AVS Forum Special Member
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Central Illinois
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I just moved from Comcast to Dish a couple of months ago. Overall, very pleased with the service, pq, and reliability of the system.
I assumed that the install guys would just plant the dish and hook into my existing wiring that my cable used. Not so.
Appparently they need to replace all the signal splitters in an existing cable run. The install guy said that using the existing ones will burn them out for some reason. My cable was run when the house was built, so no telling what was in the walls.
Ran the new cable for the install and put the Dish in the ground, using cement to keep it in place properly. Did this in deep snow!! No extra charge.
I was really happy that my local allowed this placement as I didn't want anything bolted to my roof.
Rest of the install hid the wires as well as could be expected. Wires only visible onwhere they connect to the dish itself.
PQ was my main concern. It is considerably better than my Comcast feed. Comcast seemed to be much softer in HD and had gotten worse over time. I suspect them cramming phone and internet down the same pipe caused them to throttle back the HD bitrate.
I have a 722 HD DVR, replacing the standard Comcast model. It has significantly more storage capacity and the guide options are great.
With Comcast, you got what they gave you in a 4x3 format. With Dish, the Guide is full 16x9 and you can customize it to give you several guides that you pick. For example, you can set up a guide for movie channels, news, sport channels, locals etc. I think you can have 5 different guides in all. Very nice.
PQ is sharp and colorful. Good detail. Pay channels look to get a higher bitrate and look excellent.
You can look at your bill on the system and pay it there, if you aren't auto paying. Their Pay per View prices are about what Comcast was, although I don't use that.
Only had one opportunity to call Customer service. Had to make some equipment changes right before installation. Call goes straight to India. Conversation is all read by some script on their end and somewhat slow due to my need for them to repeat things a couple of times.
Overall, they got everything right on the order and it went fine from there.
I have heard nothing but horror stories about Directv's strategy of getting your credit card number and charging it for whatever they want. While Dish has the same contract requirements, I didn't feel that I was dealing with outright crooks.
One advantage that Directv seems to have is in the whole house DVR concept. The install guys said that Direct uses existing house wiring for their install, so they have it easy compared to the work Dish installers have to do. The DVR interface apparently works through this single cable connection, making it easier to leverage one DVR throughout the house. Dish is behind in this area. Although I have multiple TVs, the DVR content is only usable on the one set I have it connected to. I can connect a 2nd set to the DVR, but only get SD output.
HOpe this helps.