Which satellite TV service would you recommend, Direct TV or Dish Network? I've been considering making the switch from Comcast for a while now, but would like to know what others here have and how satisfied they are with their service.
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I had Direct TV for years and was pretty satisfied. My only issue was weather-related outages, but they can't do anything about that and cable is often equally-affected in those circumstances.
From what I've heard from relatives, Dish Network has better sports packages. Neither of them have much control over pricing with regard to premium (movie) channel networks, so there's not a lot of flexibility there.
I went back to cable with "Es Comcastico" because their bundled package worked out better price-wise and we don't lose everything in storms like I did with satellite service. At least with cable, unless there is a total outage, you just lose certain channels during storms.
I have Dish and I like the way the hardware works a lot better than the Comcast setup. I do get rain fade but my neighbors tell me tuning up the dish helps that. I still have not done it.
The way I am set up is 2 Dish dual tuners (one is DVR) with the RF out feeding the old cable going around the house and 2 RF remotes. I also have my Replay TV (sourced from one Dish tuner) feeding the cable so there are 5 "channels" on all of the TVs. One is the Replay and 4 are Dish outputs, each having all access to all programming. It actually works out fairly well.
Thanks for the replies. Are the weather related outages your referring to due to snow and ice accumulation on the dish? I installed a dish several years ago that had a low-voltage heating coil built into it for that purpose, but don't know if that is common with the newer dishes.
One of the biggest advantages that I've seen with my DirecTV over my old cable is that the cable company by me takes their sweet time fixing the cable after a storm...and it takes them 3-4 tries before they get it fixed well enough to send a clear picture. I can be watching static or a fuzzy picture for almost a week. My satellite clears up as soon as the clouds pass by and the picture is just as sharp as ever.
I had Dish from September 99 until I dumped them in April this year. The DirecTV guy was here with a dual feed and two receivers the next day. My beef with Dish was when I found out that I had been paying for programming on Satellite 110, when my older parabolic dish was pointing at just the 119 degree satellite. I couldn't get a straight answer to how long they were charging for what I wasn't getting, so I dumped them. They had replaced a defective receiver so I was obligated to them for over a year after I told them. Wouldn't you know the idiots called the day after I dumped them. I told the AHs to go back over a year to the notes that I demanded be placed on my account and to never call back. I also have a collection of non-responsive Emails proving that their combined IQs are unlikely to eclipse 100.
Since I only started with DirecTV on April 18th, I can't tell you what their customer service is like. I note that TWC provides "Local on the 8's", like cable, based on Rx zip code. Dish didn't work that way. The monthly cost over 2 years is substantially less that Dish, due to a cheap 1st year promotion. Normal monthly rates for my equivalent service seem to be a tad more than Dish.
I don't mind that I lose my picture, due to signal attenuation, when dense clouds approach from the southwest. That just gives me a two or more minute warning to get the apartment windows closed before the heavy rains start. It happened last night during "Top Shot" on The History Channel, at a time when red blobs were showing on the weather radar. It is unlikely that you will get any snow or ice accumulation because of the lower look angles involved. We used to have to worry about wet, slushy snow on the 6 meter dish, at our TV station in Cleveland. It would collect snow like a bowl if we were looking at Spacenet 1. It was straight south and at the top of the polar arc. Satcom F1R was our normal bird, as far west and low on the arc as we could go. It was easy to use a push broom to remove the snow on the lower half of the dish. The Dish and Direct antennas and LNB mounts are designed so that the reflector is more vertical. Joe
I can't believe in a discussion like this that the idea of a steerable dish hasn't come up.
Surely there are free to air things to be seen in the US. Crikey, even down here in the Pacific area there are a great lot of "birds" floating above the earth that you can get a decent signal off.
I have a 8ft dish in our garden with 4 LNB's and a motor unit on it, it took a bit of working out, but we can get an amazing number of channels. It was more or less for the missus, I hardly ever watch the tripe on TV.
I have many fond C-Band memories from '83-'87. We would sign-off after CBS Late Night. Then we would crank the dish around to have something up while we were doing studio/transmitter maintenance. We would usually end up with VH-1 punched up on the Quad tape machine monitors. I remember when the sources started switching from in the clear to mostly VideoCipher II. I think some went with SA B-MAC. We used to scramble our signal at night for "Preview Subscription TV", using the Zenith SSAVI system (Sync Suppression Active Video Inversion). I spent quite some time watching the VC II scrambled signal drift through on a monitor switched to House Sync. Back then, 110 degree LNAs were about the best you would get and I don't think they were using LNBs yet. Of course, you could only get 24 video programs per bird with usually 5.8, 6.2, or 6.8 MHz audio subcarriers. Nothing like the density for DBS.
Thanks for triggering some synapses that I haven't used in years, Trumpy! Joe