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post #1 of 10 Old 02-23-2019, 07:12 PM - Thread Starter
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DISH vs DirecTv Help

Hello AVS Forum Members,

I have a dilema that i am trying to address and I need your help. I have for years heard that DirecTv has the best picture quality. I realize over the air is the atmost best but i live in the mountains and i cant get but maybe 2 channels over the air so that is out. I have 3 providers i can use 1. Dish 2. DirecTv or 3. Comcast. I did like the comcast X1v2 4K dvr but i hated the fact comcast only gave me 1 hd hbo , 1 hd showtime, 1 hd starz etc. it was alot to pay for to only get 1 of the premiums in HD. DirecTv i currently have and i have always had like 7 or 8 HBO's, same with showtime, starz etc. I have the Genie 2 Server and the C61K clients for 4K. The picture i can no doubt say is superb. However, the genie 2 system is way behind the times and old. The dish hopper equipment is far superior to the DirecTv Genie DVR system. However the issues i have with dish are the no HBO right now and they always have cable programming fights and you can get a black out on channels like right now with HBO/Cinemax. But i am willing to deal with that because the equipment is better. The directv system always has glitches and there are known issues with their systems all over the internet. Ever since AT&T bought DirecTv they have been running that company into the ground. I would much rather go with dish for all the features of the Hopper 3 DVR and the joey's. However, I have heard that their picture quality is not very good for HD channels. I heard that side by side the DirecTv picture is much better and i have heard Dish has a "softer" picture. Thats the only thing that bothers me. Now that may be old information and that may not be the case anymore. So i am hoping someone can chime in and help me determine if there is a difference in HD picture quality on Dish vs DirecTv?
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post #2 of 10 Old 02-23-2019, 07:22 PM
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Exclamation Great thread ! Looking forward, as well, to responses !

Quote:
Originally Posted by dave1983 View Post
Hello AVS Forum Members,

I have a dilema that i am trying to address and I need your help. I have for years heard that DirecTv has the best picture quality. I realize over the air is the atmost best but i live in the mountains and i cant get but maybe 2 channels over the air so that is out. I have 3 providers i can use 1. Dish 2. DirecTv or 3. Comcast. I did like the comcast X1v2 4K dvr but i hated the fact comcast only gave me 1 hd hbo , 1 hd showtime, 1 hd starz etc. it was alot to pay for to only get 1 of the premiums in HD. DirecTv i currently have and i have always had like 7 or 8 HBO's, same with showtime, starz etc. I have the Genie 2 Server and the C61K clients for 4K. The picture i can no doubt say is superb. However, the genie 2 system is way behind the times and old. The dish hopper equipment is far superior to the DirecTv Genie DVR system. However the issues i have with dish are the no HBO right now and they always have cable programming fights and you can get a black out on channels like right now with HBO/Cinemax. But i am willing to deal with that because the equipment is better. The directv system always has glitches and there are known issues with their systems all over the internet. Ever since AT&T bought DirecTv they have been running that company into the ground. I would much rather go with dish for all the features of the Hopper 3 DVR and the joey's. However, I have heard that their picture quality is not very good for HD channels. I heard that side by side the DirecTv picture is much better and i have heard Dish has a "softer" picture. Thats the only thing that bothers me. Now that may be old information and that may not be the case anymore. So i am hoping someone can chime in and help me determine if there is a difference in HD picture quality on Dish vs DirecTv?
Great points ! Looking forward to input.
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post #3 of 10 Old 02-27-2019, 06:20 PM - Thread Starter
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So after the trial , i found the picture quality really was poor in comparision to directv. The picture indeed was soft and i had to muck with the tv picture adjustments but no way around it, dish in my opinion just sucks. Switched back to directv not even 24 hours later. I did give dish a chance to fix it, had tech support look at it and we came to a mutual agreement to terminate service. I fortunately didn't have to pay the ETF so my trial was free and got a good deal to stick with directv. I wont be switching again. Its quite obvious who you should pay for if you care about picture quality.
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post #4 of 10 Old 02-28-2019, 06:20 PM
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Fwiw

We live in Henderson, NV (Las Vegas) and have had both Dish and DTV. While I agree DTV has better PQ, it's not worth the price difference.
YMMV.
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post #5 of 10 Old 03-01-2019, 08:56 AM
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That's pretty much been my opinion for years. Dish has better equipment and much better prices, but DirecTV has the better PQ if you don't mind paying for it.

@dave1983 didn't say if he has high-speed Internet in the mountains. If he doesn't it's a moot point, but if he does I wonder how he feels their streaming services (DirecTV Now and Sling TV) compare to their satellite services?
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post #6 of 10 Old 03-01-2019, 08:19 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by JHBrandt View Post
That's pretty much been my opinion for years. Dish has better equipment and much better prices, but DirecTV has the better PQ if you don't mind paying for it.

@dave1983 didn't say if he has high-speed Internet in the mountains. If he doesn't it's a moot point, but if he does I wonder how he feels their streaming services (DirecTV Now and Sling TV) compare to their satellite services?
I tried Sling and DirecTv Now. DirecTv Now has bugs and the picture is not as good , same for sling. The compression they use on the internet must be killing picture quality. I bet over time this will be better. I fortunately have 2 GB UP and Down from comcast FTTH
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post #7 of 10 Old 03-01-2019, 08:43 PM
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Thanks. I suspect the streaming services are optimized for much lower bandwidths than you're fortunate enough to have. To my eye they generally seem OK, but occasionally there are sharp drops in bandwidth and PQ. It can even look worse than SD when that happens.

I would guess that both services use h.264 right now, since it's widely supported by most streaming devices (Roku, etc.). H.264 isn't bad but with a better codec (like, say, AV1), they wouldn't need a lot of bandwidth for good PQ, so the streaming services will probably improve; but it may take a while for it to become widely supported enough to use.
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post #8 of 10 Old 03-02-2019, 04:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JHBrandt View Post
Thanks. I suspect the streaming services are optimized for much lower bandwidths than you're fortunate enough to have. To my eye they generally seem OK, but occasionally there are sharp drops in bandwidth and PQ. It can even look worse than SD when that happens.

I would guess that both services use h.264 right now, since it's widely supported by most streaming devices (Roku, etc.). H.264 isn't bad but with a better codec (like, say, AV1), they wouldn't need a lot of bandwidth for good PQ, so the streaming services will probably improve; but it may take a while for it to become widely supported enough to use.

I hope you're right. I have tried various "free trials" of OTT services, and as much as I hate to admit it, I have not found one whose picture quality even matches Xfinity, let alone OTA.
They're going to have to improve to get me to subscribe.


I wonder if I'm the only one whose eyes "see it that way" or if others have had the same experience.
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post #9 of 10 Old 03-02-2019, 10:20 PM
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We did a "test drive" on both DTVNow and Sling, and, strangely enough, Sling had a better picture than DTVNow, We have 25mb internet. We are using a Roku, and I understand that the DTVNOW interface is not up to snuff. That might be the difference,

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post #10 of 10 Old 03-29-2019, 12:55 PM
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Just going to add my two cents here since I've had both in the recent past. I think the difference in PQ can vary widely between the two services. These are my observations with Durham, NC locals. My primary TV is a Sony XBR70X850B:


1. Neither is as good as it should be. Both exhibit an odd judder from time to time which I could never eliminate. I don't see this on other sources, so it must be something to do with the transcoding the satellite companies do. Comparing to OTA, they both look subpar.
2. My local channels look a bit better on Dish than DirecTV.

3. "Standard" Cable channels (TBS, ESPN, etc) look noticeably better on DirecTV than Dish, at least to a critical eye. A casual viewer might not notice.

4. Premium Cable channels look about the same on both. HBO/Cinemax might look better on DirecTV now that AT&T owns them, but I don't know -- that is just something I thought might happen.
5. I did recalibrate my TVs after I had both services installed. They do look different from each other in raw form, so, if you really care about a good picture, you have to work for it.
6. It seems like there may be some variability with Dish depending on which satellites are used. I am on the Eastern Arc satellites. It seems to me that most of the people I see complaining about PQ on Dish are on the Western Arc birds, but that is just my impression.


Outside of picture quality, I prefer Dish hardware, features, customer service, and channel packages, but I can see why someone would prefer DirecTV if they have different priorities than me.
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