any dish set up is subject to rain wind and show, It seemed like any time I wanted to watch tv. I kept getting the "searching for signal" message. I watch very little TV and virtually no movies. I have comcast HD and couldnt be happier.
I had the Dish Network for 3 years and Direct TV for about 4 years. They both blow away cable in terms of quality of signal and value. You get so much more for your money with satellite. And my signal rarely goes down due to weather. If I loose a siganl, its' only for 5- 10 minutes during the most brutelist of storms.
And check this out, Direct TV now throws in XM radio for free with the Basic plus package. I route it through a high quality external DAC and it's not too bad to listen to that way. And besides, I was so sick of all the constant little price hikes that cable demanded, for what?...it's a true monopoly that needs to be broken up.
I think close to nirvana is a DirectTV HR10-250 HDTV/TiVo. Being able to record HD and SD programs and play them at our convenience is great. We rarely watch any program when it is scheduled.
In Santa Babara weather is rarely a factor in reception, so it's pretty much a year-round 24/7 surperb signal.
I never had an issue with reception with satellite vs. cable when it came to weather conditions. I swear i had more problems with comcast than i did with direct tv. Never once lost signal due to inclement weather (san jose, ca) I do like comcast for their "on demand" features.
I must say that I've very few good things to say about my DirecTV experience. I could go on at some length to explain in detail how I believe they provide a poor experience, but here are some of the highlights:
Sunday Ticket: If you subscribe to Sunday Ticket, they go to great lenghts to make it difficult/impossible to unsubscribe. They automatically enroll you in new season, you have to phone to cancel (cannot do it online) - in fact you would only discover that you are paying for this when it shows up on your credit card bill. And, if the season has alreay started, they say it's impossible to cancel (even though I never even turned to the channel). I eventually got them to comitt to refund this charge, but then over the last two months I see that the charge did not get refunded. I find the whole thing unethical and borderline illegal.
I get a bill every month in the mail that shows my charge as $0.00 (nice and reassuring). I have to go online to get any sense of what my true charge is. The mail bill is so misleading and completely useless. Also, all messaging on the website is focued on 'upgrade' rather than 'change' service levels. Everything about the service seems geared to making them more money and not providing me with what I want.
If the phone rings, and I press pause or stop on my HD/TIVO STB, about 2 minutes later, the picture starts playing again, interupting the pause. It's like they want to increase time spent watching to improve their ratings.
If I'm watching a show and I want to go back to the 'how playing section', it takes about 8 seconds for my button click to register. It's amazing.
Maybe I'm picky, but I've found the whole DirecTV experience very bad. I'm relying much more heavily on my Netflix now (waiting longer to watch shows on DVD rather than live or TIVO). I may just cancel the DirecTV outright. I used to have VOOM which I was much happier with from a technical and service perspective - shame they went out of business.
Been using Direct TV for years and I don't agree with your assessment.
While the picture isn't that "bad", I do see a lot of false contouring and digital artifacts (resulting from the set-top converter box no doubt). Dish has been recently aligned by a DTV tech so that isn't the cause.
Also, watching sports like football makes me crave HD picture 'cause the standard picture is pretty smeared -all things considered.
My Father, however, thinks the picture is "Great!".
I just don't think so (compared to HD).
I recently switched from Time Warner to DTV and I am very happy. The picture quality is far and away superior... audio is too. I am a bit disappointed that my HD/DVR box does not have a coax digital out however.
With that said - my ears tell me that the analog output of the box is superior to the digital feed to my Linn Unidisk from my cable box.
So far I've had no issues with rain - which we have been getting lots of lately (North Carolina).
I will say their cust serv reps were horrible for the most part. When I was trying to decide if I wanted to switch I called several times with questions that I had forgotten on the previous call. What I found was that every rep told me a different story. I finally got to a manager who was very good.
Overall I dont regret dropping cable for a second.
About 6 months ago, I installed a 2nd hard drive in my DirecTV HR-10 250 receiver. It doubles (possibly more than doubles) the storage capacity, was an easy install and works 100% perfect. IMO and in my experience, this is a great web based company:
After 10 years of Dish Network, I just switched to DirecTV. Wow, what a difference in the video output.
Is it possible that your previous receiver was older and inferior to the one you now have and also compared to newer improved versions carried by DISH? I find it very hard to believe that DTV's receivers are in another league compared to DISH.
I don't want to totally hijack the thread so I'll say that I have used DirectTV for 10+ years and like the picture quality over cable. And I like that their use of Tivo as not in the midst of legal wrangling as is Dish with their knockoff equipment. Now for the hijack. I also have the HR10-250 HD receiver that I just got when upgrading to HD. I've been having problems with the audio being slightly out of sync with the video. Of course its worst when viewing people faces and audio doesn't match there lips. I've tried when the manual suggested (basically rebooting) with no improvement. Anybody else having this problem?
Dish HD is a far superior signal than DirectTV. Yes, much of it depends on the receiver and the Dish 622 HD receiver is really good. One of the satellites that Dish uses is broadcasting a weakened signal, especially to the Pacific Nortwest but this is not a problem if you already know about it.
Go to DBStalk.com which is a link filled with really involved satellite folks.
I've had Dish for a long time, and have been satisfied with it, certainly far better than cable. As I am in the boonies of west texas, I was able to get National network (Dallas and L.A.) until my Dallas was cut off and replaced with Chicago. The local podunk stations now offered by Dish(Lubbock) suck. They are smeared in standard def and football games are cable quality(bad). I now have high-def, which is fine, mostly, but limited in what I can get. If I had to do it over again, I'd try to stay with the national stations as long as I could. Not having network in high def is ridiculous, and highly political.