Dish Network vs DirecTV

Have 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 for the non- introductory price it can add up if you want to have a great digital signal. So, satellite will offer a better picture, but if you want to put it in more than 1 or 2 rooms, you are really paying through the nose for the additional hookups. 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 serviceperson 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 2 times in 3 years. Satellite systems come with a great on television guide system to help finding the program you want very easy. Most satellite service comes with a pay per view option that is great for those nights that you do not want to go to the movie store. Also, satellite services can be in High Definition Television (HDTV) or Standard Definition Television (SDTV). You will pay a premium if you want an HDTV signal.

DIRECTV

My mother called DIRECTV because she wanted to combine 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 1 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) 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.

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 (and you will still have 2 bills)! So if you wanted television reception to 4 televisions in your house, you would have to choose and pay for four of the above receivers. 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.