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My question to the board is which offers more programming, and which has the best promise of adding more HD channels in the near future?


If E* proves to be the better choice, I'm willing to wait until Nov. 1 for the 811 release. As far as the STB hardware goes, I see little difference in the features between the E* 811 and the Zenith 520. Obviously, E*'s Superdish would be a plus.


I live in Tuscaloosa, AL, and just got word from a Comcast cable rep that they will not offer HD cable in my area until sometime next year, and I can't wait any longer!
 

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D* has the Sunday Ticket which clinches it for me. Otherwise seems pretty much like a wash.
 

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All indications right now point to E*. They just started their new HD package and have more transponder space to add more channels as they become available. It has also been reported here on AVS that D* is being forced to compress their HD channels to a greater extent due to an antiquated modulation scheme. And it looks like E* will finally release their long awaited DVR921 by November, thereby beating D* to the recording punch by a couple of months.
 

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I'm not invested in either one at this point although I'm watching closely, so I consider myself unbiased.


If you ask me right now is the worst time to make the choice. I know it never seems like an ideal time, but right now there's too much up in the air with both providers. If one gives you what you want right now, go for it. For me, the upcoming "PVR wars" are going to determine my course of action. Despite what we already know (or think we know) about how things are going to shake out, I'm sure there will be surprises. No way I'm going to invest in one of these systems only to find out the other one is the one I want.


Of course, for the gamblers out there you've got a 50/50 chance of getting it right anyway, assuming one of them will give you what you want. :)
 

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For the budget viewer, the new $199 Dish 6000 deal sure is tempting. It's an older receiver but it does OTA and works well.


Don't know if the deal also is good for new subscribers as well...
 

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Who really knows what's going on: Republicans or Democrats?


The question you ask will garner untold levels of partisan bickering truly worthy of Congress, but the most useful answer for you is: if you want NFL Sunday Ticket or simply must have ESPN HD now, go with D*.


Otherwise, both will have plenty of offerings for you in the distant future, so go with whichever one is the better deal monetarily.
 

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If you have to buy your HD satellite system in the next few weeks, I'd lean towards Directv, if I were in your shoes. Directv's HD programming (including NFL Sunday Ticket) and their HD set-top-boxes are known quantities. I, myself, wouldn't want to invest in Dishnetwork's current HD equipment knowing that on the near horizon I'd have to scrap the current gear and invest in SuperDish equipment for HD in a few more months.


That being said I'd probably be inclined to wait until the Superdish technology is implemented and/or Dishnetwork and Directv introduce their HD DVR set-top-boxes. Everything is in a state of transition. It's hard to say which company is going to have the best HD programming and equipment. Dishnetwork may have a big leg up if Superdish pans out. But, there's no telling what plans Directv may have to respond to Superdish and it's potential for up to 50 HD channels. And, there's also no telling how good their HD DVRs will be.


I think it was an easier decision last fall when I upgraded my Directv system to HD. Directv and Dishnetwork looked very comparable in terms of programming and I liked Directv's one dish solution and selection of HD STBs. Plus, I preferred staying with Directv. It was an easy choice then. I don't think it's as easy a decision today.
 

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Down the road both of these companies will have to offer similar HD programming and quality levels to remain competitive and survive. I recently upgraded my OTA samsung t150 to a sony hd200 and am amazed at the better picture quality, both OTA and through D*. Don't neglect the receiver you choose. I can't wait till Sunday :)
 

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Quote:
Directv's HD programming (including NFL Sunday Ticket) and their HD set-top-boxes are known quantities. I, myself, wouldn't want to invest in Dishnetwork's current HD equipment knowing that on the near horizon I'd have to scrap the current gear and invest in SuperDish equipment for HD in a few more months.
Well, Dish Network has the channels up on 110 now, and each is allocated more bandwidth than those package channels get on DirecTV. Of course, the typical customer can't receive them for another week yet, and even if they could, there's no guarantee they could tell a difference.


As for "investing in Superdish," remember, the Superdish and professional installation was just announced as free to anyone committing to a year of the lowest priced package + HD package ($24.99 + $9.99 = $34.99/mo). So there isn't really "money to invest" in a Superdish, per se.


The Dish 6000 $199 deal may be cheaper, but as you note it is an outdated receiver that will soon be replaced. In most ways, the 6000 is inferior to popular DirecTV HDTV receivers, and the modern Dish receivers are still about two months away.


Like Crash, I would personally wait two months to see whether a) Dish takes advantage of the Superdish to offer channels DirecTV doesn't have, and b) whether the 921 ships on November 1, and how stable it is. Of course, I am assuming you have other means to watch the HDTV on the networks in the interim (being OTA/cable); I would not be willing to miss half the football season.
 

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If i was going to buy today i'd go with D* for the same reason i did in June. They had current equipment on the shelf and Sunday Ticket. If you can hold off 3 months or so, E*'s next generation of boxes and Superdish should be available. IMO in the long run their programming is going to be about the same, except for Sunday Ticket. Other posters with both systems report picture quality is about the same. As for E*'s ability to deliver 50 HD channels, when are we going to have 50 HD channels. If it's 2 to 3 years, i would bet D* will figure out a way to do it!
 

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WanMan,


With Dish passing through the feeds unmodified, I don't think 4DTV has much appeal now, except, of course, for certain western feeds. And it's possible those will be on Superdish in November (we'll see).
 

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If you are a sports fan, D* offers more in terms of both HD and SD programming. That was the clincher for me. Personally, I couldn't survive without NFL Sunday Ticket, and the rest of the add'l programming is just icing on the cake.
 

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what does your local cableco offer?


If their offerings are decent, that's probably your best short-term solution, and maybe even long-term.


1. Usually, you can rent the box (or it's included in the service).

2. No contracts.


So, that means you can wait for D* and E* to fight it out and see which one best fits your needs in terms of price, equipment (HD-DVR), & channels.


That's pretty much what I'm doing - and, right now, with the exception of ESPN-HD, HDNet Movies, I get everything** DirecTV offers in HD (including HBO, Show) + INHD for a much cheaper price - and that doesn't even factor in what I'm saving with equipment.


(**Note: my local Fox affiliate, WRAZ, is now broadcasting HDNet programming during the day).


If TWC's HD-DVR is any good (it's supposed to be here 1st of the new year) and if they add ESPN-HD at no additional cost - there won't be any reason for me to switch at all.


Basically, I feel like I can't lose no matter what happens.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Crash_Corrigan
I, myself, wouldn't want to invest in Dishnetwork's current HD equipment knowing that on the near horizon I'd have to scrap the current gear and invest in SuperDish equipment for HD in a few more months.
Let's clarify this statement! The model 6000 will NOT need to be scraped when Superdish dishes come out! All they would need is a adapter that goes on the cable from the dish to the receiver. Other then the needing the adapter the 6000 will work flawlessly with Superdish although it will lack the better menues etc. of the newer 811 that is coming out next month. For $199 it is be a good inexpensive HD receiver (cheapest priced HD receiver out there) that is worth every bit the $199 cost even with the 811 coming out (but at a much higher price).
 

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> (**Note: my local Fox affiliate, WRAZ, is now broadcasting HDNet programming during the day).


If this is the same "HDNet OTA" feed that is running in Dallas-Fort Worth, Oklahoma City, and Charlotte then be aware that this is not the same programming that is seen over the HDNet service provided to cable companies and via DirecTV (and soon Dish).
 

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Originally posted by Thomas Desmond
> (**Note: my local Fox affiliate, WRAZ, is now broadcasting HDNet programming during the day).


If this is the same "HDNet OTA" feed that is running in Dallas-Fort Worth, Oklahoma City, and Charlotte then be aware that this is not the same programming that is seen over the HDNet service provided to cable companies and via DirecTV (and soon Dish).
I don't know whether it's the same feed or not - but I do know that it's definitely not the "live" HDNet programming on DirecTv. But that's why I put the asterisk.


Regardless, it's nice to have another HD outlet during the day!
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Robert Clark
For the budget viewer, the new $199 Dish 6000 deal sure is tempting. It's an older receiver but it does OTA and works well.


Don't know if the deal also is good for new subscribers as well...
actually, this deal is specifically FOR current subscribers
 

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If you are ready, then make the plunge. Base your decision on what is available today. You already said you can't wait one year for Comcast, so why wait a few months then possibly a few more and watch all that time tick away.


If you decide to change at a later date, list the HD receiver/dish you have on AVS or eBay and get the new one you want.
 

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If you can wait, I'd hold off to see what happens with the current deal D* is trying to strike to aquire some additional real estate in the KU band. This could open a huge amount of space for additional HD programming to be able to compete with E*s superdish. I'm sure that if the deal happens, D* will strike deals with the rest of the current (and those in the near future) HD channels such as Bravo, Cinemax, etc. This might also open up space on the current transponders to eek up the bandwidth for the SD channels and improve quality there as well.
 
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