 1 down), and installation were free. We also strongly recommend paying $5 a month for Digital Video Recorder (DVR). This small investment gets rid of the need for ever watching commercials. It also increased our enjoyment of our favorite shows as we can laugh not just once, or can pause any show to answer the phone or move the laundry. Sporting events have taken on a whole new dimension, as we can see “instant replay” at nearly any speed, forwards and backwards for each and every play as many times as we want. Bad calls? We can find them. Great Plays? We can see them over and over.
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Old 12-23-2004, 10:44 AM   #20
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We made the change from Dish to Direct. Main reason was that Direct has DVR's (digital video recorders) with Tivo service built in.

Although Dish has DVR's in just a glorified vcr. With Direct Tivo, you get the season passes, wishlists, suggestion recordings, etc....

I never watch an on time broadcast now. I can zip past commercials with the 30 sec skip button!

As a plus, and to keep this trailer orientated, you can unplug your reciever and play your recorded shows in your trailer with out even hooking up a dish. But we never do that as we just burn shows we like to dvd and take those with us.
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