Need a CURRENT Dish vs Directv vs Uverse Comparison..
I'm with Comcast, and in West Palm Beach it's horrible.. Terrible UI, DVR is very buggy, etc..
I'm interested in Directv, Dish or U-Verse.
Our tv watching personality includes standard cable channels (Bravo, E!, A&E, AMC, MTV, History, Discovery, TLC, and the Local Networks). We do NOT watch ANY sports. We would like movie channels as well (HBO, Showtime).
I really miss the Tivo that came with Directv years ago, and would like a nice UI as well. Price helps also, the Uverse looked appealing, because I could get phone/internet and cable for $140/month including all movie channels. Although this jumps to 195 after 12 months.
What are your thoughts? I hope posting in a specific vendor forum won't give me biased reviews.
I believe if you read U-Verse posts on this forum, you'll be hard pressed to find anyone happy with it. PQ is especially poor. How many rooms do you want to service?
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I got UVerse installed about amonth ago. My primary motivation was for the faster internet, but paying for a month of TV was cheaper than paying for the internet only install fee, so I got the TV component to try out side by side with Dish.
The UVerse set top box UI is very slick and has some very "cool" features like the PIP browsing banner but I find the Dish interface better for day to day use. What I personally miss most is the "swap" button funtionality, and the UVerse boxes can be a little sluggish at times..
Picture quality generally is noticeably better on Dish, especially the HD content. I'm not talking about questionable differences where you need a side by side comparison(which I have done). It was apparent from the the very first HD image I saw on UVerse. It was a Saturday install so it happened to be a ball game on a local, but I have compared the nationals and premiums as well. Dish is unquestionably better HD picture quality.
The best part of UVerse is the multi-room DVR. It works well. The downside of the DVR is that you cannnot pause live TV on the secondary non-dvr receivers unless you are recording the program at the same time.
Another downside ot the technology is that the entire household can only have 3 incoming HD streams and one SD stream max at any one time. I don't know if this varies by market.
Beware paying for the 24Mb internet service if you routinely have more than one TV stream running. In my area the internet connection is a 32MB VDSL circuit shared between Uverse TV and internet, the TV bandwidth will cut into the internet you are paying for, each HD stream is about 6Mbs.
Bottom line - I'm keeping Dish and cutting off the Uverse TV.
One benefit of the UVerse TV install is that I now have wired ethernet run to all my TV locations, and ATT will end up paying me to try it out after the promotions are factored in.
If you are interested in HD, DirecTV and Uverse are missing several HD channels you are getting today. DirecTV doesn't have E!, History Intl, or AMC in HD. It's also missing about 30 others. HERE's
a full list of each provider's HD offerings. As others have said, DirecTV has more sports content, but since you're not interested in that, it wouldn't be the best move. Uverse has a few drawbacks like limited HD streams (2 in most places) and lower HD PQ. DirecTV is best, then Dish, then Uverse. All are good, but Dish and Uverse have lower bitrates that become apparent with lots of motion, like on sports programming.
As a former DirecTV sub and current Dish sub I've been able to compare. I also spent a lot of time in my local AT&T store comparing DirecTV and Uverse side by side. As I said PQ is great until there is a lot of motion, that's where Uverse gets a little blocky.
DirecTV generally offers more HD locals in smaller markets. All providers carry all my HD locals in my market, but Dish and Uverse are missing a few in some smaller markets. Be sure to check that out carefully before switching. OTA (ove the air) is also an option for some and is integrated nicely into the Dish guide so it's completely seemless. It appears to be just another channel, so you get the guide and recording capability for all the OTA locals your antenna will pick up. DirecTV OTA works the same way. I don't think OTA is an option with Uverse.
Of course where ever you post your question, you'll get fans of each service. On the DirecTV boards they constantly bash Dish for having HD-lite. I don't know what kind of HD Dish has, but most of the time, I can't tell any difference between Dish and DirecTV HD PQ. Ironically, SD PQ is significantly better on Dish and Uverse than it is on DirecTV. Dish also has the best selection of music channels and the best audio quality on them by far. DirecTV recently dropped sirius xm in favor of the vastly inferior sonic tap service which has extremely poor audio quality, often not even in stereo. Dish still uses sirius. I don't remember what Uverse has.
FWIW, better multi-room capability from Dish is coming very soon. See the CES Sling Receiver thread on this board for details.