Direct TV vs Dish Network and HD Questions



Dish Questions for HD (I live in the USA):

  1. What do you prefer Direct TV or Dish Network and why?
  2. What does Direct TV broadcast in…I was told 1080 buy sales person…but figure she meant 1080I and not 1080P?
  3. What does Dish Network broadcast in?
  4. Is the best deal found on the actual Direct TV or Dish Network site or is there a better place to find deals?

I have a 50" Panasonic Plasma 720P so questions are in reference to that.

I will want the HD service and also a DVR…so another question is what company provides the best equipment(for the price) if that is even a factor. It seems both will provide a free DVR if I sign up for a year with certain packages.

I have Charter Cable HD service now. The problem I see with this service is there are only 15 or so HD channels (That is including premium channels that I subscribe to), and not all the HD channels are broadcast in the wide screen HD format…some are square pictures on my wide screen leaving bars on both sides. I can use various format options on the tv (I.E. just, stretch etc…but to me that is a waste and the picture does not look perfect). Zooms seems to work best on programs not in true HD but then it may cut off the top of the heads or information on the bottom?

Seems all NFL HD games are broadcast in true HD and just look fantastic. I was told (probably false information)…that the HD NFL games are shot with Sony cameras…is this true or false.

Also…to give an example…most times Jay Leno is HD wide screen…but some nights it has bars on the side?? I am confused as to why this happens?

I did not pay what I would consider a lot of money for a HD wide screen tv and then extra for HD programming just to have a stretched image on the set?

Please leave comments, advice, links for information, best programming deals, preferences…and input would be great.


From what I’ve read around, all HD broadcasts on Satellite, Cable and Terrestrial are 1080i. Like standard definition broadcasts, the horizontal resolution and bitrate can vary from channel to channel. For example, BBC HD which I pick up here in Ireland has a resolution of 1440 x 1080 and bitrate of ~16Mbps.

As I don’t live in the US, I have little experience of what both are like for HD, but from what I’ve heard from a friend several months ago, the Dish network has a much wider range of HD channels than DirecTV. If you’re looking for particular channels, it’s worth checking through Wikipedia’s DirecTV channel list and Dish Network channel list.

With either provider, you should get a wider range of HD channels than cable, as Satellite has a much wider capacity for HD channels.

If a HD channel is showing a 4:3 picture (with black bars along the left/right), there is a very good chance that the channel is just airing an upscaled standard definition programme, as I’ve seen this done before. As far as picture quality goes with HD channels when showing HD content, unfortunately both providers seem to cram several HD channels per transponder (going by Lyngsat’s transponder listings). For example, 6 HD channels on a traponsder will likely be encoded at one third the bitrate than 2 HD channels on another transponder, assuming both transponders have the same bandwidth.

Hopefully someone else here who watches HD on DirecTV or Dish Network will be able to post their experience here.


Yea…I am still hoping for some response here.

I just got something in the snail mail yesterday from Dish Network…they say their Turbo HD is true HD (what ever they mean by that…you know how ads are…what they say is different a lot of the times then what you get).

As with Direct TV, Dish Network sites, and the snail mail I got…I can not pin down a deal on exactly how much each deal is…so I can compare apples to apples…I am sure they do this on purpose.

It seems Direct TV and Dish Network want you to commit for a year or more…a long time if I do not end of liking the service.

Thanks for bringing up wiki…I will read up on that.

I do know Direct TV has NFL Network which I do not think Dish Network has, but that is not a deal breaker for me…I am just looking for the best picture and good service and a good deal money wise…and a good DVR in the deal.

Thanks for your response.


I have Dish and love it. A friend of mine has Direct and loves it.
I don’t see any difference in picture quality. We both have Insigna 50" plasma tv’s.

I can tell you that Dish is better at giving discounts than Direct. I had a service problem issue and when I complained they kept me happy by giving me $20 of my bill for a year (will end in Feb.). Dish called me over the summer to sell me some kind of package that I wasn’t interested in. When I told her I wasn’t interested she asked if there was anything else she could do for me. I told her it would be nice if she could lower my bill for me and she replyed. I’ll give you a $20 discount for the next year. Now I’m up to $40 off my bill.

The point behind this story is don’t be afraid to ask for a discount the worst they can say is NO! Then try to get a chanel like Showtime free for 3 or 6 months. Don’t be afraid to ask they want new customers and want to keep them too. This is why the deals are not written out in simple english. Good Luck and fight for the best deal you can get even if you have to ask to talk to a supervisor.


Thanks for Info Doc


Same here Paul. I’ve gotten a lot of money off my bill with them.

Also here is my trials and tribulations with Dish >



That thread of yours was an interesting read. :bigsmile:



That thread of yours was an interesting read. :bigsmile:[/QUOTE]If you don’t ask and be persistent they will run all over you with a fee for this and that :iagree:

I have one receiver that is not even close to hooking up a phone line to it and got that fee waved also. My HD 622 is hooked up to a phone line.


I have dish network in HD, and the aspect ratio is 4:9, and it is broadcast in 1080 i, but they do have HD DOD movies that are in 1080P, and they are gorgeous, the only thing is, some tvs are 1080P and are 3o FPS (frames for seccond) and Dish 1080P DOD movies only support the 24 fps, but i reccomend dish


To Bob: Fees hey…do not see on their site where they mention that one…??

Rosekiss: Some tv’s support a certain frame rate? What happens if your tv does not support the 24/30 frame rate?? Mine is only a 720P…so what happens there?

I am a true rookie with this HD TV stuff…

On conversation with Dish Network rep today…I may have made a mistake…I gave him my phone number to call me back…that was a dumb move on my part…any way info so far

Dish Network HD Programming

I told the rep I had one HD tv…he is talking the 612 receiver…but had no idea who makes it.

Bronze $24.99 + $5 local channels

Silver $32.99 looks like 32 channels…No mention of local channels but assume it is the same $5

Gold $39.99 Looks like 39 channels including the plus and no mention of the locals which I assume is $5?

Where is the 100-150 HD channels they talk about?

BTW rep says they have the 612 receiver

Cinamax for 1 cent for a year…but HBO and others $10 a shot per month…but a couple free for 3 months.

By the time I get the cable (Charter) discounts for phone ($20) and Internet Service ($15)…I am not sure how they can beat cable (as much as I hate to admit it)…seems like I run into this every time I consider a switch…end up with a headache and not switching


Maybe you are looking for this?


Hey Bob…I had seen that information…but

I have an ad in front of me…TurboHD…over 100 HD channels available and over 150 by year end…???

I can only count about 40 or so HD channels…total??

I can scan the ad if you want…but how many HD channels do you count…maybe I am missing something here…


I’ve never counted them actually. I don’t watch TV all that much but my wife does.

No need to scan for me i’ll take your word for it. Maybe someone else would know more than i do.


I have had DirecTV and Dish I have stuck with Dish because they give me the best price for the channels I get.

To answer about the receivers the receivers are made by or at least made for Dish they don’t have any other brand names on them other than Dish it was the same for Direct as far as I remember. I know it’s not like cable where you get a motorola box or something like that.

I have a big package deal with Dish that saves me money over any other service too. I have home phone, two cell phones, DSL internet(only high speed even available to me) and then of course Dish all offered through AT&T since they now own Dish and of course bought out Cingular. I pay just over $100 for everything for dish I have the 200 ch packages with the Silver HD add-on I don’t think the platinum HD is worth another the price for so few channels.


I have Comcast cable with one 42" Pannie HD with a cable card. What I don’t like about Dish, Direct or ATT is that you have to have a box for every TV. I do have 1 box for On Demand. I have 5 TV’s. I don’t want 5 boxes. Granted they are not all on at the same time. But most time at least 2 or 3 are. I wish that I could have 1 box at the spliter to control all 5 TV’s. Is there anything like that?



[QUOTE=Czyotto;2211758]I have Comcast cable with one 42" Pannie HD with a cable card. What I don’t like about Dish, Direct or ATT is that you have to have a box for every TV. I do have 1 box for On Demand. I have 5 TV’s. I don’t want 5 boxes. Granted they are not all on at the same time. But most time at least 2 or 3 are. I wish that I could have 1 box at the spliter to control all 5 TV’s. Is there anything like that?


With Dish or Direct you can have one box for two TV’s buy no more that I am aware of. So if you have 5 TV’s you could get away with 3 boxes.


Having had both DIRECT T.V. and DISHNETWORK.
Like the others I prefer DISH. Only for this reason on DISH
You can get the 2 tuner dvr hd for no cost. Second TURBO HD
is great because you get your HD channels 1080p [the same as
blue ray quality]. Also with the 2 tuner boxes from dish. If you
have 2 t.v.'s OR MORE. You can send the signal via uhf infrared
to channel 26, or 73 which allows you to record and watch
channels seperatly from your primary dvr. They give you two
remotes for each t.v.


:bow:Thank you for your information about direct TV and Dish Network.:iagree: