Dish Video Quality Compared to Directv?

Is Dish HD video better, worse, or the same as Directv HD video?


  • Total voters
    32
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sonydude1966

Thread Starter
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Sep 19, 2008
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Trying to save some money since things are tight right now. Saved $35 per month getting Time Warner cable. However, the hd and sd video is noticeably worse than Directv. The picture is softer, darker, and just has less detail. No POP like Directv has. I also noticed some tiling (blocky pixelation) every once in a while that I never noticed on Directv.

Anyway, Dish is $13 per month more. Still saving $22 per month from Directv with about the same channels.

Is the DishTv video quality similar to Directv, or closer to Time Warner cable? I'm worried because unlike Time Warner, I will have a 2 year contract with Dish if I get it installed.

Seriously condidering just going back to Directv for their excellent video signal. I really need to save some money though. Directv gave me $10 off for 6 months and free showtime for 3 months, and that was good, but I needed more. Need some advice.
 
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JohnL

JohnL

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Sep 23, 2003
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Dish's HD is not up to the same standard as DirecTV. I have currently have both for the time being. Dish's HD PQ is much softer, I also noticed much more color banding with Dish as well. You will see less macroblocking on Dish though, I'm guessing this is a trade off you will have to expect with switching.

John
 
S

sonydude1966

Thread Starter
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Sep 19, 2008
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Wow, a person with both, cool. Do you watch Fox News HD or SYFY HD? How do those compare between Dish and Directv? Is Dish HD a little worse than Directv across all the HD channels? Are the SD channels about the same, or also a little worse on Dish? With Time Warner cable I noticed even the SD channels were just flatter, less color, and darker.

I also noticed on Time Warner that some HD channels like Disney and Turner are just about equal to Directv, but others are way off. Yes, a tradeoff to save money to be sure.
 
JohnL

JohnL

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Sep 23, 2003
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I don't watch Fox News (I can't stand the 24 news cycle and the drivel that passes for news these days, Bubble Boy, etc..), so I can't answer that one, but I watch alot of Syfy content. DirecTV's HD PQ is slightly better on General Interest channels across the board, I see a big difference on the Starz HD channels on DirecTV, I would guess this is the case across all of the premiums. I don't think there is much of a difference on the SD channels.
 
C

cband

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Feb 22, 2009
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Prescott,AZ
Wow, a person with both, cool. Do you watch Fox News HD or SYFY HD? How do those compare between Dish and Directv? Is Dish HD a little worse than Directv across all the HD channels? Are the SD channels about the same, or also a little worse on Dish? With Time Warner cable I noticed even the SD channels were just flatter, less color, and darker.

I also noticed on Time Warner that some HD channels like Disney and Turner are just about equal to Directv, but others are way off. Yes, a tradeoff to save money to be sure.

I just switched to Direct TV on the 1st of December. D's HD is way better than Dish's. On Dish The O'Rielly Factor was very soft. So was the network football games. On Direct O'Rielly looks more HD like. Don't watch much of Sci Fi anymore, so I can't compare. I can say that I dropped my bill by $45. a month by switching, at least for the 1st year. Even in the second year I will save at least $30 a month. Getting used to the channel line up is the hardest part for us. But so far we are enjoying Direct TV. We have so many discounts, that's why our bill is so low. Friend referral, Quest bundling, plus all of D's offers. What Dish offered me to stay was laughable to say the least. Too add, I can't really comment on SD channels yet because I really haven't had the time to compare. But it's so nice to see The Smithsonian Channel again!

Jeff
 
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sonydude1966

Thread Starter
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Sep 19, 2008
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John, Thanks, sounds like Dish is better than Time Warner, but worse than Directv. Coolio :cool:

Cband, Thanks for the informative comparison, you're awesome. :D
 
Mojo Jojo

Mojo Jojo

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Apr 19, 2009
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I am not sure which package you are wanting to save money, but you may want to compare the lowest packages that Dish offers with the Excel chart that I created:
View attachment DishNetworkComparison.xls
I hope that helps.
I think Dish's HD is pretty good. We never had DirecTV HD but DirecTV SD. We noticed a difference from that. However, a relative has DirecTV HD, and her picture also looks nice. However, I do not have a side by side comparison. I think both have nice HD.
 
B

Barry Erick

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Aug 27, 2004
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I think one had the resolution set wrong on the Dish receiver to see the difference.
 
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sonydude1966

Thread Starter
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Sep 19, 2008
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I think one had the resolution set wrong on the Dish receiver to see the difference.
So, you think Directv and Dish are equal in HD and SD video quality across the board?
 
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sonydude1966

Thread Starter
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Sep 19, 2008
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Started a poll. If you've seen both at work, please vote. Thanks.
 
3HaloODST

3HaloODST

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Jul 2, 2010
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I think that the poll is pretty much gonna be more like "which TV provider do you have?"

That being said, I voted both are equal. Yes, DirecTV might look slightly sharper, however as previously stated there's more macroblocking, therefore they're both pretty well equal. Such a minute difference between the two, I'd go based on who has the price/programming/equipment I want, more-so than trying to compare HD quality between the two...
 
D

DishSubLA

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Apr 9, 2006
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Isn't Dish HD at best 1080 but less than 1920? I know this was probably already posted, but can someone state if DirecTV's is 1080 X full 1920? Thanks.
 
K

Kb Cool

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Oct 31, 2005
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I love this poll. I hope it starts a fire under E* and they try to improve the quality of the video we receive. Nice!!
 
Mojo Jojo

Mojo Jojo

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Apr 19, 2009
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I think one had the resolution set wrong on the Dish receiver to see the difference.

It is true that some installers do not change the HD resolution. I think the default is 480p. I changed them at first to 1080i, but surprisingly, I find that 720p looks better especially in terms of fast movement. I just say try both 720p and 1080i to see which one looks better on your TV for both providers. Also, it can also depend on what the TV picture settings are on; most people leave whatever the default is. There are also people using SD boxes with no connections to their HDTVs. I like a bright picture; therefore, I change my settings this way. However, that is not considered the right calibration, but I like an HD picture that pops I suppose you could say.
 
3HaloODST

3HaloODST

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Isn't Dish HD at best 1080 but less than 1920? I know this was probably already posted, but can someone state if DirecTV's is 1080 X full 1920? Thanks.

Now this is true. DISH 1080i is 1440x1080i, DIRECTV is 1920x1080i, however, consider that many HD cameras are in fact 1440x1080i, and horizontal resolution isn't near as important as vertical resolution. This is the reason that DIRECTV has a sharper picture, but with more macroblocking. They have to compress the HD stream more than DISH because they're dealing with 25% more horizontal resolution.
 
Hall

Hall

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Feb 14, 2004
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I have currently have both for the time being.

Wow, a person with both, cool.
Personally, someone like JohnL is the only person who's "opinion" will hold much weight. You truly have to compare this at the same time (not based on having one provider at one time and now the other and "remembering" what the picture looked like) and just as importantly, on the same TV.
 
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sonydude1966

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Sep 19, 2008
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Personally, someone like JohnL is the only person who's "opinion" will hold much weight. You truly have to compare this at the same time (not based on having one provider at one time and now the other and "remembering" what the picture looked like) and just as importantly, on the same TV.
I don't know about that. My memory is pretty good with things like this. I can 100% tell that my new Time Warner cable is worse than Directv in every HD and SD channel that I watch. I can even remember different channels like Disney and Turner are real close to Directv, but still not as good. I do agree with you about the comparison needs to be on the SAME TV though. But when you watch something for a couple of years, you remember. That's why I'm having such a hard time right now with Time Warner.
 
Hall

Hall

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Feb 14, 2004
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Germantown OH
When things are "close", I think you need a fairly direct method to compare. If your Time Warner is like the TW here, don't worry, I believe you :) I can confidently say that E* HD quality is much better than TW's. There's simply no comparison.
 
S

sonydude1966

Thread Starter
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Sep 19, 2008
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When things are "close", I think you need a fairly direct method to compare. If your Time Warner is like the TW here, don't worry, I believe you :) I can confidently say that E* HD quality is much better than TW's. There's simply no comparison.
Good to hear that Dish's HD is definitely better than Time Warner's. I'm happy saving $35 per month with Time Warner, but was really spoiled with a far superior HD provider in Directv. SD was better with Directv as well. Now I need to decide whether or not to try Dish for 2 years.:confused:
 

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