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Brian
August 9th 03, 07:46 PM
My dad wanted me to do some research for satelitte tv because he does
not want to give his money to our only cable provider in our town
because of how they treated him with some billing issues. So, now I
ask...which is better?

From what I have seen, they are pretty similar. I believe for 33.99
you get over 100 channels (which include ESPN, ESPN2 AND ESPN
Classic...nice) and have the option to upgrade to movie channels (not
interested in that though). Another thing that I want him to look into
is Tivo. He is not real crazy about the idea...i dont know why but
could someone tell me about prices for that and pros and cons..if any.
I have seen something like $99.99 for the box and then $4.99 a month
for the service (That is Direct Tv). Am I reading that right. Seems
fairly cheap to me.

Don't worry, I am going to look through this site and read all the
previous posts. I was just directed to this site and have already
found it very helpful. Thanks

Brian

Rod Smith
August 9th 03, 10:36 PM
In article >,
(Brian) writes:
>
> My dad wanted me to do some research for satelitte tv because he does
> not want to give his money to our only cable provider in our town
> because of how they treated him with some billing issues. So, now I
> ask...which is better?

You won't get a simple answer on this one (except perhaps from some
zealots). Deciding which is "better" means laying out some criteria for
measuring the quality of each. That, in turn, means making subjective
judgments about which features are important to you, and perhaps about
picture quality, too (one may be better for some channels, the other for
other channels, and it might be a judgment call for others).

I suggest you start by doing a cost analysis of the packages both
services offer with the minimal set of channels you'll accept. Because of
the way each service packages channels slightly differently, you might
see huge differences here -- or almost none. Be sure to consider locals,
too, especially if you want a DVR (the DishPVR and DirecTiVos both record
locals only as delivered via the satellite service, not via an
over-the-air antenna or cable system). Also remember startup costs for
whatever equipment you need (receivers, dish, installation). I believe
for some packages Dish lets you rent equipment, which lowers the up-front
cost but raises the monthly cost. DirecTV, at least, heavily subsidizes
new-subscriber equipment costs in exchange for year-long commitments to
the service.

Once you've done the cost analysis (or before, if you prefer), stop by
some retailers and look at the picture quality from both systems. Try to
do more than one retailer for each, since the TV and connection method
can influence picture quality. Evaluate your favorite cable channels and
whatever locals you watch. Note that picture problems on Dish Network and
DirecTV are going to come mostly in the form of digital artifacts, such
as noticeable pixellation during fades and fast action shots, rather than
the analog artifacts you see on most cable systems. (Some locals may also
display analog artifacts, though, as the pictures are captured via
conventional antennas, just as cable companies do.)

> Another thing that I want him to look into
> is Tivo. He is not real crazy about the idea...i dont know why but
> could someone tell me about prices for that and pros and cons..if any.
> I have seen something like $99.99 for the box and then $4.99 a month
> for the service (That is Direct Tv). Am I reading that right. Seems
> fairly cheap to me.

Yes, that's right, although of course the up-front costs vary a bit from
one retailer to another. Also, the $5/month fee is waived if you subscribe
to the top-tier programming package ("Total Choice Premiere," I believe
it's called). It sounds like you're not interested in that, though.

TiVo is something that's hard to describe; it must be experienced to be
understood. It's a liberating technology, in that it frees you from
enslavement to the TV schedule. (Alternatively, if you're a heavy user of
VCRs for time-shifting, it greatly simplifies that task.) TiVo also makes
it much easier to locate interesting TV shows -- you can set up Season
Passes to record shows you watch regularly, use Wish Lists to record
shows or movies with your favorite actors, skim the guide by show
category, etc. IMHO, DirecTiVos (the unofficial name for what DirecTV
calls "DirecTV DVR Powered by TiVo" or some similar long name) are well
worth the up-front and monthly cost, particularly for new subscribers.
(The cost goes up to ~$250 if you're an existing subscriber.)

Dish Network offers its own DVR, called DishPVR. There's more variation
in DishPVR models than in DirecTiVo models. For instance, the last I
checked there were both single-tuner and dual-tuner DishPVR units,
whereas all DirecTiVos have dual tuners. I believe some DishPVR models
have bigger hard disks than are available in stock DirecTiVos, too,
although (unofficial and unsanctioned) upgrades for the latter are
available, and future DirecTiVo models will have bigger hard disks. Dish
has recently announced that they'll soon begin charging monthly fees
(theirs used to be free on a monthly basis), but I don't recall the
details, or know what the up-front charges are. I've never used a
DishPVR, but my understanding is that the software is much less
sophisticated than the TiVo software. If you prefer Dish Network service
but the TiVo software, you can use a standalone (SA) TiVo with Dish
Network hardware, but the prices skyrocket if you do that -- you'll pay
$200-$400 for an SA TiVo and $13/month for service (or $300 for
"lifetime" service). You can also use this approach with DirecTV if you
like, but IMHO there's little reason to do so unless you can't get locals
via DirecTV. (SA TiVos can record from both satellite and cable or
antenna, which can help to integrate these services if you use more than
one programming source.)

--
Rod Smith,
http://www.rodsbooks.com
Author of books on Linux, FreeBSD, and networking

TNGTony
August 10th 03, 05:40 AM
"Brian" > wrote in message
m...
> My dad wanted me to do some research for satelitte tv because he does
> not want to give his money to our only cable provider in our town
> because of how they treated him with some billing issues. So, now I
> ask...which is better?

This is flame fodder here. :-) Everyone has their own opinion. I'm partial
to Dish. Dish still has PVR units with no fee attached for the service,
though this will end with the new models coming out. The older models
(501/508 and 721...which are still current models) will not have a DVR/PVR
fee (at least they say they wont). But many will argue that the additional
features and much better software interface of the DirecTiVo is worth the 5
bucks a month. Once your Dad has PVR/DVR service, he will NEVER want to
give it up. It is NOT a fancy VCR. But that's another discussion.

There are a couple of places to look on the net for peer information on DBS.
www.dbstalk.com and www.dbsforums.com are the two premier sites. Each has
user forums and many links to all sorts of information about this stuff.
These are good starting points. Follow the links from the front pages to
get most of your FAQs answered, then join in the forums for specific issues.

One final thing. In my experience, LOOK AT PROGRAMMING PACKAGES FIRST!!!!
Find the one you like the best. THEN worry about which receiver to go with.
The programming package will determine which brand receiver (Echostar or
rebranded E* receivers with RCA or JVC on them for Dish, and everything else
for DirecTV)

See ya
Tony

Jon Purkey
August 10th 03, 06:14 PM
On 9 Aug 2003 10:46:17 -0700, (Brian) wrote:

>My dad wanted me to do some research for satelitte tv because he does
>not want to give his money to our only cable provider in our town
>because of how they treated him with some billing issues. So, now I
>ask...which is better?

Neither is better for everyone. It really depends on what channels you
want and how much you are willing to pay monthly. I wouldn't worry too
much about the start-up costs, as over time they won't really matter.

There is a good side-by-side comparison of the available programming
packages at: http://steve.dbstalk.com/dbs/packagecomparison.htm
Scroll to the bottom for additional information on movie channels,
sports and other add-ons.

For me, DirecTV is the clear winner. Even when I get a Tivo, DirecTV
will still be $4/month less than what I would have to pay Dish to get
the same channels. Of course, there are some channels I must have,
like Fox Movie channel and the extra Disccovery channels, that are
only available in the AT150 package on Dish.

-
Email replies should be sent to the address found here:
http://members.aol.com/jonpurkey/email.gif

Phillipe
August 11th 03, 12:47 AM
In article >,
(Jon Purkey) wrote:

> On 9 Aug 2003 10:46:17 -0700, (Brian) wrote:
>
> >My dad wanted me to do some research for satelitte tv because he does
> >not want to give his money to our only cable provider in our town
> >because of how they treated him with some billing issues. So, now I
> >ask...which is better?
>
> Neither is better for everyone. It really depends on what channels you
> want and how much you are willing to pay monthly. I wouldn't worry too
> much about the start-up costs, as over time they won't really matter.
>
> There is a good side-by-side comparison of the available programming
> packages at: http://steve.dbstalk.com/dbs/packagecomparison.htm
> Scroll to the bottom for additional information on movie channels,
> sports and other add-ons.
>
> For me, DirecTV is the clear winner. Even when I get a Tivo, DirecTV
> will still be $4/month less than what I would have to pay Dish to get
> the same channels. Of course, there are some channels I must have,
> like Fox Movie channel and the extra Disccovery channels, that are
> only available in the AT150 package on Dish.

I had DISH initially. Then my receivers got wiped out by lightening, and
DISH refused to help me or transfer the 7 remaining months I had prepaid
for to a new receiver. They said "Talk to your Insurance Company". So I
did, got the money, and went with DirecTv, and have been much happier
with DirecTv.


...

Zane
August 11th 03, 08:25 AM
The biggest difference that I see is pricing. Direct-Tv's top basic
cable package is $40 a month (that includes local broadcast channels).

Dish Network has 3 basic cable tiers, however, their top tier also
includes the Encore channels and TMC. I'm not sure how much AT-150
costs with locals; perhaps Tony can give us an updated August 2003
price.

Also, Direct-Tv carries Trio and Oxygen; Dish doesn't.

Dish Network carries Style and Nick Games & Sports; Direct doesn't.

Irwell
August 11th 03, 05:09 PM
On 10 Aug 2003 23:25:39 -0700, (Zane) wrote:

>The biggest difference that I see is pricing. Direct-Tv's top basic
>cable package is $40 a month (that includes local broadcast channels).
>
>Dish Network has 3 basic cable tiers, however, their top tier also
>includes the Encore channels and TMC. I'm not sure how much AT-150
>costs with locals; perhaps Tony can give us an updated August 2003
>price.
>
>Also, Direct-Tv carries Trio and Oxygen; Dish doesn't.
DirecTV also carries Newsworld International: Dish doesn't.
>Dish Network carries Style and Nick Games & Sports; Direct doesn't.

WichitaRedneck
August 11th 03, 11:47 PM
If your dad likes SPORTS go with DirecTV. If sports are not a big thing to him,
Dishnetwork is the better service.

Jon Purkey
August 12th 03, 06:38 PM
On 11 Aug 2003 21:47:01 GMT, (WichitaRedneck)
wrote:

>If your dad likes SPORTS go with DirecTV. If sports are not a big thing to him,
>Dishnetwork is the better service.

I don't like sports and DirecTV is still the better choice for me.
Yes, there are more sport choices available on DirecTV, but you don't
have to pay for them unless you want them.

Dish has at least a couple sports channels (Golf Channel / Outdoor
Channel) in their AT150 package so you have pay for them whether you
wanted them or not. Of course, if you want those channels then Dish
would probably be the better deal since they are part of the Sports
Pak ($12/month) on DirecTV.


-
Email replies should be sent to the address found here:
http://members.aol.com/jonpurkey/email.gif

WichitaRedneck
August 13th 03, 12:18 AM
>I don't like sports and DirecTV is still the better choice for me.
>Yes, there are more sport choices available on DirecTV, but you don't
>have to pay for them unless you want them.
>
>Dish has at least a couple sports channels (Golf Channel / Outdoor
>Channel) in their AT150 package so you have pay for them whether you
>wanted them or not. Of course, if you want those channels then Dish
>would probably be the better deal since they are part of the Sports
>Pak ($12/month) on DirecTV.
>
>
>-
>Email replies should be sent to the address found here:
>http://members.aol.com/jonpurkey/email.gif
>
On Dish though the AT150 also includes the Speed Channel which I thought
DirecTV charged for.

Jack Ak
August 13th 03, 01:58 AM
"WichitaRedneck" > wrote in message ...
> >I don't like sports and DirecTV is still the better choice for me.
> >Yes, there are more sport choices available on DirecTV, but you don't
> >have to pay for them unless you want them.
> >
> >Dish has at least a couple sports channels (Golf Channel / Outdoor
> >Channel) in their AT150 package so you have pay for them whether you
> >wanted them or not. Of course, if you want those channels then Dish
> >would probably be the better deal since they are part of the Sports
> >Pak ($12/month) on DirecTV.
> >
> >
> >-
> >Email replies should be sent to the address found here:
> >http://members.aol.com/jonpurkey/email.gif
> >
> On Dish though the AT150 also includes the Speed Channel which I thought
> DirecTV charged for.
>
>
DirecTV's Total Choice package includes the Speed Channel and Outdoor Life Network.
The Outdoor Channel and the Golf Channel are in the Sports package.

Thomas T. Veldhouse
September 22nd 03, 08:33 PM
"Zane" > wrote in message
m...

>
> Also, Direct-Tv carries Trio and Oxygen; Dish doesn't.
>

Add National Geographic Channel, Fine Living Channel and a couple of
international news channels. All these get moderate demand of them and are
not offered by Dish. The first two are watched by me quite often.

> Dish Network carries Style and Nick Games & Sports; Direct doesn't.

Tom Veldhouse

Dish User
September 24th 03, 03:47 AM
In article >,
"Thomas T. Veldhouse" > writes:
>
> "Zane" > wrote in message
> m...
>
>>
>> Also, Direct-Tv carries Trio and Oxygen; Dish doesn't.
>>
>
> Add National Geographic Channel, Fine Living Channel and a couple of
> international news channels. All these get moderate demand of them and are
> not offered by Dish. The first two are watched by me quite often.

My Dish system certainly gets the National Geographic channel...

September 25th 03, 06:21 AM
Direct TV has an alignment with Tivo which is great. Dish sells their
own DVRs. As for me, I stay with industry standard - Tivo.


Dish User wrote in message >...
> In article >,
> "Thomas T. Veldhouse" > writes:
> >
> > "Zane" > wrote in message
> > m...
> >
> >>
> >> Also, Direct-Tv carries Trio and Oxygen; Dish doesn't.
> >>
> >
> > Add National Geographic Channel, Fine Living Channel and a couple of
> > international news channels. All these get moderate demand of them and are
> > not offered by Dish. The first two are watched by me quite often.
>
> My Dish system certainly gets the National Geographic channel...

Thomas T. Veldhouse
September 25th 03, 04:58 PM
<Dish User> wrote in message ...
> In article >,
> "Thomas T. Veldhouse" > writes:
> >
> > "Zane" > wrote in message
> > m...
> >
> >>
> >> Also, Direct-Tv carries Trio and Oxygen; Dish doesn't.
> >>
> >
> > Add National Geographic Channel, Fine Living Channel and a couple of
> > international news channels. All these get moderate demand of them and
are
> > not offered by Dish. The first two are watched by me quite often.
>
> My Dish system certainly gets the National Geographic channel...

Unless something has changed very recently, Dish does not carry National
Geographic Channel. DirecTV does, Comcast does and I think Time Warner
does.

Tom Veldhouse

Thomas T. Veldhouse
September 25th 03, 06:47 PM
"David Levy" > wrote in message
...
> Tom Veldhouse wrote:
>
> > Unless something has changed very recently, Dish does
> > not carry National Geographic Channel.
>
> http://tinyurl.com/on9v
>
> "America's Top 150" package, channel 186
>
>
> > DirecTV does, Comcast does and I think Time Warner does.
>
> Cable television providers typically don't carry channels on a
> national level; availability varies by local system.

Do you know when they added this channel to the line up? This is a very
recent addition.

Tom Veldhouse

David Levy
September 25th 03, 06:55 PM
Tom Veldhouse wrote:

> > > Unless something has changed very recently, Dish does
> > > not carry National Geographic Channel.

> > http://tinyurl.com/on9v
> >
> > "America's Top 150" package, channel 186

> Do you know when they added this channel to the line up?
> This is a very recent addition.

I'm a DirecTV subscriber, so I have no idea.

Dennis Jenkins
September 25th 03, 09:14 PM
National Geographic Channel right? It's been on Dish for months.
Long enough for the new to wear off at least.<G>

Dennis Jenkins


On Thu, 25 Sep 2003 11:47:43 -0500, "Thomas T. Veldhouse"
> wrote:

>
>"David Levy" > wrote in message
...
>> Tom Veldhouse wrote:
>>
>> > Unless something has changed very recently, Dish does
>> > not carry National Geographic Channel.
>>
>> http://tinyurl.com/on9v
>>
>> "America's Top 150" package, channel 186
>>
>>
>> > DirecTV does, Comcast does and I think Time Warner does.
>>
>> Cable television providers typically don't carry channels on a
>> national level; availability varies by local system.
>
>Do you know when they added this channel to the line up? This is a very
>recent addition.
>
>Tom Veldhouse
>

BobaBird
September 26th 03, 12:23 AM
On Thu, 25 Sep 2003 11:47:43 -0500, "Thomas T. Veldhouse"
> wrote:

>"David Levy" > wrote in message
...
>> Tom Veldhouse wrote:
>>
>> > Unless something has changed very recently, Dish does
>> > not carry National Geographic Channel.
>>
>> http://tinyurl.com/on9v
>>
>> "America's Top 150" package, channel 186
>
>Do you know when they added this channel to the line up? This is a very
>recent addition.

Available to subscribers 7/12/02 per http://echostar.swiki.net/247 .

--
Charles

"The other guys charge $9.95/month to use tapeless record"
Dish Network Tech Forum, 8-6-01


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