DirectTV or DIsh - who currently has the best PQ? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 23 Old 08-11-2013, 10:10 AM - Thread Starter
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I'm moving soon and will need to get one of these guys for TV service. I'll need multiple receivers, for 4-7 zones/rooms throughout the house. I figure their hardware is pretty much equivalent, but I need to research that too I suppose. But what I'm most interested in is who has the best picture quality at the moment or, based on industry rumors, the near future. I have a clear sightline to the south/southeast so I'm guess either will do from a dish-aiming standpoint. Thanks!
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post #2 of 23 Old 08-12-2013, 06:51 AM
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Pick the provider that you want based on content. The difference in PQ is so slight that you wouldn't even notice, if there's a difference at all.
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post #3 of 23 Old 08-12-2013, 06:58 AM - Thread Starter
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But don't they pretty much have the same content? I know DTV has their "special" channel and Sunday ticket. Does DISH have an equivalent? As far as PQ is concerned, I know there was a lot of grumbling about DTV a few years ago, then they moved to MPEG 4 and all that seemed to die down. Just looking for an update on that score.

Still have to weight their equipment against each other - ease of multi-room options, storage space, features, etc. Another learning curve to scale...
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post #4 of 23 Old 08-12-2013, 08:01 AM
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They don't have the same content or the same PQ. Dish is still missing Disney and ABC Fam HD. Full list is in the sticky at the top of this forum. Nothing has changed in terms of PQ. DirecTV is still full 1920x1080 whereas Dish is 1440x1080. Most can't see much of a difference, myself included. Both are excellent, although DirecTV is technically superior. Dish SD, on the other hand, is significantly better than DirecTV SD, if that's a concern. Dish is cheaper overall, so that was the primary reason I switched from DirecTV a few years ago (I've since gone back to cable).

Both have very good DVR's, multi-room, etc. DirecTV is more scale-able. If you have more than 6 TVs or so, DirecTV is can accommodate that, whereas it gets tricky with Dish. Dish has more storage by default, but it's no problem adding more to either service. Dish recordings are more portable since you can transfer from one DVR to another. Can't do that with DirecTV. That comes in handy if you have service in more than one place or have to swap out equipment.

Each has pluses and minuses, so you just need to make your own list of requirements and budget and see which one best meets them. I've had both and both worked perfectly well for me in my 4 TV household. If HD PQ is your only criteria, then you have no choice but to go with DirecTV, even though the difference is slight. If I were choosing today, I'd still go with Dish due to cost. If cost weren't a factor, I'd go with DirecTV.
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post #5 of 23 Old 08-12-2013, 08:06 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks much!^^^ smile.gif

Anyone else want to chime in?
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post #6 of 23 Old 08-12-2013, 08:15 AM
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I moved over to DirecTV from Dish back in April and I really like it (I switched to save money, and to also get away from a batsh*t crazy channel my wife used to watch wink.gif). I have the new HR44 and a Client and its awesome. What I really like about it is I can record more than one OTA broadcast at a time, which I couldn’t with my old Dish 722. I never got the chance to try Dish’s Hopper but I understand it’s also a nice piece of equipment.

I didn’t think I would notice any difference in PQ, but in all honesty, I think DirecTV is better. Some stations are spectacular looking. Not much difference in general programming. I get everything I was interested in that I had with Dish. However, Direct carries ESPNU and Comcast Sports Net (24/7) in HD, whereas Dish doesn’t, and that was really big to me.
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post #7 of 23 Old 08-12-2013, 09:25 AM
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I Have both, DIRECTV does have the PQ edge and more Max channels, Dish has the content edge for me in the premiums with the Epix /Indie/Retro plex channels...
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post #8 of 23 Old 08-12-2013, 09:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by archiguy View Post

Thanks much!^^^ smile.gif

Anyone else want to chime in?

I sell tvs. At work we have Dish connected to one set, the rest are on the store feed or mfg provided flashdrives. Over the years we've had quite a few sets (mostly 60") connected to the Dish box. PQ is not good--too much clayface effect along with everything else that goes with severe overcompression. It's so bad that we can't sell the set that's on the Dish box unless we switch it over to the store feed. I have DirecTV at home and it's much better for pq. Imho the difference in pq is enough to overcome any other factor when choosing between the two.

Steve S.
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post #9 of 23 Old 08-13-2013, 07:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Steve S View Post

I sell tvs. At work we have Dish connected to one set, the rest are on the store feed or mfg provided flashdrives. Over the years we've had quite a few sets (mostly 60") connected to the Dish box. PQ is not good--too much clayface effect along with everything else that goes with severe overcompression. It's so bad that we can't sell the set that's on the Dish box unless we switch it over to the store feed. I have DirecTV at home and it's much better for pq. Imho the difference in pq is enough to overcome any other factor when choosing between the two.
While I have seen a lot of clay face on showroom TVs in torch mode, I haven't seen much over-compression on Dish HD. SD is definitely horribly over compressed, but not HD. No worse than DirecTV IMO, but a heck of a lot better than cable or U-verse. So I still think Dish is one of the better options, behind Fios and DirecTV and some cable systems.

Another thing to consider with Dish is their propensity for dispute blackouts. While no one carrier is immune, Dish seems to have a lot more issues than everyone else. The AMC blackout last year is the primary reason I dropped Dish. My major reasons for dropping DirecTV (fewer HD channels than everyone else and brutally slow DVRs) has since been rectified for the most part. Both are still too expensive IMO, so I'm back to cable at the moment.
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post #10 of 23 Old 08-13-2013, 08:11 AM
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Originally Posted by mdavej View Post

While I have seen a lot of clay face on showroom TVs in torch mode, I haven't seen much over-compression on Dish HD. SD is definitely horribly over compressed, but not HD. No worse than DirecTV IMO, but a heck of a lot better than cable or U-verse. So I still think Dish is one of the better options, behind Fios and DirecTV and some cable systems.

Another thing to consider with Dish is their propensity for dispute blackouts. While no one carrier is immune, Dish seems to have a lot more issues than everyone else. The AMC blackout last year is the primary reason I dropped Dish. My major reasons for dropping DirecTV (fewer HD channels than everyone else and brutally slow DVRs) has since been rectified for the most part. Both are still too expensive IMO, so I'm back to cable at the moment.


I've stayed out of discussions on dish PQ for a long time, since I was called a troll or DirecTV salesman on another forum. I've always been very disappointed with Dish's HD quality. Its far inferior to what Comcast had many years ago (I've moved to a house that is not wired for cable so it isn't an option anymore). And the extra compression is immediately noticeable on the locals which I can get over the air. I've seen DirecTV at other peoples homes, and I'd say its marginally better but hard to tell on someone else's TV. I have a 42" plasma in my bedroom and its just fine there, probably a good 12' from where I watch it. But it looks pretty awful on my big living room TV (73" and only 9' away), OTA TV looks passable to good for comparison.
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post #11 of 23 Old 08-14-2013, 10:11 AM
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Archi, one thing to consider with a 7 room Sat. hook-up, is a box will be needed in each room to get video, and you will be charged for each one. Using Cable might allow you to use the TV's Tuner if any are Non-HD. Cable HD without a box is often available for the local channels by scanning with the HD TV's Tuner. Might be an option to consider...
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post #12 of 23 Old 08-14-2013, 10:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Ray Lucca View Post

Archi, one thing to consider with a 7 room Sat. hook-up, is a box will be needed in each room to get video, and you will be charged for each one. Using Cable might allow you to use the TV's Tuner if any are Non-HD. Cable HD without a box is often available for the local channels by scanning with the HD TV's Tuner. Might be an option to consider...
+1

With 7 rooms, the monthly equipment fees alone are going to run you $25 + $6 x 6 + $3 = $64. Add your base programming package, premiums, sports and taxes, and that's a serious chunk of change. With cable, a 7 room setup would still only cost me $2 instead of $64 since I use my own equipment, or zero using Ray's suggestion.
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post #13 of 23 Old 08-14-2013, 05:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Ray Lucca View Post

Archi, one thing to consider with a 7 room Sat. hook-up, is a box will be needed in each room to get video, and you will be charged for each one. Using Cable might allow you to use the TV's Tuner if any are Non-HD. Cable HD without a box is often available for the local channels by scanning with the HD TV's Tuner. Might be an option to consider...
I think we should run under the assumption that the same programming is desired on all TVs, including HD and any channels in the main package. That would still result in some sort of box on every TV, even with cable.

Having said that, if I'm understanding things correctly, the fees with Dish Network add up a bit quicker since some of the fees for DirecTV (like the DVR fee) cover several boxes after the first one. So, while you'll pay a mirroring fee for each, the DVR fee covers something like 5 DVRs.

In addition, you can also cheat, like I do.

I never watch TV in my master bedroom and the living room at the same time, so I ran the second component output from the living room box to the master bedroom TV and us an RF repeater with a second remote control to run it remotely. That's one box, one fee. If you really work out what will be watched when on each TV, you may be able to cut the number of boxes down if there are some that won't be used when others are working.
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post #14 of 23 Old 08-14-2013, 06:42 PM
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I've had directv for years, other than still having a couple ancient and SLOW dvr's, I love it. I'm comparing it to cablevision which I also have on the same tv. Directv PQ is a world better than cable. I do have dish but that was before HD.

My Gear
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post #15 of 23 Old 08-15-2013, 07:20 AM
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Originally Posted by NetworkTV View Post


Having said that, if I'm understanding things correctly, the fees with Dish Network add up a bit quicker since some of the fees for DirecTV (like the DVR fee) cover several boxes after the first one. So, while you'll pay a mirroring fee for each, the DVR fee covers something like 5 DVRs.

It's the SAME for DISH & has been for the past few years; 1 DVR fee ($7 f/legacy DVR's; $10 H/J DVR's) covers ALL (DVR) receivers on the same account.
BUT, you forgot to tell him that while DISH does NOT charge for HD (even AFTER the discount promos fall off) DirecTV now charges $25/month for their "advanced receiver fee" on ALL new DVR customers, which encompasses the HD, DVR & WHD fees into one. While you can get $10 of that waived during your promos, it is NOT a given that a particular subscriber can continue on getting that discount AFTER the promos drop off.

The fees that DO add up faster on DISH, are for the additional receivers/Joey's themselves, which start at $7/month & vary depending on which model(s) you have.

Note also that except for having 1 owned 211k added, you CANNOT mix ANY legacy receivers on the same account w/Hoppers/Joey's; you CAN have more than 1 Hopper WHD on the same account,
By the same token, DirecTV only allows 1 Genie WHD on an account; although you CAN have other DVR's on the same account.
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In addition, you can also cheat, like I do.

I never watch TV in my master bedroom and the living room at the same time, so I ran the second component output from the living room box to the master bedroom TV and us an RF repeater with a second remote control to run it remotely. That's one box, one fee.

But note on ALL DirecTV HD receivers, that you CANNOT use the composite/S-Video outputs AND get on-screen displays - including the EPG - while the receiver's output is in HD mode. This WAS one of the biggest hassles for me when DirecTV changed to that HD-GUI, as I had lots of clients that I had done this very thing with. (running an SD output thru an RF mod to all their secondary TV's throughout the house)
While there is a work-around (buying a component-to-composite converter) the point is, there is really NO legit reason why DirecTV did things like this - I've NEVER seen ANY other (HD) set-top box that had this same limitation...I'm was so glad NOT to have to deal with this when I switched to DISH myself!
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post #16 of 23 Old 08-15-2013, 08:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Ray Lucca View Post

Archi, one thing to consider with a 7 room Sat. hook-up, is a box will be needed in each room to get video, and you will be charged for each one. Using Cable might allow you to use the TV's Tuner if any are Non-HD. Cable HD without a box is often available for the local channels by scanning with the HD TV's Tuner. Might be an option to consider...
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+1

With 7 rooms, the monthly equipment fees alone are going to run you $25 + $6 x 6 + $3 = $64. Add your base programming package, premiums, sports and taxes, and that's a serious chunk of change. With cable, a 7 room setup would still only cost me $2 instead of $64 since I use my own equipment, or zero using Ray's suggestion.

What cable system is giving you 7 outlets with no outlet fee? if so it's like only OTA HD + the old SD lineup in clear QAM + maybe WGN HD, QVC HD, HSN HD.
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post #17 of 23 Old 08-15-2013, 08:48 PM
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What cable system is giving you 7 outlets with no outlet fee? if so it's like only OTA HD + the old SD lineup in clear QAM + maybe WGN HD, QVC HD, HSN HD.
I only use one outlet from the cable company and zero cable boxes or DVRs. The rest is on my own network: 1 HTPC WMC server, 6 WMC extenders (I only have 4, the 7 was a hypothetical for the OP). That's the beauty of cable card tuners. You get all subscribed channels just like on a cable box, any number of tuners from a single outlet and unlimited clients, all for a single $2 cable card fee. Clear QAM has nothing to do with it. My tuner card gets everything, clear and encrypted.

Think of it like DirecTV. One cable from the dish to your Genie, then internal coax to all C31 clients. My HTPC system works the same way.
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post #18 of 23 Old 08-15-2013, 08:50 PM
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But note on ALL DirecTV HD receivers, that you CANNOT use the composite/S-Video outputs AND get on-screen displays - including the EPG - while the receiver's output is in HD mode. This WAS one of the biggest hassles for me when DirecTV changed to that HD-GUI, as I had lots of clients that I had done this very thing with. (running an SD output thru an RF mod to all their secondary TV's throughout the house)
While there is a work-around (buying a component-to-composite converter) the point is, there is really NO legit reason why DirecTV did things like this - I've NEVER seen ANY other (HD) set-top box that had this same limitation...I'm was so glad NOT to have to deal with this when I switched to DISH myself!
Again, I specifically mentioned using the component outputs. This is the HD forum. I assumed the original question was from someone wanting HD programming and the ability to have all functions of their cable/satellite package on all TVs.

Composite and S-Video outputs wouldn't qualitfy, though those do work fine for that little TV you might have stashed under the kitchen cabinents (which is what I do for that one). That means my living room DVR outputs to my main TV via HDMI, my master bedroom via component (the bedroom is directly over the living room so it only required a single wire fish to get up there) and to my little lCD TV in the kitchen via composite, which still displays the HD channels as 16x9 on it.

The only issue I have is when I skip commercials when watching the kitchen TV: for a few seconds, the SD warning screen blocks my view. I always have to start playing a little ways back from the end of the last commercial in the break so I don't miss anything. I don't need the guide or other information on that TV.

So, that's actually 3 TVs served by one box. While that might not work for everyone, it might help those that could combine TVs to a smaller number of boxes if those TVs are unlikely to need their own signal at all times. So, for example, each occupied bedroom gets a box, and the living room gets a box. The garage can run off the master bedroom box and the kitchen can run off the living room. The guest room can stick with an OTA antenna. That's 4 instead of 7 boxes, assuming as many as 3 occupied bedrooms.
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post #19 of 23 Old 08-16-2013, 05:00 AM - Thread Starter
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Again, I specifically mentioned using the component outputs. This is the HD forum. I assumed the original question was from someone wanting HD programming and the ability to have all functions of their cable/satellite package on all TVs.

As the OP, I can confirm this is exactly what I want. I have absolutely no interest in SD on any TV in my new house - I left that old nag in the barn over a decade ago. I'm looking for the most cost-effective solution as well as the best HD PQ. The idea of limiting the guest bedrooms to the OTA tuners in the TV's is a viable option. With this approach, I could get by with as few as 3 rooms with full-featured systems.
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post #20 of 23 Old 08-16-2013, 08:19 AM
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Originally Posted by archiguy View Post

As the OP, I can confirm this is exactly what I want. I have absolutely no interest in SD on any TV in my new house - I left that old nag in the barn over a decade ago. I'm looking for the most cost-effective solution as well as the best HD PQ. The idea of limiting the guest bedrooms to the OTA tuners in the TV's is a viable option. With this approach, I could get by with as few as 3 rooms with full-featured systems.
The shared tuner approach doesn't necessarily have to be SD. When I had DirecTV, I got several Actiontec MyWirelessTV devices and sent HD from a few DVRs to several TVs. It worked very well. I bought them all used, so they weren't very expensive either. There are also wired HD options. But you're right, your guest rooms don't really need access to everything. OTA should be plenty.
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post #21 of 23 Old 08-16-2013, 09:44 AM
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Originally Posted by archiguy View Post

As the OP, I can confirm this is exactly what I want. I have absolutely no interest in SD on any TV in my new house - I left that old nag in the barn over a decade ago. I'm looking for the most cost-effective solution as well as the best HD PQ. The idea of limiting the guest bedrooms to the OTA tuners in the TV's is a viable option. With this approach, I could get by with as few as 3 rooms with full-featured systems.
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Originally Posted by archiguy View Post

I'm moving soon and will need to get one of these guys for TV service. I'll need multiple receivers, for 4-7 zones/rooms throughout the house. I figure their hardware is pretty much equivalent, but I need to research that too I suppose. But what I'm most interested in is who has the best picture quality at the moment or, based on industry rumors, the near future. I have a clear sightline to the south/southeast so I'm guess either will do from a dish-aiming standpoint. Thanks!

First thing is call DirecTV if you have them now and find out what the moving policy is.

Like you I have been all Hi Def for years, and have no interest in SD, I think it's getting close to the time to kill it of like analog TV signals. Only 2 problem with that idea is we really have not settled on what is HI Def, and then the government steeping into trading new Hi Def set's for any old hunk of junk that is laying around at a cost of $$$$$&$$$$? One last thing is that the SD ports on TV's and source devices or going to be fazed out in the next few years any way, making it a good idea to stick with HDMI in any new installations.

I have been able to run multiple TV's off of one DVR. The best set up is the one DirecTV gave me for free a fee months back. The replaced the HR 22 in the living room with a HR 44 and a HR 21 in the master beed room with a client, keeping the HR 22 in the bike shop and a HR24 in my wife's hobby work room. The client feeds the master bedrooms tv with HDMI and 2 other sets with component cables. With component cables you cannot watch HDPC or content protection like some movies on the Show Time or HBO. I also run 2 3D sets from the living room DVR using a Monoprice HDMI pro splitter, so that is another way to do it not using component cables.
The big upside to the new HR 44's and the clients is the RF signals on the remote have a better and stronger range then the old remotes. They can be had on Ebay or Amazon cheep, the only thing I don't know about is using 2 remotes on one 44 or client, but I am sure it can be done.

Seeing the # of posts you have I am sure the you know about dbstalk.com , there will be plenty of opinion over there as what is best, and plenty of information as what works and what does not.
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post #22 of 23 Old 10-21-2013, 03:04 PM
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I have had both. Directv has better HD picture quality , but Dish has better SD picture quality . Their packages are basically alike except that channels are rearranged in different packages on each one. I am going to go to Dish after 7 years with Directv due to cost and also due to the fact I can get the channels I like to watch in the America 120 package for 49 dollars a month regular price after the 29.99 promo goes off after a year. I cannot get these channels in a lower package at Directv. Dish has more international channels and Direct has more sports channels . Also won't have to pay that extra $10 a month for HD programming. Dish is cheaper and their Hopper is so superior to the Genie on Directv Something else to mention is that although both do increase their rates , Direct increases rates about every year. Dish does not increase as often as Directv. Direct will have another increase in 2014 as stated by the CEO Mike White.

I had Dish for 4 years. I started out paying $39.99 and at the end of 4 years I was paying $44.99 . I started with Directv in 2006 at $42.99 for the Choice Extra and Now pay $88.99 . I only watch about 25-35 of these channels , but cannot get the major ones I want to watch if I go to a cheaper package , but am able to get the ones I want with Dish's Americans 120 with over 190 channels. So this is what I will do.
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post #23 of 23 Old 10-23-2013, 09:07 AM
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There is so much wrong with that post.
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