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Biweekly satellite TV for dummies buying guide thread

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by dixiehack, Dec 15, 2006.

  1. dixiehack

    dixiehack Well-Known Member

    We're moving next week, and I'm trying to decide whether to stay with cable or switch to satellite, and which service to use if I make the jump. Here are some of the particulars of our setup.

    • We don't have an HD set, and are likely 6-12 months away from getting one at a minimum. Will there be a huge cost to upgrade later if we don't get a sweetheart deal up front?
    • We don't have a DVR, but Mrs. Dixiehack wants on the bandwagon. We took back the Tivo we got last Christmas because we don't have a landline, and I couldn't figure out the proceedure for setting it up online. Is there a simpler option with the dish?
    • DirecTV looked like it kept most of the sports programing on the $99 tier, but then I found a site that listed it as an add-on option for $12 a month (versus $5.99/month with DISH). But it looks like I would get all of the regional FSNs with DirecTV, as opposed to just the local ones with DISH? Is that true, and if so how much stuff (read NHL and college games) would get blacked out?
  2. WazzuGrad00

    WazzuGrad00 Guest

    This has gone unanswered for a while, maybe I can help.

    I've had both services, but I've been with DirecTV for about five years now.

    With DirecTV, the HD box is about $99 (compared to $49 for the regular one). The HD-DVR is about $300.

    The Direct TV DVR doesn't need a landline to function (neither does TiVo, beyond the initial installation). You'll just call the satellite company and they initiate satellite box.

    The sports package is treated like a premium service (like HBO or Showtime) The first one is $12 a month, the second is $10 (I think). You do get all of the regional FSNs, plus some other regional networks (Sunshine, Altitude, etc.). Problem is, all of the pro events (yep, NHL too) are blacked out. College games aren't blacked out, although you'll notice there isn't too much selection, the same game is on 99 percent of the channels. It includes NBA TV, ESPNU, CSTV, Fox Soccer Channel, and others.
  3. Twoback

    Twoback Active Member

    You're going to need a landline if you want DirecTV, at least if you want to order anything above and beyond -- and, though I don't know this for sure, you'd probably need it for their DVR.
    I'm just amazed that anybody could exclusively talk on cell phones. The conversations are so uncomfortable and even the best connection is less clear than on a regular phone.
    To each his own.
  4. shotglass

    shotglass Guest

    I had Dish prior to going back to cable, dixie. (And yes, I'm one of the few who think cable has improved enough to be a viable option.)

    But anyway ... Dish offers a sports package which includes EVERY Fox Sports regional. It does not, however, offer Comcast Philly or Comcast Mid-Atlantic.

    As far as PPV, the only real difference I can see is that Dish cannot offer NFL Sunday Ticket. They're contracted exclusively with DirecTV.

    And on any of them, the blackouts are sometimes excessive. But that's the case with cable PPV, too. My baseball package kept Philadelphia home games, blacked out Pittsburgh, Baltimore and Washington. In central Pennsylvania, that's asinine.
  5. kingcreole

    kingcreole Active Member

    Overall, I've been happier with DishNetwork than cable. For a similar price (comparing the expanded cable to America's 120), I get a helluva lot more channels and more sports than cable ever offered.
  6. shotglass

    shotglass Guest

    I'm finding it about the same for about the same price. Now, the cable only has three of the Fox Sports regionals, but it does have Comcast Philly and Mid-Atlantic. And as far as the Fox Sports regionals go, you wind up with so much of the same programming that it's almost fruitless to get them all.
  7. ondeadline

    ondeadline Active Member

    You do, of course, get CSN Mid-Atlantic on Dish Network if you're in that region.
  8. OTD

    OTD Active Member

    I've got Dish Network--had it for about 6 years--and love it. When I first got it, I got that sports package, but most stuff is blacked out on it, so unless you want to be able to choose between "The Rocky Mountain Sports Report" and "The Northwest Sports Report," I'd forget about that.

    I've got two DVRs (one with HD). If you're thinking of getting an HD TV soon, I'd get the HD one when you start out; it'll work out to be cheaper that way.
  9. shotglass

    shotglass Guest

    My bad. You're right about that.
  10. leo1

    leo1 Active Member

    what about reception quality on cable vs. satellite? anyone had issues that made them wish they still had cable?
  11. OTD

    OTD Active Member

    Nope. In the time I've had satellite, there's been maybe one time, in a driving rainstorm, that the reception got bad for a minute or two. The picture's great. There's no way I go back to cable.
  12. westcoastvol

    westcoastvol Active Member

    I've been with DirecTV since '99. Love. It.

    I've also always had ESPN GamePlan and NFL Sunday Ticket. I'm probably dropping Sunday Ticket next year. The only real downfall with GamePlan is the point Shotty made, which is, there's generally only two games available, tops, spread across most, if not all of the FSN networks (Lamar v. Houston...awesome!) at a time. You always get the gamblers' specials like Hawaii v. _____. Fortunately, ESPN and JP more than make up for it. So worth it.

    I get the "every channel known to man" package for $99/month. That's all the movie and sports channels. Everything.

    RE: land line...that's there for three reasons.
    1. one-touch PPV.
    2. Faster upload of program guides.
    3. So DirecTV can gather Nielsen info.

    To those, I counter with:
    You can call and order PPV.
    If you don't watch TV between 2-5 a.m., the program guide is no big whoop.

    DirecTV will also install everything (including your DVR) for free, so you won't have to fuck with it. I personally HATE FUCKING HATE their DVR set up, myself. I like TiVo much better.
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