The two companies have different approaches to multiple satellites. DirecTV dishes are adjustable in three axes Az, El, and Tilt, while Dish uses only Az and El. Also, the less expensive 18" round dish will get HD on Dish, but the larger elliptical dish is needed to get HD on DirecTV. If you are OK with standard definition, you can get a self-pointing dish for either for about the same price but the DirecTV HD dish has three axes to align and the dish is bigger and heavier so the motors and electronics are more powerful and more expensive.
Also the Winegard 18" dish I had (which was originally used by the PO for Dish, but I used on DirecTV SD) used something in the satellite receiver and wouldn't align (or stow) without a connection to the receiver. The Winegard Trav'ler HD dish is completely self-contained. Just turn it on and it finds the satellites (or stows) whether the receiver is connected and powered up or not.
The larger DirecTV dish sits in the open so all electronics have to be weather proof while the current group of round dishes are in radomes which provides protection for the whole system.
Does that justify a 3-4x price increase, probably not but that's part of it.
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Al, K5TAN and Missy, N4RGO WBCCI 1322
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