View Full Version : Q for those with satellite TV - Pros and cons
03-23-2003, 10:39 AM
I am thinking of getting DirecTV as our new local cable co (Comcast) does not offer Food TV :mad: :mad: :eek: :eek: and a bunch of others as well. I can't live without Food TV, even though I can go days without watching it. However, DH is a little hesitant to get a dish. He doesn't like having to lock into a 1 year agreement he says. His concerns are that you "hear about them going down or not working in bad weather" etc. The main reason we didn't get one before was because they didn't offer local channels and we were told that we couldn't get NBC or Fox. They finally did change this months ago, but we didn't bother with it because of our move.
By the way, cable will cost us more, for less channels and a lousy reception, but that doesn't seem to matter to him. The dish and two receivers are free with the deal right now.
So for those who have a dish, or used to have one, please let me know the pro and cons. I've checked out past threads as well. I only have today to read the responses. Thanks a bunch. :D
03-23-2003, 11:00 AM
We have Dish TV and really like it because of the picture quality, etc. But the downside really is when the system goes out in bad weather. We also had a hassle when trying to set up our 2nd receiver a few months after the first...quite difficult, but it ultimately worked out fine. The upside is that you get shows from all over the country--but that's really just multiples of WB network or Fox, and the programs are typically the same. So you get "Friends" 4 times in one night, but they're all the same episode. :)
03-23-2003, 12:25 PM
We have DirecTV and have never had any problems with it. However, we have never had regular cable, so I can't really compare the two. We are able to get all our local channels - they are in the 900 range for us. We also get East and West coast feed for CBS, ABC, and NBC (maybe others, I can't remember). Also, it has never stopped working during bad weather (but we don't get much BAD weather in California).
I would definitely recommend DirecTV. :)
03-23-2003, 12:29 PM
Thanks for your input so far. I think he has started to consider it more. He's watching basketball and there is a lot of "snow" on the picture. I told him he probably would get the same quality once we moved with cable again. :D
03-23-2003, 03:34 PM
We have DirecTV too and I really like it. We don't have too many problems with the reception going out, just occasionaly during a bad storm. When we lived in Indiana we were able to get the local channels through the DirecTV which I really liked. Here in Iowa that is not available yet so we had to buy another antenna to go along with the DirecTV in order to get the local news! But they say that we should get local channels on DirecTV someday. I would recommend it over cable. I think that there are more channel options on DirecTV. And the picture quality has been excellent for us. Good luck with you decision!
Although we're told by Direct TV that it's possible to do what we're asking, it seems that everything costs extra. Our system does not allow us to pre-program our VCR to tape any of their channels, nor are we able to watch one channel and tape another. For many people that wouldn't be a big deal, but we've only got the one TV. Also, we're not able to use certain features of our TV, such as split screen, or the feature which allows us to scan multiple stations at one time.
In our experience, customer service at Direct TV is aggravating. (At least here it is.) People read out of manuals and don't give us much confidence that they actually KNOW their system. They're polite and all, just not particularly knowledgable. They LOVE referring us to their web site instead of answering questions. Oh-- and my son was annoyed to discover that the shows he likes on Cartoon Network come on at completely different hours than they do on cable-- thus some things are either on too late for him to watch, or they're on while he's in school. And since I can't pre-program the VCR to tape them... well, he's out of luck. (There are solutions to our problem, I know. We just haven't gotten a chance to talk to local installers yet.)
...which brings up another issue. The fellow who was sent to install-- and this was through some sort of subcontrator locally-- cracked the wood on the fascia of one of our eaves, which required repair afterward. Direct TV was nice enough to compensate us with quite a few freebies and discounts-- so I will say at least they treated us fairly on that front.
03-23-2003, 04:17 PM
Gail, does the 2 room system allow for that? That's the one we plan on getting. I don't to have to upgrade the system, but I do tape channels while watching others. I'd better look into it a little deeper. Thanks for your input.
Afraid I can't answer that, since we've got just the one TV. We weren't really looking for extra channels beyond our local ones-- though my son was-- simply to improve reception. So in our case, we were actually looking for minimal service. Direct TV seemed baffled when we turned down all the bells and whistles.
As I stated above, most of the problems can be gotten around at additional cost. But it would've been nice had we had ALL the facts before getting into this. Glad YOU'RE doing all your homework.
03-23-2003, 06:44 PM
Hated it. Had it in Illinois and (1) you couldn't watch it whenever it was raining or snowing anywhere in the area; (2) you could see a thousand games, none of which you were interested in because they were blocked out by the local stations (but, hey, if you wanted to see the Little 6 of the Southwest rather than the Big 10 of the Midwest, you were all set); (3) you had to pay extra for extra TVs; (4) you had to pay extra for regular local stations; (5) you had 500 stations and THERE WAS STILL NOTHING GOOD ON!! I'm back to cable now. :D
03-23-2003, 08:01 PM
We have DirecTV and the only time we have ever had weather related reception problems was when we got really wet, heavy snow and the dish was full of snow. Since our dish in attached to the front porch (previous owners did that, it's not attactive) we can just take a broom out and sweep the dish. I know they also offer a "heater" attachment for the dishes, so this can be avoided. I've never had rain affect the reception, but I don't think we get rainstorms like they get in the midwest.
03-24-2003, 06:48 AM
We have Direct Tv and personally I would never do without it. We have the two room system with a feed coming off the bedroom tv to go into my exercise room. This means that I change the channels on the bedroom tv to watch in the exercise room.
We have had trouble with it going out once during the Presdents Day Storm but all we had to do was brush the snow off. No problem with rain or anything else.
We do not get local channels but we do get east and west coast Fox, NBC, CBS, and ABC.
We have not had a problem with customer service, once when we wanted to watch an Eagles game that had just started and it was on CBS, which we didn't have at the time. We called customer service and told them to either put it on now or cancel our service. We got CBS within the minute.
BTW, here they charge us about a $1.50 for each ABC, NBC, etc. so our bill is still less than cable would be. Although we do add on HBO which brings us about an even $45 a month.
I don't about the vcr, because we don't have one....
Another DirecTV faithful checking in. We have DirecTV in four rooms in our home. We started off by getting the same promotion you are looking at, two rooms, the satellite and the installation for free with one year commitment. We have since added two more receivers(basically like cable boxes that sit on top of the TV) so that we can watch different shows in all four rooms. We have the expanded basic service, local channels and all the HBO channels and we pay $55/ month (still less than basic cable would be in our area and we get like 200 more channels than we would with cable) Our experience with customer service has been nothing but wonderful and as linsleyd mentioned if you want something utrned on or off it is instant.
The only time we loss the signal is during a really bad thunder storm, and even then it is only for a few minutes. We have never lost it because of snow, rain, wind or anything else.
As for the VCR situation, if you want to watch a show different from the one you are trying to tape on the SAME TV, you can't. The receiver box has to be tuned to the channel you want to tape. But you will have two receiver boxes which each get their own reception so just set one TV to tape and watch the other TV- does that make sense?
DH and I love having satellite and will never go back to cable.
If you have anymore questions feel free to PM me.
03-24-2003, 08:39 AM
We have Dish Network and have been very pleased with it. We've only lost signal once during a very violent thunderstorm and the customer service has been excellent. When we had digital cable, we had all kinds of problems with signal, the cable company cut us off a couple of times by mistake, and the picture quality wasn't what it was advertised to be. As I told DH, at least if we lose signal now at least it's an act of God not some doofus at the cable company. ;)
03-24-2003, 02:35 PM
Here's an old thread with the same question:
I LOVE DirecTV and will never have anything else - you can't beat it!
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