Switching from DirecTV to Dish Network, why I should or shouldn't - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 31 Old 03-15-2004, 10:59 AM - Thread Starter
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I am currently a DirecTV subscriber who wants to get into HD. I am currently paying $47.68 for two receivers and local channels w/o HD. With the additional costs to switch to HD it doesn't look as attractive compared to dish, even with the $99 upgrade. Dish has a deal with free equipment, and if I pay a year in advance it would cost me $48.56/month. This includes a std. & HDTV receiver with locals.

What does everyone think? :confused:

Thanks, Jim
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post #2 of 31 Old 03-15-2004, 03:46 PM
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I've been satisfied with my HD service from Dish so far. Just be sure to get an OTA antenna for the local channels.

-Jeff
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post #3 of 31 Old 03-15-2004, 06:54 PM
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I made switch from DTV to Dish. Where do I start. The 811 receiver has been released to soon(junk at this point). The receiver will not allow me to receive all of the Off Air TV that is available in my area (only the rescaled SD channels and any special Hd programing that happens to be on these. Not any of the HD feeds that run 24/7 in my area). What they sell in there HD package is not HD but rescaled SD(sucks). You are not able to go to the off air directly IE no dash key on remote. There are also issues with the guide system staying updated. Customer satisfaction 0.
Stick with DTV There HD receivers work.

Jim
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post #4 of 31 Old 03-15-2004, 07:52 PM
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PLEASE don't switch to E* unless you can get the hardware for free and have no programming commitment. I was there, had the 811 and switched to D*, the 811 caused too many problems. Some folks say the 811, others like myself say it has too many bugs. The only way to be sure is to get it into your environment and see how it works. I'd hate to see you get stuck for 12 months and a bumb STB.
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post #5 of 31 Old 03-15-2004, 08:24 PM
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I had DirecTV for 2 years, switched to Dish for a year, hated the receiver and switched back to DirecTV. The problem is that with Dish, you don't have choice of brands of receivers, so if you're not happy with the receiver (like many are) you are stuck. With DirecTV you have many companies making receivers so if you don't like Sony you can get a Samsung, don't like that get a Hughes and so on. From what I understand that may be changing at DirecTV but I think it's a mistake as many companies will build a better product if it's branded with their name.
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post #6 of 31 Old 03-15-2004, 09:08 PM
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Simple. If you're a Hyundai guy get Dish. If you're a BMW/Mercedes guy get D*. They both have their places, their own qualities, and well-established in the world....
IMHO,
AMc
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post #7 of 31 Old 03-15-2004, 09:31 PM
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That was uncalled for.

I own an E39 BMW 540 and have E* because D* doesn't offer the international programming I require. So D* with its heavy sports content and neglible international awareness should be more appropriately compared to Chevy than BMW/Mercedes.

BTW, with a handle of "AMc", you should be careful tossing the car analogies around. :D


Bill

Cheers,
Bill
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post #8 of 31 Old 03-15-2004, 11:45 PM
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I believe the guide issue with the 811 has been fixed. I noticed it the other night. I have experienced a few bugs with the 811, but nothing that a simple reset of the box didn't solve. I'm pretty happy with mine. HD looks killer.
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post #9 of 31 Old 03-16-2004, 05:18 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for your honest opinions. It seems like there are a lot of choices for HD, but none are the best. I've seen information on Voom but that's a risk too. I guess I'll keep watching and see what happens with my options.

Thanks, Jim
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post #10 of 31 Old 03-16-2004, 05:23 AM
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You should wait another month or so and see which provider has a better HD-PVR offering. HDTiVo should be out soon. When that happens, I am expecting competition between D8 adn E*.

My $0.02
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post #11 of 31 Old 03-16-2004, 07:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by buellwinkle
With DirecTV you have many companies making receivers so if you don't like Sony you can get a Samsung, don't like that get a Hughes and so on.
Unfortunately, this is coming to an end under the Rupert regime. All receivers will be DIRECTV branded.
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post #12 of 31 Old 03-16-2004, 08:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by bunchman132
I made switch from DTV to Dish. Where do I start. The 811 receiver has been released to soon(junk at this point). The receiver will not allow me to receive all of the Off Air TV that is available in my area (only the rescaled SD channels and any special Hd programing that happens to be on these. Not any of the HD feeds that run 24/7 in my area). What they sell in there HD package is not HD but rescaled SD(sucks). You are not able to go to the off air directly IE no dash key on remote. There are also issues with the guide system staying updated. Customer satisfaction 0.
Stick with DTV There HD receivers work.

Jim
Wow, this is just fiction.

I get 3 OTA HD channels in two cities with a Silver Sensor. A rooftop or attic antenna would doubtless get me all the rest, I just hesitate to invest that much $ for networks I rarely watch.

The 811 does have some bugs. It occasionally forgets guide info, forgets channel mappings. I have no idea what this guy is talking about with "rescaled SD channels" ... unless he is referring to Dish not broadcasting HD channels OVER THE SATELLITE. Correct. They broadcast SD locals just like DirectTV.

I can be watching CNN SD over the satellite and punch in 013-1 to go to CBS OTA in HI DEF.

I have been with Dish since 97, and can't think of a reason to switch.

And the comment about DirectTV as a "status" symbol has to be the silliest thing I've ever read. What a shallow empty little adolescent soul. I have Dish, I have an AV system that cost more than that winner's car, and I traded my BMW for my current Acura. Did I mention I have DIsh. Sheesh.
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post #13 of 31 Old 03-16-2004, 08:44 AM
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I wouldn't be too quick to jump from D* to E*.

I was a E* subscriber since 5/00. When I got a HDTV in 2002, I bought a E*6000 w/OTA card. I've never really been satisfied with the 6000. The general impression I have is that is is a "beta version" not ready for prime time.

Specific problems:

1. The fan was noisy, until it quit working.
2. The mapping of OTA channels is unstable. I could never depend on the 6000 to be my main source of OTA viewing.
3. Except for the prime time network shows, theres really not a lot of HD content around to make the 6000 worth the trouble.

The last straw for me was when E* lost the viacom channels. Noggin is my 4-year-old's favorite channel. I couldn't even watch my local PBS Kids DTV subchannel with the 6000 consistently- it wouldn't always map.

I concluded that a dual tuner recorder would be a lot more useful than HD. I called E*, which has 3 models, the 522, 721, and 921 (HD). Shipments of the 921 are on hold due to technical problems. The 721 is $450-500 if you can find one, and the 522 is available only by lease, and ONLY to new customers (how's that for loyalty?)

I went to D* 's website, and ordered a Dual Tuner Tivo system for $99.00 installed. By all accounts this is a superior system to E* 's competing models. I will buy an HD Tivo when it is introduced, IF the OTA integration is bug-free.
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post #14 of 31 Old 03-16-2004, 10:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by bunchman132
I made switch from DTV to Dish. Where do I start. The 811 receiver has been released to soon(junk at this point). The receiver will not allow me to receive all of the Off Air TV that is available in my area (only the rescaled SD channels and any special Hd programing that happens to be on these. Not any of the HD feeds that run 24/7 in my area). What they sell in there HD package is not HD but rescaled SD(sucks). You are not able to go to the off air directly IE no dash key on remote. There are also issues with the guide system staying updated. Customer satisfaction 0.
Stick with DTV There HD receivers work.

Jim
Do you make your living off of D* because your post is nothing but false. Lets see:

"The 811 receiver has been released to soon(junk at this point)" I get 5 digital OTA/HD channels and 5 HD channels over the dish. I would hardly call it junk.

"Not any of the HD feeds that run 24/7 in my area". I can assure that you are not using it correctly or that the station is too far away. I pull in stations 20 miles from my house with 92% signal strenght.

"What they sell in there HD package is not HD but rescaled SD(sucks)." Again, nothing but garbage. Discover HD and HD net are HD all the time. ESPN is upconverted but that is ESPN's fault, and not E*. It is the same with D*.

"You are not able to go to the off air directly IE no dash key on remote." For a channel that is 26-01, all you have to do is type 02601 and it put the dash in for you. Besides, why not just browse for the channel.

As noted above, you post is full of complete mistruths. Why do you feel like you should spread such lies about a great product that is FREE. You definitly have a motivation somewhere, i.e. a pay check.
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post #15 of 31 Old 03-16-2004, 10:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by gpttigers
"The 811 receiver has been released to soon(junk at this point)" I get 5 digital OTA/HD channels and 5 HD channels over the dish. I would hardly call it junk.
As I've said before, the 811 works fine for a number of people and for others it's a POS (I fell into the POS side of things). I was released before it should have been, an engineer for the 811 that I talked to while having problems said so, they were directed by management to get it out for the December holidays since E* had nothing else to sell. It had too many bugs and advertised features missing, the two day guide has just shown up, what 3 months after first customer ship?

If you want an 811 just try to make sure that you don't get locked into a 12 month programming commitment with E* in case it turns out to be a turd in your environment.
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post #16 of 31 Old 03-16-2004, 11:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by rad
As I've said before, the 811 works fine for a number of people and for others it's a POS (I fell into the POS side of things). I was released before it should have been, an engineer for the 811 that I talked to while having problems said so, they were directed by management to get it out for the December holidays since E* had nothing else to sell. It had too many bugs and advertised features missing, the two day guide has just shown up, what 3 months after first customer ship?

If you want an 811 just try to make sure that you don't get locked into a 12 month programming commitment with E* in case it turns out to be a turd in your environment.
Granted it didn't come out working 100% the way it should have but anyone who is complaining is a moron. If my choices were to have a few bugs and have HDTV with the buggs worked out two months later or have no HDTV for 2 months while it was being worked on, the choice is obvious. I watch the SEC championship game, Super Bowl and countless other HDTV events during that two month time frame that I would have otherwise not been able to watch.

E* did the right thing by releasing it when they did. Anyone who is tech savy enough knew it had bugs to be worked out, and they are.
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post #17 of 31 Old 03-16-2004, 11:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by gpttigers
Granted it didn't come out working 100% the way it should have but anyone who is complaining is a moron. If my choices were to have a few bugs and have HDTV with the buggs worked out two months later or have no HDTV for 2 months while it was being worked on, the choice is obvious. I watch the SEC championship game, Super Bowl and countless other HDTV events during that two month time frame that I would have otherwise not been able to watch.

E* did the right thing by releasing it when they did. Anyone who is tech savy enough knew it had bugs to be worked out, and they are.
It is morons that accept POS's like the 811 that let compaines continue to sell garbage because folks have lowered their expectations. You mention to big events that my 6000 tuned in just fine, but my 811 would not. Since the 811 I've purchased two other STB's with ATSC tuners and they are both working MUCH better then the 811 did and still does to this day.

The only reason that the 811 was released when it was it because E* had no other HDTV STB to sell at the time. They couldn't make any more 6K's since it didn't include closed captions. They didn't have a 921 to sell and after the inital batch sold you still can't purchase one due to a hold placed on them by E*. If E* didn't release the 811 they wouldn't be able to sign up any folks looking for a HD STB which meant those folks would be going to D* or cable. As I've said, you're happy with your 811. Go check out the posts on the satelliteguys.us and dbstalk.com web sites for the number of folks that also think the 811 was a POS that should have stayed in the lab a bit longer.
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post #18 of 31 Old 03-16-2004, 12:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by rad
It is morons that accept POS's like the 811 that let compaines continue to sell garbage because folks have lowered their expectations. You mention to big events that my 6000 tuned in just fine, but my 811 would not. Since the 811 I've purchased two other STB's with ATSC tuners and they are both working MUCH better then the 811 did and still does to this day.

The only reason that the 811 was released when it was it because E* had no other HDTV STB to sell at the time. They couldn't make any more 6K's since it didn't include closed captions. They didn't have a 921 to sell and after the inital batch sold you still can't purchase one due to a hold placed on them by E*. If E* didn't release the 811 they wouldn't be able to sign up any folks looking for a HD STB which meant those folks would be going to D* or cable. As I've said, you're happy with your 811. Go check out the posts on the satelliteguys.us and dbstalk.com web sites for the number of folks that also think the 811 was a POS that should have stayed in the lab a bit longer.
Compared to ANY computer I've ever had, PC OR Mac, the 811 is a masterpiece of stability and functionality. I suppose we should all refuse to buy PCs?

The parking brake pedal fell off my car, it has had 3 recalls, all with free fixes. Should I take it back and complain about what a POS it is?

My digital camera battery runs out of juice far too quickly. What a POS, eh? Guess I should return it.

Sometimes my Sony Clie resets. Should I refuse to accept such a POS?

Sorry, I don't agree with the "POS" opinion. Perhaps you had a really really bad unit, or are really too much of a perfectionist for the real world. I can find fault with virtually everything I own ... if I try hard enough.
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post #19 of 31 Old 03-16-2004, 12:18 PM
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I'm a D* user and I don't wish to get embroiled in the flaming going on here. However, be sure and add up all the costs. The "fine print" can hide a bunch of charges for either supplier.

D* charges you up front, but you own the equipment and you pay the taxes on the full purchase price. They also charge you $4.95/mo for each extra receiver. E* "rents" you the equipment and you have to make sure you have added all of the charges for your number of STBs and for all of the channel choices (E* has a larger selection variation and their minimum has fewer channels than the D* minimum). You also have to check out what the monthly tax fee is for each service.

Jim (jgpotter) -- Make sure the E* $48.56/mo includes all Federal and State taxes as well as all of the channel options that you want before you jump ship. The E* equipment isn't free, you rent it, and that has to be included in your net costs. It's the same argument for buying vs. leasing a car.

I got D* because, at the time, it was the lowest bottom-line cost (2 year average) which gave me the channels that I wanted. For my area, either service was 1000% better than the cable service :mad: that I was getting from the local cable monopoly. Right now, the local cable service charges about 15% to 20% more than either D* or E* for a similar channel coverage and their PQ is/was much worse (my flame :D ).

- Claus {non-Santa model}
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post #20 of 31 Old 03-16-2004, 12:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by jgpotter
I've seen information on Voom but that's a risk too.
With their current $0 down no-contract lease offer there is virtually no risk to try VOOM. Just try it for a couple of months and then decide...
Enjoy 30+ HD channels while you are considering other options :)

Ilya
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post #21 of 31 Old 03-16-2004, 12:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by CT_Wiebe
... E* "rents" you the equipment and you have to make sure you have added all of the charges for your number of STBs and for all of the channel choices (E* has a larger selection variation and their minimum has fewer channels than the D* minimum). You also have to check out what the monthly tax fee is for each service....
That would only be with their "Dish Home Plan" or whatever it is called. I own my 811 receiver and SuperDish. Yes, there is an extra receiver fee, but I don't recall ever seeing taxes on the invoice.

Absolutely good advice though, do be sure to check all the fine print and hidden charges. Companies always put the most attractive part of the deal in big colorful print.
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post #22 of 31 Old 03-16-2004, 12:47 PM
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I must agree with the VOOM supporter. Right now there is NO RISK. No commitment, no hookup fee, no hardware fee.....what do you have to lose? If they bo belly up it's no loss to you, just go back to Dish or DirecTV. BTW VOOM is being installed at my house tomorrow.

I would rather face a cold reality than delude myself with comforting fantasies.

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post #23 of 31 Old 03-16-2004, 12:55 PM - Thread Starter
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Has anyone compared monthly prices for similar services with Voom & D* having two receiver set-ups? (HD on one TV & std. on another) Is it a pain to switch to your local channels using Voom? I have to keep it simple for the wife.
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post #24 of 31 Old 03-16-2004, 01:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by jgpotter
I am currently a DirecTV subscriber who wants to get into HD. I am currently paying $47.68 for two receivers and local channels w/o HD. With the additional costs to switch to HD it doesn't look as attractive compared to dish, even with the $99 upgrade. Dish has a deal with free equipment, and if I pay a year in advance it would cost me $48.56/month. This includes a std. & HDTV receiver with locals.

What does everyone think? :confused:

Thanks, Jim
I can think of 2 reasons why I wouldn't switch to Dish even if I saved a few bucks - HD TiVo and NFL Ticket. Life wouldn't seem the same :eek:
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post #25 of 31 Old 03-16-2004, 01:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by jgpotter
Has anyone compared monthly prices for similar services with Voom & D* having two receiver set-ups? (HD on one TV & std. on another)
I am not sure if D* has a similar service to compare with, but the "basic" $39.99 package from VOOM includes 23 HD channels plus all of your local OTA digital channels. Additional rooms cost $5 and equipment rent is $9.50 per box, if I am not mistaken. No setup fees and no contracts!
Quote:
Is it a pain to switch to your local channels using Voom?
Not at all. No different from switching to other sat. channels. The PGs are integrated too.

Ilya
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post #26 of 31 Old 03-16-2004, 07:04 PM
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Wow, this is just fiction.

I get 3 OTA HD channels in two cities with a Silver Sensor. A rooftop or attic antenna would doubtless get me all the rest, I just hesitate to invest that much $ for networks I rarely watch.

The 811 does have some bugs. It occasionally forgets guide info, forgets channel mappings. I have no idea what this guy is talking about with "rescaled SD channels" ... unless he is referring to Dish not broadcasting HD channels OVER THE SATELLITE. Correct. They broadcast SD locals just like DirectTV.

I can be watching CNN SD over the satellite and punch in 013-1 to go to CBS OTA in HI DEF.

I have been with Dish since 97, and can't think of a reason to switch.

And the comment about DirectTV as a "status" symbol has to be the silliest thing I've ever read. What a shallow empty little adolescent soul. I have Dish, I have an AV system that cost more than that winner's car, and I traded my BMW for my current Acura. Did I mention I have DIsh. Sheesh.

Nobody likes it when someone tells them that there baby is UGLY. But if it's UGLY IT'S UUUUUGLY. Get over it.......... Sounds like your system has problems also. But you are willing to accept and pay for JUNK and think it is a good thing. WHAT ARE YOU THINKING.......
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post #27 of 31 Old 03-17-2004, 04:30 AM
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...was a 5 year HD subscriber with D*, saw the DISH "all new equipment with no contract deal," and jumped ship. It lasted 2 weeks!

I have a 4:3 HD set, and the 811 did not support it (the 4:3 format choice -2 of them- is part of the menu, but E* will not turn them on). As others posted, the 811 works (w/bugs), but you still do not have a choice in STBs. VERY frustrating!

I now have all new receivers with D*....okay, it did cost me $....but I'm glad I'm back with them!

Great quotes in HDTV history: "Can you flip the switch so we can get the network HD feed?"
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post #28 of 31 Old 03-18-2004, 11:35 PM
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Hello folks, I have had direct-tv for about 4 years now, and I absolutely love it. I recently upgraded to a sony hd reciever, and my ota channels are coming in perfectly, the guide is great, the quality is great, and my overall opinion on the darn thing is GREAT!... I'm upset that there are only a few HD non ota channels, but I know I need to give it some time, and they will come!... Thanks ...

Mike
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post #29 of 31 Old 03-19-2004, 12:33 AM
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I originally started with D*, switched to DISH after a dispute about the cost of an equipment upgrade. I soon noticed that DISH applied compression to their signals differently than D*. Lots more macro-blocking with DISH while D* was a softer image. I tired quickly of the macro-blocking - made baseball games look like they were being played on carpet squares. After the contract ended I high-tailed it back to D* and am still with them today. much happier than I was with DISH. I have not upgraded to HD, but have chosen to try Comcast essentially no-cost HD service, until the choices become clearer.

Bill
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post #30 of 31 Old 03-23-2004, 03:57 PM
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Hi All,

I don't have an HD box so i can't comment on HD stuff. I have had both D* and E*. I currently sub to E* since their international programming is way better. I believe that they are also cheaper than D*.
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