Comcast, Directv, or DISH Network?

I’m hoping someone here can give me some advise. I live in Chicago and have 3 alternative ways to receive tv not including local tv. I have just purchased an HDTV and want to utilize it to it’s capacity. Which service would you select and why? I’ve heard good and bad about Directv, but seems like I never hear anything about Dish. Please help.

If you want the most HD content, Dish is really the only option. Comcast has the advantage of On-Demand, but over all their picture quality and channel selection is crap. Dish also has the newer 622 HD DVR which is awesome.

They all have their pluses and minuses, but for the most HD content, Dish is WAY ahead of the rest. Just look at the channel lineups.

DishNet right now has the most HD programming (though they don’t get the YES channel even in standard def). Also, since it is truly digital, their standard def is better than cable tv’s (though they claim to be totally digital, the lower channels aren’t). I have Comcast, because of trees and hills, satellite is not too reliable. I get 19 HD channels (no too shabby, better than DirectTV), their total service is more expensive, [I][B]but[/B][/I] it is very reliable [B][I]and[/B][/I] I have a DVR that records in HD for $5 extra per month. Compare that to satellite that will charge $400-$600 for an HD capable DVR which you own and if it shits-the-bed you have to replace on your own dime. Also, I have to disagree with CDan’s statement that the picture quality is crap, 80+% of the HD programming is fantastic, just a couple of the channels are not great. Lastly, you don’t have to pay extra for local network HD channels, they are included with cable tv. To summarize, personally, if I could get DishNet and it had YES, I would try that first, but Comcast ain’t that bad, just a bit expensive. Things will change in approx. 1 year. 3 new satellites are going up for HD broadcasting that will shuffle everything around and double or triple HD programming across the board. I can’t wait. [B][I]Because HD is AWESOME!!![/I][/B][I]

I am very happy with the Dish Network as well and would have to recommend you try it. I have had both DirecTV and Dish. Dish definitely has the most HD content for your new television, so this makes sense to go with Dish. I ususally don’t even switch off the HD menu and simply record my SD shows to the DVR.

I actually dropped HD on DirecTV after the “free” 6 month trial was up. There is enough programming to even justify bundling in the HD DVR from Dish. It’s a good deal for what you get too. This thing can hold a lot of programming, both HD and SD. No way in heck would I have elected for a HD recorder on DirecTV-there simply is not enough HD Content.

The Customer Service rep asked why I was dropping and I said because there is not enough programming to justify the 10 dollars a month. I told her you can only watch “The Matrix” so many times…and she laughed and said: “I know what you mean!”.

She then said she would give me 3 more months for free and I said: “No thanks.” It was that worthless, I did not want to have to call back and cancel again in 3 months, and told her this was my reason.

The only thing is the Dish HD DVR GUI is inferior to DirecTiVo’s IMHO. I really liked the DirecTiVo, especially the way you could search for shows using key words etc, then select only the shows you wanted to record. With the Dish DVR yoiu have to skip all the ones you DON’T want- retarded.

Also, the “suggestions” feature was handy with DirecTiVo. After you selected enough shows to record, the TiVo got the hang of your preferences and would make some good suggestions sometimes. The Dish DVR GUI is a pain in the ass compared to the DirecTiVo, but, it’s ok.

On a side note- with Dish, the satellite music selection blows DirecTV completely out of the water. When DirecTV went to XM Radio and dumped Music Choice, it was exciting at first, until they made the switch. In many peoples opinions, including mine, the new XM service was inferior to Music Choice. Many complained, but DirecTV was not listening. Something tells me they got a “deal” on XM and this is why they dumped MC.

When I left DirecTV, I told them these were my 2 reasons, a lack of HD channels and the removal of Music Choice/XM substitution.

Just to clarify some erroneous info posted earlier: All Sat HD boxes are leased, but all come with a full warranty. Even outside a warranty period, often it is possible to get one replaced. There’s a one-time fee of around $250 from Dish to get a HD-DVR, suggest calling Dish to get pricing for a new customer. Programming packages are also discounted for new customers.

I never stated that HD image quality was inferior on cable, I said “over-all” they are inferior. Although, no cable or sat providers are broadcasting true HDTV.

IMHO, the 3 options line up like so:
[B]Cable[/B]: fewer channels, higher cost per comparable package, does offer things like broadband internet and local channels.
[B]DirecTV[/B]: poorest HD channel lineup, and empty promises for over a year about more channels coming. Decent price on standard packages that tend to include a few more channels than Dish does. So depending on what channels you want, Dish may require a more expensive package to get them.
[B]Dish:[/B]Tends to me a little more expensive if you get the HD packages, compared to the others, but the channel lineup is WAY better.

All 3 offer HD-DVR, which is a must-have. Dish offers a dual-tuner DVR, which is also very nice.

I have Dish Network and I have had DirectTV before but for all the options and great channels and great price for the packages, and besides better equipment and service I love Dish Network. And as for the HDTV part it is wonderful. I would like to figure out how to save some of my favorite programs to a DVD or the likes for the kids the harddrives are getting full of there favorites and that is all they ever watch, LOL.

Luvs Jenni

I wish we had such choices here in europe…

Question for you guys. If you just get the “Family Package” for Dish Network would you at least be able to get most of the documentary channels that come with it in HD?

I record to my standalone panasonic dvd record from my DVR all the time. It’s very easy. My old ES10 even records HBO etc. & and On Demand stuff. I guess some of the newer models have problems with the protected premium channels.

this was kind of suprising to read, because i’ve heard directtv is #1 for hd quality.

By Direct TV’s marketing staff undoubtedly. :bigsmile: The quality might be slightly better with DirectTV (can’t say for sure) but the channel line-up for HD definitely is better with Dish Network. Either way, neither of them broadcasts any higher than 1080i at this point. As for the packages it all depends on what you want to do. While I agree that Direct TVs main packages are more comprehensive they definitely are more expensive. Given the enormous size of my DVD library and the fact that most regular TV shows that I am interested in are available on commercial free un-cut DVD these days, I find myself narrowing my interests on actual TV watching down to two things:

  1. Documentaries (ie Discovery Channel, The Science Channel, National Geographic, History Channel, Animal Planet, Court TV)

  2. Old Cartoons (Boomerang)

I can get most of these with the $20 family package from Dish Network. Now as I understand it for an extra $6 a month I can get an HD Reciever (my Westinghouse is only HD Ready), even with the SD channels. Now does this mean that the HD Reciever will upconvert these channels or does it simply mean that I am paying an extra $6 for something that I can’t possibly use?