dish-vs-directvHave you been shopping for a satellite television service provider lately? If so, I’m sure you have run into more questions than you anticipated. That is what happened to my mother. She has a rather large home, in which my family feels they need a television in every single room. Currently, they have cable, because really that has been the default for years. Cable is great for access to as many rooms as you want, but cable gets expensive after the introductory price expires, especially with multiple receivers. If you want to put a satellite receiver in more than 1 or 2 rooms, you are going to pay about $10 for each additional hookup. I will attempt to help you choose a satellite provider by comparing the two largest companies. Programs and services change faster than paint dries, so hopefully this will give you a starting point, and will help you know better what to look for.

Satellite Basics

Satellite service provides television programming through a satellite that is installed on the outside of your home. In addition to this satellite dish, satellite receivers are required at the site of the television. If you are switching from cable to satellite, this will require rewiring and an installation of an ugly satellite on the outside of your home. I would suggest thinking about where you want it installed before the service person comes, otherwise you are at his/her mercy. If you are a new customer this installation can be free so make sure you insist upon that. Once the satellite system is hooked up you should receive good continual service unless the weather interferes with your signal to your satellite. I live where it snows and rains, and have had my satellite reception go out about twice in the eight plus years I have had service. Satellite systems come with a great on television guide system to help finding the program you want very easy. Most satellite services comes with a pay per view option that is great for those nights that you do not have a movie already picked out. Also, satellite services can be in High Definition Television (HDTV) or Standard Definition Television (SD TV). You will pay a premium if you want an HDTV signal. Typically HD Programming costs an additionial $10 a month.


My mother called DIRECTV because she wanted to combine satellite service with her telephone bill to save money. She used DIRECTV’s instant messenger service to talk with a technical support person. She was on the computer with the salesperson for a little under an hour in order to find out what kind of system she needed. While she was doing this she was on the phone with me in order to ask me questions. The technical support person was often wrong about what they provided. For instance, the operator was sure that if my mother ordered one high definition receiver that she would receive high definition reception on all other televisions that were hooked up to a standard receiver. I knew this was not possible, my mother had to ask her 3 times before the operator said that she better check. Sure enough that was not possible. Therefore, make sure you know what you are getting, and don’t always trust the salesperson.

DIRECTV offers the standard equipment:

(1) Satellite Receiver – Standard television reception to one television.
(2) High Definition (HD) Satellite Receiver – High Definition television reception to one television.
(3) Standard Satellite Receiver with Digital Video Recorder (DVR) – Standard television reception to one television with the ability to play/pause/fast forward/rewind/record television programming.
(4) High Definition Satellite Receiver with Digital Video Recorder (DVR) – High Definition television reception to one television with the ability to play/pause/fast forward/rewind/record television programming.
(5) Whole Home DVR which allows you to watch any show recorded from your main DVR on any receiver. However, you cannot use the secondary receiver as a DVR.

DIRECTV has smartened up though, and offers to bundle your satellite service with your high speed internet service. No, you will not be receiving satellite internet service; you will be receiving DSL service from a local telephone company. They do offer a one bill service for bothsatellite and internet which is a nice feature. So if you wanted television reception to 4 televisions in your house, you would have to choose and pay for 3 of the above receivers. Sometimes they have special offers where you can get two receivers for free. Make sure you take advantage of being a new customer, and get your equipment for free; it will be the last time they offer you that! As for programming, you need to check with each one of the providers. Each offers a slightly different line up, and there is not one that stands out as best.

Dish Network

Dish Network is unique in that it offers a dual tuner receiver. The dual tuner offers reception for 2 different televisions, but only requires one receiver. The reception on each television is still unique, and can be running at the same time. The dual tuner could also provide the long lost, and loved picture in picture; the service that many satellite subscribers have missed. So you say big deal that you get a dual tuner with Dish Network, I can just order 2 receivers from DIRECTV. Well, here is the big deal, if you use the DVR function (Digital Video Recorder) and are using a dual tuner receiver you can record a television program, and watch it on either of the two televisions. This is an extremely convenient feature. At our house we could be watching a television program downstairs, and then decide we want to watch it upstairs while we BBQ. It can be done just like that!

Dish Network offers the following equipment:

(1) Standard Satellite Receiver – Standard television reception to one television.
(2) High Definition (HD) Satellite Receiver – High Definition television reception to one television.
(3) Standard Satellite Receiver with Digital Video Recorder (DVR) – Standard television reception to one television with the ability to play/pause/fast forward/rewind/record television programming.
(4) High Definition Satellite Receiver with Digital Video Recorder (DVR) – High Definition television reception to one television with the ability to play/pause/fast forward/rewind/record television programming.
(5) Dual Tuner High Definition Satellite Receiver with Digital Video Recorder – High Definition television reception on one television, and standard definition television reception on the other television, or Picture in Picture.
(6) Dual Tuner Standard Definition Satellite Receiver with Digital Video Recorder (DVR) – Standard Television reception on 2 televisions or Picture in Picture.


96 Responses to DISH Network vs DIRECTV

  1. matt says:

    We currently have Direct and are making the switch to Dish. The customer service rep was unable to answer one of my questions. I wanted to know if my new dish network dish will mount on my current direct satellite bracket. Directionality is not an issue, I have 360 degrees clear path of the sky. I just don’t need any new holes in my roof.

    • Jason says:

      Hard to tell without looking at the mounting bracket. I completely understand that you don’t want more holes in your roof. I don’t think you will get an answer unless a rep comes out and gets up on your roof.

    • Amy says:

      Just switched myself and when Dish was installed they just used the same place the Directv was. Not sure if the brackets were swapped out but the location on the house is the same.

  2. Ron Lindsey says:

    Sorry I meant the dish app on my iPhone 3GS

  3. Vic says:

    I currently have a Dish H-D Reciever, that i purchased from them two years ago,while i still had there services. I currently live with someone else, that uses direct T-V, will I, be able to hook up that reciever on my own T-V ?

  4. Jason says:

    I have a new hd receiver for my directv service. Will an oval dish network dish work to receive directv hd programming?

    • Jason says:

      Most likely you will need a new satellite dish. Also, when you switch to high definition you often need to upgrade your satellite dish as well.

  5. nick says:

    I made the switch from Comcast to satilite TV because of Comcast outrageous cost for service ($200 a month). Originally my 1st option was Direct TV over Dish because of Direct having NFL Sunday Ticket and Dish not owning the rights for this service. Three times I had a Direct TV tech come out to my home to tell me I had trees blocking my signal. What was confusing to me was my next door nieghboor who’s house is about 100ft away from my house has a Direct TV dish facing in a complete different direction than what the Direct TC tech told me my dish had to face in order to get a signal. Finally I called Dish Network and explained my experience with Direct TV. The Dish Network Rep told me Direct TV was like their little brother and they could get signals that Direct TV couldn’t get. Sure enough Dish Network came out and was able to install my satilite which was completely in the opposite direction of the tall trees Direct TV told me was blocking my signal to prevent me from establishing service with them. Ironically my Dish Network satilite is pointing in the same direction as my next door nieghboors Direct TV satilite. My problem is although Dish Network service was slightly cheaper to install and for the monthly service I still prefer to have Direct TV because of the NFL Sunday Ticket and AMC. Should Direct TV be able to pick up a signal from the same location my Dish Network satalite dish is installed? Please help with this because football season is approaching fast and I want Sunday Ticket.

    • Jason says:

      That is frustrating. I am guessing that the Direct TV installer did not do it correctly. Most likely, the answer is, yes, the Direct TV should be able to pick up a signal from approximately the same location as Dish Network, but this does not mean that the satellites are in the same place. There is a chance that you are better aligned to the Dish Satellites as compared to the Direct TV satellites, but I doubt it. You need an unobstructed view of the southern sky if you are installing a Direct TV satellite. If that is an impossibility, then I guess you are unable to get a Direct TV signal. Check out the Dishpointer . It will help you find the satellite locations from your exact house location.

  6. Toni Childers says:

    This afternoon, I will be receiving my 6th replacement Dish 722K duo DVR within 11 months . Of the previous 5 receivers, two were killed by nearby lightning strikes, and 3 had internal drive problems. Each time I have to replace the receiver, I, of course, lose all my “saved” recordings, my personalized menu guides, and lots of time (I live in the mountains in the middle of nowhere, and it takes 3-5 days to get a DVR mailed to me, and 1-4 days for a tech to bring one from the nearest large city). I like Dish a lot, and they have fantastic customer service, but between and frustration of replacing receivers, and, now, the lack of AMC channels, I’m seriously considering switching. Cable is not an option here in the boonies. Is the DirecTV receiver any more reliable?

    • Jason says:

      We do not know if DirecTV is more reliable. Reliability is really dependent upon where you live. Most likely if DISH is unreliable so will DirecTV be also. A cable connection should work better for you. Good luck. In order to save your recordings through the break downs consider buying an external hard drive to back up your programs.

    • walta says:

      Toni i have directv and i have had them for about 10 years, and I have never had to replace the receiver. For some odd reason I thought that I could save money with timewarner cable and switched. Boy what a disaster. I had to replace two (used receivers) and the service was not top notch. My suggestion would be to ask for a brand new receiver and not settle for a used one. I think that directv gives out new receivers, or at least they make them look new LOL. Good luck

  7. Gordon says:

    40 (almost) reasons to not switch from Dish Network to DirecTV:

    I had a 722 dual HD DVR from Dish, when I bought an additional HD tv, I was shocked that the “dual” only handled 1 HD and 1 SD. Dish was going to charge me $500 and raise my monthly rates just to handle the additional HD TV. If I were a new customer, the new equipment would be free and my rates would be $20 less. This did not seem to be just treatment to a long loyal customer, but they would not budge. So I finally switched to DirecTV. Now I would do anything to go back:

    DirecTV Issues
    1. While watching a recorded PPV movie, about half way in, the motion became jerky. The audio was fine, but the video seemed to be skipping frames causing all motion to be jerky (like a bad 70’s disco dance with strobe lights – not that bad)
    2. Everything is delayed from when you press a button on the remote; often freezing for a moment or two before doing the action.
    3. It takes more steps to do anything than Dish Network. For example, when setting a timer and need to change the default action, such as First Run vs. All, it takes 8 button presses!
    4. On several timers it is recording two copies of the same show on the same channel at the same time
    5. On several timers that are set up for First Run only, it is recording reruns
    6. Not smart when 2 consecutive timers are on the same channel, it uses 2 tuners, even when the user wants to use one of those tuners for something else.
    7. The skip 30 seconds button is horrible – instead of jumping immediately, it goes into a fast forward mode, which isn’t very fast when on a different TV than the one connected to the DVR.
    8. Can’t pause and rewind live TV on “satellite” sets
    9. Picture is darker – I had to adjust the brightness on all TVs
    10. Menus are more cumbersome
    11. Guide is hard to read; only show 1.5 hours and there is no color coding for different programming types (sports, series, movies, etc.)
    12. If you slide remote device switch to TV mode and then back to satellite, a message comes up on the screen saying “The remote is in TV mode” when it isn’t
    13. On recorded items, Resume doesn’t tell you where it’s going to resume from
    14. Displays are cluttered and hard to read
    15. Recorded shows don’t have the episode # in the info
    16. To turn the TV on you slide the switch at the top 3 position to the right (TV mode) then press the PWR button twice – twice? Seriously?
    17. Here’s a weird one: if a show starts after the :00 or :30 mark and the actual time is beyond the start time, the previous show is still listed on schedule, and is the default for that station and gets selected. You have to move the cursor to the right to view the current program.
    18. Remote is awful: hard to find buttons, unintuitive, inconsistent. For example, watching TV the Chan/Page toggle moves up and down, but in menus and schedule, the arrow keys move up and down.
    19. Website: I tried to order a remote, the cart showed $35 + $19 shipping and handling. But when I clicked on check out, it was going to charge me $347! Nothing was itemized, just a total due. I went back to the cart and emptied it, then clicked on check out and it still wanted to charge me $347. I was eventually able to clear the cart and the charged total. Again put the remote in my cart. This time shipping and handling was free and the remote was $35. When I went to check out, the total due showed $0. But sent me a confirmation that I had order the remote. I later order a second one. When nothing came. I called and was told that they had no record of any orders being placed.
    20. Schedule channel list is backwards. When watching TV pushing up goes to a higher channel #, but in the schedule pushing up goes to a lower one!?
    21. When pausing, the meter stays visible on the screen blocking what I’m trying to see.
    22. Moving frame by frame and slow motion is blurry. Also the meter stays on the screen as above.
    23. Sometimes the 30 second jump freezes. Sometimes it goes all the way to the end.
    24. Sometimes the 10 second back goes all the way to the beginning
    25. Remotes are not RF
    26. Fast Forward: Dish Network has 4x 60x and 300x. DirecTV has 1,2,3, and 4 what do these correlate to?
    27. Still can’t figure out how to play slow motion
    28. Freeze, step-by-step and fast forward, blocks out the bottom portion of the screen with gray/black which also houses the progress bar that does not go away.
    29. Can’t record a video on demand from the other televisions, you can watch them, but not search and record… crazy…
    30. Got an interesting call the other day from DirecTV. The representative said that he had heard that I was not happy with my remote. I explained the need for RF remotes and my attempts to order them on-line. He didn’t know what an RF remote was but said he would connect me with a technician who could order that for me. “The next voice you will hear will be that of the technician”, he said, there were some beeps, then some music, and then a dial tone as they hung up on me…. Can one company be this messed up?
    31. I recorded some Television series episodes using the video on demand the other day. On playback, you find out that the video quality is poor (it is not HD), and you can’t use many of the standard features such as fast-forward — you have to watch the commercials. Kind of defeats the purpose of recording a program.
    32. Ever tried to use the Search function? Very difficult and cumbersome to find anything.
    33. My wife likes to set the TV to a music station for background noise, but the receiver keeps timing out if she doesn’t press some button on the remote every so often.
    34. While playing back recorded programs, a few times the system claims that there was a signal loss while recording the program and it scans the recording trying to skip the lost data. The system is unresponsive for several minutes then seems to go to the end of the recording and asks if you want to delete. I always say no, start the playback over, fast forward to where it left off and watch the remainder of the recording with no problems. So the “detected” signal loss appears to be a bogus message.
    35. Lately, many of the playbacks of recorded programs just freeze and you have to push the skip button to get the program playing again.
    36. If someone had started a playback at some time, then when you go back to that recording and tell it start at the start, it doesn’t – it starts a minute or so into the program. Strange.
    37. Quite often while watching a playback, it hiccups – a short skip or blip. Annoying.
    38. Isn’t DirecTV the one that advertises that you can pause in one room and pickup in the next room? I tried that, and in the next room when I clicked on Resume, it started at the beginning. Does anything work with system?

    • walta says:

      Man or woman, ur picky. those r some very minor subjects. I really like directv, and you are making them look bad and that is not the case. customer service is off the charts

  8. MJ says:

    Is there a problem with coax distance using Dish Network HD dish? We have installed RG6 over 270 feet from dish to receiver. Signal was low. Then we installed RG11 and got some channels, then it would drop. Then we added an amplifier and still have not gotten full signal. Is there a distance requirement to HD?

    • Jason says:

      Yes, there is loss associated with all coax cables. RG11 has lower loss than RG6, but RG11 still has about a 4dB loss per 100 feet (as compared to a 6dB loss per 100 feet with RG6 coax). It doesn’t matter whether the signal is HD or not. The distance you are talking about is a challenge. You probably need an amplifier closer to the dish at that distance. I would put an amplifier around the half way point (at about 135 feet). If you already tried that, then my only other suggestion is to call a Dish service technician and see what he comes up with. Good luck.

  9. Jill says:

    Is there anyway to watch live TV while recording a show on my dual receiver? My receiver is a 722.

    • Jason says:

      Yes. The 722 receiver from Dish allows you to record a show and use the second tuner to watch live programming at the same time. The 722 also allows you to watch a pre-recorded show while recording two different programs at the same time.

  10. Brad says:

    I am shopping for an HDTV and currently have the SD Dish DVR dual tuner. What resolution does the Dish receiver output? If I upgrade to the HD receiver, what resolution does it output?

    • Jason says:

      The standard Dish receiver can output 480 lines of resolution. If you upgrade to an HD Dish receiver (612/622/722) it will deliver 1080 resolution. The main differences in the HD DVRs is the 612 only has one tuner where the 622 and 722 are dual tuner DVRs.

  11. Larry says:

    I connected my PC to my TV with a VGA splitter and cable. The programs sites (Hulu and Netflix) from the PC have good video and audio. The same day, after I installed the splitter there was a complete loss of signal to VIP 722K HD receiver. No cables or connections were routed to the DVR for the PC to TV connections. Every time the “acquiring signal” appeared it reverted to loss of signal message. Then I used menu items and an advisement that receiver was downloading software (10 to 25 minute in 7 steps) appeared. System finally restored after that. Did the PC to TV hookup have anything to do with the loss of Dish TV signal?

    • Jason says:

      I don’t see how connecting your PC to your TV through a VGA cable would affect your Dish DVR. I don’t think this had anything to do with your loss of signal, especially since you said no connections were routed to your Dish DVR.

  12. Joana says:

    I have Dish and currently can only record 2 things at once. Is there an upgrade I can get to record more than 2 shows at once? There are so many shows that come on at once and I am having to pick and choose which ones to miss.

    • Jason says:

      Yes, however you will have to get an additional DVR. This will allow you to record 2 additional shows at once. Since you are an existing customer this is going to cost somewhere between $100-$200.

  13. Mike says:

    I have been a COX cable guy for years. I ordered Direct TV. When investigating the differences between Dish and DirecTV, the Dish folks told me that because I wanted HD in 4 rooms that they couldn’t do it. They said I would have to have 3 in HD and 1 in SD (standard definition). Direct told me that it wasn’t a problem and my order is for an HD DVR and 3 additional HD receivers. Anything you can comment on as far as technology? Also, i’ve got the whole house DVR setup. Thanks

    • Jason says:

      Yes, I have heard that as well about Dish only supporting up to 3 HD receivers. I have had both Dish and DirecTV. I did like Dish DVR menu and options better than DirecTV. Remember that if you just get a HD receiver with Direct that it is not a DVR so you cannot pause and rewind your shows unless you are watching a recorded show from your DVR (through the whole home DVR). This took me a little getting use to when I switched from Dish to Direct TV. It is true that DirecTV will allow as many HD receivers as you want (they of course will charge you $5 for each additional receiver per month).

  14. Sherrie says:

    I currently have DirecTV with 4 TV’s. I’m thinking of changing to Dish because of their pricing. What equipment will I need to operate 4 TV’s so that they can watch different channels?

    • Jason says:

      You can get 2 HD dual tuner DVRs which will allow you to operate 4 televisions and watch 4 different programs at the same time (on different televisions). However, you will only have HD on two TV’s and standard reception on the other two. As far as I am aware Dish can only support 3 HDTVs in a single home setup.

  15. Andy says:

    I currently have Dish programming. I have 3 HDTVs but only one with a HD receiver. I have a Dish HD DVR dual tuner where the DVR is hooked to the big screen in the basement, and I have a HDTV in the family room and bedroom. The family room and bedroom receptions are not HD. The reception in the bedroom is the 2nd tuner off the HD DVR in the basement, thus it doesn’t need a physical receiver there. The family room HDTV has a dual receiver but the reception is not HD. Since I own 3 HDTVs, is it possible to get HD reception on all three without spending a fortune?

    • Jason says:

      Well that depends on what you consider a fortune? You will need to purchase 2 additional HD receivers. They both don’t have to be DVRs, but now that you are use to pausing and skipping commercials I doubt that you will want to go without a DVR. This is going to cost you a couple of hundred dollars for the equipment (probably around $300 with installation) and an additional monthly increase for the two additional DVRs which will run at least $10 a month. I consider that close to a fortune!

  16. Joel says:

    I have Dish Network with a dual tuner SD DVR and want to upgrade to HD but was told I would have to purchase the HD receiver. I don’t want to switch to Direct TV. There are a lot of new and used Dish Network HD receivers online for much cheaper than buying from Dish Network. Can I buy one of these and still upgrade or is there a catch?

    • Jason says:

      Yes, but you will probably need to upgrade your satellite dish as well. This depends on which type of dish you have installed. If your satellite has 3 circular cylinders pointed at the dish it is probably a HD dish. You also will need to pay for the HD upgrade as well (as you will need HD programming). All in all, it may be better to just eat the cost and have a Dish technician come out and install things properly.

  17. Chris says:

    I just got a 622 receiver and would like to have a 3rd TV. What do I need to hook up a 3rd TV? Would I need to get a switch (DPP-44 or DP-34) and where do I hook the switch up at?

    • Jason says:

      You don’t need a DPP-44 switch. The Dish 622 is a Dual tuner DVR and can support two televisions. I assume you already have that hooked up properly. All you need is a cable splitter (on coax in and two coax out) connected at your second TV. Use the splitter to allow a second and third connection. You will have to route a coax to your third television. And you will only be able to watch the same channel on your second and third TV sets.

  18. Jean says:

    I have Dish Network and wanted to upgrade to a DVR. I was told it requires re-wiring throughout the house. Is that true?

    • Jason says:

      No, it does not require re-wiring. As long as you have a coax cable (typical cable wiring throughout the house) then you can connect a DVR satellite receiver.

  19. Helen says:

    We recently purchased a new HDTV. I want to upgrade to a new HD receiver. Dish Network told me I have to upgrade my satellite dish so that it can accept an HD signal and that it will cost $95. Do I need to do this?

    • Jason says:

      Yes, you do need a new satellite when you upgrade to HD. As you are probably aware, this is free for new customers, but costs money for existing customers. Your only way to avoid paying for this HD upgrade is to switch to DirecTV. You will not pay a penalty to Dish if you have met your contract terms which are usually one to two years.

  20. Chuck says:

    I have a tenant that is moving into my rental unit and wants Dish Network. I already have a DirecTV satellite dish mounted. I do not want to mount another dish in a different location. Can Dish and DirecTV satellite dishes be mounted in the same location?

    • Jason says:

      Yes, generally speaking. Both the Dish and DirecTV in North America are mounted facing south. You will need to align the Dish satellite as it has a slightly different angle and direction that Dish, but you can mount them in the same general location.

  21. Bryan says:

    I have 2 Dish Network Dual Tuner DVRs (722K). One is upstairs and the other downstairs. Both are in single TV mode. Both DVRs are connected to my home network router with internet access. Is there a way to transfer a recorded program from one DVR to the other DVR through the network connection?

    • Jason says:

      I do not believe there is a way to transfer recorded shows from one Dish DVR to another. The only way I know to do this is to attach an external hard drive to your Dish DVR (which does have a one-time setup fee). You can transfer and recorded show to the hard drive. Then you can unplug the external hard drive and connect it to your second receiver and watch any show that has been transfered to the hard drive.

      • Gabby C. says:

        The HD/DVR and three HD boxes through DirecTV allows access to the DVR from all 4 tvs.

  22. Tawni says:

    I recently switched from DirecTV to Dish Network. One thing I liked about DirecTV is I could record a show in my living room while watching live TV, and at the same time, my husband could watch live TV upstairs. We cannot do this with Dish. We do have a dual tuner DVR. My husband is upset that we he cannot watch what he wants while I am recording and watching live TV in the other room. Is there a work around for this?

    • Jason says:

      Yes, however you will have to buy another reciever. This is the only work around as the dual tuner DVR only has two tuners, and if one is used to record a show, then you only have one tuner left to watch TV.

  23. Chad says:

    Will a turbo HD Dish satelite work with a Directv receiver?

    • Jason says:

      No. Dish Network and Directv satellites are not compatible. Niether are the recievers.

  24. Joe says:

    I am moving and I was wondering if I can install my Dish satellite and receiver at my new place without dealing with a installer?

    • Jason says:

      You can do this, but I would not recommend it. First off, Dish will do this for you for free. They know that when someone moves they have the option of changing companies. Therefore, they will do everything to keep you as a customer – which includes installing the satellite at your new home.

  25. Damon says:

    I currently have DirecTV and I know that all satellite TV receivers have issues with bad weather. I’m wondering if Dish Network is better or worse at keeping the signal? Any idea which company loses signal more often or are they pretty much be the same?

    • Jason says:

      Good question, but I do not have an answer, nor do I think you will ever get an answer. If I had to guess, I would think that they would both perform about the same in similar weather situations.

    • Gabby C. says:

      DirecTV recently added a minimum signal strength requirement of 90%, meaning there are very rarely weather outages. Dish does not have a strong signal strength requirement.

      • Jeremy sexton says:

        Dish doesn’t work with percentages. Therefore, you are wrong about the signal strength. Dish uses iMb. Please make sure you know what you are talking about before commenting.

  26. John says:

    I recently switched from DISH to DirecTV, primarily for the NFL Sunday Ticket. I only use the satellite for one TV as the others in my house are connected to cable. One of the features I really liked about DISH was the two tuner picture in picture capability. Is there anyway to get picture in picture with DirecTV – such as with two boxes? If I go that direction, do I need to run two cables from the satellite dish? I understand my DirecTV DVR has two tuners, so it seems strange that it can’t support picture in picture, if that’s the case.

    • Jason says:

      Unfortunately DirecTV does not support the PIP feature with the dual tuner receiver. The only way to get PIP with DirecTV is to connect two receivers to the same television and use the picture-in-picture feature of the TV. This of course is expensive and not worth the money.

  27. Brent says:

    I currently have Dish, but am thinking of switching to DirecTV to take advantage of their whole house DVR. I was told if I put a DVR on two of my TVs and an HD receiver on my third. Then I could access either DVR on any of the three TVs. Is this true?

    • Jason says:

      Yes. Think of the whole house DVR as a connection between the three receivers. Since you are considering two DVRs, then you would be able to access any of the DVRs from any receiver.

  28. Ed says:

    I wanted to switch from Cablevision, Dish network to DirecTV because all the international channels I always watch on both carriers are with the DirecTV and cheaper. Dish is always not good if the weather is bad. DirecTV’s customer service said, they do have 99.9% guaranteed nice reception no matter what the weather is. Is that true?

    • Jason says:

      I disagree with DirecTV’s customer service representative because I do not see how they can guarantee better reception during weather. Now there could be a problem with your current setup that is affecting reception and once DirecTV installs their satellite receiver you may get a better installation and therefore better overall reception during bad weather. I have had both Dish Network and DirecTV and I have experienced reception issues very rarely (about once a year during a bad wind storm). They both seem about the same.

      • Bob Scott says:

        I had dish for about 5yr i dropped them because of losing signal during bad weather, switched to direct and had good service in all kinds of weather. stayed with then for 10yrs, went back to dish mainly because of the HOPPER dvr which is a joke!

  29. James says:

    Why does Dish want me to pay $100 fee to install a DVR?

    • Jason says:

      I assume you are already a Dish customer. Usually Dish Network will give away free equipment to new customers only. However, current customers have to pay for new equipment such as DVRs and high definition receivers. I can suggest a couple of options. First, you can switch to DirecTV if you are past your contractual commitment. They will probably give you several new customer incentives which include a free DVR. The second, option is to call Dish and tell them you are considering switching over to DirecTV and they may be able to offer you a free DVR.

  30. Adam says:

    I know the programming between Dish and DirecTV is comparable but how does the DVR service compare in terms of the equipment? I will be installing on 2 different televisions and will probably slave the signal from my living room to a third television in my upstairs office.

    • Jason says:

      Since DirecTV dropped TIVO I personally think Dish Network has a better DVR. I personally like how I can record and watch different shows on both televisions with one receiver. You cannot do this with a DirecTV DVR. I also like how I can start watching a show upstairs while I clean the kitchen, then stop it, go downstairs, and continue watching the show from where I left off.

  31. Jerry says:

    Will Dish pay, since I owe one more year on DirecTV, to switch to them? I am under a 2 year contract.

    • Jason says:

      That is an excellent question. I bet they might. I would call and ask them. If they do offer some kind of incentive to switch you over and pay youe early termination fee for DirecTV please send me an update as I would like to know.

  32. Ken says:

    I have completed my 2 year contract with Dish. I am considering moving to DirecTV for the cost savings. Do you think it is worth the time to call Dish and see if they will do something to keep me as a customer? To keep a similar package, I would save 30 a month the first year and 10 a month over the second year.

    • Jason says:

      Yes, I think it is worth the time to call them and ask for a discount. It will only take you 10 minutes and could be worth a lot of money. They would have to give you a couple of hundred dollars to equal what Direct will give you. I know when I moved Dish offered all sorts of discounts to get me to stay with them.

  33. Karen says:

    I have a non HD receiver in my home that I purchased outright from DISH. I didn’t want to pay a recurring fee every month to keep my cost down. I would like to add a few additional TVs (upstair bedrooms). I called Dish to ask how much the receivers were and that I was again interested in paying for them outright. They gave me a good price for a dual and standard so I could hook up an additional 3 TVs in the home. When I decided to go for it, they informed me that I would have to pay an additional $28.00 per month (more than half my monthly bill already) to have these TVs connected and to receive signal. Is this true? You must pay each additional TV connected in the home? Is there a way I can hook up my additional TVs to the existing receiver I have without having to pay for this monthly?

    • Jason says:

      Yes, you have to pay for each receiver in the home and I don’t think there is a way around that fee. Unfortunately the monthly fees vary on promotions and whether or not you are a new customer. I would guess the price is higher where you are not renting the receiver and not a new customer.

  34. Keith says:

    I’m about to get Dish TV and am considering taking up their special offer ($99 once, then $4 per month)on Google TV. This is so I can watch international sport such as Rugby off the internet. Any comments on how effective or worthwhile this is?

    • Jason says:

      I have never tried this. Google is trying very much to get into the TV market. So is Apple. I would guess that the future of TV may very well come through the internet, so it may be a very good idea to try some things out. Let us know how it goes.

  35. Diva says:

    I recently switched from DirecTV to Dish. I found Direct to be more user friendly and worked easily with other components. With Dish I have 4 TV’s connected. I have the VIP 722k with sling adapter and Google TV connected. The 722k is feeding my master bedroom and living room. Than I have a VIP 622k feeding my two bedrooms. The only down fall I notice when switchcing with Dish is that they needed to put two satellites up vs one with DirecTV. The second problem is in Hawaii we don’t not have access to “HD Platinum package” and most HD channels. I have contacted customer service and technical support several times to see why we do not catch many HD channels. They gave me some technical term that I did not understand about how Hawaii is receiving satellite from another type of satellite that is different from the continental United States. According to the tec’s they said that Dish is constantly upgrading its system and hopefully in the near future this problem will be solved. Thank goodness I have Google TV, if not I wouldn’t receive most of my channels like the LOGO channel. Other than those issues my 2nd TVs remote has a hard time reading the cable box.

  36. Cindy says:

    I currently have DirecTV. My current setup includes one receiver, I have a splitter so that I can watch TV in the Living room and the bed room. In the bed room I can only watch what is playing in the living room and can not change channels in bed room. All I want is a satellite receiver that I can change channels in which ever room I am in. It can be the same channel on both TVS. Is there any such receiver?

    • Jason says:

      I recommend switching to Dish Network. DirecTV can do this as well, but you will have to upgrade to a new receiver which costs money. If you switch to Dish, you will get the new receiver free, plus a reduced monthly fee for the first few months. Ask for the dual-tuner receiver!

  37. Mike says:

    If I bought a new HD DVR receiver from Dish, can I have the option to record in SD so that the recorded shows can play on either TV?

    • Jason says:

      Yes, with the Dish HD Dual tuner receiver you can record up to two shows at the same time with the option of either recording standard or high definition programming. You can than watch these recorded shows on either TV. You can start watching a show on one TV, stop it, and finish watching it on the second TV.

  38. Horace says:

    What is the effect of weather, rain, wind, etc on the satellite receiver and overall satellite reception?

    • Jason says:

      I have found that hail and very heavy rain can occasionally cause a temporary (1 to 2 seconds) loss in satellite reception. I have never had a signal loss of more than a few seconds in the more than the 5 years I have had the Dish Network.

      • Ron Lindsey says:

        I live in wv at 2600′ elevation and lose signal during every rain storm for up to 15 minutes and snow storms the same. Dish. I think a bigger dish would help but you can’t get one.

  39. Mickey says:

    I have standard DirecTV service and I own a couple of HD TV sets and have them connected to the standard receivers. Will I need to get the dish on my roof changed for HD and new receivers or can I just change the receivers for HD?

    • Jason says:

      You will most likely need to have DirecTV come out and change the satellite(s) on your roof. This is because they probably installed a satellite that cannot except an HD signal.

  40. Cori says:

    Dish Network offers an HD DVR that will connect to two TVs: One HD and one SD. If I get the dual DVR connected to both TVs, am I limited to watching only recorded programming on the SD TV if two shows are recording on the HD TV or vice-versa?

    • Jason says:

      You can watch a recorded show on either TV (HD or SD) while recording two HD shows. You cannot watch a live TV show while recording two shows, because you are limited to watching one of the current recording shows. To summarize, you can be watching two different recorded TV shows while recording two TV shows at the same time.

  41. Ted says:

    I have a lake home with a Dish Network satellite. Will my DirecTV receiver work with it?

    • Jason says:

      No, the Dish Network and DirecTV receivers and satellites are not compatible.

      • Ron Lindsey says:

        Hey Jason,
        Is there anyway to output my Dish Network App signal to a regular television ?

  42. Fidel says:

    If I hooked up 2 satellite dishes together, would I get better signals/reception?

    • Jason says:

      No, you would not get any better reception. If you have a satellite receiver, you should be getting a clear picture. I bet you have something wrong with your television or the connection between the satellite receiver and your television.

  43. Etters says:

    I currently have standard DISH satellite connection. I am thinking about purchasing a new 32 inch LCD TV but waiting a few months before switching my satellite account to HD. Will I be able to use the new LCD TV with the standard DISH connection and will I get a good picture that will fill the new LCD TV screen format?

    • Jason says:

      Yes, you will be able to use the new LCD TV with standard DISH. The LCD will “up-convert” the picture to 720 pixels. It won’t look great, but it will probably look similar (or a little worse) to a normal standard television. I recommend upgrading to HD programming as it usually is only $10 to $20 a month, and a much better picture.

  44. Zad says:

    I have DISH Network with 4 receivers. I have two dual receivers, one standard, and one HD receiver. I think that I can technically connect 6 televisions. There are 4 cables coming into the house from “TEH” DP 34 switch. How can I extend reception in to my two other televisions? My immediate sense tells me get a switch that will have 6 receiver output rather than 2. Is there a switch like that or do i have to do

    • Jason says:

      I am sure there is a switch you can buy to get 6 televisions connected. I personally would recommend calling the DISH and get a technician to come out to your home. I believe there is some technical details besides just changing the switch such as cabling requirements and distance limits.

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