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The W - Random - Dish TV / DirecTV customers please read
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Guru Zim
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Since: 9.12.01
From: Bay City, OR

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#1 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.81
I'm looking at Satellite for the first time, and I want your opinions if you have been a customer of one of the two satellite companies. If you have been a customer of both, even better - compare and contrast them.

I don't think our local cable is an option for me.

My TV is going to be HDTV with 1080p, if that matters.

Thanks!




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Since: 11.12.01
From: China, Maine

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#2 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.30


We've been DirecTV customers for six years and the service and reception have been terrific. They have many HD channels as well. Cable providers always say the reception is not good during storms, but we haven't found that to be the case. It's only when all the leaves come out and block the dish do we have trouble. My wife didn't want the dish on the house, so it's on the garage near a couple of trees.

They are also running specials all the time for free installation, etc. or this one for $50 for the new subcriber and $50 for the referrer.

Click Here (directv.com)




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PeterStork
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Since: 25.1.02
From: Chicagoland with Hoosiers, or "The Region"

Since last post: 40 days
Last activity: 2 days
#3 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.14
I have cable, but have dealt with Direct and Dish selling the former and helping my parents subscribe to the latter. As soon as possible I'll be switching to DBS, most likely Direct, unless we move to an awesome cable provider with a LOT of HDs and I feel the need to keep my WWE 24/7.

Direct is out in front with HD. Not only do they have more channels up right now (not counting Voom, which is worth very little,) especially local channels, but they're adding the regional sports networks faster and have more capacity, especially with another bird going up before the Royal Rumble (which they'll have in HD. Not sure about Dish, but it's possible.) Dish, much like a lot of cable providers, is running into a lack of bandwidth for HD, and on their Charlie Chat shows they broadcast to communicate technical news with customers they tend to ignore the issue because they don't have any answers yet.

Dish is the easier company to deal with from a consumer standpoint. Both are big companies and can be asses at times, but while DirecTV is definitely big business Dish has its some of its roots in serving rural communities and has an obviously more laid-back attitude, including more local dealer support.

Direct, I believe, regionalizes installation and there's usually a slightly longer wait time than with Dish. My parents went through a local dealer for their Dish and have his 24-hour cell phone number on their fridge.

Dish's DVR is awesome, but pending litigation with Tivo may force them to disable all time-shifting ability in the future. Direct has no such issues. Dish's DVR is a two-room that broadcasts the second signal over UHF and uses an RF remote - it works REALLY well - but it'll only support one HDTV.

Commitments vary, but Dish is usually 18 months. I believe Direct is two-year; that's what I would always sell.

If you're getting a new TV, you can usually get a sweet deal on DirecTV and the television together from Best Buy or Circuit City (but don't buy at Circuit.) Neither carries Dish.

If you go with Dish, AVSForum/DBSTalk has reported that if you sign up for automated billing you get porn Cinemax free for six months. It's a hidden promo, though, and you have to ask a CSR for it.

(edited by PeterStork on 31.12.07 1505)

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Since: 16.3.04
From: Albuquerque, NM

Since last post: 48 days
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#4 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.09
I loved having DirecTV once I had it, and once I get my own apartment, DirecTV is what I'll have. Sunday Ticket is the big selling feature, but I would surely jump to get the HD package, I think it'd look swell on my 42" LCD.

Dish is ok, and both are better than Cable.



Mr. Boffo
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Since: 24.3.02
From: Oshkosh, WI

Since last post: 451 days
Last activity: 411 days
#5 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.12
For channel selection, you should try titantv.com. Put in your zip code, and see what channels DirecTV and Dish Network have.
odessasteps
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Since: 2.1.02
From: MD, USA

Since last post: 127 days
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#6 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.81

My parents have both DirecTV for two of the rooms in their house, basic cable for the other.

I prefer DirecTV, mainly because it has almost all the channels I want. Everywhere I've lived with cable, there were always one or two "important" channels I wanted that the cable company in question didn't offer (Boomerang, Galavision, NHL Network, Fox Sports World/Soccer Channel, etc).





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Since: 20.6.02
From: I am the Tag Team Champions!

Since last post: 8 days
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#7 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.83
When I lived in an apartment with three roommates about four years ago, we went with Dish Network. They installed the dish and bolted it into the balcony. Then came time to move out. We canceled our service and seemingly cut ties with Dish Network. Then they charged us a $300 dish fee. They said it was because we didn't mail back the dish...even though the dish was BOLTED INTO THE BALCONY! I pointed that fact out to their customer service, to which they ever-so-nicely responded, "That isn't our problem."

Moral of the story: Go with DirecTV.

(edited by It's False on 31.12.07 1835)



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Since: 25.2.02

Since last post: 6 days
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#8 Posted on
Pardon me for a second while I push the ironies aside...

Okay. Memory purged.

I was actually an employee with TCI Cable when I first got DirecTV in 1995 (boy did THAT get the office talking!), and I've been pleased with the overall product since.

So-called "rain fade" isn't nearly as bad as the cable company propaganda makes it out to be. It takes a pretty heavy storm for me to lose signal. I can have a lot of snow on the thing and still get signal. A good amount of ice, however, will kill signal.

My experience is that customer service is a joke, but I only have to deal with them once every few years anyway.

I've historically installed my own equipment, but they insisted on sending an installer for the new five-LNB Slimline dish. The guy looked like he was homeless, he didn't know the dish he was installing had 5 LNB's (he INSISTED it was 3 and configured the receiver as such, which I fixed), his signal meter was dead so he just guessed where to point it (so much for the precision alignment these new dishes supposedly require), he smoked on my porch, swore like a sailor, and just recently while breaking ice off it, I discovered he didn't even bother to put the screws in that secure the LNB to the dish arm!

Miraculously, I got signal in the 90's on the new HD birds when they launched a month later. I suspect somebody else from the subcontractor snuck out after I complained and did a proper alignment (because I told DirecTV I never ever wanted to see that guy on my property again).

That's another thing I should warn about..."Free" installation doesn't include subcontractor charges to run wiring and install poles. This wasn't brought to my attention until this guy showed up at my house and "negotiated" $30 to drop a new pole in the ground...he "usually gets $75", but in my case I had the wiring run already. I called DirecTV on it, and they said "Yes, that's legit".

Dish has historically compressed more, but DirecTV has been pretty bad the past couple of years. The new HD channels look much better than their standard counterparts...even the ones that never actually air any HD programming...but they should considering they have their own dedicated satellites.

So as long as everything works and I don't have to call anybody, I'm a happy DirecTV customer. I'm on my fourth receiver and third dish. I wanted to find a couple more junk dishes, paint them pink, and plant them around the yard like pink flamingos, but my wife would have nothing to do with it.
Corajudo
Frankfurter








Since: 7.11.02
From: Dallas, TX

Since last post: 105 days
Last activity: 1 day
#9 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.73
We've had Directv since 2000 and couldn't be happier. I haven't called customer service more than a couple of times, but they've always been terrific. We had a great experience with installers; could get an appointment really quickly, very professional, knew their stuff, and actually were wearing Directv insignia (but I think the installation stuff varies by region and even by retailer--we went through Best Buy and then did the Directv $25 move deal).

I will saw that their DVR receiver seems to be inferior to TIVO (just comparing it to what friends have), and you don't actually buy it; you are leasing it. So, keep that in mind when you plunk down $299 (or whatever it is now) for the HD DVR.

When we originally signed up in 2000, bought a new house in 2003 and then added DVR late last year/early this year, they always asked for a 12 month commitment, but that could have changed.



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Guru Zim
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Since: 9.12.01
From: Bay City, OR

Since last post: 9 days
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#10 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.81
So I just tried to sign up for DirecTV and I think I ran into a problem:

Your receiver must be continuously connected to a land-based phone line to activate your receivers and to allow pay per view ordering by remote control.

My house was built in 1910 and it does not have phone jacks in all of the rooms where I have cable. In fact, of the 3 places I'm putting a receiver, I only have phone available in one.

Is this really an issue? I have a Vonage connection upstairs, but I doubt they are going to be happy with it.

Is this how I get guide information? Ugh. I was kind of hoping to discontinue the land-line at some point in the future.




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Since: 24.3.02
From: Oshkosh, WI

Since last post: 451 days
Last activity: 411 days
#11 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.12
    Originally posted by Guru Zim
    So I just tried to sign up for DirecTV and I think I ran into a problem:

    Your receiver must be continuously connected to a land-based phone line to activate your receivers and to allow pay per view ordering by remote control.

    My house was built in 1910 and it does not have phone jacks in all of the rooms where I have cable. In fact, of the 3 places I'm putting a receiver, I only have phone available in one.

    Is this really an issue? I have a Vonage connection upstairs, but I doubt they are going to be happy with it.

    Is this how I get guide information? Ugh. I was kind of hoping to discontinue the land-line at some point in the future.

I've heard that this really isn't true. If you unplug the phone line, it just means if you want to order any ppv, you have to call them up and order. After doing a google search, I found this, on the Vonage forums, no less that describes the situation the way I remember hearing it, though the posts are two years old. I'm sure someone else knows better than I do whether the situation has changed since then.

(edited by Mr. Boffo on 2.1.08 0559)
Jobberman
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Since: 2.1.02
From: West Palm Beach, FL

Since last post: 81 days
Last activity: 42 days
#12 Posted on


I used to have DirecTV and currently have DishNetwork.

I have never had a phoneline connected to a receiver with either company and the only time it affected anything was when it came to ordering pay-per-views. Instead of doing it with the remote, I had to call and pay an extra 5 bucks or so.

(edited by Jobberman on 2.1.08 0856)
pieman
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Since: 11.12.01
From: China, Maine

Since last post: 2 days
Last activity: 2 days
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#13 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.30


These last two posts are correct. You need to be connected to a land line to order PPVs right on the screen. Otherwise, you don't need to be connected at all.




CRZ had to edit my profile and close my table for me before, but I did this one all by myself with Frosty's help!
Corajudo
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Since: 7.11.02
From: Dallas, TX

Since last post: 105 days
Last activity: 1 day
#14 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.73
Actually, if you get a DVR, you have to be connected for a couple of minutes when the DVR is initially installed (I don't recall why). After that, it's not necessary. So, worst case scenario is that you buy a really long phone connection cord and then stash it somewhere after the DVR install is done.

I think you can also order PPVs online, but I've never tried it. Or, you can get your long phone cord out again. :)



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Since: 2.1.02
From: Hawthorne, CA

Since last post: 45 days
Last activity: 17 hours
#15 Posted on
All I need is a belt to prove it and I'll be set!


    Originally posted by Corajudo
    Actually, if you get a DVR, you have to be connected for a couple of minutes when the DVR is initially installed (I don't recall why). After that, it's not necessary. So, worst case scenario is that you buy a really long phone connection cord and then stash it somewhere after the DVR install is done.

    I think you can also order PPVs online, but I've never tried it. Or, you can get your long phone cord out again. :)
We have Dish Network, 2 receiver boxes, one w/ DVR. We've never plugged in the phone line to either box and the DVR works just fine without it.

I know I can always order PPVs on the phone if I dont want to connect the phoneline to the box, but is there any drawback to having my box connected like that? I seem to remember there being a reason why no one does it, but I forget what the explanation was.



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PeterStork
Sujuk








Since: 25.1.02
From: Chicagoland with Hoosiers, or "The Region"

Since last post: 40 days
Last activity: 2 days
#16 Posted on
    Originally posted by DJ FrostyFreeze
      Originally posted by Corajudo
      Actually, if you get a DVR, you have to be connected for a couple of minutes when the DVR is initially installed (I don't recall why). After that, it's not necessary. So, worst case scenario is that you buy a really long phone connection cord and then stash it somewhere after the DVR install is done.

      I think you can also order PPVs online, but I've never tried it. Or, you can get your long phone cord out again. :)
    We have Dish Network, 2 receiver boxes, one w/ DVR. We've never plugged in the phone line to either box and the DVR works just fine without it.

    I know I can always order PPVs on the phone if I dont want to connect the phoneline to the box, but is there any drawback to having my box connected like that? I seem to remember there being a reason why no one does it, but I forget what the explanation was.


When we (I) would hook up a new DirecTV DVR at work I would have to activate it through the phone line before it would set up a recording even with our vendor account card. We might have been able to record what we were watching, but I know it we tried to set up any advance recordings it would not let us until it was activated via phone. Dish might be different, but D* definitely needs the phone line...but just for setup. After that it can go free.



exit 670 dot com | digital route 66
Mr Heel II
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Since: 25.2.02

Since last post: 6 days
Last activity: 12 min.
#17 Posted on
    Originally posted by Guru Zim
    My house was built in 1910 and it does not have phone jacks in all of the rooms where I have cable. In fact, of the 3 places I'm putting a receiver, I only have phone available in one.

Wireless phone jacks are the answer. I bought a set of these when I established my DirecTV service over a decade ago and it's still going strong.

I also found out that, if your jack becomes unplugged and you don't notice, you can order PPV's for months and nothing actually bills until you plug it back in.

Of course, if you order a lot of PPV's, you've got one heck of a bill accumulating.
brick
Bockwurst








Since: 17.1.02
From: Pittsburgh, PA

Since last post: 538 days
Last activity: 534 days
#18 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.00
    Originally posted by Corajudo
    Actually, if you get a DVR, you have to be connected for a couple of minutes when the DVR is initially installed (I don't recall why). After that, it's not necessary. So, worst case scenario is that you buy a really long phone connection cord and then stash it somewhere after the DVR install is done.

    I think you can also order PPVs online, but I've never tried it. Or, you can get your long phone cord out again. :)


I'm not sure thats the case with all models. We didn't have phone service yet when the Directv was installed here, and when I mentioned it to the installer he said that he wouldn't need it anyway.

My current reciever has never been connected to a phone jack. My reciever in CT hasn't been hooked up to a phone jack in well over a year, and the only downside has been a daily message from DirecTV asking me to hook it up to a phone line.
JimBob Skeeter
Bratwurst








Since: 2.1.02
From: MN

Since last post: 4 hours
Last activity: 1 hour
#19 Posted on
Here's another dish question for y'all. In a few months, the gf and I are moving in together. We both now have Charter and are ready to give it up YESTERDAY!
Our plan right now is to get Dish for the house we get. The main reason we want to get dish over Direct TV is that her family has a cabin in northern MN that we frequent during the year. Both of her parents passed away a few years ago, but she and her two brothers have decided to keep it as a vacation getaway.
Her folks had Dish. The satellite dish and two receivers are still hooked up, but they cancelled their service after their parents passing.
Now, we have heard from a few people that if you have Dish at your home, you would be able to just bring the card from your receiver up there and put it into their receiver and it would work. Is this correct?
The main reason I bring this up is the phone connection conversation going on here as they HAVE a land line, but it is only for local calls. Granted, they have a phone card for long distance we could use with about 160 minutes left on it from when their Mom passed away, but would that still work if need be?
Jobberman
Kishke








Since: 2.1.02
From: West Palm Beach, FL

Since last post: 81 days
Last activity: 42 days
#20 Posted on
My main Dish receiver, with the DVR in it has no card to remove. The secondary one in the kids' room has a card, but I don't know if it will work in another receiver.
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