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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I will be moving in a month or so, and would like to hear some opinions on what signal provider I should go with... I am looking Dish Network, DirecTV, or Comcast cable. The reason I am posting in this forum is that I also have two Replays (both 50xx) in the mix. I also have a rear-projection widescreen HDTV and would also like to start using more of its potential (I currently don't receive any HD signals).


I am looking to get a basic (around 60 or so) channel package with HBO and possibly an HD package. I also need to end up with a DVR (or two) in the mix. Other priorities include convenience (for the non-techie wife) and affordability.


I am strongly considering Dish Network at $53.97 per month (America's Top 60 with Locals, HBO, and the HD package)


I'd really like to check out the HD TiVo from DirecTV, but that would end up costing $67.97 per month (Total Choice with Locals, HBO, HD package, and TiVo service)


Finally Comcast would end up costing me $78.38 (Digital Silver package plus HD receiver rental). So I think I may rule them out on cost alone.


Overall my dilemma really seems to be that I want to make the jump to an HD capable DVR, but I really love my Replays and don't want to give them up. Any suggestions?
 

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My personal experience.


I can only speak for Comcast vs DISH. DirecTV wanted to charge for the receivers so I ruled them out.


If you want HiDef now, DISH is lousy. They only have a few channels and charge an awfully lot for them. You are better off pulling the HiDef signals over the air if you are in a position to receive them.


However, DISH has a better signal, and looked to be cheaper for our needs. We also have a HiDef set and will probably upgrade to their HiDef package as soon as they start to get more channels worth watching.


The problem is that you can get DISH's DVR's for ~ $5/month. They are better integrated, but you loose commercial advance, IVS, and unit to unit streaming. It's easy to ditch Replay for these units if you don't use these features.


We ultimately went with DISH and one of their PVR setups. We will have Replay's on two other TV's in the house. (one will be on one of the PIP inputs on the back of the TV)


I'm sure others will chime in as to what works for them. Ultimately, find out which is cheapest for what you need. If you want HiDef, DISH currently sucks. Comcast was alright, and I don't know about DirecTV.
 

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My chime: I did the same in MD. It started because Comcast signal was too noisy for CA, even with an amp. Dish cured that (even with a surge protector on the coax, which Comcast couldn't tolerate) splitter. Huge image improvement over Comcast. Aslos, Dish has international channels (on 2d Dish),whihc DirectTV does not. Direct TV has more sports, they say.


I am not in a hurry for HD.
 

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I've used both, and I'll just say that I think the PQ is better on DirecTV. I've been using them for almost two years now with my Replays and it works out great. I'm not an HD user -- DirecTV's selection of HD channels is pretty minimal, but I think they're getting CBS, NBC, and ABC in HD. Check out their website.
 

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Dish posted a message that I saw first yesterday: lobby congress re law requiring making available HD main networks that are in "other markets"


Mel: I thought DirectTV had more channels than Dish, hence less bandwidth/channel. Why would the PQ be better? Anyway, the imporovmeent from Comcast to Dish was so dramatic that the next increment might be marginal, for me at least.
 

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I am using DirecTV about 30 miles west of Chicago. I have an RCA HD receiver that gets OTA with decent reception for ABC, WGN, PBS, and FOX. When an antenna guy was here two years ago all that were available at the time came in well.


DirecTV charges some for HD feeds. I get ESPN, Discovery Channel, Bravo two of Mark Cuban's channels (HDNM and HDN), and CBS-East. If I paid for HBO or Showtime I'd get their HD channels too. I think there are one or two PPV HD channels. The HD package costs $11. The quality is superb.


I have two ReplayTV's, but they don't get caught up with the HD experience. We live with commercials periodically to get the good picture.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Is DirecTV's HD offering enough that I'll want to scrap a Replay and go for the HD TiVo receiver? Does DirecTV offer HD local channels via satellite feed or only over the air with an antenna?


If not then I may just get Dish Network without HD and continue to use the Replay... I hear their PVR's aren't so hot.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by jimmcq
Is DirecTV's HD offering enough that I'll want to scrap a Replay and go for the HD TiVo receiver? Does DirecTV offer HD local channels via satellite feed or only over the air with an antenna?


If not then I may just get Dish Network without HD and continue to use the Replay... I hear their PVR's aren't so hot.
My opinion, and that of many in the industry, is that you've got 4-5 years before there is a plethora of HD content. You could go DISH + Voom if you have to have HD, but DISH has, in my opinion, the best picture quality of the lot. Just make sure your installer looks at the receiver setup, and if the signal is less than 90 send him back to the roof. Many are using 'detectors' that they screw inline to align the dish... and many leave without tweeking.


So, Go DISH, and run your replay's ragged.
 

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DirecTV has serial control of the receivers.


Need I say more?


The PQ issue comes from personal taste. I honestly believe the PQ is better on DirecTV. If you've seen both and you have to ask which one is better, it doesn't matter and you should go with either.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by hilbert1862
So how would one resolve the differing views on the PQ of Dish relative to DirectTV?
DirecTV is better to my eyes. It really showed difference when sences dramatically changed (from bright to dark, from dark to bright), little square pixels all over screen with Dish. Someone told me, Dish compresses its signal too much, I am not sure it is the reason. The signal strength I had was about 110 to 120.
 

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I must say that I have not made a side-by-side comparison.


Serial control is a feature.


To get the signal up to 110-120, is it worth messing with the sat orientation without an instrument at the dish? Would the signal strength screen show the strength dynamically, so that someone on a phone could report the result?


What are the units of strength as shown on the Dish screen anyway?
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by hilbert1862
What are the units of strength as shown on the Dish screen anyway?
Arbitrary.


Having the highest possible signal strength eliminates (or lessens) the effect of "rain fade". When it rains (or snows, or gets cloudy), the signal is blocked by the rain (or snow or clouds). If it rains (or snows, or gets cloudy) enough, your signal will be so degraded that you lose picutre.


Your picture quality does NOT increase with signal strength over 60 (or so). Remember, it's digital, not analogue, so either it has the signal or it doesn't.


If your signal strength is over sixty (or so), you'll get a picture -- if it's not, you won't.
 

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You can usa a larger dish, it will elimates "rain fade". Some FTA bigger dish need modification to work with Dish and Directv. If you can find a PrimStar dish for cheap, go for it, it works just fine without extra work.
 

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The Dish LNB fits the Primstar dish?


As to losing the signal, when the hurricane remnants went through recently, I lost picture at signal 72, briefly, several times, at the worst squalls only.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by hilbert1862
The Dish LNB fits the Primstar dish?


As to losing the signal, when the hurricane remnants went through recently, I lost picture at signal 72, briefly, several times, at the worst squalls only.
No, Dish LNB does not fit Primsatr dish. I saw my neighbor tied (duck-taped) it. He never lost signals. I just searched internet and found a picture, if I only know how to attach the picture.
 
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