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Old 02-01-2009, 01:19 PM   #1
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1994 36' Classic 36 Diesel
Christmas Valley , Oregon
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Dish vs. Direct TV

Hi! Just thought we'd tell you about our experence with these 2 networks. I first called Direct TV and they wanted my SSN before they would talk to me. When I phoned Dish TV, I talked with a very competent young man in New Jersey who assured me a tech would be at our house the very next day, and he was! He discovered we needed a tri-pod for when we are on the road, and would have to return Thursday with the xtra gear. When he arrived Thursday he set to work putting all in order, but the receiver was the wrong one, so he would return Monday with the right one. Saturday night, we were sitting here talking about how nice it would be to watch the news when the dogs started barking...the young man, Tony, had driven all the way from Klamath Falls, over 100 miles, to install the correct unit. This had to be on his own time, and 2 days early. We are very happy with our new accessability to world events,combined with our new HDTV....unbelievable! All in all, a good experence!. Phil and Sam
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Old 02-01-2009, 01:43 PM   #2
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2008 25' Safari FB SE
Grand Junction , Colorado
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We've had Dish at home for more than 8 years. When we moved to this rural area we noticed most people had Dish and were happy with it, so that's what we got. Over time Dish's reception seemed to deteriorate and people were switching to Direct. Last year we decided to upgrade to HDTV. We had waited because both seemed to have excessive charges for receivers and installation. I checked both companies websites—hard to navigate, but eventially most of my questions were answered. There were more things about Direct that seemed vague and confusing. I called Dish (I didn't want to learn new channel numbers). The first guy I got was an idiot and couldn't speak English well. I eventually hung up on him. I called again the next day as I wanted to give them one more chance. This guy could speak English, but couldn't answer all my questions—he referred me to an expert and that woman was an expert and helpful. Initially they tried to charge me a $100 installation fee and I said I wouldn't pay it; it took 10 seconds to get it to $50. I said "how about zero?" The fee was dropped.

Dish had been falling further and further behind Direct in customers, and finally got the message. The excessive charges were dropped for a new receiver (I think both companies did that). The installer knew what he was doing. He told us the installers were on the verge of revolt against Dish because the company had slipped so far. So far, so good. Reception with the new receiver is much better on both HD and SD; we can watch two different programs on different TV's. We can record programs, but never bother to. Some HD is spectacular, especially landscapes, nature scenes and the like. CNN is the same either way, except now you can see all the wrinkles. We have 1 HDTV at home, 4 SDTV's. If we want to get another HDTV, we need another Dish receiver for it for HD—that's a problem that needs a solution. If you get a broadcast HD signal you will get more than one channel—there will be the main channel, perhaps a local weather one, a Spanish version, a music one, etc. On Dish you don't get that—you get the HD and SD versions only. My in-laws have Direct and I like the Dish interface better.

The HDTV in the trailer is great when we have an HD signal, but we haven't seen a campground cable system that provides it yet. A few times we have received a broadcast HD signal. I'm not sure a campground could provide it with the technology that's available now. I'm not ready to buy and pay for HD for traveling. I was told by Dish RV systems are handled separately than home and I think that would mean we'd have to pay for it at home and on the road separately and the costs are high enough at home. This HD thing is great in theory, but clunky and expensive in practice.

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Old 02-01-2009, 02:34 PM   #3
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1994 36' Classic 36 Diesel
Christmas Valley , Oregon
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HD tv

Hey Gene,We that live on the Great Sandy Desert Of Oregon have no choice,sat or nothing.I would have been happy with cable & new lcd tv .As to the HD option ,probably could have done without it.The tec.installed the tripod on cinder blocks , so we could take the system with us to our summer job.The dish is a single unit , not the two I have seen in the past.Anyway the installer was helpfull & went out of his way to make sure I understood the system. Stay warm.PHIL&SANDY
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Old 02-01-2009, 02:41 PM   #4
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We don't have any options but satellite here either. There is a translator for a couple of Grand Junction stations, but they are pretty bad TV. Of course with satellite there are hundreds of channels and nothing on too. The new dishes are a single unit and ours is more an oval than a circle. I guess you could get the RV system and use it at home when at home. I never thought of that before.

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Old 02-01-2009, 03:42 PM   #5
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Experiences with Both

I've had bad experiences with both. There are numerous independent contractors who work as installers for these systems. This accounts for both good and bad experiences with either provider. It isn't the satellite company that provides the face-to-face customer service. In dealing over the telephone with both companies, my worst experience was with DISH even after being their customer for many years.

Currently I use DirecTV and I'm very pleased both at home and in my camper. I have HDTV in my home but take a standard receiver with me when I travel. I made this base for the dish which works much better than the tripod I used previously.
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Old 02-01-2009, 05:28 PM   #6
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Windermere , Florida
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I've used both DISH and DTV. Phone service sucks the same for both.
I have the full HD package with DTV right now. That involves lining up 5 satellites. The lowest on the horizon from Fla area is 119. If I had gone with DISH for full HD I would need to be able to locate 129. It sits lower on the horizon and it thus could be a campground tree clearance issue.

2007 28' Int CCD.
2011 F 250 Big Honking Diesel
DTV 5lnb on a tripod.
Wilson wired repeater with YAG.
Two big screens
15dB Backfire WiFi antenna and WaveMagnum
Hawkshead Tire Monitors.
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Old 02-01-2009, 06:04 PM   #7
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In Alaska and northern Canada the dishes almost point into the ground. In Canada they use a sat system that seems to be the Canadian version of Dish. I don't remember if either system seems dominant in Alaska.

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Old 02-01-2009, 06:54 PM   #8
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. , Illinois
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I've had both and started with Direct TV. Not only has Dish been more responsive, they are slightly less expensive for the packages I have. I get literally 2 or 3 mailings a week from DirectTV wanting me back. It's been about 5 years since I've switched and have no intention of going back. I simply recycle the letters DirectTV sends.
Computers manufactured by companies such as IBM, Compaq and millions of others are by far the most popular with about 70 million machines in use worldwide. Macintosh fans note that cockroaches are far more numerous than humans and that numbers alone do not denote a higher life form. -NY Times 11/91
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Old 02-01-2009, 07:34 PM   #9
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We have both down on the farm here. I have Direct at my house and my in-laws have Dish. Both are about the same in terms of coverage, cost and customer service. For whatever reason the Dish seems a bit more prone to weather related issues than the Direct. I got an "emergency" kit free from Direct when I signed up, it consists of an extra dish and tripod. We have 2 receivers one is hooked up to the main TV in the house the other sits in the spare bedroom until I need it for the camper or the barn.

....so many Airstreams....so little time...
Why are we in this basket...and where are we going
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Old 02-01-2009, 08:02 PM   #10
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Thanks for the information on this topic - I am also trying to make up my mind at this time.
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Old 02-01-2009, 08:04 PM   #11
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When I got a new HD receiver last year, replacing my 2000 SD model, the SD picture was better on SD TV's. It seems there are fewer weather problems. Usually problems happen when wet snow falls quickly. How old the receiver is makes a difference I think, since in the last few years of the 2000 model the weather issues got worse, especially during really big thunderstorm clouds.

I think Dish has gotten more like a cable company over the years—the first few years the cost was the same, then it started going up and up and was by 2008 about 45% more than 2000. Part of it is the various channels keep charging more and more—I think ESPN is about $4 a month and we never watch it. Try and get cable or sat without ESPN. We watch news, movies and educational stuff 95% of the time, but to get all of those, we have to get everything but the premium channels. HBO is good, but not good enough for more $$$, so we get the cheaper movie channels (TMC, Encore, etc.) for much less.

Maybe the clout of the TV industry will be reduced and we will someday be able to choose what we want. If it could be combined with nationwide broadband, maybe everyone could get HD easily; and we could it get wirelessly too so we could have HD, phone and computer everywhere in our Airstreams. We are now as dependent on these things as our society was on the phone 50 years ago, so we need to make this country up to date since the world is passing us by.

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Old 08-11-2009, 07:28 PM   #12
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Sagle , Idaho
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Sorry, as a newbie, I'm not clear how the satellite systems work with the AS. When you reach a campsite, do you have to set a dish up and find the correct satellite in the sky each time to receive a signal?
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Old 08-11-2009, 07:56 PM   #13
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I have Directv and have international programming that is not available with dish. I have been a DTV customer for years and have always had good luck with them except the time that I let Verizon take over the billing to save a few bucks. Verizon screwed up the DSL for the computer, the phone lines and the satellite stuff so bad that I dropped Verizon and went back to Directv. Since I explained all that I had been through the DTV guys hooked me back up for free and gave several discounts to my monthly service. Also went to cable ISP and Vonage for the land based phone line and been very happy.

Now if you want to know my opinion on Verizon, you will have to contact me privately. Too many explatives for a public forum... about sums it up.
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Old 08-11-2009, 08:07 PM   #14
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BillB...yes, you have to have a Sat receiver 'box' that's hooked to a Sat dish antenna that you aim at the Sat's you need...Direct TV and Dish Network use different (and more) Sat's...

You can aim the Sat dish manually when you park in a park - takes a few minutes after you learn the whole process...or you can install a self-seeking type of Sat antenna that finds the Sat's for you and homes in on the signals....search the net - gobs of data in the internet....!!!

We used to have Direct TV years ago, and switched to local cable service when it became available with broadband internet service as an option...when we again became active in RVing, we dumped the cable TV service and tried Dish Sat service...so we could put one of the Sat receivers in the RV and set up an antenna...even got a VuQube to make that task easier...

Then, earlier this year, we decided to take the plunge and get a couple of HDTV sets and upgrade our Dish Sat receivers to the HD versions...LOVE EM'...we have DVR models, the only way to go at home!!!! If you haven't looked into them, check them out for all the great viewing options that the built-in DVR units offer...

The Sat receiver we now use in our AS is an HD unit w/o the DVR...and we use a Winegard Traveler, self seeking Sat antenna, with the three LNB's to get the entire Dish HD and SD service...we subscribe to the All American channels as well that allows us to pick up NY and LA city big-4 network channels all the time - here on the 'left coast', we can view network stuff at the same time the East coast sees them...cool! AllAmerican is now even offering HD service for these channels, but we haven't tried them yet....

I guess all these Sat TV options are like ice cream flavors...we all have our favorites...I kind of wonder if Direct and Dish will hook up together in the future, as did Sirus and XM Radio...one never knows...and it could clean up the entire service picture, so to speak...
Ray & Pat; Morada, CA
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Old 08-11-2009, 11:59 PM   #15
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"When you reach a campsite, do you have to set a dish up and find the correct satellite in the sky each time to receive a signal?"

Yes. My gear isn't as nearly as sophisticated as Mexray's, so it usually takes me about 5-10 minutes armed with a Boy Scout compass (but I'm getting better). Until I got some experience, it took much longer. You just plug in the zip code of your location into the satellite receiver, and it gives you the coordinates. So far, the biggest upgrade for my system is those quick disconnect ends for my cables. It saves me a minute or two.

Until recently, I thought you had to have a very clear shot of the southwest sky. Well, you do, but it doesn't have to be perfectly clear. While in Myrtle Beach State Park campground this May I took one look at the tree canopy and thought it would be a waste of time to try to set up the dish. Then I looked around and saw several dishes set up. So I tried it and, after repositioning the dish a few times, I got an 88% signal, which was more than adequate. Since then I've been on quite a few campsites with trees and, more often than not, I can get a signal.
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Old 10-26-2009, 10:30 AM   #16
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Jacksonville , Florida
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I recently switched from Direct TV one month ago. Big mistake.

Their service is CRAP, their equipment is unreliable (i.e. CRAP), their phone system is CRAP, and there is no satisfaction guarantee at all!

I could terminate contract - at a penalty of over $300!!
I'm stuck with Dish TV for 23 more months.
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Old 10-29-2009, 07:13 AM   #17
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I've had satellite TV for 23 years. First C-band with a 10' dish and then Dish Network. I'm puzzled at the various responses on service issues. I have a first generation receiver in my work shop that I use in the AS with a KingDome. My gripe is the fact that even though I live in Colorado, I'm stuck watching New Mexico network coverage. And that coverage goes away 50 miles from home thanks to the technology of spot beam transmission.

I'm on an annual billing plan that saves me considerable money and any service/transmission issues I've had were cleared up instantly by someone who could speak the King's English.
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Old 10-29-2009, 07:57 AM   #18
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I've had Dish at home for 9 years and works well. It seems like a better deal than Direct and Direct's website is nearly incomprehensible, though Dish's isn't much better, it is better. Talking to someone at Dish can be a challenge since many of them can't speak English well, but keep calling back until you can get someone who is a native speaker.

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Old 12-02-2009, 05:15 PM   #19
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Portland , Oregon
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Special Cabling?

Do you need to re-wire your AS to hook up the satellite to the trailer? I have a 2004 Safari 25 with an outdoor coax. Can I just hook the satellite to this and the HD receiver to the other end (under the cabinet) or does it take a special coax cabling?


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Old 12-02-2009, 05:37 PM   #20
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tampa , Florida
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Vince, i have an 04 international. Yes, you run the satellite feed through the curbside coax (RG6). in my AS the main feed comes in under the dinette. there is a coax conneticon plate with 2 jacks. you remove the short jumper between them and plub your satellite box in. one jack should be labelled satellite (or cable) in and the other satellite (or cable) out. hope this helps
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