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Satellite TV Offers - Good Deal?

Updated on March 25, 2010

The Most Common Question: Direct TV or Dish Network?

Over the years I’ve had Cable, Dish Network, and Direct TV. I even tried to get Hughes Satellite Internet Service up and running, but could not get enough signal from my residence at the time. There is a lot to like about the picture quality of Satellite TV especially now that HD TV is so readily available on both Dish and DirectTV. I’m not a fan of Cable because the service is just plain spotty, perhaps it’s better in your area, but it didn’t work out for me.

So what is Better Direct TV or Dish Network?

Remove pricing and I have to say that I prefer DirectTV, I just like the way its menus work better. But what I like is not really important; people want to know what’s the better service.

Direct TV claims of course that they are better than Cable and their direct Competitor Dish Network. I’m not selling either service so I have zero incentive to pick one over the other. I should point out also that I no longer subscribe to any Television Service as I have little time to watch TV.

Direct TV claims they have “Tons more full-time HD channels than Dish Network”. How many channels is a ton? A ton is a measure of weight not a measure of channels. Seems like stupid marketing speak at work. So lets dig to the heart of the matter. As of this writing Direct TV has 130 Full-Time HD Channels and is claiming they will soon have 200. Dish Network is offering 140 HD Channels. But the real question is does it matter? It only matters if you want to watch the country knitting channel in HD and it’s only available on one network… my point being the number of HD Channels only matters if the content in the package you want to purchase is available in HD or not.

We all have our own tastes and if you are a typical person you’ll tune in to the same dozen channels over and over. So compare plans that offer the channels you want to watch and don’t buy into the marketing hype. Now that NTSC signals are off the air everyone will be pushing content into the HD Realm. You should expect more HD content in the future.

Beware the Low Price Package and Introductory Deals

No one really wants the base package… the companies intentionally leave out channels people want to watch so they can up-sale. If they cared at all about customers they would let the customer pick and pay for only the channels they truly want. But that’s not how it works if you want Disney HD for your kids you have to buy the Weather Channel HD, the Golf Channel HD, and VH1 HD… channels you may never even watch! That’s Corporate America… don’t give people what they really want… force them to pay for things they don’t want. Seriously they must be taking notes from the Cell Phone Industry.

Introductory offers will come back and bite you hard at the most inopportune times. It’s an old marketing ploy to advertise a low rate then lock you in and gouge you later. Gee sign up today and get HBO and Showtime “free” for 3 whole months… yippee. Is that really “free”? Be sure to get out your magnifying glass and contact your attorney so you can read and understand the fine print of this outstanding offer. You have to figure out exactly what you want and then compare pricing. When you do that you’ll probably find that Direct TV and Dish Network are about the same price… except you have more options with Direct TV.

Customer Service?

Hard to say as so many people have different experiences. I personally thought the people at Dish Network were more like Chimpanzees than customer service people. I found Dish Network Employees to be unprofessional and poorly trained. I could never get a good answer out of any of them. But what I did get from them after I called was constant harassing telemarketing calls until I finally disconnected my cell phone. I couldn’t believe they wouldn’t stop calling me. Maybe had they just taken the time to listen to what I was asking the first several calls. These companies think once they have you on the hook you’ll never leave… so I have to say my experience with Dish TV was not very good. I can’t comment on Direct TV customer service because I never used them.

Exclusive Satellite Television Programming

Direct TV has Dish beat here for sure especially when it comes to sports. Direct TV offers every single NFL game (You’ll pay extra of course), every NCAA Basketball tournament game, more baseball that you could watch, and even European Soccer if that’s your thing. So if you are a true TV Sports Junkie then Direct TV is for you.

Picture Quality?

To be perfectly honest I never had either service hooked up to an HD Television. But on my old TV when I had the services the picture quality on both systems was identical. I simply could not tell the quality apart. The Satellites are broadcasting on FCC regulated Channels direct from the Satellite to your Dish. Because the receiving Dish is small in size you need to make sure your installer points it precisely to get the best signal. Otherwise you can lose channels in rain storms and especially during heavy snowfall.

So who is the Winner in Satellite TV?

Direct TV is owned by News Corp (Rupert Murdoch) with a large investment interest by Liberty Media. Murdoch has been known to be ruthless and anti-competitive. In short he is not a “nice guy”. He is also the owner of the Fox Network and Fox News. I genuinely don’t like the guy. So if you are purchasing on a higher moral ground then Direct TV may not be for you.

Dish Network began operations as EchoStar in 1980. Dish Network is run by Founder Charles Ergen and is based in the United States in Colorado. Dish Network gained a lot of negative press as the result of deceptive marketing practices and was fined by the FTC for violation of the do not call list. This is not joke you wouldn’t believe the annoying calls, and I know because I was on the wrong end of them!

So you decide for yourself. Who would you choose, who do you use? This is Corporate America after all. You choose the lesser of 2 (Or 3 if you count Cable) evils. But either way you are still paying someone evil.

FYI – The Satellite TV on your PC offers you see are SCAMS… they simply take your money and it’s not what you think. It’s not Satellite TV Service.

Comments Welcome.

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