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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Since this relates more to HDTV programming, i decided to post it here. Moderator, please move the thread to normal DBS, if relevant to that forum.


Hi,


I decided to take the plunge and get one of the satellite providers for HDTV programming. I live in a RF & cable-challenged area, which is to say that OTA is impossible due to multi-path and comcast cable offers no HDTV. In fact, their analog cable PQ makes me cry watching them on my HLM507.

I talked to DishNW over the phone and visited BB for DirecTv but have been unable to decided on whom to choose. After researching the programming offered, it seems that monthly costs are pretty much the same for the few HDTV channels they offer. Also, i have no particular preference for DiscoveryHD or HDNet. DishNW has a plus in that they offer CBS local feed but otherwise both are almost similar in cost( E* = 24.99+12 for hbo + 8 for disc)(D* = 34.99+12 for hbo + free hdnet). Also, NBA HD is offered free on both, correct me if am wrong.


So, i need some help in evaluating the better option in terms of

- Initial/Setup costs - 2 Dishes for E* or Triple-LNB for D* for a 1-room setup

- Tuner cost - 6000u from E* or 3 choices from internet for D*

- Line-of-sight requirements - i will be using my neighbor's(apt above me) balcony from where i have a pretty good view of the west & most of south-west.

- Upgradability - costs for moving to new equipment like Tivo when offered.

- Future programming content - i know thats something no one is sure about, but from general discussion here, which one, E* or D* seems to have a better path to more HDTV channels ?


One last question, what are the cheapest vendors(online or brick) for buying & installing the dish setup for either DBS cos. ?

I can buy HDTV tuners online on ebay or elsewhere for less, but do i need to have them while installation or can i connect them later on ?


Rant about BB: One of the salesman said i needed to buy the 3-LNB dish for 99$ and also, buy an HDTV tuner to install on the same day to get a total deal for 200$. I asked him if he would give me a rebate on the HDTV tuner, if i did not take the 2 regular sat. tuners, he said he couldn't and said i could throw it in the trash if i did not use it ! I don't think that attitude will serve them well....


Nivas
 

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Nivas..

It is really 6 of one, half a dozen of the other. Nobody knows what future services will be offered nor on what satellite they'll reside. Startup deals and intallation costs are all different and negotiable. Make your best deal on the one you want.


The best advice is.. there's no advice. Most of us come down on one side or the other based on available channels. For me, it was simple: NFL Sunday Ticket is only on DirecTV. I miss DiscoveryHD, but I'll live.


Doc
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Doc,


Thanks for the response. I pretty much came to conclusion after my research over the past week. I found many sites offering deals on D* 3-lnb with HDTV tuners for 550-800$ & a few for E* too, but it wasn't very decisive. I just wanted to know if members here would be able to suggest one or dealer from their experiences for a new install. If nothing point me to some posts discussing this topic.


I feel the forum is very snobbish when it comes to posts like these. I've used the search but have been unable to find any related posts. So, but to get a response here it seems i need to be either post some exciting news about DBS or ask advanced question. Newbie posts are just ignored. Maybe we need a FAQ on posting in avs like they have books for bidding on ebay !


-Nivas
 

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Nivas,


Some questions have been answered before and some are covered in threads a the top of the forum like a synopsis of Set-Top-Boxes. And, unfortuately, some questions require a lengthy answer.


I've been a Directv customer since 1996. I'm not as familar with Dishnetwork, but from what I know both services currently offer fairly comparable HD packages. I believe equipment costs are about the same, but in most areas of the country Dishnetwork requires two satellite dishes, while Directv needs only a single 3 LNB oval dish. This may or may not be an issue with your homeowners association if you have one. Dishnetwork also requires an optional module in order to be able to hook up an antenna to receive your local OTA HD/DTV channels. Directv equipment is manufacturered by a number of different companies and there is a variety of choices available with different combinations of features. Dishnetwork only has one HD STB model to choose from.


Directv has 4 HD channels: HDnet, HBO HD, Showtime HD and HD PPV. Dishnetwork has 5 HD channels: Discovery Theater HD, HBO HD, Showtime HD, HD PPV and HD Demo. People living in some areas of the country are also eligible to get CBS NY in HD or CBS LA in HD from Dishnetwork if they can get a waiver from their local CBS affiliate.


Dishnetwork may have an edge in its ability to add new HD channels in the near term, but we've yet to hear any official announcements about the roll out new channels from either satellite companies, so we're still waiting to see if either or both will add ESPN HD, HDNet Movies, HDNet Sports, Cinemax HD or BRAVO HD.


Both Dishnetwork and Directv have announced plans to offer an HD STB with a built-in DVR. Dishnetwork's is supposed to be out sooner, but Directv is partnering with TIVO for their's and its supposed to be out by the end of the year. Whether either will launch by year's end is debatable.


Directv does have exclusive rights to the NFL Sunday Ticket for another 5 years and some games this season may be passed through in HD from CBS. But, if football, isn't important to you and you want to subscribe this spring, flip a coin.
 

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If you cannot get OTA and want a means of watching ABC and NBC HDTV, you might consider going with ExpressVu for your satellite service. They provide satellite retransmission of ABC, CBS, NBC and PBS from Boston and Seattle local stations. I don't know any more about them--just what I have read here on the forum.
 
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